Category Archives: Student Life

extracurricular activites, UT sports and other campus events, student organizations, recreation, etc.

Finals Fatigue

My last post and subsequent rebuttal were quite intense. So were finals. As such, I will keep this column short and puff it up with some conversationalia. After all, break is here.

What is great about the MPA is the intensity that I get the opportunity to bring to the table everyday. There’s really no way to survive the program without this type of effort. And, frankly, it’s a privilege to get to compete for grades with other great minds.

But gosh, is it draining!

As of a couple days ago, I realize just how emotionally, mentally and physically drained I am. Like a great workout, it has been worth it. I know that after some rest, I will realize how much I have learned—both in class and in life—over the past semester, be able to reflect upon it, rejuvenate and return to classes in the spring recharged for my final semester.

Until then, it will be nice to return to being the Paul that is a cousin/nephew/uncle/brother instead of the student/corporate robot. Stated another way, for at least a couple weeks, it will be nice to be hot chocolate Paul instead of coffee Paul.

I wish all well with their finals and pray that professors will grade exams mercifully. Until grades are released, here is some conversationalia…

Continue reading Finals Fatigue

You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.


Visiting Abbey Road in England

This week marks the 31st anniversary of the unspeakable tragedy when John Lennon was killed in New York City.  John Lennon was an integral member of the popular musical group, The Beatles. How does this relate to MPA, you might ask? Regardless of one’s personal opinion of John Lennon, there is a lot we can learn from him and the Beatles.

1. Teamwork. Steve Jobs said this about the Beatles and teamwork: “My model for business is the Beatles. They were four guys who kept each others’ negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of its parts. And that’s how I see business. Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people.” Continue reading You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

Thankful for Home

Thanksgiving brought a busy half week of engaging with family and avoiding anything explicitly school related. I returned to Austin late Saturday night, woke up Sunday and went to Starbucks to begin my last tax research memo!! As I turned on my computer and logged onto the Starbucks page, I found a fascinating video entitled Ripe for Change.

Since I am an expert procrastinator, the topic of anything but tax research caught my eye. Since I am from California, this topic of food production hits close to home. And as we just finished celebrating Thanksgiving, food seemed to be an appropriate topic. Watching the video, I found that the issues it addresses within the food industry are highly relevant to us as accountants.

One such issue is regulation. The tensions between the need for regulation and its burden have been prevalent recently, and are particularly relevant in the financial industry that many of us will enter from the MPA program.

In the documentary as multiple farmers comment on the same trend, for example mechanical picking, we see that there is not always a clear cut way to respond to the availability of new technology or situations; we even see that sometimes the alleged problem is not as obvious as it seems. Continue reading Thankful for Home

Run Austin!

My dog Rosie and I at the Dallas Turkey Trot sporting our rivalry day spirit!

Whenever I go home to Dallas for Thanksgiving, I love to run the YMCA Turkey Trot. The Dallas Turkey Trot hosts about 35,000 energetic runners, joggers and walkers alike. This particular year, the Turkey Trot made an attempt for a world record for the most people in turkey costumes in one place.

I love this race because it’s the perfect thanksgiving tradition: burning calories before you eat your weight in delicious thanksgiving cuisine.  It’s also a lot of fun because of all the college rivalries. Those who didn’t come in turkey outfits came in all of their collegiate paraphernalia. There are fight songs from all sorts of schools going around the crowd, but non louder than our very own “Texas Fight!” fight song.

I have been running since my junior year of high school, when I joined my school’s track and field team. I was atrocious, but I loved the freedom I felt while running. I continued to run throughout high school, and love to run recreationally in college. Continue reading Run Austin!

How to bleed burnt orange

Being part of the MPA has many amazing benefits; one of the greatest is being a part of the larger UT community. The University of Texas at Austin is a place of tradition. Our traditions date back the university’s founding in 1883. I feel it is to every student’s benefit to know all the wonderful traditions our university has. Getting caught up in the spirit of the school is one of the best parts of the experience at UT.

How the tower is lit after winning a national championship game

The Tower

The first thing any prospective UT student needs to know about is the tower. The tower is campus’ best known landmark and symbol. It can be seen from almost anywhere in Austin, and as cheesy as this sounds, I get a swell of happiness in my stomach every time I see it.  It is usually lit up in white at night, except on special occasions. We light it up in orange for academic and athletic achievements and it even has a special configuration of lights for when UT wins a national championship.

The tower also has a clock on all four sides and chimes every fifteen minutes. At 12:50 three times a week, Tom Anderson (the university’s carilloneur) plays songs using the bells. He has even taken requests before.  One time I heard him play Katy Perry’s teenage dream and just this week he was playing “Deck the Halls”. Continue reading How to bleed burnt orange