Monthly Archive: April 2009

allan’s top 5 MBA courses @ LSB

The post title is formatted for Twitter :-).  These are my picks, thus far, for the top 5, “must take” elective courses at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.  I’ll detail them more later but let’s get this list put together.

  1. Management 516 – Organization Politics, Professor Dennis Moberg
  2. Management 524 – Managing Technology and Innovation, Professor Del Mank
  3. IDIS 696 – Social Benefit Entrepreneurship, Professor Eric Carlson
  4. Management 512 – Psychology of Leadership, Professor Cheryl Shavers
  5. Management 703 (1 unit) – The Balanced Scorecard, Professor Leidecker*

* – I really enjoyed and got a lot out of this class, but I’m not sure I’m really ready to put a 1 unit course on here.  I have a few more electives that I’ll be doing over the next few quarters and I think number 5 will change (actually, take a look at Econ 466, which I’m taking now).  But those top 4 are solid.

where business and law schools meet…

Recently, I had a discussion with a student at Santa Clara University’s School of Law who is also pursuing an MBA at the Leavey School of Business.  There are only a few joint degrees at Santa Clara, and the JD/MBA is one of them.  However, to put it simply, it’s a bit haphazardly organized.  I believe that up to 6 units can be cross listed; the rest of each program has to be taken in its entirety.  That part is actually pretty standard as compared to other joint degree programs around the country.  What is a bit off is that it seems that for every student there is negotiation about which courses are credited across the two programs.  For one student, courses A and B are accepted by both schools.  For another student, it’s X and Y.  

More importantly, however, law students seem to be unsure about what classes to take to embellish their JD.  The MBA, presumably, will contribute to the education they are already receiving about law.  But while there are concentrations for MBA students (leadership, finance, etc), there isn’t anything like “classes a law student interested in intellectual property might want to take” guide.

Well, as I have made it through the MBA program and have taken a LOT of classes (2 years in, I’ll have done…I think 66 units out of 70 required), primarily in management, I have my own commentary about what classes at the business school might pique the interest of a law student. Because students can pursue so many different areas within the field of law, I’m going to focus on Intellectual Property and Social Justice, and follow this post up immediately with my “top 5 classes” which also contribute to the impact of a business education in conjunction with the law (for the most part).




Originally uploaded by kaiyen

Around the late 1700’s, Ayutthaya, at the time the capital of what is now Thailand, was sacked after the second of two vigorous attacks by the Burmese. Following, the city was basically burned to the ground, many of the Wats and palaces were destroyed, and raping and pillaging was rampant. The Thai are quite sore at the Burmese about this to this day. To rub it in, the Burmese prince that was leading the army had a big Wat built outside the city to commemorate his victory.

Very little of the original grand palaces and temples still stand. Those that do are either restorations or badly in need of them. This particular mass of bricks – you can’t even tell what it is anymore. It now looks like a combination of a transformer made of bricks or some kind of rock monster.

Where we did not renew our vows


Originally uploaded by kaiyen

This is Memorial Church, or MemChu, at Stanford University. My wife and I had hoped to renew our vows there this year. It’s only been 5 years, but for a lot of reasons we felt it was a pretty big deal and wanted to do something special. We actually haven’t even celebrated our anniversaries yet.

One can get married or renew vows at MemChu only if one is a student or an alum (I’m the latter). When I first got married, I have to admit that I was torn between MemChu and the outdoor venues we were considering. MemChu really has a special place in my heart. When I was stressed, even though I am not at all religious, I used to go to MemChu, sit down in a pew, and reflect on things. I used to laugh out loud as I rode my bike or walked past the church, not believing that I could go to a school so wonderful and beautiful.

But MemChu doesn’t have many wedding-level reception venues near it, and between that and the church’s fees as-is, we couldn’t afford it. So we were hoping to celebrate entering this next phase of our lives together at the church. It would be a bookend, in many ways, to things, moving from a trouble freshman dealing with all the issues of…being a freshman to celebrating 5 years into my wonderful life with my wife.

Well. The church has an opening the morning the day after our anniversary (a Saturday). The coordinator was incredibly friendly and energetic and seemed to be someone with whom I would want to work. But they usually only allow renewals of vows after 20 years, and the Dean of Religious Life understandably turned down our request for an exception.

15 years is a long time, and my feelings about Stanford (having left there after 12 years as a student and employee) and the church make the situation just a bit more disappointing.

Oh well.

Wat Arun at night, from upper Thon Buri

This is a photo that I’m not sure is possible from many locations.

If you look at a map of Bangkok, there is a part to the west, across the Chao Phraya River, that is called Thon Buri. It’s curved, and is actually the original site chosen for the new capitol after Ayutthaya was sacked and basically destroyed by the Burmese. However, as the current Chakri dynasty took over, they moved across the river to build the big temples, etc, including the Grand Palace and the major temples, or Wats.

Wat Arun, however, is this magnificent, Khmer-style temple rising high above the ground on the Thon Buri side, and is one of the oldest in the city.

Because the river curves as one heads south right around where we were staying down towards Wat Arun, we could see the temple very well from our patio. If one had a nice, extended view out over the river (as the two restaurants next to us did, but none of the other houses, as far as we could tell), you could get this great view of the temple at night. But only with a long lens, and a tripod or some other stabilizing mechanism. Exposures were quite long, considering we were using a point-n-shoot.

This was also the only night Wat Arun was lit, which is apparently the iconic view of the temple. It really is magnificent, and should not be missed.

I have geo-tagged our hotel, the Ibrik resort, from where this photo was taken.

compound sleepiness

A compound growth problem is an exponential one. Instead of things just doubling or going up by, say, 5% over time, where if you mapped it out you’d get a nice straight line that just goes up and up, exponential growth curves upward at a steeper and steeper rate. So instead of it growing at 2x (2, 4, 8, 16, 32), it grows at x^2 (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64).

Right now, I’m dealing with the usual apnea baseline. I keep my CPAP mask on for maybe 2 hours a night (though I have managed 4 hours 3 out of the last 7 nights, which isn’t bad). Throw in allergies, and I have congestion problems during the night, which makes it even harder to breath in general.

Then, during the day, allergies make me fuzzy, which adds to my existing sleepiness that I have everyday.

So my sleepiness curve is compound.

And it really, really stinks.

It’s amazing how something as “simple” as sleep deprivation, little by little, day after day, year after year (and decade upon decade now) just wears a person down.


I ran into a weird situatoin at one point in my life.  I was in an office where apparently it had become acceptable to shout out “WTF?” or “RTFM!” at a volume easily heard from a dozen or more feet away.  The acronym was fine, but obviously the actual words behind those letters would not be.  At the least, I saw no indication that saying “what the f**k?” in response to a surprising incident would have been acceptable, and I certainly hoped that it would not be in any professional environment.

I don’t really have anything else to say on the topic.  But it was weird.

fallen sign

fallen sign

Originally uploaded by kaiyen

This was taken a few blocks from Bourbon Street in New Orleans, while I was there for a conference. I always try to book a few extra hours at the beginning and/or end of a business trip to do some photography in the area.

The interest in this photo, to me, is pretty obvious. Sign that is supposed to be vertical. Detailed, multi-colored but flat cement wall. Brick ground. Interesting contrast of this and that plus the sign that is out of place and out of order.

The whole area around Bourbon street is pretty interesting. The street itself is surreal. It truly is a bunch of drunken, partying, crazy people just wandering around being…drunk, partying, etc. I guess it’s like being around Vegas today mixed in with Times Square before it was cleaned up.

But as one walks away from Bourbon street, the houses and buildings start to go back and forth between nice and run down or even shuttered. Things get run down and a lot less touristy very fast. This is much more true as one heads away from the river.