Wednesday, April 29, 2009


After arriving home from school yesterday, my entire evening was consumed by fervently reading about Vampires. By fervent, I mean that I’m on book three of the Twilight series. While I should be ashamed of reading novels written for pre-teens as a 28-year-old MBA student, I’m not.

We all have our things. We all have our vices. If my current vice happens to be obsessively reading about fictional affection between mortals, vampires and werewolves - so be it.
There are other things too- other things I shouldn't admit but I will because I have difficulty keeping my own secrets.

Other things- like the fact that although I live in Barcelona, I was actually hoping for a Chelsea victory last night. Definitely shouldn't admit that…

On my way to Spanish on Monday afternoon, I got distracted by BCBG’s summer collection and never actually made it. Instead, I updated my wardrobe.

I have additional issues to identify- I’m not done. These aren’t vices- more like deviations or irregularities. Things about me most people don't know- not because I wouldn't admit to them, but because these things would never come up in any normal conversation.
I have webbed toes, just two and it’s not very noticeable, but there’s no doubt about it- they’re webbed. I inherited them from my grandma.

I often pick up and consume chocolate bars on the way to the gym.

I’m terrified of dying- not of death, but of losing life- and of what other people will find on my computer and in my journals. Death is embarrassing.

I hate being cold. I hate it with a passion- It’s actually painful for me. After last weekend, I hate Milan too.

I still don't “get” Twitter.

I’ve had my heart broken many times- but I keep going back for more…I let myself love far too easily.

I spent Monday night developing old photos and sticking them all over my room in college-dorm style. (so much for my sophisticated pied de terre). 
I missed my friends. I missed my old life- so I surrounded myself with memories of it so as not to feel so far from them. Now I wake up and the first thing I see in the morning, looking at the wall across from my bed- is my best friend smiling at me as we were walking up 5th avenue eating ice cream in the middle of the summer.

What else? I don't have an internship yet. The “not having an internship” isn’t the distressing part…it's the reason for not having one;

About 70% of the students in my class don't have internships yet, but that's to be expected. I cant say that I have been the most proactive in my search but every effort I do and I don't make- is highly considered and calculated. I don't know yet what I want to do- with my life, that is. I have NO idea where to consign the remainder of my working years. In terms of accepting an internship just to “have an internship,” why would I want to spend three critical months in a place I know I don't want to end up?

The MBA has provided me with a type of clarity I didn't expect. Although, in the last 8 months I have not learned exactly what it is I want to do- I have learned what I don't want to do. This is useful- we spoke today about “The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less.” Therefore, it would logically follow that “Less is More” and if I’m narrowing down my choices- I ultimately am left with “more.” So thank you, grad school, for showing me the dark- nay, the light.

I’m not scared of the internship because it would be hard…of course not, I love a challenge. I’m not anxious about returning to the work force- the time is so limited; it would just be like a stop on the way back to the MBA. What I’m fearful of is the opportunity cost of the opportunity. I, once again, am being indecisive. (surprise, surprise). 

I’m nervous to choose something wrong- to waste my one MBA summer on an experience that will only show me another path I will choose not to go down- another bolded “NO” on the list of things I could have done with my life but ended up realizing that they were not for me.

On certain days, I wake up inspired and I think I have found the solution…I look for internships and when the opportunities start to materialize, I go to bed and wake up with another idea- edging out the original plan due to the fear factor of doing something wrong- losing out on an even better opportunity- the PERFECT opportunities…the opportunity cost.

I am not the typical MBA student…that is clear. So what makes everyone pushing me to prostitute my resume around to big multinationals think that it's the right thing to do? 
I’m going for something less traditional- if it takes me a bit longer to arrive there- that's ok with me…nothing genuinely worth anything in life is ever easy.

Therefore, a large part of the reason for not yet having an internship is the fear of making the wrong choice. Not immobility- but trepidation.

I could go on- I could justify why I didn't apply to any mammoth pharmaceutical companies or global banks for the summer…or I could continue to list all my imperfections or the trivial mistakes I make daily. But I cant. I have to study for my Corporate Finance midterm because I wasted last night reading at a first grade level. I can’t say that I didn't enjoy it either.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tuesdays Without Morrie

Before any term begins, I study the course lists and immediately create expectations of the upcoming classes. I put them into categories- my own groupings- nothing too calculated, actually a bit banal if I’m honest. For example, this semester we have taken on six courses. I have divided them into “interesting,” “piece of cake,” “impossible,” “wtf?,” “there goes my weekends,” and “finally.”

Generally my expectations are accurate and I’m well prepared for what’s to come when classes begin. This semester, on the other hand, though threw me a curve ball. I found myself, just this morning, in "Management Information Systems" learning about EMS systems and database normalization. Believe it or not, I was genuinely engaged. 

On the other hand, my class in the “finally” category has rapidly moved into the “wtf” category and I have made the executive decision to sit in the back of the room and catch up on readings while tuning in and out of the mind numbing lectures. This substantial modification in my assessments has nothing to do with the course material- it is purely professor related. I have found that a subject can be totally transformed simply by the aptitude of the faculty. Which made me think- in terms of our careers and where we end up- that sometimes its not totally dependent on our strengths or our passions- but the people that come into our lives and show us something that may steer us in one direction or another. I’ve encountered very few of these people thus far.

I never had a mentor. I had always hoped, sort of waiting with metaphorically open arms, for someone- a professor, manager, elder- to see a distinct potential in me, take me under their wing, and create a protégé. 
Unfortunately, this never happened. 
I never came across a mentor- and if I did- either they didn't recognize my potential or I was too daft to solicit theirs. Either way, I started wondering today if I would be where I am now had this happened. Probably not. And possibly, I never came across “my” mentor because the paths I took weren’t necessarily the paths I was meant to be taking. There are hundreds of reasons that could be why I never found a guiding hand to direct me towards the light I still haven’t found. 

I’m not lamenting though, don't get me wrong. I confess it would have been nice to have a guide at certain points of bleakness, but I have found that lacking direction is- in itself- direction. And from that- I’ve worked in a number of fields, discovered more about various industries and lived in more countries and on more continents that I ever could have envisaged. Ultimately, I found myself at one if the top MBA programs in the world.
Not too shabby for a mentorless vagrant, is it?

With all the professors that have stood in front of me, all the schooling I have gone through, all the employers and managers that could have inspired me- I never walked away from an experience with a definitive path, or a particular individual I would like to emulate in mind. Of course, I have had a great deal of respect for a number of people I have known- but no one lit a fire inside of me. No one has ever had the effect on me where I look at them and think to myself- “I would like to do what they are doing” or “I would like to be like them one day.” 
My first grade teacher, Ms. Corey, was pretty cool but “cool” in the sense that I cried during the watermelon party the last day of school- not because I wanted to grow up and be a first grade teacher. (Life would have been a lot easier up till now had that been the case!) With that- I am a bit envious of those people who just know who they are meant to grow up to be. And although they are few and far between- I think I’m on the totally opposite side of the spectrum.

When I was little, I wanted to be either Barbie or a famous singer (famous being the operative word). Considering the flammability of Barbie- that prospect went out the window. Plus, when I cut off all her hair and it never grew back, I figured that the human race was a far better option. 
A clear indication that I would never make it as a singer presented itself when my sister and I orchestrated recitals during family gatherings and I was always gently reminded to, “let Tyler sing and you can dance.” Meanwhile, Tyler actually did grow up to be a Berkeley graduated melodiously gifted talented songstress. Such is life.

In my early adolescence, I decided that I would be an astronaut. I thought that the earth was unbelievably limiting, almost confining, so I assumed that the moon was my best bet. Furthermore, also could never grasp this life- I would lay awake night after night contemplating the stars, the infinite sky, the universe- and then it hit me (I actually remember the exact moment)- that I wanted to see the earth from space…and maybe in doing so- I would appreciate it more. 
Shortly after, I learned that being an astronaut didn't entail only courage and intellect- but I would have to have perfect eyesight. Being that I left the womb a bit lacking in the vision department, that one went out the window too. 

After coming to terms with the fact that I would be stuck on earth for the remainder of my years- I was determined to use that time wisely and actually contribute something to the planet. Because of my love for animals (and subsequently my vegetarianism), I decided that I would study veterinary medicine. I actually started interning at a vets office. All was going well until I came across a gravely ill puppy and I realized that no matter what I could have said to him, I could never communicate with animals- I would never be able to take away their pain- only ease or delay it. The “saving aspect” was excellent- but it was all the lost causes- all the death- that would have broken me in the end. 
From there, I stopped searching and just let my professional life take its course. I worked in retail, I was a hostess at a restaurant in college until I got into a fight with the chef and got fired, I was a dance instructor and a lifeguard as a counselor at my old summer camp. I was an Italian translator for a centuries old secret society, I saved sea turtles in Costa Rica, I was an English teacher, I worked in advertising, marketing, media, journalism- I was an executive assistant to a celebrity, I sold ad space in trade publications, I rebranded my family’s fourth generation business- you name it, I probably tried it. I may not have loved every job I have ever held but I love where I am now- and none of this would be possible without all of that. 

I often wonder that if I had met someone along the way- someone so inspiring that I changed course, or stayed on one particular path- where I would be now. What part of the world, in what position, making what kind of money, with whom?
Would I be happy? 
That, I will never know.

What I do know is that never having come across my mentor- I’ve carved out my own trail…I’m still plowing through the unknown everyday in hopes of reaching my destination. I’m not there yet but I’m continuously getting closer- and for now, this is enough for me. 

Therefore, as a means of making myself feel better- but with more truth than there is mere consolation- I’d like to say that a lack of direction is sometimes better than a clear course, complete with crosswalks and traffic lights. 
Because who really wants to encounter a stop sign on the way to the top? 

In the end, all of the wandering that us human beings can find ourselves engaged in can often lead to the most exhilarating of destinations. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sex and a Different City

I may be far from NY and the life I once had there. My Barcelona experience doesn't even resemble the fast-paced, illuminated, energy ridden concrete jungle of a life I had in NY. However, there are a few flashes- a few slight reminders of what it was like- and then there are a number things that are nothing like New York, but more reminiscent of the relationships formed by sharing experiences in “the very heart of it,” as Sinatra once sang.

I’d like to think that NY managed to leave a bit of its vigor inside of me- and that I, in turn, managed to transport a bit of that to Spain.

Here’s the scene;
My best friend here in Barcelona, my partner in crime- the one person I have found that shares her desire to learn with her desire to “live” in the same manner I have chosen- lost her father a few years ago. It’s not my place to say how, or relay any details about her or her father- but that’s immaterial when it comes to friendships. I never met her father, although I wish now that I had. All the same, being that we are all far away from our families and our former friends who were there for us when times got rough, it is an assumed duty to hold the hands of the ones we have grown to love- to be their rocks when there are no other rocks around.

We had spoken about the anniversary of her father’s death in passing. I remembered that she mentioned she would find a church, although not the most religious of individuals, and light a candle in remembrance and honor of her dad. Again, in passing, I mentioned that I would go with her- because I love her...because even if she would never admit it, in all her strength and all her restraint, I think she needed me.

The day came, a typical rainy Sunday when we met for a juice and the gym before studying for upcoming exams. We spent close to three hours together, talking about school, the weekend plans, people, and pretty much everything except for the personal significance of the date- a date that if there were anything in my power to do, I would go back five years and erase. However, my friend didn't say a word. Like I said, this one tends to be cautious with her emotions at times.

Anyways, totally unsuspecting and being a regrettably forgetful friend, I said goodbye, promising to see my friend in the taxi on the way to class the following morning, and walked away. As I turned the key in the door to my apartment, it hit me: My closest friend’s father passed away five years ago today. The blood drained from my face and my heart started pounding, not only disappointed at my absentmindedness, but only beginning to understand the hurt my friend was feeling at that very moment. I frantically called and texted, finally getting through when she told me that she had “found a church, thank you for remembering, I’m fine, don't worry, and I’ll talk to you later.”

I hung up the phone feeling completely helpless. I sat down and began thinking about what I could do later to ease whatever it was she was feeling- knowing all the while that whatever I did, I could never begin to take away her grief. Ideas tore through my mind, dinner? Flowers? Spa day? - I was at a loss.

And then I thought about it. I tried, although I know I could never truly grasp the enormity of her loss, to put myself in her position. And the only thing that would have provided me with any sort of comfort would have been simply- to know that I was not alone.
I rapidly scrambled around my room for a sweater to throw over my sweaty gym clothes and I ran out the door.

A church. 
Where the hell was she? 
What church?
I didn't know where to start but I was on a mission. Looking back now, I probably came across as a pious religious maniac- weaving in and out of the streets of my neighborhood- Exiample- asking anyone I ran into, “Iglesia?” “Sabes donde estan las iglesias?”

I was sweating- running- staring at my phone to see if my friend had picked up my inquisitive messages- and ducking in and out of the churches I had never stopped to notice before. It was probably the fourth or fifth cathedral I found when I threw myself into the wide stone entrance, eyes searching amongst the congregation with their heads all bowed in unison, listening to the Catalan sermon. I scanned the worshippers, listening to the rain pounding on stained glass windows and candles flickering off the intricate frescoes telling biblical tales I recognized only from hundreds of art history classes. Finally, I spotted the back of her head with her familiar pink coat resting across her back. 

I ran up the aisle and slid into the pew. I looked at her- her face completely calm but her eyes moist with the few tears I’ve ever seen her come close to shedding. I set my bag down on the ground, grabbed her hand, and definitively told her “I’m here.”

We sat there in silence, hand in hand, with individual thoughts running through our minds. I don't know how long we were there for but I know I would have stayed all night, unmoving. I bowed my head and thought of my friend, and her father- I thought of so many things- loss and love and friendship, family and life. I will never know what she was thinking, but I’m pretty sure I have a good idea. The only thing that mattered what that I had found her- that I wasn't too late- and that she understood that I would always be there- to be her rock whenever she may need one (whether she tells me or not).

After some time, we walked out of the church together and my friend turned to me, hugged me, and said, “That was sooo Carey of you. Now go home and write about it.” 

Now, that was better than any sort of response or sentiment she could have communicated. Soooo “New York”- a language only a few people know and recognize- a shared comprehension that bonds us even tighter than being scrubbed by two fat naked Turkish women on the dirty tiles of a steamy Hammam in Istanbul. Now that's something.

That day, sitting in the darkened church only beginning to comprehend the depths of my friend, I knew we were in the midst of creating a bond slightly stronger than before- stemming from much more than just the amusing mutual acknowledgement- that even after a year in Catalunia, we both have a little Manhattan left in us.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Equilibriums (no, not the Nash variety)

I was doing some reading for my operations management and innovation course. It was the basic stuff; creation of value, future of change and innovation- all very interesting and then I came upon something that hit home- as usual, I totally lost my train of thought- went on a mentally masturbative tangent with myself- and here I am writing about it.

Basically, the text explained that within organizations, survival implies knowing how to balance exploration and exploitation efforts. Either way, there are periods where organizations focus on either one or the other. The Greeks introduced the concept of “Enantiodromia,” also referred to as the Pendulum effect- indicating that systems often react disproportionately in search for different equilibriums. The key, as far as I can tell from what I read before I totally drifted, is finding a balance. Now, there’s a new concept. 

Balance: Something I have struggled with my entire life. 

I’ve always found that I have a problem with equilibrium. Not in my ears- but in my life. For me, there is very little grey- a lot of black, a lot of whites, but no gray. A lot of dark accompanied by a lot of light- very low lows and excessive highs. In some masochistic way, I kind of like it that way.

The way my daily life is structured is indicative of this masochistic behavior. 
During the weeks, I sit in class struggling with alien concepts and I sit awake at night reading supporting material over and over until theories and models and engrained in my psyche. 
I wake up at ungodly hours and trudge to classes, back aching from being weighed down by books and a computer with a hard drive filled with presentations, papers and excel spreadsheets. I go to the gym and spend hours sweating and suffering with highlighters in hand reading the cases that I will most definitely have to have down by the following morning. I eat like a freaking rabbit- no sugar, no carbs- only vegetables, fat free yogurt, fruit, nuts and all that other stuff I used to turn my nose up at until I realized that I am no longer a teenager with a metabolism working at the speed of light. 
I work, I sweat, I suffer. But don't pity myself- because here comes the good part;

On the weekends, in my typical fashion- I close the books, I hide away the computer- I drop my oversized school bag at the door and thrust my oversized sunglasses onto my face. I do whatever the hell I want to do. 

I travel. I spend my time in Italy strolling the piazzas amongst some of my favorite people in the world, I go to long dinners where all I hear is the clanking of wine glasses and Italian words and phrases dancing in my head like music. I celebrate life the best way I know how- spoiling myself with the indulgences- tangible, intangible- that I have become apt at seeking out. When I return to school on Mondays- after the Sunday evening “fear” has passed, I’m never fully satiated, but I never have any regrets- and that's the most important part. 

With these dualities- seeing the light and feeling the dark- I’d like to believe that I have the ability to identify the two sides and pit them against one another- finding my own brand of “gray”- my own variety of “middle ground”- the only sort of equilibrium my mind is capable of accepting.

Therefore, as my thoughts floated away from innovation management strategic frameworks and the like, I had a few ideas about the exploration and exploitation efforts in my own life.

Of course, understanding the “international” aspects of an International MBA is a continual process. I am a strong advocate of the fact that the goods far outweigh the bads in this experience- but I’d be lying if I were to claim that it is all rainbows and butterflies. The “exploration” part that I love the most is exactly what I came here for- the opportunity to delve into diversity; understanding and learning from the differences in cultures, languages and experiences of a multinational student body and faculty. As my roommate once mentioned, “Doing an international MBA has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life regardless of whether my strategy implementation professor has an accent or not. At a top international business school, you have the privilege of learning from the best talent from around the world.” What tops that, right?

But then- as I mentioned- there are the pitfalls as well. There is no better way to say this than to quote my friend as she turned to me during one of our classes where our professor was explaining something I had a hard time following, and with raised eyebrows and a half-smirk ironically asked, “is he practicing his English on us?”
I had to laugh. But for 60,000 Euros- maybe I should cry. I mean, come on.

Then, my thoughts moved out of the exploration/exploitation argument- and I found myself focusing solely on one of the themes that underlies my existence- the good and the bad- and searching for the good within the bad- after all, as humans, sometimes that's what we have to do to pull ourselves through the calamities that underline our lives. 

So on a lighter note- but not forgetting the biggest calamity that has touched everyone on this earth- the economic crisis, I don't think its necessary to highlight the “bad”:

It’s right in front of all of us. And for MBA students, the “bad” may even be a bit more saturated with questions with no concrete answers. Every single day someone wonders out loud a myriad of unknowns, such as; how will I pay off my loans? What will the job market look like when we graduate? Will my current skills be applicable? Will I ever find an internship? Will this investment really be worth it? And so on and so forth…

But then again, the crisis has presented at least one advantage:

Window shopping (the only shopping I’m doing lately) today clearly indicated that I cant afford to buy the new Gucci shoes that came out this season, regardless of how obsessed I am with them. However, this sad fact provides less of an opportunity to fall from 5 inches above ground and break an ankle. (Avoiding a fair amount of embarrassment as well). Speaking of, I think Jimmy, Muccia, Tom, all the Christian's, Giorgio, and gang forgot to read the FT this year- maybe someone should send the entire fashion industry a memo.

That's pretty much it for the day- back to operations reading…after all, I am at least attempting to do the balancing “thing” here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Byzantium Bliss

Turkey came and Turkey went. It flew by- like all things in life too good to last. And now, back in Barcelona, once again absorbed in our roles as diligent students between classes and group meetings, the images and sounds of Turkey seem too remote to be real.  

It was one of those trips that you plan to a tee- that you anticipate- that you know will be fantastic- but the reality of it far exceeds any expectations. 
It was one of those trips where all the plans and all the preparations are edged out by unanticipated surprises far too astounding to have been intended or imagined in the first place.
Turkey was one of those trips where you step off the plane and your plans go out the window. It was one of those trips where your world changes colors.

We headed east not only to escape Barcelona, the MBA, and any hint of the lives we have been living- but we headed east in order to discover something fresh and unknown to our curious minds. Moreover- we left in order to discover something we could never learn within the walls of our school.

We threw ourselves directly into whatever the country- the dividing point between Europe and Asia- had to offer. We entered with no preconceptions, no fears, no expectations- only the desire to explore fueled by the longing to learn.

We new immediately that we had found what we were looking for and were instantaneously welcomed by the glistening turquoise waters of the Bosphorus, lapping at the shores surrounding the chaos of bazaars, hammams and hundreds of domed mosques. 
We snaked in and out of alleyways, over the Galata bridge spanning the Golden Horn, crawling up and down the crowded lanes reminiscent of San Francisco’s hills. We roamed the unfamiliar stretches of road and hidden alleyways and found far more than just the sprawling parks, astonishingly impressive domed mosques ranging from the Ayasofya and Blue Mosque, and bustling bazaars- we found what we were looking for...

We read the history of the Byzantines and Ottomans over Nargile pipes with their burning coals lighting our faces. We spent an afternoon in Istanbul’s oldest Hammam and later, toasted Martini’s overlooking the city, radiant under a full orange moon.

Istanbul is exquisite. We never oriented ourselves- we never wanted to. We practiced our Turkish “thank you”s and “ok”s and had our fortunes read from the grinds of our coffee in the ubiquitous cafes full of smoke and sound. We strolled without stopping, getting lost within the steep alleyways, bright elaborate graffiti and ornate mosaics lining the walls and ceilings we encountered. We stuffed ourselves with Baklava sprinkled with bright green pistachio grounds drowning in honey and drank apple tea in the traditional teahouses.

And then Istanbul was over and we headed to the airport for our plane to Bodrum.

We flew south in silence as images of the minarets rising above the intricate structures and their daily prayer calls still rang in our ears and haunted our thoughts. We were picked up from the airport only to learn that due to the rain, we would be spending the night in a little hotel on the Marina. 
The sudden switch from cosmopolitan bustle to the calm of the Aegean Sea and harbor lined with wooden boats with their sails swaying with the wind and the rain was both a welcome change and a challenge. A challenge because we had fallen in love with Istanbul- a pleasure because our next adventure had begun.

It has been said that the best-laid plans often go awry. Therefore, when we realized that a miscommunication between the concierge and my poor early-morning translation of TurkEnglish resulted in the missing of our boat the following morning, we weren’t the least bit surprised. We took everything, as we did with Istanbul, as it came. We were driven along the coast by the apologetic hotel owner and sympathetic tour operator towards the boat that we never ended up catching.

The drive itself was breathtaking- we stared out the windows of the car astonished by the contrasts of the deep blue of the see with small islands rising up into the cloudless sky. Our escorts played local music and we swayed along to the exotic yet soothing sounds of a language we hadn’t even begun to understand. 

We made our way across the stretches of coastline, town carved out of the mountains, winding in and out of villages untouched by the traffic of tourists- until we hit Marmaris. We walked along the Turkish Riviera stopping to view the boats, snap the photos that will never do the location justice, and snack on pastries- salty and sweet- while playing backgammon with the locals.

Needless to say- the cruise didn't happen- which we found was a blessing in disguise after learning that we would be packed like sardines in dark wooden cabins with six French couples for five days. 
Instead, we threw caution to the Aegean wind and took in the region’s charm and palm-lined waterfront while indulging our senses in everything the blue bay of Bodrum had to offer. We strolled the paths under the shadows of the medieval castle and at night, we drank wine amongst the silhouettes of the darkened elegant Gullets. 

Bodrum is a mix of a lively Bohemian air and subtle sophistication. Seafood caught daily mixed with local drinks leading to boisterous clubs and bars- some with live music reminiscent of Parisian haunts- lent to the atmosphere of the enchanting peninsula. We spent our days exploring the coastline as it unfolded before us leading to quiet bays. We discovered the solitude in surrounding towns, we sunbathed aboard private sailboats- while the captain and crew prepared multiple salads and fish caught just that morning. We ate, we drank, we danced, we laughed- we discarded all of our plans and relished the pleasures of Turkey- the pleasures of not having a plan at all.

We savored each passing second and then as quickly as it began- the whirlwind tour ended. We left Turkey revitalized with broadened minds and bronzed skin. 
In our bags, we carried with us glass evil eye beads meant to protect us from all future evils. And in our hearts, we carried the new colors that were introduced into our worlds- something that will never leave us- that we will take with us wherever we may go.

Turkey far exceeded everything I had hoped it would be. Maybe the experience was intensified because of the profound necessity to escape- if only for a week. Or maybe it’s because it was one of those magical experiences where everything just comes together- the place, the people, the energy- like a miraculous harmony- completely unexpected. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Graduates, Lemons and Lemonade

The MBA class of 2009, the class ahead of mine, graduates tomorrow. This signifies a couple of things. 
Firstly, it means that a year from tomorrow, I will be graduating. 
It means that the new crop of 1 year MBA’s will soon be infiltrating our halls- fresh blood- always a good thing. 
It means that despite the crisis, the lack of jobs, the crumbling of and later rebuilding of the global economy- life still goes on- and MBAs are still going out in the world in hopes of changing it- making it better for the rest of us- and of course, grabbing a decently sized piece of the pie for themselves. Good luck. I mean that.

The graduation of the 2009 class also means that it is now time to say goodbye to the new friends I have barely had the chance to get to know. I regret this, as it’s partially my fault- always coming up with the excuse, “next term. When things calm down. Next weekend, when I have less work…" continuously and guilelessly believing that I could evade the passage of time. And now, like so many other people that have passed in and out of my life- and so many opportunities that have passed me by just because I happened to blink- I have to say goodbye and wonder if I’ll ever see these individuals again, these people whose faces and voices have become the wallpaper and soundtracks of my life. I honestly hope so. 
So the lesson learned? 
Savour the days- the friendships- the individuals- the exceptional people brought into my life by this modest MBA because before I know it- before any of us know it- it will all be over. 

Some good news along those lines though (disguised as bad news) is that I’ll be sticking around Spain for the duration of the program. 
In other words; I’m not going on exchange. 

Anyway, someone once told me, Cuando la vida te da limones... Haz limonada. So that’s exactly what I’ll be doing; Haciendo limonada in Barcelona. Don’t get me wrong- I’m still angry.

Speaking of making lemonade and taking advantage of situations- I’m leaving for Turkey tomorrow. "Semana Santa", “holy week,” or to us students- "Spring Break," is finally upon us! I doubt it’s going to be the wet t-shirt contest, tequila shot taking, sun soaked type of “Spring Break” Cancun was back in the undergrad era however, I’m just as excited- if not more. 
One full week sans tapas, sans callous Catalan cab drivers, sans mind boggling case studies and waiting at bus stops in the rain at 8:00 a.m. 

So off I go again- If only for a short while. Semana Santa is in fact holy - a much needed break considering the fact that finals ended three weeks ago and we’ve since been going full speed ahead with a three day negotiations seminar, a week long intensive course on strategy implementation, and now a week of term 3 courses. There is an air of apathy around here. Maybe its because after the intensity of finals, we were denied a breather. Or maybe its because in one or two days time, we will all be headed to airports and train stations in search of our own brands of tranquility. 
It’s time to GO. And “go” we will.

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.”
~Robert Louis Stevenson