CFA CFA General Ground Control to Major Tom

Ground Control to Major Tom

  • This topic has 5 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated Apr-17 by Snippy.
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    • Marc
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      I suspect that I am not the only member of this community who has been spending a bit less time on this forum of late. I keep thinking that there’s no way it was this stressful in the weeks before I sat Levels 1 and 2, but I was probably just as stressed then. The panic happens whenever we pull a random spot inspection on ourselves and expect a word-for-word recitation of the curriculum. When we are, inevitably, unable to do so (at least not to our satisfaction), we immediate flash to the image of us spending next Spring inside studying while all the other kids get to go outside and play. We do it to ourselves, we do, us and no one else, we do it to ourselves.

      I firmly believe that my purpose in this life is to think and express myself in metaphors. I believe this because a) I am exceptionally good at doing so, and b) I have very few, if any, other discernible talents. And so it is with great sorrow and regret that I must confess that one of my favourite and oft-used metaphors has turned out to be factually wrong. I had been fond of saying something along the lines of: “A space shuttle uses up 80% of its fuel just to get off the ground.” In preparing to write this post, I wanted to learn the precise figure. My search sent me to several online forums that are like this one, except that people discuss science and space, can you imagine? Approximately 95% of the commentary was beyond my grasp, but I was clued in enough to learn that my understanding of extra-terrestrial craft fuel consumption was horribly wrong. One poster mockingly suggested that, if this were true, they could dramatically increase fuel efficiency by raising the platform by a foot or two. You don’t know humiliation until you have been put in your place by space nerds.

      This is sad, because that metaphor applies so perfectly to the situation in which all of us find ourselves today. When you look back at how much time and energy you have expended in preparation for this exam, it is tempting to get frustrated at your perceived lack of progress. But you need to keep in mind that, like the space shuttle, you are only just now approaching the point where your work starts paying off and you being to gracefully and effortlessly orbit the cosmos.

      Actually, it turns out that isn’t true – at least not for the space shuttle. I guess the point I’m trying to make is: You might think you know something, but if you bother to look into it, you’ll find out that you’re wrong. That doesn’t seem like a particularly inspiring message, so I’ll just go with the first one, even if it is wrong. Whatever. Here’s a video (PS. William Shater is Canadian):

    • Zee Tan
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      I just came here to say “commencing countdown, engines ON”

    • Marc
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      Really? Nobody got the Radiohead reference?

    • Sarah
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      Sorry @Marc

    • Sophie Macon
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      *Me* ;))

    • Snippy
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      I got it! 😀

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