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Archive for October, 2008

ECM5006 Integrated Supply Chain Management

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

I received my used text in the mail this week and have started on the first assignment, which includes reading chapters 1 to 4, and completing certain discussion questions in chapters 2, 3 and 4. The assignment also includes a case study – this one is about “Meditech Surgical.” I actually found the case on the internet, here

I am finding it hard to get motivated about the paper. My dad has been very ill and I spent most of September at mom and dad’s house. This month he had to have more surgery, and my brother stayed with them a week. Today, dad had to have more surgery and he is in surgery even as I write this post. It is so very difficult to concentrate when so much is on my mind.

I can’t really say that what I feel is worry – it is more like nervousness or apprehension. I am concerned about my parents’ well-being and happiness and this has been very difficult for them. Dad has cancer of the larynx which means that they took away his ability to speak. I have been thinking about how much we use our voice to communicate, especially when we live so far away from each other. I am so very sad that this has happened and feel helpless at the same time.


Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

As I have mentioned before, I am an “Expert” over on AllExperts.com in the areas of Continuing/Adult Education and Distance Learning. (Want to ask me a question? Here you are…click here.) Well, I was asked a question about grant writing by someone connected with ANTSHE, The Association of Nontraditional Students in Higher Education. Their mission statement resounds with me:

ANTSHE is an international partnership of students, academic professionals, institutions, and organizations whose mission is to encourage and coordinate support, education, and advocacy for the adult learner.

As a nontraditional student myself plus an instructor of nontraditionals, I am pleased that someone is highlighting the special needs of this group. Those of us who are struggling with balancing life and work and school need lots of support! According to the National Center for Education Statistics, a nontraditional student is:

“A student with any of the following characteristics: has delayed enrollment, attends part time, works full time while enrolled, is considered financially independent for purposes of determining financial aid, has dependents other than a spouse, is a single parent, or does not have a high school diploma.”

Wow! Do you fit the definition of a nontraditional student? Did you know that a nontraditional student is much more likely to quit because of non-education related issues like family and job pressures. It is difficult to balance all of our responsibilities effectively. Let me encourage all you nontraditional students! Keep working toward your educational goal!

A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

I just finished reading A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar, the poignant story of mathematical genius John Nash. The book chronicles Nash’s life and troubles as he succombs to mental illness, interrupting a promising career in research. As Nash falls deeper into the chasm of paranoid schizophrenia, those around him fail to see the clues until it is too late. He is hospitalized several times and his work is put on hold as he struggles with unseen threats that are very real to him. Most do not recover from demons like those that possess Nash, but somehow through will, determination and the love of his family he slowly returns to a semblance of sanity which allows him to function in society. Nash is best known for game theory studies and it is interesting to read how the governing body of the Nobel prize struggled with some of the same choices important to game theory.

The book reminds us how tenuous sanity can be and forces us to think about how we interpret the actions of others with mental illness. The things that Nash did while sick were unacceptable to society, yet most chose to ignore him when it was not fashionable or beneficial for themselves. The screenplay of the same name takes a small piece of Nash’s life and expands on his delusions. Nasar’s book is far more interesting and the reader is left with the unshakeable feeling that Nash is a far greater and beautiful mind…not because of his brilliance in mathematics or game theory…but because of his unbelieveable steps backward from debilitating mental illness.

I recommend A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar as a reminder of the fragility of our minds and the strength of our wills.

New Course ECM5006 Integrated Supply Chain Management

Monday, October 6th, 2008

I begin ECM5006 Integrated Supply Chain Management on 11/01. This course has 4 activities worth 100 points each. The assignments are essentially 4 sets of some discussion questions and case studies.

Here are the learning outcomes:

1 – Understand what a supply chain is.
2 – Discuss logistics network configuration
3 – Explain inventory management and risk pooling
4 – Discuss the impact of the Internet on the supply chain
5 – Discuss the pull and push strategies
6 – Explain strategic alliances as they chain supply chain
7 – Discuss procurement and outsourcing strategies
8 – Discuss international issues in supply chain management
9 – Explain how design for logistics concepts can be used to control logistics costs and make the supply chain more efficient
10 – Discuss how information technology can be used to enhance customer value in the supply chain
11 – Explain the relationship between ERP software and decision-support software used in the installation
12 – Discuss decision support system for supply chain management

My job role at MWV is squarely in supply chain, so I am hoping that I will be able to use some real-life examples in my papers. I found the book used on the internet for $11.15 plus shipping. Not bad for a text costing over $100 new. I would like to see if I can finish up this class faster than usual so I can start statistics and then the research phase by Jan 1st!

Back to Work

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

I have missed some blogging opportunities lately and today I am finally back to work on my blog. September was a very difficult month on a personal level as my father was diagnosed with larynx cancer. I spent most of September with my parents helping with his care after surgery. He has additional surgery scheduled in October.

This family crisis usurped my time to write and work on classwork. I had to request an extension from my professor and turned in the final paper yesterday. I could have turned in a paper on the final day of class but I felt it had no depth as I was not able to develop the topic as I normally do. A half-way-done assignment is not acceptable to me.

I am back to work but at MWV and back to work with schoolwork. I have paid for my next class, ECM5006 Integrated Supply Chain Management. After that class I will take MGT5028 Business Statistics and then jump into my doctoral coursework, which will consist of 8 courses.

I am getting pumped up as I close in on my goal of a PhD. If I had the money and the time, I would dash through the courses much faster. However, the cost is not covered by my employer and $1425/course + books is steep for me. I have set this as a goal and will work to make it happen!

By the way, if you are reading my blog and have questions about my experiences or choices, ask me a question or make a comment.