b-school, Henley, MBA, Personal, Thoughts

Green reflections from the Greenlands (Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire)

One of the best sensations of studying at Henley are the procrastinating moments at the Greenlands. You only have to find some stairs to sit on, and then just look around and stare at the Thames.

If you are lucky you’ll see rowers practising for the Henley Regatta, due in June. But they are just a few spots on a landslide made up of greens and blues coming in all tones.

Being a Spanish born in Catalonia, I can’t help losing myself into the amazing greens that England has to offer. Yes, I’ve seen so many blues in my life, as well as reds and yellows, and some greens too… but not this variety, from light to dark, a chromatic variety that depends on the time of the day, the temperature, humidity… If it is dark and foggy, as it has been these mornings, they even turn into greenish greys.


I know that my mobile phone is not the best camera to capture them, and then the computer screen doesn’t help either. In fact the colours look slightly different in each of my two screens. And although I’ve tried to correct that with my Mac OS, I’ve never experimented success yet. It’s so difficult to get something as incorporeal as a colour right.

One might wonder how this piece of landscape in a highly priced zone may have survived. It wouldn’t if it had been only subject to the forces of the market, but this part of land facing the Thames is thoroughly protected. Construction has been restricted, old buildings must be respected. Time has ceased to pass here.

I like this feeling of isolation, of being apart of the world. It’s like a retreat, an emotional escape.

Yesterday morning I couldn’t help staring with awe both the cow and the bull that enjoyed licking the entrance barrier and didn’t let me make it on time for class. I could have complained or horn them… but that would have been pointless. They were so happy that the barrier was so tasty. And I was so happy to see them that close… and to share their mouth-watering feeling.


But this kind of feelings are increasingly scarce in a mass-marketed world. And small schools will become bigger with time, to survive the ruthless competition. That includes Henley: it must grow to keep up with a fiercer competition.

Henley Management College won’t be able to grow much more here, though. Future Henley MBAs will probably be studying in other modern and expensive buildings, away from here (who knows, maybe in Reading). It’s a sign of the times.

In the meanwhile I just try to savour the moment. Moments by themselves are just an unintended consequence of the flow of time, of the increase of entropy in the universe. But we can make them special… as this one.


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