How to lose a “1” in ten days!

Congratulations to all the first year honors! May many more come your way.

Congratulations to all the other ECs. If your stories come anywhere close to the ones that emerged from Section H (Jagadesh!), you deserve a lot of respect.

As for the RCs, welcome to HBS! Some of you are going to be vying to be first year honors and other bakers (I am expecting a fresh loaf of bread on my porch every Sunday ? ). Good for you. This article will show you what not to do. I am sure all of you are familiar with the HBS grading system, 1, 2, 3 and yes, the elusive 4- “3 with attitude.” Here is how to lose a 1, or get a 4 in 10 days. In the end, it’s all about attitude.

Day 1
Arrive 20 minutes late to class. Step over all your rowmates to get to your seat. Take out your lavish buffet breakfast and start eating while making as much noise as possible.

Day 2
If you don’t have the answer to a cold call, start giving case facts from a different case. To the startled looks of both your professor and your sectionmates, declare out loud: “I know this is FRC and I am talking about the LEAD case, but it’s the only case I read last night and I heard that you can apply LEAD everywhere. may I continue?”

Day 3
Interrupt the professor to explain why she is not taking the class discussion where you think it should go. When questionned, declare solemnly: “What I said is not what you should have understood.”

Day 4
“The tail end of the bell curve can be amalgamated to the 3D Laffer curve when it comes to the tax shield taken out of Eric Peterson’s bonus.” Got it? Avoid simple English at all costs.

Monopolize airtime to make meaningless statements as if you had been hired to create the “corporate ‘bs’ generator.”

Day 5
Leave the classroom multiple times and return each time with a different item you got from the Aldrich café or the vending machines.

Coffee, candies, chocolate. Offer some to your class neighbors and even to the professsor if she happens to be standing close-by.

You get bonus, sorry minus points if you can stroll in at the front of the room, holding your diet coke, stop to pick up something on the professor’s desk while she is trying to explain something on the blackboard.

Day 6
SLEEP. If the professor daigns asking you a question and wakes you up, scratch your head and say: “I was having such a wonderful dream!” Give her a nasty stare and go back to sleep.

Day 7
Stalk your professor. Become a professional pit-diver and office camper.

Day 8
Stalk your professor’s kids.

Day 9
When cold-called to open the case, say: “My learning team discussed this issue this morning. It’s too bad I stopped attending the meetings.”

Day 10
Raise your hand and keep it up while other classmates are talking. When called on, say: “I don’t have the answer to the question but when I was ten-months-old.blah blah blah..

That should do the job and get you ostracized by your section as well. Use at your own risks.

September 29, 2008
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