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.