Monday, November 7, 2011

A Slice of Heaven

My friend Caroline calls me a "slice of heaven-er."  At first, I didn't understand the title, but quickly realized that she classifies me as part of the group of our classmates that consider Charlottesville to be a "Slice of Heaven."

Last Saturday I had the fortunate misfortune of flying into Charlottesville airport on a on a small propeller plane from Philadelphia.  After being stuck in Philadelphia on an unexpected layover for 7.5 hours, I was tired and the only thing I wanted was to get home, go to bed, and put an end to my crummy day.  I spent most of the plane ride angrily flipping pages of my magazine (I had long since given up trying to read cases) and sighing deeply in frustration.  As we get closer to Charlottesville, though, I happened to look out of airplane window - and saw one of the most breathtaking views I have seen in my life.  Our plane was flying just low enough that for the last 20 minutes of the flight, all I could see were lush treestops and Fall colors in every direction.  The Blue Ridge Mountains were in the background, and the landscape below me was red, orange, pink, yellow, and every shade in between.  The sun was just beginning to set, casting shadows over the trees and mountains, and the sun rays made the whole scene even more picturesque. 

A week later, I still can't verbalize how beautiful the view was - but the mental image still pops into my mind daily and has forced me stop each day to take a deep breath and look around.  Knowing from my other friends in business school, no matter where you are in school or what year you are in, Fall in b-school is busy, stressful, frantic, and chaotic from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to bed.  Fall at Darden has been no exception, but the one thing unique to our experience here is Charlottesville.  With everything you could possibly need at your fingertips (...this is where my non-"Slice of Heaven-er" friends may disagree) - and the middle of such amazing natural beauty - Charlottesville makes the whole business school experience a little more manageable.  No matter what is happening with academics, recruiting, and life - five minutes outside, taking in the beautiful views, is enough to inspire and energize just about anyone :)

For the last week, I decided to take a few pictures of my daily view to share.  Nothing compared to the view from the plane, but some snapshots of Fall! 

Afternoon in Flagler Couryard - check out how blue the sky is!

View of the fountain on the backside of Flagler Courtyard

View from my Ivy apartment

The walk to school...

At least the learning team rooms have good views as well...

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