Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What I'm doing in school this week

1. Business Law. It could be VERY boring, but instead it is actually quite fun. The lecturer makes lots of pun jokes, and when he realised that one of my colleagues is French he took a moment to commiserate with her about the tragic loss of Marcel Marceau.

2. I was the MD of a theoretical company that constructed a self parking car out of legos. We made sure it was extra cool by having it play Smoke on the Water while it backed up. It worked really well, though it needed to have multi-park functions and look a little cooler in order to be a big seller. We came in third. We could have done better if we'd made better sales projections. But it was really fun.

3. Finished and turned in my MMA paper.

4. Did a culture immersion experience, wherein half of us went to one room and were given one culture, and the others were taken into another and given a completely different one. We would then go in and try to figure out the rules of interaction. To fit in in our culture, you had to:

a) hug and touch each other all the time
b) laugh and smile a lot
c) greet each other with conversations about male relatives
d) play an odd card game that was like a friendly version of WAR, where the point was interacting and winning was gauche
e) chat a bit
f) sign a card and move to another

If anyone did anything other than this we kicked them out. And if they talked to one of us women without permission they got kicked out. And if they tried to win at the game we insulted them by showing them a card from our game.

The other culture spoke only in a strange jibberish language while competing ferociously in a strange form of rummy/go fish that seemed way too mentally taxing for my taste.

Funnily enough, neither of us were particularly successful at fitting into the other's rooms.

5. More business law. And had some guest speakers in the evening who are grads of my programme and now CEOs of companies here in the UK. And dinner at an Indian place with a few female friends.

6. More business law, wherein the lecturer kindly translated the word "aluminium" specially for me.

7. Next on the agenda - Leadership which, in addition to lectures, had us pairing off, blindfolding one person and then having the other person lead them around the building without talking or touching them. My partner and I started in the middle of a group of students on a coffee break who were at orientation for the coming year's full-time Supply Chain master's programme. They were staring open-mouthed at us. (Obviously, I wasn't the one with the blindfold.) My partner and I navigated the stairs extremely well, and were quite pleased with our ability to communicate using finger snaps and clapping.

8. Our Leadership lecturer bought us beers, which he owed because he was late to our first lecture back in June, and then I went to dinner with a bunch of my friends at a little pub in a nearby village.

Tomorrow: final business law sessions, a merger simulation exercise and turning in our GLB paper.

Friday: We have another round of crisis press conferences, wherein we'll be given case studies of some major corporate situation, have an hour to prep, and then conduct a 30 minute taped press conference where we're grilled by visiting media.

Saturday: A full day outside in the open air doing leadership tasks that will involve puzzle solving and other activities.

I feel kind of like I've gone to summer camp. Except it's freezing.


Mnmom said...

I think you were smoking crack during that whole cultures thing, right??

Pam said...

Al - Loo - Mini - Yum.

What's up with that?

Melinda June said...

Oh my no. The culture thing ROCKED.

I know, Pam. It makes no sense. I think they do it to sound quirky.

michaelg said...

Okay, if I had to hug, touch and be cheerful and smile a lot AND, worst of all, NOT win a card game for an extended period, I would get a little better than crabby. Sounds suspiciously like a Montessori school.
I've gotten the al-u-MIN-ume routine before and needed translation the first time. Speak English, for cripes sake! :o)

Scott J. said...

You know, when you put up posts like this, you just make the rest of us look like slackers.

Frankly, I'm exhausted just reading about your schedule. When do you sleep?

Dale said...

Was the Marceau funeral a quiet affair?

lulu said...

I would be very interested in hearing more about the different cultures/different rooms thing. It sounds like a great thing to do with students in a school like this, where cultural sensitivity is always an issue.

Bella Rossa said...

"6. More business law, wherein the lecturer kindly translated the word "aluminium" specially for me."

A ha ha ha!!