Reading without any discussion makes me nervous. I don’t retain what I read as well as I retain what I hear, and conversation about the reading helps. So I do better with classrooms than just reading material. So I approached my “Pre-Work” for Finance (BUS 645) with some trepidation. Ok a lot of trepidation.
There were four chapters of reading. On finance. I serve as the CFO for Samaritan Ministries right now, but finance isn’t my strongest suit. We’re trying to find someone to take that part of my job but it won’t happen instantly. And the work required reading and then quizzes. Three quizzes.
Have I mentioned that it’s been 12 years since the last time I took a college or graduate level course?
Oh, and I needed to get 80% on EVERY ONE of the quizzes, and the study sessions for the first two (if you wanted one between the two attempts you get at the quiz) happens to be while I’m out of town for work. So this felt very “make or break” to me. And I was nervous. And struggling with understanding the material. And I had no idea what to expect from the quizzes. Thursday night, in fact, I looked at my wife and told her with a straight face that I was going to give up and drop out before it was too late.
She laughed at me.
After a brief, humorous (for her) interlude, we sat down and talked about the work. She read out loud to me a few sections from the chapter on financial statements. And after a bit it started making sense again. After a night’s sleep I went out and got to a coffee shop or 3 and started slugging through the materials. And after finishing reading and taking notes on 2 chapters I took the first quiz.
12/15. And 2 of the 3 I missed were for stupid things. One was a typo in a calculation that I didn’t double-check (yeah…on a non-timed quiz I rushed ahead) and the other was FOR ACCIDENTALLY SKIPPING A QUESTION. Ok…not my finest moment.
But I made my minimum score.
Saturday, on and off, was work on the next section: Time Value of Money (or TVM). A lot of math. Some concepts I knew and many were new. Formulas left and right. Spreadsheets to check the math. I thought I had a pretty good handle on it so I attempted the quiz.
So. Nerve. Racking.
Calculations. Double checking calculations. Spreadsheets. How will I know if I have the right answers? Dare I submit the quiz? One moe look over it.
15/15. 100%. What a sigh of relief. And then I retook quiz #1 (we got two attempts with higher score being credited) and got 14/15. So 2 quizzes of 3 in and I’m running 29/30, and very thankful for it.
But I’m not done. I spent the bulk of the evening (7-930) working on a chapter about Risk and Return. I think I understand all the concepts, but the math is statistically based and I never took college level stats. I’m nervous again (but not despairing like I was the other night). I called it quits for the night and put the books away. My brain was done for Saturday.
I wanted to get all three knocked out before I left town today for Memphis (Morning Center trip). I didn’t want it hanging over me for another week. After all, I was going to be out of town again when 2 of the 3 review sessions were held.
But I’ve got one left. I’ll read while I’m in Memphis and on the planes and try to knock out the quiz and one other school project while I’m on the road. And this happens to be the one review session I could attend so I can be thankful for that…even if I can’t get my mind around the topic I have a chance to talk to an instructor for review.
So I’ve had a good start, and I have more to do. And from here on out I’m not going to despair. And Theresa has promised me that she won’t let me quit.
So it’s time to conquer Risk and Return and start classes. Commence re-matriculation.