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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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Why I Have Been A Bad Correspondant
Deb and Paul
Hey all, I've been a terrible blogger, facebooker, even Twittererererer of late.

The main reason: I had to do my first assignment for my first MBA subject. The last time I handed in, let alone attempted, an assignment, was in 1997, roughly.

I was a terrible student when I was at Uni. My transcript is a tale of woe, lots of fails and DNS's (did not sit). So I was determined to be a little better at it this time around.

Of course, in 1997, indeed in the period 1992-1998, I was a full time student. Today I'm a full time worker, trying to study during my commute and on my already tightly packed weekends. Trying to study the very dry "Financial Management 101", which has an accounting text book as its text.

A few weeks ago - maybe three - I actually sat down and read the assignment. Discovering at that point that it covered the topics 1 through 5, and that I was only up to topic three. And topics four and five were supposed to take something like five weeks in total. So I had to learn a whole pile of stuff before I could even start doing the assignment. So I basically had to give up on just about everything else I was doing in my spare time - aside from seeing Deb, going to the gym and organising a Toastmasters club speech contest. Hmmm. You see my problem!

And somehow, I did it. In fact, in the end, it was a lot easier than I expected. I'd always thought this business stuff was hard and complicated etc. It's not. In fact, it's easier than programming, which I do for a living. Once you know the what the words mean, the difference between debt and equity funding, what counts as an asset and what doesn't, and how to read a balance sheet, suddenly it all falls into place. You can read the financial pages of the paper and not think they're speaking an alien language. Ah, I see, they've revalued an intangible asset, which has effected their EBIT. For a few weeks there I was talking this nonsense to Deb, who, being a girly swat, actually was interested.

And the current melt down on wall street will tell you what geniuses these business people are.

So, I did the first part of the assignment as an excel spread sheet, only took me a few hours. I did the second half as an essay of sorts, using words like "leverage" etc. It actually came out pretty well, and I handed it in a day early, on Tuesday evening! It remains to be seen of course how well I will do on it.

Now I have six weeks before the exam in early November. Six weeks and five topics to cover. Fark.

And for your amusement, here's a picture of the professor in charge of the subject:

What a looker, hey?