Friday, October 18, 2013

TALKing in class

So, this blog is about talking. TALK and talking. One thing is awesome, with the other one I am actually having my problems. But good things first...

TALK is Stanford. TALK is the school community. And TALK is one of the things that sets the GSB apart from most other business schools. The concept is fairly simple. Every Monday night more than 200 students get together in the MBA lounge (a tiny little room) and listen to 1-2 fellow students tell their life story. And I do not mean in a "I-am-so-great" Business school essay style, but really their own personal story. Oftentimes that makes the TALKers vulnerable and exposes deep feelings and emotions. Oftentimes it is really, really funny. But first and foremost you get to know your classmates and feel that that some sort of a bond that holds us together gets stronger and stronger. First I was skeptical what benefit it brings to do that "soul striptease", but after a couple of talks I realized that it is actually just another form of self-reflection, owning one's actions and decisions and opening up to grow as a person. I really need to start writing down stories and anecdotes for my TALK.

Talking in class
Well, I mean participating in class, but talking sounds better. Because of TALK. You get it... Anyways.  I big portion of our grades is determined through classroom participation. In sections of 70 students and classes of 105 minutes in which also the professor speaks once in a while it does not require a Stanford MBA to see that airtime is scarce. So what do a lot of people do? Right, try to make a comment. Almost force to make one in order to be on the safe side to secure their grade. Other people just talk to bring the class forward and therefore naturally speak less. It is tough to differentiate between quality and quantity, but the current system probably only focuses on the later. I personally think it's better to shut up if you can't bring the class forward. Professors disagree (though they would not say that, but I am sure quantity is what influences their view on a student). So, what consequences do I draw from that? Try to talk to people before and after class to actually discuss, for the sake of everyone I'll also shut up if I can't say anything valuable in class and I am really looking forward to the electives with only 30 people.

I am off to the Disney party in a bit. I never thought costume stores would have a chance to survive. At least now I know who buys Peter Pan outfits.

Next time I'm gonna talk about taking deciding on norms about basically everything. We do that a lot here.

Cheers + bis bald,

TALK on Mondays

We actually have a cactus garden on campus... 


  1. no way! cactuses on campus? where's that?

  2. shit, man... no way you're 24...

  3. Hey Tim, have you already had the chance to give your Monday night talk? Or is that on the list for 2014? Greetings from good ole Frankfurt, Chris