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Harvard Business School: The Acrostic Poem

Just in case you don’t know what acrostic means:
acrostic n. A poem or series of lines in which certain letters, usually the first in each line, form a name, motto, or message when read in sequence.

H is for HBS Ventures and their ripoff prices. “Fleeces! Hot fleeces, straight outta the factory!” or “Panoramics! Get your panoramics here!” Does this sound familiar? It wouldn’t be so bad if the photos weren’t so terribly expensive. Come on. We love our sections, but HBS Ventures is putting all of us a few hundred big ones in the hole. Good thing they put their store right beside the ATM.

A is for the Arthur Rock Center. Sorry, Arthur Rock Center. You’re the ugliest building on campus. It’s not that you’re ugly per se, it’s just that, you know, wedged between Baker, Morgan, Aldrich, and Shad isn’t helping your cause is all we’re saying, Arthur Rock Centre. Big, brown Cumnock isn’t far behind, though.

R is for Random buildings on campus. Do you know where Mellon is? How about Cotting? Greenhill? Yeah. Didn’t think so. So when someone walks up to you and asks, “Excuse me. Where is Chach Hall?”, simply point somewhere towards the west and say, “Oh, it’s between Aldrich and Hamilton.”

V is for Very comfy Spangler couches. Why oh why are you so very comfy? Your cushions envelop and understand my hungover body. As I sit here, posture is clearly not my thing and every-so-often napping certainly is. The wing chairs near the fireplaces may mock you, but, very comfy couches, you had me at “Lunchtime.”

A is for Aldrich Alcove Etiquette. Okay, here’s the big question. One person is reading quietly in the alcove. Is it proper etiquette to sit down on the other side of the alcove and start reading quietly? We don’t see anything wrong with this, but we’ve received a good amount of stinkeye that says otherwise.

R is for Ridiculous landscaping budget (in a positive way). Come on-admit it. When you’re taking someone around campus for the first time and they marvel at the beautiful HBS grounds, what is the first thing you say? You tell them about that $55 million landscaping budget. We know you do. Then they gasp. And you smile in response, only to contently and calmly state, “Yes. It is truly ridiculous.” We love you Ridiculous landscaping budget.

D is for the Doctoral Program. We may only see you would-be doctors during Analytics or in an odd class here or there taking notes on our participation, but oh, how we appreciate the fact that you are taking the next step. You don’t get the recognition you deserve, but we MBA’s support you DBA’s. We’re down with DBA’s. Seriously. For real. DBA love for life. (Good luck, Ryan-OA.)

B is for Boxes in Aldrich. What’s up with all those flyers? It’s sad to see everybody just tossing handfuls of paper into the trash every day. We suggest either they start slicing up trees and putting them in our boxes directly, or someone moves the whole system online. We know Jostens or Alvin from HBS Ventures can spam us there.

U is for the Ultimate Spangler Cashier: Judy. Listen. When you step up to pay for your meal in the line all the way on the left, you best be ready to tell Judy what you ordered so that she can get you through the line with the speed of light. And for the love of God, don’t dilly-dally by the Skittles or the overpriced Reese’s Pieces in the small PVC containers. Now is clearly not the time for that! Judy demands respect. Give it to her.

S is for Shad. How cool is that place? Mahogany walled treadmill room, what? Whirpool, steam room and saunas, huh? Yoga, spinning and indoor track, um, word? Count ’em 1 2 3 basketball courts? Shad-you’re so hot right now. ‘Nuff said.

I is for International Squash Courts. There are only two of them, so you need to book them as soon as the 48 hour window opens if you want to have a shot. Watch out for that wily Andrew Loh Ah Kee. He’ll steal the court from you if he gets the chance.

N is for Not reading cases. Damn you people. Everyone else reads the cases and you get away with making a mockery of the Socratic Method. Shame on your naughty behavior. You even have the gall to wait until the middle of class, adjust to what’s being said and make a discussion transitioning comment for extra points! Why can’t you just play by the rules?! One day, you will burn in hell. Just kidding. We wish that on no one. You’re just more likely to go to jail.

E is for Executive Education. Have you ever walked between Spangler and SFP around 10 PM only to find a humongous yellow bus depositing a drove of lanyard name tagged, middle-aged men and women on campus? Yup. That’s Exec Ed. Under the cover of night, they wander in herdlike fashion, pointing at buildings and speaking to each other in hushed tones as they make their way towards the bunker that is McArthur. It’s such an efficient system that we MBA’s rarely get to see them come in. Big ups to the TOM department. You optimize the HBS ops so well.

S is for SFP’s maze-like layout. Who else has been wandering around at 11pm looking for SFP #5? I swear they hide that one in a new spot every year. We always end up in the day care playground.

S is for Sandwich ladies. Sandwich lady on the right, thanks for hooking me up with so much tasty extra meat. Sandwich lady on the left, why do you always make me work for it? We love you both.

S is for those Security guards in Aldrich. We know you’re just doing your jobs and everything, but why can’t we do work in the classrooms? We’ll sign a form giving you full authority to add any stolen chalk to my Termbill. Just please-the alcoves are always full.

C is for Cell Phones in the Bathrooms. There’s nothing worse than spotting a crumpled pair of jeans on a pair of shoes under the bathroom stall door and then hearing a voice saying something like “Listen, I’ll meet you in a few minutes in Spangler.” Attention person getting met at Spangler! Your meeter-upper may have just been speaking to you from the can. Think about THAT.

H is for HRES. If you live on campus, you must be asking yourself the same question: Why can’t HBS just run its own residential system so that we can game it a bit? What’s up with that?! I mean, after all, we are Harvard Business School. Is it really necessary to outsource residential services? You’d think we could run a few leases and maintenance here or there.

O is for Oktoberfest, the only remaining holiday for which HBS students have not booked a downtown club, dressed up and charged a $35 entry fee. Yeah, yeah, we know that some students go over to the ACTUAL Oktoberfest in Germany. Sweet. Good for you. But that’s lame. It’s not a real celebration until there’s a poll, PayPal link, trip to Keezer’s to get outfits and an expensive cab ride to Mantra on a Wednesday night. RC’s-get on that.

O is for Outstanding. HBS in every way.

L is for Lights on the tennis courts. Oh, come on. Spangler has three dozen French glazed chandeliers, Morgan has a reconstructed masterpiece from 400 BC Antioch on the lobby floor, and we have two full-time sushi chefs. We all know we can afford those lights. Class of 2007 gift?

Watch out for the AmeriCanadian #3 next week when Anthony and Neil will examine the RC/EC divide…or connection…stay tuned…

April 2, 2007
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