Tuesday, December 13, 2011

As the Bloodstained Tears Flow on to the Carnation

Third white shirt of the week? Check! Black Suit? Check! White Bow Tie? Check! Academic gown? Check! Mortar Board? Check! Why am I matriculating again? No I'm not....its the third day of exams and i am simply putting out appropriate clothing. Yes you heard that right...we have to sit for 2-3 hours everyday, dressed up like that for five days and try to figure out the trigger for a colluding oligopolist. Sigh....we'll survive.

Another great exam tradition is 'Sub fusc is specially adorned with an appropriately-coloured carnation by students taking exams, which it is reputedly unlucky to buy for oneself. They vary in colour from white (for the first exam of a given set) through pink (for intermediate ones) to red (for the last one). This allows those who have completed their examinations to be singled out and covered in things by way of enforced revelry.It is said that the carnations vary in colour to symbolise the flow of blood-stained tears from examinees'.

We've had exams in Managerial Economics and Decision Science with Strategy, Financial Reporting and Finance to come....I think its been a general consensus that the exams have gone well so far...probably due to the numerous support classes organised by classmates. Its been a tough couple of weeks and we're all just glad its coming to an end.....the highlight of my week was the silent disco session in the library organised by one of my classmates http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL49r-aD72c&feature=share.

Finally I leave you with this awesome Ted talk by David, one of my classmates......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGiHU-agsGY

P.S I don't know any of the gentlemen in the picture above (Thank you google)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Its the Little Things.....

When I was being interviewed, the inevitable 'why Oxford' came up. Of course having done my research, I gave the usual 'Oxford has a long and distinguished history with a reputation for educating leaders' among other stuff which sounded great then but had little practical implication. Having had a semester to experience this school, what have I grown to cherish? I would say its the little things like...

An awesome classmate facilitating an exam review session.

Getting a group of ultra competitive achievers to have such a collaborative outlook is no mean feat. Now I understand when admissions officers talk about 'fit'....there's such a huge collaborative spirit at this school that I feel that it would be tough for non-collaboratively minded people to fit in.

One of my classmates expressed my sentiment perfectly when he said 'I've never been in a class where the semester ended with a standing ovation for the lecturer; clearly we've all had an amazing eight weeks'. The standing ovation was for our Financial reporting professor who managed to make us love (or like at least) the course. To show our appreciation, we had shirts made with his catch phrase....

'Give Me Double Entry'.....

And it wasn't just him. Practically every single lecturer was amazing! Our Economics professor was so beloved by previous classes that a blog http://mungonomics.wordpress.com/ was created to capture some of his best quotes.

Our Decision and Data Analytics professor, in addition to helping me finally understand those regression tables, regularly has me in stitches with some phrases inserted in lecture notes;


The fact that the school is over 800 years old comes alive when you walk around the town and stumble upon signs like these;

Casually walked past the site where Boyle's Law was discovered and the microscope invented in the 1600s 
Bill Clinton was clearly up to no good in the 60s

Same for Bob Hawke. 2 pints in 11 seconds? That's no mean feat!

Looking back over the last semester, I am truly glad that I came here and wouldn't change a thing.....(and this overwhelming love for the school wasn't triggered by the fact that we were provided free beer today to commemorate the end of the term....ok maybe just a little bit)