Time for another update for the current participants here who have never responded to this Topic?
Among the original responses, I see that the vast majority were either engineering, science, or computer science majors. Sophie's combination is QUITE impressive. Explains all the brilliance I see every time she write ANYTHING.
I did not have a straight line progression to my final degrees.
In high school I excelled in math and sciences. English was by far my least favorite subject.
The summer after junior year of high school my parents and I made a visit to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester MA. Solely that I'd scored an 800 on the Math II achievement exam the person we were meeting with said to my parents, "Your son would be an excellent candidate for early decision."
That is what I did. Applied early decision and received my acceptance letter the day after Thanksgiving. The only college I applied to.
WPI then was a math / science / engineering school and was supposed to be for those who could not get into MIT.
It was also a super tiny school. As a four year college it had less students than my three year high school.
Senior year of high school I took calculus and achieved the highest score possible on the advanced placement exam. That led to entering WPI with 7 college credits.
I'd taken drafting my senior year of high school just to have a subject that did not have homework. But I could never figure out that "third view". On the basis of that I, on my own, made the leap that I was not cut out to be any kind of engineer. When I got to WPI I looked around and it seemed like majoring in math was the only suitable major for me.
First year I got A's in calculus 3 and 4. They were continuations of my high school calculus in that they were full of formulae and low on theory.
My second semester freshman year was saved by Kent State in May 1970.
I had thought that I was going to double major in math and computer science prior to entering school (especially after being ahead by 7 credits). But I could not fathom the bits and bytes in that first computer science course. I was willing to fail it because I did not think it was worth it to spend any time at all on something that was incomprehensible to me.
Although I'd got A's in regular and advanced physics in high school, I could not understand all the theory in physics on the college level. Headed to a poor grade in that class also.
After Kent State I was arrested for protesting the draft (one of only seven from the entire college to do so). At the time we set the record for the largest mass arrest (238 people) ever in U.S. history but it was later many times eclipsed.
One result was that we were allowed to choose to take either a grade or go Pass /Fail in our courses. I chose grades for Calculus and Gym, thinking I could get All A's for the first time in my life at any level, and Pass / Fail in all the others (I think I had dropped that computer science class). Somehow I only got a B in gym!
Next year ended in a disaster. Two MORE semesters of physics. And, my math was also a disaster. I had to drop the Advanced Calculus class as it was all theoretical with none of my beloved formulae. And, Modern Algebraic Theories! What happened to all my numbers??!!! The only numbers I'd see in that course were the problem numbers! NOT FOR ME!
2nd semester was the true disaster. One C, two D's, and an F (physics!)! I think that was a 0.69 GPA??!! In one year I went from top half of the class to being on academic probation!
Meanwhile I'd applied for transfer to Boston University as I wanted to be in Boston so as to be right where the major rock bands came to play instead of having to travel there from Worcester. I was accepted but I was going to lose a semester of credit. After two years of school I'd gone from 7 credits ahead to a semester behind!
One night that summer I was doing a radio show at the WPI radio station. Some friends came by. This is so long ago that the radio station used tubes. And, there some major tube that after you shut one thing down you had to wait a another full hour before you shut could finally shut down that tube.
So during that hour my friends and I smoked a lot of marijuana. I seem to remember us listening to "A Child's Garden of Grass" record. One of the friends wanted to steal a scale from one of the science buildings (for use in his marijuana dealings). He kept asking me to be the driver of the getaway car. I think I said NO the first four times. But being so stoned I finally was so worn down that I said YES the fifth time he asked.
He never did steal it but we were spotted by a security guard and I was suspended from school, not that I was going to go back. At some point I also decided I not going to follow through on the transfer to Boston University.
That summer I also became the manager of a rock band. I thought that we were the best band in the state of Rhode Island and we were going to be the next Beatles. I loved everything about my life's situation at that time.
Then, all of a sudden, at the end of August I said, "I need to be in school! I need to maintain my 2S otherwise I am going to be 1A for the draft."
I ran down to Rhode Island Junior College on the absolute last day to apply and met with a dean and had to convince him why he should accept someone who'd just been suspended for being part of an attempted theft. They accepted me for the fall semester 1971.
Then in October I got a message from the Selective Service telling me that I was 1A and I needed to go for my physical at the induction center. I called them to say there must be some mistake. I'm a college student and I should be 2S. The woman told me that I was in my third year of college and needed to be making satisfactory progress towards a degree, meaning I should have been a college junior and NOT at a junior college.
That was a MAJOR problem with me having #8 in the draft lottery! No way were they going to miss taking me.
But another story for another day as to how they missed me. I did complete that semester at Rhode Island Junior College.
A year or two later I made the proclamation that I was FOREVER done with college and was going to be "the self-made man".
I moved to western Massachusetts in November 1973. My second day in Amherst, MA I wandered into a natural food coop. And, when I went to the office, I saw a guy using a calculator. I immediately told myself, "I want to do that!"
Turned out he was the coop's treasurer. Shortly after he put a notice in the coop newsletter saying he was looking to be replaced. I ran down there, thinking there would be all kinds of competition for this (to me) dream volunteer position. He told me I was the only one who had expressed any interest in it.
My only exposure to any form of accounting in any way was a bookkeeping course I'd taken that one semester at Rhode Island Junior College.
I loved being the treasurer but I had no idea what I was doing. The prior treasure had been an English major, was as smart as me, but between the two of us we had zero accounting skills or knowledge.
One spring day in 1975 a coworker said he was going to go to the University of Massachusetts to see about getting an electrical engineering degrees (he had an associates degree). I said I'd go with him to see about getting an accounting degree. It was strictly a whim as my sole goal that day was to get the rest of the day off from work.
I went, met with someone, and decided to take a summer school class in accounting. Loved it. While taking the course I was also the manager of a rock band in western MA and my first real profit & loss and balance sheet were the financial statements for the band (NOT a pretty picture!).
That summer school course led me to quitting my job and entering the program full-time (September 1975).
One day in the library, another friend told me he was going to be a TA in the graduate program and was going to be paid $3,600 a year. $3,600 a year! As soon as he gave me that information I went right to the graduate school office and met with the department head. He told me if I entered the program I could also be a TA.
On yet another whim I entered the graduate program. Going to school full-time plus summers, I had both my BBA and MSBA in accounting by May 1978. Nearly nine years after I had first entered WPI in September 1969!
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."