My two classes this quarter are Financial Accounting and Leadership Intelligence. Our class has formed study groups and ours typically meets once a week. Most of the conversation focuses on Financial Accounting, and when it comes to that subject, I add absolutely ZERO value. None.
I sincerely feel bad about this. The people in my group seem to be really smart and spend a bunch of time on the homework problems and I totally admire them for that. I usually saunter into the group meeting with absolutely no work completed come and totally sponge off of their hard work and and intelligence. And then just when I’m about to give up and officially quit this program, I start to get it.
But here’s the main issue: I just can’t stand to sit down and read an accounting text book. I simply can’t do it. Put me in a room with some people to talk about it, I’m fine with that. I just can’t read it. And I pretty much refuse to do homework too.
This isn’t new. I was a total slacker in high school and college – at least in the classes I didn’t want to take. But in my professional life, I consider myself to be “on the ball”. I rarely procrastinate, and always get my shit done. So, now that I’m back in a school environment and have a positive team experiences under my belt, I actually feel guilty about being a piece of shit teammate.
But we’re also reading a book called “Go Find Your Strengths” and the main point of it is to focus on what you’re good at and screw the rest of the stuff you don’t like and/or aren’t good at. This seems like a good idea to me, since I gots no accounting skillz.
According to this book, we’re trained to focus on our weaknesses as we progress through life, which leads to us not effectively contributing to the team we’re on. Sounds like a plan to me. Also sounds like I better bring my “A” game when it comes to the Marketing portion of our program.
The good news is that I have pretty much an unlimited supply of beer and I’m hoping I can keep them happy that way.
The EMBA program at DU basically costs $1000 a week. Here’s what my $1000 got me this week:
I learned that different companies “realize” their revenue at different points in the process – usually whatever is beneficial for their bottom line. LIFO is Last in First out and FIFO is First in First Out. Most companies use the LIFO process, but everyone is going to be screwed in 2011 when everyone has to change from GAAP (Generally Accepeted Accounting Practices) to IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) because IFRS doesn’t allow LIFO.
One of the authors of Life Entreprenuers, Gregg Vanourek was our guest speaker this week. The crux of Gregg’s talk was the merging of a person’s core identity with their passion to develop a “Life/Business Integration”. In other words: Knowing your core values + integrating your passion and your profession = The Good Life.
It’s a pretty simple concept, but those are usually the best ones. The tough part is to visualize what this means for you and how you activate it. The problem for me is that it got me thinking that I’ve already got it pretty good, which led to me questioning why I am sitting in a classroom one day a week and taking on all of this outside work for the next 18 months – but I won’t bore you with all of those details again.
Guess who was Mr. Popularity at the Daniels School of Business EMBA Orientation this weekend? Yup, me! At least I perceived it that way. Or maybe it’s because I work for a beer company and everyone was just tying to get a free beer hook-up. That’s fine – I don’t care. I’ve never been above buying friends, since I was in a fraternity and all.
Orientation was 2.5 days of lectures, campus tours, classrooms, panel discussions, group meals, awkward introductions and an assortment of other mandatory type stuff. Looked like school, smelled like school. I think it was school.
By all accounts, the next 18 months are going to be a complete roller coaster. One minute, I was totally energized by learning something new or taking in a good conversation, the next I had internal panic thinking about the scars I’m left with from Freshman Algebra.
Over the weekend, I kept hearing:
- It’s a lot of hard work
- You’ll miss it when you’re done
- Don’t worry about grades – concentrate on learning
- You must keep a 3.0 or you’re on probation
- Whoa, what was that? I gotta keep a 3.0?
All in all, it sounds like a fraternity Hell Week that keeps on giving… for 18 months. Back then they kept telling us that it will be “the best week you’ll never want to do again.” Not showering for 5 days and public humiliation is one thing, but reading 5 chapters on Assets, Liabilities and Stockholder’s Equity is another story.
Overall, my thought process is this: I’m definitely not the smartest person who has ever entered this program, but I’m not the dumbest either. I’m just going to find my home in the middle and do my thing. After all, the guy who finishes last in his Med School class can call himself “Doctor”.
Quite a cowinkydink happened today. I went to get my student ID for DU today. (Even an old geezer like me can still find his way around a foreign campus.) Then, not more that two hours later, I just happened to come across my original student ID from Southeast Missouri State UNIVERSITAY.
I know the SEMO photo is a little fuzzy, but isn’t it amazing, how I look exactly the same? I know!
But school on the other hand, seems to be completely different.
Maybe it’s the shitty college I went to for under-grad – but it seemed like it was student vs. professor back then. I remember their attitude being (asshole voice) “you better learn this shit or you’re fucked”. Now it’s more like (nice comforting voice) “hey, we’re in this together. we want you to be comfortable..”
Of course I’ve only been to 1 of 3 days of orientation, so things could change quite a bit when the real classes start. At that point it could go back to (jerkoff voice): “ok, pop quiz, maggots. i hope you read all 17 chapters!”