A person is much more than what we see and feel

In the recent days, many incidents have been reported where either wife kills Husband or Husband (or others) kills (or tortures) Wife and all the other combinations of relationships. In most of the incidents, neighbors and friends are surprised about the fact that “this” person could not have don’t that. Or the person whom we know could not do this “bad” thing. In other times, some parents are heart broken to say that, “We never thought our son-in-law could torture our daughter. He seemed to be nice.”. Readers can very well get the context in which one would be surprised to see what other person did to them or others.

The recent Tiger Woods story is flying around the media for a few months now. Tiger Woods is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Currently the World No. 1, he was the highest-paid professional athlete in 2008, having earned an estimated $110 million from winnings and endorsements. Woods has won 14 professional major golf championships, the second highest of any male player, and 71 PGA Tour events, third all time. With the recent setback on his career where he was exposed with a Sex scandal with his wife and (many more) mistress. Millions of people worldwide were devastated that their favorite “Tiger Woods” was exposed to the media. They are never to believe that Tiger Woods could do such “bad” things. All the earnest he earned with hard work of few years was lost in few days.

SPS Rathore and Ruchika case is also one of the most popular and saddening news in 2009. SPS Rathore is the Inspector General of police who was the top law enforcer of the state of Haryana. Ruchika was a budding tennis player. The 14-year-girl was so traumatized by the experience and intimidation from authorities to silence her that she committed suicide in 1993. Probably this is not the right forum to discuss, if the 6 month jail and Rs.1000/- fine is what one should get for this inexcusable mistake. However, people were shocked to see that a IPS officer and an ex-DGP could do such a “bad” thing to a little girl (same age as his grand-daughter may be).

Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja were two cricket icons who many many Indians and other cricket fans adored and respected. In the year 2000, when  all these cricketers were hit by the Match-fixing scandal, many where angry and surprised how these seasoned cricketers are able to do such stupid actions.

The Monica Lewinsky scandal was a political sex scandal emerging from a sexual relationship between United States President Bill Clinton and a 22-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. The news of this extra-marital affair and the resulting investigation eventually led to the impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives and his subsequent acquittal on all impeachment charges (of perjury and obstruction of justice) in a 21-day Senate trial. President of a lead nation falling pray to such practices made the entire US and world look at this guy with shame. He is one president who has great charm, had influenced many nations on nuclear treaties, strengthened relations with India and many more. A person of such magnitude was/is never expected to commit a mistake which would play with people’s feelings.

Bollywood’s hero Salman Khan is/was respected and adored by many Indians and people abroad. On 28 September 2002, Salman was arrested for rash and negligent driving. His car had run into a bakery in Mumbai; one person who was sleeping on the pavement outside the bakery died and three others were injured in the mishap. On 17 February 2006, Khan was sentenced to one year in prison for hunting an endangered species, the Chinkara. The sentence was stayed by a higher court during appeal. His turbulent relationship with actress Aishwarya Rai was a well publicized topic in the Indian media, and had constantly filled gossip columns. After their break-up in March 2002, Rai accused him of harassing her.

In the above examples, you could see that variety of people in various walks of life have committed what we generally perceive as “wrong” doings. This brings to discuss an interesting idea of “A person is much more than what we see and feel”. There will be many instances in life where we are surprised by some “action” that our close friend or relative did. You would be shattered to know that a person that you KNEW was totally different to what they were in ACTUALITY.

That said, it is interesting to see some components of what makes a person what he is today. Following are some important components that we all believe that a person is made up of and perceived.

  • Childhood
    • Parents treatment
    • Teachers treatment
    • Neighbors treatment
    • Relatives treatment
    • Friends Influence
    • Learning from Hobbies
  • Adulthood
    • College Environment
    • Friend Influence
    • Delta of Parent Influence
    • Delta of Faculty Influence
    • Learning from Hobbies
    • Learning from Travel
    • Experiences @ Work
    • Learning from Boss
    • Leanings from Co-worker

Also, it is very important to understand that a person plays multiple roles in his life time. And Responsibility for each role is UNIQUE.

A person is a combination of his upbringing stimulants.

A person is a combination of experiences from his birth time till death.

A person is a combination of positives traits

A person is a combination of negative traits

Very often, people don’t understand this fact and mix up the facts and assume the following…

  • He is a good Son. So, He will be good Husband.
  • She is a good Daughter; So, She will be good Mother.
  • She is a good Daughter; So, She will be good Wife.
  • He is a great Person at Work; So, He will become good Husband.
  • He talks very nicely with people; So, He will LOVE his wife.
  • She is a nice person; So, She should be loving her Husband.
  • He has done his Ph.D; He will take care of his Wife and Kids nicely.
  • He is nice person to talk to; He may be loving his family a lot.
  • He takes care of his Wife; He he must be taking care of his Parents too.
  • She talks nicely with her In-laws. She much be taking good care of them.
  • and many more you could think of…
Clearly, such statements tend to prove wrong (in most cases) and we are either surprised or disappointed when something goes wrong. It is necessary to know and understand a person in various aspects of like rather than based on what we perceive. A simple analysis of a person is rather depicted by the Johari window that talks about the multiple aspects of a person. Of course, this is in no way a complete analysis of a person. However, this gives us a frame of reference to KNOWN and UNKNOWN aspects of a person.
A Johari window is a cognitive psychological tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955 in the United States, used to help people better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise.
There are definitely several other analysis tools. But Johari window is a simple tool to understand and analyze a person. This took helps us in two different ways. This tool is helpful when the person and his family/friends contribute what they about the person.
Room 1 : This is the part that most of us see in one person. This room contains all the traits of a person that he knows and others also know. e.g. A person is full of energy and jovial all the time. These traits are known to him and others too.
This room makes it possible that a person is known to other people and is open to suggestions on his personality improvement. The idea is when a person knows he is “impatient”, he is more open to accept when other suggest him to be “patient”. When you know, it is easy to accept.

Room 2 : The aspect of some personal traits known to others and not to you, prevails in this room. It some times leads to pain, as others may know that you are not trust-worthy and sway away from you and you have no clue why you cant make friends. No one even tells you and you don’t know about it.

Room 3 : This is the dangerous space of all the rooms as these traits are not known to you or others. This might lead to a scenario, where an action of yours may cause pain to you and also others. Because, you are worrying about that fact that “I am not that kind of person” and others are worrying that “He is not that kind of person”. No one knows about these traits and as the number of these traits in this room increases, there would be more and more embarrassing and shocking instances for you and everyone.

Room 4 : This is a private scenario where one is aware of a particular personal trait and they don’t reveal it to others. One can be “violent”, “vulgar” or “unethical” and not let others know about this. They always try to cover these traits with some other personal traits. If the number of items in this room increases, then a person becomes more and more secretive and its very difficult to gauge a person depending on what you know. Because, you don’t know the root of his action could be his innate trait that you are not aware of.

A gentle urge is to consciously understand a person and not judge based on what you see and hear about that person. For all that you know, he is very good socially but he is a highly unethical or vulgar personality. There are many many aspects of a person to be closely seen.

Paper based advertisement and promotions in mail

This is a small effort to make people realize how much of paper we waste in the name of Advertisement and Promotions in USA. Here is what i did — On On June 8th i decided that i will watch closely on all the mail i get by post. Most of the mail goes in the trash bin anyway. The idea of this experiment is to collect *ALL* mail i get between June 10th 2010 to July 9th 2010. I sorted all the mail and separated the junk and what i really look for. Following is the outcome.

Please see this video before you read on… Paper Garbage from Mail.

Some Statistics

Total Weight of the Mails (which correlates to paper weight that goes into junk) : 5.2 lbs (2.35 kgs)

Promotions & Ads addressed to Me : 21 mails

Promotions & Ads addressed to Previous Residents : 9 mails

Coupons addressed to Current Resident : 12 mails

Note 1: I have ALL my bank accounts, credit cards, utilities, mobile, cable bills as “paperless“.

Note 2 : Above mails are the ones that i personally never subscribed or wanted.

Whats does it mean

I can say that i get the least amount of mail and i still get 5 lbs of mail per months that i put into the trash. Lets do a simple math here. According to the latest Google public data the US population is 307,006,550 (307 million) as of July 2009.

Amount of Paper junk that comes by mail in 1 month = 307/4 mi X 5.2 lbs  = 399 million lbs

Amount of Paper junk that comes by mail in 1 year = 307/4 mi X 5.2 lbs X 12 months = 4788 million lbs = 4.7 billion lbs of paper

I am sure the above math is very (very) conservative as there may be s one who totally depend on the paper based billing and others.

Is there a way to reduce this paper waste  + printing chemicals + recycle costs + indirect costs and which yields NOTHING productive ?

Updated 13th July 7.00 pm PST : One of the reader pointed out that the multiplication factor is not 300 million people as these mails are per house hold. I agree! Taking that in to consideration, the new numbers would simply be 1/4 of original.

Again, these numbers are DEFINITELY not accurate. They only demonstrate the enormous paper waste.  So, i would suggest readers to be aware of the fact that these numbers are not based out of scientific formula :). Thanks for your understanding.

I can see it coming…

As i wrote in my previous entry that i will be starting the part-time MBA from this September from UC Davis Bay Area campus. By now, i am already seeing most of the challenges that i would be facing. It’s definitely going to the time crunch and mostly it deals with the time management. 24 hours seems to be too less to do want i am doing now. All the time divided among the following categories.

….and… I am already getting anxious. In the past week my daughter has been with high fever and teething pain and we are spending most of the time with my daughter diverting her and pacifying her pain. I really want to be able to do “same thing” (at least i want to dream to do it) even after my classes start in September. The biggest challenge of all the things is to be able to justify the time at Office, Home and School. All the three are very important and crucial to want we want to be as a person.

I want to get the maximum gain out of my MBA at this time. Let us see what i say in the next 4 months. I reserve the blog title… “I am seeing it now…” to talk about my experiences of MBA in November 2010 🙂

Why Calcium for your body?

A real quick reference of why you need calcium ?

You need Calcium because…

  • It maintains normal heart beat
  • regulates blood pressure
  • helps nervous system function correctly
  • MAY reduce colon cancer chances
  • … its not only about the stronger bones…

Calcium rich foods…

  • low-fat milk
  • butter milk
  • regular yogurt
  • tofu
  • other misc items like milk-shakes, coffee drinks, etc…

Calcium requirement / day…

  • elementary through high school kids – 1300mg X 4 servings
  • adult and middle aged – 1000mg X 3 servings
  • older people after 50 – 1200mg X 4 servings

Exercises that helps you…

  • walking
  • jogging
  • dancing
  • tennis
  • yoga

In between…. Why Vitamin D ?

  • helps your body to absorb Calcium
  • prevents rickets (soft bones)
  • sunlight triggers to produce more Vitamin D

What is a workout ?

Thanks to Shrenik Jain who forwarded me this nice write up. Yes, indeed it the matter of time, effort, self-control against all the work and family pressure that keeps one go for a workout!

So for all those who have been procrastinating the workout, please follow it NOW!

A good writeup on the Workout! An inspirational one for sure.

My Decision on Business (MBA) school in Bay Area!

This post is supposed to be a private notes. However, i thought this post would help many more out there who are deciding between colleges. The decision of choosing the college is a mix of quantitative, qualitative, personal and emotional analysis. One might get so many conflicting opinions and finally one may be totally confused about the DECISION.

I applied for 4 different colleges in Bay Area. # UC Davis Bay Area Part-time MBA program # Santa Clara University Professional MBA Program # University of San Francisco # Golden Gate University. These 4 universities are more or less famous in the Bay Area and i see many colleagues and friends who did their MBA and are in good positions in their respective organizations. I had discussions with many students from each of the university that I applied and debated a lot on one over the other. Trust me, I had almost 4 months of decision time and research. I did also attended the guest classes from each university.

Without wasting your time and my time, following are the considerations 🙂

  • Reputation of the School
    • Is this school recognized out side Bay Area ?
    • Is this school recognized out side California ?
    • Is this school recognized out side USA ?
  • Total Cost of the Program
    • Is it affordable? Is it Worth ?
  • Campus
    • Is it necessary to be in Campus ?
    • What do you want to do with Campus ?
    • Do you have much time to hand around in Campus ?
  • Alumni
    • Do you have powerful Alumni ?
    • Is Alumni active ?
    • Can you benefit from Alumni ?
  • Industry Connection
    • Does the school provide good exposure ?
    • Can you get connections from School ?
    • Do you get access to best people from Industry ?
  • Diversity of Students
    • Do you want same mind set of people or different ?
    • Do you want to stick to same field of profession even after MBA ?
    • Do you respect the opinion of a person in other profession ?
  • Faculty
    • Do you have a guest faculty or a full-time faculty ?
    • Do you get the professors from undergraduate program ?
    • Are they well qualified and well experienced in Industry.

Once I had the criteria, it was easy for me to decide. I never had the Commute or Schedule as the critical criteria as most of the classes are over the weekend and i don’t mind the commute at all. I also had the “easy factor” in the application process. I definitely wanted to join something that i felt “GOOD” and “CONVENIENT”. Following is my general impression on the application process for each University.

Golden Gate University : Had to send the GMAT score, TOEFL waiver essay, 2 Recommendations, 1 Application Essay/Statement of Purpose, Transcripts directly from University and the application fee. It was a very smooth process and i had no issues with the communication or the way they handled the application. They offer an MBA with in 21 months and the tuition fee is relatively less in Golden Gate. I had a personal interview with the director of the program where we discussed my experience, why i want to do my MBA and my future aspirations. All in all, it was a nice experience.

University of San Francisco : Had to send GMAT score, waived the TOEFL, 2 recommendations, 2 application essays, and Transcripts sent to WES (World Education Services) and application fee. This is one University that made me bit frustrated. I had no idea why this university asks people to send the Transcripts to WES where as ALL other universities asks them Transcripts sent directly to them. The problem is the WES support system is very lousy and i hated interacting with them. They have a customer support and email that does not respond. Repeatedly interacting with them just made me frustrated and angry most times. They also charge around $260 to review your transcripts. I have no idea, why this university does this. My university sent the Transcripts to all the universities including WES and the WES says that it had not got it (where as other universities got them). Also, the fact that i had to put so much of pressure on USF to get a reply from a “person” (and not IVR) from WES was too huge and not desired.

However, my experience with this university was tiring and i don’t recommend this for International Students.

Santa Clara University : This needed GMAT score, waived the TOEFL, 2 paper based recommendations, 2 application essays and the Transcripts sent to them directly. I loved the campus and the class rooms (i took guest student class) and the professors looked very knowledgeable. Students that i talked to gave a very good impression of the program. This program has mostly students from the IT/Software industry. Probably people looking for diversity may not find this as a best choice.

My over all impression was that this is a great school and i had a smooth communication. The admission team is nice and professional.

UC Davis : This needed GMAT score, waived TOEFL, 2 recommendations, 2 long-essays, 3 short-essays, 1 personal interview and the Transcripts sent to them directly once you get admitted. Bay Area campus is an extended one in San Ramon and i liked the class rooms too. Santa Clara University and UC Davis Bay Area had similar class rooms. UC Davis is known for the diversity of students and it stands in leadership position in the Industry and events. I had to go to the San Ramon campus for my personal interview. I had an interview with the panel and a 5 minute presentation with the panel. The presentation topic could be any thing and i talked about my parenting experiences.

My overall  impression was great and very satisfied with the way they answer the questions/queries about the program.

Of course, i finally decided to take the admission in the UC Davis for the various reason i discussed above. Everyone have their own priorities and expectations. Depending on what your goals are, the decision parameters and the end result might differ. However, it is worthwhile to consider all the options available and take a careful decision on the MBA program that’s going to get added for rest of your life. I consider deciding an MBA program is like decision of marriage. One needs to be very careful with personal expectation and the spouse’s. If your mess up the expectations, you screw up the complete relationship. It takes a lot of effort to analyze and decide what each one of us wants.

My decision is my decision. I want any readers to take my opinions with a grain of salt and use your own discretion. My situation may not be your situation.

Next 3 years at UC Davis for my MBA !

Finally the moment of triumph is here! I decided to join the UC Davis part-time MBA program and today (08-Apr-2010) i got the confirmation.  Officially I am admitted to the program and i will need to go for the UC Davis orientation on August 28th. I am really excited to see the fellow students, professors and the campus. The feeling of going back to school is exciting and also challenging. For my under graduation, i had no responsibilities and the only thing i did was to study, enjoy and workout ;). However, in contrast, i am married and have a 10 month baby now. Yes, with a young family and work during weekdays, it is very challenging to balance everything.

I am glad that i worked hard to get to to this DAY! Giving GMAT, Writing Application Essays, Looking for Recommendors, Follow-ups with the Recommendors, Deciding the Schools, Preparing for Interviews and finally DECIDING a SCHOOL really gave me a different perspective of my self. Though it all took 1 year 4 months of process, i fell so happy that i did it. This is the indication that i was very serious to do my MBA this time and all the effort had paid off. The complete MBA Application process makes you think a lot about your self.

The UC Davis part-time MBA usually takes around 3 years and may be some Heros do it in less than 3 years. This year schedule is already out and the Classes start on September 10th and ends by December 11th. Wow, after 10 years i will be writing my exams again. Need to see if these exams are in anyway different than the undergraduate ones. I like the Facebook updates from the UC Davis MBA Graduate School which are very crisp and informative.

I am super excited to go to school and get the business fundas. I cant wait anymore to attend classes which i have been waiting from past 7 years. In 2003, i took a complete GMAT orientation and i had to give my GMAT in a week when i got an opportunity to go to Germany for long term project. I was somehow more fascinated to go to Germany than doing my GMAT. And after 6 years, i decided to give GMAT and continue to live my dream.

For now, my MBA expectations are very clear.

  • Understand the complete Organization, Business Functions and their dependencies
  • Get the fundamentals of the Entrepreneurship (my planned specialization)
  • Increase the Business network in Bay Area and get help from vast UC Davis alumni
  • Find like minded people and venture a start-up by the end of MBA program
  • Finally, to live my dream of MBA!

My take on kids schooling in California, USA.

The motivation of the post is a discussion that me and my friends discussed over a dinner. Families moved from decent school districts to GREAT (Ranked #1 in that State or County) and pay exorbitant rents and living costs. This is a small effort to understand how the schooling system here works.

Consciously or Subconsciously we all send kids to school to gain knowledge, social network, social skills and finally get into the main stream work life or career by undergraduate and graduate degrees. Well, a school’s rank is definitely based on the Students, Parents, Teachers, Public Funds, Private Funds (in case of private schools), Infrastructure and Passout or Graduate %. As i understand these are the main criteria that we as a parent really worry about.

Looks like the US Undergraduate Universities are eying at students from all over the country who are like the TOP 5% (or even top 10%) of the Middle School and High School. This means, the top 5% of the students (in Honor role) in a school have the chances to write the tests conducted by the local universities. e.g. my niece who is 7th grade in NY got to write the John Hopkins talent test which eventually helps them to choose some good candidates. Of course, its a race between many universities to get the best students again to boost their own ratings.

This criteria makes me believe that it is OK to have kids in good/decent school district where they have the opportunity to excel. In that level, any school with a decent API give s great deal of attention to your kid. The purpose of the Academic Performance Index (API) is to measure the year-over-year growth in academic performance for California (or any other State) schools. The API summarizes a school’s standardized test scores into a single number, which ranges from 200 to 1000. The statewide API goal is 800 for all schools; higher numbers generally indicate better performance on the tests.

Now, look at the other aspect of sending our kids to a school that has TOO much of competition and TOO much of pressure. E.g. Cupertino School District.  Kids undergo too much or pressure and distress to keep up with the TOP 5% results and we (some parents) get upset as our kids are not in the TOP 5% (as some may have even moved to Cupertino from else where and are spending higher rents and mortgages). Unconsciously, parents have high expectation on kids and it becomes similar to our EAMCET or IIT coaching stuff. As per my experience, i see less of my friends (in Cupertino) who sends their kids to other extracurricular activities compared to Fremont, Pleasanton and Sunnyvale friends. The fact is the kids in Cupertino HAVE to keep up with the competition to do well.

As long as kids have decent education and overall development, i would not too much worry about the school rankings. Of course, in my view, they should definitely go to a decent school which is probably above 850 API. I am motivated by the fact that every person from IIT and IIM is not a super star while there are more chances of becoming one.

As a closing remark : A person’s success is based on variety of factors than mere Intelligence and School.

What do you think ?

English Language – The funny side of it !

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Then shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?
Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!
Let’s face it – English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren’t invented in England ..
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing,
grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?
Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend.
If you have a bunch of odds and ends
and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a
recital? We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns
down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out,
and in which an alarm goes off by going on.
P.S : Got this as a forward and though worth mentioning on this blog.