Archive for the ‘Student Life’ Category

Thursday July 10, 2008

July 10, 2008

03:20

It’s only fitting that I post whilst inebriated from the booze salad left in my apartment.  I’ve got one smoke left for tomorrow morning along with one jar of coffee, one box of sugar and one Coke for the road.

This is it; The End.  It really does feel like yesterday when I was packing vacuum bags full of crap that I thought I’d need in le France.  Who knew that I needed so little?  Who knew that I’d learn so much?

The valedictory will follow, as soon as I settle in to wherever it is that I’m headed.  For now, I thought this place deserved one last post.

INSEAD Class of J08, I miss you all aready.  Well, at least 10% of you.

Advertisements

Thursday June 12, 2008

June 12, 2008

It has definitely been a while, and my fingers feel it. Hell, your eyes feel it. Nothing’s really rolling off the tongue anymore. It’s kind of like stuffing your mouth full of cotton balls the morning after a real bender. Rough, a little dry and oh-so-sticky. But hey, some people like saltines. I’m more of a cream cracker kind of blogger though, so let’s get to it.

Given two decision trees, one with a 100% probability of a 2M Euro payoff, and the other with a 89% probability of 2M, 10% of 3M and 1% of 0, which would you choose?

The safe b-school versus the gamble? E(V) analysis? Gut feeling? “LBS vs INSEAD?”

I chose to roll the dice.

What’s that, you ask? What’d they come up with?

Well, I’m not sure yet, and I don’t know if I’ll honestly be able to answer that question for another five or ten years. Some fellow J08’ers have hit the seven, and then some. Others have rolled snake-eyes. Whaddya gonna do? We all chose to play the game, right? No one held guns to our heads and said, “INSEAD, or else.” Well, actually, in light of the crazy shit that goes down here, and the even crazier stories that my colleagues carry with them, I guess I can’t be so sure.

Kool Kids

March 16, 2008

What am I to you
Tell me darling true
To me you are the sea
Vast as you can be
And deep the shade of blue

When you’re feeling low
To whom else do you go
See I cry if you hurt
I’d give you my last shirt
Because I love you so

If my sky should fall
Would you even call
Opened up my heart
I never want to part
I’m giving you the ball

When I look in your eyes
I can feel the butterflies
I love you when you’re blue
Tell me darlin’ true
What am I to you

Yah well if my sky should fall
Would you even call
Opened up my heart
Never want to part
I’m giving you the ball

When I look in your eyes
I can feel the butterflies
Could you find a love in me
Could you carve me in a tree
Don’t fill my heart with lies

I will you love when you’re blue
Tell me darlin’ true
What am I to you
What am I to you
What am I to you

“What Am I To You” – Norah Jones

——

I lazed the day away, enjoying a late, languid lunch after an afternoon grocery trip on which I ended up buying yet another bottle of whisky. Good move, as I think it’ll be one of those nights. I spent the rest of the day playing games, watching the hours tick away. Life would be so much easier, according to Fernando, if no one played games and everyone called it like it is. Replace “you’re so smart,” with “you’re stunning.” Get rid of “let’s go out to dinner,” and substitute, “let’s get naked.” Abandon the, “You’re a great friend,” and call in the “I’m seeing someone else.” Ditch the “You’re so _____,” and just say, “I love you.”

Chateau Villecerf threw a gig this evening, in the northern part of their compound (that place is more like an estate, split into Upper and Lower houses nestled in the midst of French farmland). Unfortunately for us P4s, the P2s had the upper hand when it came to numbers, and the few faces I recognized were off drinking or dancing to the strangest beats, necessitating an early exit on my part. No worries though, as I’ve got my friends Dalwhinnie, Laphroaig and Johnny Walker to keep me company.

Ah, friends; what a fickle lot they are. Fear not, for I know I can always count on the aforementioned three and their brethren wherever I am in the world. Except for Saudi Arabia, of course. If I end up there, I’ll be drinking ethanol that I brew in a bathtub. Here’s to not working in Mecca. Is that sacrilegious? If so, sorry to all of the burqa-sporting folk out there. Salam Aleikum. Don’t worry it’s not you. I hate all people equally. I suppose that precludes me from ever being a true Rogerian.

“When you don’t meet people in the real world, it’s hard to keep the friendships going.”

In 111 days, probability says that I won’t see my INSEAD J’08 classmates ever again. Somewhere along this roller coaster of a year, I was asked, “What’s the point?” My answer was something along the lines of, “To enjoy the ride. For the good times. For happiness.” I’m not sure any of that holds water anymore.

What is the point?

The year is shaping up to be as clique-ish as middle school. Lo and behold, I’m not part of any of the clans, partly by choice and partly by reality. I’ve always been a straddler; never here nor there, flitting between the nerds, the cool kids, the rebels and everything in between, a smoke dangling between slender fingers, a glass clutched in scarred hands. All we want is a little contact, right? A bit of validation that none of us are alone in this world. A high-five, a hug, a cuddle, a kiss, a never ending night of rapture. That’s all we need, right?

No.

You’re on your own, kiddo. No one’s going to look out for #1 except yourself. If only, after all these years, I could listen to myself on that count.

Memory

March 6, 2008

Today I’m gonna start again,
Find my home,
If only I could escape,
My danger zone,
I have to take my own advice,
Don’t make it hard,
There’s something in the universe,
The brightest star.

[Chorus]
Here’s what I’ve been waiting for,
Day, night, seen it all before

Memory! Telling lies,
I am scared and cannot hide,
When I sleep,
Be my guide,
Could this be my paradise?
Something deep in my soul,
Tells me where I must go,
All my dreams, telling lies,
Could this be my paradise?

I want to share it all with you,
The special place,
Imagining the perfect day,
In time and space,
The secret of the universe,
Is beautiful,
If you could listen close enough,
You’d here it call….

[Chorus]

“Memory” – Dumonde vs Lange

This track really does bring back memories; of leaving one of my favorite cities on the face of our little blue cosmic ball; of nearly blowing a subwoofer while blasting this song after saying goodbye to the first person to show me that there are other ways of thinking, and who incidentally took a little bit of me with them on their way out; of gulping down a giant tumbler of Jameson after saying that last goodbye and cooking up the biggest heap of pasta and sausages with D that night. Was that the night of The Screen Door Incident? Oh, man, I’d forgotten all about that, too.  Memory fails me, here.

Red alert, red alert; the Fontainebleau campus has been overrun by hordes of bronzed, beaming and bemused (by the “warm weather” and different “dress code”) folk from Singapore. Combined with the hordes of post-exam, beer-addled P1s running around like they’d all just won their own individual lotteries, trying to walk through campus today at noon was like trying to crowd surf at a Kenny G concert. Yeah, it didn’t work out so well.

You know what else may not work out so well? The next month of mental, physical, emotional gymnastics required to hunt for that elusive beast known as The Job.

 

Company presentations start next Monday and I swear you can see people walking around campus with their strong hand hidden in coat pockets, flexing away at one of these

Grip

to improve on their firmly professional-yet-friendly handshakes, and hitting the local chop doc to stock up on Botox for the truckload of shit-eating grins that they’ll have to deliver for the next four-ish weeks. And by “they,” I really mean “I.”

Things to do in the next 7 days:

  • Create giant job spreadsheet with risk-adjusted, weighted variables including, but not limited to: geographical preference, proximity to networks, forecasted salary, industry preference, job title, job function, chance of getting any job, proximity to McDonald’s, PPP-adjusted living standard, flight radius to locale where I can get a decent milkshake
  • Plug the 38,901,625 scheduled career services events over the next four weeks in to Outlook
    • Panic
      • Turn to my dear friend whiskey to assuage my fears
  • Write cover letters for companies listed in bullet one
    • Realize I haven’t written one of these since college
    • Panic
      • Turn to my dear friend whiskey to assuage my fears
        • Possibly write better cover letters as a result
  • Figure out what I want to be when I grow up
    • Panic
      • Turn to my dear friend whiskey to…figure it out for me?
  • Organize my life
    • Panic
      • Realize whiskey probably isn’t go to help here

 

 

 

 

Oliver

February 20, 2008

The sun’ll come out
Tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There’ll be sun!

Just thinkin’ about
Tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
‘Til there’s none!

When I’m stuck a day
That’s gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,
Oh!

The sun’ll come out
Tomorrow
So ya gotta hang on
‘Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow!
You’re always
A day
A way!

“Tomorrow” – Annie

——

Today

Search Views
insead lpg paper 4

The wheel turns, and the madness begins. You know it’s getting bad when P1s are coming to this blog in search of academic tips. Hah! Silly students. Just write what you really feel about your group mates. You know you want to. Let it all out. Come on; it’s your last chance. Well, that is unless you decide to have another heart-to-heart “feedback session.”

Let’s see how many projects I can churn out in a day’s time and how much sleep I can get between now and Monday.

03:17. Do I love you, oh tomorrow?

When did everything stop making sense? Tomorrow.

Hills

February 19, 2008

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a partner
Sometimes I feel like my only friend
Is the city I live in, the City of Angels
Lonely as I am, together we cry

I drive on her streets cause she’s my companion
I walk through her hills cause she knows who I am
She sees my good deeds and she kisses me windy
I never worry, now that is a lie

I don’t ever wanna feel like I did that day
Take me to the place I love
Take me all the way I don’t ever wanna feel like I did that day
Take me to the place I love
Take me all the way, yea yea yea

It’s hard to believe that there’s nobody out there
It’s hard to believe that I’m all alone
At least I have her love the city, she loves me
Lonely as I am, together we cry

And I don’t ever wanna feel like I did that day
Take me to the place I love
Take me all the way
And I don’t ever wanna feel like I did that day
Take me to the place I love
Take me all the way yea yea ye-yea
Oh no no no
Yea ye-yea
Love me I say yea ye-yea

Under the bridge downtown
Is where I drew some blood
Under the bridge downtown
I could not get enough
Under the bridge downtown
Forgot about my love
Under the bridge downtown
I Gave my life away
Yeah yeah ye-yeah
Oh no no no
Yeah ye-yeah
Oh no no
I said yea ye-yea
I’ll stay

“City of Angels” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

——

It was one of those dinners, on one of those crisp nights, right before the scent of spring was set to ride in on the trade winds: Unexpected, impromptu, and awash in strained merriment and reluctant consumption. The toasts were plenty, but empty, pregnant with regret and unspoken goodbyes. This would probably be the last time, ever, that the same people would be in the same room in the same place. Countless “Bottom’s up!” could be heard over the din and cacophony, followed inexorably by a “Another bottle, please, miss!” Another one to drown the emptiness. Another one to assuage the guilt over relationships that never flowered beyond a simple “Hey!” while passing each other in the Galleries. Another one to bury the sorrow over story books never to be opened; paths never to be walked.

Here’s to you, friendship. Here’s to you, oh weighted probability tree of unknowns and never-to-bes. Here’s to you, my inexplicably bleeding nose. Here’s to you, INSEAD.

Fish + Bicycle = ???

February 18, 2008

Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there’s time to change, hey, hey, hey, hey
Since the return from her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey, hey, hey
hey, hey, hey, hey

Tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there

Now that she’s back from that soul vacation
Tracing her way through the constellation, hey, hey, hey
mmmm…..
She checks out Mozart while she does tae-bo
Reminds me that there’s room to grow, hey, hey, hey, hey
yea…

Now that she’s back in the atmosphere
I’m afraid that she might think of me as plain ol’ Jane
Told a story about a man who is too afraid to fly so he never did land

Tell me did the wind sweep you off your feet
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back to the Milky Way
And tell me, did Venus blow your mind
Was it everything you wanted to find
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there

Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you, even when I know you’re wrong
Can you imagine no first dance, freeze dried romance five-hour phone
Conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had . . . and me

Tell me did the wind sweep you off your feet
Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day
And head back toward the Milky Way

Tell me did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself

nah nah nah nah nah nah nah
nah nah nah nah nah nah nah

And did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day

nah nah nah nah nah nah
nah nah nah nah nah nah

And did you fall for a shooting star
Fall for a shooting star

nah nah nah nah nah nah
nah nah nah nah nah nah

Are you lonely looking for yourself out there

“Drops of Jupiter” – Train

——

What a weekend. I’m pretty drained, on all levels, and my liver is still cowering in a dark corner somewhere. I’ve tried to lure it out with water and promises of detox, but it’s not having any of me for a while. If you happen to see it running around, grab it for me, would you?

The Dragon Week party ended up being more of a cocktail reception in a nice venue with muted music than a full-blown INSEAD shirt-ripper, but it was a good night overall. Interesting, as all nights are, when you involve INSEAD “participants” and open bars. I’m pretty bummed that I didn’t win the raffle draw for 2 round-trip plane tickets from Paris to Hong Kong, though. I mean, who can say no to a free trip to Asia?

Incoming disclaimer for those who think that INSEAD is all about drunk and games. Uhm, fun and games, even. Saturday morning was an eye-opener, with seventy some-odd Market Driving Strategies students packing the Lower Gallery cubicles for two marathon decision rounds followed by an excellent closing lecture by superstar professor Markus Christen and a champagne reception paid for by said professor. Yeah, yeah, this last bit didn’t really further my intention of dispelling the notion of INSEA(lcoholics)D, but hey, you can’t turn down free champagne.

Everyone’s sprinting down the P3 home stretch this week, trying to wrap up projects, gear up for the break and mentally prepare for what’s laying in store. The P4 Job/Career/Life Direction Madness Express is due to pull into the station in seventeen days. I’m curious (in a sticking-scissors-in-an-electrical socket kind of way) about how the student, campus, social, and housing dynamics of P4 are going to play out, what with the shift of human mass from Singapore back to Fonty.

Gotta polish up those track spikes for tomorrow. Here we go again!

“Pour ce qui est de l’avenir, il ne s’agit pas de le prévoir, mais de le rendre possible.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Beso

February 15, 2008

Oh my word. The trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is out! The things you miss when you stay away from the ‘net for a day.

Highlights of my email free Thursday:

Leaning against a travertine pillar for a quarter of an hour watching five thuggish looking North African boys jamming away on 2 violins, 2 accordions and an acoustic guitar. I stumbled upon them in the middle of their rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon. Pretty amazing. I’ve always been a sucker for violins.

McDonald’s for lunch, followed by McDonald’s for dinner. Yeah; that’s pretty disgusting, but every once in a while, it’s soooo good.

Finally breaking down and buying something I told myself I’d never, ever buy. Now let’s see if I actually put it in to action.

Yup, that’s it. I lead a pretty boring life. There’s the open-bar Dragon Week party tonight. After so many limited drink national week parties, I finally feel like this is 25 euros well spent.

Today is new day, and it’s looking pretty good already. Happy belated Valentine’s Day to all you cute little lovers out there.

“The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

Chastity

February 13, 2008

I saw her today at a reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man

No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need

Oh yeah, hey hey hey, oh…

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a 50-amp fuse”
Sing it to me now…

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need
Oh baby, yeah, yeah!

I went down to the Chelsea drugstore
To get your prescription filled
I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy
And man, did he look pretty ill
We decided that we would have a soda
My favorite flavor, cherry red
I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was “dead”
I said to him

You can’t always get what you want, no!
You can’t always get what you want (tell ya baby)
You can’t always get what you want (no)
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need
Oh yes! Woo!

You get what you need–yeah, oh baby!
Oh yeah!

I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need

You can’t always get what you want (no, no baby)
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need, ah yes…

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – Rolling Stones

Live in Paris, ’76

——

Hump day!  No projects (aka impending doom) due, for the moment.  Dragon Week party this Friday.  Alcohol-fueled, day-long Market Driving Strategies marathon on Saturday.  Not too shabby.

Welcome back to the blogosphere, Res I(p)saYour cheery outlook has been missed.  Hope you plan on sticking around.

Today is a new day.

Dromedary

February 12, 2008

One! Two! Three!
To every broken heart in here
Love was once a part, but now it’s disappeared
She told me that it’s all a part of the choices that your making
Even when you think you’re right
You have to give to take

But there’s still tomorrow
Forget the sorrow
And I can be on the last train home
Watch it pass the day
As it fades away
No more time to care
No more time, today

But we sing
If we’re going nowhere
Yeah we sing
If it’s not enough
And we sing
Sing without a reason
To ever fall in love

I wonder if you’re listening
Picking up on the signals
Sent back from within
Sometimes it feels like I don’t really know whats going on
Time and time again it seems like everything is wrong in here

But there’s still tomorrow
Forget the sorrow
And I can be on the last train home
Watch it pass the day
As it fades away
No more time to care
No more time, today

But we sing
If we’re going nowhere
Yeah we sing
If it’s not enough
And we sing
Sing without a reason
To ever fall in love

Well we sing if we’re going nowhere
Yeah we sing if it’s not enough
And we sing
Sing without a reason to ever fall in love

But we sing
If we’re going no where
Yeah we sing
If it’s not enough
And we sing
Sing with out a reason to never fall in love
To never fall in love again
To never fall in love again
To never fall in love again 

“Last Train Home” – Lost Prophets

——

Some people call a spade a diamond, in order to deftly dodge reality for whatever reason.  Others call a spade a spade, just as they see it.  Me?  I’m of a special breed, and am apt to call a spade a bloody fucking shovel.  Sure, sometimes I lean toward the diamond mislabeling, and other times, I deal it straight up, but once you cross that fine line, it’s all downhill, folks.  Case in point: this past evening. 

I’ve been suffering the passive-aggressive, self-aggrandizing, glory-hogging tendencies of a fellow INSEADer (whose presence I’ve questioned since P1) for a very long time.  Yes; not INSEAD students belong here, and I wonder how some got past the multi-layered screening process.  There, I said it.  Anyway, the proverbial straw that broke my proverbial hump fell this evening, and boy, did it feel good to damn the torpedoes and flood the hatches. 

Sure, I could’ve probably handled the situation a little more diplomatically; hell, I’ve attended 2.5 periods of Organizational Behavior (OB) courses after all.  But I chose not to.  Why?  Because sometimes, you just have to lay down the law, else you risk losing all credibility.  And credibility, be it as a Glock-toting drug dealer on the streets of Johannesburg, or as an Eastpack-bearing interview seeker in the halls of INSEAD, ultimately counts for a lot more than most people know.  Plus, I’m tired of the cloud of muted whining, groaning, and mumbling that constantly surrounds this person, and tired of the passivity of said whiners, groaners and mumblers who choose to do nothing about this waste of an INSEAD slot.  So, foot, I’d like you to meet ass.  Game on.

Today is definitely a new day.  Welcome back, my dear friend anger.