Thursday, January 28, 2010


It's not often that you hear the good news. Bad news - it's everywhere, though. That's why I try my best to pass along compliments. I don't even think about it anymore, but on an elevator, if I see a smart jacket or a great haircut, I dole out the requisite compliment whether I know the person or not. You can see people perk up when you say it, especially if they can tell it's sincere. I love that. I believe that's coming full circle, because this week I've received two really nice compliments.

The first is from a group of instructors who worked for me until December. I have been the lead instructor for a CPA Exam review course for over 5 years. It's been really fun, and I very much enjoyed it as well as teaching. I have done many speaking engagements to promote the profession in my career, and many to promote the profession and the review course (and review courses in general) in that role. I love connecting with the students, and I love watching the lights come on, so to speak.

Over the last year, it's become clear to me that teaching evenings and weekends is tough with a family, especially with a husband who works a lot and has a not-very-flexible schedule. Reluctantly, I resigned. I got a note from my sucessor that one of my instructors wanted to put together a thank-you dinner. Knowing why I resigned, and knowing that these people also have families they'd rather be home with, I was amazed when I got there and every one of them was there. The marketing guru that I've worked with for the last three years was also there, thank-you gift in hand.

It was wonderful to see everyone, but what a compliment that they thought enough of me to get together, buy me dinner, and say thank you. I really was very touched.

The second is somewhat related. Through the CPA Exam review course I began teaching the CPA-related parts of a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Exam review course several years ago.* I taught that course last year at a nearby university, not as University faculty, but for the course itself. Several of those students, unbeknownst to me, went to the chair of their department and asked him to hire me to teach for the university. Wow. Anyway, I found out about it when I got an e-mail asking me to teach financial statement analysis this spring. Wow. I would really love to teach college students - it's kind of a dream of mine.

I don't think I'll be able to take advantage of the opportunity right now; the time required to prepare for 10 original, three-hour classes with midterm and final, and probably some projects and papers, is a little much for me right now, given said husband's busy season right now. I'm really hoping that I'm able to do something like this when I "retire" and Aidan's a little bit older. Then I could teach during the day and devote the kind of time students deserve. The review courses that I teach have prepared material - I probably spend 6-10 hours preparing for each 3-4 hour session, so I can only imagine the time needed for original material. Especially given that it'd be my first time through; that 6-10 hours turns into 1 or so to review when I've taught that particular session before, but this would be a maiden voyage.

Still, what an incredible compliment. I feel very lucky.

*I know - you're wondering why I have all the fun and you don't. Honestly, you're welcome to sit in anytime. I'm still teaching a few CFA review sessions each year.

Sucker Punch, revisited

You may remember, from Sucker Punch a few months ago, that someone asked whether I was my soon-to-be niece or nephew's grandmother. I am less than pleased to say that it wasn't the last time.

On Saturday my sister and I went to BabiesRUs to register for her upcoming shower, and the woman helping her looked at me and said, "You're the grandmother, of course." I said, with what my sister says was a horrified look, "No, I'm her sister." This wasn't enough to deter the woman from further comment - "How many years are there between you two anyway?" was her next incredulous question. "Ten." Okay, enough for now, but not for long. A few minutes later, she commented that, of course my kids would all be grown and gone by now as she spoke of some new gadget that I wouldn't know about. I said, "No, he's two." "Really?" Yes, really.

My lovely sister just kept muttering under her breath, "I'm so sorry." Later she claimed that the woman was clearly developmentally challenged based on a couple criteria that I can't argue with too vehemently:
  1. Having clearly shaken me, she did not know to change the subject.
  2. Being in the service industry, she didn't have the foresight to butter up the customer. (What mother, whether plausible or not, wouldn't love to be asked if she were a sister?)

I should point out that the resemblance between us really is striking. People must know we're related. I should also point out that my sister could probably pass for about 20. She still finds this annoying, especially now that people glare at her belly thinking that she's way too young (not that it would be up to them), but I've told her repeatedly that it's a blessing.

Could I have a 20-year-old daughter? Sure. Could my son be my grandson? Sure. Could I have a 31-year-old daughter? Um, no. Ew.

I've had very slight vindication. Tuesday I stopped, on my way to book club, to pick up a new CD player for his majesty (someone I know is becoming more demanding), who likes to listen to music as he goes to sleep. As the gentleman was checking my ID with my credit card, he started to pull it away to see it. This gentleman was easily 15 years older than me, so I said, "Yes - once you turn 40, you need more light and longer arms, right?" Another woman, probably a little younger than me, got kind of salty. She said, "What do you know about it? What are you - 32?" I told her that she had no idea what she'd just done for me and that, in return, I would refrain from kissing her. I did, but just barely.

Monday, January 25, 2010

giveth; taketh away

Today, unprovoked and completely out of the blue, Aidan said, "Mommy, you're the best mommy." (Ahh) Don't worry; I won't let it go to my head. Yesterday he screamed at me (not words, just screaming) inches from my face, hit me and refused to listen to pretty much anything I said. It was worth it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

parental challenges

Last night Aidan had yogurt (banilla - banana & vanilla, light-colored) with his dinner. I looked at him, and he was spreading the stuff all over his cheeks. "I'm a clown!" he said. Great. As I was reaching for something to wipe his face, he took a whole spoonful and put it on his chin. Huge grin on his face, "Ho ho ho! I Santa Claus!" Seriously - are we really expected to keep a straight face after that?

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm not tired yet

"I'm not tired yet. I'm just yawning and getting cozy. But I'm not tired."