April 22, 2009

The End of Statistics

Tonight was our final statistics class. Although the course was painfully difficult I had a wonderful experience in the class getting to know a few of my classmates. As we prepared for the final we created an ad hoc mini working team and held each other up in our darkest moments of multiple linear regression.

Making these friends reminded me of what I had loved so much doing my Masters in Arts Administration at this same school 12 years ago. It was the friendships I made that were often just as valuable as the coursework.

Tonight three of us went out to dinner and drinks after we handed in out final papers. It was the first opportunity we had to talk about our lives outside of the "statistics setting". These two classmates are so totally different and interesting. One is from Thailand, here to do her MS in Finance. The other is an artist also doing his MS in Finance. It was wonderful to hear about their lives and career goals.

Also interesting is our ages. The woman from Thailand is also 40. I think we can both pass for younger. She is living in that same state of transition that I've been in for a year now. The other student is 32, a real spring chicken compared to us oldies.

Talking to them I realized that I am about two weeks away from being back in the US for a year. What a long, strange trip it's been. in the past few weeks I've turned a corner and have started feeling more comfortable being here. No longer do I day dream about "London or have mini-moments of anxiety about "what am I doing with my life?" Actually, what I am doing is strategic planning for arts non-profits and in fact I am working my way to being an expert in this area of business focus.

Now the question is, what to do about school? I am taking the next semester off. Just can't afford to take the classes - financially or emotionally. In July I will be a legal resident of California which opens the doors to highly discounted tuition at State universities. I need to consider my options.

The parting words from our professor today were something to the tune of, "if you go into business you'll be using statistics every day. That hit me like a ton of bricks. Reality check please. Is it a Doctor of Business Administration that I need? To be continued...