Monday, September 8, 2008

Ticking and Tocking

I’ve referred to time over and over again- the concept of time, the passage of time, the lack of time, and so on.

I have always been aware of time. Mostly- the fact that once it passes, we can never get it back. And that pisses me off to no end.

Barcelona is like a time vacuum- a black hole that sucks the minutes and hours away from me and when I turn to find them, they are gone. No trace. I’m feeling the lack of time more than I have ever experienced. It’s not surprising to me that I am constantly busy- but the extent to which my days are flying by at a preposterous pace is staggering. I arrived in Barca a month ago and I’ve spent more hours awake than I did sleeping all of last year. And I’m sure it doesn’t help that outside my fellow classmates- I seem to be surrounded by people younger than me. The passage of time had never been more clear to me than yesterday- lying on the beach with a bunch of friends- I was speaking to a German girl studying art here in Spain and I asked her how old she is. Her answer? Eighteen. I almost passed out. 
And then it was my turn. 
She was shocked. So was I. How did that happen? I’ve been 27 for half a year now- but I never felt 27 until I got here. And oh, how I hate it...

Before beginning the MBA, a few wise friends mentioned to me that the key to surviving b-school is accepting the fact that one cannot accomplish everything they intend to do. You have to pick and choose. Priorities: Managerial Statistics or Financial Accounting. Economics or marketing. Sleeping or eating. It’s all about sacrificing…. maintaining an old friendship or working on new ones, cultural activities or indulging in pleasurable ones.

I have no time for anything. I didn’t know that when I went school shopping, it would be the only school shopping I would have time for until 2009, or that if I plan on eating dinner at home- I must make it to the market on Saturday before 1:00 or I wont have another opportunity to go. I didn’t realize that the first IKEA run would be the only IKEA run. 
I still only have one sheet. Not good. 

My first day in the gym, I saw the tanning beds and wondered why the hell anyone in BCN would want to go to a sunbed with the beach at our toes. Now I understand. Who has time to go to the beach? I’ve been about 7 times- each of which, I arrive after 5 p.m. (despite attempts to get there earlier). So much for getting a tan…

I don’t sleep, I rarely eat, I never do everything I want to in a day- I study, but barely learn because I’m constantly thinking of all that I don’t know and wondering if I ever will.

“Work hard, play hard” is a gross understatement when it applies to Barcelona- let alone attempting an MBA in Barcelona. Now I know why people go to remote villages for school….one bar, a bunch of books, and crappy weather would suit this intensive learning “thing” well. Barcelona could possibly be the worst. But I adore it. I’m in love with Barcelona. And it made me smile when Friday night- at a club- on the dancefloor- strobe lights flashing, music pounding, and I heard an odd ringing from my clutch- only to realize it was the alarm clock I had forgotten to turn off for the weekend.

I felt bad for a second until I looked around and about three of my fellow MBAs were all turning their alarm clocks off at the same time. So I suppose that will be the new M.O:
Weeknights- get up before the sun rises, weekends- stumble home in the blazing daylight- and once in a while- go from night until day- and sit in class being as brilliant as we will ever be.

So I guess being pissed off at the lack of time is of no use here- at least not for the next 17 months. And the whole “never getting it back” thing doesn’t really apply…not if I never sleep again.


Anonymous said...

You capture this experience perfectly with your words! I'm so glad youre here to document the MBA for us!

Anonymous said...

Is MBA so cruel?