No Fancy Name
Sunday, August 15, 2004
preparing for all sorts of school
My second summer class is over; I turned in my final exam on Friday. No more "Fundamentals of Human Resource Management" for me, thank god. Actually, it was a fine class. The prof was a hoot, and if you're going to sit through four hours of HR lectures twice a week, the prof being a hoot is definitely a plus. The next two weeks are school-free, as classes start on the 25th. Crap, that's not really two weeks, is it? More like ten days. Oh well.

Here's something for all you professor types: as soon as you know the books you're going to use in your classes, post them on your faculty web page. Please, I beg of you, on behalf of all my fellow students. With a head-start, and armed with all the ISBNs for the books I need for the fall, I managed to cut my textbook bill by a significant amount ($165 compared to $325). The textbook market is awesome. While most of my books were the actual editions, I also got a few of the international editions of textbooks -- exactly the same, just not printed in the US. The knock on int'l editions is that obviously you can't resell them at your school's bookstore, but you sure can resell them on But I did manage to turn a profit on my summer book: bought the real, hardback edition on for $50 (compared to $90 used/$125 new at the bookstore), then sold it back to the bookstore for $60. I also got a Norton English Lit anthology (v2) for less than $20, because it was grimy around the edges. I don't mind a little grime. Anyway, the point is that textbook prices are insane, so if you can help your students out by giving them a head start, that's a good thing. Here's the fall lineup:

- Organizational Change and Design: a required class for the management concentration, this is part two of a course I took last semester. I picked the one taught by the same prof as part one, because I really liked him. I like interesting profs who expect a lot out of their students, and reward them fairly for their efforts. There's also more writing in this fellow's class than in most of the other biz classes I've taken, and I appreciate that. I am so terrible at objective tests, I need the essay questions and case analyses in order to show that I'm not a complete dumbass. However, in this class there's a group paper. I hate group projects, period, and a group paper is even worse. I am not against the concept, I'm against the fact that the majority of people can't write, don't do their work and generally do things to bring down the group's grade. I do know that this prof engages in 360-degree evaluations with regards to group members, and takes things like "this person didn't do jack" into consideration. Depending on how I do in this class, this prof might be one of the guys I go to for a rec letter; even though it will be for the English Dept, he's able to judge my ability to synthesize info and write coherently about it.

- International & Comparative Management: a required class for the management concentration, and I know nothing about this prof, except what I read on, which is "he's really boring and kinda hard, but a nice guy". Of course, I take these ratings with a grain of salt, so this class will probably just be another in a long list of incredibly mind-numbing biz classes. There's a written assignment for each class, probably something in the case analysis vein, so that's a plus in my book. It's probably what garners the "hard" rating from other students, though.

- Management Issues in High Technology Companies: a management elective. I'm not taking it because I have some great interest, instead I'm taking it because we need three electives and I only had one to date and can't count on any electives at "good" times next semester (my last), so best to get one while I can. I know the prof is well thought of by other profs, and that's good. There's a group paper in this class, too (ugh)...but I have a slightly better feeling about this one, because this is a seniors-only class. We'll see.

- Business Systems and Policy: a required class; this is where I get to learn all about Microsoft Access and how it's so wonderful for business integration (sarcasm intended). Give me a freaking break. I'm trying very hard not to have a bad attitude about having to take this class. I work with real database systems every day. I've written books about them. Don't tell me that Access rocks. Grr. Now watch me flunk it and have to take it twice. :)

- Philosophy of Science: I took this class in Spring '03 but had to withdraw at midterm because we were tremendously busy at work. I was getting an A, too, goshdarnit. I'm taking the online/tv lecture version of the class this time, and since I've done the hard part (reading and understanding the texts), I can focus on the writing. I'm doing this to replace the "W" on my transcript with an actual grade, and also to help get my brain prepared for work in the humanities.

- The Victorian Age: if I get through this class, I'll do an English MA. I am now supremely confident in my ability to do so (but not cocky-confident, that would just be stupid), even if I haven't yet finished Middlemarch. I did buy my own copy, though, and that's saying something. :)

Then there's the course I'm developing and then teaching at, "Databases and Dynamic Web Design". In fact, I should really go finish writing/formatting the lessons, since they're all due tomorrow....


job / books / new blog

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