Monday, August 14, 2006

Many eggs, one basket

Well, GMAT study is definitely getting the short end of the stick these days. I made visiting with my mom the first priority last week, exercise second, and the GMAT ended up with very little time at all after the first two concerns were satisfied. I finished the 'Fractions, Decimals & Percents' book from the Manhattan series. After working through some of their online questions, I came so close to signing up for a course, saved only by the fact that their next one doesn't start until the end of August. So I have time to mull this over (still). My problem is that I work too slowly. So building up my speed is a must and I am wondering if I can do that on my own. I like to take my time on problems. Of course, the CFA tests are all about speed and I made it through those. But those exams are so different from the GMAT - paper tests, you can go back and change answers later. It makes a big difference for me.

I spent a lovely Friday afternoon hanging out with my Little Sister (of Big Brothers/Sisters). Saturday is my 'day of rest' so all thought of GMAT was banished. I like this rule in my life. I used to never give myself a weekend break and never understood why people actually looked forward to their weekends. Mine were always just time for more work. Blech. But Y, my sister and mom and I had a leisurely day, walked to the wonderful local coffee shop, watched more 'Curb Your Enthusiasm', finished it all off with an impromptu BBQ with Ted's parents.

Sunday is all about house work. Y and I built a compost bin :) and I moved rocks onto the parking strip in front of the house where I'm aspiring to build a rock garden (low maintenance). My house projects are perpetually weighing on me so it felt so good to make some headway. And it felt wonderful to work up a sweat. Our backyard is a wreck, the deck half finished, the hazelnut trees completely overgrown despite the piles of branches we continue to cut off, the paint job from the painters I finally hired to finish off the work last summer showing failure already, a huge pile of dirt that I've yet to distribute to all of the beds, a growing unofficial compost pile, no landscaping to speak of except for some overenthusiastic raspberries that survived my attempt to wipe them out last spring.

Yesterday, dinner and a final visit w/my mom and an impromptu visit from a friend, wiped out my Monday night study plan.

And before I knew it, four days had passed without a single page of GMAT study. Oh well. The fact that I'm not really planning to apply for '07 makes study less urgent but I still very much want to get it out of the way. I think I want for one program for '07 anyway - whatever my top pick is after visiting schools this fall. I figure, if I do get in, it will be great to have it as an option in case it does work out and surely if I get in once I can get in again. I'm assuming these programs don't let you defer. And if I don't get in, maybe I'll learn something in the process. Plus, I think I can make a much better application by just applying to one school. So that should increase my odds of acceptance ... perhaps. It's funny because I've actually never gone through the process of apply to 6-10 schools and making a choice about where to go. My first undergrad program I picked solely because it seemed like the best program for someone who had not yet finished high school (not a lot to pick from there). Then, in my sophomore year, I applied to a school in New York for a visiting semester because I wanted to get to a more urban environment. Then, after deciding that dropping out of a college wasn't working for me, I applied to 2 schools in the Northwest but really expected that I would get into my first choice and barely bothered with the application for my back up. In all three cases I really just focused all of my time and energy on applying to a single school. It's just more my style. I can't write 7 convincing essays about why I really want to go to YadaYada U. Plus, I don't just want an MBA, I want an MBA from a few particular programs. Otherwise, I'm not interested. So, as unusual a strategy as it may be, it totally fits my personality.

Anyhow, my last complaint is that scheduling my life in two cities is such a headache. My employer has very kindly okayed me to work from our office in PNZ as much as I like for the last few months that I'm working here but, given that I still have commitments in PNA, it's not quite that simple. With gas prices up, I really try to maximize my time in each city and minimize the go between, but all this strategizing makes me crazy. But just seeing Y on weekends isn't really enough. I was planning to spend next week in PNZ but only yesterday I found out I need to work from PNA. If I had known that last week I could have spent this week in PNZ and next week in PNA. Argh. So I think I'll drive up there tomorrow night and and least get 4 days up there. I won't be able to get up there until the 2nd week of September otherwise.

Still trying ...

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