last-minute panic

Tomorrow (Wednesday) evening I'm giving a 10-minute presentation to my Strategic Management class along with the other eight students. The problem? I haven't put together my presentation yet. Nor have I written the accompanying (and very much required) 4-page pager. The whole project is a "theory note" wherein I'm supposed to concoct my own thoughts on some broad business concept.

I already know what I want to write about - the role of outsiders in a company's success within a highly competitive environment - but I only just came to that conclusion last night. Tonight I have a slate of activities after work that I can't really avoid, but I have to crank out a coherent argument in support of my "theory" and then make a few appropriately helpful slides, too. It'll probably be an excruciatingly late evening followed by a handful of additional late evenings this week as I race toward the end of the semester.

Blah blah blah. This post itself is little more than procrastination for something else. I think I'm nearly ready to be finished with this whole simultaneous school + work thing. Oh yeah, also, this post derives its title from a classic Calvin and Hobbes strip.

one year down

Ah, the sweet relief of finishing.

Last night was my last class meeting for the summer session of my MBA program. I was fortunate enough to be exempt from the final exam, so for the next two weeks I have no classes to attend and plenty of time to shoot some pictures before the fall semester starts up. I still have to work, but a scaled back daily schedule that doesn't include homework will be quite nice. So that's a full year under my belt, and a bit less than two remaining. May 2012 is the target, and it's near-tangibly closer.

On a related note, I spoke with the business IT professor last night about her potentially sponsoring an independent study I have in mind. I'm hoping to do some research into IT companies that have achieved stability and financial success without the use of venture funding, inspired largely by the "Bootstrapped, Profitable, & Proud" series from 37signals (yeah, I did just recently mention that - but this has been simmering in my mind for a few months). If I can put together a solid proposal (and the professor seemed mostly convinced already), I'll be able to take - for credit - what amounts to a customized course that supports my desired career path. Sweet!

mobile phone-puters

A few times a semester I write for the Robins School of Business MBA Blog. I try to focus on the intersection of technology and business since that's my background, and I had a few thoughts about those little portable computers we carry with us every day:

With the advent of powerful mobile operating systems such as Google’s Android, Apple’s iPhone OS, Palm’s WebOS, and Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows Phone 7, you can say that your mobile phone does everything on this list as well. Oh yeah, and all of these devices let you make and receive phone calls, too.

Forgive the long setup to get to the point. I hope it's at least food for thought.

the good don't last

Well the fun had to end some time.

Tomorrow I return to work after a nearly 2.5 week absence. I also start my second semester of business school. I'm not excited about going back to work at all, but truth be told I'm rather tentative about my first class of the week, too.

I'm trying very hard not to be cynical about things - after all, I was loathe to take an accounting class but ended up loving the course because of a fantastic teacher - but this is a bit different. It's a course on marketing. And one of our books is about "leveraging social media." Be still my lunch.

What I'm worried about is that we'll spend a significant amount of time hearing about how "social media" is a magical nebulous tool that all businesses must learn to harness lest they fall perilously behind their competition. I'm afraid my classmates will leave the course believing that they need a Facebook page or Twitter account for their entrepreneurial endeavors. I'm afraid it will be more Comcast than 37 Signals.

I'm afraid it will further contribute to the sour image many have about MBAs, especially in the web-centric side of the IT community.

But what do I know? This is likely just anxiety, and I hope to be terribly wrong. I hope if, unfortunately, my expectations are even halfway met, that I will see it as an opportunity to research sound material for classroom discussion. I'll start to get a better sense of this tomorrow evening, I suppose. Until then...

New School


For those who haven't already read/heard elsewhere...having dropped off the deposit, I'm now officially a graduate student at the University of Richmond MBA program. Time to mentally prepare myself for hitting the books!

Richmond Neighborhoods Photo Project

I decided today that I'm going to embark on a photo project moderately larger than previously attempted. This project will be a bit academic in nature as well, uniting photography with historical and cultural research to provide more than just a visual picture.

I plan to catalog the various geographical regions of my fair city, Richmond, VA.

Periodically (I have no set interval starting out. Weekly? Monthly?) I'll post an entry about a specific part of Richmond city that includes some geography, background, landmarks, and whatever other relevant and interesting tidbits I can uncover. All of this will be accompanied by photographs I take while visiting these neighborhoods/districts, and its my hope that these pictures will reflect well the character of each locale.

I'm not sure where I'll start yet, but it certainly won't be one of the major sections like The Fan or Shockoe Bottom. I'll hit those, too, but they'll take more time to plan, because I have to find a happy medium between educating the uninitiated and shying away from too-heavily-tread ground.

Keep an eye out!

UPDATE: I believe I'm going to start with Union Hill.

No Show

So my Intermediate B&W Darkroom Photography class - the one about which I was soooo excited - has been cancelled because of low enrollment. Looks like I have the next 10 Wednesday nights free, after all.

On the bright side, Val said she might take the class with me if I try again in the summer :-)

Anyway, stay tuned...I think I just got some nice pics back on a roll of slide film...


Yarf...I feel like I'm 17 all over again...

I just finished writing a bunch of admissions essays, and tomorrow I get to send out recommendation requests. On Friday I pick up several sealed copies of my undergraduate transcript. Then, after I get my W-2 at the end of this month, I get to fill out the FAFSA for the first time since January, 2003. Hooray, I think :-)

GMAT Conquered

I'm feeling high as a kite right now. Okay, not really...I have a nagging headache, and the calzone from lunch is giving my some internal rumblies, but I trust you get my meaning.

Why am I so happy? Well, you see, I took the GMAT this morning, and I think it's safe to say I did well. How well? I don't want to brag, so I'll refrain from posting my score, but let's just say my score makes me comfortable enough to apply to any school in the country. I was seriously nervous about this going in, so now I can finally calm down and relax before I start filling out applications and writing essays next week.

Tonight is celebration time :-)


I've completed my study guide for the GMAT, and over the next three nights it's all practice tests and sample questions.

For now, I'm unwinding by scanning some negatives from before Christmas. I should have a post from that some time tonight :-)

Brain Fry

Holy schlemiel, my skull is simmering. I'm simultaneously getting over a cold, getting back in to work from vacation, and getting in my final studying for the GMAT this Saturday. If I can survive beyond this week I ought to be in much better mental shape for a while...until I have to start writing admissions essays and all that junk.