uni study: S3, Ep1

The exciting and shiny start of the new Uni year is beckoning (no, really – you should see the trailer) and so my sister Teri and I have resumed our Saturday morning I’ll-study-better-if-I-have-someone-to-study-with sessions at her Uni’s library. (Please don’t tell anyone – I’m an interloper here.)

So: time to get serious about study. Today’s session began with a discussion on whether or not Eva Peron was actually called Evita and if not, where did ALW get the name from and what does it mean, and if we don’t find out can we go on? (No. Teri is not studying the musical – she’s ‘just’ going to Melbourne next weekend to ‘just’ see the musical. Nor am I. Studying the musical, that is. (Or going to Melbourne. She never asks me anywhere.) (Don’t argue, Teri: Coldplay.))

Today I am pretending to get into my HR unit readings. In the singular paragraph of “Critical Issues in managing age diversity” that I have managed to read this morning, I found out that Some Elements of the HR industry actually and really classify me as an older worker.

Part of me might have died but definitely all passion for study is consequently temporarily suspended until I resolve the Evita question .

She might have been christened Maria Eva (according to both the most-likely-real and the most-likely-forged birth certificates cited), but she was, in fact, known as Evita. I guess like a familial nickname.

Eva died at the age of 33, a breath-taking inspiration to her people, but also having managed to classify herself in the middle-aged worker bracket and, considering who and what she politically championed, I wonder how she would have felt about that? And, if she’d lived to approach ancienticity (i.e. 45 years or older), would she have taken on those HR elements that begin discourses with “If one accepts the view that older workers are valuable…”?

Bring on more of this HR!  said…

Alas, Bill. Two business units this trimester. What have I done. How like a winter will your absence be….


not a new year resolution

Recently rendered mentor-less during an ‘it’s not me, it’s you’ PD episode (making my Top 5 list of Best Professional Moments Ever), I have lately begun annoying the crap out of friends, family, and luckless baristas by moaning about the unbearableness of the assumptions and premises of economics (ceteris paribus, naturally), the ignominy of western capitalism and the awful logic of working through a business degree to cement your appeal as management material with a fancy piece of paper. They would point to their glazed-over eyes if they could, but they need their hands to cover their ears to block out the wailing:  ‘what should I dooo?’

I swapped from a B Comms to a B Arts/B Business degree based on some career advice I will always acknowledge to be sound and logical, except that putting logic, economics and Bron in the same sentence is unfamiliar territory for me. And in the beginning I was able to think, ‘hey, this is ok’ and ‘hey, look at that, a credit’, before something started to feel a bit off: ‘wait, what? what did they just say about assuming people make rational economic decisions?’. Very hard to go back to the economics books after you begin to think this through and never mind that you hit Model Western Consumer Status in only five days before Christmas. All that cooking you did? All that wrapping and giving you did? You now know how to reduce it all to a mid-point formula, calculate consumer surplus amounts (or in my case deadweight loss) and you can draw the corresponding demand-supply graphs to go with it (yes, you’re right, it will only be that one credit). You are able to sit down with a pencil and paper and calculate rather accurately what price unmoved stock might be dropped to on Boxing Day, while at the same time have a good hard think about the opportunity cost to you of wasting time on such calculations or the enjoyment you’ll get from watching any cricket that is playing.

And right there is the moment when you say to Yourself, ‘What the hell am I doing?’ You stand up, your chair falls backward, you put your hands to your head and you let out a primal yell! You sweep the pencil and paper off the table and you resolve to –

Wait. Starting to sound like a New Year Resolution. And you see, it’s not. I don’t want this to be in danger of petering out in the February wastelands of lost inspiration – it needs to go the distance! This is a broader issue, an issue of personal direction: I might have worked out where I want to go in life.  What I want to be if I grow up. (I could be here, people! What relief my family must feel! Yet I completely get the skeptical looks from resigned but supportive friends!) I’m going back to the original source of motivation for study.

Which, in case you missed it, has very little to do with economics.

Happy New Year!