Tuesday, January 08, 2013

First Day of School!

Yesterday was my first day at ESADE, and perhaps my favorite first day of school ever.  I suppose that is fitting since it might be my last first day of school ever. Sniff.

Backing up.  First I just want to say that I am ridiculously lucky to have Jen as a roommate. There are many reasons why, but for starters: she brought a french press and makes us coffee every morning. From the first time I met Jen, I thought she was one of the coolest people born - and now I get to verify it first hand. 
I only had one class yesterday. Ironically, all four of the McCombs exchange students are also in this class. James, Jen and I took the FGC to San Cugat and then made the 15 minute walk to campus. It's about an hour trek from apartment to school.  Well, that's what I assume. For the sake of honesty, none of us were paying attention while on the train and we overshot our station by about 6 stops.  Three super smart MBAs I tell ya!

Luckily we had given ourselves plenty of time and the extra 36 minutes didn't make too much of a difference. Oops. When we left the train station, we found our way to campus by following other students wearing "ESADE MBA" backpacks.  It was a big awkward when they would stop to talk to people on the street and we would duck away pretending we weren't waiting for them to keep walking. Of course, once we got to campus another exchange student confessed he was following us. Go figure. 

The ESADE Creapolis is splendid. In many aspects it reminds me of the BCG Dallas office - modern and full of glass and light. The three of us were pretty giddy upon walking inside. I included professional pictures below to compensate for my, er, lack of camera skills.

So our first class: "In Search of a Life Philosophy."  This may just be the coolest class I have ever taken. Here's my rendition of the professor at the start of class. "It's good this is an afternoon class, as these topics are not for the morning. The 30 minute coffee break is essential. In fact, it would be better to have this class from 7-10pm over some cervezas. And by the way, I confess that I don't know a thing."  (That last part was clearly a giant lie, because I think he is one of the most thoughtful professors I have had to date.) 

The class format is as follows: first 1/4 - discussion of a big business concept, second 1/4 - discussion of the reading and class responses, coffee break, third 1/4 - music and interpretation of paintings, last 1/4 - discussion to develop one principle of a life philosophy.  Yesterday went like this: 1) Discussion of bubbles and financial markets from a viewpoint of self-deception and greed; 2) Discussion of the reading "Liar" from "I, Robot" by Isaac Assimov; 3) coffee break, 4) Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" and discussion of about 25 paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Manet, Freud, Modgliani, and Hopper; 5) Develop the first principle dealing with optimism and self-deception.

I'm not exactly sure how to fully express my excitement about this class. If you know me, you will know that I was in the front row geeking out with a gigantic smile on my face for 3 hours. Wow.

After the train ride home, Jen, James, Kristin and I went to a neighborhood restaurant called Elsa & Fred, and toasted our first day with the best wine of all time. For 10 euros. Have I mentioned I love this place?!! Not enough? Okay, I will be better.

I LOVE BARCELONA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And as promised, some professional pictures of ESADE.

I took today (Tuesday) easy and tomorrow I have two new classes - Branding and Geopolitics. I honestly cannot wait for class. Who would have thought. :)


Marisa said...

How exciting! So glad you are having an amazing time!

Taline said...

Is there a reading list for In Search of a Life Philosophy? Can you share?