Archive for May, 2008

It's not the years, it's the mileage.

May 15th, 2008 by under Uncategorized. 1 Comment.

I don’t need to tell you who said that or what the context was. The Internet reviews so far have been savage; I have no choice but to find out for myself. On the other hand, multiple relaible sources have vouched for Iron Man and I feel compelled to see what the inimitable RDJ is bringing to the table here.

This is the last official post that I have to write during this academic year. It may not be the last post I end up writing depending on whether the mood strikes me or not.

You know what still stinks about higher education at any age? Selling your books back….apparently a $145 textbook can only fetch $5.50 two months after being purchased. That’s an incredible rate of depreciation specific to only academia. Can you imagine if cars or houses depreciated in that fashion? The economy would be even worse off than it presently is (as hard as that might be to conceive of for most of us, notably excepting those who survived the Great Depression). Hey, I get it – it’s the whole DisneyWorld idea of “Since we’re already ripping you off to come here, once you’re inside our walls and captive, we’re going to rip you off further with $8 hamburgers and $5 lemonade that your screaming kids are clamoring for.” Essentially, it’s bad business not to pick off available profit, but it still drives me crazy. You have to think of business school as the long-term investment it is – you really have no choice – because the short-term economics of it can make you sick to your stomach.

Then there’s Xanedu, which takes the art of scamming students even further. Some evil genius on a par with Lex Luthor figured out to make people pay too much for electronic readings and case studies, give them no option to sell the materials back, and put on a expiration date on the materials themselves. So even though you’ve overpaid for the materials, in the Xanedu system you don’t even have the right to keep them or to make money off their resale. That’s capitalism, baby…I alternately hate the founder of Xanedu and commend his ability to find an untapped profit stream (one with minimal overhead costs at that).

But the one thing that is still enjoyable about academia after all these years is the last day of school, which is today. I’m writing this blog instead of studying for my Operations Management, and while that may not exactly be the best use of my time four hours before the last thing I have to do for this semester, it is more enjoyable. I feel studied out at this time – my grade is more less fixed at this point and only a performance that would be classified as an extreme outlier (a perfect test score or a complete, utter failure) can really impact me now.

I feel as though I should impart some manner of life lessons, but I don’t really have terribly much to parcel out. The best advice I can come up with is that if you want something to happen, make it happen for yourself. I don’t believe in luck or fate – those are just silly titles people assign to random events after the fact. But I do believe people make their own luck. Sure, sometimes you get a bad draw in life…but it’s not the draw you get that matters as much as what you do with it.

The last year of my life has been a extremely eventful one – personally, professionally and academically – and I am a better person for it. Sometimes I’m just grateful to live in America in the 21st century and to have the opportunity to go back to school for a graduate degree in business. I’d like to think I’m making the most of it, but I always have a sense that I could do more. That’s what keeps me going.

I really enjoyed this link, this kind of stuff is endlessly fascinating to me: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma

In fact, credit should be given accordingly. I found this link on Stuff White People Like, a side-splitting blog that V steered me to and is now bookmarked for weekly visits. Some of these posts hit way too close for home: http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/

Song(s):

Vampire Weekend, “Oxford Comma”

Bell Biv Devoe, “Poison.” I still know every word to it. And presumably to “Do Me” as well. The three former members of New Edition that comprised BBD (Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe) wrote many a hysterical lyric in their prime. Here are two of my favorites:

 “The time was 6 o’clock on the Swatch watch / No time to chill / Got a date / Can’t be late / The girl is going to do me” 

“That girl is poison / Never trust a big butt and smile”

It’s far from Oscar Wilde, but ridiculous things such as this are ingrained in me from my adolescent years.

We can’t really end it on the above lyrical note, so let’s go with this one:

Quote: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

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And down the stretch they come…

May 5th, 2008 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

The Kentucky Derby took place on Saturday. Some people got all dressed up to enjoy all the paegantry and splendor of a day at the races, washed down with the sweet aftertaste of bourbon and mint. Some people didn’t.

There’s only a week and a half left in the semester, which is a bit stunning to me. I should be more motivated than I am, but I find myself lagging down the final backturn. I used to run cross country and track in high school and I was actually fairly good (the people who knew me in these days can – and hopefully will? – vouch).  No matter the distance, the idea was always to keep something in the tank for the final push to the finish line. To reach down deep and find something – anything – you didn’t know you had in you. An untapped reserve.

Because there’s a lot to do right now…to the point where reviewing the list you’ve written out makes you take a deep breath. There are group presentations and case studies to writeup and a 10 page social audit and a pretty daunting final exam (the idea of the first test in a given class being your final is always a scary proposition, regardless of your level of comfort with the material). I will find a way through it. It means functioning on less sleep and being more productive with the time you have…but once you find your way to operating in that mindset, it can sometimes be pretty enjoyable.

Plus, all sorts of fun enedeavors lie ahead in Presque Isle, Greenville, Old City, and the PA Grand Canyon, with people whose company I truly enjoy and value above all else. I have a lot to look forward to.  I’ll be looking ahead to the rewards that come with finishing this school year strongly…there’s no point being in the race if you’re not in it to win.

In some aspects of my life, I’ve made my own luck. But in others, luck has shined upon me. One of the main things I’ve learned is that it’s not the magnitude of what you get hit with, it’s how you respond. That’s how character is built in my mind.

OK, I’ve used enough metaphors, vaguery, and platitudes for one blog entry.

Song: “Run Like Hell,” Pink Floyd

Quote: “I was just guessing at numbers and figures, pulling the puzzles apart. Questions of science, science and progress, don’t speak as loud as my heart.” – Chris Martin

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