Since I Had Our Sweet Reprieve


We’re now somewhere between a month and a year into the EMBA, take my word for it, I’m quite sure it’s less than a year. Although, if we’re counting new memories and experiences instead of days than it’s way more than a year’s worth. But that’s beside the point, the point is that after this uncertain amount of time into the program I – shush now, not too loud – I took a break! I know, given the reading list I was horrified as well. But this was vital in reaffirming something my mouth said without telling my brain a while ago –

‘of course we’ll still spend loads of time together during the MBA’.


So I went to London for the weekend. Great city etc. etc. Which brings me to Gerard Manley Hopkins. Let me explain. I can’t for a moment purport to be a literary aficionado. For example, Microsoft had to spell check three words in that last sentence and aficionado was only one of them. Having said that, last week I had a flashback to some lines of a Hopkins poem I must have read in secondary school. If you’d asked me before the MBA I would have flatly stated that I have never read any of his poetry, I think my brain is tilling the fields preparing to learn new stuff and it’s dredging up long forgotten facts. I digress. I had a satori moment (think back to our session on presentation skills), a moment of understanding. This trip to London was my “sweet reprieve” that Hopkins was alluding to. Admittedly Hopkins was talking about a dying man in his poem (sorry, so morbid) but he could have been describing a man’s experiences in an Executive MBA. Bear with me.

Sickness broke him“, did I mention that I got Man-Flu since starting the MBA?

Hmm… “he cursed at first“, yes I’ve definitely done that, and not just at first.

However I have not yet “quenched thy tears“, perhaps that comes after the next case study?

Now let me get back to work at my “grim forge” of a desk.

Please don’t misunderstand me, my experience in the EMBA so far – meeting wonderful new people and exploring new concepts – has wildly surpassed any expectations I had starting out. But, dear reader, having experienced it I must recommend that you take your own “sweet reprieve” from time to time, the MBA readings will still be there when you get back.

Might I suggest that you avoid analysing poetry on your break?!

Donal Bailey ~ First year EMBA