I almost skipped on my way to school today, I was so excited to see everyone on the first day of Spring Semester. After a break full of travel here/there/everywhere with a January Term short course thrown in for good measure, it feels good to be back in Charlottesville. The J-Term course is an intensive, week-long class that counts for as much credit as a normal, quarter-long course. This one was “Leadership & Theater” and based on the premise that successful CEOs and successful stage directors share many of the same responsibilities to guide and direct their cast of characters/employees to perform together at extraordinary levels.

Lots of people really liked this course (see Miss MBA’s take on it). I’ve always been encouraged to “be less dramatic” in life, and so thought I’d be perfectly suited for theater.

I WAS SO WRONG.

I’m NOT good at theater, at least not immediately. Maybe not ever. My mind blanks and I forget my lines and stand blinking in the stage lights like a bewildered rabbit, even if i spent hours the previous evening memorizing lines.  Just completing this course was really tough for me. I wanted to quit every day. I kept telling myself if I could get through First Year at Darden, if I could conquer Excel, I could at least get through this. It pushed my boundaries and made me cry and yell and humbled me and taught me scads about leading, communicating, eliciting the best in others, and working together.

I’m also really excited about my classes this quarter – Creative Capitalism; Faith, Religion & Responsible Management Behavior; Financial Institutions & Markets; and finally, Innovation. Already the readings for Creative Capitalism about Social Entrepreneurship (Banker to the Poor, about Grameen Bank and How To Change The World) are turning my perspective on end.

The other thing that looms is the fact that graduation is in exactly 4 months and 4 days. All of the sudden, my Charlottesville bucket list is looming large – or at least, I know I need one. My roommate and I have decided to put up a dry-erase board to make sure to remember all the bucket-list-worthy items we come up with to do before leaving Darden and Charlottesville. It may sound premature – but I know the next little while will fly by, and I’m both grateful and delighting in each day already. Bucket list suggestions, anyone?

Any good bucket list includes champagne...

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