School: USC Marshall School of Business
E-mail: Click here!
Reason for blogging: I'm incredibly self-absorbed.
|I'm listening to...
::"Stay Beautiful," The Last Goodnight
::"Spaceman," The Killers
::"Green Light," John Legend
::"Superstar," Lupe Fiasco
::Taiwan, A Political History, by Denny Roy
::The Devil and Miss Prym, by Paulo Coehlo
I've just seen...
::I Love You, Man
Sleep is Underrated They keep telling us first-years that "sleep is overrated." I wholeheartedly disagree. Sleep is desperately underrated at this school. Don't people realize that when you're as cute as me, you need beauty sleep? Let's take a look at what has been happening in the past week.
Sunday: I spent the day at Hermosa Beach for a Marshall social event. At Marshall, there's a strange group of people who identify themselves as "active people." They have this weird philosophy about being physically active. I mean, has anyone heard of such a thing? I was at the beach, doing normal beach stuff --- eating, reading an entertainment magazine, lying on my back, lying on my stomach --- and all of a sudden these weirdos burst on the scene with a variety of spheres that they refer to as "volleyballs" and "soccer balls." They proceeded to expend calories by throwing, hitting, and kicking these spheres to one another. It was very intriguing. After I got home, I tried reading my microeconomics textbook. It took Herculean effort to remain awake. I think that book would make a great sleeping aid. It's effective. You only have to buy it once (no replenishing your pills). You wouldn't have to worry about getting addicted. I think I finally dropped off to sleep around 11:00 PM. Sleep counter: 4 hours.
Monday: I woke up around three to start working on a presentation assignment. I had to craft a 5-minute presentation to give to my teammates in one of the Experiential Learning Center (ELC) rooms. We have this assignment so my communications professor has an idea of my baseline presentation skills and help me improve. I'm pretty scared of giving presentations in general and the idea of giving it in the ELC can be intimidating. What is the ELC? Well, have you ever seen one of those police interrogations rooms on Law & Order? And have you ever seen those tapes of people under observation in psychiatric wards like on X-Files? Well, the ELC is like a combination of the two. From the inside, you feel like you're in a small conference room, complete with tables, chairs, whiteboards, and projectors. At one of the room is mirror and above it, a video camera. From the outside, you see a counter with pairs of headphones. Above the counter is the two-way mirror that lets people from the outside observe you. As you can guess, one needs to be careful about what goes on in the ELC since someone could be taping you or watching you.
I got to school, gave my presentation, and engaged in yet another failed attempt to read microeconomics. After a lunch where second-years and the Career Resource Center (CRC) staff talked to us about career and resume stuff, we had microeconomics class. Our professor is great and has a great sense of humor, but I was having so much trouble staying awake because I didn't get enough sleep the night before and was suffering from an after-lunch food coma. One of my classmates tried to keep me awake by making faces at me from across the room, but it took a large cup of Pepsi (not my usual diet Pepsi because I needed the caffeine AND the sugar) to keep my head from falling onto the desk. After school, I headed home. I took a one-hour nap before attacking a packet on business ettiquette and a slew of self-assessment tests. When I got the results I was pretty irritated, since it basically told me I should go into Training and Organizational Development. I'm not sure what it is, but it sounds a bit like teaching people how to do stuff, and I've always been an impatient person, so I don't know where this career assessment test got this idea that I'd be good at teaching. Luckily, today was a day where I'd get some major sleep. Sleep counter: 5 hours.
Tuesday: The beginning of the day was all devoted to analyzing the results of the battery of assessment tests we had taken since the beginning of orientation. We then had a fancy lunch where we had to practice our "business ettiquette" and some important guy at USC gave us tips and rules to follow about dining ettiquette and how not to embarrass ourselves in front of future clients, bosses, interviewers, etc. After lunch, we had a communications class where we were debriefed about our baseline presentations and talked about how business writing differs from academic writing. We also got an assignment about ethical decisionmaking. We were given a problem and different roles (I was the district attorney, someone else was the president of a company, etc.) that we would have to solve the next day in one of the ELC rooms. I got out of class by 3:30 PM and was very stoked, since I would FINALLY have enough free time to get my car washed. Being in school is like being at work in terms of time...you have to grasp any free time you get for running errands because you are just so busy. I got home and read my ethical decisionmaking assignment and then attacked accounting, which I believe will kick my butt. Not only was our reading assignment long and hard to understand, but we also had long homework problems and a case to read. Sleep counter: 4 hours.
Wednesday: I started the day with the ethical decisionmaking exercise. We assembled into groups into the various ELC rooms and had a mock "meeting" where all of us tried to come to a solution. After we finished negotiating, we were taken into a larger room where we talked about ethical dilemmas and watched video clips of ourselves working together. I had a lot of free time afterwards, so I spent my lunch break attempting to finish my accounting assignment. Then it was off to accounting class. Our accounting professor is very dynamic and funny, and he really tried to accomodate those of us who had zero accounting experience. After the accounting class, we had a MBA Club Fair, where we could learn about all the different clubs at school and apply to join them. The problem with these clubs are dues. I think I may have to take out another loan just so I can pay for the club dues. Being cheap, I tried to look for clubs that were dues-free, but the only ones were those I couldn't join, like the club for gays, lesbians, bis, etc. and the club for significant others of Marshall students. Luckily, we had no homework, so it was another good night of sleep for me. Sleep counter: 7 hours.
Thursday: We had yet another communications class where we talked about preparing team presentations (for example, a team of consultants presenting their action plan to a company). This was to help us prepare for our case competition, which was kicking off in 4 hours. After class, we had some free time during which I chatted with some classmates. During lunch, the MBA Program Director gave a short presentation wrapping up our Orientation activities, and then my communications prof gave us an overview of our case competition. We received our case materials and were told to have our presentations ready by 8:15 AM the next morning. If you aren't familiar with cases, here's a short explanation. You're given a scenario, usually involving a business having some sort of dilemma or problem. You then have to evaluate the sitatuion and come up with a recommended course of action. There's rarely a right or wrong answer; it's more about learning to evaluate a situation with limited information, choosing a solution, and being able to back up your recommendation. My team reserved a room in the library so that we could work on the case until 8 PM, by which time we should have finished. However, I knew better. I knew that given the time management abilities on our team, we would take way longer. We ended up working until 1:30 AM.Sleep counter: 2 hours.
Friday: I got up at 4:30 to finish working on our PowerPoint slides and dress in business formal attire. I drove to school, met up with my teammates at 6:30 AM, ate half a muffin and two pieces of fruit for breakfast at 7:45 AM, and fine-tuned our presentation until our presentation time, 9:15 AM. Even though I was not a presenter (my job was that of PowerPoint-Slide-Advancer), my stomach was still tied in knots, and I was totally freaked out when the judges started asking us questions. After that, we gathered in a room with our entire core and we voted for the best presentations in our core (the winners would advance to the finals). The finals were held in Town & Gown, one of the nice banquet facilities on campus. We listened to presentations from each core, and judges from the Marshall faculty chose a winner. Many people dozed off since they had not gotten sleep from the night before and because it was a bit like listening to the same thing over and over again as the different teams came up with very similar solutions. We all rejoiced when the winner was announced because that meant it was time for food, and about time too! It was practically 2 PM! That's 6 hours without food! Since we are business school students, no celebration would be complete without alcohol. Since I couldn't deal with the long lines at the reception, I just snagged half a cookie and walked with the rest of my classmates to the Radisson hotel bar next door for some early afternoon boozing. After waiting an appropriate amount of time, I drove from school to Beverly Center, where I met up with Lil who bought me some shoes (I was looking, she paid) as a present, and then we headed to Chaya Brasserie, where I had my birthday dinner with Katy, Greg, Joyce, Lil (duh), Em, Wendiva, Jenny, and Christina. The food was very good. They even got me a birthday dessert (i.e., they added a little glass with fruit and a lit candle to my dessert plate). Christina and Jenny asked if the restaurant employees would sing "Happy Birthday" or if they should sing it but Wendiva, determined not to be embarrassed, gave an emphatic "No." After our huge dinner, we headed back to Lil's house, where she proceeded, as usual, to fall asleep on us while the rest of us chatted about many things, but the conversation pretty much always returned to guys, which probably made Greg feel a bit uncomfortable, but he was a good sport about it. We got home around 2 AM in the morning. That meant that I had gotten 5 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. I went home and promptly conked out, only to be awakened at 9 AM by my sister asking me if I wanted to go out for breakfast.
Today was very anticlimactic. I spent the day with a plumber trying to fix an overflowing drain in the house. I hate dealing with plumbing problems. After this, I'm going to either clean the house or start doing homework. *sigh*
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|When I learn a new word, I'll put it here so you can learn too!
Abbreviation for "Earnings Before Income Tax, Amortization, and SGARA." Next week, find out what SGARA is.
Click here for previous "new words."