Katie Holmes enrolls at Harvard Business School: ‘thankful to be with brilliant people’

Katie Holmes has just added another hyphenate to her ever-growing list of accomplishments: Harvard Business School student. “Huh – whaaaa?” you may be asking. I certainly did but ultimately, it makes sense so stick with me. The course falls under Harvard’s Executive Education program, which the school describes as, “an immersive learning experience—one that empowers senior executives to reflect, recharge, and reemerge as visionary leaders.” Roughly, the program sounds like something for folks already in business who need a fresh approach that will fit in their busy schedules. Katie’s course, in particular, is The Business of Entertainment, Media, and Sports (that’s Harvard’s Oxford comma, not mine). Not only does it sound interesting, it sounds like Katie will have some cool classmates.

Katie Holmes is hitting the books.

The actress and mother of one has enrolled in Harvard’s Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports program, according to a recent Instagram post.

Holmes, 38, is attending classes under her company’s name, Noelle Productions Inc., which is taken from her middle name.

The course, according to the school’s website, promises to teach students how to launch and manage creative products and portfolios, manage talent and develop other important strategies.

This year’s class also includes C.J. McCollum, Rashean Mathis, Jamie Heaslip and Gerard Piqué, who is married to pop star Shakira.

[From Page Six]

C.J. plays in the NBA, Rashean just retired from the NFL, Jamie plays rugby and Gerard plays football/soccer, so this class is four parts Sports and one part Entertainment (sorry Media). Other folks who have taken the course have been Channing Tatum, Swizz Beats and Tyra Banks. LL Cool J, or as I like to say – Shut Up, He’s My Boyfriend! – attended last year’s course and came back recently to tell the class how he’s applied what he learned.

So not only does Katie get to go to Harvard, she gets to listen to LL Cool J while she’s there? Nope, not jealous – not at all. What’s more, this is from the course’s webpage: “From “Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson”; and “Hamilton: An American Musical” to “MRC’s House of Cards”; and “The Walt Disney Studios,” the curriculum examines the crucial elements of effective talent management and entertainment business strategies.” Is it just me or does it sound like Katie gets to study Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for course credit? Seriously, how do I enroll in this?!?

So good for Katie. She said she would like to get behind the camera and pull away from acting. I had no idea she had her own production studio but this sounds like a great way to really make it succeed. I have no problem with people looking to educate themselves in any form. There are no educational requirements but you must still be selected for the program so a hearty congratulations to her.

Wonder if this gives Suri legacy status for Harvard? Go Crimson!

I am so thankful and excited to be @harvardhbs with so many brilliant people. @anitaelberse #harvardbusinessschool

A post shared by Katie Holmes (@katieholmes212) on



Photo credit: Instagram and WENN Photos

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107 Responses to “Katie Holmes enrolls at Harvard Business School: ‘thankful to be with brilliant people’”

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  1. Jamie42 says:

    Hooray for the Oxford comma! Thanks, Harvard.

    • elimaeby says:

      I’m also here to root for the Oxford comma. I’m a writer for a well-known comedy house and get teased incessantly about it. I don’t care. I’m a stan.

      • slowsnow says:

        Same here.

      • Esmom says:

        Ha, I was a fan, too, as an English major. Then I became a copy editor at our school newspaper and they broke me of that immediately. That and the two spaces after a period. Haven’t looked back in the decades since, sigh.

      • Odette says:

        It makes sense!

    • notasugarhere says:

      +1 for Jamie42 and the Oxford comma

      • Ceire says:

        This day will go down in the annals of history- my love for Irish rugby, the Oxford Comma, and Celebitchy collided. I may well frame this article. 😍

    • TQB says:

      Oxford comma or death!!!

    • hmmm says:

      Sigh and swoon.

    • Cee says:

      I always use the Oxford comma lol

    • mee says:

      Yes! I support the Oxford comma too.

    • KiddVicious says:

      Oxford comma fan here, too. The Oxford comma helps the world make sense.

    • themummy says:

      I have a MA in English and an MAT (teaching English), and you will have to pry the Oxford comma from my dead, cold hands. I will never ever not use it. Or not teach it. It is the *right* way to comma. That is all.

    • Mel M says:

      Honestly didn’t know it was a thing but I use it.

      • Amy Tennant says:

        I love the Oxford comma, and I used to use it all the time before I got into journalism. AP Style broke me of the habit. Nowadays I usually only use it if I think the meaning will be unclear without it. I still prefer it in general.

    • t.fanty says:

      Woot! Raising my hands for the Ox-co, mofos!

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      I don’t understand how anybody can NOT like the Oxford Comma!

      No Oxford comma: I like crackers and cheese, coffee and rum and coke.

      Oxford comma: I like crackers and cheese, coffee and rum, and coke. (Did you think I meant that I like coffee, but also rum and coke? Nope! I meant I like coffee and rum together, and also coke. The Oxford comma rules.)

    • M4lificent says:

      I’m a tech writer, so I’m eternally grateful that the Oxford comma is required for my branch of communication. My team automatically throws out resumes that don’t use the Oxford comma.

    • Darla says:

      I am delighted to see so much support for the Oxford comma. 😀 I use it. It helps avoid ambiguity. And I just like it, too.

      • Crimson says:

        I love the Ox-co, and I imbued this practice in my son (even as his high school teachers conspired against me). Maybe it made a difference; he just graduated from Harvard.
        Go Crimson!

  2. Jeesie says:

    So basically it’s an extremely low effort way for rich people to say they went to Harvard without actually having to get in to Harvard. The equivalent of Prince William’s ‘specially curated’ course at Cambridge. All show and no substance.

    Sound’s right up Katie’s alley!

    • D says:

      It’s like when Tyra Banks went on and on about going to Harvard Business School, then it turns out that she didn’t actually go to Business school, but she really wanted people to think that.

    • QueenB says:

      Exactly. “Hand outs” are a thing but not for the poor, its for the rich.

      We’ll never hear the end of it how Katie is the biggest inspiriation for women everywhere.

    • Esmom says:

      Most universities have “executive” programs like this or non-credit courses. Most people who take those classes don’t try to pretend they have graduate degrees from there and employers sure know the difference. I have seen people put the school on their FB or LinkedIn page, though, so at first glance it can be misleading.

    • DeniseMich says:

      Katie Holmes doesn’t have a BA so there is no way she could go to Harvard Business School for an MBA. I am tired of Katie Holmes.. what is she famous for again.

      The only two prominent women that got secondary degrees from Harvard are Christy Turlington and Ashley Judd… I believe those are MPA’s

    • TyrantDestroyed says:

      “All show and no substance”. Exactly!
      However, I am glad to read that Katie is attending Harvard and is far, far, far away from the crazy teaching of the CO$

    • hmmm says:

      So in reality she enrolled in an expensive workshop at Harvard.

    • PennyLane says:

      These insanely expensive courses lasting just a few weeks and with almost no entrance requirements are a lucrative sideline for the Harvard Corporation, across all the Harvard schools. Ka-ching!

    • QQ says:


      too bad Harvard Business wont make her a Personality *shrugs*

    • Pandy says:

      My husband’s ex boss (a total tool) took a one day course at Harvard and now walks around telling people he went to Harvard. LOL.

  3. perplexed says:

    Is this real business school? She has no undergraduate degree to get into graduate school. (I know she was accepted into Columbia when she was 18 or 18 and deferred, and was a good student in high school, but ultimately she didn’t do an undegrad degree to deserve admission to graduate school, so I really don’t get how the whole Harvard School of Tyra Banks thing works.).

    Harvard confuses me sometimes.

    • lightpurple says:

      It is a continuing education certificate program, offered each summer, for people in the field that is offered by Harvard B School.

    • EOA says:

      Yes, Harvard Business School is a *real* business school. This program, however, is not a degree-granting program.

      • perplexed says:

        Yes, I know Harvard Business School is a real business school. I don’t doubt the validity of an MBA from Harvard Business School (even if they did give one to GWB). But I’m wondering if this off-shoot or whatever it is is actually real. I don’t get how you can even get into a continuing education program without an undergraduate degree. Even continuing education programs at most schools expect you to have an undergrad degree. I’ve done continuing education courses to upgrade skills (though I’ve never paid 50 grand) but all I do is stick the course on my resume — I don’t really Instagram about it as if I’m an actual graduate of that school or that I’ve done anything of significance by doing a continuing ed course, even when those courses require an undergrad degree.

        So whatever this program Harvard is offering confuses the heck out of me, and the way some of the the celebrities (i.e Tyra Banks) talk about it as if they’re going to be actual Harvard grads confuses me even more.

      • EOA says:

        @perplexed, there are people- especially in certain professions – that achieve success without undergraduate degrees (I will point out that is much harder to do than it once was). But if you’re Katie Holmes or Tyra Banks, why shouldn’t you have access to these kind of non-degree granting certificate programs? It isn’t as if they are taking the spot from someone and we aren’t talking about an actual degree here.

      • perplexed says:

        No one is saying you can’t achieve success without an undergraduate degree. That’s quite obvious. I recognize that there are way more successful people than me who don’t have degrees. That’s an entirely different discussion. There are also tons of successful people who are famous and who don’t have degrees. I wasn’t intending to get into that sort of discussion.

        What I was asking is what kind of program this is exactly, because it is highly unusual, from an admissions perspective, to get into any kind of program, even a continuing education course that isn’t part of a graduate degree, without an undergraduate degree first. That’s just the way academics generally works (I’m not saying that’s how it should work; I’m simply saying that’s how generally the academic world itself says it works). That’s precisely why it’s called “continuing” education (even though I’ve found those courses to be relatively easy compared to what you would do even at the undergraduate level).

        And, no, they are not taking a spot from anyone, but Harvard brags about itself being, well, Harvard, that it’s hard not to look at these kinds of programs in a funny way. If a lower-ranked school offered it, it wouldn’t surprise me, but Harvard (and, uh, er Natalie Portman who won’t let us forget that Jo-Schmoes don’t go to Harvard) puts themselves into a different league altogether, so the questioning from my end here is being thrown at Harvard (the Stansbury of the East), not Katie Holmes.

    • Whatabout says:

      I worked there for awhile! The executive education program is super expensive. I think 50 grand or so. The programs are geared towards people who are on track to be possible CEOs at major Fortune 500 companies.

  4. Josephine says:

    These programs are huge money-makers for universities, and a little boondoggle for the students whose employers usually pay.

    • boredblond says:

      It used to be a three week program, costing over 30 grand..not sure if it’s changed.

      • Whatabout says:

        I worked there and the most well known program was 50 grand. Most of the people attending were sent by their company and the company paid.

  5. Goldie says:

    I love Katie, but all these headlines about her enrolling at Harvard are kinda silly. She attended a workshop that lasted a few days. I don’t think she’s even doing the program that Tyra Banks did, which was 9 weeks.
    The most interesting thing that I gleaned from this is that she’s apparently started a production company, which you can see on her name card. Good for her. I always like seeing women getting involved behind the scenes.

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      This, and if I remember correctly, Tyra (deservedly) gets a ton of pushback for saying she “went to Harvard” or is a “Harvard graduate.” Katie took a workshop, good for her, but let’s not act like it’s anything more than that.

    • Cherise says:

      To be fair, Katie writing that she is at HBS is true in that this workshop is hosted and administered by HBS. She didnt say that she was there for an MBA. I think people are too quick to knock each others wins. However meaningless it is to you, its clearly a wonderful moment for her. Let her have this one.

      • Goldie says:

        I agree Cherise. I don’t get why people are snarking on Katie. She isn’t claiming to be a Harvard grad. I meant that some of the headlines in the media are a bit exaggerated.

      • Radley says:

        Agreed. It’s a good thing. I don’t get all the snark. She’s getting actual business training as opposed to starting a business and running it like a dictator or entitled brat. Good for her.

      • CF98 says:

        Yes but you know these same people dogging her now are going to be the same exact people who will clutch their pearls when this same snark is directed at someone they like. Despite it being the same thing.

        Besides she’s not the only celeb there as you can see Gerard Pique, a couple of other athletes are also in this workshop.

        She had this on her IG last week and yet a week later the media is running with it despite the fact she finished it the other day.

  6. BeamMeUpScottie says:

    Good for her!
    Most of their Exec Ed programmes have a reputation for being very practical and well worth the time and effort.

    • Snazzy says:

      Yes, I did an online Exec MBA through the University of Liverpool because I couldn’t afford to be a full time student. It was a great mix of people, you had to have at least 7 years of experience in a management position, so it was lots of interesting people from diverse backgrounds. There’s no way it was a free ride, I worked my ass off for 4 years (including my thesis) to get the MBA, it was totally worth it. I really learned a lot.

  7. astrid says:

    I’m glad she’s furthering he education but really? She’s not really going to Harvard. She’s doing an expensive class. Sort of reminds me of Ivanka’s book where she talks about figuring out her business angle by talking to famous people.

  8. Lolo86lf says:

    Good for her. Although she is a privileged white female celebrity, I am pretty sure she got in on her own merit (not being sarcastic). It would seem her class does not require many prerequisites to complete so it must have been easy to qualify for the class she is in. There is nothing wrong going to school and she will meet interesting people there famous or not, so enjoy Katie!!! It must be so nice to be able to attend such an expensive school without having to need a student loan from the government. I am stuck paying my loans for years to come 🙁

    • third ginger says:

      Lolo86lf, my heart goes out to you. My daughter, a brilliant girl who went to a great school, also has burdensome loans.

  9. QueenB says:

    Ah the good old legacy student. Equality is a beautiful thing.

    • PennyLane says:

      Anyone with money and some very basic qualifications can get into these short programs. They are a major money-spinner for the university.

      Being a legacy is a huge, huge advantage if you are applying to Harvard College for undergraduate admission but not really for these short courses. Money is key,

      • CynicalAnn says:

        I didn’t think legacies were a thing anymore because of the number of people who went to the schools-would be too many legacies.

      • Cookiejar says:

        Legacies still matter….but only if you donate a lot. a few $100 a year won’t do it IMO.

  10. Who ARE these people? says:

    Anyone who can break from the cult of Scientology and marriage to a once-prominent star like Tom Cruise like she did has the smarts for at least a week at Harvard. Wishing her business success and many more beautiful red dresses.

    • Esmom says:

      Ha, good point. As I was reading this I was thinking how bizarre that period in her life was. So crazy. I’m glad she’s moved on and is seemingly unscathed.

    • ArchieGoodwin says:

      I love the example she is setting for Suri, and women everywhere. She fell for the guy, and it was bad. Through her own strength she pulled out of it, and is working to make a life for herself and her child.
      Does it matter it’s not Harvard proper? She is showing her daughter it’s worth fighting for, putting her words into actions. She is out there doing it.

      She fell for Tom, and the cult sucked her in, which is what cults do. But she persevered and here she is. No shade from me, none whatsoever.

    • Jessica says:

      I say good for her! I never thought much of her until she and her family orchestrated that brilliant stealth exit from Tom and the church and seems to be raising Suri quietly. It likely didn’t hurt that her dad is a prominent lawyer. Enjoy your workshop and meeting new people! I’d do it if I had the tuition.

    • minx says:

      BURNER PHONES. She and her people used burner phones in her escape plan. I always remember that and give her so much credit.

    • Josephine says:

      Yeah, not so convinced that she didn’t have a contract and knew exactly what the deal was when she married the guy. Her escape might just as readily been an expiration. And I’m not a fan, but calling Cruise “once-prominent” is just not accurate, as unfortunate as that may be.

      • Cookiejar says:

        Oh come on, The Tiny One would never allow a contract where he’d be humiliated t the end of it. HE would be the one asking for a divorce. With a new woman in his arms soon after.

  11. Mel says:

    I’m trying positivity here: I have no shade for people who have goals and try to expand their horizon and judging by all your comments, she’s not taking anybody’s place since it doesn’t seem to be all that “legitimate” as far as degrees go.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      She’s not getting a degree; it’s some kind of short course. Good for her – if she can afford it and they see her as able, then why not go?

      It’s legitimate for what it is. (And more legit than Trump U, LOL)

  12. slowsnow says:

    Her instagram hashtags are pretty delusional but it probably is a good thing for the school that these people are bringing the bucks. And, if she has a producing company, she probably has to manage a team and thus needs to learn. I would have liked Victoria Beckam to have at least enrolled in a sewing workshop 😂

  13. Louise177 says:

    I don’t know why people are trying to shame Katie. No she’s not actually going to Harvard but she’s trying to do something to better herself. Not sure why that deserves to be attacked.

    • D says:

      I really don’t think anyone is shaming or attacking her, just pointing out that the executive program is not the same thing as going to Harvard Business School and that it’s silly for celebrities to pretend that it is.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        Doesn’t seem like she’s pretending…more likely she’s impressed and excited to find herself in that company. (Remember she’s the woman who, when young, fell for Tom Cruise’s aura too.)

      • Ash says:

        I’m not a Katie fan, but to me, it felt like she is excited to be in the company of the other students. I’m sure she knows that her program isn’t the actual HBS program.

  14. trollontheloose says:

    it’s a 4-day program that delivers a certificate.

    • Darla says:

      A four day course that delivers a certificate is still something useful and worth doing. I’ve done short community college courses like that and I learned a lot of practical stuff.

  15. tw says:

    What a joke. And no, she will never get a pass for her Tom Cruise Scientology days.

    • rachel says:

      Lmao. What pass? What crime did she commit?

      • Katie says:

        She benefited from Sea Org slave labour just like Tom does. She also participated in the alienation of the older kids from Nicole.

      • Goldie says:

        Speaking of Nicole…Tom has been using Sea org labor since his Kidman days. He famously made a bunch of Sea org members plant a field of flowers to fulfill a fantasy that Nicole had. Most of their household staff were said to be sea org members. So following your logic, Nicole also benefited from sea org labor and isn’t a victim.

        I’m just glad both ladies have moved on from that life.

  16. peanutbuttr says:

    Didn’t Katie get into Columbia (but didn’t actually attend).

  17. Clare says:

    Just a note about Exec Ed programmes – they don’t really require ‘hitting the books’, and are not academic courses. They are courses for practitioners, open to basically anyone who can afford the (very high) fees. Most of these courses don’t even result it being considered and alum of the institution. Let alone designating your kid a legacy (nope!)

    For the most part, they are money spinners, designed to generate extra income for the business school.

    I mean it’s great for her that she is continuing her learning journey blah blah, but this shouldn’t be conflated with someone enrolling in an *actual* course at Harvard (or any university) which requires going through a rigorous application process etc.

    I think I’ve mentioned before I work in a business school, and we get literally hundreds of mid-level managers on these courses every year. It’s all based on ability to pay – abe this is at a 800+ year old top ranked university.

  18. Freddy Spaghetti says:

    If Angelina Jolie can be praised to the skies for getting a lecturer post, then how is it so bad that Katie Holmes, who actually got into Columbia but didn’t go because of Dawson’s Creek, is taking a short class at Harvard?

    Yes, she married Tom Cruise, but she got away from him and that cult fast and safe and with Suri.

    I can’t shade her for this Harvard thing.

    • Keely says:

      Angelina Jolie was enrolled at NYU, I don’t know the particulars as to how long she was there , her enrolment etc, plus lots of people criticised her and still do for that post. (I’m responding to the actually in your comment btw- not necessarily saying because she was enrolled at NYU it means she gets to lecture) I don’t get the shade thrown at Katie. I think there’s a lot of intellectual & academic snobbery when it comes to celebrities, I’ll never side eye one that wants to improve themselves in whatever small way.

      I mean if Katie starts calling herself a Harvard grad like Tyra, then that deserves a side eye, especially if like everyone says it’s a certificate course for a few weeks- which in no way resembles being enrolled at Harvard and actually getting a degree from there. Perhaps this will lead to Katie deciding to further her education in the long run which is a positive thing. So kudos to her for trying.

  19. Ladyhands says:

    I think it’s great that she’s taking advantage of this opportunity. I’d do the same. And yay for Rashean Mathis. He’s one of my favorite Jaguar players of all time!

    As far as I’m concerned, the Oxford comma is outdated and often used a reason for people to feel superior to others. I’m over it.

    • perplexed says:

      I think people prefer the Oxford comma because it avoids ambiguity. I think it does make statements clearer.

    • Josephine says:

      “I would like to thank my parents, God and Oprah.”

      Just an example of when the Oxford comma is necessary for clarification. I don’t think we need to stick to old rules just because they are old. But sometimes the rules are necessary for clarity. It’s not about being “in” or being a snob. It’s just plain necessary.

  20. KiddVicious says:

    I’m glad she’s calling herself Katie. Didn’t Tom Cruise insist the media refer to her as Kate?

    So, $50,000 gets you into a weekend business course at Harvard, $500 gets you the same business course at the Radisson Hotel.

  21. themummy says:

    She’s just taking a class. It’s not like she’s enrolled in a degree program or anything. Good for her, I suppose.

  22. Amy Tennant says:

    “What, like it’s hard?”

    (I couldn’t help it)

  23. Miss M says:

    Good for her!
    It is not the regular program. But I commend her for seeking knowledge.
    When Angelina was invited to be a Professor of practice and the ones (like me) who criticized got shut down by most of the commenters. Katie is not claiming any title or education she didn’t apply for it. She is only proud to take a course/workshop that will help her business venture.

  24. Danielle says:

    I was waiting for someone to comment on katie’s “ever growing list of accomplishments.” Remember when she was a fashion designer? Remember when she was going to be a dancer? How did directing go for her? The acting seems stalled out. To be fair, a production company sounds like a good idea. Maybe producing will work out for her, she seems well connected.

  25. PassTheCovfefe says:

    When I went to grad school, they tried to beat that Oxford comma out of me. Nope, not gonna happen.

  26. Sage says:

    I believe Sharapova took a similar course.

    Good for Katie, nothing wrong with educating yourself.

  27. perplexed says:

    This kind of program seems like it’s better for networking rather than expanding one’s mind.

    I don’t really think shade is being thrown at Katie but more at Harvard. Ivy League schools tend to belabour the point that they take in the best and brightest minds, but you can sense the difference in social inequality when you see programs like this.

    • Danielle says:

      Excellent point!

    • Crimson says:

      What better way to learn than to tap the minds of people in the business who have the knowledge from hands-on experience? Yes, networking is definitely a side benefit, but I would not call it the objective of this course. I don’t get the “social inequality” comment. Should all schools be equal and offer all programs to everybody? Life doesn’t work that way.

      • perplexed says:

        You have to pay $50 000 grand to get access. That’s where the inequality comes in. That means wealthy people have access to contacts that an equally bright but poorer person doesn’t. I guess I could have explained that, but I felt the cost that was pointed out in other comments made the inequality quite obvious. A very wealthy person in this kind of program will definitely make contacts at Harvard that will help that person get a leg up on someone else. Do I think you would necessarily get a better education in this program? I”m not convinced. But I certainly think you can get farther ahead if you have access to those networking opportunities, which you would have to pay $50 000 for. Can I think of an alternative in a capitalistic society? Not really. But I don’t see anything wrong in pointing out that social inequality exists when someone can pay $50 000 to get better networking opportunities.

        You also asked “Should all schools be equal and offer all programs to everybody?” This question would make sense to me if you’re talking about a merit-based program. But this program is not remotely merit-based but about having the money to pay so I don’t feel this question could actually be answered in this particular context. The context of this program is strictly about wealth, not having certain prerequisites either through hard work or brains to get in.)

        Also, after seeing Donald Trump as President, I’m also beginning to wonder about people who have hands-on knowledge about business. A contact like Donald Trump can land you a better job as a networking contact, but do I think he has more knowledge? Again, social inequality. (I know he’s not teaching there, but that’s an example of how a networking contact can help you but not necessarily expand your mind, and where wealth makes things very uneven in terms of the success people from different socio-economic backgrounds can achieve).

      • Crimson says:

        @Perplexed: I do agree with you that the cost is stupidly expensive for access to this course. Most universities are jumping on the chance to generate this kind of quick income and in this case Harvard is playing on its name. However, I also know that they offer a LOT of “need based” financial assistance to undergraduates from all types of socio-economic backgrounds. Walking around its campus is a literal United Nations, fascinating and invigorating.

        Additionally, I wouldn’t consider DT the best example as a networking contact. His success in business is overshadowed by his ethics and morals. That would be problematic for many people.

  28. annie says:

    i think she is great, minds her own business , and just gets on with her life, and she is a fantastic tap dancer

  29. Bread and Circuses says:

    Omigosh, that orange/pink dress is so cool and pretty!!

    Oh, er, and congrats on Katie being intellectually accomplished. **slinks away, towing my superficiality behind me**