Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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October, You Exhaust Me

Is this thing on?

Apparently I decided to go from my month of blogging all the damn time to complete radio silence. We are going into the home stretch of the core part of the MBA program1, so all my waking hours have been spent doing homework, except when I’m at work-work, where my workload is also insanely impossible2. The other day in a meeting we were talking about our plans for the long weekend and I said, “I’m going to run the Victoria half marathon, which, compared to work, actually sounds like quite a relaxing thing to do.” I just kind of blurted that out as a joke, but as soon as the words escaped my lips I realized, I actually meant it!

Happily, we have the long weekend coming up, which will be filled with half marathon running goodness and then guiltlessly gorging myself on a Thanksgiving feast because, hey, I just ran a freaking half marathon.

Also on tap for October, once I finish two managerial economics assignments, two economics exams3, a group business plan that we’ve been working on since the spring, AND the integrated core final exam4, is a trip to Montreal & Toronto! I am heading to Montreal for two days of workshopping about my research – which is super exciting because (a) the workshops we’ve done so far for this project have been so interesting and so relevant to the work I’m doing and (b) we’ve made some really great progress with our research that I’m dying to share with my colleagues! Then, since I’m all the way out east, I’ve decided to take a few vacation days and spend the rest of the week visiting my family. Plans for that time include a belated Thanksgiving dinner – because why have one T-giving dinner in a given year when you can have two?5 – and maybe, just maybe, knocking item #44 off my 101 list.

But before I get there, there’s still a tonne to do. I’ve been working pretty much all day long and it’s somehow gotten to be 11:30 pm! So now – to bed!

  1. Where by “core” they mean “insanely impossibly insanely impossible workload”. []
  2. Happily all my projects are awesome, so that helps. It would just be nice if I didn’t have 27 of them, all with identical deadlines where the deadline is *right now*! []
  3. One managerial, one macro. []
  4. Mercifully, it’s a take-home exam. []
  5. This follows the “more is better” principle that I learned about in managerial economics! I’m totally going to ace that exam. []

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Learn It!

And so my glorious, glorious summer break ends. After work today, I head back to class for the first time since June 24! The break from classes has been much appreciated – though I’ve been working on assignments and readings and our big business plan project, it’s been really nice to be able to sleep in on weekends and not have more assignments appear on top of the ones that I was already working on.

Fortunately, we are really quite close to being done the Core part of the program1. We have two weekends of regular classes in September, then a weekend of exams in October, then a weekend of presenting our business plan projects in November. And then the Core is done! We’ve been assured that the Core is the really killer part – if you can make it through that, then the post-Core is relatively much more manageable. So really, those the next couple of months will be exhaustingly busy, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Hooray!

  1. read: hell on earth. []

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Priorities

Changed Priorities Ahead

As I’ve been spending the last couple of days organizing my apartment in advance of my upcoming busy year, I’ve been thinking more about how I’m going to stay organized once the madness hits. I mean, there are the small things I can do to be efficient with my time, as I mentioned in my previous post, but given that my life is already jammed pack with a ridiculous amount of things to do, I know that I’ll have to make some big changes in order to make time and space for classes and homework. There really are only 24 hours in a day and, as much as I am loathe to admit it, I am a mere human being. It’s really all about deciding on what my priorities are and finding a balance that I can live with. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and have made some decisions of things I need to cut out for the next two years.  Since I love lists so much, I give them to you in list form!
Things I need to give up:
  • freelance work – I’ve already passed up applying for a few contracts that would have been quite interesting and even turned down one contract for a very cool sounding project that I was approached about. Not doing contract work is going to hit me in the old pocketbook, as I quite like having the extra income, but I think in the long run getting the MBA will increase my income in ways that will more than compensate for that.
  • teaching new courses – I’m always on the look out for new courses to teach, because I *love* teaching, but I’m putting a hold on that for the next two years. I am going to teach the online course that I taught last year , since it’s all set up from last year and isn’t a crazy amount of hours (plus I plan to take vacation days from work to do my marking1). Truth be told, I need the money from teaching this course to be able to afford the costs of going to school, as my scholarship covers tuition fees, but not things like textbooks, pre-core prep courses, etc., which are quite expensive. But other than this course, I’m not taking on any other courses in other semesters and, like not doing contract work, it means I won’t have any of the extra money that I’m used to having to spend on extravagances like braces and laser eye surgery and extra lump sum payments on my student loans, but I think it’s a sacrifice well worth making.
  • half marathon training – I just can’t imagine having the time to do the long runs, which get to be 2+ hours near the end of the training, plus all the short runs and hill runs to train properly for a half. I still plan to train for some short races – the 8 km at the BMO Vancouver International marathon in May and the Zombie Run in August are the ones I’m thinking of – because some sort of regular physical activity is a must and I know myself well enough to know that if I don’t have a race to train for, I just don’t even getting out there. As for hockey, I’ve already paid for this season (which goes until March) on both my teams, so I’m going to continue to play my Wednesday games and any Sunday games that don’t coincide with classes. Happily, many of my Sunday games are in the evening, so even on weekends when I have classes, classes only go until 5 pm and I can head straight from class to the rink. Playing hockey will actually be a nice way to de-stress after a weekend of classes, come to think about it!
  • blogging on the Black Hole – unlike blogging here, where I talk about any old thing that comes to mind, blogging over on the science-y blog requires actual thought and research and thus, time. I’ll still try to contribute a guest posting now and again if I come up with a good idea or learn something in business school that might be of interest to that audience, but I won’t have time to be a regular contributor.
  • blogging here every day – even though I blog here about whatever comes to mind, it still takes time to write, edit, and proofread these postings2, so I’m not going to try to blog here every single day like I usually do. I won’t give up blogging completely, because I love it too much, but I think that blogging every other day or every few days will just have to suffice.
  • reading for fun – I’ve already purged my RSS feed so that I’m now only following the few blogs I actually read on a regular basis and have eliminated the ones I used to have in my RSS feed “in case I am bored some day.” I know I won’t be bored. Ever. I also don’t expect to have time to read much in the way of fiction3, though perhaps at the Christmas break I can fit something in?
  • socializing – I’m a bit of a social butterfly, so I know that I’ll have to curb some of my socializing. I’m not giving it up completely, because that’s not a sacrifice that I’m willing to make, but I’ll have to be more judicious in when and where and how long I spend time with friends. So apologies in advance to all my friends of depriving you of the awesomeness that is me over the next 28 months 😉

OK, so going through all of that actually makes me feel a little bit better about having the time I’ll need to devote to school! I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes once it gets going!

Image Credit: Posted by Addison Berry on Flickr.

  1. Which is a brilliant idea that my sister came up with when I was hemming and hawing about whether or not to teach it again. []
  2. I know, given the number of typos I always seem to have, you must be shocked that I actually proofread this stuff! []
  3. I remember being a PhD student and I don’t think I read any fiction other than the Harry Potter books in my six years of school. []