That One Problem

Sometimes (ok, often?) in a homework assignment, I’ll be cruising right along until…that one problem. And for some reason, even though I had no trouble calculating Towana’s pre-tax savings, I cannot for the life of me translate that into her post-tax savings.

So I furrow my brow, furiously consult the textbook, log out and go to a different computer, and start composing an involved email to my professor outlining my predicament and begging for assistance. And then, I take one more glance at the applicable textbook page: and there it is. The clouds part. I need to subtract Jonothan’s tax rate (his name is really spelled that way) from Towana’s tax rate and use that percentage.  I try it.  My answer turns from red to green.  I am elated beyond compare.

This is an ongoing cycle as a five-course-taking graduate student.  Sometimes it makes homework assignments take a lot longer than (I think) they should.  But you know what? It’s going to be a long time before I forget how to calculate the post-tax savings of income-shifting strategies (when lawfully applied).

And there’s something about getting to what looks like a dead end, and then getting through it all on my own.  For a little while I’m left thinking: hey, maybe I’ll get through this graduate school stuff after all.