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The Cody Blog: Learning and <i>Learning</i> at Seton Hall

Monday, December 12, 2005

Learning and Learning at Seton Hall

Scott Rothbort, who teaches at Seton Hall (and manages money), invited Steve Birenberg and me out to guest lecture at his class on Tuesday of last week. It was my second time to drop in.

I was blown away by some of the students and the learning going on at Seton Hall, but first a quick story of how I once again found the experience wonderfully full of perspective (I wish I could just write that as "wondefully perspectiveful", but that latter word doesn't really exist, and I can't continually keep making up new rules to add to the English language, right?)

Seton Hall is in Orange, NJ, and our driver got lost as we entered the town. Now Orange, NJ, isn't all one big beautiful campus town, and we ended up in a some pretty depressing-looking neighborhoods, as we drove around looking for the campus. I had the driver pull over when we saw a couple people walking down the street, and I rolled down the window. I hollared out at them, "Excuse me, do you guys know where the Seton Hall campus is?"

They sorta' looked shocked at me and then at each other, and, as they told us they had no idea, I realized that here I was in the ghetto, asking for directions from the backseat a black limo-looking cadillac with New York plates.

Over the years, I've lived in the ghettos of Albuquerque, Harlem and Brooklyn, and I just sorta' feel comfortable in such areas. I've hooped, dunked, talked trash, and been in fights on the basketball courts in depressed neighborhoods countless times. I'm still that guy. But I guess it must have been somewhat shocking to the guys on the sidewalk in this circumstance. All right, so much for this digression. Onto the story.

We eventually found our way to the campus using some OnStar, and much like last time, I was smitten with the aura / atmosphere / vibe of the Seton Hall campus. It's a place of learning, and you can almost feel the brains turning, churning and burning.

Steve gave a great presentation to the class, and I along with several students and Scott peppered Steve with questions. I learned a lot from the presentation -- and from the questions the students asked too. Which is really the point of this post.

My favorite question of the night came after Scott asked Steve and I for some stock ideas. Whatever stocks we mentioned are beside the point when it comes to learning. No, it was when a student asked "How do you determine when you sell or trim a position?" that I got really excited.

I lit up when he asked that. Mainly because that's a hard-core, cutting, nitty-gritty aspect of investing and trading. Again, our answers were beside the point.

It's the process, the understanding of the business, the grasping of the concepts that were so important that night. It's the question that's important!

For an undergrad student to be able to see that many steps ahead in this chess-game we call the market is a sure indication that there are some very important lessons being taught at Seton Hall and in Scott's class.

Very impressive. Like I told Scott and Steve at dinner afterward -- I can't imagine having built such a base knowledge of the world of Wall Street and trading and investing as an undergrad.


Blogger The Mastodon Hunter said...

As a student (though grad, not undergrad) who feels intimidated by how much there is ahead of me to learn and accomplish, I can't tell you how comforting that is to hear.

Even intellectual sequoias such as you and Scott were once saplings.

12/17/2005 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger C-Head said...

Hey Cody --
As Seton Hall is in SOUTH Orange NJ, as opposed to Orange, it's no wonder you were lost. I know you City dwellers get a little freaked when you cross the bridge or tunnel.

Happy New Year -- from your friend in CLECville.

12/22/2005 02:18:00 PM  

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