The morning of my undergraduate graduation, I strode across a stage in a cheap oversized robe, donning an unbecoming cap with a slinky tassel meant to have some kind of significance or other.
I instinctively extended my hand and was presented with my B.A. diploma from someone I had never seen before- and will never see again. The president of the university stood beside the faculty, shaking the hands of the students whose names he never bothered to learn. I remember thinking:
“Should I thank him?”
“Maybe I should say something.”
“What do I say?”
“Has he ever done anything for me?”
"Has GW ever done anything for me?”
The answer was no. I didn’t learn much in my classes and I wasn’t taking with me any indispensable wisdom from my courses.
I quickly decided, “I’ll take the diploma and go.”
And I moved on with my life.
I walked away from college with no more knowledge about my subjects than I went in with. I couldn’t tell you the first thing about Interpersonal Communications, Geology, Logic, or Astronomy. I spent four years in lectures- studying (sometimes), debating, summarizing, calculating, writing, and presenting. And honestly? I couldn’t differentiate igneous and metamorphic rock if my life depended on it.
The crab nebula still eludes me.
Not all was lost throughout those years- I learned about life. I like to think that I learned about myself- I know I learned about love and I discovered some of my passions (none of which were consistent with the material I was studying). I didn’t especially enjoy being in D.C. and I didn’t love the whole “G.W. experience,” but I appreciated it-I still do- and I’m glad it’s part of my history- of my life.
It’s now a bit too early to decipher what I will get out of this MBA- if I will know how to successfully run a business, effectively yet respectfully manage people, create a true and fair view of my company’s accounting through a balance sheet.
I don’t know what I will be doing after the MBA- if I will find my dream job/career or just fall into another path that will indubitably lead to something else, and something after that, and something after that.
I know none of this. Nothing is clear- and it does create a certain level of stress...but then there is so much that I have already discovered- the little things that most people don’t know, or know but don’t understand. These are the things- the exterior aspects of an education- living in a new city, a new country, with completely new and different people, turning everything on its head and acclimating to a new degree of living. These are the slight particulars that will all come together in the end as pieces of this experience…they will be the little particles that formulate the atom of “My Barcelona MBA." I love these little things- and I love that I am discovering more each day.
Soooo...stay tuned- I’ll have a preliminary list next post…