Thursday, May 21, 2009

What I Learned in Grad School

The program may be over, but the lessons stay with you forever.
  1. At 42, I discovered that accounting was based on credits and debits. Who knew?
  2. Cliques are still rampant as hell. You find your academic soulmates within 2 days.
  3. Professors LOVE to have you read their text books. Hell, at $99 a pop, it probably pays better than teaching the 4-week class.
  4. can then sell that same book and recoup almost 45% the original value.
  5. Finance is one of the most complicated aspects of business. But if you master it, you're golden.
  6. I still have no short-term memory. I mean the moment I would open a book...wait, what number are we on?
  7. Michael Porter is considered the God of MBA programs. He made my life a living hell.
  8. Every class still has a prom queen and a dork.
  9. The professors who teach the more obscure classes (cough, cough...ethics) are usually the most adamant about how valuable their subjects are to the business community. Clearly the scholastic Napoleon complex.
  10. Executive-level programs, no matter how much more money they cost, are worth every penny to have your books handed to you and never step one foot into the bookstore.
  11. My student ID gets me discounts at movie theaters. So by going to 35,000 movies I should make a profit from this education.
  12. When going to Vietnam, buy more things, even if you think you don't need them. Spa treatments are also less than half the price than in the states.
  13. Having laptops with Internet connection in classrooms is probably the single biggest mistake in the educational system.
  14. Working in teams sounds like it will be less isn't; it's usually worse.
  15. Making yourself just one little bit smarter, is the best thing you can ever do.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rights, Privileges and Responsibilities Thereunto Appertaining

The day I thought would never arrive, finally happened; Graduation. Two years ago, I began the long journey of grad school. Last night, it all came to a closure as I walked across the George Washington University stage.

While the celebration commemorated my achievements, I walked on behalf of four others, who without their support, I never could have gotten this degree. Through their actions and encouragement, they made it possible for me to go to school. Last night was about them just as much as it was about me.

To my son's moms: You have done so much to give Corey the best life a little boy could ask for. He's healthy, happy and well-adjusted. Clearly that doesn't come from someone in grad school. You bore the brunt of parenting these past two years. It was all too easy to say I had a child when you did so much of the work. I am truly honored to be part of the best parenting team ever.

To my Son: For two years, I've been deficient in my responsibilities as a father. You have never once complained and accepted whatever time we had together. We had such little time together and even then, I would grab a book as soon as you started playing. I short-changed you more times than I can count, but it means the world to know you still love me as much as you do. I promise to be there from now on.

To my Partner: No one listened to me complain more than you. When I felt like quitting, you talked me out of it. When I hated my classes, you encouraged me to get through it. When I degraded myself for not having a enough brains to be in this program, you pushed me back up. You kept me fed, sane and out of prison (for not killing my team year 1).

This degree, I share with you. No one can earn something by themselves and I cetainly learned that these last two years. I love you all and am so happy to call you my family.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Class?

Dear Post Office,

Let me be blunt; I hate you. I've written before about how stupid you are. It amazes me you are able to stay in business, except that you really have no competition. I can only hope that the Internet makes you so obsolete that you go out of business.

Last year you screwed me with your Automatic Postage Machine. Being so excited not to deal with your personnel, I used if for every transaction possible. In February 2008, when I went to buy 100 stamps for work, it issued Christmas stamps. Quite obviously, I couldn't use them for business given that our all customers are not Christian. When I asked to exchange them, you told me you were unable to take back previously issued merchandise. And the supervisor agreed with you. Stupid people.

I sell books on and most of that goes out media mail. Each time, I tell you "It's media mail; just a book." And every time you ask "Is there anything dangerous, liquid or perishable?" as if I'm dumber than a ficus tree. One time I even said "Just a shovel" and you went about your business without batting an eye. Useless Robot.

Today you told me that I could no longer use my credit card to purchase anything because I hadn't signed it. It says "Please check ID" on the back and I hand you my driver's license each time. "Where am I supposed to sign it?" I asked, pointing out there was no room left in the signature block. You shrugged your shoulders. Clearly uttering words was too much work.

I'm tired of you punishing me for doing business with you. I pay you and you treat me as if I'm causing you an inconvenience. You want inconvenience...fine.

I'll pay the entire bill in nickles from now on. I'll ask you about every delivery option available just so you have to talk for 10 minutes. I wish I could fart into the package and make you smell it behind that bullet-proof glass.

Good luck with this mail thing. I'm paying most bills online. Magazine & Newspapers can be received other ways. FedEx and UPS are getting cheaper.

You get from people what you give. I hope people put you out of business faster than you can say 'Forever Stamp'.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Family Time

The little boy who sat next to me was probably 4. He wore a pair of striped shorts and Diego tee shirt. He was playing with his cars. He kept to himself though he talked a lot and tried to get his mommy's attention. Every once in a while he would ask questions.

Another little girl sat right behind me on her daddy's lap. She was pretty fussy and spent most of her time grabbing at her food. She cried a couple of times but hey, she was only 2 so who could blame her.

How nice to see parents out with their young children. Family time is always treasured and I love watching people spend their weekends as a family.

Except when I'm at the theater seeing Wolverine.

As much as I tried to concentrate on the (not-so-great) film, I was just taken back by this appalling lack of responsibility. For the love of God people, why on earth would you think you are good parents by taking your youngsters to Wolverine? What kind of example do you think you are setting for these kids?

There are days I cringe when Corey asks for Herbie Goes Bananas for the umpteenth million time. But the sound of him laughing just makes it worthwhile each time I sit there.

For this little boy in the theater, what reference of being 4-years-old does he have when he's watching a movie like this? I can only think of how distorted his world view is when it is all at a PG-13 level.