During the core curriculum at Darden, students are randomly assigned one of five sections, lettered A through E. For the first seven months at Darden, you will attend three classes a day, four days a week (that’s 300 cold calls), with the same 60-65 peers in the same classroom, while the faculty rotates in and out. Your section becomes your family. Your section becomes your life. I remember when I first arrived at Darden, a wise second year forewarned me that I would quickly fall in love with some people in my section. Over the course of the year I would fall out of love with some of them, but by the end of the entire shebang, I would be enamored of them once again. And sure enough, the year unfolded just as predicted.
Fortunately for me, I was assigned to Section B. It is one steeped with tradition. We have a song that we sing after the final class of every week; a song that has been passed down through the section for decades. But perhaps the most unique tradition in Section B is the bird. Each week, as a section, we award the bird to the classmate who made the most ridiculous comment that week. Bird-worthy comments include:
1. During an Operations case that focused on improving the effectiveness of a hospital, a classmate suggested that the hospital upgrade to bunk-beds for the patients.
2. When asked during a class on Managerial Accounting what was the most important four letter word, our classmate’s response was “Love.” This at least garnered him a hug from the professor.
But Section B doesn’t stop in the classroom. Each year, Darden sections compete in athletic and philanthropic events in an attempt to win the annual Darden Cup. This year, Section B won in Softball, Soccer, and Cricket.
And of course, there have been no shortage of social events. When all is said and done, Section B has helped define my first year experience. We’ve learned a ton, we’ve struggled through tough cases together, we’ve pushed one another, and most importantly, we’ve laughed a lot. So here’s to Section B!