Friday, February 26, 2010

2010 PhD breakdown - part 1

I'll take a break from the Paris re-cap to give you a run down on what is going on with potential PhD programs that I have applied to for 2010.

First, the good news:

Washington State University - WSU has officially offered me acceptance into their PhD for Business Administration with a concentration in Management. They are in the middle of the pack when it comes to potential schools, so it's a good start.

Next, the bad news:

Univeristy of Minnesota - I got rejected from Minnesota's Human Resources and Industrial Relations PhD this year. I had been put on their waiting list last year, so I thought my chances of getting in this year were pretty good. But since they don't accept the GMAT scores (only the GRE), and since I chose not to update any of my letters of recommendation, I guess there wasn't much more for them to go on this year than there was last year. Oh, well. They were at the very bottom of the list, so I would have chosen WSU over them anyway.

And, the other news:

Purdue University - I had an interview with one of the professors on the Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management (OBHR) PhD selection committee yesterday morning. I think it went okay, but it's always hard to tell. I am in exactly the same boat that I was in last year at this time. Out of all of there applicants, they are interviewing eight students, including me. Out of those eight, they will choose two.

Texas A&M University - I have been put on the "short" list for Texas A&M's PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. So basically, I am on their waiting list, but I have been told that the list is "VERY short" and that they "almost always make offers to the people on the list at some point." So chances are good that this program will be a possibility as well.

Temple University - I am still under consideration for Temple's Strategic Management PhD program, but I am guessing that my chances there are fairly slim, since there was a mix-up with my undergraduate transcripts that is barely getting worked out, and because I don't have as much of a quantitative/math background as their typical applicant. But no final word has come through yet.

University of Alabama - I am also still under consideration for Alabama's PhD program in Management. This was kind of a last minute addition to the programs that I applied to, but I think it would be a good one. I have not heard much word either way from them at this point.

I will keep you posted as I receive further word, especially when a decision has been made.

(P.S. Apparently, I like "red" schools. I never even thought of that until I pulled all of their logos.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Parisian Paradise - Part X: Champs-Élysées

From the top of the Arc de Triomphe, We had this spectacular view of Champs-Élysées, the swankiest street in Paris and one of the most expensive streets in the world:

That's where we headed for our last adventure of the day on Sunday. (Yes, we're still talking about the same day that we went to church, even though it's been weeks since I posted about that.) There were all sorts of fancy boutiques, luxury car dealerships and other high-end businesses, so Brian decided it was a perfect time to get some dinner . . . at McDonald's:

Typical American! He was also in heaven when he saw the Nike store.

Whit and Deid, however, were more excited when they saw Laduree, the premier pâtisserie in Paris. Apparently they are world famous for their double-decker macaroons (which are much better and completely different than what you would think of as macaroons here in the U.S.):

Here is another covert shot of some of the other pastries there, including gallettes (which we didn't eat here, but we did later on during our trip):

Deidra had to be sneaky because weren't supposed to take pictures, apparently. We didn't really know that until Whit got caught.

But here are the girls with their successful purchase of delicious, fancy, over-priced pastries!

And with that, we finally called it a night. Ok . . . so we actually took the metro back to a street near our hotel and found a nice place to eat dinner.  Then we called it a night.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Parisian Paradise - Part IX: Arc de Triomphe

After our Sunday afternoon walk through Notre Dame and the Latin quarter, we hopped on the metro and headed to the Arc de Triomphe, a huge Arch that honors those who have fought for France, particularly those who fought during Napoleon's reign.

Brain and I were being triumphant:

Deidra being cute and cold:

The Arc de Triomphe became a symbol of conquests, ever since it first symbolized Napoleon's victories. From my understanding, it also became a ceremonious entry into Paris for the Germans when they conquered France (twice), and for the French and Allies when they conquered the Germans in WWII.

We took almost 300 steps up to the top of the arc:

And what greeted us at the top? A souvenir shop, of course! Complete with Eiffel Tower tops that we would have purchased for Deidra's dad (since he is obsessed with tops), but they were worthless when it came to actually spinning them. So we figured a picture was cheaper than paying money for a non-functioning top.

Once we got past the souvenir shop and took one last flight of stairs, we finally saw the view from atop the arc. Hey look! It's that pesky Eiffel Tower again:

Love was in the air at the top, and the Eiffel Tower gave us the spotlight as we showed a little PDA:

Don't worry, Whit and Brian were also guilty:

It was pretty much required for couples to kiss on the observation deck (or the makeout deck, as we called it). And who are we to argue? When in France . . .

As we descended the 300 or so steps back to the ground, we realized there was a wreath laying ceremony going on at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (similar to Arlington National Cemetary in DC), so we got one final picture:

Then we moved on to the ritziest street in Paris, which I still can't pronounce.

But you'll have to wait for until the next post for that one . . . 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Parisian Paradise - Part VIII: The Notre Dame Walk

The world has been waiting long enough. My only excuse for a lack of posting was an awesome President's Day weekend getaway. But now it's time to resume the trip recap.

Sunday afternoon, we walked from the Pompiduo across the river to Notre Dame cathedral. They hadn't even taken down their Christmas tree yet - embarrassing!

We learned all about the many gargoyles and Saint surrounding the facades of Notre Dame - including St. Denis, who (according to legend) was beheaded and then proceeded to stand up, pick up his head, clean it off and walk a number of miles before dying.

The entry into Notre Dame was free, but we were excited to use our museum pass to gain free access up the stairs to the viewing tower. Unfortunately, the weather was too cold and icy, so the viewing tower was closed. Foiled again!

Inside the cathedral, however, was very cool. Dark, gothic, and voluminous (as you would expect from a medieval church), with sculptures, paintings and stained glass throughout:

Not only does the cathedral still have its Christmas tree up, but also its Nativity:

Exiting the cathedral, we photographed its west facade:

Deidra was fascinated by this man, who was feeding birds directly out of his hands:

We walked around the Latin Quarter of Paris, with our audio tour guide, Rick Steves, pointing out all sorts of places of interest. These included the oldest tree in Paris, an alley where residents used to dump their excrement, a street corner with a history of violent protests, and the prison where inmates stayed prior to being beheaded.  Unfortunately or not, we didn't think to take pictures along the walking tour. But it was interesting and refreshing to walk through parts of Paris, instead of just hopping on the metro from one landmark to the next.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Parisian Paradise - Part VII: Pompidou Museum

After church, we ventured a mere block to the Pompidou Museum, which is basically a modern art museum. That's right, we went straight from church to the museum with the provocative image displayed on the outside poster:

That tubing on the outside of the building with what looks like red pads underneath - that's the escalator, not a fun-house slide, unfortunately.

Because it was freezing in Paris, we didn't see many street/sidewalk performers, so we had to document it when we saw this bubble guy:

After entering the museum, we decided to take the escalator all the way to the top and work down from there. Brian and I were having all sorts of fun on the ride up:

Once we got to the top, we looked out over the foggy/polluted/cloudy/overcast city. Hey, look, it's that Eiffel Tower again:

We were turned away from the special exhibit on the top floor, since our museum pass is only good for the permanent exhibits. So we went down a floor and walked through a lot of exhibits that just didn't seem as cool as the old school art. There were some paintings and sculptures from Picasso and Salvador Dali, and I read about some of the other paintings, photography, film and sculptures from Rick Steves, but nothing was too memorable. We quickly made it through two floors of modern art in just a couple of hours. Since we all went through at our own pace, I couldn't tell you what everybody else thought was interesting. But I can tell you that - after the two museums on Saturday, and this one on Sunday - we had all seen more of the human anatomy than is advisable in such a short time frame.

We went to the dining area of the museum and very quickly ate our packed meat and cheese baguettes for lunch (since the sign said that the eating area was only for food purchased at the museum). We must have felt a little guilty and eager to get out of there quickly, because as we were riding the down escalator from the eating area, a lady started waving and calling to us from above. She was speaking in French, but it seemed like she wanted us to come back up. I was wondering if we had been caught and were in trouble, and thought about making a mad dash for the door, but I rode the escalator back up instead to see what the lady wanted.  Turns out that we had left Deidra's sunglasses on our table and the lady had noticed them when we left. So thank you, random French lady!

Before we left, Deidra got a little fancy and took our self portrait (all four of us) in this far-away mirror:

It's like Where's Waldo. Can you find us?

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Parisian Paradise - Part VI: Church

Sunday morning, we awoke and ate breakfast again. This time, I constrained myself a lit bit more. But we did utilize the baguettes, meats and cheese to make ourselves sandwiches for lunch. Yeah, we're resourceful little cheapos sometimes.

We rode the metro to the stop closest to where the LDS church congregation met. Deidra had read a blog from someone who had recently visited Paris, which included direction on how to get to the church from the metro. We followed those direction until we got to the right street, but at the church address we saw only two large blue locked doors - no church logo or anything to let us know we were in the right place. We were confused for a while, but eventually Deidra found a Book of Mormon display with note in a nearby window, left for visitors from the missionaries. It gave us instructions for getting through the locked doors.

Upon entering the blue doors, we saw a cobblestone courtyard with a few parked cars. We came to find out that church was held in the various rooms surrounding the courtyard. Deidra and Whit went to Relief Society on the North side, while Brian and I went to priesthood meeting on the south side.

The official church website said that church began at 10:30 AM, and the blog Deidra had read said it started at 10 AM. We got there at about 10:15, and those initial meetings ended about 15 minutes after we got there. Apparently, church atually started at 9:30AM. But that was okay, because the first meeting was in French and we didn't understand much of it anyway.

The four of us met together in an English-language Gospel Doctrine class during the next hour, where it was great to actually participate and understand what was going on.

Finally, we all went to Sacrament Meeting together as well. This meeting was also in French, but the missionaries were translating into both English and Chinese. So we got to wear these fun headphones to understand what was being said:

I am sure that translating is a difficult job, and some of the missionaries were better at it than others (they took turns), so I think we missed some of what was going on throughout the meeting.

At one point, a speaker (who had recently returned from a mission) did not speak French and only spoke Spanish. So he spoke in Spanish with a translator who translated it into French. Then the missionaries would try to translate that French into English. I took off my headphones during that speaker, when I realized that I could understand the Spanish better than I could understand the Spanish-French-English translation.

And, and interesting side note - it turns out that I knew the Bishop of the congregation. He is American, and we went to church together when we were both single and living in Washington, D.C. Sometimes the church makes it a small world.

Church was another one of our favorite parts of our Paris trip, which some people have told us is a copout. But we felt very warmly welcomed and and saw a great deal of diversity throughout the congregation, which is sometimes lacking in Utah.  It was heartening to see our brothers and sisters in the gospel thousands of miles away and recognize that the church and its members are the same throughout the world.

Friday, February 05, 2010

That's my Senator!

This is what happened as Senator Hatch approached the podium to offer the prayer at the National Prayer Breakfast:

At least he didn't have one of his own songs playing as a ringtone.

P.S. More Paris posts to come this weekend.