Term 3 Grades and Quick Winter Break Overview

Yesterday our Term 3 grades (aka EC year Fall Semester) were released and let's just say I was shaking in my boots...again. You would have thought that with nary a finance course in my schedule I'd finally relax about grades, but this time I was more worried that I had gotten my hopes up for GOOD grades and would find myself disappointed. You see, as I've explained before, HBS courses are graded on a forced curve and students receive a 1, 2 or 3, denoting their status within that curve. Only the top 20% of the class can receive a one and the bottom 10% of the class MUST receive a three (with the middle 70% of the class receiving a two). In my RC year, I received 2s in every class except finance, and although it felt good at the time to be average among some of the smartest people I've ever met, I have to admit that I've secretly been pining for at least one 1. This pining got even stronger this year when I was taking classes that I actually liked and felt like I could relate to. I mean, what better confirmation of your skills/career path is there than to excel in one of your favorite courses? Ok, tangent over.

So there I was, 2pm on the dot, logging onto MyHBS and holding my breath. I clicked into the Grades Web site and BANG! The first thing I see is a beautiful, shiny (well not so much) number ONE next to not one but TWO classes. Holy hell, I got TWO ONES!!!! Ahhhhhh!

In the end, I got a one in the two classes for which I wrote final papers versus taking a dreaded HBS exam (at which I admittedly suck) -- Competing Through Business Models (wrote a paper on the competition between Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando theme parks) and Authentic Leadership Development (a fluffier course where your final paper was basically a creative writing assignment...hello journalism degree!). I got a 2 in Consumer Marketing (figured as much) and happily got a 2 in Managing Service Operations (I didn't participate as much in this class so was worried I might get a 3). Most surprisingly though, I was given a 3 in Manging Human Capital which shocked me beyond belief. I spoke nearly 20 times in that class (and thought I made good comments, otherwise why would he have continued to call on me?) and thought the exam was pretty easy. Apparently I screwed something up there, but am not sure what, so I plan to meet with the professor when I get back to school so I can understand where I went wrong. Overall though, I'm SO happy. Can I repeat this in my last semester? We'll see!

And before I leave you all, I really do need to blog about my winter break considering it's 5.5 weeks long (although unfortunately most of those weeks have been spent doing absolutely nothing).

When I left Boston, I first headed to Pennsylvania to see family for a few days and while there I met my estranged father whom I hadn't seen in 20 years. I also toured Amish country with my cousins, went to a WaWa for the first time (yum, their coffee really WAS good!) and played LOTS of Scrabble (and lost every time!). I flew home to Florida on the 17th (barely escaping a ridiculous ice/snow storm) and my mom and I left for our third Disney cruise on the morning of the 19th.

I know, you're probably wondering why my mom and I continue to go on Disney cruises when neither of us have young children, but seriously, I can promise you that Disney does everything better than other cruise lines. The cabins are spacious and well decorated, the dining is spectacular, the ship is pristine and because it's a family atmosphere, you're not walking around in a cloud of smoke or watching drunk people fall all over the place for a week. It's refreshing!

This cruise was particularly special because it was a Christmas cruise so the ship was all decorated for the holidays and we had two special holiday meals on board. We also received some "gifts" from Santa, like a 2010 calendar, a box of delicious chocolates, LOTS of Christmas cookies and a limited edition lithograph signed by the artist (Don "Ducky" Williams is one of the best Disney character illustrators ever!).

One of the best parts of the cruise was dining with another mother and daughter around the same ages from Kentucky. We wound up having so much in common! I think we had the most fun at the character breakfast on Christmas Eve. We all dressed in red to be festive and the waiters had some fun making Disney "hats" for us with napkins. Do you like our "Mickey Ears" in this photo? Yes, those are meal covers on our heads connected with napkins!

Truth be told, we were sort of ready to debark at the end of the week (my mom started feeling ill about halfway through the cruise and wound up being admitted to the hospital for 3 days once we returned...crazy, I know, and also the reason I am not on the Peru IXP right now), but we're already talking about trying to save up for the Alaskan cruise in the summer of 2011. A long way off, but two gals can dream, right?

That's all for now guys! I'll try to blog again before returning to Boston (that is if anything exciting happens). If not, I'll see you back in the freezing northeast!

5 Responses to "Term 3 Grades and Quick Winter Break Overview"

Anonymous responded on January 22, 2010 at 4:14 PM #

Where you getting the money to go on expensive Disney cruises? I hope you're not getting into credit card debt in this recession.

Anonymous responded on January 22, 2010 at 4:15 PM #

I guess you're not Baker Scholar material, mmmm hhhh.

Gabby responded on January 22, 2010 at 6:50 PM #

Hahaha, these two comments made me laugh.

Firstly, Disney cruises aren't actually that expensive, especially in the winter and if you're a Florida resident (it's a myth that they are pricey!). My mom and I paid a very reasonable rate. Now, as for an assessment of my credit card debt, that is a matter best kept private, not on a blog!

Secondly, I am indeed not Baker Scholar material, and I don't feel the slightest bit bad about it! I am very proud to be one of the 10% of applicants to be admitted to the Harvard Business School. This is perhaps one of the only places in the world where it feels EXCELLENT to be AVERAGE! :)


Anonymous responded on January 22, 2010 at 8:13 PM #

Actually, Disney cruises tend to be double the rate you would get on regular cruises. So you're actually paying a major premium/goodwill for experiencing Mickey Mouse and all the jazz. Know your facts. Ms. HBS MBA. You're not very smart, are you?

Gabby responded on January 22, 2010 at 10:02 PM #

Haha, oh boy, this just gets better and better!

Look, "Anonymous," you don't know me from dickens and you certainly don't know how much I paid for the cruise I went on. So before you choose to insult someone that you've never even met, perhaps YOU should know your facts! Any further insulting posts by you will promptly be deleted. I don't care to read or share your negativity any longer!