Archive for the ‘School’ Category

Curitiba Trip – Part I

February 18th, 2009 Comments off

I have been meaning to write about my trip to Curitiba, Brazil for a long time now.. I went back in October with the UNCG Bryan school.. It was a 2 elective credit “course” – Experience Business Abroad.. I have to say the trip was amazing.. I had a great time, and I learned a lot about Brazil..

The trip was only for 10 days, 3 of which were spent traveling; We mostly did educational related stuff on the trip.. We did some tourism stuff toward the end of the week, but it was raining the last few days we were there so some of those plans had to get scraped.. Overall Brazil is a beautiful country, and I would love to go back.. My tourists visa is still good for 4 and a half years, so hopefully I can make it back before then.. The visa cost $140 bucks; Brazil has a reciprocal visa cost and since the states charges Brazilians that much for a tourist visa they in turn charge us the same.. Most other countries the visa is free, or significantly less costly.. The EU I believe it is around $30 USD.. Figures..

Day 1 & 2 – Greensboro to Charlotte to NYC to São Paulo to Curitiba

The first 2 days were mostly spent traveling.. We had to take a bus to Charlotte to catch a flight to JFK where we sat for 7-8 hours.. Most of the group went to Manhattan to do some tourist stuff, but I opted to stay in the airport and have some beers with 2 others from the group.. Nothing very exciting.. After that we took a completely packed plane to São Paulo and then another to Curitiba.. The travel plans were made by a tourism company, and we were not allowed to make our own plans for getting to Brazil, otherwise I would have never chosen such a strange and convoluted path.. You could go from Charlotte/Greensboro to Miami and onto Brazil much quicker.. No idea why we went the way we did..

Paul and I at some airport bar in JFK (Thanks for the photo Shelby)

When we arrived in Curitiba they took us to the hotel, and we were supposed to meet up at what I thought was 8pm to go somewhere; turns out it was actually 7pm.. Shelby and I ended up going to a bar down the street from the hotel (Democratas) and missed the group.. There was no way to contact them, so we went back to the bar.. At the bar it was very obvious that only knowing English and Deutsch wasn’t going to leave any means of communication.. To order a dark beer at the bar I pointed at the empty pint glass and said “negro”, which eventually got the message across.. Turns out “escuro” means “dark” in Português and that’s how the locals would order a dark beer.. At this point I decided that I need to at least learn Español, brush up on my Deutsch, and maybe why not learn Português if I want to come back to Brasil..

View from my hotel room of Curitiba.. I stitched these together from a few photos..

Day 3 – FAE

FAE was the name of the university that we spent most of our time at in Curitiba.. The group went there, and we had many presentations about Brazil, doing business there, how the country works, etc.. The main thing that I took away from everything we learned in the classroom is the family oriented nature of Brazilian culture.. In Brazil family comes first, not financial gains as in the states.. It may be one of the things holding Brazil (sort of) back from breaking into being a world power.. Business decisions are made based on who your parents are not your skills or experience.. It’s sort of weird.. America may be too centered on simply making money, and family comes second.. Look at our divorce rate, and how many people do we know who are not happily married..

One interesting thing that was very obvious about Brazilian culture was the openness of sexuality.. Walking to FAE from the hotel I saw a few couples making out on the sidewalk in the middle of the day.. PDA is accepted in their culture.. No one thinks anything of it.. I guess they aren’t nearly as prudish as American’s tend to be.. I can’t think of any other country I have been to where it was just that out in the open..

The group in the classroom where we would spend much of our trip (on FAE campus)..

More to continue later…

Categories: School, Travel Tags:

Elusive Blood Type

July 5th, 2008 Comments off

So I am going to Curitiba, Brazil with the Business School in October.. I had to go to a meeting about
the trip the day after the first summer session ended.. The importance of this date is that I am not enrolled in the second summer session and I therefore
I didn’t pay the student health fee for the second summer session.. My school mandated health insurance also lapsed on July 1st, at least I think that’s
when it ran out, it was really poorly administered but that’s not really the point..

For some inane reason the school wants to have our blood
type on file when we travel abroad.. I am 99.9% sure if you are in an accident and you need blood in any country that has access to a blood supply they
will give you O blood (universal) or type your blood if they can wait the few minutes for a test.. Either way it seems stupid for the school to care..

So I called my parents.. They couldn’t find my type anywhere.. I called Rex cause I went there a few years ago.. They didn’t seem to have it on
file.. It seemed the only options I had left were to get a blood test.. My childhood doctor said that if I wanted to find out I could always give blood..
Sure enough I called the Red Cross and they said 3-4 days after I give I could call up sign a HIPAA release form and get my type and a whole bunch of
other test results.. I figured that was my best free option.. The school wanted $80 to type my blood.. $50 cause I was not enrolled in the second summer
session, and the $32 for the lab work.. If I was enrolled It would have been 1/2 price lab work and no appointment fee ($16)..

Sheila and I
headed to the Red Cross.. First was the crazy screening process.. I don’t know how many questions I had to answer about being with hookers, needle drugs,
being with a man, etc but eventually they decided my blood was OK to give.. Seems the red cross hates Africa, gay men, and lots of other groups.. The
Greensboro Red Cross had run out of testing viles so we had to wait about an hour to get drained while more were driven in from High Point.. Finally the
moment came.. I was a tad nervous, but I think I was fine.. So the nurse started with Sheila first.. Sheila’s blood was draining into the sac just fine..
The nurse kept talking about how she couldn’t wait to get home cause her favorite show was on tonight.. Tila Tequila.. She washed the area with iodine and
did all the routine stuff.. When it came time to actually stick me I looked away as I usually do.. There was a pinch and then there was this pain that I
didn’t remember needles giving.. I looked over and there was a blue bubble around the injection site about 2 inches around.. My nurse called over the head
nurse and she said “Oooo.. Your gonna have quite a nice bruise there” took the needle out and told me how to ice the area.. They told me I was done, and
that I couldn’t come back for 56 days (8 weeks)..

Turns out they poked into my vein and then through the back side.. So much like drinking
through a straw with 2 holes it didn’t work.. In the end I ended up paying $80 dollars to find out my blood type at UNCG.. The lab tech at the UNCG place
told me that he has had to type many students blood for going overseas and he said it “must be some orwellian insurance requirement from 1902″ amongst
other things.. We laughed.. I paid my $80 and went on my way..

So now my left arm looks like this.. If you see me around for the next 2 weeks
I really didn’t give needle drugs a whirl.. I swear..

In the end I still had to pay $80.. Thanks
UNCG for letting me know as soon as possible about your stupid requirement..

Turns out I am A positive.. The second most common in the USA..

Categories: Rants, School Tags:

Is it OK to cheat to win?

February 6th, 2008 Comments off

So it’s happened twice now since I have been in the MBA program here at UNCG.. I’m talking about
cheating at school.. So the first time we were taking a closed book closed notes test and there was a girl behind me making a bunch of noise so I turned
around to see what she was doing and she had a piece of paper in her lap she was frantically looking over.. I was pissed but said nothing.. No one likes a
rat.. I don’t even remember what class it was in, but I was sorta shocked and pissed..

So today I have an open note but closed book exam in my
International something or other class.. I already don’t like this class; it’s really boring and it’s during the day and the daytime program kids are
really young and naive.. They have never had a professional job most likely, are fresh from undergrad and are very idealistic.. I think they all expect
that an MBA will get them a 100k/year+ cushy job at a hedge fund complete with access to the corporate jet as well as a company limo and driver.. OK so
maybe they aren’t that naive but it’s obvious they aren’t jaded by even looking for a “career” yet..

So back this exam.. I didn’t do a bang up job
preparing I mostly printed out my notes and all the powerpoint (blech) and that’s about it.. I should have printed out more information about the country
I was assigned, but I have clearly gotten off track here.. So I sit on the back row from these kids who already have alienated me because I am not part of
their facebook clique and am 8 or so years older than them.. Before the test one of the girls asks the professor “Can we share notes?” and he replies “No
they are your notes not everyone else’s notes”.. So I am taking the test and sorta pissed at the material that is on there.. So in front of me I see
everyone on the third row exchanging papers back and forth and sharing notes.. One of the kids even wrote notes on someone else’s notes…


What the hell are you supposed to do? Let it slide? Be the moral person and rat them out.. There is no cheater reporting protection
program.. I could be also a bit pissed that I missed some questions cause my notes weren’t on the right stuff, but if I had cheated I would clearly been
able to get the answer..

Maybe that’s what business school is about.. I think the GMAT is setup to show business acumen based on the fact it
costs almost 2x the GRE.. Maybe if you make it though an MBA program and cheat to do it it prepares you for all the rat bastard snakes in corporate

I am ready for a fucking beer or ten..

Categories: Rants, School Tags:

I got straight A-’s!

October 16th, 2007 Comments off

So I did it.. I got an A- in the class that mattered.. I also got an A- in the other 2 classes I took
for a grade.. So I got straight A-’s.. I can stay at UNCG.. I think I just got the highest GPA I have ever had.. Yippie for me.. Now everything else at
UNCG should be far less stressful.. I shouldn’t have to worry about this type of stuff anymore.. Just take the classes pass em and get the degree..

Categories: School Tags:

Fuck me I am tired..

September 25th, 2007 Comments off

So I have had this 15-25 page research paper hanging over my head for the last 5 weeks.. It is due
Wednesday at 630pm.. I have been working on it since Saturday (well earlier but I really started on Saturday).. I haven’t taken a shower today and have
been in the lab working since 1030am.. My back aches like hell from the crappy chairs here in the lab, I feel all hot and gross cause my back is sticking
to the back of this rotten chair.. Good news is I am not stressed about my paper.. It should be done by the time I have to go to class at 630 (2 hours-ish
from now), so tomorrow I can just proof it and print it out..

The concept of going back to work sounds so awesome now.. I forgot how fucking
tiring school can be sometimes.. Good thing is it’s dollar beer night at College Hill so I have something to look forward too.. It’s like my carrot on a
stick ; in my case it’s the Miller Lite on a stick..

Categories: Random, Rants, School Tags:

Let’s face it..

September 21st, 2007 Comments off

I can be quite an arrogant asshole.. Sometimes I just can’t let shit go.. Sometimes I need to be
better at biting my tongue, smiling and saying thank you and hiding my true feelings and just be nice.. Letting someone who I don’t give a shit about know
I think they are an idiot does very little good..

I am being very counter productive in advancing my attempt at getting an MBA.. I have to pass
this marketing class with an A- or I am done for.. I suppose I might be able to pull some strings if I get a B or something, but I don’t want to do that,
and in all honesty given what I have seen at UNCG I don’t know if I will be able to pull any strings anyway..

Somehow I need to be able to just
answer the questions how she wants.. Not with what is right or my opinion.. I need to be a kiss-ass and well I don’t know how.. Normally being blunt and
rude doesn’t get my in trouble.. At work I never thought I was rude or a complete dick except for when it was warranted.. I always checked with others who
were around and asked “was that justified?”.. Most of the time the answer was a resounding “yes”, and I really don’t think my ass was getting kissed..

In this case it doesn’t matter I just have to kiss this professors ass.. I can’t stand her.. I can’t stand anything about her.. She is the polar
opposite of me.. She thinks marketing is the best shit in the world.. She stays up late on the weekend nights watching infomercials she is so into
marketing (She really said she does in class).. BUT I need to make her think that I worship the ground that she walks on, and that
marketing is the best shit ever.. At least until I get my grade..

So now more than ever I need to be a kiss ass.. I got a 90 on the first test,
which as awesome as that sounds seems to be a low grade for the class on the test (I saw a bunch of 100s being handed back).. A 90 is an A- so I am not
totally lost.. That also means that 25% of my grade is in, 25% of it is up to her (class participation), and well I have no room to screw up at all..

Come on Taylor.. Learn to kiss someones ass for just 2 weeks.. 2 weeks.. You can do it..

Categories: Rants, School Tags:

New and interesting fact about the marketing world

September 20th, 2007 Comments off

Apparently services can now be tangible.. At least in this bizzaro world that exists in my marketing
class.. I was pretty sure a service was something that was intangible, and a good was something that is tangible.. Go figure.. I guess Wikipedia and the
rest of the world are wrong..

Categories: Rants, School Tags:

Option A it is.. At least for now..

September 20th, 2007 Comments off

Well it was a 2-3 month contract job working for AT&T in Plano, TX.. They could have paid me more than
I was making before. She kept trying to sell me on it.. “Well you wouldn’t be working for AT&T, you would be working for a contract company”..

She said she would look for more stuff not with AT&T, but given that option I think I would stick with UNCG for now.. Maybe I should count my
blessings that I can get work so easily and not be such a picky fuck, but on the other hand I left AT&T for a reason.. Why would I just walk back into
that environment to be treated like shit for a little bit more.. I’ll at least wait a bit before I whore myself back out like that..

Categories: Random, School Tags:

More things I have recently learned in school..

September 6th, 2007 Comments off

So today in my marketing class I learned:

  • Bon Jovi was/is the lead singer of
  • I purchased my truck as part of a physiological need (based on maslow’s hierarchy of needs).. A truck apparently is food or shelter..

I will be sure to share more new information as it becomes available.. I know you can’t wait..

Categories: Rants, School Tags:

I’m a Spartan!

July 20th, 2006 Comments off

I am registered for classes.. I now have a student ID from a University that actually resembles
me..Until today my most current student ID was from NC Stateback in1997..Complete with normal length hair, and a chin strap
beard.. I just spent 350 bucks on books.. I forgot how much books cost.. Thats only for 6 credit hours too.. Geezz.. So in 3 years if all goes as planned
I will have a shiny new dilpoma that I may actually put on the wall.. My one from state is still in the original envelope it was mailed to me in.. I think
diplomas look better when the aren’t alone..

All I have left to do is activate my internet accounts and i’ll be ready for the fall..

I did learn something very important from my advisor.. If you like Indian food the best place to get authentic Indian food in Greensboro is Cary.. Yeah
you heard me right.. Udupi is where she goes when she wants a taste of real indian food.. I did get a line on some good Thai places that aren’t 90 miles
away in Cary though.. We will see if they can stack up to Thai Villa or Sawasdee..

Categories: Random, School Tags: