Leap Day -- 02/29/00
I wonder if the appearance of Feb 29th caused as many actual problems as Jan 1st? I heard someone say that hundreds of ATM machines were out of commission in Australia and I caught a few comments about similar problems elsewhere, but I've not been following the news today... too busy... If I don't hear about it in my car during commute time, I'm not likely to know about it unless it's on the front page of the morning paper. (No, I'm not out of touch all the time, but I'm teaching Monday thru Wednesday this week and my time is just eaten up.)

This morning I was writing a note to Sean's teacher (to accompany a diskette that held a copy of his paper on Edward I of England that was due today to explain that he had completed his paper but that we had a printer malfunction) and I glanced at my watch in a semi-automatic way, to check the date... and burst out laughing when I realized that my watch thought today was March 1st.

I've been working very hard this week. Our classes theoretically run from 9 a.m until 4 p.m., although in actual practice our days tend to run a bit longer... always trying to cram in as much as possible. [If you've not read my autobiographical entry let me just note that I do software training -- not how to use a spreadsheet classes, I train professional programmers in the inner workings of some complex message-brokering middleware.] This is a three day advanced topics class... and as usual the class was concerned about what time we would finish on Wednesday. With my five day classes I always assure them that although it is a five day course, if they are willing to start earlier (8:30 instead of 9:00) and work later (to 4:30 or 5:00) instead of 4:00 on Monday thru Thursday, I will get them out around lunchtime on Friday so they can catch their three or four o'clock flights. (All people can think about on Fridays is getting home... a feeling I certainly understand and sympathize with.) It's a bit more difficult with a three day course, but yesterday we worked until almost six p.m. Today we began at 8:30 and worked until a bit past 4:30. So I think we will finish around lunchtime tomorrow, but I am exhausted from yesterday and today. I really enjoy it, but it takes a lot of energy to run such a highly detailed technical presentation for hour after hour...

After finishing up some administrivia in my office I had to dash home, getting here about six p.m. to pick up Nancy and head off into the woods. Well, to the Alton Jones campus of URI (which is off in a thickly wooded rural area) to attend an information meeting about their Executive MBA program. This is an intense weekend MBA program... participants live at this rural conference center on alternate weekends to take classes and work on projects... they also are very busy with case studies and team projects, cover tons of material... put in as many hours as having a second full time job... and get an MBA in eighteen months... The price (besides a backbreaking work load) is $35,000 (which includes tuition, books, weekend meals, a laptop, and a research trip to a European company)... this is a fantastic price, since many MBA programs at private colleges would run between sixy and ninety thousand. I was mostly going to keep Nancy company, but I must confess that it really caught my interest. No, I don't think I will do it... I enjoy my current work too much and I am too busy with my current projects of learning Java and WebSphere, etc. Besides which, it's a bit late for me to think about a major degree. (Let's face it gang.... I'm less than nine weeks away from turning 5ifty-seven.] Nancy is very interested but torn about it because she is enjoying teaching... besides which, she could not get any kind of employer financial support for this (obviously)... and given that we have a high school senior and a high school freshman, we're going to have enough education expenses for the next few years. I mean I'll support her decision in anything she wants to try, but I don't think she's really going to go for this... teaching had been her dream for several years and I don't think she really wants to give it up.

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