Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I'm too old to pull all-nighters

I have met academic hell, and its name is Financial Management.

We are in the 7th week of a 9-week term, and the end cannot come soon enough. Last night's, or rather, this morning's since we were up until 2 a.m., foray into determining the present value of futures hedges devolved into alternate screaming and crying. M mostly screamed, I screamed and cried. I like to diversify.

We weren't mad at each other, mind you, but at the mind-crushing amount of work required by this class. One, one, homework problem last evening took over 3 hours of work. By each of us. Our prof (who I imagine sports horns and carries a three-pronged smoldering pitchfork with the Weighted Average Cost of Capital formula branded on it) posted to the discussion boards yesterday that last week's homework assignment average was 79%, and that if people need help they should be posting or e-mailing. Given the flurry of last minute posts that went up near Sunday's deadline, M and I decided that people simply wait until the 11th hour to start working on their homework, at which point it's pointless to try to get help. And in this class, hooey, everyone needs help. Which, you'd think, most students would figure out by, oh, the 6th week of a 9 week term.

We, of course, beat ourselves silly throughout all of last week to get the homework done in a timely fashion (and yes, I ended up having to email the prof about five times to get help and clarification), and had it turned in even before other people started posting about their problems. We, of course, earned 100% on our assignment. We, of course, are nerds and curve-wreckers. M more than me, as he has the higher A by over 2%. He's a SuperNerd.

Why bother to take a class if you're not going to do the required work to learn from it? This class is harder than any other I've taken, but I've learned a helluva lot. Including how much work I'm capable of producing and how little sleep I actually need to function. Turns out they're inversely proportionate. Of course, I don't know how long I'll be able to keep this up, exactly, but we'll see. We both managed to hit our respective 9-minute-long snooze buttons from 5:30 through 6:45 this morning without realizing it, if that tells you how tired we are.

Today at Starbucks (I treated myself to cope with last night's mental flogging - get over it, M) I watched a woman in a big SUV with private school stickers plastered all over it make a total idiot of herself in the drive-through. Apparently she didn't realize that when one goes through the drive-through, one must actually roll down one's window and place an order for one's beverage (decaf grande nonfat no whip extra-hot mocha, thankyouverymuch). She rolled right past the large post with the speaker/microphone and the sign that said, "STOP! Place your order here!" ("idiot" being implied, I think).

She sat quite near the post for several minutes, while the barista plaintively called, "Hello? Can I help you? Hellooooooooo! Welcome to Starbucks? Hello?" I could hear it in my car, 10 feet away, with the window up. Not sure how she could miss it, unless she had Yanni blasting through the Bose speakers and was busy applying mascara and talking to her dear friend Bitsy on the cell phone. It wasn't until she was completely past the post that she rolled down her window, stuck her (blonde...did I mention she was blonde?) head out and looked back with a completely puzzled expression.

Dear God, lady. I'm flat-out exhausted and need caffeine more than anyone right now, and I know when and where to order my damn coffee.

Some supersecret shout-outs:
  • Shawn: get better already. Please. Worrying about you is so not helping me study. ;-)
  • Beans: hang in there...we love you!
  • Saara: dying to hear how the new life is going. You're working from home for Pete's sake, which means, of course, you're not really working, so e-mail me already.
  • Stef: lunch? sometime? anytime?
  • Ted O.: I hope one of us is creating new art. God knows it's not me right now which means it's all up to you...please send inspiration as soon as possible! I'd love to see your new work, or even work-in-progress.
  • Tiff: my Wally World pix will be done this weekend...can't wait to pick them up and remember how much fun we had. Miss you! Love to D-Fresh. He put spinners on that new ride yet?
  • Mom Z: a belated thank you for all your help when M was out of town. You have no idea how much that meant to me. And M. And Zozer. And, what the hell, Max and Tachi, too.
  • Mama: Hmmmm, anything, um, bugging you right now?!
  • Papa: ee-ya-ee!


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