Thursday, August 30, 2007

$35K Richer

My new best friend is named Stafford and boy did it come through yesterday. My student loans both arrived within a period of 24 hours. I am officially (more) in debt and on my way to adding yet another monthly payment to the stack. Honestly, it’s good to have had those come through. Tuition is due in a week and I hated wondering where that money was going to be coming from.

Overall the classes are awesome. In some weird way, I love stats. The concepts of prediction, probabilities, histograms and standard deviations fascinate more than I would have expected. The ideas behind the processes are amazing and I thoroughly understood what was going on, I could kick some serious math-ass.

What kills me though is this abbreviated and rushed schedule. This week, I’ve had six days to read 420 pages…and that’s NOT allowing for the completing the practice problems. I’m walking into class tomorrow with 1½ chapters still not done. Luckily, we only have 200 pages due next week, so I should be able to catch up. (?)

I have class one day each week. Stats is 4 hours each morning and then we have Organizational Behavior for 4 hours each afternoon. Org Beh is like business therapy. It’s all about leadership development and learning the types of behaviors needed in various situations. It’s more theoretical and involves constantly talking about ourselves. With that skill, I think an ‘A’ will be no problem. Stats, well…I’m still struggling to properly format a probability distribution from paper to excel.

The class consists of 23 people, all from extremely different backgrounds. 8 women and 15 men, ranging in age from 33-49. We have three non-profit folks, a project manager for a construction company, and people from naval operations, the coast guard, joint chief of staff and veterans affairs. There is also a wall-street investor, two entrepreneurs and an orthopedic surgeon. It’s one of the most diverse and incredible groups of people I’ve ever been with.

The best part over these past few weeks is that I realize my skills are better than I thought. In our cohort of five, it turns out I’m the one who is most comfortable presenting and I’m one of the better writers. (I used you all as references on that so back me up.) Every person brings (or should bring) a unique skill. Luckily, if I develop carpel tunnel syndrome from all this writing, I have the hand surgeon in my cohort. I’m betting I can finagle a steep discount on surgery.

I went into this program thinking I’d be in the tail end of the pack. Non-profits aren’t well known for generating the best business folks. But it turns out, I’m actually in a lot better shape that most.

Now if I can just master Stats.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Few of my Favorite Things

I'm back from my week-long residency and ready to go. I must say our location was top-notch.

We spent the week at a nice resort in the Allegheny Mountains about 4 hours outside of DC. While this was more of a high-end playground for the wealthy, it did offer great services for connecting a new group of 23 students.

One day while riding in the elevator with another classmate and two other guests, we were explaining our reason for being there. One of the guests commented, "So your school brings its program at a place like this?" My classmate didn't lose a beat.

"This isn't your father's MBA."

My favorite part of the resort wasn't the food or the grounds or the freaking awesome toiletries. It was the alarm clock.

What is it with hotels and trying to have the latest and greatest in gadgets? You want to provide guests with CD players...great. But why must you combine all of the electronics into one 8-inch contraption that takes me 40 minutes of learning how to program in order to wake up on time? Nowadays at most hotels, I've given to calling the front desk since I cannot figure out the alarm clock.

But not The Homestead. Their clocks had only 4 buttons and looks just like the one next to my bed at home...which I have had for 26 years.

See just like Paris Hilton, I too prefer the simple life

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Don't You Forget About Me

I know... I know. I haven't really been around much these past 10 days. It's a little of everything; the heat, my annual meeting at work is over, Larry is out of town so I'm getting to go to bed at 8:30. It was nice to a take a little break.

I'm sorry to say's going to get worse.

My celebration from June becomes a reality this weekend. On Sunday, grad school begins. Luckily, it starts with a week-long leadership residency that takes place four hours outside of DC in the Shenandoah mountains. The week focuses on our skills, weakness, goals and challenges. The deliverable is 15-page paper taking about yourself. HA! How tough will that be? I can write about me for days.

The sick part is that the following week, we begin with statistics and organization behavior. And life as I know it, is done for the next two years.

What does that mean for you? Well, not a lot unless you want to help with the student loans. But it does mean I'm going have to scale back on a lot of things.

Since I feel this blog keeps me grounded, it's not going on hold, but pretty much everything else is. I'm going to have to cut back on reading a lot of your posts. Most likely, I'll be skimming through them, but if I really should know something HUGE, email me.

I'm going to have drastically reduce my commenting as well. I hate that, but if it's a choice of reading all or reading half and commenting, I'd rather skim to briefly keep track of your lives.

I will try to post now and then to keep you informed of what is happening here, but again, if you comment, I probably won't be able to respond back much.

In a way, I will miss the daily interactions, but honestly, 21 months will fly...for all of us.