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And So It Begins

John Harvard’s. Grafton. The Kong. Gilbert Tang. These are all names that RCs became very familiar with during Orientation Week. As we enter our third week of classes, those times of team-building, “what did you do” and “where are you from” already seem long gone. So let us reminisce a bit about the good old days-a time when we were surrounded by 909 unemployed people, got eight plus hours of sleep per night, and had no idea what TOM stood for-other than the cat that chased Jerry around.

Orientation Week unofficially launched on Saturday, August 26, with a party at Bar 33 in Boston. The turnout at 33 was colossal, already depicting the clout of the HBS network. Former acquaintances from Admit Weekend reunited with each after long summers, while many others met for the first time. The Analytics folks formed what some might call a fraternity and sectional pride was abundant. The formal orientation program kicked off on Monday, with registration, small group dinner assignments and a SA Welcome Reception on the lawn. Tuesday and Wednesday consisted of more administrative tasks such as getting our pictures taken (which no one warned would appear on our classcards for the broader community to see), getting our laptops secured, and taking tours of Baker Library. Ten “small” group dinners, which ironically consisted of 90 people each, took place in the evening at various restaurants around Cambridge such as Fire and Ice, Pizzeria Uno’s, and the infamous Kong. The dinners were followed by a pub crawl, which did not go beyond two or three bars for most people-makes me wonder if the Harvard undergrads will show us up this fall. I must give credit, however, to the brave folks who have been making it out to Harvard Square every night in observation of the 108 Days of Decadence. I, on the other hand, am embarrassed to say that I have not been to any thus far, as sleep has become too precious to me these days.

By Wednesday of Orientation Week, just as I was beginning to think that I had met a significant portion of my class, I walked into Burden Auditorium for our Welcome Reception, only to realize how colossally mistaken I really was. There we were-all 910 members of the Class of 2008, listening to the case of Mr. Sharmil Mody, our “exposed” protagonist. It made me wonder, would we ever get to know every single one of our classmates? However, even by Week 3, I must say that I am surprised by the number of people that we actually manage to recognize, especially as section events, learning team dinners, and club-sponsored events become more popular.

After catapulting eggs with our respective Learning Teams on Thursday, the RC class was ready for the weekend to begin. Despite the chilliness and rain, great times were had on the booze cruise in Boston. By the end of the night, all 910 of us were crammed into the lower level of the boat, dancing to Prince’s “Party Like It’s 1999.”

RC classes finally began on Tuesday, as we scrambled to get adjusted to reading cases and preparing to discuss them. The first day of class was definitely a shocker for me. The fact that I was overwhelmed with work without any activities even having started, such as recruiting, clubs, etc., made me nervous. However, as I write this article (during our 2nd week of class), I am already beginning to feel accustomed to my routine of getting 5 – 6 hours of sleep, going to Learning Team, trying to stay plugged into class, and perhaps mustering the energy to organize a small group outing in the evening. I did find myself wondering a few times, was it worth it, putting all this effort into one case? One can spend hours preparing and not even get called on in class. And once a case is over, that’s it-you move on (except in the case of Eric Peterson who managed to come with B, C, D and even E). All in all, I hope that you aren’t stressing too much. I hope you find some relief in knowing that you are not alone and that your fellow classmates are probably all going through the same thing. I’m pretty confident that once we get into the swing of things, the cases will get easier, we’ll get used to functioning on 5 hours of sleep, and we’ll have more time to enjoy dinners, football games, outings and other events. So let the games begin..

And lastly, a special shout out goes to Section B (as in best)-the only section to boast a fervent Philate (if you don’t know what this means, look it up) and also publish a weekly section newsletter (thanks to Mr. G-Tang). Go Little B!

September 18, 2006
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