Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Here I sit...

Still feeling worthless tonight. I'm buried in classes, evaluating the effects of financing concessions on market value, compounding rates of change, sinking fund factors, and other appraisal mumbo-jumbo. While Mike continues to hold down the fort at home with the kids. All roads in and out of the region continue to be closed due to massive numbers of downed trees, mudslides, and flooding. The power lines that are down are the BIG ones, so I'm relaying news to Mike that they are saying they will be without power for another 2-7 days. I'm not yet sure when I will be able to get home. Its a real possibility that my class will end in a few days and I may be stuck here for an additional day or two. Geez..........I hope not!!

But.........since I've spent all this money on these classes, lodging, etc., and I can't get home anyway, I'm trying to focus on the course content so I take home some valuable knowledge. Honestly, the information so far is not really NEW to me, its just being applied a lot differently. The "common sense" ends of the business I do really well with. I can isolate major contributors to value and all that. The more complex financial calculations sometimes get me flustered, as I don't always see a practical day-to-day application for them. But here I am, and in order to complete my designation, I have to have the course hours, so.....what the heck. Complex financials and all......

As usual for me, the largest gain from classes is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS from my classmates. I thrive on meeting people from different backgrounds and different places. The appraisal industry, as a whole, does not generally attract people directly from college. And freshly-graduated high school students very rarely go off to college with the goal of becoming an appraiser. The end result is that you get an incredible melting pot that makes up the group of people known as real property appraisers. And this class is no different!! We have a 60ish-year-old retired paramedic that broke his back in a helicopter accident working Lifeflight, we have a 70ish+ retired Navy guy, we have a 45-year-old real property investor that owns apartment buildings across three states and is just entering the appraisal business, we have a Japanese immigrant that got a clerical job at an appraisal firm and has decided to become an appraiser herself. We have people from Alaska, and California, and Hawaii, and Texas, and Puerto Rico, and Virginia. And we are all very diverse and bring different skills and backgrounds to the field. FASCINATING!! As is also typical, there only about 5 women in the class of 30+. In the lower-level appraiser courses, the ratio tends to be more equal, but the higher level courses........for whatever reason, many of the women just don't pursue that high. I hope it changes in the future!!!

My new Puerto Rican friend has spent five weeks in the United States since September, all in appraisal education. He is very advanced in the field, but only a year older than I am. He is nearing completion of both his MAI and SRA designations (a huge accomplishment), and is flying through the class with ease. The incessant rain here is driving him insane and he is anxious to get home to his wife, children, and sunshine. His English is quite good, but I have taught him two new words: nit-pick, and folks. And today he learned the phrase "back seat driver". :)

So........I need to run and get something for dinner and then it will be back to my motel room for a long night of studying. As boring as that sounds, I have to admit that it is downright luxury compared to my family's current accomodations.......sitting home in the dark and waiting for the world to reconnect them to the "outside".

1 comment:

Marj said...

Thanks for keeping me posted -- called the folks, and they seem okay. Window's boarded up from the outside and the inside, with insulation in between to help keep the heat in. Odd thoughts that the west coast took the brunt of a storm like most of those we read about in the southeast. Not like it was Hurricane Katrina, but totally out of whack for the ol' Pacific Northwesters! Be well! Prayin' for you! Marjie