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April 13, 2008

So I've managed to make it safely through to my third quarter at Kellogg, a.k.a. the last quarter of my first year as a Kellogg MBA candidate. It's freaky - I swear I was still a happy camper back in Melbourne just yesterday.

So far, Kellogg has been a rigorous exercise in sleep deprivation. A lot of people did warn me about it, but it is not until this weekend that it struck me how much I was craving for a good 72-hour stretch with absolutely nothing to do but whatever I feel like doing.

Case in point: I'm writing this from the Denver airport, because after an exhausting 2-week trip in Turkey and Dubai over spring break which involved a lot of meetings and socialising / having fun crammed together, I decided it was a brilliant idea to go on a weekend trip to Breckenridge which involved a lot of snowboarding and socialising / having fun crammed together. I hadn't even gotten my jet lag yet! The trip also meant I had to somehow be snowboarding, socialising / having fun, AND doing work over the weekend, which, of course, equated to little sleep.

Having said that, the trip has been a blast. Company was good - I stayed with 3 Koreans who did not stop speaking Korean despite the amusement (and sometimes annoyance) of one other roommate and myself. Even though it is the last week of the ski season, the snow was incredible - I don't think I'd boarded in better conditions before.

The trip also brought up a lot of thoughts and questions to the surface - those of the reflective sort. As we were really exhausted most of the time due to the ridiculous amounts of snowboarding or skiing we were doing, I did have a lot of time to ponder about my current state of life. I'd say I've definitely gotten into the American (and Kellogg) life. I've found great company whom I could count upon when I feel lost - this was not the case some 4-5 months back. I still do miss the companionship and personalities of those back home, but I think I've reached a stage where my two lives, past and present, could coexist peacefully now. I've landed a terrific summer internship that I'm very excited about (details to follow), and I will in the Bay Area for the summer! Life is in a happy state.

That's all from me now. I should write more often, and I should update this website! I'll get around to it at some point - Kellogg can't be ALL work and fun and snowboarding, right?

08:46 PM

January 18, 2008

So in May last year, I wrote about how I really liked watching Kohschreiber play. He was some number down the rankings and was winning his first ATP title then. Following him through the rest of the year was easy - he had his wins and losses but he always played well.. and he was getting better as the year went by.

His first few rounds at the 2008 Australian Open were simply endearing, but this is perhaps his biggest win yet. Those backhands and daring shots on the big points are indeed signs of a champion in the making.

09:29 AM

December 10, 2007

One thing that I'm finding here at Kellogg is that there is no such thing as cramming, in the undergraduate terms anyway. I guess when you have 1200 overachievers pooled into one, the only sensible thing to do during exam time is to follow the herd, because you know everyone else is likely to be as concerned about their exam performances you are, and is likely to know what they are doing, as you'd hope you do. As the herd starts studying one week before the exam, that's what I'm finding myself doing.. and guess what, it equates to a lot less stress prior to the actual exam day, and amazingly standard amounts of sleep. Compare that to the 24-hour-straight studying we used to do in undergrad one (or even one half) day before the exam. Hah.

Note, however, that I didn't lay any predictions about my actual performance on the exam; for all I know all this extra sleep and rest/fun time I have during this study period might lead to my ending up at the bottom half of the class. After all, everyone here was in the top echelons of his/her class in undergrad - that's how you get into Kellogg - so it's a given that some of us have got to end up being below average here for the average to happen. Ah well. At least I'm getting plenty of sleep, and the winter break is now 3.5 days away.

01:32 AM

November 25, 2007

My first Thanksgiving holiday was fun. Went out to Colorado - Bachelor Gulch Village to be exact, beautiful spot - and hung out with aunt and cousins and their 2 adorable (albeit hyperactive) boys. Spent exactly 4 days lounging beside the fireplace, sipping hot apple cider and living the dream American winter break. Thanksgiving meal was a crazily lavish buffet of pumpkin and black truffle soup, sweet potato gratin, espresso ganache-topped pecan pies, along with the usual meat dishes of turkey, roast beef, and honey glazed ham. Ate way too much.. which seems to be a recurring theme now that I'm in the US. Back in Melbourne, I'd be eating way too much because I'd have 4-5 meals a day - here I only need 1 meal a day to stuff myself silly, because the portions are unbelievable!

So now I'm back in Evanston, and finals are in 2 weeks. Uh oh. Doesn't help that accounting (i.e. the bane of my existence) is taught by a professor who's WAY too smart for my non-traditional background. Catching up with work = bad. Procrastinating for the whole day, THEN trying to catch up with work in half the time = double bad.

10:55 PM

November 11, 2007

Some days you just feel extremely vulnerable, and for me, today was one of those days. It's a strange feeling - I'm usually one of those people that don't really get swayed by the storms - but tonight it was as if I was seeing everyone else being wholly secure within themselves and be superstars, and I, as a friend put it, was banging my head against the wall.

I think I do miss having people I've known more than 2 months around me. As fantastic as my mates in Kellogg are, I do perhaps need to be a little bit less adventurous at times and gather strength from those I know very well. As it stands, everyone here is just discovering each other at the moment, and right at this point, I would be glad to be WITH the people who know me inside out, and vice versa.

Don't worry, I'm not depressed or anything like that - this is just an observation on the realms of vulnerability.

Oh, and it is Remembrance Day. I haven't seen any poppy pins around for me to wear, but at least I wanted to mention that. Lest we forget.

02:36 AM

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