Even more work than I thought

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted anything on the pen and I get the feeling it's going to be like that for a while. The first week of my MBA program is nearing completion. I'm doing an online program with Centenary College here in New Jersey. Numerous people have told me that the online variation of any MBA program winds up being far more work - incredible amounts of writing - to make up for the fact that you aren't in a classroom for three hours. It sure seems true so far.

I'm on the blackboard system most every night, preparing assignments, doing research, and participating in threaded discussions. When I'm not doing that, I'm reading textbooks and research. By the way, I totally dig that the Nook reads PDFs since much of the research I dig up is in PDF format. Occasionally, the Nook's Quick Office app can't handle certain PDFs so they look all weird and illegible. Then I found Calibre, which lets you convert various file formats to the e-pub format. One such PDF converted nicely.. It's sooooo much nicer reading this stuff on an e-reader than on a PC.

Still, I'm finding time to read fiction. I recently finished the audio book for Scott Westerfeld's, So Yesterday, and I'm still wading through Richard Kadrey's, Kill the Dead, the much anticipated (by me) sequel to Sandman Slim. I think I like the first book a bit more, but it's still a blast. I've just begun to get my sci-fi on with audio book version of Richard K. Morgan's, Thirteen.

So despite my academic and professional pursuits, I'm still a double threat reading-wise.


And so it begins

My MBA program starts this coming week. Life as I knew it, is over.... at least for a couple of years. 

In other news, an entire week has gone by without a rejection letter. That's progress!

And in other, other news. We're the proud owners of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I DVD. Tonight, the family shall chow down on spaghetti with tasty meatballs purchased from Anthony & Sons in Denville. We also have some pasta fagioli, broccoli rabe, various breads, and fresh cookies from their excellent market. All this will be done in front of the television.

Rachel took one look at the quart of pasta fagioli soup and said, "So that's how they spell that?" Yeah, it's one of those words that you wonder how they decided to spell something that sounds like "Fazool" (at least in this part of the country). It's got that dangling "i" at the end. Ah, well.


Lies, damned lies, and statistics

Dang. I'm getting old. I took my son to a college fair down in Edison, NJ last week. Fortunately, he's only a high school sophomore, but come on, now. Is it fair that he's old enough to be thinking about college? That I'm old enough to have a son who's old enough to be thinking that way?

First, the joint was jumping. While my kids were on Spring Break, many schools in the metropolitan area were not. Yellow buses ferried hordes of high school students to the college fair. Most of the colleges that were a good fit for Scott were in attendance. Mind you, you won't find an ivy league university or, say, MIT at one of these. That's fine with me, because those places do not offer merit based scholarships, of which Scott would certainly avail himself.

We checked school after school, both private (wait - did you say $52,000/year for tuition, room & board?) and public (wait - did you say $25,000/year for tuition, room & board?). We dropped by my alma mater - Binghamton University (formerly SUNY Binghamton, at least when I attended), and lo and behold, Scott liked it. How funny would that be if he attended the college from which both my wife and I graduated?

For chuckles, we swung by the Cooper Union table. My grandfather graduated from that prestigious NYC institution 80+ years ago with a Civil Engineering degree. While every other booth had loads of pamphlets and signs, and people talking all about what their school had to offer, Cooper Union had one nattily dressed guy, a very small stack of single page pamphlets, some bookmarks, and a mostly empty table. The fellow looked generally bemused to be there. He said nothing about Cooper Union and focused on what courses Scott needed to focus on during his remaining high school years. When Scott mentioned one statistics laden research based analysis course he has now, the Cooper guy blessed Scott with a quote made popular by Mark Twain.

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Scott was more than happy to share that with his RBA teachers when he returned to school today. The stats guy was amused, and the science guy told him it was Mark Twain.

Anyway, I may need to sell a kidney to put the kid through college. Of course, that would probably only pay for one year of tuition at a public university.


Sick and Solitary

Yeesh, I am sick as ... well ... sick as heck. Yech. But now I'm so very happy. I took my daughter to the library to borrow her huge allotment of YA and other novels. She's on spring break, so it's uber important that she has loads to read, otherwise she'll whine about boredom. More so than usual, anyway. I'm introducing her to Christopher Golden, starting with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But that's beside the point. When we were checking her books out, it turned out my copy of Alexander Gordon Smith's, Solitary was waiting for me.

YES!!!! The entire Lockdown series has been out for quite some time in the U.K., but it has taken its sweet time crossing the Atlantic. At least I have book two in my clutches now. Of course, I'll have to wait until August for the final novel, Death Sentence.

I was in the midst of reading one of those Frankenstein novels on the Nook, but that's officially set aside in favor of this puppy. Plus I'll owe the library overdue fees for the audio book copy of Clockwork Angel, because I've been in and out of the car so often.

Maybe I can't breathe particularly well right now and my head wants to implode from a sinus infection, and the various horse pills I'm taking require some time to work, but having a novel that I've been itching to read makes it almost all better.