Thursday, August 09, 2012

Necessary Evils

22 hours.  That's how long it took me to get from downtown Philadelphia to downtown Chicago.  According to the pushy GPS lady who lives in my Blackberry (don't judge me; I'm waiting for the new iPhone), Chicago is a 12+ hour drive from Philadelphia.  I had scheduled a 9a.m. move-in for Sunday so I left Philly before 8 a.m. on Saturday to give myself plenty of time for rest stops, fuel ups, detours, and car naps.  I got to my apartment building nearly three hours early.  Unfortunately, my movers arrived nearly one hour late.  Fast forward 5 hours and my life looks something like this:

In the midst of all the boxes and unassembled furniture there is something else that also needs my attention. 
Moving day also marks the deadline to register for Booth's Pre MBA Accounting class.  "Huh?" you say.  "Cheet didn't you already do a Pre MBA bootcamp that included accounting?"
Why yes I did.  After staring down my fear of statistics and micro economics during a great first week of Manhattan GMAT's Pre MBA bootcamp I was actually looking forward to the next week's lessons on accounting and finance.  Can you say false anticipation?  The finance lesson wasn't so bad.  The subject matter seems pretty straight forward.  Financial accounting...not so much.

It began simply enough.  Pretend we own a business with $150 in assets.  We have an outstanding loan to Uncle Joe in the amount of $90.  Our instructor drew what looked to be a flow chart of boxes and lines on the white board.  Here's where things got tricky for me.  One box contained $100 of income that somebody pays my business.  This money is debited into my account.  Wait just a gosh darn minute.  WHAT? You put money in my account and it's a debit?  That makes no sense at all.  My understanding of accounting devolved quickly as the lesson progressed.  A cash flow analysis and an annual financial statement flew right over my head and landing somewhere between I Don't Know Land and Why Should I Care World.  Even using the tools through the lens of the ongoing case study we were working through didn't help matters (or make the subject matter interesting).  I don't think there was anything more the instructor could have done to make it accounting appeal to me in any way.  They did feed me pizza afterward, during the class break so I can't really complain.

Unfortunately for me, accounting is a necessary evil in the pursuit of my MBA.  Although Booth is famous for it's "flexible curriculum," that flexibility does not extend to all out of avoidance of problematic subject areas.  Booth is all about discipline based education and come hell or high water in order to get through Booth, you've gotta touch them all.  I'm pretty keen on keeping my fellowship, and failing accounting is not conducive to that goal.  So I'm going to take the strong hint that my brush with the subject during bootcamp gave me and get myself some extra help.  So I gave my bank account another workout, waved goodbye to a week of relaxation the week before orientation and signed up for a week long accounting class.  Hopefully this time something will click in my brain and I will be able to build a strong enough foundation to get through the most basic accounting course that Booth offers in the fall.

When I first saw the notice for the class I planned to skip it and head up to Michigan for a few days before school starts.  Thanks Manhattan GMAT for showing me that that's not an option.

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