Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sloan Ski Trip Awards - January 2008

Reporter : S. B.

We made this awards list to have some good natured fun to recap our successful Sloan ski trip. These are not meant to be mean or insulting to anyone. Hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed creating the list.

Flanagan-Bernanke Award goes to June Yang and Robert Jungerhans for making their classmates overspend wildly for a weekend of skiing. In addition to affecting personal happiness surplus accounts, they have also made a positive contribution to GDP and negative contribution to personal savings and deficit. Hence, the Sloan class of 2008 is thrilled to present this award to Robert and June.

Award of Honorary Mayor of Tahoe City goes to William ‘Billy’ Shaw for schmoozing everyone from bartenders to busboys, from random strangers on the slopes to ladies at the cash register. He used his hip flask and its social lubricant to smooth out any and all social situations.

Award for Best Outfit goes to Kazuomi Kaneto AKA K2 for wearing the most easily identifiable outfit on the mountain and for bringing some much needed cutting edge Harajuku fashion to the slopes. Like his outfit said “he stormed to the finish in all his whole races”. Yes indeed.

Award for Best Accessory goes to Brian Tice for showing that real men are not afraid to wear a fanny pack ahem, I mean a Waist Survival Pack.

Sloan Daredevil Award AKA Orthopedics’ Dream AKA I’m Surprised he is not dead yet goes to Pete ‘Beerman’ Cooper for skiing down slopes that most hormone crazed sixteen year olds would have the sense to avoid. These included vertical slopes with barely a patch of snow and exposed sharp rock.

Award for Best Supporting Role goes to Ed Swenson for loaning his pants to Jaime Perena. The pants then made their way into Billy Shaw’s hands and then to Koichi Zaiki and so on. In the end, it seemed like more people got into Ed’s pants this weekend than during any weekend in Ed’s college days. Way to go Ed.

Award for Best Nutritionist goes to Koichi Zaiki for showing that not only can you survive on a diet of coffee, beer and hard alcohol, but that when you smoke cigarettes on top of that diet, it actually helps you ski better.

Award for Top 3 Snowboarders (Male) goes to
1. Krish Ulag
Everyone else skied
Everyone else skied

Award for Top 3 Snowboarders (Female) goes to
1. (tie) Karen Sansot and Brooke Schulz
3. Everyone else skied

Snow Flake Award (this award was formerly known as the Party Pooper Award) goes to Kristine Whiteman for (i) not going on the Sloan Ski Trip and (ii) using a really lame excuse to justify her not going.

Award for Most Stoic Skier goes to Jim Roth for willing to wear his ski boots and walking in them all day including to breakfast, dinner and (hopefully not) to bed.

and finally….

Award for Best Sport goes to Amanda Tucker for joining the class on this trip.. for having fun and being a great fun herself and for generally being a wonderful person.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

ECON 101 as explained by Sloan 2008s

Reporter : S. B.

Econ :
1. Short for Economics, Economic etc
2. Has the term “Con” in it. Need I say more
3. Branch of empirical science developed to explain events many years after they have happened. New theories are constantly produced to predict future events and explain past events that older theories had failed to predict.

Decreasing Rate of Marginal Returns :
1. Explains why the more the time one spends studying for an exam, the less one will remember during the exam

Deadweight Loss :
1. In economics, a deadweight loss (also known as excess burden) is a loss of economic efficiency that can occur when equilibrium for a good or service is not Pareto optimal.
2. In Sloan Land, a Deadweight Loss occurs when one spends a huge amount of time on an individual assignment and later finds out that the assignment only counts for 0.02% of the final grade.

Zimbabwe :
1. Country in Africa whose economy is in such an unbelievably bad shape that it can be used to explain every possible economic theory however ridiculous it might be. Example : Nations can use price controls to combat inflation. E.g. Zimbabwe (or) Reducing taxes does not help the economy as proven in the case of Zimbabwe

Bartering :
1. System used by Sloans to allocate work in their study groups
Example : I will work on the initial model, if you will clean it up and write the report (or) I will bring pastries for our next study group meeting, if you can finish the assignment without me.

Ceteris Paribus :
1. The clause is often loosely translated as "holding all else constant." A prediction, or a statement about causal or logical connections between two states of affairs, is qualified by ceteris paribus in order to acknowledge, and to rule out, the possibility of other factors which could override the relationship between the antecedent and the consequent.
2. For Sloans, you may receive extra credit if you pre-pend this term to answer all questions regarding Shadow Price, Reservation Price, Reduced Costs, Crystal Ball Simulations, Explaining Coefficients etc. in Modeling and Analysis.

N.A.I.R.U :
1. Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment
2. Also known as natural rate of unemployment
3. 2008 Sloans know that this definition caused Prof. Flanagan to say “Ladies and gentlemen it is 15 minutes to 2 PM and the man is awake”

Fundamental Value of Currency
1. If a Sloan Fellow’s value in the job market were a currency, this would be what his/her worth would be in the open job market based on his/her skills and experience

Overvalued Currency
1. Again, if a Sloan Fellow were a currency, this is what the Sloan Fellow would expect their value to be after the Sloan Program.

Twin Deficits :
1. Term to used to explain how one can spend a lot of time on a subject and yet they seem to fall farther behind while also not getting enough sleep.

China :
Antonym : Zimbabwe
1. Country in Asia that one has to use as a standard disclaimer to all growth based econ theories.
Example : Raging fast growth will always cause very high inflation except in the case of China

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My First Mid-term Exam in 20 Years !

Reporter : Pete Cooper

The weather was still pretty mild during mid-terms this Fall. Halfway through the Modeling take-home, I needed a break and decided to take a walk around the sprawling residence hall. Heading down through the Schwab lobby I ran into two of the front desk folks. My hair must have been sticking straight up in the air, because they smiled knowingly. “Yep”, I said, “first mid-term in 20 years”.

After 20 years of nightmares about missing classes and showing up late and unprepared to the final, everything in the Fall quarter has gone surprisingly smoothly. My trusty alarm clock wakes me up on time every day, I never end up in class unwittingly half naked, and the awareness of my personal investment is rarely needed for motivation. The Sloan administration bonded all of my classmates and I together quickly and we have been inseparable ever since.

One of the important lessons of the first quarter is to strike a balance between the instinct to focus entirely on academic performance and alternatively to take advantage of the wealth of other valuable opportunities at Stanford. In general it’s plausible to do reasonably well in the classes, get adequate sleep, and not be overwhelmed. The real key is to push the envelope a bit, attend the different speaking and networking events and take time to enjoy your classmates outside of class. I can’t think of a better time in life to lose a bit of sleep to see a prominent CEO speak, network with the wealth of local VC’s, or have a beer with what may end up being some of your best friends.

The test taking process ends up a lot like riding a bike. It comes back without a lot of prompting. Everyone is in it together, from fellow Sloans and the MBA’s to the folks at the Schwab front desk or the Sloan staff. It is amazing to me how we all give and take a little to help one another over the challenges.