Archive for the 'Funny' Category

In the speeches we listened to during our commencement, we were showered with the advice of others. Everyone from Tom Brokaw to Theodore Roosevelt:

You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.
-Tom Brokaw

and…

To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
Theodore Roosevelt

Let me offer my own quote for posterity. Please, somebody, quote me on this view of education:

Give a man a fish and you’re out one fish; teach a man to fish and you can charge him for the education.
- Burton Simmons

… it’s a business model.

In an interesting marketing move, the folks at Atkinson decided to hold a video contest wherein people show off videos describing their MBA experience. I felt compelled to enter for many altruistic reasons… but also because there was a cash prize: $1000 for first place, $500 each to two runner-ups.

I teamed up with a friend to create “My Willamette MBA Experience”. I wrote most (if not all of the script) and did the filming, the editing, the narration, and even a bit of the acting. I was pretty impressed with the result, especially considering that I did it in about three days (though it actually represents about 23 hours worth of work.) Here’s our entry:

… and the contest was held, and my team was one of the runner-ups! I can’t link to the winning video right now, but it was really good. Still, we won cash, which is awesome. (By an amazing coincidence, my half of $500 is roughly what I currently owe the school for incidental fees this semester, so that’s handy.)

My negotiation class had its final session a couple weeks ago. This was not, however, the last thing I had to do for the class. We still had a take-home final to do, but the professor was going to send it to us electronically later in the week.

Well, that time came and went and we did, indeed, get an email with our final in it. The final was not designed to be especially challenging; our workshops and intermediate papers were where the real work was. The professor even stated in the email that he didn’t expect us to spend more than a couple hours on it.

… and I didn’t. We were given a week to work on it - it was due last Tuesday. Being surprisingly proactive, I even finished it several days in advance (Sunday) and planned to print it out at school and turn it in Monday. (I don’t have a printer at home, since I a) don’t print a lot, and b) don’t have room for it in my 300 square-foot apartment.)

Well, Monday passed and, you know, being in a Master’s program, I got really busy and forgot to turn it in. No big deal, I’ll do it Tuesday.

Well, Tuesday came and, in the hustle and bustle of getting everything done for my other classes and getting ready for Thanksgiving… I forgot. Plain and simple, I spaced it.

Now, I didn’t remember all of this until Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, at which point I desperately penned an email to my professor with a humble apology, an inadequate explanation (how can you not look down upon “I forgot”?), a copy of my final, and of offer to do any extra work I could to complete the class should he not accept it (or just deem it necessary.)

After a night of fretting about it, I woke up Saturday and forwarded that email from his school address to his personal address (wanting to cover my bases.)

To my infinite relief, the professor chose, Saturday evening, to show mercy and accepted my final, late though it was. Words can not describe the worry that was alleviated upon reading his reply.

And that is the story of narrowly avoided tragedy in my Negotiations class.

I had my solo IKEW session today.  I got the opportunity to sit down with two professors and discuss - in depth - a business case for half an hour.  Actually, my session went to 40 minutes.  It was tough; sometimes I felt like they were looking for an answer I didn’t necessarily have or just didn’t understand the meaning of their questions.  Nonetheless, I’m pretty sure I passed.  I guess if I don’t I’d have to take a remedial class before school starts next semester.  I put in plenty of time studying for it, so I think I did all right.

However, one of the professor’s opening salvos was, “So, I read your blog…”  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I don’t use names in what I write.

This lovely video was shown in our Statistics class. Awesome. It made my (otherwise pretty dark) day.

We’re talking about corporate governance and strategy in my strategy class.  So, I looked up “corporate governance” in the Wikipedia.  Without too much discussion, I think it’s interesting that that article is shorter than the one for the Silver Surfer.  What kind of world do we live in?

Today is our second day of class, but it’s the first day of my Tuesday/Thursday classes.  In my International Marketing class we spent virtually the whole class period playing the name game with the professor.  I had to give my name, what I’ve studied (and where I’ve worked), and what my international experience is.

So… I’m Burton.  I earned my Computer Science degree at the University of Oregon.  I’ve spent the last five years doing computery things.  My international experience is more or less limited to where you can get on I-5; I’ve visited Vancouver, BC and Tijuana.  Fortunately, in studies, we’ve had a lot (a *lot*) of international student and professors, so I guess that has helped my perspective a little.

There ya go.  Now multiply that by 55 and add comments from the professor, and you have an hour and a half.

Twice in the last two weeks I’ve been used iMovie (and iDVD) with great success.

The first time was for our Salvation Army presentation. We videotaped the presentation (as was the requirement) so it could be viewed by the faculty later.  Instead of just handing them a VHS tape (we used an old university camera) I took the tape to the video lab on campus and imported it into iMovie on my computer.  From there, I added some chapter markings, exported it to iDVD, created a professional-looking menu (complete with a slide-show and all our presentation material included on the disc) and turned it in.  Everyone loved that.

The second was  for a presentation this morning in for our HR class.  We were tasked simply with “a presentation of our PaCE group.”  The only suggestion we were given was to be creative.  So we came up with the idea of a promotional video, our team leader wrote the script, and I went to work narrating it, editing it, and putting together a kick-ass video that left jaws dropped when my classmates saw it.

I really enjoy using iMovie.  While few other applications can fill a hard drive so quickly, it’s a fun, powerful, easy-to-use program!

So the other morning in one of my classes, the professor was basically telling us that our writing needed improvement.  This professor (I’m deliberately avoiding identifying this person) was going over “grammar rules” with us and said this delightful gem: “The verb and the subject has to agree!”

I just sat there, wondering if I’d really heard that.  A classmate confirmed it.  Priceless!

So after Hell Week officially concluded, our accounting professor - designer of the exam we had on Friday - generously took the whole class out to Bentley’s and bought the first round (a $200 value!)

My friend, on ordering her first drink, said “Bud Light” to the bartender.

I looked at her like she was crazy. “This man has made our lives a living hell for the past two months!” I exclaimed. I turned to the bartender and, because I’m classy, said, “I’d like a Crown Royal and coke, please. Can we make it a double?”

Take a note, kids. This is how you act out in the REAL world!

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