Sunday, September 26, 2004


New music

After a seemingly endless dry spell in my new music file, I've finally found a crop of new stuff that's worthy of mention. In the indie-but-basically-mainstream category, I've liked this year's releases by Franz Ferdinand and The Killers. Neither band is the next Radiohead or Coldplay, but that's not the point... the point of these albums is that they'll get me through 2004 without realizing that I'm almost 30 and have no business listening to music with attitude.

The other two albums that I'm excited about are the new ones from Cake and Elliott Smith. Neither is released yet, but advance copies can be found if you know where to look. The Cake album is classic Cake. Someone made the comment the other day that Cake hasn't released a bad album, and this new one is certainly no exception. Several songs in there, such as "Wheels", "The Guitar Man" and "Waiting", are instant feel-good classics. The pity is that they're releasing "No Phone" as a single, which in my opinion is the dullest track on the album. But I felt the same way about "Never there" and even "Long skirt, short jacket." In any case, it's a good thing this band has still not gone through an identity crisis. Let's pray they never do.

The new Elliott Smith album is a collection of tracks he was working on before his death. Unlike most post-humous releases, this one is not a collection of odds and ends that were never intended for prime time. So it's a fairly high quality collection of brand new tracks. There's a good mix of Either/Or-style acoustic songs and Figure 8 band songs. Highlights are "Pretty (ugly before)", "Memory Lane", and "Don't go down." Worth checking out.

posted by Ryan : 8:50 AM | permalink

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Ways to increase MBA applications

Well, I had heard that MBA admissions applications this year are much lower across the board for all schools. In the interest of increasing the admissions pool at Wharton, I submitted the following Top 10 list to the Wharton Journal for Monday's publication.

Top 10 Ways Wharton can boost new MBA applications

10. Send (Wharton admissions guru) Alex Brown on a worldwide admissions committee tour.... without trousers.
9. Move Huntsman Hall from West Philly to... well... just about anywhere else in the world.
8. Change annual price of tuition from $39,835.00 to $39,799.99, bundled with complimentary $5 reprographics gift card.
7. Hand out iPods to incoming students, pre-loaded with 20GB of commercial-free Anjani Jain meditations.
6. Do away with dull alumni panels at admissions receptions. Replace with juggling, unicycle-mounted circus clowns.
5. Use catchier subject lines in admissions emails, such as "REFINANCE NOW" or "ENLARGE YOUR MEMBER - 70% OFF"
4. Hire Dr. Phil to stage "tough love" interventions with people who have abandoned the application process.
3. Reach out to the Europeans by having Rose Martinelli join David Hasselhoff on tour.
2. Speed up admission decisions by allowing them to be made at the Dart Tournament.
1. Change the school's official name from "Wharton" to "That school Trump used to go to."

posted by Ryan : 7:32 PM | permalink

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


Majors, classes, and auction points

I think I'm going to major in Finance and Marketing. Finance for 3 reasons: 1) It's a good background for any career in business, 2) I've had very little experience in finance, and 3) It's what Wharton is known for. Marketing for two reasons: 1) Marketing is, for lack of a better word, fun, and 2) Wharton's marketing department has a great reputation.

I was considering Strategic Management instead of Marketing, but the buzz about Marketing classes was a lot better than what I'd heard about Management. Sure, there is an all-star Strategy class taught by Siggelkow but I've spent a lot of my auction points and won't be able to afford it next semester.

For those new to the auction, each student starts out with 5000 points and gets 1000 points replenishment upon completion of a semester course. So, roughly speaking, spending less than 1000 points on a class feels "cheap" and more than 1000 points feels "expensive". (for more info on how the class auction works see this PDF file). All that said, here's my class list for the semester along with how many auction points each cost me.I was lucky to get all of my classes in the first round of the auction. As you can tell, the auction pricing is somewhat polarized, and demand for the best professors is very inelastic. Much of this demand is fed by word of mouth, in the form of student surveys from last year's students. Needless to say, my expectations for Metrick's and Day's classes are pretty high!

posted by Ryan : 4:16 PM | permalink

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