Sorebrek's Musings and Ramblings

In search of the holy grail of an MBA (class of 2008 hopeful), this space will hopefully chronicle the search and my other quixotic pursuits.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Battle Done, War looms!

Sure, I've been gone for ages and most of you have confined me to the dust-bin of history. But I'm back. Like that alien jelly-gooey thing that gets pounded by machine-gn fire and blow-torched to well-done, courtesy Michael Madsen, and yet sort of gels back together to come and creep you out, I'm back. Like Michael Jackson in a court-house, I'm back. Like the unending sequels to Nightmare on Elm Street, I'm back. Ok, you get the idea.

So what holy murder have I been up to? Besides losing my green-card (in a furious betting spree on a cognac-fueled Saturday night - um no, it was less spectacular), buffeted between continents and missing all R1 applications, I couldn't've been better; surely it could've been worse. Right now my only worries are about getting arrested and deported in an orange jump-suit and shackles for losing my alien (green) card. On the application front, my whole strategy can be succinctly summarized as: throw an R2 Hail Mary!

First on the order of things: the GMAT. I've been listening to fellow MBA-junkies moan about how tough it is to get the GMAT out of the way. No shit. Holding down a demanding job and trying to find time to take the test is no stroll in the park. The test itself didn't seem like a huge deal, it was the task of sitting down to study at 8 in the evening after a 1-hour commute that was the problem. Finally bit the bullet and took the test.

So I've finally ridden myself of that ball and chain. Friends have complained about how edgy I've been - this test surely has a mood-altering effect. For the curious, the low-down on my preparation: I used the Manhattan material, Kaplan 800 and the crummy Kaplan CD - tip: avoid the Kaplan book like bird flu. I prepared on and off, mostly off, for about 3 months. Sorry Swoops, I should've paid more attention when you said the test was a measure of preparedness and not smarts. Particularly so, since I'm sorely lacking in the latter category - I barely manage to find my way to work every day; beyond that it is just a haze - I think I'm just another Thalidomide baby.

Test Day
I love standardized tests as much as I love garlic breath on a bad date that turns out to be a guy in stockings. And shenanigans ETS did have planned for me - half way into my essay I realized that I was hit with the Argument question first rather than the customary Issue one. I took a deep breath and did a u-turn - whew that was close! The issue one was a breeze. Took the break - chugged Gatorade, thumped my chest and did a couple of King Kong roars to psyche me up (sorry bewildered GRE-dude in the rest-room). I was now ready to do battle with quants. Here is the thing - Dave once made an observation IRL about how while Americans contend with penis-envy, Indians instead are devastated by GMAT envy. The desi brethren get all psyched up about the verbal section and think quants is a breeze. However, yours truly belongs to a minority Indian category: I suck equally well at both. So quants was a horror-show. I remember someone telling me: if you come out of the quants section feeling hammered, you know you have either done quite well or you just flushed $250 down the toilet. I was more than battered and bruised. I felt like I got run over by one of those steam roller things that Caltrans uses to flatten out freshly-laid asphalt. Got out of the quants section with 8 seconds to spare. Break time: more Gatorade, more retrogression into simian behavior, and a cold double espresso later, I was wired, I was crackling with static - bring on the verbal ETS. Verbal turned out to be the anti-climax, I breezed through it pretty easily - much to my horror. Did the ETS algorithm give up on me - not wanting to waste any decent questions on a bottom-feeder? Finished with five minutes to spare. Emphatically said no to the survey - like I don't have enough junk mail already. And the score is, not so soon, confirm, are you sure, will you swear a blood oath etc., and the score is - fucking tease, tell me already. When it finally flashed on the screen, I almost peed my pants - this must be somebody's grotesque idea of humor - did the first two digits get inverted? Quant jocks - hold your breath, don't bother treating that as a GMAT quant problem - that is an E answer. I blinked; no it didn't go away. I did a happy dance (in my head) and walked out to get my unofficial score report. The first thing I did was to go out and buy a pack of cigarettes - haven't done that in a while - I needed to blow off some steam. Sitting on the pavement along Market street - another first - with my pod-buds blaring Stones, I was in need of some restraint. Seriously. No flowers to smell this part of town, but even the cellulite on jiggly-breasted jogger thighs was taking on a Caravaggio twist. Then it dawned on me that as improbable as that might sound, I was actually happy! So much so that I donated my pack of smokes to the first homeless guy who tried to bum a smoke (which typically takes all of 5 seconds after you light up).

Reporting this while enjoying the legendary hospitality of the friendly skies, courtesy United Airlines. Friendly right, as friendly as Donald Rumsfeld on a week of fiber-free diet. Cutting corners has taken a whole new meaning with the airlines - on my next trip I'll be sure to bring some quarteres; I'm sure the bathrooms will be coin-operated by then. Gotta go; my last request for a second bottle of water was met with a withering look women typically reserve for lecherous voyeurs. Now how would I know that? Water, water - ok I'm off to pull a heist on the aircraft pantry - grand larceny in the high skies. Wish me luck.