I spent four hours of the day taking a practice actuarial exam. I then spent ten minutes spilling red ink over my answers.

My score? 21/40. I don’t think my three weeks off have helped my performance.

The good news is that I should have been able to do damn near every question on that exam—none of them looked too outlandish. I’m just hella rusty right now, and I have barely over a month to correct my situation.

Suddenly studying Flash or Final Cut Pro doesn’t seem so important.


When I started college, I—pretty much on a whim—signed up for the pre-mechanical engineering program. After two years of “you’ll do this crap because I had to do it when I went through college” (the second year mostly spent just gritting my teeth), I finally strapped on my porta-spine and changed majors to math. That too was pretty much a whim; after having taken the classes I did, math was pretty much the only major I didn’t despise. After further calculations, I realized that I was going to take a small eternity to graduate no matter what I did—so a second major would help give me enough credits each term to maintain full-time student status. Having ruled out 99.44% of all other majors, I was left looking at the college of business. I then learned about the little-known actuarial field—you don’t hear little kids saying they want to be an actuary—that was somehow consistently considered one of the swankiest jobs out there.

My personal definition of swanky includes air-conditioned offices with no real physical labor, in case you’re wondering. I wouldn’t mind if I could wear jeans to work, either, but I won’t push things there.

Anyhow, the whole actuary/business slant fit together remarkably well with where I was, what I needed to do, and what my primary major was:

1. I was able to be a full-time student until I graduated, without having to take ten dance classes every term. (I only had to take one! Ha!)

2. Business was one of the 0.56% of majors that I didn’t definitively know I hated.

3. My math major could actually do something for me. The only other math job out there, as far as I can tell, is teaching—and while I’d enjoy that to no end (people forced to listen to what I have to say! Mwa ha ha!), teachers get no respect (i.e. compensation) in this country. (Not that money is everything, mind you… but it isn’t nothing, either.)

4. Even excluding the actuary idea, a business degree would be more practical than a math degree in finding a job. I could also keep my math major this way, and I really did love math. (How else can you integrate somebody’s curves? HAHAHA)

5. It gave me a direction to follow once I graduated.

Because of all of this, you see me where I am today. I don’t really want to consider a future where I need to use my business degree to find a job, though, so failure is not an option. The fact that I’ve already failed this practice exam today—especially since I should have been able to best it—gives me that much more resolve to not let it happen again.

[…End Reminiscence…]

To reward y’all for wading through that (or for cleverly skipping down until the end), I present you the latest link from Insert Credit, by way of Andy: ASCIImanga Daioh. As Andy told me: Just try to get the song out of your head.

As I told Andy: I can just imagine the person(s) who created that sitting back after it was all done and thinking, “that’s it. It’s all downhill from here.”


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