Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Classes are sick! Or is it just me?

The first day of classes yesterday went well, except that the long day seemed to derail my recovery from a cold I caught over the weekend. But I just slept 10 hours and feel better, and I have no classes on Tuesdays. I do have some things to do today, though, including a morning doctor's appointment, coincidental to my cold. I'm going in to see if they can figure out why my feet have been in pain for years.

Also today I have some practice casing interviews with first-year students who are applying for summer internships at Deloitte, as well as a planning meeting for Q+, a session for the Leadership Development Program for which I am an advisor, and dinner plans with a friend. Fortunately I got so far ahead with work over the weekend that I don't have any pressing studying to do today, although if time allows there are some things I could read.

I'm optimistic about my course load, although it really hit me yesterday that these three-hour classes may be an endurance test. I've never had a three-hour class at SOM before, and this quarter I have three of them, on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. These courses meet just once a week. I think this arrangement is usually made because the professor is a visitor or has some other role at the school, or is very busy and important. The classes have loads of guest speakers on the itinerary, though, so I reckon the extent to which the three hours pass quickly depends on the extent to which the speakers are interesting.

Yesterday's lineup started at 8:30 a.m. with Investment Management, which I expect to be tough for me, but I wanted to take it to, well, learn more about investment management. This is the same reasoning that led me to take Corporate Finance last semester I don't expect to do much financial work in my career, but I consider these subjects critical elements to having a master's degree in business nevertheless. Corp Fin seemed to have many students who were like me, taking the class for "fun." I'm not so sure the same is true in Investment Management, though. Looking out at the crowd, I gathered that I was basically surrounded by future hedge-fund managers. One reason I'm not certain of that, though, is that this is the first semester that first-year students can take electives, and therefore this is the first semester where I've had classes with first-year students, many of whom I don't know. Anyway, I'm not going to let my perception of the class makeup deter me. I'll just do my best and learn what I can. That's the appropriate attitude in a program that doesn't have grades.

In the afternoon I had Behavioral Perspectives on Management, which I think is going to be fantastic. It's about the psychology of errors in judgment, basically. I love that kind of thing. And it's taught by Joe Simmons, who I had last year for Managing Marketing Programs, and he's a great classroom leader. He's a psych PhD who's quite funny and creates a good atmosphere, even though he does exude the somewhat bubble-bursted, melancholy demeanor of someone who knows far too much about the human mind for his own good.

The day ended with that three-hour class, the Economics & Financing of Journalism, for which I'm the TA. So it's basically like auditing the class; I'll attend, participate minimally where relevant and help the professor out with whatever logistics he needs handled, but I won't be doing the assignments. I actually won't be grading the assignments, either. Seems like an easy gig actually. I had lunch with the professor earlier in the day, and he's had quite an interesting career. And, oddly, he grew up in a house that's across the street from the School of Management. Sounds like the setup of a bizarre dream.

Anyway, I had to skip the gym this morning because I knew last night, as I was hacking myself silly, that rest was best. Now it's off to the doctor.

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