Thursday, July 2, 2015

Third Time's the Charm?

Today went by very quickly, almost alarmingly quickly, as if I can already feel the three weeks slipping away from me. 

Most Comfortable Couch Position #1
Unlike yesterday, Dr. Mesznik jumped straight into the lesson first and then answered questions at the very end. Hedge funds aka private equity funds were the first items to be addressed until we transitioned smoothly into the more nit-picky details of transactions. This led to a detailed explanation and layout of extensions to the annual growth rate function we had learned a day earlier. While I had already learned quite a bit on compounding formulas in my math class a couple years beforehand, it was still nice to be given a refresher. Dr. Mesznik appreciatively described it as "elegant," a simple solution to such a complicated idea. He also gave us an interesting  historical example on the Battle of Waterloo between France and Britain and how knowing the outcome of the war before everyone else did (by way of carrier pigeons might I add) helped a man named Nathan Rothschild get rich quick back in the day.

I met some more people at lunch. It's always awkward trying to talk to somebody for the first time, especially if they're sitting at a table holding hands with their phone and they don't always look like they want to be talked to. But since I've been here at Columbia, I always find myself surprised at how open and friendly the people I've met here are. And I mean it's only something small that I see come out from people in moments, in the twinkles in people's eyes, but it's something genuine that I value greatly in this abyss of people.

I'd like to say that the afternoon session was much better than it was yesterday and that everything clicked today; but, sadly, that is not what happened. Throughout the majority of the session more and more people seemed to get confused. And while Ms. Santos graciously explained that she only wanted us to understand the general way of how things worked and not necessarily the detailed math section of it, I felt as though the inclusion of way too many variables into the math that was used to explain this "way things worked" was not helpful. A lot of general comprehension on simple and big ideas were lost because our only foundation for learning it was complex and mathematical in its very nature. 

Most Comfortable Couch Position #2
After classes, I did my laundry for the first time. While I'm used to doing my own laundry at home, I wasn't used to doing it in a borderline sketchy basement with no one around. There has got to be some honorary badge for that kind of thing. I can see it now, entitled, "Laundry Basement Survivor." 

I met up with my cohort for dinner and ate an actual (and complete) meal with them, the first since Monday. Then we headed off to go shopping at Times Square for a bit, came back, and got a bite of dessert at PinkBerry. Although I'm still partial to Yogurtland, I have to say, PinkBerry was so -what's the word - revitalizing?

The most entertaining part of our whole evening escapade, though, without a doubt, was getting lost again. We came back from Times Square to grab fro-yo only to make the same exact mistake we had made the day before - you guessed it. We made a wrong turn directly after coming out of the station. And then we came full circle, a rather large circle, hitting PinkBerry on the way back. This time, we had more laughs about it and enjoyed the night walk, mainly just incredulous that it had actually happened again in the exact same fashion. You'd think we'd be experts after getting lost once, right? Not so. 

Like they say, "Try, try, try again." Good thing we can try again (and again and again). I mean, we do have two weeks. 

Time to burn bright.

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