Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Things I've been doing lately

I wanted to get a few items off of my chest, as the void left by "Black Friday" begins to be filled with other pokery- and non-pokery related things:
  • Business trip to Norway
    I am going to Norway from Saturday to Thursday.  I will be an hour north of Oslo.  I have been Googling constantly, but I can't seem to find a casino / poker room in or around Norway as a whole.  Does anyone know if it's even legal there?
  • Atlantic City
    I am heading up to New Jersey this Thursday.  My wife & I are dropping off the kids with my parents and we're going to make a quick overnight trip in Atlantic City.  She booked a room for my birthday, knowing that I would enjoy both spending time with her and playing poker.  If anyone is going to be in AC over the weekend and wants to meet up, leave a comment.
  • Getting an MBA
    I have decided to go back to college to get a graduate degree.  I will pursue obtaining an MBA.  It all starts with the The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), for which I have been diligently studying.  Let me tell you...  this GMAT business is 60% reasonable and 40% deciet.  I don't know how many of you have taken the GMAT, but it is disheartening to find questions in the data sufficiency section like the following:

    Which of the following tells a definitive duration of time for a given event?
    (1) The event started at 11:58AM and ended at 12:02PM.
    (2) The event lasted exactly 4 minutes.

    (A) Statement (1) and only statement (1) is necessary to tell the duration of given event.
    (B) Statement (2) and only statement (2) is necessary to tell the duration of given event.
    (C) Both statements (1) and (2) are necessary to tell the duration of given event.
    (D) Either statements (1) or (2) are adequate to tell the duration of given event.
    (E) Neither statements (1) nor (2) are adequate to tell the duration of given event.

    I have paraphrased the question from memory, but I have included what I believe to be the necessary details.

    Click to see results

    Under "normal English circumstances," (D) would be the correct answer because each statement stands on its own. Both state the event was 4 minutes. However, (B) is the correct GMAT answer because (A) does not specify the date at which the event started or ended.

    I will state that I was originally correct in my answer, but I honestly fail to see how knowing the answer to this question will indicate to a graduate school that I am adequately prepared to attend their school. Give me a break! The above simply indicates that I am good at crafting words like a lawyer (apologies to my lawyer readership, but this simply smacks of legalese).

    Also, what's with the sentence correction section? HOLY COW, I do not know the English language anywhere near as well as I thought I did! Although I agree that the sentence correction section adequately tests the knowledge of a student in written English, I fail to see how being a grammarian makes me a better candidate for business school. I anticipate that I will have to write a few papers - yes - but I highly doubt that the professors will be knowledgeable enough to point out grammatical mistakes such as the example questions I have read. A quick example (which I got wrong):

    Scoliosis, a condition when the spine curves abnormally and throws the body out of line, can cause heart and lung problems as well as physical deformity.
    (A) a condition when the spine curves abnormally and throws the body out of line
    (B) an abnormal curvature of the spine that throws the body out of line
    (C) a condition of the spine curving abnormally and in which the body is thrown out of line
    (D) where the body is thrown out of line by an abnormal curvature of the spine
    (E) a condition of an abnormal curvature of the spine throwing the body out of line

    The correct answer is (B), FWIW.  I'm having issues with the sentence correction because the way they "fix" the sentences aren't necessarily the way I would fix them.

    Finally, studying for the GMAT is time consuming!  I'm putting in 2-3 hours after work, which leaves little time for online poker.

    If you're interested, I am pursing Johns Hopkins University (JHU) for my MBA.
  • Letters of recommendation
    One of the application requirements for admission to JHU is 2 letters of recommendation.  The site does not give any more information than that; "Two letters of recommendation."  I am toying with ideas as to who I should ask.  Choices are as follows (keeping in mind that career-wise, I'm an engineer by trade, but moving in the direction of management of both money and people over the past 4 years):
    • An up-and-comer in the business side of the company; he was formerly a Program Manager, but is now advanced to working business development and capture management for the division.  He is well-respected within the company, and holds an adjunct teaching position at a local university.
      I have worked closely in the past with this person and he knows me well.
    • My supervisor's supervisor, who is responsible for approx. 700+ engineers.  Clearly, he is on the engineering side of the company.  Prior to his current position, he was my immediate supervisor, responsible for perhaps 100 engineers.
      I currently work closely with this individual, and he knows me well.
    • The Director of the division.  He's on the business side, well-known, a retired Colonel or Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army.  Going to him would be going after what I would consider to be "name-dropping."
      Although he and I know each other, I don't work with him and we don't know each other well.  However, asking him would be easy, as I would present it to him such that writing a letter would strengthen his core business by giving me an advanced education.
    • Vice President of the division.  See arguments for the Director.  Subtract the Army experience.
    • A personal friend who is CEO of a large insurance company.
      Although I have never worked directly with him in a professional environment, I have worked charity events with him through our temple, and he is a close friend of mine who knows me well.
      Using him would also be what I consider to be "name-dropping."
Lots of content here.  Sorry if this bores my regular readership; I just needed a place to get it all out onto virtual paper.


  1. I, personally, find this more interesting than a hand history, FWIW.

  2. for me, the first question is B hands down simply because it is the only one which explicitly tells the EXACT duration of the event. statement 1 can lead me to think the event lasted any time between 3m01s and 4m59s (and not even going for fractions of seconds).

    as for the letters of recommendation, have you entertained the hypothesis of getting one from someone working in the academy? i find it standard to go for those...

  3. Letters of rec: Always go with the people who know you best and will write the best letters for/about you.

  4. I don't suppose a recommendation from your rabbi and apple-juice- dixie-cup-shot buddy would do, eh?

  5. It would be nice if I knew someone working in academia. Unfortunately, the program manager (first person) is as close to academia as I can get.

    Don't know what's up with Kol Ra'ash Gadol's comment though. Care to clarify?


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