May 3, 2013

The month of April was a blur and that was the reason I have not posted on this blog for quite a while.

I think the month of April is perhaps one of the two busiest months for me. Of course, the other is the month leading up to the Symposium. April is normally just as busy because I have a heavier teaching load and the courses I teach in the spring semester are loaded with large projects for the students and a greater number of assignments. With the major projects in my classes both due in April, it makes a tough month for students and faculty.

April also included a number of guest speakers in the classroom and the beginning of the search for a replacement for the retiring Steve Barham.

The matrix project in the racing office class is an assignment where students must prepare the purse schedule, stakes races and condition book for a 33 day mixed meet for quarter horses and thoroughbreds. The other big assignment in the track management class is a simulcast analysis. There students outline all the steps necessary to export or import simulcasting as well as do two financial pro forma examining the effects of dropping signals and opening less hours. What financial impact does that have on revenue and expenses?

April also is a busy month as the second year graduate students are completing their professional development project which is much like a thesis but with a business/analytical twist. The student’s graduate committee spends a significant amount of time with the student as they complete their project. This year Christina’s project was a qualitative and quantitative look at “Public Perception and Equine Welfare in the North American Thoroughbred Racing Industry.”

Everyone is ready for the semester to end in the spring after a long academic year. Since we all are glad to see the semester end, the faculty takes turns hosting a party at the end of the semester. This semester Tresa and I hosted the party last Saturday, April 27.  Between the hard work students went through on all the projects, the grading that goes along with that it is great to unwind as the semester ends. 

So that was the short version of a long month! Now it is finals week and the KY Derby weekend – yeah!