Monday, September 14, 2009

The Kindergartner

Jordan has officially started school. He is now in 5-year old Kindergarten and loving every minute.

Sadly, I wasn't in town his first day of school as I was at a seminar for my next exam, but Cyn tells me that he was really excited. He's very proud of his Kindergarten/full-day status. He digs the 'hot lunches' and being just like the wizened 5th-Graders that go to school IN THE MORNING!

It was really fun hearing him boast of his new status to random kids on a playground a few days after..."I'm a kindergartner! I'm a kindergartner!"

One day in the car he said that "kindergartners sing the songs much better than the preschoolers. They mess it up and sound funny" Amazing how much changes in 3 months of summer.

Waiting for the bus


Actually, we've been to a lot of crazy cool birthday parties. But a birthday party where everyone goes home with an ultra cool, foam-centered, duct tape-covered lightsaber? Boy heaven.

That's Jordan in the back center. Brady, the birthday boy, is in the front on the right. Thanks for the cool stuff, Amy!

Please don't tell me how to spell "ever" in the comments section. I know how. Thank you.

Where you'll find me

AKA, why I think I'm insane.

I haven't been around here much lately. Sorry if you've missed me. I've been at the library hanging out with my best buddies, the flashcards. Me and my flashcards, we're inseparable. I read them everyday, I memorize their every line, and in return they give me a guarantee that all my willpower will be completely sucked out of me.

Most of you know that I am working through my actuarial designations right now. It involves a LONG series of exams that I've been working on for five years now. Every six months, I have an exam to prepare for. Now that I've reached the associate level, the exams get more difficult. My current exam, on October 29th, will be an essay exam six hours long.

Many people have asked me what it's like to prepare for these exams. Well, I'll tell you. The exam is only about 20 problems long, but each problem has somewhere around 3-6 parts. The material for the exam is 2500 pages from various textbooks that discuss many different principles of designing and pricing health insurance. Yes, 2500 pages. And anything can be asked from anywhere in those 2500 pages. Therefore, you must memorize every page.

How is this accomplished? With my buddies, the flashcards. I tote them around everywhere I go now. Here's a typical flashcard...the front says "Potential Medicare Reforms Where the Public Tends to Interject Their Opinion" And here's the back of the card:

This card is about the average length, but some lists are 16 items long. As you can see, I tried using mnemonics to aid my memorization, but I gave that up about a month ago - it took too long. "Well, that's not so bad" you say to yourself, "I could memorize several of these in 6 months...what's the big deal?" Here's the big deal...

There are about 620 bloomin' cards! Even if you are blessed with a photographic memory and can remember every item on every card, you're only 2/3 of the way through the material. Not included in the flashcards are the math problem type questions from the syllabus. All in all, it's recommended that you study about 600 hours for the six months...with a full-time job...and a family...and church duties...etc. No wonder the pass rate is only 40%, including repeat takers. If I do pass, I'll have one more exam to take in May - and it's just like this one.

So I haven't been on the blog much and probably won't be until at least November. Though, if the public health insurance option picks up support, it will probably be much longer as I'll be looking for a job that won't go extinct.

I'll be at the library if anyone needs me.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Good Morning

The past two or three nights Carter has climbed into bed with me/us (now that Peter is home from his seminar). The first night, it was about five in the morning that he crawled in bed with me. I woke up a little later to hear him giggling away in his sleep.

The most random part of this new routine is what he says when he wakes up. The first morning it was, "the monkey is in your bed and he wants a banana." An hour later he said the monkey still wants a banana. So I handed over a banana for the monkey's breakfast. Then this morning when he woke up he said, "Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin".

I'm starting to think his goal in life is to be a comedian.

UPDATE: He's at it again. He woke up this morning and said "I'm the man. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mmmmmm-hmmmmm!"