Back to school


As some of you might have heard by now, I am back in school trying to grow personally as well as professionally.
Growth implies change, change has a tendency of being uncomfortable. I perceive the greater benefits to outweigh the temporary drawbacks, more so, I love that moment of conquering a new level. I love the increased view of life it offers.

Having said that, I am not there yet. Where I am, is in a class full of very smart people: “Senior Vice President, President, Chief Something of Something else, Industrial Engineer, ……. “.

Then there is me. The fact that I haven’t seen the inside of an University (except for a past time photography course) could just as well be painted in bold across my forehead. “Many successful people dropped out of school early”, I hear some people wanting to console me. True this, however I am not one of those people whose accomplishments make not attending University a lucrative choice.

So far we’ve worked through 8 modules of this 10 module course (Six Sigma Black Belt certification if this means anything to you, if it doesn’t, it’s a continuous quality improvement course). A big part of this course has to do with data gathering and the analysis thereof through statistical formulas and tools. Referring back to that bold sign on my forehead, I have never even had a basic Statistics class. In fact my Math teacher at age 15 suggested that I’d better stay as far away from Math in my career as possible or else I might not have one.

Not that I let a senile Math teacher tell me what I can and cannot do. My brain is plenty good enough to learn, if anything the teacher sucks (I’m one myself so I can make this statement).

As we zoom into the actual class room a little more, we are 23 smart people (it says ‘Manager’ on my job title so I’ll count myself in). Out of those 23, 12 can talk (meaning verbally participate). Out of those 12, 9 say very intelligent things, 2 ask very intelligent questions once in a while and 1 person asks a lot of questions. I need not specify where in these latter 12 I fit. The instructors try hard to make me feel comfortable with statements like “thank you for participating and asking many questions, it keeps it entertaining”. I prefer not to second guess whether it’s a comical entertainment level or more of a ‘we like your voice’- one.

So today, after another big mountain of complex theories and even more complex applications, I am standing in front the elevator with one of the Engineers. “I wish I could be more like you, not having to hear your voice in class the whole day asking questions”. This is supposed to be an internal statement but escapes out into her ears. Slapping myself for publicly turning self confidence into self diminishment, I am not prepared for her answer:

“And I keep thinking ‘thank God Susanne is asking all the questions I should be asking’. Silly me would rather waste time trying to figure it out by myself once I get home”. And the CEO behind us adds: “yes but once the instructor gives the answers, I realise that I never would have been able to understand without his explanation”.

Moral of the story?
Appearances are just that. There is another word for facts. And as I ride home with a full head and sore mouth, learning has just become a little less uncomfortable.
Who knows, maybe I will get that Physics degree one day.


~ by spasmicallyperfect on January 28, 2008.

6 Responses to “Back to school”

  1. Good luck!!!

    Thank you and welcome! 🙂

  2. Math was never my strong point either. My sister however is a chartered accountant, not a job I could ever envision! Good luck with your continued studies Spaz, and congratulations on your newest revelations.


    Couldn’t do account either, although funny enough, that’s a subject I was good in, made more sense than algebra. Thanks for all your good wishes Jennifer, much appreciated.

  3. I got a headache just reading this. 😉 Seriously, I admire what you’re doing. Very best of luck to you, dear friend.


    Headaches like those are a sign for the head muscles being out of shape, Mr. Smith 😉 . The course isn’t as bad as I make it sound. Having said that I still need all the luck I can get! 🙂 Thanks for coming by, I know you’re schedule is very busy.

  4. Hey Spaz,
    I applaud your courage in going back to school and wanting to stuff your brain with more skill and knowledge. Also, isn’t it funny how we inquisitive types end up helping those we think are already too smart for the room? Keep asking the questions, apparently everyone needs you to. 😉

    Ha, courage! Now there’s a theory, Spaz being courageous…… that’s too funny. (But thank’s I’ll take it, write it in big bold letters in my ‘accomplishments’-journal and fall in love with the way that sounds 🙂 ). Truth is, I hate not understanding something, especially something that I feel I have the ability to understand. And there is no other way than questionning in order to get there. If others can benefit from that, even better!

  5. Headaches like those are a sign for the head muscles being out of shape, Mr. Smith


    Knew you’d like that one! 🙂

  6. How does the saying go-“Ask a question and you may look a fool for a minute,don’t ask and you
    will remain a fool for ever”
    On a visit to friends near Vevey last week,I saw a book on the table about Sigma Six.Someone down there explained it again to me,and is very impressed that you are doing the course

    Yes, it’s one of those things that look good on resumes. Having said that, like any certificate, it’s nothing but a sheet of paper. What matters is what you do with it.

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