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Dec 31

I've added my Peru page. Below is the menu. My additions for the next three months will be there.

Peru Adventure: Initial Page / Dec-Jan / February / March

Special Sections Universidad Peruana Union / Abigail
Dec 30

I (Mark) leave for Peru. I'll likely not have time to update this page, and don't know how frequent my internet access will be while I'm there. But I'm sure I will have a Peru page posted within days of arriving.

Dec 27 I'm working hard, preparing for the trip to Peru. I miss Laura already. :-(
Dec 22 Josh and Tracy were married on this day. I served as photographer. Sometime, pictures will be posted, but there's no time right now.
Dec 21 I (Mark) will soon go to Lima, Peru for 3-4 months. I can't wait! I will finally be able to reach lower levels of fluency in Spanish - something that I've wanted since a child. I will create a page for this trip, much like the one I did for my trip to Argentina.
Dec 19 I visted The Lauder Institute, home of a program that allows one to earn an MA in International Studies. It would be a great backdrop for my goals. I had a very friendly visit with Roxanne of admissions, and then with a student who was very helpful and informative. You can read more in my Trip Report. I appended information to the entry concerning Wharton.
Dec 18

I'm very happy that my interview at MIT seemed to go very well. This "behavioral" type interview is sometimes difficult to read, but I'm very happy about it. The interviewer and I seemed to have a good report, and she wrote notes during times that I was making what I considered to be a good point. You can read more in my Trip Report. I appended information to the entry concerning MIT - Sloan. Now, to work on other things and keep my mind off their decision. :-)

A few pictures of MIT will soon be posted.

Dec 17 I flew to Connecticut and stayed with Jim and Jamie (Thanks guys). Pictures of Nathan and Loren will be posted very soon.
Dec 15
  • I'm preparing for my trip to Boston, and my trip to Latin America. I'm excited because I'm in contact with a friend in Bolivia who is talking about possibilities for promoting education in that country. That's one of my long-term goals (not even stated in my applications because it's so long term. hmmm... maybe I should. :-)).
  • I'm also trying to get the ball rolling on some volunteer work at the local Nursing Home. Luckily, I enjoy most of it. :-)
  • Must get back to work on the preparation for the MIT interview and my Wharton essays.
Dec 10

I'm working hard on Wharton's applications so I have very little time for playing with our web site. But I took time out to complete the MBA school visit entries (Nov 16 - 27).

This is worth repeating: I have an interview at MIT - SLOAN! HOW COOL IS THAT?!! (was that too much?)

Dec 4 I interview with MIT on the 18th. (I'm still very excited.)
Dec 3

I will update this site soon. The holidays have been spent recouperating from my trip. :-)

BIG NEWS - I was just given an interview invitation by MIT - Sloan! WOOO HOOO! Yet another red letter day!

The MBA School Visits!
See my MBA School photo album
See my full Trip Report

Nov 27 Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for the trip, and thankful to be home. I arrived about noon
Nov 26 We didn't make it far last night, so this entire day was traveling. I was too tired to make it from Alabama to Nashville, so I slept at the Rice parents place.
Nov 25

The new Huntsman Hall is in use at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, and what a great place. See my MBA School photo album for pictures. The facility is great. As usual, the information session was very good and it included admissions representatives and then students. Lunch was with several students and prospective students, and was very helpful to me. The class I attended was one of the core classes (Management of People at Work) and was taught by Prof. Mike Useem. It was fantastic. We had a skit put on my one of the teams, and a guest lecturer that worked with GM and was inolved with bringing knowledge back from Toyota's NUMMI (spelling?) facility. This was the second class I've attended at Wharton and both were top-notch.

Below, Ben is hard to see, but he's waiting for me in the van near Wharton. Thanks for all the waiting at so many schools Ben!

Ben waiting for me in the Van

Although you can't see Ben well, he's waiting for me in Velena's van, which we borrowed for the trip. This shot was taken during the visit to The University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School).

Nov 24

The Ambassador's Program at MIT - Sloan was very informative. I went to an information session with a person from admissions, then some students answered questions. We had lunch with students, then attended a class. I went to an economics class that was GREAT! The teacher (who's name escapes me) is well known and wrote a commonly used text on Economics. Clearly it met the scholarly level that I would expect from MIT. As before the visit, I'm very impressed with the students and the school. Unfortunately, I left my camera in the car.

Ben had to park about 5-10 miles away to find a free spot (hey, we're poor :-)). He was faithfully ready when I was finished.


Ben and I help Jim and Jamie Tardif move (within Connecticut - near Hardford/Springfield). It was just the break I needed because I was not able to exercise but once on this trip. This certainly tired me out, and that was very welcome.

Jim's parking job with the moving van :-)  It did the trick Jim has a creative way to fit the moving van where we needed it. Loren eating - SO CUTE!
Nathan playing Nathan playing (left) Loren near eating time (above)
Nov 21 I went to MIT - Sloan, but learned that if I returned on Monday, I could participate in the Ambassadors Program. GREAT. With a little shuffling around, Monday is set!
Nov 20 Babson College was today's school. What an absolutely unique and great place. The entrepreneurship was evident from every angle. I had about 2 hours sleep last night so I won't go into any detail now. I must go to bed. But I'll write more later.
Nov 19 Cornell was great, as expected. I visited two classes and went to an information session. I'll wrigte more later because we're trying hit the road to Boston. See my MBA School photo album.
Nov 18
  • The visit with the University of Michigan was very informative and I had a good time. The students were very helpful. I attended a finance class which was interesting. I had a very good time. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures.
  • Ben and I drove from Ann Arbor to Ithaca and are now in a hotel preparing for tomorrow's visit to Cornell. It's late so I can't update much.
  • Internet access is a problem so I may not be able to update this again until I go home. The next schools will be Babson, MIT and Wharton. Then we will go home.
Nov 17

The University of Chicago was very impressive. The courses that are available, the flexibility to the curriculum, the student body, the teamwork spirit, and many more aspects make this a school that is hard to beat. The buildings and their architecture are beautiful also. I will post pictures soon.

My interview seemed to go very well. I'm so bias because I want to be accepted, that it's hard for me to be objective. But I'm very happy about it all, and am very excited about U. of Chicago. See my MBA School photo album.

Nov 16

Ben and I are on the trip and driving up I-65 toward Chicago. We'll stay with Bob Hoyt and family. That should be fun, I've not seen him for about eight years... since their wedding. We borrowed Velena's van and that gives us much more room, so the trip should be much more enjoyable. I can stay quite productive as long as I have cooler, coffee and computer... :-)

I finished with The Fountainhead a bit ago, and miss reading it. :-) But I'm starting a very interesting book, called Adventure Capitalist. I think the gist of it is a guy drove all around the world and tells of his cultural experiences, and relates his business knowledge throughout. I'll write more about it here when I read more of the book.

Nov 15
  • I finished with my Cornell application, and am going to start my trip to see several schools. It should be both grueling and fun. My brother Ben and I will drive about 2500 miles.
  • I talked with Shiela last night for a while. They're all doing fine. I hope that gang comes up for Thanksgiving.
  • My recommenders both came through for each school, even though I didn't give them as much notice as I want. THANKS KEN AND TIM
Nov 11

I'm doing well with my Cornell essays and they will be finished on time.

Ben and I are going on a trip starting this weekend. We are going to visit many of the schools and take a bit more than week to do it. We will be home for Thanksgiving. I'll enjoy this vacation.

Nov 7

I got up at 4:50 AM, ran four miles, then hit the last minute essay changes for The University of Chicago. All mail-in materials arrived safely, and I submitted the application this afternoon. Now for Cornell University and to prepare for the trip to see these and other schools.

Happy birthday Dad Mohr

Nov 6 The postal service hadn't delivered my forms to my recommenders in time, I had to FedEx a new copy. But all the documents arrived back to me today (THANKS SO MUCH to my recommenders for their just-in-time work) and I quickly sent them all to the University of Chicago (one of my favorite schools! -- calm down). All should be fine.
Nov 3 I'm concerned about the Chicago application because one recommender didn't receive his forms in the mail. That's unusual. Now I'm going to overnight the needed forms to him and provide a FedEx number to send them back to me. I hope it all works.
Nov 2 Happy Birthday Mike!
Oct 29 My MIT - Sloan application was submitted, and that feels great. Chicago's app' is next.
Oct 24
  • I finished my first drafts of all essays for MIT - Sloan.
  • I'm almost finished with Ayn Rand's book The Fountainhead. It's very interesting.
  • Running outside is motivating and I can do four miles more easily. When it's too cold, I'll have to return to our treadmill. But for now, I'm putting on sweats and braving the 50 degrees (Hey, that's cold for me so BACK OFF! :-)). My four mile run today felt great
Oct 21 I'm working on school applications now. I have very little time so this site suffers. :-) But I should say that I'm very hopeful about my MBA plans and my future goals. Once a good essay is finished with my plans outlined, I'll post that.
Oct 13

I'm working like mad on my application essays so I don't have time to do anything else. Updates here will be few.

It's great to have Laura back from her weekend at Women's Retreat

I ran 4 miles again this morning and it helps me think throughout the day. Even if it's psychological, I don't care. It's working :-) and in the long-run, it will help much.

Oct 10

I'm still very excited about my GMAT score, but too busy with application related work to fully enjoy it. :-) Unfortunately, I've been a little under the weather recently, so my work has been slower than it would otherwise be. I may have to apply in the second round for some schools. But I'm still going to try, sick or not.

Laura is gone this weekend to work for the ABC at Women's retreat. She enjoys it a lot. It will also help me focus on what I need to do this weekend.

Oct 8

I'm filling out school applications now.

I ran 4 miles again this morning. Woo hoo! I still like the Asics running shoes that I bought.

Oct 7

I re-took the GMAT today and I'm in "happiness overload" because I earned a 750 WOO HOO! This is a red letter day! [..deep slow breaths... calm down... whew!..]

That score is above 99% of those of other test takers. For those of you who are not familiar with GMAT scores, the average for students of Wharton and Harvard are about 710 each. (It was also a good split between quantitative and verbal - see below.)

Significance: It will cause schools to be more confident that I can do well in their program, in spite of my poor undergraduate grades and my older age! :-)

Now I must do a stellar job on my essays and conveying my goals, etc.

Here's the breakdown: 750/99% Quant: 49/90% Verb: 44/98%

For those who are going to take the GMAT, I compiled some notes from discussions that I've had via email. See Mark's GMAT Notes.

Sep 4

WOW, my new running shoes feel so much better, especially down steep hills. So far, I'm very happy with them. I've been running four miles (outside) each day (except weekends) since August 25. (OK, I admit it, I skipped Wednesday, the 27th. :-) I had to give my sore calves a rest.)

Boring Technical Note and Question for Those Who Know These shoes have a "dynamic cradle" but that's a bit confusing to me. If you know more about it, please inform me. I don't have any pronounced pronation when I run and I thought the concept of a "cradle" was to help pronators. The sales person knew that I didn't have much pronation. Maybe the cradle doesn't mean what I thought, or doesn't affect a "normal" runner, OR.. the sales person didn't know what they were talking about. hahahaha I did go to a "running store." Anyway, the results are good. They feel great and should be easy on my knees as I run outside more often.

Must get back to studying. :-)

If any of you want to receive interesting math (and sometimes verbal) word problems via email periodically, just let me know. I have a small email list of people to whom I send problems that I find interesting. I can put you on that list.

Sep 3

Dad Rice is doing well and is home (he went home last... Monday, I believe)

I bought some good running shoes today (Asics - GEL IGS - also, the word Speva is written on them, but I don't know which is the model name). ...can't wait to try them.

Aug 31 Today Robbie, Ranae, Dad Lynn, Laura and Mark went down the Hiwassee River (spelling). We had a great time. I only have a picture of our picnic after the 2 hour river trip, but I will post that soon. I've been very busy studying recently and have had little time for playing with this site.
Aug 30 We went to see Dad Rice in the hospital. He had a high fever and an infection, but he's doing much better now. He's expected to be home tomorrow. I'll keep this site posted with his progress.
Aug 25 I ran 4 miles outside for the first time (as a daily exercise... it's not my record distance). I may do this regularly. I seem to push harder when running outside. I only ran an under 10 minute mile so it's not very fast, but it's still good exercise, and was enough to make my calves sore. :-)
Aug 11 Happy Birthday Mom Rice!
Aug 10

BECKA & JON had their young one today! CONGRATULATIONS! Brydon (spelling?) was born at about 4 PM and weighs about 7 lbs 6 oz.

It was great to be able to see so many friends again, including, of course, Becka and Jon, but also Darwin, Christen, and Amy. I miss all of you guys. Thanks for talking so much Christen! :-)

Aug 9

We sent to see Dad Mohr, who is in the hospital because of frequent falls. He's now at the Sisken clinic where they will give physical therapy and it is hoped that he will regain strength in his legs.

July 19

We went to the Mohrs this weekend and had a good time. We've not seen them for a long time because of my trip to Argentina.

Robert, Michael
Gerald (photo by Garvell)
Gerald (left) was at the Mohrs this weekend. Very cool. (Several of these photos are by Garvell and Robert - THANKS).
Robert and Michael (above), then Justin and Britteny (below) A moth at Dad Mohr's house
Moth at Mohrs House
Justin and Britteny
Dad Mohr on phone (This way cool photo was by Garvell or Robert).
Dad Mohr on phone
July 18

We are visiting the Mohrs in the Collegedale (Chattanooga) area this weekend. We've not seen them for quite a while so it will be great. We'll update the web page upon returning.

Jessica will return home this weekend, but we've had a great week together.

Jessica, Laura Mark, Jessica

July 16 We bought an mp3 player (on Sunday) for listening to Spanish. It also does music very well. :-) I've been listening to it for several hours each day. It seems that it will be a very big help. It's so small that it's not a problem to take it almost everywhere and listen whenever I have pockets of time. In the first two days, I listened to over six hours of Spanish speaking (stories and sermons). I think I can tell that I understand better than before. But it's too early to tell. It could be psychological at this point. :-)
July 15 Jessica (our niece) came to visit us until the end of the week. She's going to do some volunteer work at Laura's work. We had fun yesterday listening to music together.
July 11

I'm posting pictures of stamps from Argentina in the June 16-30 entry. Check the link out below.

The children's Animal Story is taking me longer than I thought. I will post it in the Argentina page soon. Here's the menu for the Argentina pages:

Other Pages

Auto's / UAP Campus / Best Photos / Yerba Mate


July 9

I'm listening to a lot of Spanish recordings and to be able to do that more, I started learned about audio files (e.g. wave and mp3) and audio editing. It's actually quite simple. I compared a few products and chose The FlexMusic Wave Editor ( See also his wave editor page). It was one of the best and was only $10. I plan to put my Spanish tapes and CD's into mp3 format to make it easy to have with me all of the time. FlexMusic will accept sound from my sound card (line-in which is how I "rip" from cassette) and from CD's. With this setup, one can:

  • Delete sections of a recording that are not helpful (I deleted some songs from a children's story, and left only the Spanish talking).
  • Use an mp3 player (disc or solid state) and have hours of Spanish (or music)
  • Download from on-line radio stations from Argentina to listen each day (can be put on mp3 players/CDRWs)
  • Save other types of recordings that you want to preserve electronically

If any of you want to know more, send email.

July 8

I saw a red-tailed fox today. There is no large picture and this is the best I could get. When I tried to get closer, he went away. TRUST me. He was very cute.

Distant Fox
July 7 Now it's time to get to serious work. As always, Laura is working hard at the nursing home (she's their social worker). I must finish the unpacking, care for our sick cat, study Spanish, look into another Latin America trip, and study for a test (GMAT).
July 6

We frequently see deer in our back yard. Check out this shot of a young buck.

July 5

We visited the Rice parents' place today for a 4th of July gathering. Diane and Joel arranged much of it (THANKS GUYS!). Many of us had not seen each other for a long time. Also, it was an ideal time to celebrate Caleb's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CALEB! We all had a very good time.

Colleen, Francesca, Starling and Nancy Laura, Heather,  and others
Kelly, Nate and Caleb with Caleb's birthday cake Caleb samples the cake
Logan and Caleb eating Francesca and Colleen

July 3 Wow, what a great learning experience it was in Argentina. I will have a few more updates for the Argentina section of our web page. Check it out if that interests you.
July 1 & 2 Mark returns from Argentina. See the "May & June" entry.
May & June

I am keeping a log of the learning visit to Argentina. Please:
See The Argentina Adventure

(The below menu was added in July)
Other Pages

Auto's / UAP Campus / Best Photos / Yerba Mate

May 1

Mark is going to Argentina today. Here's what will be a log of my escapades. I can't wait for Laura to join me. But before I go, I must change the oil in the car. Ugh.

OK, oil changed, last minute packing finished. I'm now at the Nashville airport. I sure miss Laura, but I'm also excited about what I will learn.

April 26

We were able to visit Chattanooga and see some of our family & friends who live there.

Group at Park Group Having Dinner Daniel & Michael

Above are two group shots and one of Daniel and Michael. Below is Dad Mohr, Michael, then Michael doing a wheelie on Daniel's bicycle, then Mark trying a mix of inline skates and a unicycle. We had much fun.

Dad Mohr and Michael Michael doing wheelie Mark with skates on unicycle

Let's do it again soon.

April 29 I created the start of a page for The Argentina Adventure. It's not much now, but will grow if I can publish to it from Argentina.
April 27

Happy Birthday Colleen.

I was able to talk to David Gates and discuss possibilities of a trip to Bolivia. I may be able to visit Bolivia when I'm in Argentina. I hope so.

April 21

Happy Birthday Nathan.

The Argentina trip is close. I'm excited. If any of you know of other South American contacts that might be good sources for learning of possible places to stay, I would appreciate you putting me in contact with them.

April 8

At 7:34 p.m., April 8, 2003, Marissa Shelaine Chappell, was born by C-section. She weighs 7lbs. 10.3oz. and is 21 inches long. Mother, father and baby are great. Grandparents, great grandparents and aunts are ecstatic!!! So are Mark and Laura!!!

Marissa Chappell Newly Born! See more pictures on the Chappell's web site

April 7 Laura will be able to go to Argentina for two weeks! We're very excited about that. We were not sure that the Nursing Home (where she works) could allow that because of a high pressure time schedule that is coming, but May is early enough such that they can allow it. Woo hoo!
April 2 Mark tried running for a little while, but that isn't a good idea. It seemed to inflame the rib area. Walking is good. :-)
March 28-31

Laura and Mark went to Gatlinburg to spend a weekend with Sharon and Michael Mohr, in celebration of both of our anniversaries. They are a week apart. We did this last year and had a great time, so we look forward to this very much. Visit many other pictures for that event.

Our 6th and 7th anniversaries All at Mexican Restaurant, No Way Jose's

Happy Anniversary to Sharon and Michael! (on the 31st)

March 28 Mark found that he scored above 90% in the essays in the GMAT taken on March 7. That's a great score (5.5 out of 6). (The essay sections consisted of one analysis of an issue and another analysis of an arguement.)
March 27 I (Mark) apparently cracked a rib today. Uggh. Now I cannot run, so my exercise is limited to walking quickly.
March 25 Mark found out that no visa is required to go to Argentina for a two month stay, and I already have a valid passport, so I'm prepared. I'm wating for a reply from some Argentine contacts, but that's the last hurddle to overcome (other than the > $2000 flight costs). But it will be worth every penny. (Added later: AAA helped me find a flight that is about $970! WOO HOO!)
March 23
Our 6th anniversary Happy Anniversary to US! It's been six years. Amid all of life's normal difficulties triumphs, it's been great to be together.

Mark finished Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. I loved this book. See entry just below (for March 12) for more thoughts. I began reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

March 20 Laura had a root canal done today. She's doing well, but is on pain reliever. The doc said that it might take her two weeks to loose the sensitivity. Hopefully, the bad pain will be over much sooner.
March 12 Mark: I'm over 3/4 finished with Atlas Shrugged, a great book by Ayn Rand. Overall, the book is great. It's one of the best I've ever read. There are philosophical points that are exaggerated, and the wording is such that many may misunderstand the points being presented. The dedication to honesty, as presented in the book, at first may cause the characters to seem ruthless and unconcerned about others. Some will not see the true meaning until near the end of the book. If you hate people who want to earn money, you would not like this book. But if you can appreciate the good that such a person does for the world, you may like the book as much as I do.
March 7 Mark took the GMAT again to up his quantitative score. The results were quite good and he's very happy... he scored above 87% of the worldwide test takers.
March 3

Jamie and Jim sent pictures of Loren and Nathan! Check these out! We must see these young ones!

Loren at 1 month Loren at 2 months Loren at 3 months Loren at 4 months

Nathan at 2 years Nathan at 2 years

February 15

Laura and Mark were invited to the house of Dr. Sudheendra, Kavita and Nainika. Dr. and Mrs. Ladd were there too. We had great food and an excellent visit.

Laura, Nainika and Kavita Most of the group at the Table. Nainika is the photographer.

February 14

Happy Valentine's my lady!

We went to The Highland Manor Nursing Home where Paba was voted as the Valentine's King and Mrs. Knukols was voted as Queen. Mark finally got a shot of Mr. Goforth, one of his friends that he visits each time he goes to see Paba.

Paba as Valentine's King! A child from a local school is reading to Paba

Mr. Goforth has a child reading to him Mrs. Knukols is Valentine's Queen!

February 7, 8

Mark and Laura visited Vanderbilt's Owen School of Management, and Mark had an interview. He's excited, but it's still tense until they give a decision. We met many great students and prospective students. Here's a picture of a group of us that went out to eat before the Saturday night party.

Shigenori, Takanori, Laura, Mark, Kyota, Shintaro, Shigeru

These are (from left to right) Shigenori, Takanori, Laura, Mark, Kyota, Shintaro, and Shigeru. Thanks for the great evening guys.

January 31 Mark finished his application to Vanderbilt's Owen School of Management. If Mark this works out, he will be working on two degrees, an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) and an MA (Masters of Arts) in Latin American and Iberian Studies.
January 29

I bought a D-Link DI-614+ that will serve as a router/switch/firewall/DHCP server/wireless AP, and will share a high speed internet connection. It's great and has given no trouble. Our notebook and our desktop share the cable modem. The way the firmware is controlled is through ones web browser and a known IP number. It's VERY easy. I recommend it. (I also recommend buying them through They have good prices.)

Since we needed the internet connection, and had a special on this unit, we bought a wireless card for the notebook too. Now we can surf throughout the house. It's very convenient.

January 13 We have a cable internet connection now. It's about time we had higher speed and "always on." It's great.
January 11
Karis Callia Collins Karis Callia Collins, born January 11, 2003, 7lbs 5oz. CONGRATULATIONS Andre & Ericka!
January 6 Dad Mohr and Mark ate breakfast at IHOP, then visited Harbor Freight just to see what was there. Laura and Lindsy had fun at Hamilton Place Mall. When we were all finished, Mark and Laura helped Dad Mohr pick out a mobile phone.
January 5

Dad Mohr took Mark and Laura out to eat breakfast. Mark and Mike did 30 minutes of mountain biking and had a blast. After that was finished, they played with their torches. Mike had an air tank to repair and that was a good excuse to melt metal.. We all went out to eat at Rio Bravo in the evening. Here's a picture of Danial while I was chasing him with the camara.

Daniel behind Flowers

January 4 We went to Dad Mohr's house and had a very good day with him and Melissa. We ate at Mike and Sharon's house. Daniel is speaking so well now, it's amazing. We played Mind Trap until we were assured of going to bed late. :-) But it was worth the fun.
January 3

We went to Mom and Dad Rice's home and spent the day there. We didn't arrive as early as we had planned, but we had a great visit, and were able to spend quite a bit of time with Joel, Diane and Logan in addition to the time spent with the Rice Parents.

Logan Mark and Logan Assembling Visible Motor

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