Going back to school/recession advice/rant….

October 11, 2010 § 8 Comments

To show all of you lurkers how grateful I am for comments of any type, I’m going to do one better than answer in the comment section and dedicate an entire post tonight to answering Ceberus’ question. Thank you Ceberus!! ūüôā

Ceberus writes: ‘Well, I‚Äôm in that batch of ‚Äúquitting job during recession + when recession is about to get worse.‚ÄĚ What made you head to the grad school? Would you mind me asking what you are studying? :D

Well, everyone says that the recession is the best time for going back to school, but we all know what they really mean… it’s the best time for going back to school if you’re just out of college and totally experience-less and job-less… and yes of course, and/or if you’ve been layed off. I don’t think they quite mean – jump at the first chance to skip out on a well paying job with a career prospect to try something new… or at least that’s the fear, right. But seriously, who gives…

The truth is, there were a few things at play in my decision. And it wasn’t until some random flobotomist lady made me feel strange about leaving work after she said something like… ‘huh, that’s brave!’ …of course I knew she didn’t mean brave, she meant stupid!
so I really had to think about whether or not it was a wise decision and here’s what I’ve come up with…

I’m doing this because… (and if you’re considering going back to school or switching jobs, or whatever it is you wanna do… you should too.)

a) I don’t give a shit about the recession – honestly, if life ever comes down to having to eat bread for dinner and share close living quarters with others, I will first of all laugh my ass off at the irony, SERIOUSLY…, eat my bread stale – just how i liked it as a kid, and not for a second regret quitting my job!

Seriously, if that’ the outcome and the alternative would have been to work all the way up until that outcome,¬† I say good lord, I’d rather gnaw on my stale piece of bread knowing that a few years earlier I was sipping on chocolate in Belgium.

And if the argument is that those who have jobs now don’t end up suffering from the recession as much – I say, trust me, they’re suffering… from uncertainty, from being overworked, under-paid and what’s worse, being in a state of mind where they feel so trapped by their working identify that they literally can’t imagine what it is like to live for something more worthwhile, um like… i dunno, life, joy, passion…? OK, of course, no offense to all you working folks… it’s damn important and can be just as gratifying, but the second it stops being so, there’s no need to claw at preserving this lifestyle… it must bring joy or at least promise joy in the future. Maybe you’re saving up for something, or waiting for the right time… that’s ok I guess, but don’t forget re-assess and keep looking for that time on the horizon. There is no reason to just stay put for the sake of staying put. We are very resilient, resourceful people… able to deal with all kinds of things in life. Don’t let that resilience¬† be used only in life’s unavoidable awful moments, the ones that require you to brace yourself … find ways to be resilient on purpose, at least then you’re expecting it and the outcome is just as remarkable.

b) Ok, so then there’ s b in this rambling session… This point is a lot more reasonable… I think that anything that will help you invest in yourself during a time when competition is hightened due to layoffs and difficult times, expanding your skills by going back to school is THE BEST thing that you can do for yourself – ESPECIALLY in a time of a recession. It’s like a company that spends more money on tools and labor during a time it’s not making as much, just to gear up for when business picks up and only the best few get to ride the wave…


c) But, honestly this has got to be the only one that really matters…¬† the most meaningful reason for me… it is the reason I believe anyone should do anything in life.

If it excites you, do it!

If it terrifies you, do it!

If it changes you, do it!

If you look in the mirror and wonder even for a second whether your life is on a downward slope and you don’t seem to have much to look forward to, start looking for your new chapter… recession or not. I can tell you this, a new chapter, be it good or great, always takes you forward and if you want to feel the rush of life, forward is the only direction you need to go…

Ever since I made the decision to quit my job, life has been nothing but interesting. Every day, every week, every month… even every future month out for as long as I can imagine is one big, interesting, exciting, spontaneous surprise…. I will not know a dull moment until I’m 30 – THAT I’ve guaranteed myself.

And they say… (and this is how I remember it too)… that youth is exciting for its possabilities, but what I’ve learned from the beginnings of this experience is that it is in fact not youth that holds those possabilities, but your own desire to march on… For simply, youth only guarantees the desire for time to pass and life to move forward and with it comes all of the excitement. I am now 28 and have paved the same journey for myself and recommend this to anyone who’s forgotten what it’s like to look forward to the next month, or next year… No more, it’s Christmas already, I can’t believe your last birthday was last year, good lord I’ve been here long enough to go to that same office party 5 times… or whatever, it’s exactly the same type of thing that makes you realize it’s time to end a relationship. If Life is on repeat, but things aren’t getting any better. Time to reboot.

Anyway, to answer your question, in as coherent a way as I can – NOT, my program is in marketing analysis. I chose it based on the idea that it would give me skills I do not yet posses. And, if I were to give anyone school advice I think that’s what I would say. Maybe the recession isn’t the best time to feed your heart… so possibly, stay away from studying anthropology diggs in Ethiopia (as I would have surely done if I could like do ANYTHING), but if you can find something that gives you valuable skills – much better ones and faster than any hands-on work experience might, then you’ve found a bullet proof recession program, my friend.

So, yeah, I guess that kind of contradicts what I was saying ealier, but whatever… I am free spirited, but I’m also practical as hell and always have a plan – yes, even when you think I’m flayling about, I’m not. And all those times I got made fun of for not having cable, or internet, or… a BED. ha… it was all part of the plan.¬† I mean, I’m here aren’t I.

So.. In closing … if you’re thinking about doing anything in life that excites you, terrifies you or changes you… DO IT! Just make sure you can afford it, it gives you skills or something you can’t get anywhere else and it kills more than one WANT within yourself at the same time. So that you’re not putting anything on hold – do it ALL.

And speaking of skillz, today I turned in (EARLY, no joke) my first SAS assignment.

Read this and weep…

* 1.2 Create a library called MMA;



* 1.3 Write a dataset for a Satisfaction Survey with two variables using Datalines;

DATA mma.hifi_satisfac;

INPUT Name $ Satisfaction;


Sony  5

Philips     3

Panasonic   6

Technics    7

Akai  2


PROC PRINT DATA=mma.hifi_satisfac NOOBS;

TITLE ‘Hifi Industry Satisfaction Survey’;


* 1.4 Using Import Procedure read in sheet ‘Age’ and label dataset as ‘Age’;

PROC IMPORT DATAFILE= ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_1_4.xls’

out= ex_1_4 DBMS=xls;



Title ‘Age’;


*1.5 Create a table “Eurovision” using list input;

DATA mma.eurovision;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_1_5.txt’ DLM= ’09’X;

INPUT Rank  Country :$20. Points;


PROC PRINT DATA= mma.eurovision NOOBS;

TITLE ‘Eurovision’;


*1.6 Create a dataset “Movies” using column input;

DATA mma.movies;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_1_6.txt’ DLM= ‘ ‘;

INPUT move_id 16 name $ 1539 box_office COMMA6. @52 nbr_vis;


PROC PRINT DATA= mma.movies;

Title ‘Movie Theater Data’;


*1.7 Create a dataset “Scores” making use of formatted input;

DATA mma.scores;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_1_7.txt’;

INPUT Name $ 118 @25 Birthday MMDDYY8. @35 Grad PERCENT4.;

FORMAT Birthday DDMMYY10.;



TITLE ‘Scores’;


*2.1 Create a dataset “Survey” using a set that contains more than one row per customer;

DATA mma.survey;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_2_1.txt’ DLM= ‘,’ MISSOVER;

INPUT Custid Gender $

/ Q1 $ Q2 $ Q3 $;



TITLE ‘Customer Survey’;


*2.2 Create a dataset “Pubs” making sure that pub_id is not included;

DATA mma.scores;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_2_2.txt’ DSD DLM=’ ‘ TRUNCOVER;

INPUT Name :$11. @’zipcode:’ Zipcode @’city:’ City $;


PROC PRINT DATA=mma.scores;

TITLE ‘Pub List’;


*2.3 Create a dataset “Basketball” from multiple observations on one line;

DATA mma.basketball;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_2_3.txt’ FIRSTOBS=2 OBS=3 DLM= ‘;’;

INPUT Match :$20. Played Date DDMMYY10.@@;



PROC PRINT DATA= mma.basketball NOOBS;

TITLE ‘Game Schedule’;


*3.1 Create a dataset “Sept_sales” and add sale_id and min_sale as variables;

DATA mma.sept_sales;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_3_1.txt’ DLM=’,’;

INPUT Date DDMMYY10. Name :$20. Sale_amount;

RETAIN Sale_id 2499 Min_sale;

Min_sale= MIN (Min_sale, Sale_amount);

Sale_id= (sale_ID + 1);

FORMAT Date DATE9. Sale_amount COMMA6. Min_sale COMMA6.;


PROC PRINT DATA=mma.sept_sales NOOBS;

TITLE ‘Min Sale Customers’;


*3.2 Create a dataset “Sat_Survey” and add sale_id and min_sale as variables;

DATA mma.sat_survey;

INFILE ‘C:\Users\Owner\Desktop\MMA Program\Marketing Engineering I\Assignment I\ex_3_2.txt’ DLM= ’09’X FIRSTOBS=2;

INPUT cust_id gender $ dob MMDDYY10. Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9 Q10;


IF Gender = ‘M’ THEN Gender_Code = 1;

ELSE IF Gender = ‘F’ THEN Gender_Code = 0;

ELSE Gender_Code= ‘.’;

Age= ROUND ((’01JAN2006’D – dob)/365);

ARRAY old (10) Q1 — Q10;

DO i = 1 TO 10;

old (i) = 8 – old (i);


Avg_satisfaction= MEAN(OF Q1 – Q2);

RETAIN avg_sat_max;

Avg_sat_max= MAX (avg_sat_max, avg_satisfaction);


PROC PRINT DATA= mma.sat_survey;

TITLE ‘Satisfaction Survey’;



Blogging to improve memory function …

October 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’m writing this mainly for me… so that I don’t forget. In SAS an IN operator functions as an or…. in SQL an IN condition functions as an and.

argh.  memorize brain, memorize.

…at which point will I have two schemata for all of this (i.e. the day I stop myself after reading every sentences wondering which book this is – umm, wait, is this SAS or SQL??!), instead of one (i.e. when I’ll read this in the distant features and scoff at myself, good lord you really knew nothing didn’t you! ) ???

grow synapses, grow… split schemata, split…

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