Well, it’s back to the old grind. I absolutely cannot believe how fast my two month winter break flew by. Between traveling, holidays, paperwork, moving, and my new job, it feels like I just walked out of my last final maybe 3 weeks ago, max. Whether I like it or not, the new semester has come and I suppose I should tell you a bit about it.
I guess I will start off by giving you a quick overview of each of my classes this semester. Keep in mind that all of these classes are required/core curriculum (regardless of concentration) so I didn’t have any say in picking them.
This class is definitely not for me. I’m guessing that most of the people in the Financial Accounting and Advisory concentration would agree with me. In my mind, on the spectrum of finance, what I like and am good at and what the Risk Management people like and are good at are at completely opposite ends.
The most recent global testing puts the US in 37th place for math and basically all of my classmates are from countries that placed better than America. Assuming that everyone in the program is completely average for their country (which we obviously are not considering we are at a highly ranked Masters program) it’s no surprise that I am struggling. I know that math is not my strong suit and that it is for most of my cohorts (cause, finance, duh). I am so completely lost and so far behind, it’s not even funny.
Overall, this classes is going to take a lot more work than any I have taken in a long time (maybe even ever). But, on the bright side, my professor seems nice, I have friends willing and able to help, and the material is fairly generic so there’s lots of resources available online to work though. I can do it. I have to do it. I can’t fail now that I have come so far (and spent so much money).
On a less grim/whiny note, Corporate Finance has been pretty fun so far. This class is more of a discussion/presentation type of class so there’s a lot less sitting around listening to a professor drone on and on for hours. Yay! We have already done one case study and there will be many more to come as well as some pretty interesting articles. I look forward to the material and based on the structure for the class, I think I should be able to get a good grade without too much stress.
Financial Markets & Institutions
This was the class that I was looking forward to the most after my initial syllabus review before the start of the semester. Although we have only had one class so far this semester, it seems a bit dry or at the very least, not what I was expecting. That said, the topics we will be covering look incredible useful so I won’t complain. The structure is reasonable and the professor seems knowledgable so worst case scenario, I’ll need copious amounts of coffee to get through each lecture. Best case scenario, the first class was just administrative crap that no professor likes to do and it will get more exciting as we delve into more interesting topics.
The Game Plan
I seem to be one of the lucky students who managed to get all of the semester’s projects spread out in a manageable time frame. Everyone else is freaking out because they have 5 or 6 projects (basically the entire semester’s worth of work) due all in one week. This streak of good luck was a life saver because the rest of my schedule really won’t support the insanity others are having to deal with.
Basically, now that school has started, I’m down to part time (20 hours a week/4 hours a day) at my job. For the most part (at least so far) the work load has stayed the same which means that I basically have twice as much work as I have time to do it. The department realized this a long time ago but only just now hired another student assistant.
The problem is that they waited until my boss went on vacation to do so, so now I have to train the new employee. She’s great but it still takes time that I really don’t have. Basically I am at the office every weekday from 8-12 in the morning. After that I have an hour lunch break, and depending on the day of the week, the rest of the day is spent either in the library studying or in class. Classes are almost always 8 hours on Thursday and Friday and then at least one more class on Saturday.
This was what my schedule looked like last week. If it looks like a lot, that’s because it was (at least to me). I spent 52 hours on campus and 64 hours total if you count transit time. I don’t want to complain but at the same time, I’m not used to this type of schedule at all.
To make matters worse, I’ve started dreaming. My entire life I have never remembered my dreams. It’s not even that I know that I am dreaming but I just can’t remember them when I wake. I really don’t feel anything when sleeping, until now. I’ve started having dreams and it’s so exhausting. I’m getting decent sleep and I wake feeling rested but at the same time, my brain feels like it never got a chance to turn off and stop thinking.
My theory is that I never really had a sleep schedule before and now that my body is able to predict and rely on what time I will sleep and wake, I’m able to remember my dreams. I hope my theory is wrong though because if it’s right then I will probably have to deal with it the whole semester.
I Have a Life but Not for Long
This last weekend was basically the last one I will have for the rest of the semester to relax and have fun (at least guilt free fun). My friend Elisa and I commemorated it by going to the archeology museum here in Frankfurt (not the greatest to be honest) and then spent the afternoon chatting over coffee.
I also went to see the new King Kong movie, Kong: Skull Island. It was good but not great. I’m a really big fan of Tom Hiddleston so I always see his movies but I’m not really the biggest fan of the franchise so I didn’t get into it as much as others probably did.
As always, I managed to make it to the animal shelter and the baby bunnies are as cute as ever. Also fairly new to the shelter is a Hill Myna (or Beo in German). It’s a pretty big bird (or the size of a really small parrot) and extremely smart. They are very good at imitating speech and last week I got it to say “hello” to me. He’s pretty cute but I hope he gets adopted as soon as possible because the parrots never do very well at the shelter. They’re too smart to be happy without constant stimuli and really need someone to call their own.
So that’s basically it for the first week of the semester. Actually, that’s not true. This semester is weird in that it’s actually cut in half (or thirds). The whole semester is basically three months. The first “half” of the semester consists of the courses I talked about here and lasts for the first two months. Those classes will have their own finals week followed by a gap week (but apparently only my concentration has the gap week) and then the following month I will have two more courses to finish of the whole semester.
So, you will be seeing another similar post in a couple of months when I start my new classes. Until then, keep an eye out for my weekly updates!