Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Digital Era

Now, I do not know if this is Alaska weirdness, or NWS weirdness, but we seem to have a disproportionate number of people with missing digits in the Alaska Region. Our current Science and Operations Officer (SOO) is missing part of his pinky finger, I think from a shop accident. The SOO in Fairbanks is missing several fingers from one of his hands (lawnmower accident). What makes it even weirder is that the SOO in Fairbanks actually had toes placed on the finger stumps so that he could work with his hand! So now he has missing toes and a weird foot-hand. When my other coworker told me this, I wondered aloud if that meant his hand smelled. I also wondered if missing digits were some kind of prerequisite to becoming a SOO. Fortunately the SOO in Juneau has all his digits. Because I don't know if I'm willing to become a member of the Yakuza just so I can get a SOO job.

In other news, the White Stripes canceled their American tour. Although that's a bit of a bummer, since they were supposed to come up here, I am slightly relieved that I do not have to decide whether I'm going to skip class and try to trade my shift to go to the concert. Yeah, I know, skipping class to go to a concert is college-freshman behavior. But we never get good bands up here, and the White Stripes are one of my favorites. So it's a good thing the decision was made for me.

The class I was considering skipping is my Management of Technical People class, which has been a little disappointing so far. Granted, I've only been to one class, but the teacher basically reviewed everything we've read so I didn't feel like I got as much out of it as I feel like I've been getting out of my other class. Also, the class itself just didn't seem to gel as well as my Engineers in Organizations class.

Another thing that annoys me about the M. of T.P. class is the amount of required reading. First of all, we had 7 required books. Seven! Give me a break. Four of them were these little pocket guide thingies, which I returned because I looked on the syllabus and we don't ever actually read them. At $10 a pop, that saved me $40! We also are required to purchase a case study of the Harvard Business School website, so I can use my $40 for that. This week, I have to read 3 chapters in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (which I have been unimpressed with so far), 3 chapters in Good to Great, and the case study. Again, give me a break! I guess I know how I'm going to be spending my weekend nights.

At this point though, I'm 3 weeks into the semester, so I really don't see myself dropping this class for another one. It's not terrible, and we have some interesting projects coming up, so I'll just stick it out. Hopefully I learn something useful (namely, how to speed-read). And at the very least, I can put it on my resume.


Alpha Monkey said...

When you said people were missing fingers, I assumed they got frostbite or got bitten by some wildlife since you live in Alaska. The foot-hand sounds really weird!

It's great that you're taking classes. I keep thinking I should do something productive like that, but I haven't found the motivation yet.

Robyn said...

Grr- I hear you on the crazy amounts of reading- I'm taking 3 classes, and 2 are fine, but the 3rd has about 3 times as much reading as the other two combined! Really, do they think we just live to read textbooks?

baasheep said...

Toehand? craziness!

eaf said...

pHey...have you bought a case study yet? Emily used to work at HBS (doing research for case studies). Maybe she could donate a case study she worked on. Also, GNP did his MBA at Harvard and might have a case study lying around. At the very least, he probably gets the Harvard Business Review. So maybe I could ask one of those two and save $40. What do you think?

pollyhyper said...

Strange stuff about the digits. Hmmm.