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This past weekend I left the Darden Bubble. I left Charlottesville and even the commonwealth of Virginia to return to where I lived for the past 7 years (before Darden). The occasion? A terrific wedding of two wonderful friends. I know lots of my classmates have already left the bubble multiple times, but this was my first time. And, it was strange. It seems that life outside Darden has tootled right along at a reassuringly normal pace, and people are doing normal things and keeping regular hours and such. I have to say – it was hard for me to come back to Cville after leaving the bubble. I used to have time! Lots of time. And disposable income! Oooh, aah. That’s the stuff fantasies are made of these days…

My friends in Charlotte all kindly inquired about how it was here at Darden… and equally as kindly, none of them remarked at how haggard and exhausted I look. Thanks, friends! Everyone who uses Facebook, however, asked me if I was even studying/going to class/doing work. What? Yes, I’m studying! All. The. Time. To be fair, I never post pix of me studying. Why? Because that’s boring, that’s why. But, for all you disbelievers out there, here:

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Coffee, computer, to-do list...

That’s 8 AM this morning…. Bright and early and getting ready for Accounting. And yes, my binder is monogrammed. Today we learned about a magical kind of account that POOF! disappears. It’s a contra-account, which sounds vaguely Iran/scandalous/Reagan/1986, but isn’t. Then, in Finance, we talked about bond valuation (scintillating, I know, but stick with me here), which I think about in terms of Popeye. You see, a bond is like Popeye’s friend Wimpy, who wants to gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. A company will issue a bond, and gladly pay you later for your money invested now. Perfect sense, right? Right. And finally, today’s finale was Global Economies & Markets, which I can compare to a MasterCard commercial: the professor asked “on your individual balance sheet, what is your MBA education minus your student loan combined with your human capital equity?”

To which I said “priceless.”

So, friends, am I studying? You betcha. And as long as I can keep translating complex b-school curriculum into much friendlier magical accounts, cartoon characters and credit card ad campaigns, and leave the bubble every now and then, I may just do ok here.

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