Monday, September 26, 2005

Here's where I'd rather be. Day hiking in the Pinnacles...

It's become real busy. No time to blog!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Last one for the day. Alcazar, Seville.

Generalife. Oh, to travel...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

who's afraid of cold-calls?

I admit it.  I'm petrified of cold-callING.  (Previous life, in a Strategy Consulting group, I did a bit of that, and didn't like it much.)  I think I'm pretty okay with BEING cold-called, though.
Classes started Thursday.  I had Regression followed by Micro on Friday.  I'd been startled to see the "Be prepared to be quizzed on basic statistics" warning in Bandi's coursepack.  To prepare for the early-morning challenge, I frantically looked up p-values and null-hypotheses and t-tests at (thanks Nimit) and found out more about kurtosis than I cared to know.  In class however, Bandi reassured us that he was "fundamentally, a nice-guy" and that he wouldn't quiz us on any of the basic stuff.  Whew.
Micro with Stole was a pleasure.  I'd been dreading the subject, especially at 8:30 AM on a Friday, and especially after TNDC the previous night.  Stole's enthusiasm combined with the too-convoluted questions from Ashish and Vineeth kept me awake all through the class!
Friday evening's Liquidity Prefrence Function (LPF) was nice.  A bunch of us decided to continue the revelries at the adjoining Ida Noyes pub until late in the night.

Friday, September 23, 2005


At a go, I've discovered the identities of three of my heretofore
anonymous blogger classmates. Le Voyageur, Alator and Poweryogi have all
been unveiled. Wakechick is known too (but only from her pictures.)
To tell you the truth, I didn't do any "discovering" -- I just asked

A couple of classmates told me that they chanced upon my blog. So
that's cool. Someone's reading all this sh*t.

Gaurav -- you guys start practicing hard. BTW, how are your apps
shaping up?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

do rankings matter?

Yes they do! But not the WSJ rankings. We just fell out of the top-10
in the latest WSJ rankings. We're now 13th; we were 5th last year.
What gives/gave?! But seriously, the rankings look a little dubious.
Here, take a look. Here are WSJ's National Rankings (taken from WSJ's
online edition):

2005 2004
Rank Rank University (Business School)
1 3 Dartmouth College (Tuck)
2 1 University of Michigan (Ross)
3 2 Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)
4 7 Northwestern University (Kellogg)
5 6 Yale University
6 4 University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
7 15 University of California, Berkeley (Haas)
8 8 Columbia University
9 11 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler)
10 -- University of Southern California (Marshall)
11 12 University of Virginia (Darden)
12 9 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan)
13 5 University of Chicago
14 13 Harvard University
15 10 Stanford University
16 17 New York University (Stern)
17 14 Duke University (Fuqua)
18 18 Cornell University (Johnson)
19 19 University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson)

So anyway, I got my coursepacks today. BTW, I ain't buying no stinkin
textbooks that ain't required. Not after spending $600 for 4
coursepacks and a textbook.

Samir, I played full-court basketball today. It looks like a regular
thing, BTW. So next time in the bay-area...

Monday, September 19, 2005

i have a schedule

How could I forget?! I have a schedule. I got all the classes I
wanted. That means I have no classes on Mondays, but an 8:30 AM class
on Friday. (Clarification: I didn't really WANT the 8:30 AM class.)

Marketing with Dhar (it's pronounced Dhaaaaar, BTW) Wed eve.
Micro with Stole on Friday
Accounting with Srinivasan on Tuesday
Regression with Bandi (cost me 2000 points) on Thursday

And of course, Lead on Tuesdays and Career Services on Thursdays. I am
actually looking forward to all this!

so long and thanks for all the fish

They made us wait in the rain to get into Spoon at TNDC.

The semi-formal was awesome-. The music sucked, but everything else
was A+. Actually, the food wasn't all that great either, now that I
come to think about it. But they more than made up for it, with
dessert and of course, they kept the wine and beer flowing. Good
mingling, and let's just say, some dancing. Oh, and the dolphins and
the sharks and whales were pretty cool too!

Anyway, they kicked us out at midnight, which meant that we got up
reasonably early on Saturday. Decided to do that Hyde Park to Lincoln
Park bike-ride that we'd been meaning to do for ever. It was an
awesome ride. Took us about an hour to get to Lincoln Park (actually,
we're pretty certain we were way north of Lincoln Park.) We think we
did about 12.5 miles one way. There were tons of people everywhere --
a game at Soldier Field, something going on in Grant Park, the Art Fest
in Lincoln Park, and hundreds of thousands of Breast Cancer
walkathoners. Oh, and of course, lots of people on the beaches playing
volleyball and sunbathing. (For the record, saw more bikinis today
than in the past. See previous post about mid-western beach-goers
being more conservative than their west-coast counterparts. Something
to do with waning modesty with impending winter? A lasting tan?)

The way back was a lot harder because of the wind (did it in about an
hour and a half.)

After which, a caravan of 3 or 4 cars left for Devon. We were trying
to make the 4 o'clock show of Salaam Namaste. Got stuck in severe
traffic, so instead, all 15 of us decided to hang-out on Devon (mostly
at Sukhadias) and then catch the 7 o'clock show. The movie was a
disaster, but that's another story.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bidding for classes at Chicago GSB

We've just finished the first round of bidding for classes.  Efficient markets notwithstanding, this was painful as all hell.  Here are the variables that went into the decision-making process:
1. Quality of professor
2. Price of professor+course
3. Work-load for the course
4. Maximize pre-reqs
5. Minimize bid/price (maximize accrual for future classes)
6. Determine bids/price required for future classes
7. # of classes to take in the first quarter (3 or 4)
8. To take or not take a case-class to prepare for consulting interviews
In reality, it was an even bigger mess.  In the end, I bid for 4 classes:
Marketing Strategy (with Sanjay Dhar -- expensive!!)
Applied Regression Analysis
Financial Accounting
Results will be out on Friday.  If I don't get the classes I want, there are 3 more rounds of "Drop Add Swap."  More fun!
My schedule for the quarter looks a little sad.  8:30 AM class on Friday.  I guess I won't be going to too many Thursday Night Drinking Club events.
Anyway, another week of CORE/LEAD is almost at an end.  Looking forward to the Semi-formal at the Shedd Aquarium on Saturday!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Disappointment @ the Field

We visited the Field Museum of Natural History on Sunday. Yay, for
student-tickets. Deepti and I got in for $12, total. We spent a good
4 hours there, but were only really impressed with the dinosaur
exhibit, including, of course, "Sue, the world's largest, most
complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex." We did like their
stuffed-animal zoo, but after a while we got really fatigued by the
life-less stares all around us. The Grainger Hall of Gems was hushed
and quiet and full of sparkling darkness, but when we saw the Kohinoor
and read the fine print that said that it was a "replica", we made a
quick exit out of there. The Islands of the Pacific was a fun exhibit,
but didn't afford much depth (no pun.) The Africa exhibit, likewise,
was quite disappointing. There were lots of cardboard cutouts of
people, and signs like "I am Mmbato. I will take you on a tour of my
house, and show you the kinds of food we have here in Mauritania." It
was fairly juvenile. Ancient Egypt was a little better than that. A
bunch of mummys, a bunch of fake hieroglyphs, but also some authentic
stone sarcophagi (pl.?) and such like.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Samir and Anshu came to visit last weekend, with Samir's cousin and her
husband from Indianapolis. They took us on the Architecture boat-tour
of Chicago -- which was really awesome of them. The tour was really
great. Chicago is such a pretty city! (And I never knew it!) We went
through the locks (which was interesting) and at the end of the tour,
we went out for a spin on the lake at 40 miles/hr. That was definitely
the highlight of the trip :)

CORE has started. This is the pre-class session for the first-year MBA
students. It also involved a 3-day retreat in Wisconsin, where we got
to schmooze to the max with the other 550 first-years. There were the
usual team-building and ice-breaking activities, a ropes-course, a
karaoke night et al. I found it a little difficult to
schmooze-on-demand, but had a really great time.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Sexism on Devon

One of the first tasks we'd set ourselves when we moved to Chicago, was to find ourselves an Indian-tiffin source. (Food delivered or to-go on a regular basis.) We'd been spoilt by a wonderful Gujarati lady in the bay-area, who had supplied home-cooked meals to my family for the past 4 years. We figured we'd have no trouble finding something similar in Chicago, with the large Indian population here.

The two Gujjubhais who run the market in Regents were most unsympathetic to our cause, even though they went to great lengths to explain how easy it is to cook food. "Daal goes on the bottom, rice on top, get a few frozen vegetables, make some rotis, and you'll be done in under an hour." I told them it would be even easier if they could pick up some tiffins for us from Devon on their way to work at Regents. Much to my surprise, this suggestion was met with polite but firm refusal.

Plan B was put into action. We figured we should head straight to the source -- Devon. Once there, I wasted no time asking anyone and everyone we met if we could get a tiffin out of them. (I was doing all the talking, because Deepti's Spanish is better than her Gujarati.) At one point, I was talking to a kind-of distinguished-looking middleaged man. I explained our situation to him, which went essentially like this: we-don't-cook-so-we-need-home-cooked-Gujju-food-to-take-home-on-a-weekly-basis. I have barely finished, and he asks, pointing to Deepti, "And what will she do?"

Anyway, eventually, we did find this kindly woman who agreed to give us basic rotli-daal-bhat-shaak for a pretty reasonable price. Yay! We are now truly at home!

Friday, September 02, 2005

mediocre but arrogant

I went to play Racquetball today. It felt so good to swipe my new student-id card and walk into the spanking-new Ratner Athletic center, after all those years of sneaking into Stanford's dilapidated Racquetball and Squash courts with a totally smudged-out id-card. I ama student again!

Turned out that the rball courts weren't in Ratner though, so I walked a short distance down 55th to Henry Crown. It's a beautiful road -- broad and clean. My walk took me past some rather nice looking (non-Gothic, new; not that Gothic+old = ugly: to the contrary) undergrad dorms. I reminisced about undergrad and even grad-days. Upon sober reflection, I realized that this time around, it wasn't*quite* like being in school again.

These past few days, I have really grown to like Hyde Park a lot. We biked from Hyde Park to Navy Pier yesterday, all along the lake. It was SO beautiful. The city is SO pretty. 53rd and 55th streets in Hyde Park are really quite nice! On a bright, warm, late-summer day like today, there's nothing to dislike in Hyde Park, and of course, the campus itself is quite pretty (though, very small.) (And I'm beginning to get really annoyed withthe few people who continue to belittle Hyde Park. It's quite nice. If you really don't like it, move to Doral!) So anyway, I've quickly developed a sense of "home". I haven't been missing the bay-area much at all. But -- I don't have the sense of euphoria that I thought Iwould have, the minute I became a student again. Why not? Why not?!!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm older. Sorry. That ain't it. I have more energy to party than a lot of other 22 year-olds I know. I'm married. Getting warmer. But Deepti's a trooper. Always ready to party. That ain't it either. I have a car. I drove to the Racquetball courts. Okay, that's pretty sad. (But we did bike 15 miles yesterday, so give me a break.) I live off-campus. That's sacrilege. I think that's 20% of the answer. Now if I was living in I-House, in a 10x10 room... I'm
really not kidding.

But the rest of the 80% answer is this: it's an MBA program, stupid. People DON'T act their age. They act older. They go drinking at jazz-clubs instead of opening up beer kegs in people's
bath-tubs-full-of-ice. For some reason, I'd hoped everyone would just be themselves, TP rooms, and eat only pizza. Unfortunately, it looks like everyone has their eyes on the ROI for ($80000 + opportunity cost.) That sucks, I suppose.

My only hope is what my friend at Wharton had told me, that everyone realized that this is their last time in school, and they were going to make the best out of it (ie. party.) Of course, that was Wharton, and this is where "fun comes to die." We'll see.

Watch for partner perspectives...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

cocktail parties and all that jazz

The partying has begun in earnest. Tuesday was Blues night at Kingston Mines, one of Chicago's
most famous blues bar. (Turn on the volume on your computer, for some good streaming blues if you visit their website.) A HUGE bunch of GSBers showed up (75, in my estimation.) It was a fun group. We got there really early, so we had a chance to talk to everyone as they trickled in. The music (Dion Payton) started up around 9:30, and then moved into the front room at some point, with another band and some Blues dance going on too.

If you don't like the blues
You got a hole in your soul!

Wednesday saw us at Green Mill in Lakeview (or even north of Lakeview, I think.) Premier Jazz club. It was a much smaller place, but fortunately, fewer GSBers showed up. Again, good music. The first band was a Hungarian Gypsy band, the second was a quartet. They were playing some loud be-bop. I talked to the pianist who turned out to be in an Indian guy called Vijay. There were also a whole lot of people who'd come in from the Jazz Bus. They were getting a little pissed off because the GSBers were talking really loudly. Then someone got thrown out of the club. It was pretty exciting. He also got bloodied up a little bit, and when we left around mid-night, there was still someblood on the footpath.

Today is the Thursday Night Drinking Club, fondly called TNDC, dry-run. (0f course, there'll be nothing dry about it! ;) It's at a bar in downtown called Kerryman. Haven't been there yet, and looks like a whole bunch of people are going (including some people from my accounting class) so I might go, though I'm already a littleparty-weary. Okay, I didn't say that.

Tomorrow sees the beginning of the double-bookings. There's a party happenning at the Summit Club at Regents, it's also Saurabh's birthday, Preety wanted to do an Indians-at-GSB dinner in the city -- but this morning I get an email from my Cohort leaders about getting together atRock Bottom, so obviously that's where I'm going.

We have grand plans for the weekend. Beach, bike, booze, I think!

Oh, I should say something about classwork, I suppose. Accounting has come to an end. We covered in 4 days, half of the basic Accounting course (through to the mid-term.) It's been quite tough. I'm glad I took the course. It'll make the first quarter that much easier. There has been plenty of talk about what classes to take, and how many classes to take etc. I really haven't done much homework myself, but I'm definitely taking only 3 classes the first quarter. I have to
figure out pre-requisities etc., and pretty much the entire 2-year schedule of classes, factoring-in faculty-evaluations, and of course, concentrations etc.