Turned in my last Q3 exam, enjoyed a lunch with three amazing friends, and now here I am procrastinating packing my suitcase…which invariably ends up full of black sweaters, anyway. I know a lot of classmates who are spending break on Darden Global Business Experiences, and jetting off to Brazil, Barcelona, Argentina, Istanbul, Tokyo and beyond. Me? I’m leaving the bubble for the northern latitudes, Milwaukee and Chicago, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Tomorrow night is a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (yes, like Alice in Wonderland) at the incomparable Iron Horse Hotel! I’m seriously cursing myself for getting rid of my Queen of Hearts costume.

I got a sweet card in the mail yesterday from a dear friend’s mother, featuring a lime green, scarf-wearing ostrich chirping a Coco Chanel quote: “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”My last post was during a hard time, and I thought I was the only one feeling like that. Turns out, I’m not that different – so many people have dropped me notes to tell me they feel the same way here sometimes, and lots more just offering hugs or friendly ears. I’m overwhelmed (again) at how supportive Darden folk are. I’ve never been to a big school in a big city, but I can’t imagine it’s like this in many other business schools, large or small. Darden, you may make me cry… but you also make me smile lots, too.

Enough of that mushy business – adventures in Central Standard Time, here I come!

"In order to be irreplaceable, one must be different" - Coco Chanel