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Monday, January 22, 2007

The Beginning of The Semester - Murphy's Law Edition

I haven't posted much the last few days because of a combination of poor planning, deadlines, and an attack of Murphy's Law. I had a deadline of Monday to submit a paper to a conference (actually, the deadline was last Wednesday, but I know the association people, so I got an extension). In any event, here's what happened:

- The paper was on some aspects of seasoned equity offerings. My coauthor, a graduate student, did the analysis around the date of the actual issue. It should have been done around the date of the ANNOUNCEMENT of the issue. I figured this out on Wednesday, of course.

-So, I ended up redoing his analysis myself. Luckily, I've done a lot of SAS programming (SAS is a statistical software used by a lot of finance academics, among others), so I was able to redo 7 tables of analysis in 4 days.

-I also had to re-write the introduction and results, and conclusions. I should have made him do it, but there was no way he could have gotten it done by the deadline. This isn't bragging -- it's just that I've been doing this a lot longer than he has, I've got a lot of resources (programs to reuse, background in the literature, etc...)

-Classes started today. So, with the paper deadline looming, I figured I'd do my prep on Sunday after the paper was done.

- Of course, that when Murphy struck-- when I opened up my laptop Sunday afternoon (after church), the screen was so faint it was unreadable. Just Damn! I hooked the laptop up to an external monitor, spent about an hour in "Dell Hell" with their technical support folks, and figured out that it was the monitor, and not the processor or hard drive. So, I copied all my data and programs to my office desktop and worked off it.

- I finished the paper around 11:00 Sunday night, and finished my class prep at approximately 1:30 Monday morning (this was after staying at the office until 1:00 the previous night). Then I got up at 6 (thanks to the kids), and taught classes today.

Doing things last minute really makes things interesting. Not easy, but interesting. But everything got done - the paper and the class prep. And I didn't embarrass myself in class (luckily, both classes met before 12:00, so I finished before I ran out of gas).

I even got to have lunch with the Unknown Wife - she just started taking classes in a library science program with a goal of becoming a Media Specialist (what they call school librarians nowadays). Her class ran from 9-12, which is also when mine are done. So we did lunch, paid her tuition bill (the part that wasn't covered by my being a faculty member), bought her textbooks, and set her up on the WebCT system.

But now, it's time for sleep. Then I start all over tomorrow -- I get to finish my prep for the CFA class I teach tomorrow night. I would have done between Wednesday and Friday if the paper hadn't taken all my time, but as they say, "Stuff" happens.

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