No Fancy Name
Saturday, November 13, 2004
an update on my own schoolwork
The semester is almost over, yay! It really seems that this semester has been extraordinarily long, or draining, or something. I don't know. Other folks in my classes have expressed this as well.

After this semester, I only have one more to get this Business BS degree. I am pleased that it will be over. I originally did this because I thought it would be helpful to the company if at least one of us (seven years after the company was founded) had some sort of "academic" background in business. It hasn't, really. Another reason for doing it was that I have a very, very difficult time interacting (in my job) with "business people" because I find them, for the most part, to be incredibly stupid, or just lacking business sense. Yes, that's a wild generalization, and no, it's not everyone, but it does categorize nearly every person we've had to interact with who has had an advanced degree in business from some schmancy b-school. It's those people (big degree, little brain) that make me really, really, really hate my job. So I thought I'd get the small version of the degree, to see if there was something taught to b-school students that I just wasn't understanding. There's not. Everything I've learned in classes is absolutely what I'd expect to see in the business world, but don't.

So, no more of that. I have three business classes to take next semester: Strategic Management (the capstone course for the degree), Business & Society (required) and my final elective—Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. Those of you reading this who know me in real life should get a huge kick out of that. My co-workers sure did!

Had a bit of an issue at registration; my time was Thursday at 6pm and you had better believe that I was registering at 6:01—with budget cuts, courses (especially the good times) are at a premium. No problems adding my courses....except for Strategic Management. As the capstone course, you have to have filed and been approved for graduation for the semester in which you want to take it...and the online system said I couldn't register and didn't seem to care that I was holding up my stamped-for-approval graduation papers to my monitor and pointing feverishly at it. So at 9:01am the next day I called the b-school office and said "I'm supposed to register for 189, it won't let me, who should I talk to and what papers do I need to show?" The student helper took my name, phone number and requested section (the online version of the class, of course!) and said that someone would call me back. For the next few hours, as I waited for someone to call me back, I watched the "available seats" number for that section dwindle...and then hit zero. Crap. On a whim, I checked my course listing and voila! I was one of the lucky 35. Someone in the b-school office had registered me for that section, within a few hours after I called just to talk to someone. I was thrilled, and impressed that there was no red tape. I took chocolates into the advisement office the next day. They're good folk; they have to deal with thousands of students in the b-school, many of whom are ESL speakers and many of whom do not understand a thing about the process and don't follow the color-coded "what courses to take for this concentration" handouts. But they took care of me, and I was thrilled.

There's one other course I'm taking in the spring: The American Novel. I figure, since I've decided to do the MA in English starting in the fall, I should take another literature course to keep my brain engaged. I picked this one not only because it was at a good time, but because I managed to get a BA in English without ever taking an American Literature course. Oops. I'm assuming we'll be reading something Steinbeck, what with the Steinbeck Center taking up a bit of space in our 2004 Library of the Year joint uni/public library. The only Steinbeck I've read was The Red Pony, and I was twelve. I don't think that counts.

Anyway, I decided to do the MA in English because I enjoy it more than Business, although an MBA would be much more beneficial in my later life (as far as human resources filters go). Frankly though, I hate the business world, the industry I'm in, etc etc and what I really want to do is teach comp. Call me crazy. Plus, it's that whole "finish what you started" thing; although the only grad-level courses in lifetime of academic transcripts are three W's from Univ of KY, it does count as "started".

I made my final decision after taking my Victorian Lit exam and realizing "huh, that wasn't too hard" and then getting an A on my wrote-it-in-the-four-hours-before-it-was-due essay the other week. Turns out that one of the people in that class, this is her first semester back after a long, long time (and she wasn't even an English major before, although she's now in the MA program as a "conditionally-classified" student, hence the undergrad-class-taking), she's taking the American Novel class next semester too, so I'll have a buddy. That's cool. I definitely like the 12 people in my English class more than any of the people in any of the business classes I've taken.

The bad news is that I have to take the stinking GRE (I suck at standardized tests), and I really need to spend some time with the English Dept's guilt list (as in "Any English major who hasn't read most of these has no right to joy." so says the chair). Want to know how many of those I've read? Maybe 20. How many do I remember? Maybe 5. That's not good! Oh well, reading is good for you.


job / books / new blog

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