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Our First Week at HBS, A Photo Series, Part I

HI HI HI!  Long time no blogs again, but hey.  I have found myself regularly being swept away, living life and yolo-ing, instead of blogging.  Which is why Ed’s and my first week at HBS is coming in hot and four weeks behind schedule.  I had to go back through my photos to remember what we even did, so this post will be led by the pics and snaps I took during those first days, instead of my ironclad memory.

Let’s start things off with a selfie of two people who have zero clue about anything:


Don’t we look fresh and excited?!  I will remember this photo as “Before” two years from now.  That’s the Bloomberg library behind us as we gave ourselves a little self-guided tour around campus.


This here is Spangler Hall, the hub of HBS.  It’s where the main cafeteria is, the business center (which charges an OUTRAGEOUS $2.65 for a ONE PAGE SCAN.  I cannot even TELL YOU how incredulous I was when I got ONE PAGE scanned and had to USE MY VISA to pay for it), student’s mailboxes, a place called “The Coop” that sells overpriced Harvard merch, and this beautiful common room that people can study and network in:


Spangler is where Ed and I got our official HBS ID’s, check them out:


Snapchat translation: I’m an official HBS Partner – party!


I’m sorting through all my photos and I think there are enough exterior/architecture shots to make this Part I of a two-parter blog.  Are building pictures boring?  Whatevs, it’s the only way I can stay organized.

Here is the church steeple from our balcony (terrace, as the HBS Euros would say):


Omg, isn’t that GORG?!  Here let’s zoom in:


Does anyone else think that’s cool or is it just me because I see it in real life off my balcony terrace?  It’s very hunchback of Harvard.  One night we were enjoying ourselves al fresco, like this:


And along came this amazing storm (below) that no one saw because no one (MOM, DAD, SISSY, JOEY,  MOM #2) answered their ding-dang FaceTime.  It was majestic rolling in, and made us grateful that we lucked out with a penthouse fifth floor unit:


Want more of that hunchback of Harvard steeple?  Me too:


It’s the steeple of the church down the street from us (it’s Catholic, praise JESUS), and that is the view from our side of the street.  Ed and I have been to mass once together here, and it was lovely with an all-boy choir that those Lutherans don’t have.  Ed has gone solo to the Sunday service, which is an hour and 45 minutes long, and is why he goes solo.  Guess who else goes to church?  The neighborhood turkey!


Snapchat translation: Turkey goes to church, amen

See him in the bottom left?  Now that I no longer feel the need to take pictures of him (seventeen is enough, right?) I see people stop in the middle of traffic to get a good shot of this guy.  He just keeps on truckin’.

A little further down the way is the Harvard Community Garden and another New England-y steeple:


Snapchat translation: Harvard Community Garden – plant plant flower flower

Other side of the steeple from the road:


Walk towards the Charles river and you’ll get this view from the bridge:


There is a huge regatta rowing race when Sissy, Anne, Matt and Joey are here in two weeks, so I’ll post some better pics of the river then.  But this is basically what it looks like, only slightly better in person.  I feel lucky that I get to see the calm of the river and feel the neighborhood-ness of Cambridge, but also get to be downtown during the day and feel like a hip young professional.  Which I am.  Here is a shot of the city, looking towards the ocean:


I took this while waiting to be interviewed at a private equity firm.  It was high risk, as the next interviewer could have walked in at any time to see me snapping pics out their window, but it was also high reward.  (I didn’t get that job, but I did get this photo).  That green space you see on the left is the Boston Common – it’s like a Central Park.  There is a beautiful rose garden, a pond with swans, willow trees, plenty of benches to eat your froyo on, a merry-go-round that I’ve never seen working, and lots of grass and trees.  Beyond the buildings is the ocean where all of my favorite seafoods are waiting to be put in my clam chowda.  Behind the camera is the Charles river, then Cambridge, then HBS.

Here’s Eddie and I in the Boston Common, amongst the willow trees:


Also in the Common are street performers – balloon artists, Asian men playing an instrument that is basically a piece of wood with one string attached abut somehow it sounds like a symphony, and this guy:


Ed and I both agreed this gentleman reminded us remarkably of my cousin Dale Dean.  Similar in stature and facial features, clearly a collector of things, and a guy who probably has mooonshine to share with you.  If I knew how to upload a video to my blog, I would share 10 seconds of this guy really killing it.

Also of note regarding Boston buildings: they have crazy elevator call buttons.  I don’t think these have hit Chicago yet (I sure haven’t seen them) so I had to stand in front of the keypad for a minute and think about what to do.  Here’s what you do: to call the elevator while in the lobby, you need to punch in your floor number on the giant keypad:


Then once you’re in the elevator all you see is this:


So if you mess up your floor, you’re totally screwed.  Even though I had correctly requested the right floor, I felt panicked, seeing that there were no extra buttons to push.  There are also these neat little TVs in all the elevators that show how miserable the weather is about to make you:

Snapchat translation: F**k my life, I feel exactly like this fireball emoji

Snapchat translation: F**k my life, I’m about to feel like this fireball emoji

 Those are my building pics from week one, so that wraps up that…and now it’s my bedtime.  Part II to follow with pictures of large groups of people you don’t know.  It’ll be great!

I’ll leave you with this headshot of a business student on his way to his very first class:


Serious.  Focused.  Professional.  Student.

Edward Patrick Kennedy III.



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18 Banks Street & 93 Names

Can anyone else not believe it’s September 1st?  Seems like yesterday I was debating whether or not I really needed to bring the rice steamer I’ve never used to Boston (I did) and today I’m actually in Boston enjoying Labor Day hot dogs!  Up on the to-do list this week: nail more interviews, attend a Great Gatsby-themed  party, celebrate Julie’s birthday, move in to our apartment, and charm my way through dinner with some HBS students who refer to themselves as “The Chilean Mafia”.  That to-do list looks A LOT different than a to-do list of mine I found while packing two weeks ago…all items were crossed off on it except for “clean poop off floor of 2nd bedroom”.  Which reminds me, Juicy probably has a remote blog she’d like to post soon.

So our move-in date is this Thursday and we’ve never seen the inside of our new home.  We have seen these nice floor plans though:


That’s what 686 sq ft looks like.

Not interested in fancy architecture symbols?  Check out this 3-D one:



Floorplan 2

I think the 3-D is worse because you can tell just HOW SMALL the place is.  Do you think a bed, two nightstands, two dressers and all of my statement necklaces are going to fit in that bedroom?  Um, NO.  I will have to keep that giant box of shoes out on the balcony along with Ed’s gross hockey gear and our rice steamer.

Here’s a street view, with our unit high-lighted by my snapchat skills:


Balcony zoom in:


When we rounded the corner of the building to check out the neighborhood, we ran into this wild turkey:


That guy snapping  a picture probably thought the same thing as me – ‘”WTF, TURKEY?!  What are you doing here?!  Cambridge, get it together.”  But, it turns out, wild turkeys are common in the Boston and surrounding areas, and they are mean, just like geese.  I mean, they’re probably harmless unless provoked (like geese), but they are extremely hideous (unlike geese), and that makes them scarier.

I don’t have a good transition from talking about urban turkeys to talking about Ed’s classmates, except for the fact that one guy is from Turkey and is literally named Turkur.  Which of course makes me call Ed Illernerr from Illinois.  The first day of class, all 94 students in Ed’s section (Section D, for DOHSE) went around and introduced themselves.

HBS has also put together “classcards” which all students can search when they log into HBS’s student site.  There you can find tons of facts about everyone in the business school (both first and second years), along with contact info, interests, partner info, education and work history.  Here is a screenshot of Ed’s classcard:

Ed Classcard

See that little megaphone next to his name?  Click on that and you can actually hear Ed say his own name.  That tool is incredibly useful for knowing how to pronounce difficult names.

I’ve had a lot of fun quizzing myself with classcards on who’s who after meet-and-greets and parties.  It’s hard learning 93 people’s names plus about 30 partners!  Not to mention all nine other sections with 90 scholars and partners of their own!  It’s interesting to see who makes a unique first impression and who I meet once (or twice) and I still look at them and think, “Who are you?  I have no idea.  Mike?  Dan?  F**k.”

My next opportunity to try and get names to stick is this Wednesday at the LatAm Great Gatsby Welcome Party, which over 1,000 people have registered for so far.  It’s at a cloob downtown and costumes are “requested.”  Unfortunately, Ed and I only picked certain things from our costume box to bring with us (the wigs, duh) and those are in the pods.  Luckily, while packing my suitcase, a little voice told me to include my clubbing top “just in case” that is covered in fringe on the front and is now the only thing I have that will remotely pass as a Gatsby outfit.  CRISIS AVERTED.