Today is Sunday of weekend one of my post-MBA life. Two whole days with no obligations to a case study or reading or research for a paper. Ah, bliss.
While last weekend was also post-classes, we still had a paper outstanding so I did have a little bit of pressure to work on things. I had one day of fun, though - I was hosted by the South African Tourism Board at Twickenham for South Africa vs. the Barbarians. It was a blast. I had an epic train journey from MK, as I had to connect in London to trains on limited service due to construction. I left at about 930 and got stuck on a Virgin train full of drunks from Birmingham. I never cease to be amazed by a) the utter horribleness of the Birmingham accent, and b) the ability of the British male to get completely blathered by 10AM. Any time you take a Virgin train on a weekend morning you are guaranteed to be sitting by loud-talking drunks who are at least four lagers in. It's ridiculous. This particular group had the sounds of stag-do...lots of misogynist banter and blatant discussing of the tits and asses of the women on the train. (Though too fat for their liking, apparently I do have a nice rack.) The only thing that could shut them up was Wembley...the train had to stop to wait for a local on the tracks ahead, and we were pretty close to the stadium. They all slammed their faces against the window and murmured in awe, as though they were watching the hand of God dropping straight from the sky.
I'd befriended a South African couple along the way, and since we were all on the way to the match we travelled together the rest of the way. They went into the stands, I went into a box to be wined and dined for a few hours. We ate well and the group was a lot of fun, and we had excellent views of the pitch. Rugby rocks, by the way. It's like the fabulous game of extreme Hot Potato. And there is some seriously brutal behaviour out there...it makes American football look like a low-contact sport. I love it. All in all, it was an excellent way to spend the day. But Sunday I had to read through our first draft and make some edits and set up a plan for the last few hours of work on the thing, so it was still not a totally free weekend.
On Friday, however, I turned in our last assignment and now all of my assessed work has been submitted. While the actual marks may not be predictable, I know that I've passed everything, so I have completed my MBA. In April they do the final review and send me my notification, and in June I walk across the platform to receive the actual degree. I am ecstatic.
So to celebrate, my friends Nadine, Talisha and Yvonne met in London on Friday night. The invite had gone to a larger audience, but wives and girlfriends and friends of our male colleagues were not keen for yet another a big night out with MBA types, so it ended up being the single women meeting for dinner and adventure.
We'd made reservations at a place in Soho, but it had been remodeled and wasn't the cozy, elegant venue we'd been planning on anymore. So we wandered a bit and settled on an Italian restaurant instead. We had a lovely, leisurely meal with much wine, and gossiped excessively. It was outstanding. We spent two years with a load of men who are completely decent guys so most of what we said was of the "isn't-he-great" variety, though a few of our usual targets got a pasting. And now we've met all their wives, too, so we did a little analysis of which ones will let them keep talking to us over the next few years. (Wives can be funny about their husbands having friendships with other women, and now that there's no MBA to use as an excuse there is bound to be some fallout.) We dished on the academic experience, things we'll miss about our MBA weekends, relationships, ideals, you name it.
We even sent a few cheeky text messages to one of our former lecturers who has developed a friendship with my friends Talisha and Yvonne. He fancies himself quite the philosopher and student of the human condition, and over much drink at the ball a few weeks ago made quite a few observations about our cohort. They made the mistake of telling me that I have him flummoxed...seems I am warm and able to get to know everyone on a personal level but have "distance issues" about letting people into my life. You can imagine how much this annoyed me...coupled with the ten or so times at the ball when he told me how I needed to find "the love of a good man," this was NOT the story to relay to convince me he's a sensitive soul. Don't get me wrong...he seems like a perfectly nice guy, but he's got an angle. He and I both know that his "analysis" of me may well be accurate but it is also true of virtually every smart single woman over 35, so it isn't insightful so much as a safe bet. I've warned them to proceed with a healthy cynicism but they disagree. So I fueled the scenario by encouraging the texting of tidbits to encourage speculation. I mean, if he's going to prove me right, I may as well help him along. And it will make for good dishing the next time around.
We ended up at a bar in the Soho Hotel, where we made friends with some people who let us share their table. They were good fun and we ended up sitting chatting until about 6 in the morning over many bottles of champagne. Talisha had not one but two strapping young metrosexuals vying for a snog, there was a pithy gay man who chased one of the handsome boys around the table in a desire to convert him, and we had all sorts of interesting conversations about an array of things. It made for one of the most random silly evenings with strangers I've had in awhile.
Have spent Saturday and the most part of Sunday reading, catching up online, playing the ukulele, watching movies, and snacking on bad food. It's been relaxing and refreshing. I'm now going to start my laundry and finish unpacking the remaining boxes from my move. I leave for the states on Friday for three weeks.
Life is good.