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Summertime in the Land of K

Temple of K Desecrated in Weekend Coup! Imagine our shock on striding into class the Monday after alumni reunion weekend to find the walls of A110 stripped bare and our hand crafted decorations cast into plastic bags. Apparently the powers-that-be deemed our lovingly designed signature kites unsuitable for public display to esteemed alums and ordered the temporary denudation of our HQ. Downstairs, NJ’s Jungle suffered a similar fate. At least the flags survived untouched, and we’re pleased report our lair is gradually being restored to its former splendor.

It’s not just our room that’s seen a few changes. Subtle shifts in the balance of power are afoot among the NK officer ranks. Take ever-obliging Tech Rep Paul Sternhell. There was a time not so long ago when we ingrates viewed the lad as a humble techno-gopher and no more. “PAUL!” we would chant in unison whenever a technical gremlin struck mid-class. And every time Paul would step up to help, unbowed by his shaky grasp of Aldrich AV systems. Then came his ultimate creation, the marvelous, magical, mysterious Section K website. Surf over to sa.hbs.edu/sect2002k/ tonight and see why we’re not chanting any more. President Lou DiLorenzo’s fortunes have been heading in the opposite direction. Formerly a figure commanding instant authority and respect among his peers, Lou is now remembered as the guy who showed up to class in a skimpy pink cheerleader outfit (complete with pom-poms). The story goes that Lou lost out to NJ Prez Greg Fairbank in a post-BGIE-midterm chugging contest and had to pay a sartorial forfeit of Fairbank’s choosing…but you don’t really expect us to buy that, do you Lou?

Newest face in the A110 pit is energetic EM Prof and ex-US Navy Commander Gary Burchill, slayer of latecomers, terror of chip-shooters, and fount of aphoristic wisdom. Worried about how much you’ll remember 10 years out from HBS? True, M&M may have fled the fickle realm of memory, and the 5Cs, 4Ps & 7Ss may be no more than alphabet soup. But for our class, choice Garyisms like “Cash Flow is More Important Than Your Mother” will be harder to forget. He may have a nice line in avuncular advice, but Burchill’s no soft touch: woe betide the student who floats a point without a detailed grasp of the relevant case evidence. At least we can count on factmeister Preston Schell to come to the rescue.

Fears that the temporary relaxation of the forced curve and the debut of another new Prof might dampen contributory ardor in Society & Enterprise proved unfounded, as the whole class weighed in with diverse perspectives on the broader role of business. The highlight came when Alex Rogers set a new record for mammalian physiological endurance by talking for 10 minutes without once pausing for breath. Gasps of amazement were drowned in a chorus of cheers as Alex wrapped up, a bluish tinge upon his lips. At the time of writing, Alex’s achievement reigns supreme in spite of valiant efforts by Kim Scott and Mike Choo to go one better.

Our social scene remains as intense as ever, thanks to the efforts of Kim and her little helpers. Morton’s steakhouse saw the Men of K descend en masse for a decadent Monday night feast of seafood, filet mignon and chocolate cake, washed down with exotic beverages. Enophile Roland de Demandolx demonstrated exquisite French flair in choosing a magnificent Burgundy for our table and earned our admiration and respect in the process – until we saw the check. We’re students, remember, Roland? Matt Crossland’s dinner companions paid a similar price to indulge the McKinsey star’s weakness for Lagavulin, one of Scotland’s finest single malts. The most memorable sight came after dinner: Mr vT himself looking the very model of a modern Mafioso as he counted out several thousand dollars in cash, cigar in mouth and drink at hand.

20 lucky Ks had an even finer culinary outing when Asha Banker and her parents generously hosted a weekend Indian food festival at their home in Weston, MA. The fabulous spread included Sri Lankan marinated chicken and mango ice cream, altogether very different from and much tastier than the fare you’d receive at your local Indian restaurant. Reports indicated Asha’s mum was impressed with her daughter’s new friends, viewing her guests as “much nicer than I thought HBS students would be”. You’re clearly a woman of some taste, Mrs B.

Why did we feel so miffed at the unannounced de-decoration of our classroom? Perhaps because, just like the recent graduation festivities, it served as a stark reminder of how soon our time living and learning together as a section will be over. In two short months, the new challenges of EC will beckon and before we know it, we too will be shepherding our proud parents to their seats on Baker Beach. But it ain’t over yet folks – and you can bet the Kids of K will be working working hard and playing hard to make our last two months together the best of them all!

June 18, 2001
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