Humble Pie

I’ll take my turkey with a side of humbleness. That’s my feeling heading into the Thanksgiving Holiday this week.

I think a dose of humble is the biggest thing I’ve taken away from Term 2 so far, that I’m not quite as awesome as I thought in some areas. I think those in our program have a decent amount of self-confidence. I wouldn’t say it’s a prerequisite but it helps a lot in being successful and having the drive to take on not only work but a big load with school. It means we are confident in our abilities to get crap done when we need to.

For me, Term 1 was a little tough but nothing too much to sweat about. I had heard rumblings through this blog, from admins and professors in Term 1, and through the grapevine that Term 2 would be a different animal. Well here we are and boy is it! The funny thing is, it isn’t the class I was warned about that I’m humbled by, it isn’t intro to accounting that’s giving me fits. I’m a CPA, so that means I’m familiar with accounting. It doesn’t mean I’m an expert as CPA can mean you are in finance, taxes, management, consulting, government, or so many other areas. Still, I do have an advantage. So with that, I feel comfortable with most of the accounting. It takes a TON of time even so, but it isn’t anything compared to the exams I took to get my license.

No, it isn’t accounting that has me sweating, it’s Decision Models. It’s actually amusing, when I step away from it and look at how I’m doing, that I’m like the proverbial monkey with a typewriter as I work with Excel to develop my models. I feel like if I tweak this or that, maybe something coherent will come out of it. I’ve gone so far as to find a stupid book on Crystal Ball! Ugh, I have to find the time to work through that. The frustrating thing is I actually find it interesting but I am still having issues with it. I get the concepts after I look at the solution, but coming up with a plan of action ahead of time has been quite a challenge. The grades to date came out today and I’m barely, oh so barely, near the average though I’m on the bad side of that average. The thing is, when finals come around, I’m screwed unless I seriously get my act together.

So with that being said, I know where I’m at but I’m also capable of working on things. Here’s the part that I think many others in our program share: we see a problem and we tackle it head on. So yeah, I’m underwater with DM, but I know that and I’m confident that I’ll somehow learn to at least tread water, or even learn the rudiments of doggy paddling, by the time we hit the final. I won’t drown, I’m sure of that.

What’s the point of this post? Well I got my piece of humble pie, but I’m also confident enough to know that I can work through this. I bet a few others are in the same spot. Well we can get through this like we have with other big challenges we’ve faced in life. Just know that those facing this avalanche of work aren’t alone, that others are going through the same thing, and that you will get to the other side so we can celebrate in Dubai. See you on the other side of Term 2! Alright, back to the case studies…

P.S. To those having fits with accounting: To get through the accounting stuff, I’d seriously suggest looking over the class slides and watching the classes again (I’ve listened to the lecture twice in prep for the case). There is gold there for getting through the case work and in prep for the final. I think of the book as a place of last resort as I get lost in there more often than not. Just my two cents on that.

Review: The Logic of Life, part 1

On my way home from Dubai, I was presented with a “problem” that I usually don’t encounter when I’m at home:  I had too much local currency!  Between the Dirhams that I took out when I arrived, the Duke per diem, and the cash leftover from when Kerry’s boat trip didn’t materialize, I had well over 1000 Dirham (~$250) in my pocket at the airport.

The entire bottom level of this airport is Duty-Free!

Of course, I could’ve taken this money to the currency exchange and gotten hammered on the transaction fees.  But since we got to the airport pretty early, I decided to wander around the massive Duty-Free for a while and see what I could spend it on instead.  Walking around, it’s unclear whether there is an airport at the Dubai (Airport) Mall, or if there’s a mall inside of the Dubai Airport!  When you can buy a $12,000 IWC Big Pilot watch, gold bars, or even a 6-foot hookah with complementary shisha, it stops being just an airport…

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