Thursday, October 13, 2005

End of Term 1

My term 1 is officially over with one last exam this morning. It was the stats paper and it was lo-ho-ho-hong... I remember at some point, I just wanted to turn the paper in and leave. There was about half an hour left to go and the last couple of questions were teasing me so bad, I could have torn my paper! I'm kidding, but stats really puts you on the edge. It's I guess one of the more rigorous topics that you have around. It's also so fundamental to everything that I guess all the nightmare is probably worth it. As Jill Stowe, our stats prof. said as she walked into the room to announce the end of 3 hours of paper, "OK people, the torture is over, you can turn it in!" Jill is also probably the nicest profs. around with one of the hardest subjects to teach in term 1. More about profs. in a later post I guess. I have one week break and in a way, I am looking forward to it. :-) Largely, term 1 was a blast and I dread sitting at home and doing nothing for more than a week! More on that a little later...

My other two exams were MICRO and ME. From what I figured, and if my intuitions are right (;-)), I think I did pretty well in both. I will have to wait and see and since this is just the first time we are finishing up with the subjects, I am not too sure about grades and how I fair in my section as a whole, since the grade distribution is relative. The distribution is roughly 25% Superior Pass, 40% High Pass, and 35% Pass, Low Pass and Fail. People are incredibly smart here and so, I think it's not easy to get an SP here. Since I started on this track, let me share an interesting, but kinda-obvious observation (A duh? moment perhaps). If a particular quiz, assignment or exam is easy, it probably doesn't add too much to your grade value as a whole. For example, stats quiz 2 was quite easy and I got a 20/20 on it. When Jill discussed the mean of class for that quiz, many people had got 20, the mean was quite high and so, there was not much scope for differentiation there. Contrast that with quiz 1 (shudderrr) and quiz 3, which were "tough". The mean was a little more modest and the spread was a bit more. If you do well in that, it counts more towards your overall grade. Overall, this is my take on it; Just do as well as you can *if you care*, this grading is far more complex than what you can make of it. I just thought it was interesting how you can surprise yourself once in a while when you outperform your class. But some people are more competitive than others and if you want to keep outperforming, that is ok too!

The MICRO final was one of those differentiating exams, I think. A lot of people had different answers for the same problems, found themselves making more mistakes than they originally thought and so on. That is good. ME, as always, will have a wide spread because of the inherent complexity of the topics. Overall, I did not come out of a paper and feel that I had screwed it up and that I didn't have a clue (like it happens sometimes). That's all that really matters to me.

So overall, term 1 was great (awesome to use the typical American word ;-)), the subjects were very fundamental to our future courses, and I have a week-long break in front of me. I am sippin' on a beer and my section is going for a pub-crawl tonight. Meanwhile, my roommate Navdeep just left for New York to do some Wall Street crawling! It's not his fault (don't blame him, poor guy! ;-)), Investment Banking folks are the earliest to start and apparently the earliest to land up with internship. I know little about their field and from what I see, it looks like a whole different world to me. From my shoes, it looks tougher with all the networking from early stages, more formal SIPs, more formal e-mails, attire, just everything. But hey, isn't bschool about the different perspectives? I find that difficult, others might find General Management, Marketing or Consulting tougher in terms of preparation. It's all about your personality... and that is just my over-simplified, beer-influenced, couch version of things!

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