Tag Archives: class

The Art of Financial Accounting in relation to Birds somehow.

Today my Stern business class started: Financial Accounting. I had been dreading it, thinking “oh, business, this is going to be sophisticated and difficult! I am going to dread this 6-9pm course!” However, upon my first day of class (although I will need a pack of skittles to stay awake) I really enjoyed it. In fact I would venture to say that it’s my best class so far, well right up there with Carlo’s course in London.

Now in financial accounting you have your assets and your liabilities and owner equity. Since its a double balance thing you record things like such. Say you want to buy a chicken. Don’t ask me why, you just do. So you spend $30 on a chicken of your assets but then add $30 worth of chicken to your inventory of chicken. Inventory also being an asset. However, if you wanted to buy a whole hell of a lot of chicken and you put it on a credit card in basic terms. You’d add + $ for chicken to your inventory and + $ for chicken to your liabilities, basically your bills. At the end of the day assets = liabilities + owner’s equity. Owner’s equity being if you decided to sell stock in your chicken. Oh god that was the worst unintentional pun ever! I may actually use it again just for the sake of the cringe that crept over me.

So had class today. But yesterday is when the important thing began. I was thinking about President’s day weekend as I was walking to the PATH and Benjamin Franklin (who was never a president but also goes with the bird theme as he suggested the turkey – relative of the chicken – to be our national bird) for that matter why do we have a national bird and no other national animals? Really animals, stand up for your rights!

But back to Ben. So Ben would keep a day planner. I remember reading about this in middle school in some terribly illustrated book in a class by a woman who I wasn’t so keen on. I would regularly fail our reading tests. So Ben would have this day planner and he’d keep track of where every one of his hours went. Or more like, how he spent them. He’d get up terribly early and utilize the daylight and such and work off into the night. So I began thinking about how I use my hours and where do they all go to. I figured that I spend at least 2-3 hours a day in just commuting! That adds up! I spend another 40 hours a week in going to work, my internship and classes.  Again, a lot of time. Then when you think about how much sleep you get and how much time that takes up! So you can imagine my mind is just reeling over how much time I spend where and doing what.

Now bring this back to Financial Accounting. Again, I was walking to the PATH. I do my best thinking when I’m walking as anyone who has seen me on a telephone or dictating something would be able to tell you. And here it is the art of financial accounting. How can I make a balance sheet of my day? So instead of assets = liabilities + owner equity, you’d end up with Enjoyment = Work + Extremities. I was counting sleep and eating under extremities. But then… bear with me as I take you through a train of thought that really belongs on a carnival tunnel…. how would I assign value to the numbers? Would I make the measurements units of time, units of experience, units of money, units of quality? Its just mind boggling! For instance, though I was considering sleeping and eating as extremities, things you just need to do, they can also totally be considered enjoyment. And in that case, how do I create my balance sheet?! Hence the concept of quality or for that matter experience. If I spend $2 on a cupcake and it make my entire day, how do I weigh that against the 4 hours of work I just did so I could buy the cupcake or feel that I emotionally deserved the cupcake enough to financially buy it!

So you can see, its really difficult to account for yourself! I mean, then you get into the whole concept that accounting is just numbers and the number have no real meaning! Because there are plenty of things that aren’t considered in accounting that do contribute to the value of your company! For instance with all the big pharmaceutical companies, if they develop the Paten for the drug in house, they don’t have to put it on their balance sheet! Or if you bought a building 10 yrs ago and the real estate is now worth more, you still put the price of purchase on your balance sheet. So numbers mean absolutely nothing and I can’t even begin to consider how that will effect my personal accounting! I mean my mind just may explode by the time I figure it all out. And if then you take into consideration that TIME IS JUST A  HUMAN PERCEPTION! Thank you Data/Star Trek episode and the book Speed, then where are we to begin with? And isn’t time acutally a dimension, like the 4th dimension? Does the forth dimension not exist? Oh my gosh this is just amazingly crazy and I have no idea how I’m going to get this personal accounting thing to work. Then again, its just as likely or rather maybe more likely that I’ll have forgotten about this whole art project by next week. However, if there are any suggestions out there – send them my way!


Asia Society

Meeting Kristin in NYC, I had expected to sit back and enjoy tour. But shortly into our conversation, the words “I have a plan” came out of my mouth and she said to me, “You always have a plan.” It was a brief moment of self-realization. But she’s right I always have a plan and several back up ones or inter-changeable ones at that.

So we stop by White Box which is a bit of an unnecessary stop and I cleared up my internship hours. I’ll be beginning on Monday.

We looked around the city. We’re both tired from walking – I took us way far out of the way trying to get to White Box.

So we sat in Union Park for a while while we waited for Anne so I could return things to her.

Then we went over to the Asia Society. My very first assignments for the Intro to Museums and Galleries of NYC was to go to the Asia Society and write a review of a show there. It was an opening night and it was free, so we went.  Today I finished writing my review. It may get changed a bit for professionalism’s sake but here it is:

Art and China’s Revolution at the ASIA Society

Walking into the ASIA Society on the opening night of their long awaited exhibit, “Art and China’s Revolution,” was an experience with crowd density, one possibly comparable to being in China itself. Having to squeeze through the social sporting event, I made my way to the main gallery. The cramped space reminded me of that morning’s New York Times review of the show: “if their installation is uncomfortably tight, it evokes the claustrophia-inducing social atmosphere that produced them.”[1] Not surprisingly though, the main gallery was rather sparse in patrons, but not in artwork. One was immediately greeted by the large scale paintings of a smiling Mao Zedong leading a crowd of laboring workers – and this was to be the major theme of the exhibit.

Navigating the exhibit was difficult, not due to its labyrinth like layout, but in the tightly enclosed space between the walls of work. This made it difficult to step back and fully take in the massive paintings of Mao leading workers, Mao on a boat or Mao upholding the ideals of red China. Luckily, if you could see one – you’d have seen them all. For, similarly to the recent show of Cuban artwork at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, this exhibit was not necessarily about the talent of specific painters or the showcasing of a new artistic style. This was an exhibit dedicated to exploring the cultural history of the Chinese Revolution – the effects that the political war had on artists and the future of Chinese artwork. This was an educational show.

As I wandered through the gallery, careful not to get stuck behind slow moving docent tours unless they proved inspiring, it became apparent that the show was organized thematically. A section on the social-realist works with Mao as their subject, one on the ink paintings of senior artists who were persecuted under the socialist regime, one on a series of small landscapes which would have been hidden due to the subject matter’s lack of socialist support and another on the works inspired by those artists who were forced to live in the peasant conditions under the socialist government. Though the feature topics were clearly outlined, the organization of these sections within the gallery seemed random.

The large Mao pieces were located in the front – most likely for the immediate impression they make upon the viewer. However, the other sections seemed out of place. Examples of ink paintings by senior artists were in the back of the gallery. Instead it may have been beneficial to place them nearer to the entryway and organize the themes chronologically. In this way, patrons would see how the artwork changed as socialism was introduced and became China’s formal government.

In continuing to tour the gallery, I began to suspect from the layout of the work and the number of pieces included, that the Curator had been faced with a major decision: does one include the most work possible for the educational content of the exhibit and therefore sacrifice the work’s breathing space, or does one eliminate pieces from the show in order to present the artwork more clearly? With the headache that the ASIA Society must have encountered from working with the Chinese government to secure artwork for the show, it would have been counter-productive to remove pieces from the exhibit. Therefore, while the gallery appeared a little over-crowded, each piece remained integral in the gallery’s educational program.

With so much artwork, such cramped space, and the need to get across a wealth of information, the ASIA Society did an excellent job in making accessible the history of the Chinese Revolution and its relationship to the artistic culture. Docents were leading tours during the opening reception and there was a variety of educational media tools from basic wall texts to a cell phone audio tour. The success of the educational aspect of the exhibit was not just consequential but essential. As there has never been an exhibit of China’s revolutionary art in such scale, the show would be a failure if patrons only looked at the images and were not able to grasp their meaning within the social context of the Chinese Revolution.[2] However, the show’s success is promising. It deeply engages its patrons in artwork brought to life by the history that created it and inspires questions of the relationship art and revolution.