Faith, Hope and Love

It's midterm time here at Harvard Business School, which means that many of my days over the past week have been spent at review sessions preparing for my accounting, TOM and LEAD exams. It's tough to fight distractions when you're studying debits and credits for hours on end, and the beautiful fall leaves and cool weather keep beckoning from my 3rd story window. I've managed to keep my concentration (mostly), save for three things that have managed to pull me away from my studies: faith, hope and love -- in the form of a movie, a book and a political campaign.
  • Faith: As I was waiting in the Boston airport last weekend for my flight home to Florida, I stopped into the bookstore to find a good read to occupy my time. Initially, I went for the new Phillipa Gregory book, that is until I saw the $30 price tag (it's a new release in hardcover) and was starting to feel discouraged when "Eat, Pray, Love" caught my eye from the bottom corner of the bookshelf. I remembered hearing a colleague tell me about the book when I first started HBS and although the tagline didn't grab my attention necessarily (I truly am on a historical fiction kick. The last four books I've read have been about Katherine of Aragon, Johannes Vermeer, Anne Boleyn and Josephine Boneparte), I decided to trust her judgment and I picked up the book. I'm so glad I did! The story follows a woman on a year-long journey of self discovery through Italy, India and Indonesia. It's written in a way that is so humorous you find yourself laughing out loud, but the humor doesn't detract from the life lessons she dispenses throughout. Much of the book is about faith and finding G-d, but the author doesn't ever preach or suggest a religious right to the reader. Rather she explains how she found inner peace through G-d and how it changed her life. A great read that I'd definitely recommend!
  • Hope: Two days ago I mailed in my absentee ballot, proudly voting for John McCain. I've literally been called three times in the last four days by the McCain campaign asking if I'm still voting for him and did I mail my ballot. Boy are these folks worried, and with good reason. Although I become more and more of a staunch Republican as I get older (and a person who is unafraid to admit her conservative beliefs despite unpopularity among most peers), I'm not sure McCain will be able to pull this one off. I've watched each of the three debates, and even though I think McCain won the third and final one, he just can't compare to Obama when it comes to command and presence. Next to this robust, well-spoken younger man McCain looks old, fragile and weak -- and this reminds the American people too much of Bush, who is universally disliked. However, I must continue to hope that some miracle comes along in the next two and a half weeks that propels him to the forefront of people's minds -- and ballots.
  • Love: This afternoon I took a study break and jetted over to the movie theater to see "The Duchess" a historical drama based on the life of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and starring Keira Knightley. It was a fanstasic film that made me cry -- it's those darn swelling orchestral refrains that get me every time! The story (without revealing too much detail for those who might still go see it) is about her loveless marriage to the Duke of Devonshire, her love affair with a commoner and the sacrifices she had to make in life -- one of which is giving up her greatest love. It struck such a chord in me because I can't imagine every living in a loveless marriage and feeling a passion outside of my marriage that I knew I could never tap into. What a horrible, imprisoning life that would be! Regardless, I found her story very captivating -- a great reprieve from accounting and a chance to let out some pent-up stress through the tears the movie brought out. Seriously folks, this is why I love entertainment. How often do you have the chance to absorb yourself in another world and allow yourself to emotionally connect without real life causality or effect. Brilliant!
With that said, I must get back to studying (unfortunately I'll be doing this all day tomorrow as well). Next weekend is my section's retreat (we're going to Stratton, VT for two nights) so I'll have lots of exciting stuff to blog about (plus some fun pictures!) when I return from that trip. Have a great week!

3 Responses to "Faith, Hope and Love"

Tell you when I find out responded on October 29, 2008 at 3:10 AM #

Hi Gabrielle
I have only just discovered your blog yesterday, found as a link on another Harvard MBA Blog. As a prospective MBA applicant to HBS myself(next fall), its been truly fascinating reading about your experiences on this blog. Though given the engaging quality of your writing, I could tell without you having to mention explicitly that you've been involved with journalism ;).

I'm sure you may probably have gotten millions other such requests, but I was wondering if I could possibly contact you (via email as I'm overseas :(,sigh) in case I may have more specific questions regarding your Harvard experience, and maybe get some help with my applications as well. I can guess you'd be super busy with your acads as evident in your entries, so there are no obligations of course. Any help would be a godsend to me!

In any case, do keep writing whenever you have the time. The more I read, the more I crave studying at HBS. I have already finished your entire list of entries in a single sitting yesterday, now I wish there was more...

Gabby responded on October 29, 2008 at 7:36 AM #

Hi there,

Thanks so much for your comment. I'm glad you are enjoying the blog and I promise to post a few more entries when I get a minute. As a former journalist, it kills me to post something that I don't take the time to write well, so I spend more time creating blog entries than people may think! There is definitely a lot to post about right now though, including midterm results, my section retreat and the Coldplay concert I am going to tonight!

You are more than welcome to contact me via e-mail and ask whatever questions you like. Although I am amazingly busy, I promise to respond when I get the chance. Please post a comment with your e-mail address (for privacy reasons I don't post my e-mail directly to the blog) and I will send you a note in a few days so you can reply with your queries.

Thanks again for reading!

Tell you when I find out responded on October 30, 2008 at 12:30 AM #
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