Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Few Days in the Life

There are a number of things I could ramble on about right now- as the ups and downs of life never cease- not even for an instant. It’s always when you “need a break” that the breaks never seem to arrive.

However- in the essence of time- because it is the most limited commodity of late- I’m going to outline briefly what it feels like to be an MBA student, in the middle of an economic crisis, a few days before final exams and only a few brief weeks before summer.

Summer used to be a word that tasted good as it came out of my mouth- all watermelony and filled with sunshine and polka-dotted bikinis. Now, however, things have changed. Shock. Summer is an enormous looming cloud over my head and as the hours start overlapping and the pages of my virtual calendar move forward- the anxiety is building and the ominous cloud is looking ready to burst.

Forecast: thunder, lightning, and the wrath of my parents wondering why I don't have an internship yet.

A while back, I started writing an MBA Journal called “A Day in the Life.” It’s lovely to relate stories of discovering and sharing and growing- all of which is happening within the 18 months of an MBA. But right now- “a day in the life” is a wholly different story.

Finals kick off in five days. Every term it’s the same story: classes end too quickly, I feel unprepared and out of time, I cram and read and write and work until I’ve gone cross-eyed. I show up to the exam with my calculator and erasers- shaking from too much coffee and too little sleep. In the end, I hope for the best- And in the end, I do pass. The only difference this time is I feel like the term went even faster, I know even less than I did last time and that the time I have to prepare has been cut in half. It’s so bad that I don't even know where to start. I’m totally blocked.

And then, instead of looking forward to the end of finals and celebrating the fact that we got through yet another set of exams together, summer will have arrived. I’ll say goodbye to the classrooms and books and teachers, hop on the bus home, open the door to my apartment, put my stuff down, and wonder where the hell to go from there. Seriously.

Next year’s classes start in the middle of September. So come two weeks from now, I see only one big blank spot of three months ahead of me.

I would be lying if I said that idea of doing nothing for a change isn’t enticing. The problem lies within the consequences of the “nothing.” And of course- the guilt. Jewish guilt…even worse. And importantly, the question of how to fund this “doing nothing.” I wonder if Fannie Mae gives living loans to internshipless MBA candidates. There’s a thought.

As a side not- something completely unrelated to the MBA-  and something I generally wouldn't bother sharing- happened last Saturday. Nevertheless, its just too amusing not to report:

So I was in Naples with my boyfriend this weekend…his ex-girlfriend is somewhat of a model/celebrity. Well, more of a superstar like “Miss Italy” or something. (I’m trying to play it down.) Anyway, this is fine with me, I swear. She’s his ex after all. 

We were driving to the station to catch a train to Rome- we pull up to a bus. I look out the window and staring at me is someone who looks vaguely familiar. As we get closer to the bus and come to a stop- I read the name underneath this glamorous woman with stunning makeup and windblown hair- and realize that it is, in fact, the “ex.” 

I kind of gasped…turned away…then turned back…then turned away again- and thought to myself, “yes, I really did just see the “ex” on the side of a bus.” Only in my world, I swear…

I cant say that seeing your boyfriend’s famous ex-girlfriend staring at you from a poster the size of your apartment is any help getting started studying.

On another note, in the midst of all this apprehension and worry about things that really wont matter so much in the long run, we were all presented with a considerable reminder of the important things in life- one of those reminders where time stops for everyone around, there is complete silence, and we all take a minute or two to digest what has actually happened;

One of our professors died on Monday. In his lecture that same day, regarding this crisis, he mentioned that it will pass and although he may not be here, we will. He spoke with vigor and excitement in his wise eyes. And then, that evening at home, he unexpectedly passed away. I suppose the lessons we are learning in this MBA extend far beyond numbers and theories. 

His passing was a reminder to step back once in a while and look at the bigger picture…to enjoy what we have, while we have it. Because as short as the days are- the years are even shorter…

No comments: