It's been a busy few days with celebrations and family and friends - aka Graduation Weekend.
Everything really kicked off Thursday evening, when my parents and grandpa arrived from the UP in the late evening. It continued Friday morning, when Mom and I did some shopping before everybody got gussied up in their Friday finery for the Dean's Reception. We sampled the spread and tried to find friends in the crowd, largely striking out but running into Abby and her parents as both headed for the Marketplace table to buy some Ross schwag. Then back to my place, where Bill & Sharon and Jenelle arrived in short order. Just as they did, though, it was time for me to 'gown up' and head down to Crisler Arena for Commencement. After seemingly endless pre-ceremony gathering and photo-taking, Section 3 filed down Section 28 and into floor seats for the final chapter in our MBA lives. Nate Johnson's speech really carried the day, I filed across the stage in due time, and shortly after that we sang a chorus of The Victors and were dismissed, graduates all. Outside, under the Ring of Knowledge, we took pictures before heading south for a laid back - but delicious - dinner.
Saturday morning (in the correct chronological sense) I was awoken to quite a surprise: Robin stumbling into 409B, fresh off a plane from MSP. She was quite noisy about it, making a HUUUUGE rucus while getting ready for bed.
Saturday morning (in the usual astrological sense) we all got up and had breakfast together before Robin and I hit the town to pick up some party necessities and lunch food. When we got back to the apartment, we packed the soft-sided cooler, a blanket and chairs, and had a great picnic on the Quad under the flagpole. With an enormous block-M flag flapping overhead we ate pulled pork and sliced mango, played frisbee, and watched people. We also hit Steve & Barry's for a hat, Stucchi's for a cone, and Shaman Drum for a book.
In the late afternoon, a grad party in my honor hosted by Jenelle at Huron Towers. Both of our parents had brought food, we contributed burritos and bevies, and about 20 family and friends came to celebrate along the river. As is so often the case, the whole thing happened much too quickly - before it was even possible, people were heading home. Closest family hung out in my apartment for a while afterwards, talking and re-visiting the memory board Jenelle made.
Sunday morning we had leftover margarita mousse for breakfast, played frisbee on Mitchell Field, and then said goodbyes in the parking lot. Robin and I headed toward the airport (with a stop at Jenelle's for a pre-flight snack and Ollie-tainment) and then it was, somehow rather suddenly, just Jenelle and I enjoying a sunny Sunday at home.
Let's see... Monday night was the last Section 3 event, a picnic held at Rachel P's house. There was more food than any section should rightfully own, lots of time to talk and share destinations and summer plans, and, ultimately, recreational drinking games. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Tuesday morning I got shots. I needed shots for work (!?!) and UHS doles them out all the time, so I got a jab in each shoulder. (This will be important later.) In the afternoon, gym and grocery and cooking. Jenelle was around in the evening with a lull in school work, so we watched "An Inconvenient Truth" and struggled with printing at Ross. Sometime during the movie, my shoulder started to hurt. By the time I went to bed, I couldn't lift it above horizontal, I had a raging headache and was feeling nauseous. The only logical explanation for my overnight malaise and today's droopiness: I now have Tetanus, diptheria, and Hepatitis-B in addition to clean laundry and a spiffy apartment.
Today is a transition day. I've spent it archiving old, school-related things... organizing binders, purging little and saving much, re-arranging and cleaning e-history of my last two years. I remember that at Webb this was a frantic, half-completed task, but fortunately this time I own the laptop and have a whole summer to sort email contacts and carefully back up the full record of my time here. I've also put the last push into the Art on View website which I hope (but doubt) will be put into use over the summer.
And there have been calls. Always, calls. To UHS to set up shots, then back to set up a post-shot physical sheet sign-off. To the DJ inquiring about addresses, to old friends inquiring about boxes, to EZPass inquiring about account status. Mom and I laughed about this the other day, but it isn't that funny! Why do we always have so many calls?!?
It is Disorientation Week (DW) at Ross. Friday night that meant Spring Fling: a chartered big blue bus to Washtenaw Country Club, where dollar drinks, a huge hors d'ouevres spread, a piano-bar style piano player, and a DJ awaited us. Let's be clear; dollar drinks and your favorite friends a few hours after your last academic endeavour has ended can make for quite a scene.
Saturday we didn't have DW stuff; instead of a(nother) Tigers game we spent the bulk of the day indoors at First Presbyterian Church doing pre-marriage counseling. I don't think I would categorize these six hours as 'fun,' but it did feel productive and was pleasant enough. We left feeling good about our standing as a couple and with a couple of one-liners that will probably last for years and years as we work through issues that come up.
Afterwards, home to relax for awhile, take in the end of a pretty ugly Red Wings win, eat a $5-Hot-and-Ready pizza because that's the best we could come up with in terms of food ideas, and then visit the DW bonfire just down the street from Huron Towers. It's fun to go to low-key events because it's easier to talk with people without loud music, easier to just hang out without needing to dress up or sign up, and easier to just show up and not worry about cost or appearances.
Today was the international picnic and MBA2 section kickball tourney; Section 3 took third (I think) in the tournament but there weren't broken hearts because after nearly four hours in the sun everybody was pretty rundown. So, we scouted parking at Crisler and headed home for an evening 'in'.
A few funny things to pass along:
Jenelle's class did modern endings to Romeo & Juliet and they were pretty funny. Among the highlights were Juliet awaking and finding Romeo then uttering the timeless phrase "awww snap...he dead." Similarly, Romeo getting some bad news - "your shorty... she's dead." Shakespeare would have been straight trippin'.
I spent the day working on papers. Final papers, I suppose, for BA512, STRAT669, and GradSchool12782807. Neither paper is really a specimen to hold above all others, but after two years learning about incentives I find it ironic that my incentives at this point all favor turning in pure fluff. With no awards on the line, no GPA difference to be made, and (importantly) no need for the credits in the first place, I literally do not have to complete these final exams. At Webb I wondered to a Professor in Senior Spring if I would fail his class. He countered by explaining that it isn't in the school's best interest to fail me, but that I should still work hard. I knew that he could fail me, preventing my graduation, unless I earned a grade. To endanger my impending graduation I would have to literally write something so offensive or steal something so viciously as to be kicked out of the University. Those are not good incentives to encourage high performance in the waning days of b-school.
I've been mum on the Virginia Tech thing because who needs two more sorrowful cents? Today, though, an email stirred my thoughts. It came from U-M administration and advised that the U would be reaching out to parents of current and incoming students to make them aware of security on our campus. I think that's great, but I am guessing that some paranoid parents called and asked "can this happen at Michigan?" The answer, clearly, is yes. Yes. Forty-one-thousand times over, yes. But who wants to live life like that, to attend a University constricted by fear? Virginia's governor today said that the commission investigating would include a representative of higher education because 'the changes that may come from this tragedy are not as important as maintaining the University learning community.' Thank you sir. FDR would be proud.
Liveblogging is all the rage amongst the sports bloggerati, so I'm going to liveblog my afternoon in the library.
2:32 - Mandarin oranges are my favorite 'exotic' fruit. This is a taste which harkens back to the days of giant steel tubs of them in the lunch line at RRHS on "Oriental Food Day." Woof... as if calling it "Oriental Food Day" was bad enough, the selections were usually chop suey, chop suey noodles, rice, and mandarin oranges. 2:48 - I'm down to the dregs of my salad and getting into the nitty-gritty formatting of draft 1 of our STRAT 669 paper about Yahoo!. 2:54 - Just heard a mobile phone ring from across Kresge 4... rules are rules, people, and this is a silent floor. Anyway, why would you have both (a) your ringer turned to 11 and (b) a cartoon theme song ringtone? 3:09 - MSWord is bringing me down. How can this be the best word processor out there? Probably it isn't, which begs the question: why are we using? 3:24 - Little study break gives me time to edit and upload this picture from last night's 6-5 Tigers win over Kansas City.
3:53 - Intense formatting happening; collecting parts of a paper from three.5 people is a good way to get it written but not a good way to get formatting out of the way early. 4:05 - Time is flying past and I can't make Word work fast enough... my kingdom for a mouse. 4:24 - As if in a dream I've got it! Industry Analysis, Competitive Positioning, Competitive Strategy, Strategy Recommendations. This is a beautifully-flowing, concise, complete framework for each section of the report. Now we're cooking with gas. 4:44 - I'm ghost writing a conclusion that I'm hopeful will be approved by teammates. It's hard to make a case for anything in eight pages these days; I miss engineering school where you can generally sum things up with a single equation or inequality. 4:46 - Just remembered that my phone is in my pocket and 'vibrate' doesn't work unless the thing is vertical. To my shock and dismay I missed two calls, one of which was Jenelle saying that her day o' testing is over. Perhaps that means my day o'librarying is over, too. 4:52 - Yip. I'm out. My labors will now be done at home, with distractions more numerous than a roomful of BBAs.
posted at 2:32 PM - comments
Monday, April 16, 2007
I made it to Ross in time for a free bagel from the Dean and a lengthy group meeting about Yahoo!. We beat the subject quite to death, which you pretty much have to do with a fittingly, depressingly difficult final case report. In some ways I'll miss the case method, but I'm ready to gather data my own data, write my own questions, and reach my own conclusions. Interestingly, I followed up case work with case response, doing my best to take an authoritative ethical position re: Don Imus. Jenelle had an important wedding-related stop to make, so our evening started a scoche later than usual... a brisk walk in the brisk wind, studying, and snacks for dinner.
posted at 8:38 PM - comments
Saturday, April 14, 2007
As the non-blogged days often are, a true whirlwind blew through after the last post. Thursday evening we did make it out to celebrate the end of MBA classes for me. We hit Ann Arbor's favorite Depot Street watering hole, Casey's Tavern. We had a drink and a sandwich and watched Detroit sports and talked. Afterwards, like a true MBA, I had to run back to school to print a few things, but we headed home directly for a nightcap and to watch "Harold & Maude."
Friday morning we got up at a very un-spring-break time and (whippeeee!) got back in the Vibe for a trip north to Grand Traverse. We met the baker, the florist, the chef and the disc jockey in a quick pan-Traverse tour. There weren't too many decisions to make, but we did clarify myriad details about timin...who is doing what when and with whom. Then it was time to go home. The deer lined the highways - we must have seen close to 200 whitetails - but were, to a tail, uninterested in even looking up as we passed. We talked with parents and had subs, but it still felt like a long trip. The silver lining is that the next time we head through Kalkaska we'll be on our way for the festivities to begin.
Today felt like Sunday, which made it even more cruel that I had a high noon team meeting at Ross. It wasn't wonderfully productive, but we wrapped at 3 anyway and Jenelle and I had an afternoon of boat-reminiscing provided by free magazines which arrived from the Detroit Boat Show that transitioned quietly into an evening of APHC and wedding invitation paper cutting with a side of quesadillas.
Last day of classes. Prep for final project(s). BA512. Ethics of Management, frameworks, cases, a microcosm. Scantron bubble sheets for evaluation. Slightly Agree. Neither agree or disagree. Last class ever? Hands in the air. Celebration? Nah. Gank a GBR brownie? Yip. Out into the day; cold breeze tosses the window washers. Habitat meeting. Home. Paper cutter. Relo calls. Insurance calls. Hunh. Last day of classes…I guess that’s why they call it GoBlue.
posted at 9:06 PM - comments
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
The howling wind around the corner of 2200 Fuller was truly oppressive this morning. It brought cold and snow to boot...couple this with Jenelle's tooth-removal recovery and my not having class until 7pm and you have a lack of structure and productivity to this day; we did various and sundry wedding-related things, some housework, and some schoolwork but not significantly more.
posted at 10:52 PM - comments
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
We're back in Michigan after an Easter trip east. After class on Thursday we jumped in the Vibe and drove to Syracuse by way of Niagara Falls. We saw some major shipping activity outside of Hamilton, ON, both on Lake Ontario and the Welland Canal ladder of locks over the Niagara Escarpment. At the Falls, we nearly froze to death with cold, misty wind driving directly to our cores. The mist had created enormous ice sculptures at the base of the falls, which added some intrigue to the 15 minutes we spent there.
Friday we found ourselves ahead of the imaginary red line which was our arrival schedule, so we hit the Erie Canal Museum. It was fabulous. Located in an old weighlock (literally, a lock used to weigh the boats for fee assessment) building, this museum had a great mix of canal building, canal use, and canal closing history. An annex in the now-filled-in lock contained a full-size model canal boat, and the museum shop had a zillion cool items.
With the rest of the day we made our way to Vermont's eastern border to meet Pat and Sue - and Rosebud and Smarty Jones. Over the next two days we talked wedding stuff, had a couple of great meals, went to the farmer's market, met a new arrival, explored Hanover and Dartmouth, and visited Simon Pearce glass and restaurant. It was a great visit, as visits with McCoys tend to be. All too quickly it was time to jump back in the Vibe for the 12 hours back west to Michigan and school or spring break.
To celebrate our return, Jenelle had wisdom teeth out this afternoon, which should provide the chill time required for us to get going on invitation construction.
Lots of base-of-pyramid discussions the past few days. On Tuesday I heard the creator of this concept, C.K. Prahald, lecture on the topic in his Distinguished University Professorship acceptance. This idea is so widespread that our favorite South American dictator (Mr. Chavez) now refers to himself as the base of pyramid president; such unilateral acceptance of the theory indicates that Prahalad is probably as close as I'll see to a Nobel Laureate. However, even in utilizing the BOP framework to create business solutions that help everyone, there is a certain amount of leverage/power exerted by the creator over those being helped. Thus there is an excruciating balance to be struck between exploitation and empowerment. Does selling a dual-fuel clean stove compare to the loss of jobs after Bhopal? I'm not sure, but Prof. Ahuja summed it up like this: 3.5 billion people's lives depend on the way you behave.
posted at 1:27 PM - comments
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Yesterday existed - haircut, class, work on the art website, wedding stuff - but today was the high point of the week at school. A Peachman Lecture on North to talk about the 'prospects of high speed shipping in the 21st century' with a professor from Cal Santa Barbara. This turned out to be quite a disappointment; the good professor hadn't done much other than determine that a conventional ship wasn't going to work, but his solution for improvements hinged on hydrofoils and polymer solution released along the hull at a rate of 18 tons per 5000 miles. I also got paid $15 to tell a computer which imaginary cell phones I'd choose from 25 potential lineups. In the late afternoon I ate a burrito and had a project meeting which mostly involved talking about the alarming developments on the H1-B visa front... all the news fit to print for the international students on my team and rightfully so. Then class, largely normal but remarkable in its concluding remarks about business ethics.
posted at 11:14 PM - comments
Monday, April 02, 2007
I'm figuring out that we can't afford cars. There, in the parking lot, sits the priviledge of maintenance, repairs, cleaning, fueling for years to come. Today it was tire rotation and brake pads for the Vibe; I'm not bitter.
Otherwise, Opening Day. I stayed in and watched the Tigers from home. There were 44 thousand people at Comerica already, and they lost. I also did what I could on AOV and read for class. That's Monday.
Another weekend winds to a close... it was a good one, all around. We started Friday night - as we've started doing lately - with a trip 'out'. This time around we found Chris Chelios' Cheli's Chili Bar in Dearborn. The Red Wings were on the televisions, the chili and nachos were excellent, and we found that if you only order ice water the bar can be totally reasonable!
Saturday was a day of errands and a dry-run of invitation production, neither of which came off without a hitch. Errands went thus: I picked up the final two components of my tuxedo, we picked up ribbon for the wedding and a paper cutter, Belle Tire was doing 'physical inventory' and couldn't be bothered to rotate tires, and Hiller's Market is the grocery store we'd use if we were urban professionals. Then the first assembly of the invitations. Hmmmmm. A few miscalculations by the Photoshop operator (me) means that we'll need to revisit a few things, but all in all we were very pleased with how things went. In the evening, APHC, some hoops, and "The Importance of Being Earnest."
Sunday was a sunny, beautiful day here. We spent it outside doing three things which all Americans must do on sunny days: cleaning our cars, going to the park to throw things at one another, and eating ice cream. We had pesto for dessert and then hunkered down to get back into the grind of the real world - grading, paper writing, studying for PRAXIS. You know, bleeeehhh.