Week 4 — Who by Fire?

by Lemuel Morrison, MBA 2012

The shine has worn off the semester and the reality of uninspiring coursework and petty politics has set in. Porter’s 5 forces, 4 Ps of Marketing, and Sayre’s law are basics any B-schooler will have under their belt. Haven’t heard of Sayre’s law?  Oh but you have, you have lived it.  It says, “In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake.”  That is why academic, club, and team politics are so bitter.

The time of year sets the tone too. Summer is over and the hard work of  Autumn is setting in. Moreover, the days get darker and the chill is looming.  It’s also the High Holidays — the new year and time of atonement.  It’s a time to look back and at one’s transgressions.  You can’t help but be contemplative and a bit dark.

CLASSES

My eagerly anticipated Business Consulting (BUS 9601) class has fallen shy of my expectations.  Lectures have largely relied upon a classic top-down style with soulless powerpoint slides.  Confusion reigned in the beginning with team formation and assignment of cases.  Alas though, we had our chance to get to work.  Our case is interesting, timely and will prove challenging — everything one could ask for. That is with the exception of our “management.”   My expectation of modern direction ( enlightened, thought-provoking, cool and deliberate) hit the wall of reality of common supervision (bad dog, do this, don’t do that).  Ouch!  I should’ve known better.  Time to reevaluate and take a new tack.

Real estate courses are purely classic lecture.  It’s hard to get enthusiastic, unless I translate the goobly-gook into engineer talk.  Macauley Duration and Convexity translate through derivative and double derivative to rate of change and acceleration.  Ahah!  So that is what you mean.  I can dig this.

Dollar Convexity

GSA

My short-lived tenure as interim VP of the GSA drew to a close.  I am happy to sit in the background and let those who need the experience of leadership get in the game.  The GSA  filled 4 open positions Tuesday evening.  There will be hurt feelings, but I am satisfied that the GSA stuck to its rules and was fair.  I made sure that we advertised the openings, made transparent the process and kept a record of the process.  It’s the newsletter that I am most happy with. The improved look (albeit far from ideal) relies on open-source HTML.  I’m looking forward to handing it off and seeing the newsletter improve more.

With our holiday schedule, next week will be a chance to catch up and take on my next project.  May the New Year be happy and healthy.

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