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.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Mamma said...

What the heck are you doing giving us this update?! Go read!!

I'm stressed just hearing about it!

Glad you're enjoying the experience.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Papa Bradstein said...

Congrats on the windfall from your long-lost uncle, Stafford. If you love stats so much, you'll love this piece in the NYTimes Magazine. I know--how exciting, something else to read. You know you love to hate me. Also, after her first year in grad school, during which she worked full time, Mama learned that she couldn't read everything, so she learned to read strategically. And in her sleep. I'm sure that you're reading more than some of the other kids.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

Just reading about that much work is exhausting. I'd never make it back in school again.

I think that nonprofits are attracting better folks now...and losing the stereotype that people working there just weren't able to make it in the real business world (that's not my opinion...it's what some moron told me once).

And welcome to the club of people who'll still be paying student loans when our kids start college.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Whit said...

I used my student loan money on trips to Europe and new skis. I guess tuition is a good use to.

I could never go back to school. I made it two classes into my masters and thought, screw this. That student loan bought me a refrigerator.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous L.A. Daddy said...

Student loans are wonderful.

I was fairly good at stats... but I didn't know why. I didn't like it or understand it, but for some reason I kept well on tests. Strange. And I hate math.

Good luck with everything.

5:56 PM  

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