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.