Sunday, March 28, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
At this very moment- I am sitting in my last MBA class, about to give my last-ever presentation with the help of my new best friend, “PowerPoint.” (Yes, I should be paying attention- but I have this knot in my stomach that won’t seem to go away- and the best way I know how to get rid of it is to write about it…)
I thought that this class, the last class, would never come. I did plenty of complaining about the duration of the process- but I think a small part of me was hoping to complain forever. I may have spoken about the end- but it never felt like it was actually going to happen- like it was just part of a plan that would never conclude. The end of the MBA was a far-off concept and the future- just a hypothesis.
Now- it’s here and as I sit in this familiar classroom with my MBA colleagues who were complete strangers a little less than two years ago- I feel nothing but sadness, a bit of regret that I’ve run out of time- and fear- of the unknown.
I don't want to repeat the sentiments I keep referring to…but what I suspected up until this point is true- that the nostalgia would kick in as the end approached. I have no unexpected emotions or thoughts to reveal. Although I do thrive on change and I genuinely believe that the “next step” will be great, I am overwhelmed by my own completely startling sadness.
My classmates have, against all odds, become my family- some sort of dysfunctional, bizarre family- but I love them- and I never thought I would say that. We have shared what seems like a lifetime together- the good, the bad, the highs and the lows. They may be sitting around me at this very moment but already- I miss them. I don't want to say goodbye.
And ESADE- the immense, arresting pink building, the classrooms, the ubiquitous blue chairs, the glass walls, the never-ending internet problems, terrible food, weak coffee- they have all become the elements of my home- the fixtures.
I was pulling up to school this morning and as I walked up to the doors with the big ESADE “E,” I remembered three years ago, when I drove up for my entrance interview and they were like the doors to a whole other world- the world of Business Education….a world that I was just thinking about entering. Now, those doors are as familiar to me as the doors to the house I grew up in- ESADE is a place I belong…where I can walk in and I can navigate the halls and the floors and the offices and rooms. I know where all the bathrooms are and I know how to work the light/sound systems for each projector. I know where the comfortable couches are should I need an afternoon catnap and I know where to hide when I don't want to be found.
Today is my last day as a student in this school and when I walk out of this building, I will be leaving behind another home- I will be leaving a home that I have grown to love very much. And that scares me…it makes me sad.
I think the point is, I may be ready for this to be over- I may have learned all I can learn from ESADE- but I don't want it to end…not yet.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
If I had a twitter account….
I would be on it all day. My readers would see how disorderly and arbitrary my thoughts really are. I would probably alienate a number of people. I would be totally unproductive in class. And if I had a twitter account…this is what I would say right now:
“Graduation in three days…What. The. Fuck.”
However, I don't have a twitter account. Although I occasionally think twitter would be useful. Not that my “140 characters or less” thoughts are that brilliant, but at least I would actually get to my point- as opposed to my run-on sentences full of metaphors and oftentimes overly descriptive explanations. Furthermore, I seem to feel the need to preface EVERTHING- and in the end, draw some kind of conclusion. It gets old- even for me.
In this sense, twitter would be useful.
Additionally, I write between 5 and 20 notes to myself in my blackberry daily- generally just random thoughts- but material that could potentially become blog stuff.
I was reading through today's list on the way home from school and in light of my exceedingly limited time and the impending end of the MBA…I’m not going to drone on today- as I would usually do.
Instead, I’m going to pseudo-tweet...Straight from my blackberry’s “MemoPad.”:
- I love that in Spain, women refer to each other as “reina,” i.e. “queen.” I’m going to make everyone refer to me as “reina” from now on.
- Paraphernalia should not be spelled like that.
- I think I want an iPad. What’s the deal with those?
- Google may shut down its China operations. Sad.
- For our MBA Awards, I was voted “most likely to become famous.” It’s flattering although I don't think that's what I was really going for when I decided to do an MBA.
- I don't really think it’s that devastating to be a mismatched sock. I was having a bad day.
Wait…is twitter with or without spaces?
To be continued…
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Something horrendous happened last night- a sickening realization;
After a lengthy day of presentations, meetings, classes and other school-related crap, I could take no more and left at around 8:00 pm. I ran out of the building so quickly that I only realized, once home, that I had left my computer’s battery charger plugged into a desk in a classroom at school.
Once I made it home, I quickly did as much pending school work as I could- until my poor computer went into “reserve battery” mode- at which point, I quickly typed out a to-do list, emailed my Spanish professor telling him I would be unable to do my final presentation tomorrow (due to tonight’s technical difficulties)- and shut down my baby (computer) for the first time in two years.
1. I finally realized how attached I am to my computer. I am lost without it. The Internet is one thing- it’s my lifeline. But my computer- well, that's my soul. Sad, huh?
2. I didn't know what to do with myself. It was the first time in years that I sat in an apartment alone- without a TV, without a computer, surrounded by a bunch of books I had already read.
It was just me- and my thoughts. (a dangerous combination.)
So what did I do?
I sorted socks.
I have an ongoing war with my washing machine, which I lovingly refer to as; “calcetín creatura” (sock monster)- i.e. he who eats all the socks. Well, not all the socks, just one sock of each pair- leaving me with mountains of mismatched clean socks.
From my first ever wash in Barcelona back in August 2008, until now, I have been saving these lonesome socks. (yes, I’m a packrat- and I hold on to the hope that one day, I will walk into the apartment and the washing machine monster will give my socks back to me)…so I collect them and put them in a big shopping bag under my bed.
Tonight- I decided- was the night that my socks would find their mates.
Now, I’m sure you thought that the no-computer part of the evening was the horrifying “thing” that happened to me. And as bad as THAT was…it got worse…
Of course, like many small things that we do or think or see, they signify something else- something much greater. So take this “sock metaphor” as you will…make it yours- and possibly, you will see the distressing experience from my perspective:
There I was, innocently sitting in front of a pile of socks. They were all perfectly good socks: clean, undamaged, cute, comfy, warm, etc…basically, all the things a sock should be.
I did happen to find a few perfect pairs towards the beginning of the exercise- at which point, I rolled them together and placed them neatly into the sock drawer. As time went on, I found less and less mates for my socks and although they were meticulously spread out in order (by size, color, material and length) along my bed- I was reaching the end of the twosomes.
So then, what did I do? I attempted to find the socks that seemed the most alike- the ones that would not cause people to laugh at me should I wear them together and take my shoes off at airport security. (this has happened to me before).
Therefore, the short blues went with the short blues, the tall blacks went with the tall blacks, and so on and so forth…
Before long, even those not-so-perfect pairs were all folded and placed in the sock drawer.
When this was done, I looked down and I had at least 50 individual socks that looked nothing like each other. Their companions were not to be found.
As much as I hated to throw them away- because they were, in fact, perfectly good socks- (they just happened to be single socks), I realized that it was time for the mass exodus to the dump.
So that's what I did. I went to throw them away. And as I was walking to the garbage bins down the street, with my trash bag full of perfectly good socks- it hit me…I may be a mismatched sock. Here’s the thing- maybe I did have my mate at one point…and I don't have it anymore. Maybe I am with the wrong sock somewhere in the sock drawer- Maybe I am with the wrong sock because I don't want to end up in the garbage can- and my current partner is “close enough” that people wont notice that we weren’t made to be together.
As for the sock that was made to be with me- well it’s not in my sock drawer. It’s nowhere near my sock drawer.
And what about all of the single socks? They had to be thrown away. What if, instead of finding their perfect companion, they were off getting an MBA??? What if they were busy traveling the world, exploring, learning…
What if, while all the other socks were being rolled into their pairs and settling into their cozy sock drawers, they were still trying to figure out what kind of sock they were- and where they belonged.
And for these individual socks…what generally happens is that by the time they make it to the right sock drawer, all the good socks are taken.
So in the end…in this 2 minute walk down the street to the garbage bins- I came to the conclusion that I would not, and could not, throw my socks away.
I turned around, walked back into the building, dragged my garbage bag full of socks back up the stairs, and I put them into the sock drawer with the rest of the mated socks.
I will never wear these socks. They will only be a cause of annoyance and grief while I am routing around the drawer at seven in the morning trying to find something that does match- but I just couldn't throw them out. I’m not giving up on them. I have to believe that their perfect mates are still somewhere out there…
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Instead, unexpectedly- the little things around me seem to be falling apart…it’s as if the universe is telling me that this chapter is over- letting me know that it’s time to move on:
I came home from a trip on Monday, ready for the Barcelona weather to welcome me into its sunny and warm embrace. Instead, the plane landed and I had to check my boarding pass twice to make sure I had gotten onto the correct flight. The ground was covered in snow, the sky was black and enormous flakes were falling from the thundering sky. By the time I left classes that same day, public transportation had stopped, ESADE closed the building, and I was forced to walk 30 minutes in a blizzard. Photos below.
The following day, my hot water disappeared. There is nothing wrong with the pipes, the heater, the neighbors’ water…the landlord told me to tell the doorman and the doorman sends me back to the landlord. I’ve been showering in the gym for the past week.
Not 24 hours after that, the internet went…and as I went to check out the situation, I saw bugs crawling in and out of the router as the “alarma” light was flashing. Essentially, bugs ate my internet.
I thought that this would be the period of sheer pleasure and joy. I believed that I would begin to feel my comfy roots being violently pulled from the ground. I was enthusiastically anticipating that “rosy glow.” Instead, it seems as though Barcelona is ready to get rid of me and I’m not exactly sure how to take it.
Springtime in bcn...