Back to school? ¡Sí se puede!

So, as if four years of college coursework and commuting wasn’t enough torture for a lifetime, I went back for some more. My first ever graduate-level class started last week. For the next 14 weeks, I will be commuting down to school, right after work, for a Tuesday night class from 6:30-9:30pm.

Here’s where the fun begins.

Electroshock Torture 101
Have you seen the price of gas recently? Hovering around $4/gal for regular? If I was Sunoco or Exxon, I would look into installing coin operated defibrillators at every pump because it is enough to make someone have a heart attack. (Why coin operated? To get even more money out of desperate people, of course. Duh.)

School is ~55mi from my home, 1h and 15m on a good day, and ~67mi from work, 1h and 45m on a good day. The round trip from home to school to back home is 110mi; from work to school to back home is around 150mi. I presented my plan to go back to school to both of my managers, so hopefully they will have mercy and let me work from home on Tuesdays when possible.

Not only that, but my poor car just topped 40,000mi at 25 months old. The miles are really going to skyrocket over the next two to three months.

Advanced Flogging Techniques 202
What subject am I starting my graduate career off with? Accounting! One of my least favorite subjects from undergraduate biz school. I still don’t really like it, even though I might have a little bit more of an understanding for it now compared to 2-3 years ago when I took my first accounting class.

Since starting my job over a year ago, I have slowly worked up to the point where I work with pricing a few times a week, if not more often. We are required to look into cost information for our products, figure out profit margins, and set list pricing. Our pricing recommendations are sent to other groups (sales, accounting & finance…) for final approval before we can distribute it to our customers.

Hopefully this bit of working knowledge and the fact that I had 6 credits of accounting as an undergraduate student will make the semester breeze by like it was nothing.

Key word being hopefully.

Hogtying Best Practices 303
I thought I lucked out, renting the 4th edition of the book I needed for class for only $30 after shipping — cheapest textbook ever! Of course, I went to class last week and found out that the new, 5th edition was required so we can be on the same track when doing practice problems in class, even though we will rarely have to submit homework. Ugh. Ok.

I used the 4th edition for two days to catch up on some concepts while I waited to get the the 5th edition. The new version turned out to be $205-203 to purchase (!!) or $103 to rent at school. I rented the new edition yesterday and packed up the old edition to ship back.

This morning, I opened up the new edition to do some reading, thinking it was going to be drastically new and different. Well, guess what? Concepts don’t exactly change over night. It is the SAME BOOK so far, word for word, except the practice problems, of course, which just have different numbers.

So, the question remains: what should my “safe word” be? You can definitely call me a masochist for doing this, but there is a shining light at the end of the tunnel. (Why else would I be doing this, right?)

  • I have always liked school — all of the frustration, hard work, commuting, and money aside. It’s worth it at the end of the day to advance my career and achieve my personal goals.
  • I (thankfully!!) have a job with tuition reimbursement. There is a HUGE relief right there! (I type this as I am scheduling my next student loan payment…)
  • I’m not far off from completing my MBA, anyway. The program is 60 credits and I was fortunate enough to have 13.5 waived from my undergraduate coursework. After this semester, I will have 16.5 credits down, 43.5 to go. At 6 credits or two classes a semester, if I can swing it, I might be done in around 7 semesters. Not too bad!

With that said, here’s to adopting a sí se puede mentality and taking it one day at a time. Wish me luck!

One thought on “Back to school? ¡Sí se puede!”

  1. I’m so glad I’m not in school anymore. I love learning, but I’m much happier now that I can do it all informally or in workshops. You seem very excited, though, so I’m behind you!

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