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Welcome Back! Winter Semester Promises Good Times, Bad Weather

January is here and so starts the winter semester – and for half of us, it’ll be the last. But for RCs, the worst is behind you. You survived your first cold call, a gauntlet of final exams, and surely cut down on the number of wrong turns you’ll take navigating the HBS tunnel system in the rest of your time here.

Now comes winter, which is basically not much different than fall semester as far as class goes, but getting to and from class becomes a challenge. Nor-Easter, Nio, Nia, Chalupa, whatever – all words that conjure up images of the worst winter has to offer. The snow is bad, but the wind is that much worse. I’ll guarantee it always hurts and no matter how many times you curse Boston weather as you make your way across the Weeks footbridge, it never fails to impart the feeling of a million, wet, tiny-people hands slapping you on the face all at once, which is never a good thing. And then there’s the snow: how much of it do you want? Try record amounts last year.

But I digress. This semester promises to be even better than the last. Spring Break, Newport Ball, Tremblant, and all the ski trips and section retreats in between give these next few months the potential to be more pompous and excessive than the last. You ask, “How can you top all the neat stuff I did in the fall?” The answer is that I can’t give you that answer, but for me it will have something to do with a bottle of Scotch, a pony, and a couple of Stretch Armstrongs.

So, I asked myself how I could help my fellow classmates better prepare for an enjoyable second half of the school year. Perhaps there is some way I could put my learnings to use in a way that would strengthen the social fabric that is the HBS community, the bedrock of the HBS experience.

At HBS, we’re taught to quickly and efficiently digest the facts and separate fact from fiction to make important business decisions. With that in mind, I set about putting to rest some popular myths perpetuated throughout the halls of HBS during the semester, and which, left unaddressed, may negatively affect the winter semester chapter of your HBS experience.

Yogurt Parfaits Are Made of People:
True. I was told that it isn’t yogurt plus granola that feeds our unhealthy addiction to a seemingly healthy Spangler favorite, the yogurt parfait, but rather people, just like in that Soylent Green movie. Lab results are on their way.

Clapping Too Much Is Socially Acceptable:
False. Before HBS, the only time I used to clap was when I felt the need to salute a statistically significant No. 2. Now it happens way too much, so let’s all try to keep it to a minimum. Slapping your hands together is only fun up to a point.

Baker Library Wooden Arm-Thingys Are Not Only Armed, But Also Extremely Dangerous:
True. If you remember anything, remember this: “One for one.” That means one push of the button gets you an admission of one – and only one – to the Baker Library Reading Room. I’ve seen many an HBSer get belt-checked by the Baker Reading Room billy clubs, but none more traumatizing than one day when the billy clubs raucously engaged in a mutually un-agreed upon game of stick ball with the private parts of a fellow sectionmate.

Team North Face is No Longer Accepting Hate Mail:
True. I thought conformity was lame before coming to HBS, but now I just roll with the punches. So yes, you will see an overabundance of black North Face jackets this winter, and I will be buried deep somewhere in that herd of jackets. Besides, I find that trying to be like everyone else is a good way to hide all of my inadequacies, so don’t hate, appreciate.

My Office Smells of Rich Mahogany and I Have Many Leather-Bound Books:
True.

Jack Callahan Mugs Have Been Discounted 40% after a Disappointing Holiday Sales Season:
True. If you’re interested, meet me in the parking lot at 4pm if you want to check out the inventory I have left in the trunk of my ’84 Buick Grand National (all right, I lied – it’s just a Buick Regal and I e-Bayed the Grand National insignia).

Burritos are the Modern-Day ‘Manna’:
True. Votes were tallied by a third-party vendor and results were as follows: 1) Burritos, 2) Manna and 3) Go-Gurt. All I’m saying is that if it started raining burritos, I’d hope to have an industrial-sized tub of sour cream within arm’s length.

Sometimes When Going up the Stairs to the Second Floor of Aldrich Hall, I Have to Take a Breather and Subsequently Deny That the Salad Bowl-Sized Serving of FroYo That I Just Finished Had Anything To Do With The Sudden Onset of Fatigue:
False. It is at this point that I curse whoever it was that invented two-story buildings.

Well, that takes care of that. I hope I’ve done more good than bad today, but if there are any other nagging myths, rumors, or other literary devices you’d care for me to address, shoot me an email and I’ll gladly continue to fight the good fight for my fellow HBSers.

Bundle up and enjoy – here’s to a great winter semester!

January 23, 2006
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