Chasing a bullet point : Chapter 28

While I write this, I am in extreme pain. I have walked 15 Kms today. No kidding. We arrived about 7 minutes late at the North Campus auditorium and we were among the last ones to arrive. I sat next to Maria Antonia from Chile who I’d spoken to a few times over Facebook and Whatsapp. She’s quite nice. I kept falling asleep and cursing myself for wearing sports shoes today but I’m glad I did. The session was about the difference between getting an MBA and becoming a Master of Business Administration. I liked the talk despite missing the first few minutes and falling off asleep a couple of times through the session.

Then, we had a super long session on team building which was facilitated by a Dutch teacher called Analoes Raes who looked quite pretty and was dressed well. First, we had an interactive class about different characteristics of various team members in a general team which was emphasised by a scene from the movie ’12 Angry Men’. I know it’s a typical B school movie. Our next session was to work with our team to solve a puzzle. Each person had a different piece of information the others didn’t have access to and we had to solve the puzzle. We were all far too excited to listen to others and each of us had our own ideas of how we wanted to solve it and in the end, we didn’t end up solving it.

I was quite scared that we couldn’t complete such a simple task in 25 minutes but I comforted myself saying it was only the 1st time. This was followed by an exercise where we had to spend one hour getting to know each other more deeply, understanding their styles of working in teams, etc so we could have some ground work for working as a team. While each one from my team spoke, I penned down everything about them and I have enough information about them for now. I think it was very useful to understand everyone from that standpoint. It was interesting to see a little bit of me in everyone while they introduced themselves. I wondered if the similarities in personality would be a disadvantage but after discussing this with Max this evening, I figured everyone feels the same.

Later at lunch, I sat with Sangeeta’s group who spoke about yoga and pilates on one side and on the other side, I was talking to Judy and Babak (an Iranian who lived in London and had a real estate development business – taking old houses in central London and refurbishing them and furnishing them with Fendi/ Armani and selling it to Russians). After lunch, I spoke with Carolina, a girl in my class who is from Barcelona. She has studied chemical engineering and then studied philosophy and theology for 3 years in Rome before working as a lean operations consultant in a cosmetic company in Barcelona.

After lunch, we were given this insanely crazy activity of exploring Barcelona. We were given coloured t-shirts to distinguish the various groups and all this was organised by a company called “Lapika’. It was like a treasure hunt with each of the teams with an IPad. We had to go to the various places tagged on the map and answer a different question at each spot and sometimes questions were replaced by us having to take a selfie or make a video of ourselves. We were given a travelling pass to make the trip from school to Placa Catalunya where most of the places were. We had to visit 41 different places on the map. At first we were all pumped and excited but once we had been doing this for 3 hours, we were beginning to really really lose it. We had no energy left to either discuss or build consensus, we just wanted to get done with it.

The upside of the experience for me was that I and an opportunity to understand my team members, bond with them and also explore the touristy part of the city which I had never done before. It was so beautiful. I could see that Manolo, Helena and Matt were constantly drifting off but we managed to do pretty well on our tasks. We were pretty lucky in our guesses and we thought the questions were damn weird because it never had anything to do with the locations at which they were planted. Finally after about 4:30 hours and 15 Kms, we had made it to the finally destination. So, clearly, it was about knowing how far we could survive as one unit at the end of a tiring day. So, it seems to me that they are preparing us to build endurance to survive 6 hour study days and then meeting for a team discussion to solve a case.

Anyway, back to the race –  Along the way, we had seen a lot of people who had given up, settled at a bar and waiting to kill time until 8pm. When we reached the spot, we were given water and coke which pissed some people off as there was no beer. We probably did well but we’ll know the result only later I think. Among other things, I have passed Spanish Module 3 and I’m now in Module 4, god bless me. I decided to head home but since my battery had died and I didn’t know the way back, I needed to hang around for company till the metro station so I went out for drinks and dinner with my team. Manel, Helena,Hiro and I walked to the metro station and from there I dragged myself home on my own.

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