Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Now that I've graduated

I'm looking back at all the random notes and observations I've made throughout my long journey towards my degree. I found the narrative below, which looks like it was written during one of the many accounting classes I slogged through. My experience in school has me thinking about these really involved, brief vignettes of circumstance that otherwise brings groups of strangers together for about 10 weeks. What's presented here was probably written about 4 years ago.

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There's a group of people in my accounting class that have been consistently been together for the series of classes, BA 211 Accounting I, BA 212 Accounting 212 and BA 213 Managerial Accounting. So a group of us decided to meet before class and study for an upcoming, grueling exam. 

I notice a consistent pattern when taking these tests; the things I picked up in class and from preparing for the test never seem to actually appear on the test itself. IN the study group, I was all over answering the questions about liquidity, solvency and profitability. I knew that if you held less then 20% of a certain total stock that is considered to have insignificant influence on the investee, uses the cost method of accounting, and the only items recorded in the ledger are when the stock is bought or sold and dividends are received and have accrued.

So yeah...those questions really didn't come up. These intense, complicated mathematical questions came up and I swear to god I spent 10 minutes on one. I thought I was so solid on what items had to be added or deducted from the net income to determine the total, and added and subtracted these numbers every which way a thousand times and still the answers I was coming up with were not any one of the four corresponding lettered choices. It was making me crazy, it's probably the toughest thing I've faced this week (and my week's been really crazy!)

So these characters in class that I've met so far:

Jose, who is taking pottery next semester because he thinks there's a 1:6 ratio of guys to girls taking the class and there's a good chance he can meet a "hottie." He's also Hispanic but taking Spanish courses because they're easy. I've noticed him texting all through accounting class.

Rachel, who is this young angry kind of goth rebellious mouthy sort. I can't completely dislike her because I see some of me in her but she's annoying as shit and on more then one occasion when she was holding up class because she was making smart remarks to the teacher or have a side conversation with this guy Brian she's been getting friendly with through the semesters. Brain's this young rock type guy with really nice long wavy full auburn hair.  It's like an amazing glowing mane. So her and Brian and kind of chatting or passing candy back and forth, and the teacher notices and completely stops talking. Rachel and Brian are oblivious to what's going on and the fact now the whole class picking up on this and audibly sighing.

There's this woman Scarlett who sits next to me, she seems to be about my age and works at a bank. We both have office jobs and usually come to class all over dressed. There's Mike who sits behind me, who is in his 40's, he has had a long military career and is now returning to college. I think he said he spent 11 years in Japan and met his wife there. There's the woman who sits on the other side of Scarlet, I can't remember her name and I know she said it a million times throughput the semester. That I feel bad for. She seems really cool and has a similar style sense to me; I notice she wears a lot of nice jackets, clothing and accessories. She changes her hair a lot too, I've only met her this semester but it seems each week it would look different. I haven't had the ability to do doodley-squat to my hair ever.

The classroom was locked and we all congregated outside in the hall for about 10 minutes before someone from the office unlocked the classroom and let us in.

I have no idea how I did. I know there were like 3 questions I could not answer and just made the best guess.  And i felt like I should have known the answers because it appears so straightforward. At one point I was convinced that there was no correct answer and our professor was just messing with us.


Thursday, August 07, 2014

The one school experience that stands out in my mind.

I received an email survey from PSU to function as a sort of "exit interview," which asked me the following question.

Thinking back over your experience in the SBA program, was there any one experience that stands out in your mind?  This could be something that was so surprising that you told others about it.  If you did have a particularly memorable experience--regardless of whether it was positive or negative--please describe it.  We would be interested in the details of the actual experience, your expectations at the time, and your reaction to it.


Professor Alan Cabelly's BA 493 HR Capstone Project was such a massive, involved undertaking that turned into much more than I thought it would originally be. This was also a team project, which presented its own unique challenges. Professor Cabelly did a great job of laying out the project format and expectations, and was very available throughout the term to answer questions and offer guidance. Looking back on that project, I realize how much I've taken from it and already applied to what I'm doing at work.

As the term moved on and we moved through the timeline of this project, the time I was devoting to it was exponentially increasing. Professor Cabelly prefaced that this was a doozy of a time commitment at the start of the project, but I think one has to experience the HR Capstone project to really understand what he means. I had also taken way too many classes that term in addition to working full time, and also had two incredible and unexpected national travel opportunities come up during the term. I moved through each week of the term, I became determined to achieve success. I felt as if I was racing in the Tour De France, passing important checkpoints, earning the polka-dot jersey and getting closer to the finish line at the top of the Col du Tourmalet.


Finally, at the 11th hour, I distinctly remember another classmate and I watching the sun rise in the Broadway Computer Lab as we made last-minute adjustments to material from tardy team members. It was about 5 after 5 in the morning, and our paper was due in 5 hours. As I stood at the printer waiting for my job to finish, I remember thinking how incredibly beautiful the fiery pink and purple sky was. There were about 5 or 6 other kindred spirits in the large, empty lab, and even though we hadn't spoken, I know there was an experiential connection occurring. My classmate and I definitely acknowledged the magic of morning as we paused between our editing and printing.