Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Our own Emily Litella

(Hey finally a post not connected to school. Apologies in advance to all those who never watched Saturday night Live in the early 80's.)

Ten years ago, we were taking our Labor Day vacation on Cape Cod. We will always remember that trip because that was the weekend Princess Diana died. Trust me, you don't want to be in Provincetown with 4000 gay men on that day.

A few weeks later after we returned, we were visiting Larry's mom who at the time lived ten minutes away. As we regaled her with stories from our vacation, she turned her focus back on the recent tragedy.

"Did you hear about Princess Diana? So sad. So young," she said. We both agreed that her life had been cut short far too soon.

She continued, "I just don't understand how these things could happen. I think that man is awful."

We looked puzzled. "What man?" Larry asked.

"The man who killed her. What an awful thing to do. It's hard to be believe that people like him so much. I never liked his music at all."

"What man? Who do you think killed her?"

She rolled her eyes as if we hadn't heard a thing about the accident. "Pavarotti."

(The pause was indefinite.)

"Mom, she was killed running from the Paparazzi, not the opera singer."

She sat there a minute and just looked at the television playing on in the background.



Monday, September 24, 2007

Breaking Point

I have totally hit it with Stats. Every week, we continue to get taught more and more of this. And never once do the professors stop to really make sure we are getting it. It's like fitting gallons of math through a pin size funnel. I just can't learn this fast.

There are eight weeks of this class. We have three reference materials; an online book by one of the professors (5 chapters to read), another book on decision making (9 chapters to read) and the actual stats book (13 chapters to read).

The stats reading is over 850 pages. Included in there are over 400 practice problems. Last week it took me an hour to get through 10 pages and fully absorb the concept. I am so far behind that I really don't even know what is being taught at this point.

But I think I get probability. Here's an easy one for you.
Figure out the probability that a 40 year old man will pass a stats class if he's reading 10 pages an hour and is three weeks behind in comprehension.


(Sorry, just a bad day. I'll get past it.)


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

There's no "I" in Team but there is "eat me" if you you use the 'e' twice

So I'm four weeks in. The first class Organizational Behavior is done. It was really great and I loved the professor. Stats is half way done and I'm hating it now. There is no other nice way to say this except that binomial distributions suck ass. Next week begins Marketing Management. Thank God a class I can do with my eyes closed.

The biggest thing about grad school is 'teams'. They fucking love them. Everything is a team project. There are five cohorts in our class of 23. Two groups have four people. My group has five. It's like the Breakfast Club goes to business school. Some groups have really strong folks and they've worked well as a team. Then there is mine. All nice folks, but we're all weird in our way and haven't quite clicked like some others.

We have the surgeon in our cohort. "J" is probably the most neurotic person I have ever met. She's just frantic. If there is an assignment, she reads it the first hour class is done. She'll summarize and post her thoughts on the Google group we created for the cohort. Then she'll call me 10 minutes later wondering why no one has commented on her thoughts. These past few weeks she seems to be questioning why she is going back to school.

"D" is the math wiz of the group. He can figure out a regression analysis in four minutes. This is the only time I'm glad we have group projects. Overall, he's a great guy who's accomplished a lot in his life. He actually lost over 100 lbs. in the past two years. (Am I sounding like Kirstie Alley promoting a weight loss plan?) He is a slight control freak which is awkward...since I am as well. For our last project in Org Beh, I was group leader. It was my job to put everyone's individual thoughts into our group paper. I sent it to him to review and spell check. The next morning, there was an email to the group with my now completely rewritten paper attached. I wouldn't have been so upset if he could really write, but the man loves his commas. Each sentence had at least 6.

The biggest problem with our group is geography. Two live in VA, one in MD, me in DC and "P" who lives in PA. Seriously, the guy drives 2 hours one way every week for class. That makes study groups virtually impossible except for speaker phone. However "P" is my favorite of the group. He and I talk the most on the phone. And in addition to being extremely good looking (who knew I'd find a guy with 13 tattoos hot), we both have the same outlook on homework, class and the rest of our group, including our worst nightmare.

Her name is "C" and she was the one person everyone prayed wouldn't be on their group. The only good thing is that I'm guaranteed not to be paired with her for the 2nd year. "C" doesn't speak English as a first language. She is from Vietnam and her speaking and writing skills are dreadful. Truly, she's got talent somewhere since she is the chief tech officer for a government agency, but we are definitely waiting to see what those skills are. I'll give her credit that she tries really hard to fit in by speaking up in class and attempting to herd us in our group projects. But she has yet to deliver anything worthwhile to the group, including sentences that have the right verb tense, let alone words like 'the'. "We go now as group, okay? You see, we be happy to make homework best. I tink we have happy numbers on dis understand what I say?"

But hey, they all got the gay control freak who thinks he can perform better by himself than with a cohort. Plus, he writes about all their faults on his blog. I guess each team seems to have their own set of issues.

Oh, and you might have already guessed, I haven't told anyone in my class about the blog. I think I should keep it that way.

"I go study happy number now, okay?


Sunday, September 02, 2007

Study Break

Seriously, Guitar Hero was his idea, not mine.

( I love his facial expressions)

(He might think this is Sweet.)

(We totally nail the ending.)

Seriously, this kid rocks!

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