Archive for October, 2011

Over the intervening year I’ve had well wishers who when hearing I am a “full-time” student think I have so much time — time to meet for lunch, time to ‘hang out’…time. So, this weekend I am going to blog what a full-time student does with his/her time.

My last class for the week is on Thursday night, so Friday is my day — right? Nope. Today, I need to go to campus to get a waiver for a class that I feel I have sufficient work experience to warrant the hassle of going on campus on an ‘off’ day. I have an extra credit case assignment due Sunday for a capital markets class. I need to read the case today. I have an economics of inequality class short paper due Sunday. I need to finish reading before doing the paper. I have a logic model assignment due Sunday (actually it was due today but the professor is giving me a couple of extra days to do it). Luckily I have done the case reading for it and it’s partially done, but I need to dedicate some time to it today. Luckily, I don’t have an assignment due Sunday for my fourth class — Black Social Movements — but the next assignment due in a few weeks is a major paper. I should start figuring out my outline for the paper.

I will probably take my computer with me so I can stay on campus after I get the waiver to work on my Sunday assignments. Outside of classwork due, I have reading to do for next week so I need to remember to print out the readings while on campus as this will save me money from printing at home where I pay for the toner. I also will check out idealist.org (shout out) to see if I can find one or two openings. I have gained the graduate 25, so I need to start working out….just to ensure I can fit into my interview clothes if nothing else. I am not sure if I will be able to work out today, but the day is young and I am hopeful…..


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It’s been a looooonnnnggggg hot second since I posted….sorry about that. I wish I could tell you I’ve been livin’ it up grad-style. Instead I have been eyebrow deep in the books wondering if I can lose any more muscle tone and looking forward to my me time — on the subway with approx. a few hundred other folks lookin’ for me time.

The time has been flying and with a few weeks left (technically) in my grad school experience I am chuck-full-of anxiety, anticipation, trepidation and did I mention anxiety. If I stay up between now and national turkey day … I may find myself caught up. And while I should be filling my spare moments drafting paper outlines, scheduling ‘info’ interviews, or figuring out how I’m going to pay uncle Sam…..I’m going to spend it with you.

Yes, that’s right for the next few weeks you will be getting the raw, the unvarnished, the sleep deprived grad experience.

Drink it in.

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Have you ever had a class where you realize it’s one of the hardest academic experiences you’ve ever had?  Ever had a class that is so time consuming and frustrating and so difficult that you constantly question why you signed up for it in the first place?  Have you ever had a class that you knew you were going to benefit from at the end, but getting there was going to be excruciating?  That class for me is Elements of Finance.  This is, without a doubt, one of the most difficult classes I’ve ever had in my entire life.  The only other class I can think of that was this difficult was logic with Stiv Fleishman – in undergrad (that was a good class).  Elements is hard course for a few reasons:

1) The amount of work: chapter quizzes every week – on three chapters of the textbook.  Each quiz is 25 questions.  Takes around a good 2 hours each (or more, give or take an hour).  Plus case studies.  Plus other readings as assigned.  You can take the quiz again if you don’t do well – but the questions are randomized so you don’t get the same quiz twice. Which means another couple of hours (get it right the first time).

2) The concepts: finance is indeed another language.  It’s a different way of thinking about things that is not necessarily intuitive to the non-financial person.

3) The speed: we are blazing through some pretty tough and key concepts.  And when I say blazing, I mean blazing.

This class is kicking my tail, no joke.  I spend most of my time on this class by far, and I feel bad for my other classes.  But I know that I’m getting some really good skills out of the course (even though most of the time I feel like I don’t know what’s going on).

The class is difficult but I know it will pay off in the long run.  Today we talked about the time value of money, and we saw how easily someone without an understanding of compound interest could get suckered into an adjustable rate mortgage that probably wasn’t in their best interest.  This is real, practical stuff.  I look at loans differently now.  I look at my credit card differently.

So I power on through the course, doing the best that I can.  I know I’ll be the better for it.  Adversity breeds character.  And I like to remember what Ellen Degeneres’ character in Finding Nemo liked to say:

Just keep swimming…just keep swimming.

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