Best wishes for 2007

Afb008_1On the last day of 2006, I look back on a year that was so weird and wonderful and magical that I couldn’t have imagined it on December 31st 2005. So here’s hoping that 2007 will bring wonderful surprises too, and health and love and happiness to my loved ones.
The blessing I used last year worked well, so I’m using it again this year:

Lucky stars above you,
Sunshine on your way,
Many friends to love you,
Joy in work and play-
Laughter to outweigh each care,
In your heart a song-
And gladness waiting everywhere
All your whole life long!

I hope you have a wonderful 2007 and I wish that all your wishes and dreams will come true!

Life in New York is just so real

Afb029Spotted on Fifth Avenue: Life in New York is just so real. And I think that sort of sums up my experience: my life in New York was so real too! Following RsR’s lead, I also feel the need to write down a short review of my time in New York.

* NYC itself. What a fabulous city. I love the energy, the city really truly never sleeps, I love the museums (see left for a phone photo from the Guggenheim which I visited the other day), the shops, the street life… London is still the love of my city-life (well, after my hometown that is), but I’ve fallen in love with New YorkAfb013
* Advertising Management course, which was well taught and I learned so much. Never knew that advertising could be so interesting!
* Travel. I had the opportunity to go to Washington, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco and I loved all of them, albeit in different ways. If I had to choose, I would say that Seattle was my favourite this time around.
* Being in the Thanksgiving Day Parade!
* The time I had to take a step back and think about what I want to do career-wise and life-wise. Being on a different continent helped me get my head straight in a number of areas.

* the Subway… well, that’s kind of a mixed bag. It’s dirty and takes forever to get somewhere and the trains at night are very infrequent. BUT: it’s cheap and runs through the night (Ken Livingstone: idea for London?)
* the food. Although I’ve had some really nice food in the US and New York, I think that overall the quality and availability of good and relatively cheap food is better in Europe

All in all, I am soooo glad I did the exchange. It was one of the reasons I choose to go to LBS, and like the rest of my MBA experience it was wonderful in ways I couldn’t even imagine. I would highly recommend an exchange if your MBA offers it. It will open your mind and adds a nice icing on the MBA cake.

I’m on my last few hours in New York. Done with the xmas shopping (all that’s left now is to find something to read on the plane), done with academics. Tonight we’re meeting up with a few people for dinner, and then tomorrow it’s off home to my parents. There might be snag there though, since I’m traveling on BA via London to Amsterdam. And fog is keeping planes on the ground in London. So everyone send me good travelkarma so I can be home for Christmas!

Wishing everyone a very merry and peaceful Christmas!


Afb0028One of the tendencies that I’m noticing in the US is how some people throw around -lize like it’s Sinterklaas candy. Verbalize and visualize I am used to, but it seems that every verb here can be -lized. Write-alize, threatenalize… I see a whole new class of words poppalizing up and wonder when they’ll materialize in the Oxford English Dictionary (or maybe they already have and I’m too old fashioned in my English and I should catch-up-alize).

Today I sat the last exam of 2006, Entrepreneurial Finance, which was probably also the hardest, since I missed a few classes and worked hard to catch up. And to be honest, mezzanine finance and leveraged buyouts and fulcrum securities don’t come naturally to me. But it’s done now and I’m a free woman again! Strangely enough exams are kinda cathartic, in a pseudo-sado-masochistic kinda way… It’s nice to have an official closure I suppose. Plus you never learn more than when prepping for an exam. And I’ve used my skills in lean-and-mean cribsheet making (I wonder how that will look on my CV) again, which was fun (yes, fun, I like making cribsheets)!

Big shout out to the R1 applicants (assuming that there are R1 applicants reading this), I know the decision is coming soon, hang in there, it’s tough having to wait, but it’s almost decision time! And for the R2s: good luck finishing the application!

[edit: thought about taking out the sado-masochistic, since I’ve been getting strange hits through Google, but didn’t. Type in cocaine and Amsterdam and I’m on the 4th page… And I’m the least likely source when it comes to either of those, let alone the combination!! Just realised that talking about this will probably boost my rankings again… rats. Doomed if I do, doomed if I don’t.]

Please refrain from dancing

Afb007The Stern International Office were so kind to throw all the outgoing exchange students a drinks reception in a nice bar a few blocks from School on Thursday. And in that bar was the sign on the left. Apparently, New York has very peculiar liquor licences, where there are strict differences between clubs (where you CAN dance) and bars (where you CAN’T dance). But what I was wondering about is who’s enforcing this? I’ve not seen a policeman come into a bar and check whether anyone was dancing. And when is dancing dancing? Is tapping your foot dancing? How much of your body needs to move in order to qualify as dancing?

Afb004_2I’ve got 3 more exams and a small project left before I’m done with my academic work at Stern this semester, and I’ve slowly started to look around for Christmas gifts for my family. We will celebrate Sinterklaas (December 5th, which is when Dutch kids get gifts from Sinterklaas, a cousin of Santa and Father Christmas) at Christmas this year and when I saw the gift on the left I was so tempted to get it for my brother… but it won’t fit in my suitcase :-(

Today held a first for me: I had my first complete macrobiotic meal. Never had it before, was never really sure if I wanted to, but miss M and I went and tried it today. And it was good! I had vegetable tempura as a starter (*love* tempura!!) and pad thai for main course. Tasty, good and not very expensive: my kind of meal!