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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Crazy Week Ahead

It's yet another week where I've bitten off more than I should have:
  • I taught my regular classes yesterday (Monday). After my last class I met with my grad assistant to give him his first assignment for the semester. I'm starting a project on the effect of dividends on firm risk, and he's putting together the initial data set. So, I spent an hour with him going over the steps needed to be done, the layout of the CRSP data files, and a few SAS tips he might need to know (or research further). Right after that, another grad student stopped by with some "simple" questions on how SAS handles date variables (ironically, some of the same stuff I'd just gone over with grad student #1). One hour later, I finished with him and left to meet Unknown Family at Unknown Son's new dojo (karate school) for his first "group" class. He looked pretty sharp in his new gi (the uniform). But it was all I could do to keep from laughing as he repeatedly spaced out in class and started posing in front of the mirror (I think he's still more excited about the idea of learning Karate than he is about the actual learning itself). He's also completely smitten with the 12 year-old brown belt who was helping out with the class (I guess he didn't realize that it's always dangerous to go after older women who can kick your butt).
  • Once home, Unknown Wife went off to a parent's meeting for Unknown Daughter's Girl Scout troop while Unknown Son and I wrestled with his homework. After Unknown Wife got back and we got the kids to sleep, I ended up writing SAS code until midnight to put together a small data set for a short tutorial I'm giving to doctoral students at my former school (more on that in a minute)
  • Today I take the train to the nearby big city for the day. I'll spend the day in the library at a large research university gathering data (they have resources we don't, but graciously allow access to nearby faculty), and then teach a CFA prep class in the evening. After all this is done, I'll end up back at the Unknown House at around 11.
  • Wednesday, I teach classes until about 2, and then immediately rush to the airport for a short (1 hour) plane ride back to my old haunts. After landing, I'll work until the wee hours Wednesday night on a paper with a colleague (I'm staying at her family's place).
  • Thursday morning, I attend the dissertation proposal defense of one of my former students (I sit on her committee, and the colleague mentioned previously is her dissertation chair). Then in the afternoon, I give a two-hour tutorialto the grad students at the same school on basic SAS procedures used often in financial/accounting research .
  • After that, it's back on the plane and back to the Unknown Household for a few hours sleep.
  • Friday, it's back in the classroom, followed by a meeting with my grad assistant to check on his progress (he's tried to weasel out of a previous assignment, s0 this time he gets tight controls put on him - after all, if a corporate finance guy doesn't understand agency problems, he doesn't understand much).
Somehow, in the midst of all this I have to put up slides for the following week's classes and put together a problem set for my investments class (they have an exam next week, and I always give a pretty tough problem set the week prior to the exam as a form of "enforced" practice). And then there are the matters of the revise and resubmit that's sitting on my desk and the new project that my coauthors are breathing down my neck on.

But griping aside, I'll get it all done somehow. Even with all this, academia is still the best job in the world. I should know - I've had a number of "real" jobs, and there's no comparison.

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