Thursday, April 28, 2011

LECT Group Project

The "capstone" course for the MLF program is called Law and Economics of Corporate Transactions. It is a course that (a) brings together what we have learned in finance, economics, and law, (b) sprinkles in a bit a game theory, and (c) puts it all in the context of real-life corporate transactions. As a practicing lawyer, I find these subjects fascinating and honestly do think that I will be a better lawyer for having taken the course.

One of the major components of the course is a group project to analyze a recent, real-world corporate transaction. The projects are staggered throughout Trinity Term (April to July), with one group presenting every week or so. The projects work are as follows: (1) the student group analyzes the document and academic theory of the transaction, (2) the group presents a PowerPoint presentation to their fellow MLF students and faculty members, and (3) the practitioners that actually did the deal present their side of the deal and a critique of the group's presentation.

My group had the fortune of going first. This meant we had to work on our presentation over the break between Hillary and Trinity Term. Since most people had gone home or on vacation for the break, it was quite interesting working on a project with team members literally spread across the globe. However, our group was fantastic and thanks to Skype and Google Documents we were able to get it done.

Overall, I was very impressed with our finished product. In fact, a direct quote from the practitioner who did the actual deal was that our analysis was "spot on." I am constantly amazed at the intelligence and talent of the people I go to school with!

The Dream Team (from left to right): Antonia (Wales), Jan Willem (The Netherlands), Me, Shane (Ireland), and Sophie (Belgium)

The finished product!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Red Nose Day

Red Nose Day is HUGE fundraising effort in the UK and I was so excited to be apart of it this year.  I want to explain it correctly so, I went straight to the Red Nose Day website for a proper explanation:

What Is Red Nose Day?
Red Nose Day is a day like no other when the whole country gets together to do something funny for money and change countless lives in the process.  It all culminates in a night of cracking TV on the BBC with some of the biggest names in comedy and entertainment.  And the best bit? All the fun and mayhem helps to raise cash and transform lives across the UK and Africa.

This year alone, £74,360,207 had been raised which is the highest total reached on the night in Red Nose Day's 23 year history.

I volunteered with an organization, Free Cakes for Kids, to put on a baking session for the African Women's Group in a near by neighborhood.  We baked dozens of cupcakes decorated in Red Nose style to be sold later that evening at a community bop (dance).  

My new friend, KiKi, and me hard at work.

I had to take control of the spoons because he liked to lick his finger even more than I do...and that's ALOT!

Isn't he a cutie!

BBC News came to film a segment for the nightly news.

KiKi with his mom and little brother.

Some finished products...

And more!

Wonderful group of ladies!

I enjoyed being involved in my new community and making an ever-so-small difference in my own way.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


We had to pay homage to the home of the Salisbury Steak so after Stonehenge, we made our way to Salisbury, England.

Contrary to much belief, Salisbury is actually known for it's beautiful Cathedral, not the steak.

The Cathedral with its huge, 8-acre lawn

The Salisbury Cathedral is absolutely stunning and boasts the tallest spire in England, standing 404 feet tall. The spire is the tallest medieval structure in the world and it is amazing that it is still standing on top of a foundation that is only four feet deep.

The tallest spire in England

The view down the nave

Ornate stone work in the cloister
Beautiful courtyard (cloister) in the interior of the Cathedral

Jordan, Katie and Leah admiring the beauty

The best preserved of only four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta (AD1215) is on display in the Cathedral, but unfortunately we were not allowed to photograph it.

The oldest-surviving, functional mechanical clock in the world is inside the Cathedral.  It has "ticked" more than 5 million times since it was first built.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Two Wonders...

We are still alive...just been busy with life but we hope to catch you up on some of our latest adventures!  We experienced two great wonders in one day...Leah driving in England and Stonehenge!  We are not sure what was more awe-inspiring, that no one was injured (not even the car) or that we saw some crazy big rocks that no one can explain. 

After seven years of marriage, Jared and I have learned what triggers our fights, and number 1 on that list is Jared's driving.  So with that being said, I'm the driver and he's the just works best.  Although I'm comfortable with driving in America, it's a totally different ballgame in England.  The steering wheel is on the right side of the car and you drive on the left side of the road...just think about that for a minute.  Also, there are no 4-way stops in England, only roundabouts that can be super confusing.  But with the help of some awesome YouTube videos the night before, we felt confident that we were ready for the road!

We hired (that's British for rented) a car and picked up our dear friends Katie and Jordan for our first ever England road trip.  We were armed with Crystal Light, Gushers and aluminum foil.  Odd combination you might think but all three are essential to see the "Henge" in style (you'll soon learn more about the foil).

Check out my nervous smile, strained neck and white knuckles...just a tad uptight!  Also, do my eyes look closed?!?
One more roundabout and we're there!

I had some excited passengers!!!
We topped a hill and there they were, some big rocks out in a pasture, right next to the grazing sheep.  Interesting.

You can't get real close to the rocks but it is awe-inspiring to see just how big they really are!

We listened intently to the guide that gave us several different theories of why Stonehenge is Stonehenge.
We were quickly bored with the recordings and horrible music so we decided to dig deeper into the Alien Theory, that one sounded the most interesting.  Luckily we had brought our foil!  We made our hats in hopes of connecting with Alien powers so they could enlighten us about these big rocks.

Unfortunately no contact was made, but we did get a few chuckles out of the Stonehenge staff.  Did I mentioned that these two boys go to Oxford and Katie is PA school bound.  Me, well, this silliness is a perfect example of my normal behavior!

Although Stonehenge cannot be explained, it was still an amazing sight.  Another adventure we will never forget!