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.

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