Final Exams and Festive Friends

Esha and I at Holidazzle, last weekend's black tie holiday ball

Today was our first HBS final exam and I feel drained, wiped, burnt out...any and all forms of the word exhausted now apply. I have a to-do list miles long, yet somehow I can't find the motivation right now to get out of bed and do a single one of them. I will regret this tomorrow when I realize how much precious time I've wasted, but for now I am content to blog, check e-mails and remember a more pleasant time where my muscles weren't so tense that it takes effort to physically hold up my head. Sigh. 4 exams to go and then...freedom!

If you can't already tell from my dramatics (that are scarily more reality and less drama), the exam was hard. It was this extraordinarily complicated case that I just couldn't wrap my head around. My essay was bad. Thankfully, everyone else says their essays were bad too, but I distrust them. These people are so smart that I'm sure they did fine. And I bet they are saying exactly that about me. Only time will tell (results for all exams, and the final semester grades, are released Jan. 11, which means I must find a way to not stress out about whether or not I've flunked out of HBS during what is supposed to be a fun winter break).

Back to the exam. The worst part is that often you think you did bad, and then you go back and re-read your essay and the more you read it, the more you come to think that maybe you didn't actually do that bad. Yeah, I did that bad.

Okay, my friend just came into the room and slapped me around a bit (figuratively, don't let your imaginations run) and told me to stop dwelling. I can't change my exam and I did relatively okay on the other aspects of the course, so I need to stop worrying. She's right. Worrying done. We're having pizza in the dorm at 6 and then going into Harvard Square for dessert. Mmmm chocolate is exactly what I need right now!

A really quick aside: This week Section G held one of our long-standing traditions called Festive Friends. Every year, Gs do Secret Santa with a twist: in order to receive your gift you must complete a dare chosen by your Secret Santa. Mine was to dress up as a fortune teller and walk around asking strangers if they wanted their fortunes told. See picture below -- it was fun! Some of the other dares included selling water from the water fountain for $1 a cup (the girl sold 5 cups!), walking through the halls with a bell reminding people to get to class on time, serenading strangers with a love song, etc. It was a fun way to finish out our last week of classes.
Speaking of last week of classes (my final topic before heading off to said pizza party), this week we found out our new seats for next semester, our new professors, and said goodbye to our current profs, who we will all miss greatly. It's amazing how much they have all grown on me as the semester has gone on. Initially, I must admit I was a bit skeptical, but now I look back and wonder if I would have wanted any other professors. I especially will miss my favorite of the group, our LEAD teacher Michel Anteby. I can't put my finger on why, but I just loved everything about this guy: his sweet, shy demeanor, his French accent (especially the way he pronounced my name), his teaching style and the way he related to the was all just great. Next semester's professors have huge shoes to fill!

All right I'm off -- I will try to update once more before I leave for winter break next Thursday, but after that I will be gone without computer access until roughly Jan. 10. Spring semester starts Jan. 13, so I'll definitely get back into the swing of things by then. Take care and have a great holiday season everyone!

Just had to...

The Slacker Returns

Wow, I can't believe I've neglected my blog almost a whole month. Please forgive me, life has been beyond crazy. Believe it or not, there are actually only 2.5 weeks left of my first semester. It's so weird because although I feel like I've been in Boston for a long, long time, it's still hard to think that I'm already half way done with my first year. Hard to believe AND incredibly scary! Finals are perhaps the scariest thing yet because 50% depends on what you can do in one 4-5 hour timespan (the other 50% of your grade for most classes is dependent on class participation, but that is something you have time to craft over 14 weeks!). From here until Dec. 18, I will be spending most of my afternoons and evenings studying for said finals (and throwing in a few exciting events like this Friday's black-tie holiday party, Holidazzle and a Section G tradition the "Ugly Sweater Party" the following week - anyone know where I can find an ugly sweater to wear?)
As a quick recap from the last month:
  • I've felt a bit like a hotel concierge as I hosted two of my closest friends from back home over two consecutive weekends in November. The second weekend of Nov., my friend Melissa from college came and we bopped around Boston shopping on Newbury St., dining in the North End and battling some horrible rainy weather and a terrible cold I was getting over (but we made the best of it!). The following weekend, my high school friend Tausha came into town (see her blog, Random Ish, linked at left!). Together with my other high school friend Lauren we went to the New England Aquarium (awesome!), a charity gala (photo bel0w), and the HBS marketing conference.
  • Last week/weekend was our Thanksgiving break and I traveled to Pennsylvania to visit my uncle, aunt and cousins (photo below). Aside from a wonderful dinner, my cousin and I visited Hershey Park and Chocolate World (the actual factory where Hershey's chocolate is produced), and the group of us visited Gettysburg, the famous Civil War battlesite and the accompanying museum. I also had some time for Black Friday shopping, lots of "family game night" time and two movie viewing parties ("Elf" and "The Piano" -- both greats!).
  • Also in November: HBS company presentations (I went to Sony and Warner Bros. -- Disney was supposed to come next week, but canceled :( boo), the HBS SABA (South Asian Business Association) EKTA show (Indian/South Asian dance, fashion show, skits, etc.), Section G Flag Ceremony (we now have 30+ flags hanging around our classroom representing all the different countries our sectionmates are from), the HBS International Food Festival (two words: delicious and stuffing!), the Section G Fall Dinner (i.e. a mock Thanksgiving dinner) and more!

The rest of this week, all of the RC's are participating in a new simulation called The Manager as Integrator where we work in teams of 7-8 to manage a company over 6 years (i.e. 2.5 days!), incorporating basically everything we've learned in our courses this semester. It should be a fun, although intense, few days since we have schedules packed from 8am - 11pm most days. But as I alluded to earlier, this Friday is capped with Holidazzle, which should be an amazing way to end the week (the formal event begins with Section dinners and a section video/audio presentation and then dancing the night away at a fancy hotel). I promise I will write more before I leave HBS for winter break (I will be gone from Dec. 18-Jan. 10 and doubt I will have much time to write then). For now, enjoy some November pics!

Friends from Florida: Tausha, Lauren and myself at the Forgotten Dreams Fundraiser Gala

Section G 2010

My cousin Whitney and I at the movie theater in Pennsylvania