Thursday, April 14, 2011

A photo-shoot, a few meetings and a Tango

Not a usual day at Darden. But that was my day today. With just three weeks to go before classes end, it has sort of begun to hit me. The fact that it's getting over. And if you have read my posts for long enough and/or have known me, you would know that transitions make me uncomfortable. My parents finally booked their flight tickets. Which means that now I have to start planning the itinerary of their first US visit. Leaving this place, travelling with parents, travelling with friends and then finally moving to Dallas - there's a lot coming. Exciting? Yes. But also unsettling. 

Anyway, back to this day. The photo-shoot was for a Darden marketing material (yes, I might make it to a glossy brochure, for all you know) with another second year and my marketing professor. So we sat down (well, actually, I was standing with the bag on my shoulder and my shirt sleeves rolled - because it fit my "student" image) in Flagler Courtyard and chatted casually as the photographer clicked a few snaps. It helped that my classmate actually had something to talk about and we didnt have to fake a conversation. The pictures did look pretty cool. I hope I can get my hands to them sometime.

The meetings were nothing out of the ordinary to be very frank. But 'A photo-shoot and a Tango' seemed kind of empty as a post title. And so here we are. The meetings ranged from talking to the new publisher of the student newsletter about the transition, to meeting a professor and getting ideas on how to wrap up the project, to a short lunch about the elementary school tutoring program that I helped run. A good mix, I would say.

And that brings us to the Tango. I'm doing three courses this quarter. One on social entrepreneurship and responsibility which has guest speakers in almost every class and we get to have dinners and lunches with them. Another one is on literature. Fiction at that. So far the reading list has been - the novels The Great Gatsby, The Good Doctor, The White Tiger, and the short stories Barn Burning, The Killers, and Love is Not a Pie. And the professor also invited a group of us over for dinner where I had the best grilled salmon ever. 
Doesn't sound like B-School, you would say, right. I agree. That's why I took these courses.

The last course I'm doing is about Theater. Yes. Nothing to do with business unless you start really stretching it and talk about teamwork and collaboration and all that lingo which we love. One rock-star professor, one director,  and 24 students. Last Wednesday, we had formed groups amongst ourselves and picked up 10-minute plays which were to be performed today. I was amazed at the amount of effort I spent in it. And all of it was so much fun. It was a bit like being in undergrad and getting involved in extra curricular activities.  Never feels like a burden and you achieve so much. 

The Toy-Story like play about three toys about to be discarded, a crazy sequence featuring two extremely drunk men and two women,  a girl and her craving for candies, a dead man and a dead woman who are tied to each other for eternity, two faculty members talking about student-teacher affairs, a brash young man, his friend and the waitress in a cafe and the weird grocery store meeting of a man and a woman who have almost too much in common - there was a lot of variety on display. And all the performances were worth watching. 

It's one of those moments that stand out from the myriad experiences that you have. Performing a play in a B-School. And in 3 weeks from now, the 24 of us will write, direct and act in a totally original play and perform it in front of the entire second year and first year class. How crazy is that!

And about the tango - that's how the grocery store play ends. With a rose in my mouth. And apparently we were terrific. So said the professor and the director.