Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why do you build me up just to let me down and mess me around?

Apologies to The Foundations for borrowing their lyrics ("Build Me Up Buttercup") for the title of this blog post, but....

Dear Darden,

I have a question for you: seriously?  Now, I've heard all about "Black November" at Darden.  It's like one of those "the school, the myth, the legend" kind of things around here.  I know that I'm not supposed to have any free time at all, that I'm supposed to be getting 3.25 hours of sleep each night, that I should be making 5+ networking calls a day, that I should be calculating WACCs and de-levering betas in my dreams.  I get it.  Really, I do.  I was expecting it.  And frankly, my November didn't start out too terribly wonderfully.  I didn't understand anything in either Finance or Global Economies & Markets.  I hated my resume.  I was grumpy, for a variety of personal versions.  In other words, I was ready for Black November. 

Then, Darden, you decided to lure me into a false sense of security and complacency.  You gave me a light caseload last week.  My learning team didn't have to meet after Tuesday.  We got to go on a field trip, fifth grade style, complete with busses and a lunch consisting of turkey sandwiches on white bread and chocolate chip cookies.  I can't remember the last time I had a sandwich on plain white bread.  It was nostalgic.   I had time to pay my bills, clear out my DVR, and watch a movie from NetFlix.  I went to TNDC for the first time since September, without feeling guilty, because I got to sleep in the next morning since class didn't start until 10:15 for a change.  I got to clean my apartment from top to bottom because I actually had time to do it, not because I was using domesticity as a procrastination excuse.  In my view, having time to scrub your floors on hands and knees, with Pinesol, at 3 pm on a Thursday afternoon when you don't have company coming is the height of self-indulgence, an activity typically reserved for the unemployed or ladies who lunch.  The rest of the world uses Swiffers.   This weekend, I had time to make coffee cakes to motivate my Section E-mates to get up and play Darden Cup soccer.  I baked bread.  I made chicken noodle soup, from an actual raw chicken and a big pot of water and some chopped up vegetables.   It felt like exam week, only so much better.

Then this week started.  Monday was Black Monday, in my view.  I don't know what happened to the stock market, but my levels of joy and satisfaction with life plummeted well below 10,000.  I had a paper due that should have taken me 2 hours to write.  It took me HOURS, and I finished it 20 minutes before the deadline.  It was a 4-page paper.  WTF, Darden?  You've robbed me of my ability to write papers, and I was a paper-writing fiend before you converted me to a spreadsheet junkie.  I realized this week that my resume still stinks.  I haven't written any cover letters, and I have three weeks until on-grounds job applications are due.  I'm behind on preparing for case interviews.  I have several networking calls set up for later this week, but I'm still behind the ball.  I REALLY have no idea what's going on in Finance.  My class participation has fallen off a cliff.  We have a marketing simulation (StratSim) from 1:30 pm-9:30 pm today and 9 am-9:30 pm tomorrow.  It's raining today, and it suddenly went from 70 degrees to winter.  I feel like I'm drowning.  I'd rather go back to working 90+ hour weeks at a law firm. 

Darden, I understand that this month is called "Black November" for a reason.  I just think it was really mean of you to make me think that everything was peaches and cream last week.  If you were a man, I would dump you, because I consider that false advertising, and it's a problem in any relationship.  Take that, Buttercup.



  1. And despite all of the will get through it. Trust me. :)

  2. Awesome post! Your writing style and sense of humor is pretty unique. Way to go and hang in there! You will be more than OK.

  3. I want to say great post, but that would be sadistic, given that I just went through the entire drill last year! I don't want to say Trust the Process because you just might kill me when we finally meet at our Blogger meeting next week.
    Warning - it's only going to get blacker as the month progresses and no I'm not talking about the weather! But before you know it, it'll be over and you'll be free and you'll love yourself (even more) for having got through this. Trust me (if not the process)!

  4. Oh my, I remember those days! And somehow, some way, I was going to the gym 3 days a week at 6a. Sometimes it pays to be busy. I promise, it gets better, it gets "easier" and black November is the home stretch until winter break. Best of luck and keep your head UP!! :D

  5. Lol, you think Black November is bad! Wait till you have to take your Bar exam (especially if it is NY Bar) in 2013 :). Great post though, made me nostalgic.