thrilling new new year news
This will be a quicky, for I must read eight or nine books and plan at least a week or two of classes before Tuesday. Because...
I was just this past week hired on at a very spiffy private school here in Mumpgummy to teach a half-load next semester! The class I will be teaching is very cool, too--the course title is Contemporary Discourse, and I was delighted to find nytimes.com (my browser's homepage for years) among the various other exciting class texts (Kavalier & Clay, Proof, Persepolis, etc.). Of course, just because the Times is required reading doesn't mean I won't walk into class to find all my students wearing those buttons they handed out at the RNC convention last year that said, "I don't believe anything I read in the New York Times." On the other hand, skepticism is worth cultivating (as long as it's objective and critical and not political and reactionary), so I may employ some factcheck.org or CJR materials as well. We shall see where all this goes after this semester, which will be a chance for the school to try me out, and me to try them out, but I am just psyched about the whole thing.
Update on CFA stuff: Took the exam on December 3rd--the day of the big Georgia-LSU game, which was held in the same complex (the World Congress Convention Crazyhouse, or whatever it's called) as the test. The hotel we chose to stay at the previous night was filled A) with insane LSU fans who suffered from some strange SEC-sanctioned form of Tourette's and who would not shut up until 2 AM, when they apparently went out to tie one on (tighter, I guess, really) before returning at 4:30 AM to resume their ruckus, and B) with the hardest damn granite-slab beds I have ever encountered and the frostiest heating systems available on the (black?) market. Oh, and the smoke alarm light was like a little green alien flood lamp over the bed. Long story long, I got about 2 hours of sleep, ate a big greasy steak and eggs breakfast while ignoring poor lonely Becky and poring over the 23 pages of formulas I had to memorize, and was off to take the test, which was divided into two three-hour sections. The first section was very worrisome and sloggy, but the second section was composed mainly of softball questions, and I actually finished with about 20 minutes (as opposed to 10 seconds) to spare. And I had ample opportunity, and one might say ample reason, to smoke, but didn't. (After this feat, there's no way I can let myself fall back into bad faith about how smoking and the stresses of teaching go hand in hand. Becky is also glad to have both this and the document I signed and returned to the State of Alabama officially declaring my utterly smoke-free lifestyle to hold me to anytime I so much as get a wistful look on my face while watching someone else smoke.) I shall learn how I did on the exam sometime during mid-January. If I find out that I passed (the pass rate has been floating around 35% the past few years, which I'm glad I didn't realize until after the test), I have a little while to decide if I want to tackle Level II in June, which probably depends on how much free time I have while teaching part-time. The tests are good for life, and who knows what the future might hold for me five, ten, twenty, thirty years down the road. (Might as well make the most of those formulas while they're still relatively fresh!) Plus, since I will be managing the bulk of my mother's retirement accounts starting in January (in addition to our own), I feel like I will still be able to use the skills I've been gaining, even though I may not find them all that useful when discussing, say, Life of Pi. In any case, I did finally receive an invitation to interview for the Retirement Counselor position with the State last week, and it felt so good to write back telling them that I was unavailable at least until June. Probably will still apply for the Management Associate opportunity with Amsouth if I find out that I passed my Level I CFA exam, just in case the recession possibly heralded by the yield curve inversion earlier in the week is too bad for non-profit educational insitutions to offer anyone full-time teaching positions, but not bad enough for Amsouth to need new portfolio manager types.
This was supposed to be short. Oops. Oh--and if any of my new students are reading this, welcome. This is certainly not required reading, and inside jokes or references to this blog will get you absolutely nowhere with me, whereas I will enthusiastically celebrate your brilliant opening paragraph or your devastatingly insightful and elegantly structured argument. Show me lots of those.
Anyway, what a truly Happy New Year! That last one--sheesh--let's just call it a rebuilding season and move on.