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Why Am I Here? – An Accounting Origin Story

August 1980-something, somewhere in New Jersey:  My senior year was about to begin.

I went into school on registration day to pick up my books and settle my super easy Senior schedule. Everything was looking perfect until I met with Sister Delores, my class counselor.  (Yes, there were nuns at this school.)

“You don’t have a first-period class.”

“Well of course I do. It’s right here. I picked…”

“It’s full. You need to pick something else.”

“Um, ok. What about…”

“Full.”

“Ok, what’s NOT full?”

“It seems the only open class you qualify to take that isn’t full is Accounting. You had all summer to pick your classes.”

My world spun around. Accounting? Are you kidding me? A business class? Don’t you realize I’m a musician? I need art or languages or something.

“Here’s your schedule and your booklist. NEXT!”

I could not think of anything less cool, less groovy, less useful in my life. Accounting. Ugh.

Then I realized that I didn’t have to pass it to graduate, and I was back to my super-easy senior year.

Fast forward a few weeks into September when I took my first test. I had put zero effort into this class. I showed up. I did the classwork.  I took it all in passively. When I got my first test back, I scored 100%.  I looked around the room. People I knew to be smart and who were advanced classes had failed. But how? This stuff was so easy.  Or was it?

Accounting wound up being the only class where I achieved straight A’s in my whole high school career.

Morals of the story: First: Sometimes your calling in life isn’t what you planned.  Keep your eyes open for what comes easy to you but is difficult for others. Second: Accounting isn’t easy for most people. If you are good at what you do, do it. Accounting happened to be my calling, if it isn’t yours, get someone else to help you with taxes and accounting.

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