Monday, October 15, 2007

U.Chicago wins the Nobel...again!

Roger Myerson has won the Nobel prize this year along with 2 others from the USA. For the details, which are obviously inexplicable here, you can jump onto the links from Amit Varma.

Maybe such intimidating intellectual horsepower is the reason why some of the stuff in Micro-econ goes swooshing right over my head to this pesky woman behind me, who delights in asking 2 minute questions to Bob Topel, one of my favorite professors - with analogies of a pizza and beer economy and marginal utility trade-offs between sex & rock n'roll, who else!

Next year, the Nobel's going to be Eugene Fama... and guess where he teaches.

(I know...totally undeserved arrogance from someone who doesn't fully understand supply/demand curves...yet!)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The "Madness" of Crowds

Oh boy, has this been a week of unmitigated fun...Yes, I am talking about the course selection system at Chicago GSB.

To start at the beginning, the GSB is unique because of the flexibility it offers - no course except a leadership primer (LEAD) is compulsory; therefore you can cherry pick your way through the unlimited number of courses that are on offer. This unparalleled flexibility is one of the main reasons why many students choose the GSB over the other schools.

However the immediate implication of such a system is that a mechanism to regulate supply and demand needs to be in place - when you have Nobel prize winners in your faculty, obviously theres going to be a skew towards certain professors who can handle only so many students out of a total population of 1100(1st+2nd years).

The ORB (Online Registration Bidding) system tries to do precisely that - by allotting 8000 points to each student and making it a free-for-all auction. This means that students need to create "schedules" (clusters of courses) and allot a certain number of points to each schedule. Suppose there are about 65 seats in a class and your bid is one of the top 65, then you're in - however the price that you pay for a course is determined by that unsuspecting bidder who might have bid 2 points lesser and therefore lost out - the loser who has bid the closest to the last entrant into the class. His "unhappiness" factor i.e the difference in bids between his first "schedule" preference and the one he actually got determines the cost of the course....sounds terribly simple,no?

Theres more...after the initial bidding is over, there are about 4 more rounds through which you can choose to drop/add/swap(DAS) courses also. So anyone who didnt get their favs in the first round can try to pick up what they need in the next rounds. Since supply is always more than demand, invariably one ends up getting a course or the other - but if you want a Nobel prize winner or in studentspeak, a "Rockstar professor" like say Ann McGill or Marianne Bertrand, theres a price you gotto pay.
Add another variable to this - certain devious senior schemers who bid high, get a course and then sell it off during the DAS round for crazy prices and then the fun factor hits the roof!

A more cynical friend from Wharton would have cursed the American B-school system which makes you pay $150000 AND THEN makes you run around for the professors whom they promised in the first place in all those glossy brochures and slick Powerpoints...but come to think of it, this is just about the only solution to such a complicated problem. At one end, a school can take a stand that the management will mandate whats required for a student and whats not - and therefore create a mandatory schedule of courses. At the other end of the spectrum is the GSB which offers unlimited flexibility...for a price - 8000 points to be precise and the risk of losing out on other courses.

After thinking about it for quite a while, I couldn't come up with any other system that could handle this kind of complexity...if you are interested, theres a 4 page document that explains the Math(Jeez!) behind the by an Indian from IISc, Bangalore,no less. While a lot of other schools take the middle path ie we mandate some courses, you choose some, the GSB in line with its "market" approach has managed to create a free-market economy right under the noses of its students. And the minor glitch of bidding for a schedule vs. bidding for a specific course is getting corrected in Fall 2008...

Having said all that, I have just bid 7000 out of the available 8000 points on a Rockstar...this means that if the price is settled at around 6000(approx. 85% of bid), I would have only 1000 points left for Winter quarter (to give a perspective, the average would be approx. 5-7K points).


Friday, September 7, 2007

What I have been reading...

I have always found DoZ’s reading tastes to be fairly decent ;-), so picked up the New Yorker and the Sunday Times and came away quite impressed…especially with the length, clarity and craft of some of the articles in the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine. Check these out…

In Natures Casino - a story about how the insurance industry has been misreading the catastrophe insurance biz and how some people are radically changing it. An amazing article, to say the least, that almost reads like a short thriller novella. The way some of these real-life characters are sketched is also a literary delight. This would make for a great b-school class discussion.
5 stars

The Unexpected Fantasist- a delightful short piece about Jose Saramago who remains his own man despite everything else including the Nobel Prize.
4.5 stars

Universal Faith-An article that discusses how religion may or may not form part of a child’s regular education. I also like this ethicist column in which people send in queries about everyday ethical dilemmas to which a propahly educated “ethics” scholar gives his usually sane and simple perspective.
4 stars

Challenging the generals
An unconventional piece about how US Army generals may be letting down their junior officers by taking the principle of “civilian control” over Army a bit too far. The article also points out the fate of such thought dissenters-how their chances of career advancement thin out in the Army. I was surprised that the US Army allowed such an article at all to be published-in my 20 years of reading Indian magazines/books, I haven’t seen anything like this from a serving military officer-is there a lesson? It is articles like these that slightly restore my faith in the institution of democracy. This and bumper stickers that say “When Clinton lied, no one died”
4 stars

Seeds for apocalypse
A incisively researched article on how a few good men are creating seed banks-of every known plant especially food crops so that mankind wouldn’t lose our agricultural roots in case of a world-wide catastrophe-manmade or natural.
4.5 stars

The Human Bomb
-How Sarkozy has made an immediate impact on the French body politic; of how he has cleverly used a mix of perception and realities to make an impact. And how he might or might not be able to sustain it.
3.5 stars

Nawabdin Electrician-A delightful piece of short fiction with all the idiosyncracies of sub-continental life packed in with a nice oomph end. Loved it.
5 stars

He that plays the King - A profile about Ian McKellen (remember Gandalf?) - it was a relief for a difference about a celebrity who hasn’t broken up, oversped or waved too delightedly to papparazzi. Oh, the sheer length of this piece had me sighing for an hour on the train to Palatine ;-)
4 stars

Poems - Both the poems by Kimiko Hahn and Philip Schultz are good…although the one by Hahn looks just a bit forced. Schultz’s poem is something like what I would write on a very good day…a very very good summer day with the Sunday Times on the shores of Lake Michigan with the terns, the breeze and good ol’ Kingfisher beer for company. Pretty women with suitable qualifications can also apply.
3 stars

Since I have obviously taken out only the articles which I have liked, all of them get above average stars. This, my friends, is called selection bias in statistics. May the trumpets blow aloud and afar that GT has completed his pre-Stats reading material!

Why I do not have a Thinkpad...

It is 32% possible that I might be a deviant…an outlier more than 2 standard deviations from the mean. The statistics class was OK for the 1st 2 days after which I fell behind since I didn’t have a laptop; desperately wanted a IBM (now Lenovo) with a track point, but found it so so difficult to pick up one for the following reasons…
1. None of the big retailers (Best Buy/ Circuit City etc) have stock of Lenovo models.
2. I didn’t want to splurge on my Indian debit card; so was thinking of asking some American if they could pay up and I could give them cash. By the time I made up my mind, it was 2 days.
3. Lenovo’s online payment mechanism is certified by “Thawte” HQd out of S.Africa. None of my American friends were too keen to trust this entity, given the kind of online credit fraud and phishing that happens here.
4. I almost decided to swipe my international credit card and buy one; but when I called up their customer care, was told that delivery would take at least 18 days…this in an era of “same day delivery” and I was badly falling behind in stats because I didn’t have a notebook…so I gave up. I had to drown my sexy black IBM dreams and pick up a sleek HP machine.

For someone aspiring to be #3 in the world, you would think these guys could have had at least a decent Verisign or Paypal certification. In all fairness, a classmate got someone to lend him an American c.card and pre-ordered a Lenovo machine before he landed up…he got it in less than a week. This was one of those “Why me?“ experiences which should be quickly covered up with beer and forgotten.

Thank you...

There have been a set of people who have been instrumental in getting me into GSB-Chicago…this has been a seriously exhausting and exhilarating journey and to acknowledge the people who have stood by me would only be dulce & decorum…

1. DoZ: Doz along with another classmate at my old grad school had this weird idea of studying further on; at that time I was like “Madness!”. But after 1st hand reports (involving many oohs + aahs ;-) about experiences at universities like Chicago, Harvard and Wharton, I decided to take the plunge. Thanks, Doz for that seed and yeah…for paying my $300 housing deposit too ;-)
2. Alex: When I was looking for people to help me with my essays, Alex volunteered without a 2nd thought and he’s been at times more involved than me in this entire process. Often I would send him 5 drafts in 1 day and he would return them all promptly and neatly edited too. Actually he was the one who spurred me to apply to Stanford after which I started looking at other universities like Chicago seriously. There’s so much I owe this one man.
3. The Juggler: At a very frustrating time during the process, when I was neither here nor there, the Juggler was at hand for advice, support and general bitching. Along with other people whom I came to know in the admission process, they helped me craft a well-rounded strategy that would ensure an admit.
4. An assorted medley of friends: Ah, what would one do without them…s/ware engineer, HR consultant, financial analyst, sales manager…what a team to have with for taking on the admission process. Thank god for such mercies!
5. The folks @ work- Some very dear folks at work knew about what was happening in my life and had the kindness+grace to help me when I was distracted with the admit process and my “work” work was falling through the cracks. Needless of the incessant stress that telecom can generate, these are people who have taken time off for me and have been around me pushing me to finish this off and “get outta here”.
6. Needless to say, everyone at home including a slightly loony Labrador have been taking on most of the stress that was generated by the admit process. Wish you guys were here with me at Chicago.

I know what you are thinking…with all these people around me, I would have been a dumbkopf not to get into a decent B-school, right? Sigh…I know.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Financial Aid - An alternate approach


me: pssstttt...pssssstttttt...lend me a $100 grand, will ya
Sent at 12:22 AM on Thursday

me: psssst,....hw abt atleast $50 grand? When i come onto the Forbes list, I promise that I will make a passing mention of your help...seriously....

me: no reply?...Well...if thats a bit on the higher side,you cud always condescend to sponsoring my flight tickets...I promise to tattoo the fact on my biceps...what say u? just my flite tickets...and enough dough for a mini teeny weeny Macbook...

me:pssssssssssttttt...are u there? to make it easier u can just think u accidentally lost ur purse....or a hacker cracked ur bank account and made off with the moolah...
just to comfort urself...meanwhile you can depend on my eternal gratitude which will include postcards, the annual diwali wishes...and even the occassional comment on ur blog...deadly deal,huh?

(loud thump noise)

me: Ah! u fell off the chair,right...never thought I would offer this to you-thats ok...get back on....after all what are friends for...if that colleague of yours, that Armenian babe wants to join in on the deal, she can...she will get my triceps...for say the 1st semester tuition sponsor...

(loud thump noise again)

me: oh no...she too fell off,didnt she? now help her back on the chair...on 2nd thoughts, both of u rather sit on the floor...just remember that my abs and pecs come at a premium...of around 20-25% I also offer package deals on my lower body...

(loud thumping noises all around again)

me: Shit...tell ur office folks not to do that - Yes, my muskils are impressive but this falling all over the place...they might upset the building dynamics...tell them that if everyone in China jumped at the same time the earth will slip out of its axis...its true...since they are down anyway, i suggest u take a signature campaign for me...a standing instruction form from everyones bank account...

me: not to worry...for ur effort, u will get a share of the collected funds...i told u the deals sweet,right! u will get exactly that ok...

(a now repetitive thump)

me: hey u cant keep falling off ur chair...relax...after all we go back a long time, get busy collecting for your smart boss-lady, tell her I can make her an offer she can't refuse...if she sponsors my summer internship across Europe, she gets a tattoo in an absolutely secret spot on the body magnifique!...stop all those "ooohs" now...this is serious business.

Old "friend"(whos just returned to her comp): You @%$#$#&*%$$*%#$#$%@!$#$%@!$#$%@!!!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kellogg calls Maelstrom!

Yo-Maelstrom makes it into Kellogg!

As someone who has been following our man's progress, its absolutely fantabulous to see him get in at Kellogg! Heres to meeting him at Chitown!


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

!N!N!N!N!......through the outdoor.

After 3 harrowing months on the Chicago GSB W/L, I am, apparently(according to an anonymous, seemingly attractive 5am voice) IN.

In the middle of a honey oatmeal cookie at the Bangalore airport Coffee Day, got a call from a lady who told me so. At first, thought it was my brother because of the code "00301"-usually France lines start off with 0033...but all I heard was "You are off the waitlist" and like a Hindi movie, profuse emoshuns flowed (with Ramayan style "happy veena musik" in background)causing utter blabber "Am in Bangalore and am going to Pune..."Yes, I am already up because I had woken up earlier"..."Thank you so much,sir" on and so forth...Sheesh, what embarassment. I am sure hitherto referred-to voice is seriously wondering about my TOEFL scores. Esp. after I wanted to know if "off the waitlist is IN or OUT".

There's so many people I owe so much to, that I don't know where to start off the usual "Danks you" speech...right now, I think I will revel in this merciful numbness until reality seeps in someone just famous said, "It will soon enough with the 80K deposit".

Thank god

PS: Didnt plan to post this until I get the formal mail, but then again cheap thrills beckon...;-)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


-A strange and funny jumping animal.

- Background
- Prep material used
- Prep approach used
- Important takeouts
- Respite

- 5 years in the Indian telecom revolooshan.
- Arts student. MBA from India.
- Veteran of 7 dogs,1 mynah, 12 rabbits, 2 CATs and the other myriad experiences that are forced on innocent Indian minds.
- Good at Language, Bad at Science, Ugly at Math.


1. OG 10, OG 11 (Official Guide)
If you are going to choose only one book to prep, choose the OG. With plenty of details and lovely large chunks of questions, this makes for the ideal material for
someone who wants to do really really detailed prep. Considering that one needs to do 40 straight questions at a time in the real GMAT, I used the OG along with the now-famous Ursula excel sheet (this helps you take a check of mistakes very effectively - the version with macros built in is even more fab-available somewhere at scores on OG prep software were 690 and 720.

2. KAP 2006 (Kaplan book+software)
Although the KAP comes in with a reputation of ultra difficult questions, I found this kind of prep quite know what I mean...the "Learn swimming by jumping into the Atlantic on a grey winter morning with nobody around to save you"...ok,ok, so am exaggerating a bit. My personal experience was that the KAPs reputation for difficulty is overrated...the questions do progress from easy to difficult but thats the way prep ought to be. The KAP was possibly the only private vendor's book that comes with questions as difficult as the real GMAT. Book apart, the KAP software is really outstanding-not only does it make out a clear timebound plan with different sections, it also highlights weak areas and gives feedback on topic-wise improvement areas...add to this, 4 tough FLTs (Full Length Tests) and that seals the deal. And besides,its quite a cheap thrill to have animated voices cheer you for the right answer! ;-)

My KAP diagnostic score was 680. Actual FLT scores were 560,640...after that I started focusing on OG and so didnt do the other two tests. The KAP is nowhere a real indicator of your possible score- there is a score estimator in that combines difficult levels of OG/GMAT/PR to give you a combined score-not for the fainthearted,though!

3. KAP 800 - This is supposedly a book with the toughest possible set of questions...but I found quite a few questions in the OG which were tougher anyday. Where this book can help you is to give you innovative approaches and tingle you with twists and turns, so that nothing fazes you on G-day. Not worth a serious buy, but hey if you are want to be 360 degree in your prep and have plenty of time, go for it.

4. PR 2006(Princeton Review)
The PR is not so useful for most Asian applicants who have done their heavy doses of quant right from primary school to college. However the PR comes in handy for 2
specific reasons:
1. The PR is is the guy whom you can knock-out with one hand tied behind. So if you want a confidence booster after those gruelling KAP exams which leave you eating dust, the PR is your punching bag...kick it, hit it, break it - and come away feeling like Sugar Ray Robinson.
2. The PR has quite a bit of sneaky shortcuts and thinking methods which can help to polish off your edges.esp when a tough cookie of a perm-combo problem leaves you high and dry. Though not enough by itself, the PR is a good starter for novices, that without intimidation, prepares you for the job and for more experienced candidates offers some toppings to kill and bury the evil G-thing.

I was lucky enough to have been in the middle of the changeover from ETS to Pearson Vue and so had both software thingys handy. The ETS s/ware is basic, old fashioned but does the job while the GMATprep is jazzed up and gives better feedback. Use these very carefully because these are the closest indicators of what you will actually score (atleast in my case!). Ideal way is to write a prep test before starting OG and write one again halfway through. Since a lot of questions in this are taken from OG it would not be a wise idea to do this after finishing OG...however you can try it as an exercise in stamina, if nothing else.

I am one of those guys who believe in a huge amount of prep. If nothing else, I gain a tremendous amount of momentum and confidence out of the prep. For eg...for an interview, I check out all kinds of crazy stuff from the company website to friends in the industry to the personal background of the interviewer to facts and figures of competitors to whatnot. At the interview,I step in knowing that I am the candidate whos done the maximum prep for the interview. I followed a similar approach for this...I went through 10s of blogs/websites, trawled all possible forums and also bought about 6K worth of books.

However our hero planned too well and started prep in 2004 for shooting down the GMAT goose in 2005. However the hours dragged by and waylaid by many worldly vices, he lost interest. After a wasted 9 months, decided to cut the "I need time to prepare" crap. Booked the date for 3 months in advance and started prep again.Had to postpone test due to unrelated personal reasons but 3 months was ideal peak time - from 600 scores, I was hitting 700+. Finally on G-day I managed a 700+ score which I considered heaven-send.

The most important takeouts I gleaned over 1.5 years of planning are:
1st round of apps start off in Sep - and the commonly held (& probably true) funda is that the selectivity % is highest in this round.

I planned GMAT in Feb - logic was that if I wrote it in Feb and got a low score,I could take a second shot by May-June after extra prep and still be ready for R1 by Sep.

Nothing like that sense of impending doom to get you always book the date first. Otherwise you would want to start prep only after you are fully prepared and you never will be. To take the GMAT in Feb, I started prep in Nov - 3 months was what I figured would take me to complete the probs in the OG/Kaps and approx. 6 FLTs.

4. TIMETABLE: I made an Excel sheet which had dates in the corner of each cell. Printed this with dates from prep start to G-day and put it up next to bed.Everyday I ticked off the cell for the day with a tick or a cross or a double cross, depending on how well I had prep for the day. This auto-generation of guilt tremendously helps you to extract time out of nowhere for prep esp if you have an erratic and demanding work schedule.

5. APPROACH: I start work at 9am and end it by 9pm.Am no early prep was done mostly into late night.
WEEKDAYS: 2 hours daily
On weekdays, I practiced problems in chunks of 40 from the OG/KAP/GMATclub or wherever I could find problems.I used to finish 40 probs and then mark them as right or wrong.I usually took off Friday to review all the wrong problems and redo them again. The Ursula format with macros built in for calculating the time per problem was an absolute lifesaver.
WEEKENDS: approx. 6 hours per day
Usually took two Full Length Tests over the weekend...took them in the morning and reviewed them at leisure in the evening.Not much else one can do over the weekends since the FLTs usually wash you out-so dont plan anything else.However make sure you think of the FLTs as stamina exercises above all, opportunities to identify and correct weak areas next and least of all a score-finder. Pining behind ideal scores leaves you all frustu and bitter about life, your genetic makeup, your 2nd standard math teacher, the illogical bucky-ball filled universe and everything else in between. So beware.

Once in 2/3 weeks, take time off to step off this treadmill and analyze your performance - you will realize that you are making specific types of errors in specific areas. Go back to the KAP or PR and try to work out a solution.Unless you do this, its like chopping at wood with a blunt axe...u do a lot of work but you dont know whats going wrong and what results you are likely to end with.

I subscribed to gmat@yahoogroups - however the amount of crap and spam getting circulated there was a toaatal turnoff. So checked out and - out of these, I found GMAT club to be very very useful. Yes, the problems are quite intimidatory and so are quite a few of the users - if you are a
novice, it might not be the best idea to start there, however sooner or later one needs to go there for a sip of substance. I started off, working backwards for all
problems posted in the forums and reached about halfway through. I also found Daveformba's prep links to be very helpful in compiling a list of GMAT stories as well as prep tactics. Spideys SC notes and other perm-combo prep stuff in the forums also came in very handy.However the people are the best part of the forums - a whole bunch of fellow camarades help you swing from branch to branch in the giant GMAT jungle. Any toughie, any reference-there are always "CEOs" and "Senior Managers" willing to help you out. After going mad for about 3 days on a problem, I got help within 20 minutes of there. However as a note of warning, it is easy to get mired in the forums because of the sheer quantity of the problems-so allot a time schedule or fix a limit on no of problems and walk away after that. Again, I used the same mistake-capture format to track my progress on these forums.

Apart from the forums, there are quite a few blogs by fellow applicants that lay out detailed prep stats...from Dave, you can go blog-hopping across half of the world and come away - happier or more fearful, depending on the blogs that you have seen and the level of your prep. Again quite easy to get lost and keep surfing--I have wasted quite a few hours.

I checked out various prep courses and even sat in on a few classes at a particularly famous centre. However my experience was quite sad-the instructor was a college student who taught me like it was a math exam and English was taught by a former college professor who had very little idea of what the real GMAT was like- both of them preferred to go by the even sadder handout that the coaching centre gave (which was light years away from the real thing)...PR and the KAP CD were so much better for an intro...and...not to sound arrogant, but when one goes to such classes one expects people of similar if not better preparedness...working for too long with junior, aiming for a 650+ because they have a rich dad who will sponsor their education doesnt help at all. A quick check of all 3 students there, told me that all of their aspirational scores were at <650 levels - I bailed out! However think about it...if you can spend time out from work and put in effort through classes and yet not compromise on your basic prep (Kap/OG etc) maybe you can try this...another thing I heard is that if one if the procrastinating slightly lazy type,the classes can enforce some kind of discipline. But think thrice...the cost is heavy not only on your wallet but also on your time, effort, energy and enthu levels.

This entire prep thing is likely to burn you out from moderate it with crazy self-induced entertainment at decent intervals...say atleast once a fortnight (my work schedule is a bitch, so I had to - you decide depending on how mad you become!)...try making pasta and russian salad at home, watch The English Patient, go for a long motorcycle drive, wash down beers from the balcony,stare at playing children, pump iron, trawl other blogs etc etc. Another possible suggestion (that really helped me) would be to build up a fan club...people who can support you when you are down. Since anyway r'ships will take a hit during this period, make sure you have one or two solid people who will back you up...I had a friend who periodically reminded me that I shouldnt get stuck to a small cubicle working out spreadsheets all my life. Another woke me up everyday at 5.30am for something like 3 months so that I could review my errors. Other close friends were decent enough to give me space and not get pissed off for not keeping in touch. Build a web that you can fall into and bounce back from, when you are going down. Senti apart, it helps.Believe me.


My centre was at the Rajagiri College at Cochin. I was on the 9am slot; checked out the route on the prev day. Also bought bananas and a Kitkat for the 10 minute break. I started from home at 730 am and reached the centre at 8am. Sat there with my PR book (yeah, am one of those last minute crammers) and did not stare at the
MBA wimmen (am I not thy epitome, oh utter dedication!) At around 845, I was summoned inside and did the usual photo,passport and fingerprint checks.

I was the only candidate in a room filled with 3 ACs, so got the admin guy to turn it down. Started off the test...contrary to general belief, the scribbling sheets were quite comfy and the admin was more than happy to give me extra sheets. Started off with the usual AWA -since I had my templates ready (Check PR for more info on
this), they were a cakewalk. Then the quant started...I was extra careful to spend more time per problem, because during prep I was making quite a few careless mistakes because of the speed. Towards the end, I ran into one perm-combo and also one DS statistical toughie...although these were quite tough, I was happy that I was into the crunch curve-where all probs get difficult.

Then break happened, when an embarassed GMATTer gobbled down a slithery banana and a precious Kitkat in front of befuddled admin and prospective students...also took a long deep look at the pond in the middle of the building. The goldfish stared back.

Then the verbal section happened and this is where I became a bit overconfident... after a few easy RCs,I started going a bit fast...I realized this mistake only about half an hour later...and by that time, I think I had made a few mistakes. where I should have gotten atleast. 41+, I made only 39....sheer stupidity but then, shit happens. And that was that.

There are many ways to approach the a girl to be wooed lovingly with flowers, chocolates, poetry and prayers, like a cockroach to be killed as you walk past, like a battle to be won, like a game to prepare for and to be played hard...check out what worked for you before and see if the same ground-rules apply...if it does, go for it! If not, invent a story...something larger than a stupid exam with 80+ questions...something that can keep you awake in the darkest hour before G-dawn!

This is the experience of an Indian applicant,an exam-rusty non-engineer and all references are made wrt to the environment here; so please pick and choose analogies/ lessons/ methods relevant to your profile. Will be glad to be of help-mail me.

All the best!