Monday, December 15, 2008

A Problematic Idea

This is my comment regarding the New York Times' highlighting Brandon Jennings' move to Europe in its Year of Ideas 2008:

I do not think that Brandon Jennings leaping to play in Europe was a brilliant idea and should have been highlighted here in this Year in Ideas 2008. It is a shortcut and there are no shortcuts to success! This is encouraging high school students to devalue education. Many college basketball players major in business and communication to be able to properly manage their income and images. Brandon will not have this opportunity. Furthermore, there will be a difference in medical care. The United States has the premier medical institutions which are far superior to its European counterparts. Moreover, it is required that all American medical staff speak English. The European Union has three official languages: English, French and German. There is no guarantee that Brandon can effectively communicate with the medical staff when injured. This language gap can lead the premature end of his basketball career and all follow him all of the days of his life. Professionally, the NBA does not have to accept Mr. Jennings’ European tenure because its rule stipulates that he must have one year’s worth of college. Brandon could have gone to any Division I college then to the developmental league before ascending to the NBA ranks. Finally, the most damaging part of this story is that Brandon is surrounded by a bunch of spineless yes-men, including his parents, who do not enforce rules. The college rule is meant to keep players safe by cultivating their games. For every Kobe Bryant there are 20 Sebastian Telfairs who could not make the leap. For 2009 please reconsider including people who take shortcuts for a living on the New York Times list.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

What's Happening Now!

Receiving an email from a black businesswoman who has read my blog and become inspired from my life, motivates me to post my first blog entry in over one month! Her remark speaks to what I want to accomplish by sharing my experiences and hoping that people learn from them. I want others to benefit from my mistakes instead of making the same ones. It is all about giving and sharing because we all have a story to tell.

Now what exactly have I been up to since November? The National Novel Writing contest better known as Nanowrimo, has consumed the majority of my time. There have been some monumental stories during this month from Barack Obama’s presidency (I reside off of 16th Street and right after the networks project him as the winner, a horde of 2000 people ran down the street from 11:30pm to 2am chanting ‘Yes We Can’ all the way to White House. One man was even running the street holding a humongous balloon display, like the one you see at the Disney World entrance!), the President-elect’s 60 Minutes interview where he focuses on fixing the college football system instead of the Pell Grant even though it does not match inflation and we have been in a recession for one year, and my grievance process with a crazy instructor which is still in process (the school says that it can take up to 30 days. I pray that it does not ruin my Christmas!), and a well-meaning but evasive professor who believes that if he gives me specific instructions that I am being academically dishonest (Yikes!). This is also ongoing but will conclude next Monday. I have sent my concerns to the proper authority and will see what happens but in the meantime, I have decided to focus on the one thing that I can control: my performance.

The entire grievance process is a blessing in disguise because it supplies me with additional combat skills to face adversity. My agency holds an academic seminar, the morning my final, and throughout it I write down all of my dreams for the remainder of this year and for 2009. With every paragraph, I reclaim my joy and zest for life. I wanted to read the Statistics for Dummies book and take the DSST principles of statistics and the UDC elementary statistics II exams to qualify for the federal government’s statistician classification. It needs 15 math credits, 6 of which must be in statistics. Well, I have 16 math credits but 0 of them are in statistics. Yet, instead of viewing this as a singular opportunity, earning these 6 credits gives me 22 credits, 2 shy of the 24 required for the mathematician position. Here is where the DSST comes in handy again because it also offered the business mathematics exam where I could earn American Council on Education (ACE) credit. UDC accepts ACE credits giving me a total of 25 mathematics credits. Now all I have to do is either retake or test out of calculus III. Personally, after all of this drama, I realize that I can accomplish anything with a little hard work and perseverance. Hey, like the Reverend Joel Osteen preaches, ‘extraordinary people have extraordinary problems’. So I must be at the top of the food chain with all of this swirling around my head like shrapnel (When I swim with the sharks I do the backstroke!)!

A sour ending to 2008 means that this is setup for the 2009 comeback which will show up in all of my actions and Christmas gifts! Instead of purchasing a wardrobe of haute couture clothes and shoes (I confess to buying two pairs of Jimmy Choo on sale, of course, because I am an economist!), I will buy the STATA student version, Official DSST Study Guide and the Official CLEP exam to improve my future. The DSST exam costs $90 apiece versus $375 at the USDA Graduate School, $650 UDC credit by examination fee, and $3534 at American University (I remember when I use to make that much working part-time back in Cleveland so to me this is still a lot of money!). That is a significant return on investment! Moreover, after microeconomics, I am shifting my focus to statistics because it is only out of 100 instead of infinity which is easier to handle; therefore, it is important to prepare for by obtaining as many statistics credits as possible and these purchases ensure that I reach all of my goals.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Getting Ready for Primetime

I have bought an extension chord to create a personal multimedia center by linking my tv, computer and radio. Having taken off election day because I am on detail in Virginia but my precinct is in Washington, DC, I want to hear the Tom Joyner Morning Show wire-to-wire right after casting my ballot bright and early 7am. Immediately upon returning to my apartment, I am logging onto to share my voting experience and encouraging people to turn out. It's essential to have a three-prong multimedia feed going because there's an abundance of lies and misinformation to combat. And what better way than to create my own news center? Hey I pay the bill then why not?

This newfound blogging fervor results from seeing my 1/10 score and realizing that I have put all of my energy into my Facebook page, thus neglecting blogging on my Barack page. No more because I have already posted two entries! Throughout this campaign I have used my education and connection to advance Barack Obama and believe that many black professionals should bore the brunt of the burden. I have the ability to use my technological savvy to push Obama into the White House and during the next 48 hours!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Looking at the Bright Side

I admit that I have felt pretty bad over receiving my lowest score to date but unlike other times, this bad mark has not deterred me from saying that I can overcome (though I must acknowledge that it stung for a minute!). I guess it is the leadership program, good credit, and working in my major. I am currently working as a statistician at another agency. Even though it is kind of boring, I have learned how to calculate moving averages which is important to statistics. Therefore, in a recession, the fact that I have two jobs when many are searching for one is enough to view myself as successful. See if I was at Cleveland State studying for my MBA and climbing the ladder then I would be concerned with my academic performance. However, as a GS-11 Economist, steady credit, and an emergency fund, I am not clamoring as much over a couple of bad grades. The financial solvency has calmed my nerves because I live in DC on the same street as the university. I am no longer taking the bus to Farragut Square then transfer to the blue line to the Pentagon metro station then transfer to another bus. All I have to board one bus and get off at DuPont Circle then walk ten minutes to my apartment which I have because of solid credit.

However, I refuse to waste any of my scholarship money on getting anything lower than a B this semester. It is amazing that after outlining the chapters and creating practice tests, my microeconomics score is better than my mathematical economics. Today that I have outlined sections 11.1 through 11.4 and solve the homework to submit this Friday after my meeting with my micro professor and slipping my comprehensive exam form under my advisor's door (Yes, I know that I can pull this around even though this professor moves the second midterm to December 1st one week before the final exam on December 8th.). Also later this evening, I will finish outlining chapter 12 and start solving problems 1 and 3 on the fourth homework assignment. I will walk into the office having read all of the material so I can ask more informed questions. In a weird kind of way, I feel that microeconomics not mathematical economics may be my saving grace which is great because I need the former to sit for the comprehensive exam. This is not over by a long shot!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Notes from the Final Presidential Debate

Barack Obama soundly defeated John McCain during tonight's third and final presidential debate. McCain came off bitter and evasive, never really directly answering any question moderator Bob Schieffer posed to him. That was extremely irritating because I wanted McCain to give an honest answer about education, trade and balancing the budget. Moreover, Barack Obama reinforced the importance of education because if I possess a high quality education, nothing is unachievable. It motivated to push harder to obtain my MA in Economics degree. I agreed with Barack on everything except charter schools because are centrally located in poor communities fostering divide and conquer strategies instead of academic competition. Charter schools are located in inner-city communities not Cicero and Hyde Park. Finally, charter schools are another form of the poverty tax because those parents who have children in these institutions still pay income taxes to the school system that they are not using. I attend my school system and my household stayed above the poverty line because my parents did neither have to pay out of pocket for education nor have to pay gas prices to drive me there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Brownies Did It! Cleveland Clobbered the NY Giants 35-14

I am so proud that my Brownies clobbered the Super Bowl champions 35-14 last night in Cleveland. I am so happy about this win because I reside in DC, this is a great morale booster especially after my subpar micro grade!

The Morning After

The sun rises in the sky, a brilliant vision. I breathe deeply, relax, and know I can face the day. The sun sets in the sky, a glorious image. I close my eyes, know I did my best today, and prepare for the day to come.

I truly do need this especially after bombing my graduate microeconomics midterm yesterday. This magnifies the importance of acing my mathematical methods midterm next week; and, my econometrics midterm this Thursday (Speaking of which my professor has emailed me this morning; but, instead of battling it out I will simply delete the message. Why fight this early in the morning?). That all but assured me that next year I will not be attending a top-tier doctoral university (though as an alumna I could still sit in on one AU doctoral class per semester. See the power of positive thinking! Yes, I know that applying to an Ivy League is out of the question but I can still graduate with my MA in Economics degree then take courses at American in preparation for my next move.).

Sunday, October 05, 2008

It's All Starting to Come Together

Until now I had not known how much walking from M Street to DuPont Circle had worn me out. My muscles are still soar even after my hour nap. At least I had solved micro homework problems 1 through 4 (Well, there are bits and pieces that need to be finished which I will do at 8pm because I need to score a check plus on this assignment. Never again will I skip another micro class and assignment!). I am only having problems with number 5 which I will email him at 9pm. He will probably answer tomorrow morning; meaning, that I will get it during lunch time (At least I have solved the majority of the assignment!).

This third assignment has been a journey of self-discovery. Friday I admitted that I did not know certain concepts and immediately started working on them by reading chapter 10. Saturday I made major headway by finishing chapter 10 and solving problem 4. Sunday I reread chapter 8, solved problems 2 and 3, and learned not to fear my Ti Voyage 200 calculator just because I forgot how to solve LaGrange multipliers. While rereading chapter 8 for a second time, I laughed at how I had to do the same thing when at Cleveland State. There was no harm in rereading all of the chapters if that meant that I totally understood everything and aced the midterm. Honestly I thought that this was what it took in order to do well because microeconomics was my hardest class!

Tonight I will reread a portion of chapter 10 and try to solve problem 5 then start reading ECON 505 because homework is due Tuesday and I want to submit it after meeting with th TA for my tutoring session. I know that there is a lot of pressure on me, however, I know that I can do all of it including econometrics. Right after tomorrow's class I will return to my office to register my name and log onto blackboard to print all of the material. Since I am in training the entire week, my days are essentially off limits. However, my nights are not so I will cram as much as I can into them. I am thankful that I do not have to commute to Virginia this week saving me in between thirty and sixty minutes valuable sleeping time. This week I can roll out of bed at 8am instead of 7am. And I will use every opportunity afforded to me to get all of my work done.

With the upcoming microeconomics midterm, I will skip ALDP training and return to the professor's office to review anything that I do not understand. I just do not want to freeze up like I constantly do during the homework assignments. I feel that with the review session, the TA session, Friday's appointment and my rereading all of the chapters, there is no reason why an A impossible. Ever since dropping microeconomics in 2006, I promise that this time will be different! Earning an A in this class (because I know that I will earn an A in mathematical methods), will give me my first 4.0 grade point average at the graduate level. This will help me during the comprehensive exam and provide a cushion for my master's thesis.

This week I will email my advisor my idea to examine the Academic Competitiveness Grant's impact on encouraging more native-born American citizens to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Education is so vital towards my success that this has to be my topic. I will fight tooth and nail to defend it next year. It is important to start now instead of waiting for my Education Department contact to deliver the end-of-the-year report because there are so many hurdles to clear such as assembling a three professor panel and getting my idea cleared. The more I contemplate my topic, the more it makes sense to buy the STATA econometrics software to run regression analysis on it. Learning another statistical software language gives me more credibility. In addition, I will put eViews on my computer. Heck, I have paid for it so why not? This gives me another language. I will shoe my advisor that I am so serious that there is no way of denying my topic!

Friday, October 03, 2008

A Day in the Life

I started my day bright and early 9am in my microeconomics teacher's office reviewing problem 4. This session helped me so much because I went about it the wrong the way. He helped me go from the profit function to setting quantity demand equal to quantity and solving the equation. During this time I admitted that expenditure minimization was my problem; and, starting my ALDP assignment was the reason behind missing September 22nd class. The stress of being founded out was released from my body because I did not feel dumb after all. All I had to do was reread the chapters to better understand the material.

Upon returning home, I began outlining chapter 10. Then I traveled to Morton's for my 12:45pm lunch. That was the plan until the fire alarm rang forcing an evacuation. After walking across the street as a precaution (the man who sold me a charity basketball ticket then mentioned that his Cleveland friend got shot was once again hawking them this year in the very same spot!). Returning across the street, I thought that Washington Square would let people back in but was wrong so I walked to the Palm praying that there was not a huge lunch line.

Thank goodness for a recession because there was hardly anyone there! I got a table for one immediately. Once seated the first things I thought were that it was neither raining nor snowing; I changed into something comfortable to be able to walk; and, I had the money to afford either steakhouse. The live House on the bailout glared across the bar's TV screen (It passed then both the House leaders and President Bush spoke. My own waiter was distracted by the vote. Hey to all of you fat cats: Eat Ramen noodles!). I ordered the chopped steak with a half order of three cheese potatoes and a regular Coke for $21.18 plus $5 tip for exemplary service!

Departing the restaurant I walked to the Farragut West 18th street entrance to hop the orange train to Ballston to withdraw Keep the Faith by Faith Evans from the Arlington Central Library. Even before Biggie Smalls, Faith had an interesting life especially how she was classmates with the three black men who made a pact to support each other and become doctors (The Pact a movie based on their lives was shown at the Cleveland Film Festival). This resonated with me when I saw my friend two weeks ago at the NBMBAA annual conference. I was happy that someone from the old neighborhood made it!

Although I did not let a measly fire alarm deter me, it along with two public transportation trips drained me of my energy. Yet I continued outlining chapter 10 which I will complete tomorrow along with solving problems 4 and 5. In addition, the microeconomics teaching assistant replied that Tuesday at 5:30pm was okay but to forward her the homework problems which I had problems. Saturday after solving my homework, I will make a list of any problems that I still have (expenditure minimization will and Lagrange multipliers will be on the list because I am hazy on these two.). It is important to make a concerted effort into solving my homework instead of allowing someone else to do the work for me.

Finally the woman from the company which the USDA Graduate School contracted for its GRE class forwarded me the name of another instructor who essential gave me the GR92-2 sections 2 and 4 letter answers; but, I wanted them worked-out because that was what the substitute math tutor promised. I communicated to him and provided a succinct example. They will give me my just desserts!

This entire day was filled with the predictable and unpredictable yet one thing remained constant: my ability to get it done regardless of circumstance.

Friday, September 26, 2008


This is my reaction to receiving a lower quantitative score than expected (Actually it was lower than last June's score)

All of the strength that I have mustered
Only to become flustered
By a sub-par score
Yet I return for more
How bad do I want it you say?
No amount of money can sway
Me from upward mobility
No exercise in futility
See my humility
Coupled with agility
Tempered by reality
Therefore now I am flustered

Sunday, September 07, 2008

How Bad Do I Want It? Update # 2

Yippee! I have scored a 26/30 on GR90-16 section 3. Multiplying this by two equals 52/60 which is 700! This is a breakthrough motivating me to push harder. Two or my four wrong answers are preventable. These correct answers would have yielded a 28/30. Multiplying this by two equals 56/60 or a 760. This is Brown University's GRE minimum score which serves as my benchmark. Monday morning I will solve the Princeton Review easy math and verbal problems (I am doing this to readjust me eyes since I am awaking at 6am in the morning). Later this afternoon, I will do the electronic math drill to gage my computer performance. Though math is my primary focus, I need to present a well-round GRE exam which includes high verbal and writing scores. That's why I am studying the verbal section.

Tomorrow I will read chapters 4 and half of 5. By Friday, September 12th , I will finish reading the Princeton Review and have scored a 760 on the quantitative section by correcting my mistake and being patient. By September 19th the online tests will be completed and I will have earned my 760 on the quantitative. My ALDP mentor, Jed, says that he has practiced every day to boost his score; and, I will do the same because I am thisclose towards clearing the quantitative hurdle.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Examining Barack Obama's Presidential Acceptance Speech on the 45th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Two days ago Barack Obama accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for the President of the United States. It was also the 45th anniversary of the March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his historical I Have a Dream. At the foot of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial he expounded why blacks should receive full franchise as their white brethren. Much had changed during the past 45 years and Obama was proof of that. Though people had a right to say that Senator Obama giving the acceptance speech on the anniversary was providential, we must put each man in proper context. First, Dr. King was never a politician which was very important since he did not have to win public affection to advance his civil rights agenda. Obama would have to be elected. Second, though both men worked in community service, King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and his executive board of lieutenants drafted the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Act and the 24th Constitutional Amendment banning poll taxes at all voting booths to be ratified bu the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Senator Obama's senatorial record was an as illustrious. Furthermore, it was very rare for any sitting president to ratify a constitutional amendment. These two monumental differences were indispensable in understanding the key differences between King and Obama; and, how Barack should pave his own path instead of worrying about attempting to become the second coming of Dr. King.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Opportunity Journal Entry #25: Credit By Examination

Today I travel to the UDC bookstore to write down the book titles for all classes corresponding to certain CLEP and DSST exams. The book store worker seems enthusiastic when I tell him that I do not need any assistance because I have brought my list with the appropriate section numbers (Hey, I am on a mission!). Immediately I jot down every single book title from personal finance to business mathematics to management information systems. Cumulatively, I can test out of seven CLEP and DSST exams supplying the sound foundation to build my business economics portfolio to submit to an Ivy League doctoral program. The creation of this portfolio comes from a way to differentiate myself from other candidates. Although I am an economist with an MBA and have won numerous scholarships, I need to do more. Testing out of more business and statistical courses boost my career and academic profiles. I am only six statistics credits away from becoming a statistician and these tests present a viable alternative toward accomplishing it. Finally, they are cheaper at $90 a class than UDC resident tuition.

Afterward I walk to the Math Department to retrieve the business mathematic syllabi. I ask the secretary if Dean Steadman is here. She points to her office. Initially, I cannot see the dean but then I see her in the dark. I ask her about the department's credit by exam procedure. Also, I inform her about needing the statistics credit hours to become a statistician. Then she gives it to me along with a time frame (this week and next week are horrible but any other time will be okay).

Finally I have a timetable for taking the credit by examination tests because it has been four months in the making. I want to test out of elementary statistics I and II, business mathematics II, linear algebra, differential equations, and now, discrete mathematics since it is in my graduate micro text. Dean Steadman's remark about being able to take it throughout the semester comforts me because right now I am financially stretched even though I qualify for residency (At least, I can pay out of pocket).

Friday, August 15, 2008

Elitism Gone Awry

This is my response to William Deresiewicz's Exhortation: The Disadvantages of an Elite Education found here:

The author characterizes Cleveland State as a place with a lack of nurturers in the form of advisors, tutors, etc. which unfounded because the MBA program offers finance tutoring which helps me immensely. However, comparing a public versus a private one is unfair simply because they are not going after the same student. Having earned my undergraduate degree from a private liberal arts institution, not only did I see my advisor but we have eaten dinner over her house (many resided in the college town). There is more intimacy which shows in the price tag. Public schools function to accommodate those who cannot afford private school tuition but exhibit the same fire, drive and ambition.

Receiving my MBA from Cleveland State, I currently work as a GS-11 economist at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, a premier economic agency producing the gross domestic product. Economics is one the most popular majors. Many Ivy Leaguers would die to have my prestigious job because this number is recited by the president, Treasury secretary and Fed chairman, all fellow Ivy Leaguers. I have never felt that my instruction was either substandard or preparing me to be a clog in the machine. In addition, NASA Glenn and several Fortune 500 companies such as Keybank, National City, Progressive Insurance and Sherwin-Williams actively recruit from Cleveland State as well as its wealthier neighbor, Case. These corporations know the value of Cleveland State University graduates.

Currently, I am a master's of economics candidate enrolled at American University and have financed all of math classes at the Northern Virginia Community College, USDA Graduate School, and the University of the District of Columbia, all state-sponsored schools. Their instruction have enhanced my professional work because now I can solve higher-order math problems. This in return benefits the entire American economy, Ivy league of not.

My Yahoo Finance Response to Laura Rowley's Article

Here is my response to today's Laura Rowley's It's Time to Rethink College Debt found here:

I attended and graduated with a BA in economics from a Midwest liberal arts college and currently am an economist at a major statistical agency in Washington, DC. The only loans that I have ever used are federally subsidized because banks pay colleges to push private loans. Upon graduation, I earned my MBA from a state university to eliminate costs. During my graduate studies I financed my math classes at the local community college because it was cheaper than the state university two blocks down the street (As you could see, I am economical!). Furthermore, after relocating to the DC metro area, I took precalculus, calculus I through III at state and community colleges. Paying for them myself instilled pride that I could take care of myself.

Though I am currently a master's of economics candidate enrolled at a private university, I have won two scholarships to reduce costs. Moreover, my employer pays for one class which further eliminating my financial burden. I would recommend any college student to look for employers offering tuition assistance. In addition, some federal agencies provided debt forgiveness of up to $60,000. If Emily works for the Smithsonian, her debt would have probably been forgiven. Her MA in Arts is not a waste and she can still make a decent living. Furthermore, please inquire at your college's career services about cooperative education programs which enable students to work in their majors while earning college credit. These programs are available regardless of major. Finally, these abundant amount of opportunities are not advertised because the banks and credit card companies would lose money.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Focusing on the Positive, Confronting the Negative

The horoscope has been on point especially this morning with its reminder to Don’t allow yourself become upset about those things that are completely out of your control. Realize your limitations. Yes, Tropic Thunder is racist and BET has co-signed and okayed its proliferation of white men in blackface by allowing Robert Downey, Jr. to appear yesterday on 106 and Park; however, the best way to defeat racism are through intelligence and action. Look at Barack Obama and the newly appointed UDC President Allan Lee Sessoms. This is one of the schools I have attended while residing here in the capital city. He had earned a doctorate from Yale, taught at Harvard and as a senior member in the State University before heading Delaware State, another historically black college and university. Therefore, I refuse to see anything that detrimental to me and my race of people.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

My 31st Birthday

I have had an eventful 31st birthday today. I ate lunch at Smith & Wollensky's and the restaurant gave me a birthday card and triple chocolate cake to commemorate the event. Though I mistakenly ordered the creamed spinach for an extra $10, the fact that I could afford it, with more money to splurge on myself. Furthermore, by my 32nd birthday I will be a GS-12 economist.

Securing this promotion is a quite achievable feat given my ALDP slot, developmental assignment and four new components. These accomplishments showcase my research ability and depth. Also, I am not above transferring out if I feel that my career is stagnating. The developmental assignment provides a great opportunity to acquire new skills and cultivate my relationships. Come March if I believe that my current employer will not review my promotional request, then I am posting out to another agency. I do not work for free! Besides, next May I will have earned my MA in Economics degree with Omicron Delta Epsilon honors from American University and will embark on my doctoral journey to a top-tier program; therefore, there is little time for pettiness. I do not know how much time I have on earth, and I refuse to waste any on something totally unproductive. Why go through life bitter and frustrated.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Winning Just Keeps On Coming

The DCBMBAA president called to congratulate me on winning the $2500 graduate scholarship! Combining the $1100 CBC Spouses General Education scholarship and the $3278 agency training assistance, leaves me $36 outstanding. Winning these scholarships motivate me to apply for more aid and that people are genuinely interested in my personal growth. Furthermore, it motivates me to push on and study for the GRE. I need to score at least a 760 on the quantitative for the top-tier doctoral programs to consider me. Though that is 100 points away, taking two free practice GRE exams present wonderful opportunities to achieve this objective.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Response to Today's USATODAY Community College Article

Though I have attended both four-year colleges and community colleges, I will neither go as far to say that four-year colleges are rip-offs nor go as far to say that two-year colleges prepare astronauts especially in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) community. There is more college aid in these disciplines. The federal government offers the American Competitiveness and National SMART grants in addition to the Pell Grant to lessen the burden for Americans wanting to major in these fields. In addition, several Fortune 500 firms, knowing that the US is producing one million less scientists and computer programmers than China and India, offer scholarships. Furthermore, as a native Clevelander with NASA Glenn in my backyard, it has not partnered with Cuyahoga Community College for any specialized training because to become an astronaut, physicist, etc, require a minimum of a BA. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mae Jemison have never started at a community college and it is by design.

The tier level exists because they serve different functions within society. If you do neither have the grades, the focus, nor the money then community college is for you. It is a cheaper alternative for people to find their footing and save money. Community colleges train blue collar workers. Four-year train white collar professionals. Though I have enrolled at community colleges to take mathematic classes, as an economist working in the STEM community, I value receiving my BA because it has more value. An Associates degree does not have the same value. None of America’s billionaires from Oprah to Bill Gates have ever attended community college. That is a fact. Therefore, the rant that four-year colleges are a rip-off is nonsense because they serve a very really function of training of best and brightest who are ready and prepared to learn now; and, being ready to learn upon graduating from high school is essential towards the United States retaining global competitiveness advantage.

Even though I love the function of a community college, I feel compelled to write this because a four-year college degree is not a waste. The people badmouthing four-year colleges do not possess the aptitude to win a scholarship to attend them. Furthermore, it is important to get as many children proficient in math and science in order to effectively compete with China and India. These two countries are producing one million more scientists and computer programmers than we are. Therefore, this nation can ill-afford the “college is not for everybody” and “four-year colleges are a rip-off” mentalities because stake as the world’s innovative leader is at stake.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Opportunity Journal Entry #24: Career Expansion

The HR specialist assigned the Census’ Statistician announcement, says that the OPM accepts USDA Graduate School credits. This enables me to take both statistics I and II to qualify for this position. Since they cost less than both UDC and AU, I will pay out of pocket. This career expansion comes at a great time because I will need to earn more money to finance my graduate education. The announcement gives me nine months to fulfill the requirements allowing me time to gather the money and use my developmental assignment as a stepping stone towards obtaining experience.

Becoming a statistician puts me deeper into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) community; and, that is my career objective. I want to learn as much math as possible so that I fully understand the doctoral program information. Furthermore, I want to finish within four years not five. Mastering the math is key towards achieving my goal.

Opportunity Journal Entry #23: Ode to Financial Empowerment

Just when I think that there is no way I can afford my education, I put together a plan. Subtracting the agency’s tuition assistance and my scholarship leaves an outstanding balance; however, with money in my coffers, only a small difference remains. That’s why I really do not need a loan and to take a day to mull over whether or not to pay out of pocket.

It has taken nearly five months to accumulate this kind of money in my other account. Therefore, winning one more scholarship and diligently saving, technically I can pay for my education out of pocket come spring without any loan money. Furthermore, I can always return the additional money. The bank will approve or disprove of my loan within sixty minutes and it will disburse it to the school within two weeks pending no additional documentation. However, getting an updated billing is my job, therefore, Thursday morning, I will review my student account then apply for the loan.

Socking away money for a rainy day has its benefits because honestly I would have never known that this would be the emergency; yet, it is I can deal with it immediately without straining myself. Now I can stroll over and eat $5 entrees during Happy Hour and attend the PINK PASS party at K Street Lounge.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lending a Helping Hand

Right upon exiting Wachovia, a lady stopped me to ask where was the Citibank on 15th Street? Her question confused me because I exited a retail bank and it did not register that she meant a credit bank. I pointed out Wachovia, Washington Bank, Adams Bank and implied that she was thinking about Chevy Chase Bank. This exchange prevented me from directly crossing the street forcing me to walk across two intersections to return to work. This diversion helped me immensely because I saw the Citibank branch. Feeling bad that I gave the lady the wrong directions, I ran across three intersections to tell me. Luckily, she was on her cell phone asking for directions when I apologized for my error. Afterward, she thanked me for telling her. Actually, that made me feel better than the 73 degree sunshine.

The Truth Behind the Obama-Jackson Rift

The black family war of words surrounding Barack Obama and Jesse Jackson are heating up with some misquoting being done on both sides. Yesterday Senator Obama countered Reverend Jesse Jackson’s remarks saying that fatherlessness is a particular problem within the African-American community because more than fifty percent of households have no father. Reality check: the American divorce rate is fifty percent so that is not just for black families but for all families. It is a shame that Senator Barack Obama has decided to speak from his Audacity of Hope pulpit instead of his Dreams of my Father one where he, too, grew up fatherless. Mr. Obama should preach how he managed to convert pain and self-destruction of cocaine drug usage into becoming an Ivy League graduate and more responsible father.

I pride myself on having the same background as Senator Obama: both of our grandfathers fought in World War II and he graduated from Harvard and Columbia and within one year I will be on my way. We are beneficiaries of the World War II Pell Grant because our ancestors had it when it covered 100% of state tuition. Currently, the Pell Grant covers less than 50% of state tuition and student loans have taken grant aids’ place. That is why we have spent our entire lives above the poverty line. Also, both Senator Obama and I are conceived in wedlock. These commonalites allow me to see the okie-doke whenever it rears its ugly head. In addition, I have pointed out the problems with defending his former pastor Jeremiah Wright before the preacher turned his remarks into a three-ring circus. Furthermore, I take particular issue with Obama’s welfare remark because he knows that there are more white people on welfare than black people. Now instead of inspiring young black men to become better individuals and, hence, better fathers, he gives fire and brimstone speeches admonishing them. His sermons give no solutions which is deplorable. Finally, Senator Obama admires President Abraham Lincoln and I, too, have a quotation for him: You can fool all of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

How Bad Do I Want It? Update

I scored 660 instead of 700 on my quantitative section, therefore, I will retake the test. However, buying the Math Word Problems for Dummies book was the best investment ever made because it dissected all of the GRE problems. Though I wished that I had purchased it prior to the test, I was at least happy about the fact that I would score way beyond 700.

Independence from Bitterness

Immediately after hearing a Mexican-American woman's story about how her guidance counselor tried to discourage her from taking French because she was Hispanic at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival's NASA Pioneers seminar, I realized that I was not the only one because my mother and guidance counselor railed against me for taking chemistry. Instead I had to take botany and anatomy and physiology. After eleventh, I decided to take physics yet earned a D because I had no chemistry background.

That pain and anger stayed with me until that moment when I realized that I
can overcome this by reading Chemistry for Dummies and taking a class at UDC. In addition Dummies publishes Chemistry, Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry for Dummies along with Physics and Anatomy and Physiology for Dummies. Of course being the Type A personality that I am, I have researched state and community colleges near Harvard, Yale and Columbia to earn my science degree (it can be either biology, chemistry, or physics). Since I will have 44 math credits, all I will have to do is take the science and capstone courses. My dissertation phase allows me to be outside of school, thereby, giving me the opportunity to take classes at resident tuition rates.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

How Bad Do I Want It?

Tomorrow is my GRE test and scoring 700 on the quantitative exam because I want to get into an Ivy League doctoral program. Though I possess significant economist experience, am an ALDP program participant, and in the honor society, but acing the GRE exam increases the probability of being accepted. I want this so bad that I have solved every problem in the official GRE book and have completed both PowerPrep practice exams.

Static on TV during the 2008 NBA Draft

I totally disagree with Dick Vitale's opinion that certain players should be able to bypass college and enter the NBA draft because they must look at their contracts as lump sums that must be astutely managed throughout their lives. Obtaining a colleges; and, look no education has its benefit than college football which requires three years. Furthermore, look at the quality of endorsements and its impact upon lifetime income. Even in the age of LeBron James it is no coincidence that no NBA players has received an American Express endorsement. Why? Because the majority of its clientele is college educated. Mr Vitale should have just stuck to the 2008 draft!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Barack Obama's the Presumptive Democratic Nominee and Why Hillary Should Not Vice-President

After winning the Montana and capturing 2132 delegates, Barack Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee. He is the first black person to receive a major party nomination. Furthermore, Hillary Clinton has announced via email that she will end her campaign Saturday in Washington, DC (Though there is no word yet as to if she would release her delegates). Though there are many petitions circulating to have Clinton as the vice-presidential nominee, Hillary would not be a good fit for Obama’s campaign for several reasons:

1) She is polarizing and has too much negative history: See Watergate, Monica Lewinsky and the failed healthcare bill

2) She is a sore loser who cannot admit defeat: the votes have already been counted Tuesday night but Clinton refuses to concede until Saturday, four days later. If someone cannot admit defeat then surely she cannot say that she is wrong which will hamper Obama’s presidential bid.

3) John Edwards’ endorsement put Barack Obama over the top after Hillary regained momentum with wins in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania. Moreover, Hillary cannot win the South, something that this primary has shown. Edwards, a North Carolinian, would be a better guarantee to secure votes in that region and Appalachia.

4) She cannot muscle Barack into receiving the VP slot: You only have pull when you win and already many voters are comfortable voting for Barack over John McCain. This whole “I’m holding onto my marbles” is very childish and will return to haunt her as a Senator and if she decides to run for the presidency in 2012.

Many reporters posit that Barack’s three-person VP panel does not have her on the short-list anyway. For instance, Caroline Kennedy along with her uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy, are early Obama endorsers. I totally agree with them because Hillary should not expect to receive a seat at the table just because she has come in second. You do not see Mike Huckabee openly campaigning for McCain's VP slot!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Opportunity Journal Entry #22: Climbing the Corporate Ladder

My boss has just told me that my promotional paperwork has been approved, and that it will show in check during this period! Nuff said!

The Weird and Unfortunate ramblings of Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock is once again calling braids and other untraditional hairstyles worn by NBA players as prison look. That’s bad and he needs to just chill and stop saying stupid stuff. The reason why NBA ratings are soaring are this season has been exciting to watch. The resurgent Celtics, LeBron, a rejuvenated Kobe. These are wonderful reasons to watch. When Larry Bird decided to grow facial hair, no one accused him of looking rebellious so why unevenly apply this to black players. Roger Clemens, with no facial hair is a bigger misfit by sleeping with fifteen years (the FBI is investigating Mindy McCready about this) and taking steroids. So looks can be deceiving! It is sad and unfortunate that I must hold my breath whenever I click on because is totally unprofessional and completely biased.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why the BA stampede is necessary

It is high time to address this whole pseudo-BA degree glut market because all of this misinformation is extremely detrimental. Once again, I disagree with the assertion that a so-called stampede to a four-year degree does not make sense especially when China and India are producing one million more engineering annually than the US. It is stupid to advocate vocational and community colleges over four-year institutions when this country is losing the talent war. I would rather have a plumber with a BA and the intelligence to build a better mouse trap (in this case an eco-friendly toilet flush system) than one who just fixes existing technology. Furthermore, the four-year institutions possess better research laboratories to create the new technology. Neither a high school vocational graduate nor a community college certified vocational graduate possess the math and science aptitude to effectively compete in the global economy in the industrial market. Supply chain management requires advanced statistical knowledge acquired only at a four-year institution because community colleges do not teach the calculus-based statistics necessary to operate the machinery. Having taken calculus III, I am quite qualified to discuss why the BA stampede must continue in order to meet and exceed the global intellectual demands.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Second Anniversary

Today marks my second anniversary on my job and the official date of becoming a ZP-III Economist. It amazes me how much I have grown since my first day on the job. I was so wide eye, I could not even find the Friendship Heights metro station. Then I pushed the wrong elevator button. Now I walk to work. Financially, I was broke with two checking accounts in ChexSystems. I could not even open a checking account. My bad credit forced me to live in Arlington Virginia because no one would rent to me. Now I am possess good credit residing two blocks from my employer.

Now here are some new objectives to accomplish during the next two years:
Complete my MA in Economics degree and graduate with Omicron Delta Epsilon honors
Pay off all CCCS debt
Become a GS-12 economist and apply and get accepted into the Executive Leaders Development Program
Finish my first year of doctoral school at an Ivy League school

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Undoubtedly Redoubtable

redoubtable (adj.): 1) formidable. 2) worthy of respect.

In the face of adversity, I remain redoubtable and steadfast that I will perform well at AU, be inducted into the honors society, graduate on time and receive acceptance into an Ivy League doctoral school!

Mentoring from All Angles

The agency mentoring meeting is wonderful and upon learning that the organization will discuss publishing, am all the more amped to attend! Publishing a paper provides another opportunity to write and research my master’s thesis. Instead of depending upon other AU professors, bring a couple of my own people. Hey, professionals are professionals! Once the lady has gotten over my initial ambiguity (I did not know if the agency’s mentoring would collide with the department's, but since it did not I came!), I enjoy it. During the session, I mention that within one year I will be a GS-12 economist. My mentor, says that there are certain things, such as budget and vacancies, which are beyond your control. Well, I beg to differ because I am in ALDP; therefore, operating two levels above everyone else. Therefore, within one year, I will not just receive my GS-12 economist but also my MA in economics degree! Remember you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mixed Signals

The final is over. It has taken me nearly the entire semester for me to understand what the professor means when she says show your work. I am thinking that she means calculator commands but she really means theory. If I have known this before, I would have performed better on the test. It amazes me that I am the first one finish (although I have forgotten some stuff.). Finishing in the allotted time empowers me. After submitting my final, she returns my first lab so that I can score higher. Friday I will do this along with studying for my second lab. I feel great that she is really trying to help me, but, I feel that I might still need to retake calculus III. My gut feeling is that my overall course grade will be C- and since I am a graduate student, I base success on a B scale. By principle, I cannot accept this grade. So Monday, I will ask for other options. Mastering calculus III is essential towards graduate work therefore it is important that I fully understand it!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

DL Hughley's Hypocrisy and Self-Hatred

Hypocrite comedian DL Hughley proclaims during the whole Rutgers debacle with Don Imus that anyone saying anything against black people is free speech but hate speech for everyone else. Furthermore, today on the Tom Joyner Morning Show he mentions that he has had a meeting with John Zogby regarding how people in Pennsylvania will vote and points out the racial composition of America. This is coming from the man who says that Barack Obama will not even win the Democratic nomination, but Obama has more pledged delegates than Hilary Clinton. Moreover, what about the white, conservative Republicans who affirm never to cast a vote for McCain at not only the primary but the general election? If DL Hughley looks at poll numbers, he will see that Barack versus McCain is even, but Clinton versus McCain, favors McCain. In addition, in this morning's New York Times, Jon Andrew, former DNC chairman and Indianan publicly supports Barack and tells former president Bill Clinton to have his wife drop out of the race and throw their support behind Obama. I do not understand why he talks because he is a hypocrite; and, the worse part is that he hails from the same city that I do: Cleveland. The Cleveland Cavaliers lose to the Washington Wizards now this! Rats!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Something Would Not Dare Publish Regarding Its Proposed College Football Playoff Proposal

Rivals always want to propose a division I playoff but the problem with this is that we first must have uniform schedule meaning the eliminating the conference championship games in the ACC and SEC because the NFL AFC and NFC do not have them. The problem is greed, of course, because these games generate a lot of money. That is something that Rivals would not dare to print because then the site will appear hypocritical which, of course, it is. It is not-so-secret that many of the conferences' coaches dread these games, but the board of directors receive a lot of money from them. This is why the ACC championship is moving from Jacksonville to Charlotte. In addition, having a playoff would make college football center around money instead of academics. Look no further than college basketball which requires one year of college versus three years for college football. Furthermore, why should the US government get involved in college athletics? That is ridiculous! Finally, I do not hear any other publication outside of Yahoo and Rivals (no ESPN, Sportingnews, Sports Illustrated, or any legitimate publication) proclaiming that there is this universal push so please get over your large, inflated egos!

I Know that the Atlanta Falcons are Desperate But Matt Ryan

Okay so I am one of the few who believe that the Michael Vick era is not over until the Falcons start winning just like the wise old sage from ESPN News said yesterday. Even with Matt Ryan’s selection because Matt Ryan has never won a BCS bowl game or broken any NCAA records except for choking in the ACC Title game against Virginia Tech allowing the Hokies to play in the Orange Bowl. Ryan is not even the best quarterback in the 2008 draft. I know that the Atlanta Falcons are desperate but really, Ryan is inaccurate, too skinny, and has a pathetic offensive line. Even with Sam Baker from USC, he will still get hit!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Everything is right with the world when...

My calculus III professor loads part 2 of the chapter 14 notes, I correctly answer three homework problems, and Darren McFadden is the #4 pick in the NFL draft going to the Oakland Raiders.

Friday, April 25, 2008

WSJ Interviews OSU Vernon Gholston and Razorback Darren McFadden

This link is the WSJ Interview of Vernon Gholston and Darren McFadden. Though the interviewer asks Darren about his run-ins, I am glad that he handles it with ease because they are harping over stuff that has happened two years ago! He admits that he has made mistakes but his overall track record is one of integrity.
Here is the link. Please enjoy!

Budgetary Matters: Timing is Everything

Yesterday I ate at $15 chopped steak smothered with bleu cheese a steak and $8.50 sorbet dessert at a reputable steakhouse only to receive my $20 gift certificate from earning bonus points. Yikes! However, I will not use until my next off-day because it is essential not to waste my tax refund money eating out. Essentially although there is still a surplus, reining in spending at eating at home more often are still practical ways of staying above the fray.
Academically speaking I am happy to continue applying for scholarships prior to budget cuts. AU's tuition will be over $1080 and that's steep. These cuts may reduce or even disqualify me from receiving agency aid. My goal is to submit 20-25 applications. My recommender included these two obstacles in my letter. While creating a timetable to efficiently and effectively apply to all of these scholarships, I realize the importance of ensuring that everything is submitted on schedule. Remember, timing is everything!

Opportunity Journal #21: The Value of Foresight and Hindsight

My boss' boss asked me of my whereabouts to which I responded that I was attending a conference. Then he relayed the division’s budget cuts. Sitting there I was glad that I applied for scholarships to offset my AU tuition.

My agency recommender has given me a very exemplary recommendation letter. Furthermore, she has told me a story about a former employee who when applying to Columbia the first time received a marginal recommendation letter thus costing her admission. However, since she knew the program’s admission director and learned that was the reason behind her denial, she secured a stellar recommendation the second time, got accepted and graduated (She currently works at an investment back. She says that the woman exclaims that the Columbia program is very hard but she has gotten through it.). Unbeknownst to Ann, her story motivates me to soar higher because I, too, want to attend Columbia, though because I will graduate in four years because I possess the requisite advanced math courses.

The Problem with Edin08's Stagnant Nation Report: It is the Quality not Quantity

A not-profit Education in 08 has authored a report entitled A Stagnant Nation providing recommendations regarding elongating of the school year. The problem with this is that it is the quality of the instruction not the quantity of time being devoted to any particular subject. Currently enrolled in calculus III, I am qualified to speak about this because increasing my class time from 70 minutes to 90 minutes will not enhance my learning if the overall quality is still superb. Oftentimes we make rules that hinder our children’s ability to learn. We need more qualified teachers certified in math and science then and only then will the American public and private educational school systems generate children who can compete with the rest of the world.

Sean Bell's Killers Are Acquitted

OMG! The three NYC policemen who fatally shot Sean Bell 50 times (one even reloaded) were acquitted earlier this morning. That’s unbelievable. Even though the federal government will investigate, it is the fact that someone who is shot should need federal intervention. Those police should have been convicted! That’s blatant inequality like my life is worth less. I refuse to pay first-class taxes but receive second-class citizenship!

Monday, April 21, 2008

April Showers Bring May Flowers Part II

One of my scholarship recommender says that she might not write me a letter for the May 1st deadline because she is busy (Nevermind the fact that I gave her 2 1/2-3 weeks to have it ready!). Normally I would be infuriated (make no mistake, I am perturbed), but I am lucky to have a back-up. However, this is the last time I ask her for anything!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Miss a Day, Miss a Lot

This slogan comes from my hometown newspaper, the Plain Dealer; and, boy has a lot of things transpire since deciding not to purchase a new journal Monday. The crazy lady in my apartment strikes up an incoherent conversation about being fat and Spanish (Hey, I too eat beans and rice but like I have told her, I walk it off!), the homeless man in his leather begs me for change, my calculus III professor springs a test on us in two days, and the bugs reemerge from their hiding place (I guess it is because I am cooking real food now instead of TV dinners). However, a lot of good things have happened such as my receiving a recommender for my scholarship, having my official transcripts mailed to me to complete my application, fully analyzing my decision to sit for the CPA exam, and I have managed to outline over half of my second calculus III test. Furthermore, since tomorrow is Emancipation Day, a Washington, DC holiday and the university I will make a concerted effort to buy a journal. You just cannot make this up!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Assassination: 40 Years Later

Tomorrow marks the fortieth anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination meaning that he has been dead longer he was alive yet his influence is far-reaching. Many people quote him for personal gain but I will devote this blog entry towards how his life has positively impacted me. As a black woman, I am able to work at my current employer (Well, I would but as a cleaning lady), attend American University, a majority white university, live off of DuPont Circle and try on clothes at the department stores. That's why I take advantage of every available opportunity because one generation ago neither my mother nor my father had the same opportunities.

You Get What You Pay For

The club luncheon brought the okie-doke! I sat next to an annoyingly hypocritical person. He asked me if I was an economist and he pulled out a previous slide and expounded upon me that the ocean should be non-excludable because it resulted in over-fishing. We should issue fishing permits and that penalty against abuses would be so great that no one would do it! Yikes! And all I wanted to do was eat lunch! However, he was elusive with his answers so no sideline hating! Then during the presentation from the executive of the hedge fund group gave use a 50-minute infomercial on why private equity group should buy banks because, even though another company ditched them this past Tuesday, regarding the subprime lending crisis, the federal government was inefficient. Furthermore, he proclaimed the Federal Reserve Bank districts such as Cleveland and Richmond were dubious. Well, as a lifelong Clevelander I would dispute this because Cincinnati had a stock exchange and the brokers would send their business to Cleveland to save their clients and themselves state taxes on their capital gains. Sending them to either Chicago or Saint Louis would result in paying out-of-state and federal taxes. However, the real kicker was that this man was nothing more than a mouthpiece because when he was in government he spoke good about it, but once in the private sector he railed against it! After five minutes I fazed out because I knew the okie-doke when I heard it.

This trait is something that I have fine tuned upon arriving here in Washington, DC because everyone is trying to capitalize on something. Also unlike Cleveland, I really don’t know anyone so keeping my guard up is mandatory! Yet regardless of what happens, the truth never changes.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Law of Averages

Acing my music midterm has given me a much welcomed respite from receiving my calculus midterm (I know that I failed because I forgot vector direction. It was just time to get over it!). However, I am happy to say that partial derivatives will save my life and my grade because they are far easier than vector-valued functions!

It's Mathematically Possible

I have shared my college prep research experience regarding Bill Gates’ with a friend. The thing that still stumps me even after all of these weeks, is how I hadn’t known that I could be an engineer while sitting in calculus III! Well, I still can and I would study either chemistry, physics (I studied this in high school but did not have the math background. Now that I do I feel more comfortable with the formulas) or biology, for biostatistics. Mastering math opens a wider window of opportunities available to me right now or after receiving my doctorate. That's why passing the credit by examination proctored tests are so essential towards expanding my professional capabilities.

No longer will I depend upon someone else for advancement. Earning the nine statistics allows me to venture into other fields within my own department. I can also become a statistician, mathematical statistician and biostatistician. Now that’s recession-proofing my career because this year I will garner the credits necessary either through class or credit by examination to accrue 29 math credits to vie for these other jobs! Immediately I print all of the statistician jobs to review the requirements. My economics background supplies stellar transferable skills. Also it is a big plus that one of the largest government agencies hiring statisticians is under the same department as my employer. This distinction further would boost my candidacy.

This Is Not What I Want

Lord Have Mercy! Both ZP-III economist interviews were busts! During my morning interview, the interviewer gave me a wink-wink, nudge-nudge that I would be promoted without competition this May; however, I still felt that I wanted to vie for this position because it offered no competition for ZP-IV promotion. Becoming a Senior Executive Service Economist required ZP-V so every promotion was important towards realizing my career goal and I defended my decision to seek out other opportunities before my two-year anniversary. The interview was quite challenging especially there was not an abundance of information available; however, I was able to be honest in telling him what I did and did not know about the position since there was no information on the intranet. The afternoon one horrible because instead of a pure economist job, they were trying to sell me the okie-doke: an admin. support post with economist only in title! Yikes! What were they thinking? Luckily I had the phone interview tomorrow else I'd be depressed. Oh well, back to the drawing board!

The Economists Have Finally Reached a Consenus That We Are in a Recession But I Know That Already!

Finally! The WSJ has coped to a recession (It’s about time the paper gets its nose out of the sky! I regularly shop at Saks, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales and the week before Christmas I was the only one in Jimmy Choo store (The author is also an economist!)). And like I have said even before Bernanke’s hire, I have openly questioned why an academic without any real-world job experience would be appointed to the Fed Chief position given that his predecessor held jobs outside of the Ivory Tower? The main problem is that the current subprime lending crisis did not follow the economic models and he is slow to respond. Bernanke cut interest rates but they have very little impact upon stimulating because unemployment is still higher and people are losing their house, their primary financial asset. Personally, I am purchasing savings bond to protect my assets from inflation. The remaining 2006 ARM will reset throughout this year but the real financial recovery will take at least another year given that America will have to adapt to another administration.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Opportunity Journal Entry #20: Killing Two Birds with One Stone

Another division has scheduled me for a ZP-III Economist interview! Yippee because that’s two ZP-III interviews in one day. However, still apply for the three outside GS-11 Economist jobs as backup. Furthermore, I will remember to mention at both interviews that I am an ALDP Finalist and this is a departmental plan. In addition, I am sticking to my price tag because I am currently making the minimum; plus I am on the tech committee and am a department-wide finalist and this alone speaks volumes about my proficiency (Personally, I believe that the other division will give me the better deal because they don’t know me, therefore, will pay me more money. Be prepared to move on and up to earn my worth.).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Opportunity Journal Entry #19: Reaping the Harvests of Mentoring

Until I researched material for my beautician’s son, the idea that sitting in a calculus III was somehow a great feat that most people did not accomplish. This week while reading the 2006-2008 catalog, I realized how close I was towards obtaining a BS in Mathematics. However, these epiphanies helped me unearth an abundance of available opportunities to recession-proof my current career. Attaining my math degree qualified me for the mathematician, statistician and mathematical statistician positions. Mathematicians required 24 math credits while statistician and mathematical statistician jobs required fifteen math credits and nine statistics. Presently, I had twenty credit hours but no statistics courses, that’s why the university’s credit by examination option presents the chance to earn them. For only tuition plus a $50 fee, I can test out of a class. Of course, I will schedule these exams upon achieving residency in July to save time and money. Testing out of all of my statistics classes would allow me to focus on differential equations, mathematical statistics I and II; thereby, allowing me to simultaneously graduate with both a BS in Mathematics and an MA in Economics.

Although this past Saturday I wrote in my journal that after taking one year off from American to improve my math skills, I should find a way to graduate because of all of the time invested in this endeavor. In addition, possessing a BS in Mathematics enables me to recession-proof my career (You have noticed that no one lay off the engineers?!). Furthermore, I can get almost any technological job that I want. Having always loved tinkering with electronics (I took PASCAL in high school), so math is natural. Having emailed the departmental chair, I will keep asking her until I receive a straight answer about the exams. If she decides no then file a grievance because the university says that I have a right to take it. Yet always have a backup plan. I am contacting the other university to see if it would schedule its statistics equivalency exam this summer so that I can test into the graduate statistics courses; thereby, enabling me to take higher-level stats classes which will resonate on my transcript. There are so many different avenues to venture and without mentoring my beautician’s son, I would had never known how wide open my future was!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Coming Full Circle

Tonight I returned to Shirlington to celebrate with my fellow Urban League Young Professionals at the conclusion of the legislative conference held here in Washington, DC. Though I was in familiar surroundings, my life was a complete 180 degrees from when I lived in Virginia. My bad credit was the reason behind my move (really, it was a force-out) from DC and anger and disappointment consumed me for the better half of that year. Determined to return to DC, I diligently paid off nearly all of my creditors and returned to the city. While on the 25A returning to Pentagon, I realized that it was me not the city that was the problem and the solution. Furthermore, returning to Virginia allowed me to reconcile all of my feelings and let go of all of the animosity.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Succeeding at Every Level Against All Odds

The alumni office has sent notify that a fellow alum has made the Cleveland Crain’s Business Edition Forty Under 40. But to my surprise my old high school alum has made the list. This makes me feel that I am not isolated in my success; and, that others from my same background can be successful! However, I am quite dismayed about his remark that something has told him that he is not smart enough to be a doctor so he should work in patient care. What a cop-out! I have never placed limits on my capabilities which is why I now understand why I have never really spoken to him. All of my friends regardless of job and location are high achieving.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Opportunity Journal Entry #18: It's All Starting to Make Sense

Thirteen is a lucky number (at least for me) because I have learned from my boss’ boss that not only am I an Aspiring Leader Development Program finalist but he will sign off on the paperwork! Furthermore, a consulting company wants to conduct another phone interview because the company is interested in me for the vacancy! I am so happy that my career is in full blossom. Nothing is totally sealed yet so I will keep all of my options open.

This is a better turn of events versus the debacle at my bank. I am glad that I listen to my intuition and walk into a branch rather than open the Way2Save account online because the financial specialist informs me that this savings account constricts me to only depositing $100 per month. Even with the $50 accumulated interest, it is still half of the $300 I save every month. (Secretly during this nearly 45-minute ordeal, I thought about not getting an updated DC state identification card which resulted in the online bank denying my online savings account because it could not verify my address.). However, the better bet currently will be to write the $315 check to my other bank, and purchase either the $25 savings bonds or the automatic saver CD for $50 without a maximum savings limit.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Keep Emitting Positive Energy

I returned to Hook restaurant to take advantage of its prolonged Restaurant Week menu. No sooner did I enter the eatery did one of the waiters graciously met me. Though he was not my original waiter, he immediately recognized (Maybe it was my $4 tip on the $20.08 prix fixed menu.) which was comforting. I took it as a sign that emitting positive energy was important towards having people treat me favorably.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

An Economist's Take on Current Recessionary Pressures

I have started today off with a boom by opining about an Los Angeles Times’ article about why some people do not think that a recession will occur. When food and gas prices exceed the CPI inflationary targets then we will have a recession. Period. Regardless of where you are in the economic strata, if you cannot afford food and clothing then we will have a recession. These things are not luxuries just the basics; and when the essentials outpace inflation then America has a problem! Even though I am unaffected by the sub-prime lending crisis and my income outpaces inflation, you do not need to be a genius to understand that the domino effect is coming.

During the last week of Christmas I walked into the Jimmy Choo store at 6:30pm and no one was there. Though I knew that the store closed at 7pm, the fact that no one was in there did not resonate until earlier this year when the dismal retail numbers were reported. When the upper middle class cannot afford to spend their discretionary income because of higher consumer prices then why denounce a recession? That’s ridiculous!

Finally, I have a problem when all of these analysts, idolizing the rich, make these outlandish statements about a self-contained or regional slowdown. The majority of these reporters cannot afford to buy items out of Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus on sale, let alone at regular price! As an economist, I know a domino effect when I see one because though I can afford these high-end items, I cannot be the only one in the store.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Reapplying to American

I have just applied to readmittance into American University and will ask my boss for a recommendation. Setting the wheels in motion boosts my confidence especially since by the end of the year, I will be finished. That’s what motivates me to awake and keep going every morning. Just knowing that every day puts me closer towards achieving my MA in Economics degree pushes me to do my best by overcoming my fear about the comprehensive exam.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Darren McFadden Has Entered the 2008 NFL Draft

Darren McFadden has entered the 2008 NFL Draft and all that I have to say is “It is about time! All of these other no-names entering the draft. Why not the blue chips prospects?” Of course, ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli proclaims that the league is not ready for Darren but incorrectly compares him to Adrian Peterson. Run DMC is way better than Adrian because McFadden is more patience, trusts his blockers and can line up in the Wild Hog formation, an asset to deceive any defensive line. Darren’s ability to play both quarterback and running back will push him over the top. Furthermore, Darren is a team player who is not selfish and is okay with sharing the backfield with fellow running backs Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis. This transferable skill will bode well for whichever team drafts him. Congratulations, Darren!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

College Football Warts and All

Dan Wetzel’s blind advocacy for a playoff without conducting due diligence is unfounded for this reason:

All conferences should either have or disband a championship game. The Bowl Championship Series does not mandate this because currently neither the PAC-10, Big East, nor Big Ten have them. Eliminating the championship game removes the corporate interests currently involved in college sports. You must sell advertising, accommodations essentially everything but the game which is ludicrous because it is the reason behind the playoffs. Some conferences such as the ACC openly admit that if not for the corporate interests, it would not have created a championship game. The conference plans to move its championship game from Jacksonville, Florida to Charlotte because of decreased revenue. Furthermore, no coach would want to play one more game thereby increasing injury to his players.

He should conduct more due diligence before merely speculating that it is the BCS is the Big Ten’s doing especially since there are other conference participants like the SEC, ACC, Big XII, Big East and the PAC-10 that benefit from this system. Mr. Wetzel’s sticks it to the Big Ten rather than the PAC-10 because of the pull of Hollywood. It is easier to battle Midwesterners than powerful entertainment people and if Mr. Wetzel wants to keep his sports entertainment job with Yahoo then he knows who not to upset. In order to have a playoff system all of the big leagues must decide on a uniform code but none would do that proclaiming competitive advantage or rather that’s what make our conference unique. Finally, they would point to the fact that pre-BCS, college football awarded #1 without a playoff system. Though I understand why Mr. Wetzel feels this way especially during this topsy-turvy season without unbiased due diligence, this wayward cry is baseless.