Titanium!

Liveblogging (sort of) Operation Lockdown part 2 i.e. the last stretch of CFA 2 prep. Updated Saturday 2nd of June.

I’m bulletproof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down but I won’t fall
I am titanium
You shoot me down but I won’t fall
I am titanium

Despite my condescension towards current music (I just don’t understand when and why pop music became dance music on an exclusive basis; I didn’t get the memo), I actually like this song, I predict I will like it for most a week. It is pretty reflective of my mood during these days that lead up to CFA part deux.

Saturday to Monday
I have been working so hard since Saturday. Operation lock-down has been in full force and my friends are taking an active interest in making sure I do not leave the house/get distracted by men/alcohol/etc. I never quite achieve what I want / aim to on any given day but that is because it just takes so fucking long to read through any given chapter. I am trying to do at least one 3 hour test per day. I am targeting to complete 5 more 3 hour tests before the exam. Sunday I didn’t because I woke up late and then had to go wakeboarding (and when I tried to after, I was stumped with a particularly tough paper and felt completely demoralised).

You know I actually did some pretty high jumps ? I could feel the “pop” taking off from the water and and then hitting with a loud thud. I secretly feared it’d make my back pain worse but au contraire, save for feeling a little sore today, my back is actually better. And don’t take my word for it, the physiotherapist asked me not to come back! But back to wakeboarding, I feel really encouraged by the height of the jumps I had and even the powerslides are coming along nicely (albeit a little more grace wouldn’t hurt). Maybe I should target a grab for end of 2012? Always helps to have a finite goal.

But back to the cause at hand, the CFA. It’s fucking tough. No, let me rephrase that. There is a fuckton of shit that you need to learn by rote. Don’t try to tell me you don’t have to memorize. There is no other way. Definitions, formulae, more definitions, more formulae. And questions that are basically true/false and “spot the mistake” format are really not testing your application skills. I need to keep revising my notes over and over but as soon as I am done with topic A, a question from topic B will stump me and I have to go revise topic B, by which time my memory has cleared itself of topic A and topic C. FML.

Having said that, an exam is an exam and I have to pass. I simply have to. My credibility is at stake, especially as I am taking this week off to study. My money is at stake too for this is not cheap exam. And let’s not forget, I could use a win (or ten).

I have 6 more days to go and I am in super-king-kameha-cramming mode. This means two things:
1. I am devising tricks to remember things. For example, today I devised a way to remember the order of currency translation methods. CRT. Current Rate on top and then Temporal at the bottom. Why CRT? CRT stands for cathode ray tube, I can remember that, I thought. And then another part of my brain acknowledged what a colossal geek I am.

2. I am consuming vast quantities of carbohydrates and food in general. On Saturday, I made daal, chapatis and okra. On Sunday, I made chicken quesadillas and guacamole. Today I had Vietnamese coffee with full cream milk and maple syrup, several slices of toast, egg, baked beans, grilled sandwiches with potato stuffing (some carb on carb goodness) and finally more chicken quesadillas and guacamole for dinner. And an hour ago, a late night snack of MOAR grilled sandwiches with potato stuffing. FUCK YEAH. I will feed my brain with food and formulae till I vomit one of those things at the exam hall.

Tomorrow’s target is one more 3 hour test, a much needed revision of fixed income and corporate finance among other things.

Boy Update: The cheeky English ex-colleague texted more naughty messages today (he just got back from London) and I reciprocated but as I had predicted he didn’t have the balls to take me up on a dare he initiated in the first place. And it is too bad really because for all my hard work today, I could have really used a drink (and deserved it too).

Tuesday:
I woke up around ten, groggy and tired as if I had spent the past days benchpressing sofas made of lead. My body still feels a bit sore from wakeboarding and my neck is stiffer than a whisky coke served in an NYC dive bar. But Hazel said, let coffee be your friend, and so I made myself a nice big mug and got to work. It’s 4.01 p.m. and I have finished revised over half of the fixed income curriculum whilst scribbling notes and formulae like a fucking maniac. In doing so, I have exhausted my paper supply. Ugh, now what? I do have to get my hair recoloured today so on the way back, I could perhaps stop by work and get some paper.

I also made myself a tandoori chicken quesadilla and it was glorious. Tender tandoori marinated chicken (which I stuck in the fridge to marinate while I read), corn tortilla brushed with olive spread and CHEESE and zhoug. Should have been green chutney but I had zhoug in the fridge so zhoug it had to be. Served with cucumber slices. Yum.

Today’s target will need me to finish revising MBS and ABS valuation and some more of that dreaded corporate finance theory (yes I really mean THEORY!) AND a three hour test. If only there were more than 24 hours in the day.

I ended up achieving the revision targets on Tuesday but didn’t do a 3 hour test and was enormously disappointed despite allowing myself to sleep past 2 am. I also went and recoloured my hair and it looks good. I texted the English chap for a drink but he responded the next day at 10 am so I have thence written him off as yet another “all talk and no action” shmuck.

Wednesday:
Wednesday was far more constructive. I did a 3 hour test and my performance improved by a wee bit. This was the first test (6 hours combined) where I didn’t score well in ethics and that is a gigantic bummer as scoring well in ethics is nonnegotiable. I revised a fuckload more on Wednesday well into the wee hours of the night.

Thursday:
The day has flown by and while I have revised a great many topics, I have not started a 3 hour test yet. I am currently eating some icecream (Have i mentioned how much ice cream i have consumer in the last few days!)

Off to do the test. See you in 3-4 hours.

Friday:
Thursday and Friday were uber productive. I barely took any breaks. I had some panic attacks in ethics and I spent a lot of time fixing the issue.

Saturday:
It is 8 pm and I am exhausted. My body has given up on me – I have stomach pains and acidity. I have NO NAILS LEFT on my fingers or toes. I am certain that I have gained weight. And my back hurts a lot more today and I find that quite frightful. I cannot afford spasms now. I cannot afford anything but victory. I cannot wait for this exam to be over this time tomorrow and I cannot believe how masochistic I have been in undertaking this long and painful project.

It better be fucking worth it.

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