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Home A Month? Already!?

Posted on July 18th, 2008 by Matt Brattin

It is becoming borderline disturbing how quickly time has been moving. Have I really been home for a month? Have I really been away from all my new friends and classmates in Barcelona for a month!? Wow, I guess time really has flown, and I’m sure how unexpectedly busy I’ve been hasn’t helped much to slow things down. Well, at least I found time to write a little and share some updates on my happenings. So here goes.

First things first, the re-entry process wasn’t as difficult this time as it was after I returned from my first international voyage back in 03. I feel my age and experiences has a little to do with this, but also feel the degree of time I spent in a classroom this time also may have played a part, as my Spanish interaction was confined to small, manageable doses. A few things have definitely changed for me, however, and this has more to do with my perspective on sensitivity and, unexpectedly, social responsibility.

What I mean when I say sensitivity is not to say I have become a walking political correctness meter – this would be a shame. What I have learned, however, is a slightly higher level of maintaining respect for people’s differences. This is not to say I used to have issues with cultural or personal insensitivity and insulting people regularly. What it does mean, though, is there are ways in which how we communicate with individuals from different walks of life can be much more enriching. It is difficult to put into words the ideas I have on this topic, but basically, no matter how respectful you think you may be of people and their differences, you can always improve your communication skills by dealing with diverse groups…yeah, I think that’s my point.

On now with social responsibility – something I had never even heard of until I arrived at ESADE. This is again just a different way of looking at not only businesses, but actions we all take and our ability to always keep the “greater social good” in mind while questioning whether or not there are better ways of getting things done. One quick example of this was my surprise at being surprised that massive SUVs still rule the US streets and public transportation is still looked down upon by the general population…I don’t know why I would have actually expected things to have begun to change in as little as 10 months, but I guess being around all the sub-compacts in Europe and hearing the constant whining about high gas prices state side made me expect to see a difference by the time I got home. At any rate, I actually agree the there are a lot of whiners around these parts and not enough people stepping up and making change happen.

That said, time to switch gears quickly and share my plans for the upcoming weeks. Blanca and I will be celebrating our 2nd anniversary come the end of the month. The first week of August we will begin our road trip to Austin and will make stops in Las Vegas, Phoenix, El Paso, and San Antonio. Should be a long voyage, but interesting I’m sure. Class begins I believe the third week of August and I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running and starting my job hunt early so I can head back to Barcelona in January without the stress of finding a job! We will see, but in the meantime, aside from making all these plans, my internship has been quite interesting in this tumultuous market environment, but I think after all these banks’ earnings reports didn’t turn out as horrible as expected this week, we may be seeing the beginning of a turn-around for the economy yet…hope so!

That is all for now, and I’ll definitely be providing an update when I make my way to Texas after the road trip. Until then…

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