Entering Into a PhD Program at Harvard

So this past fall I applied to several PhD programs around the country (and one outside the country)! Most of the programs I applied to were Organizational Behavior/Management PhD programs in Business Schools, although I did apply to a handful of Social Psych PhD programs. Before I started working as a Lab Manager at Columbia Business School I was set on applying to Social Psych programs. But upon being exposed to the world of psych research being conducted in Business Schools I was convinced that they were a better fit for my academic interests.

After a long a arduous application process, including three attempts at acing the GRE, I finally started hearing back from PhD programs. I got interviews with MIT Sloan, UMichigan Ross, Harvard Business School (HBS), and NYU Stern. Soon though I got an offer from HBS, and after being wait listed at several other institutions I felt that the Organizational Behavioral program at HBS was the best fit for my research interests, so I accepted!

It feels quite surreal to tell myself I am getting my PhD at Harvard. I don’t think it’s entirely sunk in yet, especially now that I’m embroiled in the stress of moving and leaving my current job. Nonetheless I am greatly looking forward to starting my doctoral work! This will be a big transition, and a worthwhile one.



My GURPS Game in New York City

So I’ve been living in New York City for about 10 days now. I’m settled into my new job at Columbia, I’ve unpacked all my things in my apartment, and I’m ready to start recruiting for my GURPS game in New York City. I’m going to continue with the same setting I was running while in Chicago, which is a fantasy setting of my own creation. Having been here for only 10 days so far I have no idea where to hold a game and to find gamers. Luckily, through MeetUp I’ve been able find people interested in playing in my game. If by any chance you’re reading this and going “I live in New York, maybe I could play!” Please feel free to email me or visit the MeetUp page I have for my game! I also have an Obsidian Portal page for the campaign. I really hope that I’ll be able to find a good sized group of enthusiastic players who can meet twice a month! If there’s anywhere I should be able to find some role-players, it’s New York City.

New Job, New City

As I mentioned in a previos blog post, I have been considering several job offers from Columbia, Princeton, and the University of Chicago. Well recently I made my decision, and for the next two years (and potentially longer) I will be managing the Behavioral Research Lab at the Columbia Business School. My official position is “Lab Coordinator,” and unlike many lab jobs, I’m not working under a single professor. Instead the lab is available to all Business School faculty, and my job is to facilitate any and all aspects of research. Last week I spent 3 days in New York City training at the Business School, and now I have a much better sense of what I’ll be doing, and how to do it. While in New York City I also tried intensely to find a sublet for a few months, and luckily that worked out too! I found a great two bedroom apartment in central Harlem that I’ll be living in for 3 months. That will give me ample time to find a more permanent apartment where I can live for a year or more.

I’m also finishing up my thesis for my masters from UChicago. I’ve received most of my final grades for my coursework, and they’re all A’s orA-‘s, which is great! My thesis is due in July, so I’ve got to finish it up soon. Over the next few weeks I’ll be trying to finish it up, along with visiting all my family and friends in Maine. I came back to Maine this past weekend, and I have about two weeks here until I’m moving to New York City to start working during the first week of July. So while trying to finish my thesis, I’m also trying to visit all my friends and family. So much for a summer vacation! Regardless, I’m looking forward to my new apartment, my new job, a new city, and new adventures. I hope to continue my GURPS game in NYC, as the game in Chicago was a great success. I also hope to meet some new people and make some new friends, as I know nobody who lives in NYC. And I hope that because I’m living much closer to New England then I was in Chicago, that I’ll have more friends and family coming to visit me in Manhattan.

Overall I’m excited! There’s part of me that wishes I was working/living in or near Maine, but I know that NYC will be a fantastic experience, and my position at Columbia will not only be a great professional experience, but it will be invaluable for getting into a good Phd program in the coming years. But for now I’m writing, packing, and trying to say visit and say bye to all my friends. I’m sure I’ll be writing more in the near future about all the fun I (hopefully) will be having in NYC!


Job Offers and Life As It Stands

Wow, my life over the past 3 weeks has been crazy and stressful! Up until about Tuesday morning (so 5-6 days ago), I was having probably the most stressful time of this academic year. I was in the middle of job applications (which I’d been doing steadily for 2 months), trying to decide not only what I should apply to, but what I wanted to do with my career. On the one hand, I felt like I wanted to be back near all my family and friends in Maine, and on the other hand I felt like I needed to get a research job that would help me get into a PhD program. Unfortunately because of the job market in Maine, these two goals are basically mutually exclusive. These considerations about what I wanted emotionally and professionally were compounded by the coming end of the academic quarter. I was trying to send out as many final job applications as I could, knowing that in about a week I would would have to stop and begin writing my final papers.

Then the really stressful event happend. I began getting calls from a few employers looking for interviews. Specifically from the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and Princeton. You’ll note that those are not in Maine, or even New England. Suddenly in the midst of all these job application, I was faced with an emotional dilema. For very personal reasons I sincerely felt like I wanted to be working in Maine for the following year, but I was only getting job interviews with institutions far away from Maine. The weekend before my interviews I was faced with the possibility that while I wanted to be in Maine, I could have job offers from places like Princeton or Columbia…then what? I wasn’t hearing back from any jobs in Maine, so I had to face a real possibility. If I were to get a job offer from one of these elite institution, I either take it and doom all chances of living close to family and friends, or I turn down the job of a lifetime just to live in a state where I have no job.

To make a long story short, after talking to many friends, it became clear to me that the emotional and professional uncertainty associated with moving to Maine and passing up great job opportunities was clearly not worth the risk. And while I’m still very sad that I will not be living very close to loved ones for the time being, my stress was alleviated by the job offers that I soon received. I interviewed with Columbia and got the job offer that same day. I interviewed with the University of Chicago and got the offer at the interview. And I interviewed with Princeton and got a second interview. This all occurred in the past 7 days. So while two weeks ago I was under an immense amount of stress regarding what I needed emotionally, where I wanted to live, and what professional goals I wanted to pursue, this weeks I’m stuck with a much more manageable dilema: UChicago, Columbia, of Princeton?

Admittedly I’m still sad that I’m not going to be within a convenient distance from my loved ones. I also have some emotional loose ends I need to work out in Maine. But whatever the outcome of those loose ends may be, I know that I’m on a good path: I’ll be staring a research job at one of the top universities in the world this summer, and that experience will be vital in helping me get admitted into a top PhD program. While there are many considerations regarding these jobs (types of research, how they’ll help me into a PhD program, pay, one vs. two year commitments, location, living costs etc), I know that no matter what I choose, I can’t go wrong. All the jobs offers are exceptional opportunities for me, and I am very blessed to have such offers.

Currently I’m writing my final papers and preparing to fly back to Maine in 2 weeks, which is where I’ll stay until I move to where ever my job will be. I’m trying to spend as much time with my friends here in Chicago before we all part ways, and I hope that we’ll all stay in constant contact and see each other in the future. Otherwise, I’m in a better mood than I was a few weeks ago!

I’ll have to make the decision on my job soon, because some of the jobs need to know asap. So when that happens, I’ll let you know. Otherwise it’s back to writing papers…..fun.

My MAPSS Experience (Continued)

So a few days ago I gave a quick summary of my experience in the MAPSS Program at the University of Chicago. I invited people to ask further questions, and that’s what I got! In the comments on the post I was asked some more specific questions, and I want to address those here.

Question 1: How close are you with your Preceptor? Are they really as helpful as the program makes it seem?

My preceptor is very helpful. He is great for helping me navigate my way around the university. He had great advice about what classes to take, how to prepare and oriente myself towards looking like a good PhD candidate, and was very helpful with my thesis. Your preceptor is basically your general advisor, and all preceptors are either PhD students or an Instructor with their PhD. You will have an “advisor” for your thesis, but your preceptor is the one who signs the paper that approves your course choices, and signs off on your thesis proposal. You will be spending a lot of time with your preceptor during the first half of the program. The first quarter you will be taking the “Perspectives” Class that all MAPSS students have to take, and every week during the first quarter your preceptor group (which are grouped by discipline, so psych, or history, or sociology etc…) will meet to go over the material discussed in class. Then during the first half of the second quarter you will meet weekly with your preceptor group for your Thesis Workshop, where you and all the students in your group will vet each other’s thesis ideas. My preceptor is great, but to say we’re “close” would be a stretch. Not because I don’t like him or we don’t get along, but simply because the preceptors are very busy, and don’t have a lot of time outside of their jobs to interact with you. Like I said, they’re advisors. And one thing about UChicago that I had to learn was that “advisors” here are not the same as they were in my undergrad. I went to small, liberal arts school where I would pop into my advisor’s office randomly and we would shoot the shit and just chat. We would go out for coffee, and talk as much about classwork as we would about our favorite music. This is just simply not the culture at UChicago, and that is true for pretty much every professors and advisors you will have. People are just really busy, and while my preceptor and thesis advisor are extremely helpful, they don’t have the time to dedicate to more social and personal interactions with me. That being said, I am becoming very well aquatinted with a few faculty members as the year progresses, and I could see that developing into a more personal relationship, but in general, you shouldn’t expect that from any faculty. But I don’t want to make it seem like people are distant or aloof, they’re very nice and helpful from my experience. I also want to mention, out of fairness, that I know some people who are not very satisfied with their preceptors. But in general, I’ve heard very positive things from my friends about their preceptors, and I have only positive things to say about mine. The key to your preceptor is just using them. If you never talk to them or seek them out, you wont find them very helpful. If you meet with them consistently and have specific questions or concerns, they are extremely helpful.

Question 2: Word is that the program is very “sink or swim” and that MAPSS students don’t get enough support. Is this true?

I’m curious where you heard that, but I’d unequivocally say no. Like I said before, this isn’t a weed out program where they’re just concerned with finding a few good students and ditching the rest. They have many programs and workshops for professional development (for example), and you have several people in the program you can talk to. You always have your preceptor to go to, plus the staff in the program, and you have the director of the program, who will always be honest and forthright with you. I know some people who dropped out of the program, but I can say that those people seemed like pretty dysfunctional human beings, not to pass too much judgement. I never once felt like I was being abandoned in the program, I always was able to find the feedback and advice I needed.

Question 3: Are the classes you take actually part of the regular graduate courses?

Yes, all the classes you will be taking are regular graduate courses, and in almost all your classes you’ll have other PhD students. Even if there isn’t (there were some classes I had which only had MAPSS students, just by coincidence) all those classes are still open to the PhD students. Be aware that there is a chance that there will be undergrads in some of your classes, but that a UChicago thing, they sometimes let undergrads into graduate classes. And yes those courses are hard, especially when trying to do a thesis on top of them. But yes, I am able to keep up.

Question 4: I also heard that some professors aren’t very friendly or sympathetic to MAPSS students. Is this true?

Not really. There are professors who are not very helpful, but that’s not because of prejudice towards MAPSS, that’s just general laziness. You will come across professors who are not helpful, who wont respond to emails, who will stand you up at their office hours etc, but that’s not a uniquely MAPSS student experience. Many professors are just not very good professors. This is a Tier 1 Research University, and just because you’re a good researcher doesn’t mean you’re a helpful, responsive and available professor. That being said, I find that professors are very help towards MAPSS students. MAPSS students have been around for a long time, and almost all professors know that MAPSS students have limited time to get their stuff done. I can’t think of one instance where I got discriminatory treatment from a professor because I was a MAPSS student.

Question 5: Is the degree as respected as UC makes it seem?

That’s hard for me to say. I know that many MAPSS students come out and get great jobs, and get into stellar PhD programs. I haven’t started applying to jobs/PhD programs yet, so I can’t directly attest to the professional perception of the degree. Don’t be mistaken, it’s a “Social Science” research degree, so you’re (probably) not going to be getting a bank job with this degree. But if you’re applying to research jobs and jobs where academic degrees are valued, I have no reason to believe this degree isn’t highly regarded. The University of Chicago is also one of the highest ranked schools in the world, so just the name will certainly go a long way. And besides how people percieve the degree, I would never describe the education I’m getting as second rate.

I’m happy to continue answering questions people have about MAPSS. I know that many prospective MAPSS students may be reading this, and I encourage you to ask away 🙂

My MAPSS Experience (So Far)

So I’ve noticed that many of the people visiting my blog are searching “uchicago mapss” into google, or something similar. This makes sense since the MAPSS program is in the midst of sending out acceptance letters for the 2012-2013 academic year. I remember when I was admitted that it was hard to find useful information online from former/current MAPSS students about their experience in the program. Since I’m in the middle of some serious work on my thesis (and it’s 1:30am), my summary of my MAPSS experience will be short (although in the future I’m sure I will be giving a much more thorough review of my experience). If my comments don’t address a particular question or concern you have about the MAPSS program, please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions you have (leesplez@gmail.com).

Anyway, I can genuinely say that my experience in MAPSS has been positive. By far my favorite thing about MAPSS is the fact that it is not a weed-out program. Many masters programs are simply ways for the PhD programs to select their favorite grads, and so everyone in the program is constantly trying to one-up each other in a bid to be the most appealing to the PhD acceptance committee at that University. MAPSS is completely opposed to that type of program. In MAPSS, the program’s staff is dedicated to helping you achieve whatever goals you set for yourself! The MAPSS program is a completely separate department, with its own support staff and several faculty. If you want to move on and apply for your PhD, they can provide some exceptional advice as to how to go about that process. However, if your goal is to graduate and find a job in the private sector or government, and you have no ambitions of continuing in academia, they are just as helpful! They have one full-time staff member who’s whole job is career counseling for the MAPSS students (and he’s very helpful).

In the program you will take 9 classes, and you will have free reign to choose 8 of them from practically any course taught in the graduate school. The classes at UChicago are phenomenal, and are very intense. Speaking of intense… you will have to write a masters thesis in order to graduate. And yes, of course it’s a huge stress. But I can tell you that I’m enjoying writing mine. You can write your thesis on basically anything you want, as long as you can find a faculty member who will advise you.

I certainly don’t regret my decision to come to MAPSS. Yes it’s pretty expensive, but the degree is worth it. It’s a perfect stepping stone into a PhD program if you can succeed in MAPSS, and regardless of where you are or what jobs you are looking at, having the University of Chicago on your resume is a big boon. Yea there are some things that are certainly annoying about the school, but those are more about UChicago in general, not something specific to MAPSS. But those little annoyances by no means outweigh the great education I’m getting and the great time I’m having.

I know this is a really, really short blurb about my overall experience, so please feel free to email me with questions 🙂

Why I Play GURPS Over Other RPG Systems

I’ve been playing table-top role-playing games since I was 15 (and I’m currently 23). Over the past 8 years I’ve played many RPG systems. I started when my friend in high school introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition (technically 3.5). I ran several D&D 3.5 games during high school, but never branched out into other RPG systems. Once I got to college though, that situation changed dramatically. The University of Maine at Farmington has a very well-organized gaming group called the Table Gaming Club (TGC). The TGC was a gold mine of gaming opportunities! The TGC was the oldest club on campus, dating back to the 70s. It was one of the only clubs to have its own space (that was not administered by Student Government), and they had whole bookshelves full of RPG books, along with board game and console games. I quickly joined the club, and was an officer in the club my whole tenure at UMF (including serving as the TGC President).

During my time in the TGC I played in, and ran, many different game systems. I continued playing D&D 3.5, I played D&D 4th Edition, AD&D 2nd Edition, Pathfinder, Star Wars Saga, World Of Darkness (Vampire, Mage, Promethean, and Hunter), Shadowrun 2nd Edition, Savage Worlds, d20 Modern, Spycraft, Traveller (from Mongoose Publishing), Unknown Armies, dabbled in Alternity (the old TSR Sci-Fi game), and GURPS (Generic Universal Role Playing System). While some of these systems I only played only once or twice, and others I played for years, GURPS quickly stood out as my preferred system. I should qualify that by saying GURPS is my favorite system for fantasy games, and for modern-setting games. Because GURPS generally stresses realism (and I’ll detail what that means in a little bit), it doesn’t work well with certain settings. It works great with fantasy (which one could argue isn’t very ‘realistic’), but where it can clashes with setting is in space-opera type games. I ran a Star Wars Saga game for over a year, and I thought I’d give Star Wars a try with GURPS. It did not work out, to say the least. Besides the fact that any realistic blaster would nearly obliterate a person, any competent Jedi would be something like 500+ character points (read: Too much). Plus spending the time making up a system for the Force, and all the different force powers was not something I wanted to do. There was also the fact that Star Wars Saga is a superb system (really what D&D 4th Edition should have been), and I just couldn’t justify the time to convert. So if you’re interested in a Star Wars game, Star Wars Saga is without a doubt the way to go.

That being said, I feel that GURPS is a much better system for playing fantasy RPGs then D&D 3.5, and especially D&D 4th (truth be told…ANY fantasy system is better than D&D 4th Edition). GURPS is my favorite system because it is realistic. First I need to define exactly what I mean by “realistic.” I am not talking about realism for realism’s sake. This is escapism after all, the idea is not to emulate real life as much as possible. When I say “realistic,” what I mean is that the system makes conceptual sense, along with mechanical sense. Both D&D and GURPS work mechanically. Their rules are fairly straight forward, relatively balanced, internally consistant, and the basic mechanics are applied evenly throughout the intricacies of the system. Both games can be picked up and enjoyed. Most table-top RPGs with mechanics that do not work will not be successful, so most games available are mechanically sound. GURPS’ mechanics work great, in my opinion. But what is special about GURPS’ mechanics is that they also make conceptual sense. Everything in GURPS is “realistic” in that the mechanics represent sensical and logic possibilities in the world. This is best explained by counter-example. Ask a group of D&D players exactly what “Hit Points” and “Armor Class” mean, and you will bear witness to an intense debate. This is because while these constructs work great mechanically, when analyzed as representations of something the could possibly exist in the real world, they disintegrate conceptually. Let’s take Armor Class (AC) for example. In D&D 3.5, AC is almost entirely based on what type of armor you’re wearing, and it’s supposed to represent how hard you are to hit. You’d think, logically, that how agile and quick you are would help you dodge attacks, but having an 18 Dexterity, which is supposed to be the near pinnacle of human agility, only give you a bonus to your AC of +4, which is the equivalent of wearing a mundane chain shirt. The average character has a Dexterity of 10, which give no bonus to AC. So if your entire AC is based on armor, then just standing still and just looking at your enemy is as effective a defense as actively trying to dodge. Then there’s the question of whether an attack misses your body or just deflects off your armor when your attacker doesn’t beat your AC. There’s also the issue of if an attack beats your AC, it does damage as if you were not wearing armor. It’s either all or nothing with AC. Hit Points (HP) are even worse. In D&D 3.5 your HP goes up exponentially with every level. Mechanically, what this leads to is if your level 20 character walks out into a field, naked, and get’s shot with 50 arrows, they will be perfectly fine. Your maximum HP can be 3000, and until you’re at 0 HP, you act as if you’d never been touched by a weapon. Even if the rules say you’ve been “hit”  20 times by a sword, or spell, or dragon’s breath, it somehow has literally no effect on your ability to function.

GURPS doesn’t have this problem. In GURPS, whether you get hit or not depends not only on your attackers skill, but on your skill at defending yourself (you know, like how combat actually works). And in GURPS, your HP doesn’t increase arbitrarily (few things are arbitrary in GURPS). It can increase slightly, but even the strongest characters will only have double the average person’s HP (where as in D&D 3.5, your HP doubles the first time you level up). In GURPS you can be a Navy Seal, and if you get shot in the leg, it’s not gonna be all that different from if a normal civilian got shot in the leg. In GURPS, your characters’ awesomeness is not based on a collection of magic items, or min/maxed feats, or some unique (and probably broken) special ability, your character is awesome because of their awesome skills! In GURPS, the most powerful and deadly character I ever played was a Samurai. This samurai never wore armor, he used only a mundane sword, never used any magical item or any magic, and was the most badass mother fucker I’ve ever player. My GM couldn’t lay a finger on him for weeks. This focus on character, and the character’s ability, versus a focus on magic items, arbitrary special abilities, and combinations of feats/skill/items leads to very different kinds of games. This can be epitomized when you ask a D&D and a GURPS player about their characters. Ask me about my Samurai, and I’d say something like “Well he’s a master Samurai who killed his master because he order him to murder innocent families. He now lives on the road and on the run, being constantly chased by his former classmates at his dojo. He’s quite, reserved, stoic, lives extremely frugally, and is the deadliest swordsman on the whole continent. He has come to learn that there is no honor in serving a master with no honor, and he seeks a place in this world where his skill can be used to serve a better, higher purpose.” Ask a D&D player about their character and you’ll hear something like “Well my character has 10 levels in (class 1), 3 levels in (class 2), and 7 levels in (prestige class 3). This allows him to use (ability one) in combination with (ability 2) and (feat 3) that I took to do (x amount of damage). His AC is (x), and he has a +5 (whatever) that allows him to do extra damage against (x type) enemies.” Do you see the difference in these two descriptions? The former is a character with a story, a narrative, a personality, and with human flaws. The latter is a mathematical construct, designed for maximum efficiency and output, lacking of anything that would differential it from a well constructed BOT on a World of Warcraft server farming for gold.

This is why I play GURPS, because when the rules are meant to reflect the way the world works, players focus on making “real” characters. When an RPG system is nothing more than an internally consistent set of mechanics that make no attempt to emulate real human experience, players play to the rules. In GURPS, the rules are a tool by which you can actualize your character. In D&D (and similar systems), the rules are a tool in which you actualize the rules. They are arbitrary, self-referencial, and exists only for their own purpose, not to actualize something about your character. GURPS is a class-less and level-less system. Your character is based on skills, advantages and disadvantages (Yes, disadvantages…GURPS actually has you quantify your character’s flaws…you know, those things real people have).

In D&D you commonly get a situation like this: Player X selects a set of abilities/feats that allows them to perform some special attack that does an extremely high amount of damage (let’s say it’s a fire based attack). Because this is D&D, pretty much the whole game is focused on combat. So as a GM, you have this player who’s blowing through all your challenges because they’ve min/maxed to get this over-powered ability. Often you’ll respond by putting that player up against monsters that are resistant to fire, for example. When you do you, Player X says something like “you just did that so I couldn’t use my ability.” At that moment, all immersion is shattered. The pretense that the game is something other than a delicate balancing act of arbitrary abilities and mechanical quirks is gone. The player min/maxed his character exactly because that’s what the rules incentivize him to do, and the GM presented the fire-resistant monsters to counter this broken character. None of this was done for character development, plot development, or because it made sense, it was done to reestablish the mechanical balance that allows the grind to continue. This never happens in GURPS. First off, in GURPS all skills and abilities are equal, whether social, mental or physical. In D&D any skill based around combat is overly complicated, where as any skill not useful in combat is significantly reduced in complexity. This means that D&D games will be mainly focused on combat and grinding. Whereas GURPS games can be a mix of anything. I’ve had many GURPS games where no combat was performed. This means that if you mix/max your character to do one thing really well, it’s very easy to counter that in GURPS. If you have a player who’s put all their points into Karate, for example, just present them with a social situation. They can’t say something like “you only did that to counter my character’s abilities” because their character is the unrealistic one, and it only embarrasses the player and shows how useless their character actually is. Well rounded characters survive in GURPS, not characters designed for maximum damage output. And if you do have characters that are killing machines, just present them with equal powerful killing machines. Again the “you only did that to counter my character’s abilities” excuse doesn’t work, because if a renegade master Samurai exists, it only makes sense that a master assassin would be sent after him.

Because GURPS works conceptually, along with mechanically, it allows it to function in pretty much any setting (hence the “Generic Universal” Role Playing System). It doesn’t have to fit within a specific and narrow setting. Notice how the d20 versions of settings that are not fantasy systems are generally terrible? d20 Modern, d20 Star Wars, Spycraft etc…Yes it’s a great thing that the d20 system is open source content, but it translates very poorly outside of fantasy games. GURPS is the opposite. If there’s a mechanical problem, or something’s not directly addressed by the rules, 90% of the time it can be resolved by asking yourself “how would it work in real life.”  GURPS’ fidelity is what makes it so versatile.

GURPS is a wonderfully underrated system. I know many people who don’t like it solely because they can’t “figure it out.” But what they always mean by that is they can’t figure out how to cheat the system. They can’t find the holes in the rules that allows them to break the rules. They can’t see a clear path that allows them to min/max one particular action or skill. They can’t see an easy combination of abilities that gives them the biggest bonuses. This is only true for a few people I’ve met though. Most role-players I’ve introduced to GURPS love it. I’ve been running a GURPS fantasy game for almost 2 years now, and I played in a GURPS fantasy game for the 2 years preceding my game.

In the near future I will be writing more about role-playing, and I’m sure some posts be specifically about GURPS. Until then, go take a look at GURPS (currently in its 4th Edition). It’s a wonderful system, and I plan on sticking with it for a long time! And as always, feel free to ask any questions, or challenge anything I said 🙂