Me and Schooly McGee

11 05 2009

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I don’t spend much time on this blog talking about things related to my graduate school activities. I don’t really have a great reason for this other than it’s not as exciting as law school, Harvard Jesus Academy, or going to Africa for school, and besides why would I talk about school when I could talk about amazing wives and babies (see example below):3204_515614967664_135302925_30670554_5617469_n.jpg

Well today I am going to talk about my grad school pursuits for just a few minutes. If you choose to tune out now I will promise not to hold it against you, if you continue reading I thank you for your feigned interest and also warn you it could be boring. Three years ago this very summer I started the graduate program at Auburn University Montgomery (AUM) which has recently  now just become “Auburn Montgomery”. I decided to pursue a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) degree.

The program has been interesting and I feel like I have learned a good deal in the last three years. This spring semester, that has just ended, was the most challenging I have faced as I was enrolled in the two toughest classes (in my opinion) in the program, these courses also happen to both be required for the degree. The first class was Human Resource Administration and the most challenging part was the workload. This class is a PhD level course taught as such even though there were only Masters students in it. We had to read 200 pages of articles a week and write a paper about said articles EVERY WEEK. Now before it seems like I am complaining I would point out that this isn’t probably half as bad as a normal week at Prestigious Law U but I am also in a program that is supposed to be designed for working people. Well when you have kids, a full time job and another class besides this one that distinction seemed to miss the mark in here. It was a lot of work.

The second class is the one I have dreaded from the very beginning: Quantitative Decision Making (covering thigns like Cost-Benefit Analysis, linear regression, plotting, reading and analyzing data with Excel). The professor (who consequently might have very well gotten his certification to be a teacher from one of those Sally Struthers at home deals) liked to refer to this class as “Stats Light”. Well let me first let you in on a little secret…I SUCK AT MATH! I have struggled with school mathematical related courses my entire life. I mean seriously, I couldn’t math my way out of a wet paper bag with a compass, a map, and a native american guide. So my anxiety level for this class was WAY high. It was also high for another reason. I took this class early on in the MPA program and well due to a variety of circumstances (all of which will sound like excuses so I’m not going to bother) I failed it. That’s not good in grad school by the way. So not only was it a class I was scared I couldn’t pass, but I had to take it as a replacement grade too. No pressure.

So this semester found me taking what I believe to be the two most difficult classes in the program at the same time as well as having two kids (I had them during the fall semester but they were a lot less work then) and having an extra busy spring on the work front. Hang on rollercoaster here we go.

Fastforward to the end of the semester and here is what we end up with. In my HR Admin class (the one with all the reading) I ended up with a B for the semester which is a little bit amazing because two of his final exam questions were the most complicated, not well written, couldn’t be more different than the study guide, I don’t know what he wants in the way of an answer things I have ever seen. So I survived that one. Now for Dread Pirate Math Class…I got online the other day to check my grades and I will be danged if I didn’t mess around and end up getting an A for the entire semester in that class. Seriously, I mean did you even read that? AN A I was shocked, shocked I say. So this semester while having a stressful run-up to the end indeed ended on a very satisfying note.

One last thing. I sat down the other day to start attempting to figure out how much longer I would be doing this whole school thing. Turns out that I only have THREE classes left until I am completely, for real, Mary Quality, DONE!! I am doing an indpendent study this summer and then two classes in the fall and then December graduation. That was a VERY pleasant surprise when I figured that out, as I was sure I had probably 5-6 more classes left.

Thank you for reading this far (if you actually made it). I now return you to my normal non-sensical ramblings about things like babies, beer, and backporches.

3204_515614942714_135302925_30670549_7749827_n(I mean really it doesn’t get any better)

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11 responses

11 05 2009
Liz

First, when did you become a polygamist? Wives? Second, congrats on the A!! Wahoo! And double congrats on finishing in December! So exciting! Third, those are some seriously cute babies!

11 05 2009
Mary Tyler

Hooray Nick!!! A’s, cute babies, beautiful wifes, only 3 classes left – you gots it made brotha!

11 05 2009
Laura

CONGRATULATIONS! wonderful news and big high fives for the A!!! (and the B might i add!)

11 05 2009
jason

Babies at the beginning and babies at the end …PERFECT !!
and congrats on all that school stuff too man !!

11 05 2009
Heather

Wives? Hmm…. That pic of Laura and the girls is amazing. So beautiful.

12 05 2009
Lane

Yes. Nice job there spanky. Here’s what I’ll say about the work load. Can’t imagine doing it with kids and more than one wife. Wow, that would be too much.

And yes, 200 pages is about average, I would say for a grad school class. But if it’s 200 pages on Human Resource management, then you might as well shoot me.

By the way, I didn’t know there was such a thing as a PhD in Human Resources.

12 05 2009
Jennifer

Hey I think one of the BEAUTIFUL babies was shocked at the A! Congrats…it is always good to work hard and have it paid off in that way! I, too, SUCK AT MATH! So, I truly know the reward in getting an A in a Math class that you are sure will kick your butt!

Have a fun summer!

12 05 2009
Mary

WOW NICK!! That is awesome. Maybe it is a sign that I might pass corporate finance where I also felt like I could easily fail 🙂

I would say 200 pgs per week PLUS a paper on that amount of pages is not typical for law school after the first year and first year law school is absolutely not geared towards people with careers and families on top of school. I am shocked that you managed that workload and it came out so well. Seriously, congrats on that!!!

You talk more about school on twitter than on your blog and I always find it interesting. Obviously from the comment response others find it interesting too. You should talk about it more often. Although, I do love updates on your three very beautiful ladies.

It seems like in the last picture of the babies, Harper(? baby on left?) is making a surprise face at the news of your A in the really hard math class. They look really proud of dad!

12 05 2009
Eleanor

Big fat congrat, Nick!

14 05 2009
Bean

Ha! I love the surprised baby! Tell those beautiful women hello for me!

I might be getting paid to go back to school in the not so distant future. I’ll keep you posted!

16 05 2009
Bean

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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