Monday, January 25, 2010

My Dad, Wyclef Jean and Sexy Fraud

I matriculated on a college campus last week. And it had been awhile. And technically I'm not really enrolled, so maybe that doesn't qualify as matriculating. Maybe that is faux-matriculating, but whatever.  I was pretending to be a student again and it was a blast. And surprisingly I didn't feel that old, well mostly.

My dad has taught a nonprofit business class at a local college for the last couple of years. He is a nonprofit finance and consulting guru. And including his former life as a partner in a CPA firm, I think he's seen everything good and bad that nonprofit and for profit businesses can possibly do.  I can't remember a time growing up when we didn't get to hear about Dad's latest client, names withheld of course, whose employees were embezzling from his company or was a multimillionaire who drove an old truck and whose furniture consisted of one smelly, stained old recliner, or the socialite and her lawyer husband who were divorcing and hiding money from each other, restaurants that had recently opened and why they were already going under. It seemed like my dad knew everything that was going on under the surface of businesses all over town. And now he knows the same about nonprofits all over town.  So combine his vast array of experiences and his funny, disciplined and kind personality, and you get a pretty stellar teacher.

I've always thought it would be damn entertaining to see my dad in action, and though I may be the daughter of a CPA, my finance and accounting background is limited, so developing my accounting and financial management skills will help my career, I'd like to be an executive director someday, and bonus, it might actually be fun too.  So I'm taking dad's class this semester.

My fellow students are all women, which isn't a surprise since nonprofits are dominated by women. But happily the class isn't completely populated by bouncy, naive, young coeds, though really what college class is complete without a couple of sunny adorable sorority girls? It's a great mix of graduate students, undergrads, a couple of kooky middle aged women (not counting me), and at least one lady who was such a low-talker that in our little class of ten, I could still only hear every other word in her story about the soap opera that is employment with the USPS. Highlights of the class included:  "fraud is really the sexiest part of the class", Dad mispronouncing Wyclef Jean and the Fugees as he explained why Wyclef's nonprofit foundation sounded more like a convenient illegal tax shelter than a real charity, and the discussion of how Catholic summer camp counselors are poorly paid. Evidently it is ridiculously low hourly wage, but the best job in the world, if you're a 19 year old Catholic virgin. And I got paired up for our team class assignments with a very quiet and sweet girl, who I tried not to bulldoze over with my hard charging personality, and certainly failed. 

Tonight I've finally finished the first paper, a short two pager about my experiences with nonprofits. Do you know how hard that paper was to write? Two pages is nothing, but writing a paper for my dad to grade, oh my God, so difficult. I must earn an A. I can't disappoint him. It has to be the best paper ever. Yeah, I'm 34. Yeah, I'm not even enrolled in the class. And yet, must make my dad proud. Just silly. So I'm looking forward to the next class. We won't dive into that sexy fraud stuff for a few weeks, but I'm anxiously awaiting it.


Suzy C said...

I love the pinkie in the air as he's drinking... what?... scotch?!

bethany actually said...

Oh man, now I REALLY wish I could take that class with you. :-)