Buzzz, Buzzz, Buzzz- Vibrating Cell Phones in Class.

Texting is huge part of everyone’s life these days and it is turning into the main form of communication for people our age. My question is this: Is it necessary to sit the phone on the desk in front of you, and allow the noise of the vibration to disrupt the people around you? I guess being in the Working Professionals MBA program, there are quite a few people that own smartphones, be it an iPhone or Blackberry.  It seems that only people with smartphones have this “vibrating” issue. I’m not saying that receiving a text during class is a crime. Don’t get me wrong; when that special someone sends me a text, my day becomes instantly better. My only gripe is that phones sit on the desk instead of being tucked away in a purse or pocket. I don’t mind someone keeping a phone in front of them as a means of keeping track of time; just use the silent function that is built into the phone. Would you keep your phone on vibrate during an important business meeting with the CEO of your company AND keep it out on the table in front of you?

For everyone that is unaware of how to use the silent function, here is a brief description:

iPhone: Choose Settings, and follow the directions provided from the Apple website below:iPhone

Blackberry:  The Blackberry website states: “To silence your BlackBerry® device, in the profiles list, select the Quiet profile.”

I realize emergencies happen. I also understand that most of us are unable to talk with significant others or children all day because of the schedule of this program. I recognize WHY people text during class, just not why they choose to leave their phone on vibrate.

Google- Not Just A Search Engine

Quick, if someone asks you a question, and you are not sure of the answer, where do you look for the answer? By the price of stock for Google, a whopping $517.54/share, it would seem that everyone in the world goes to Google. Don’t let Google fool you into thinking it is just a way of finding out useful pieces of information that was unknown 30 seconds prior. Google is growing into an empire.  Take a look at the options that Google has available: Google Chrome, which is “a browser built for speed, stability and security”, Google Health, which allows you to “organize your medical records online”, Google Maps, Gmail, Calendar, and don’t forget that it is a search engine! This is just the tip of the Google iceberg, click here for a complete list of options.

Next time you visit Google in an attempt to find the answer to a tough question that everyday life throws at you, take a look at everything else the “search engine” has to offer. My personal favorite is the look of the Google Logo, also known as the “Google Doodle”, and how it changes depending on holidays or important events. Today was a picture of a UPC, celebrating the 57th anniversary of the bar code’s patent on October 7, 1952. If you click on the Google Logo of the day, it will perform a search based on the event that it is depicted. I learned that the first barcode was scanned in Troy, Ohio on a pack of Juicy Fruit. So do yourself a favor, and click on the Google image of the day and learn a fun fact. Then go check out all the other useful things that Google has to offer.

Below is one of my favorite Google Doodles:

Google Image on July 20, 2009
Celebrating 40 years since man landed on the Moon

Picture taken from Google website

I have less and less free time

Tomorrow will be the fifth time we meet for class and things are starting to pick up. I have my first MBA 870 midterm on October 20th and my team is in the process of picking a project for MBA 812. Not only that, but work has been very busy and my social calendar is very busy this month as I have stated before. In order to get my work done, I am going to need to make it over to the library for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday morning.

Friday through Sunday I have the Italian festival. I am 0% Italian but my condo is literally inside the festival grounds and so I always have friends and family over that weekend to eat, drink and have fun. Sunday night I am going to see comedian David Cross who some of you might know from Mr. Show with Bob and David or Arrested Development. As of this writing, tickets are still available.

Monday night I am going to see Wilco at Mershon Auditorium. If you are a fan of good independent music, you need to keep an eye on the Wexner Center’s website for upcoming shows. I have seen a lot of great bands there over the last few years. There are still a few tickets available for the Wilco show as well, but I am guessing that it will probably sell out before Monday.

If you do decide to go to the Italian Festival this weekend, you can get 50% off of admission if you bring this flyer provided by Experience Columbus. Sunday afternoon I will post pictures from the Italian Festival for those of you that may be interested.

Becoming an American citizen

It’s been almost five years since I have come to live in the United States and this Thursday (10/8) I will be taking my naturalization test in hopes of becoming an American citizen.

Since coming to the U.S. I have finished my undergrad, worked in two different American corporations, got married, got a dog, met several great people, and finally started the MBA program.  It’s amazing to think about all that has happened since I first arrived here and it is always fun to remember the unique experiences I have had here: snow days and driving in bad weather, interacting with people from different cultures, etc…it’s been a great ride!

Trip to NYCI know a lot of people would be really worried about the test, but I am actually looking forward to it.  Since I was young I have had the dream of living and studying in the U.S. – being a citizen would be a true honor.

In preparation for the upcoming test, this weekend I went through the studying materials one more time and, for those of you that do not know, the naturalization test covers: 1) civics (basically U.S. history), and 2)English.

I shall keep you posted on the results if I learn anything on Thursday.  For those of you that have just arrived in the U.S., I will dedicate some of my upcoming posts to give you a flavor of some of the cultural shock that you may experience in your first year here.  Regardless of where you come from, this is indeed a great country.

Have a great week and stay warm!

Recording lectures

I started my MBA program hoping to record most lectures using a digital voice recorder.  My plan was to review lectures during my commute to work or class.  For my Organizational Behavior class (MBA860), the recordings were invaluable (Thanks to Prof. Ford for his permission) .  This is especially true when the professor does not use or make available his lecture notes.
This quarter, however, I am not using the voice recorder.  In MBA870 Data Analysis, the class is primarily based on in-class  laptop/Excel work in which recordings would not nearly be as useful.  My other class, MBA825 Enhancing Professional Exchange (Speech), does have several lecture days however the professor preferred that students not taped his lectures.  I fully understand his reasons for such, though it sure is nice to have the lecture recordings available in case I have to miss class for business travel or sickness.
  • Always ask permission first before recording the lectures.
  • When recording, try to sit close to the professor so the recordings are clear.
  • If you bother recording lectures, then listen to them!  Recordings demand some extra attention in order to classify, sort, save, and burn CD’s.

Ohio State Football

If you are not familiar with Ohio State Football and how much it means to the city of Columbus, you are in for a big surprise when you step on campus on a football Saturday. A stretch of Lane Avenue is closed from High Street to Olentangy River Road to make room for tailgating and football fun. Everywhere you look, you will find Scarlet jerseys, Ohio State apparel, and buckeye necklaces. Sounds of The Ohio State Marching Band play from various speakers up and down the street. You hear someone yell out a loud “O-H!”, and with that comes an even louder uproar of” I-O!”. As game time approaches, the fans lucky enough to have tickets pour into the stadium to watch TBDBITL perform “Script Ohio” at the start of the game.

The Illinois game showcased the dedication of Buckeye fans. It was raining hard, rain that just never let up in the first half, but the stands were filled with fans to support their Buckeyes. The crowd noise was loud throughout the game, which led to penalties and poor decisions by the Illinois quarterback. Stadium OHIO and the exuberance that reverberates around the stadium is nothing short of amazing. If you are not familiar with how this works- basically the stadium divides up into four sections, each with a letter. It starts with the south stands- O- and travels around, H, I, O. It continues to go around the stadium until the kickoff.

After four quarters of marching down the field and an Ohio State victory, the team heads to the South Stadium and joins in with the band to sing The Ohio State University’s alma mater, Carmen Ohio. To learn more about Carmen Ohio and other Ohio State fight songs, click HERE.

This was just a small taste of an Ohio State game day. Game days are not only about football, they are an opportunity to step away from school work and enjoy an afternoon with your closest friends.

We didn't let the rain stop us from having a great time!
We didn't let the rain stop us from having a great time!

Weekend studying and other stuff

This weekend was rather uneventful. I spent my time sleeping, studying, catching up on TV shows and watching sports. And I also just got back from seeing “It Might Get Loud” at the Landmark Gateway Theater on campus, which was good, but not quite as good as I was hoping.

This morning I went to campus around 10:30 am to do some studying for MBA 812 and MBA 870. Unfortunately, the main library doesn’t open until 11 am on Sundays so I ended up going to the Science & Engineering library, which I know from my undergrad days is open 24 hours a day. There I was able to get a few hours of studying in and get caught up on some of my reading and homework.

On the way back to my car from the Science & Engineering libary, I decided to stop in the main library and look around since it was recently renovated. Wow. The library looked really great. It is much, much nicer than it was when I was an undergrad. However, one downside is that it was very crowded and I don’t think I’d be able to focus as well there.

Rewinding the weekend a little, the Buckeyes and Blue Jackets both won on Saturday night. I am a big Blue Jackets fan and Saturday night was their first game of the season so it was nice to see them get off to a good start. I had some friends over and we set up two TVs so we could watch both games at the same time.

The weekend is winding down now, but fortunately tonight I have some time to watch a few of my favorite shows: Curb Your Enthusiasm and Mad Men. If you haven’t seen either of these shows, I recommend checking them out.

Don’t study in bed

Now that pool season is over, I’m in search of a new place to study. I tried studying in bed yesterday, but that never works no matter how many times I try.

When it was warm, I could trick myself into believing I was having fun while studying if I sat by the pool and did it. But now that we have to take it indoors, I don’t know what to do. If I stay home to study, there’s always something more  important that needs to be done like brushing my cat or laundry or just about anything else.

I’ve also tried studying in coffee shops because it seems like the cool thing to do, but I don’t want to have to buy anything.

Does anywone know good places to study? Also, who knows what the good WiFi spots are?


Economics and Baseball

As I read through my Economics text this weekend about comparative advantage and specialization, I was amazed the textbook used a sports analogy to explain the situation.

For all of you that have not had the pleasure of taking MBA 812, and at the risk of sounding  like a text book, the Principle of Comparative Advantage states that “everyone does best when each person concentrates on the activities for which his or her opportunity cost is lowest.” Opportunity cost is defined as the value of the next-best alternative that must be given up in order to perform the activity.

Okay, back to sports: The book gives a great example of how baseball players no longer hit .400. For all of you not familiar with baseball, hitting .400 involves getting four hits for every ten at bats. This may seem easy, but the average for the entire league in 2008 was .264! That means that only 26.4% of the time that someone walks up to the plate, they would get a hit! Can you imagine if we could slide by with a 26.4% on an exam?

Ted Williams was the last person to hit over .400 in a season, and that was in 1941.  The book  states specialization as the reason for .400 batting averages not occurring in recent times. Basically, instead of being a jack of all trades, MLB pitchers are now becoming specialized in how they pitch. You have relievers, closers, left and right handed pitchers for specific situations, and the starter is not forced to pitch an entire game. This makes it much more difficult for hitters, as they may face three or four different pitchers in a game!

It all makes sense! Concentrate on the activities which you perform best relative to others, and you will succeed!  Now, the question is, which activities do you perform best?

And so it begins…

One down…how many more to go??  And so this two-year journey starts…

If you haven’t realized yet, I am a first year, first quarter WPMBA student who is now juggling school and a very loaded work schedule.  I meant to write something interesting during the weekend, but guess what?? EXACTLY!!! I spent most of the weekend trying to catch up (already!) with all of the reading material assigned for week 2!

By now you have probably heard all about the first week of classes and the mixed expectations between first year first quarter students (me!) and the rest of the crowd – so I won’t bore you with that.  The only comment I will make is that, regardless of how we feel, we are all in this together and hopefully we will all make it through the two years.

Check back and next time (maybe tomorrow) I will tell you all about my upcoming immigration test (10/8) and what it’s like to go through that experience. Stay tuned!!