Category Archives: actuary


I’m getting really bad at this, aren’t I?

Anyway, here are my general goings-on:

My photography business is going well.  My last two jobs – a sweet sixteen party and a portrait session with five kids under five – both mentioned wanting me to work for them again in the future.  That makes me so happy, that these people are happy enough with my work (and with me) that they want to give me more of their money to have fun taking pictures.  I can dig it!  I have a wedding to photograph tomorrow, which should be fun and is in a lovely location.  It’s just a touch less pressure because the couple actually is already married – they tied the knot about a month ago for technical reasons.  So tomorrow’s just for fun and show for their friends and family.  The bride and groom are both older, and most of his family won’t be there (he’s from very very far away) so the posed formals of the whole thing (by far my least favorite part of weddings) will be very low-key and relaxed and focused mostly on the bride and groom.  The only thing I’m really not looking forward to is that I’m sick right now.  Not crazy feverish or anything, but feeling kinda stuffy and with a tickly throat and feeling very, very run down.  I foresee fueling myself with cold medicine and coffee tomorrow.

Lane’s doing really well in kindergarten.  We had our first parent-teacher conference and we heard how her skills are all really far along, and (more importantly to me) that she is a real pleasure to have in class.  I can officially say she’s reading.  We laid all the building blocks for her, and something about school just helped her put it all together and she can read straight through some of the simpler Dr. Seuss books now.  She’s started taking *very* informal piano lessons and likes them. 

Jake is just such a boy now.  He was watching Little Bear on Noggin today and just laughing in a very amused way at very appropriate parts and it just struck me that he’s a kid now.  Not my baby anymore!  Though I wish someone would tell that to him when he insists on nursing.  I still mostly don’t mind but where Lane was more laid-back about scaling back or shortening sessions, Jake will have none of it.  Oh well, he’s only little like this once.

Frank and I are talking about another baby.  Gluttons for punishment, no?  😀  It’s funny though… for a long time I’d bring up the subject and he was very noncommittal about talking about a baby.  Very recently though, something’s changed.  He’s more into it now.  I wish he’d be more forthcoming with his affirmation, rather than me having to infer it from his intense concern that I get the H1N1 vaccine in case I get pregnant.  Though it may be a while in coming, as I and my (new, feels like a great fit!) midwife are both pretty sure I’m not ovulating, and we’re trying to figure out why through myriad tests, including an ultrasound of my lady parts that I have to schedule.

Frank, in actuarial matters, took one of the FSA exams a couple weeks ago, and he’ll find out if he passed in January.  In the meantime, he got ahold of the syllabus for the other FSA exam and he’s started studying for that one.  Each of the FSA exams is only offered once a year, but not at the same time.  So the first one was offered in October, and the other one will be offered end of April.  So… you either focus on one and only take an exam once a year (and have to wait a whole year if you don’t pass the first time) or you split your focus on both of them so you’re always working toward an exam that isn’t more than a few months away.  Not to say Frank’s definitely chosen one approach over the other, he’s just in limbo right now, not knowing if he passed, with an exam coming up in April.  So I think he’s optimistically going to start studying for that one, hoping he passed the exam he just took.  If he finds out he failed the exam, I imagine he’ll switch back to studying for that one.  I know this seems a sort of weird subject to dedicate a big ol’ blog paragraph towards, but our lives sort of revolve around exams and the time Frank needs to study for them.  Plans are put on hold in favor of studying.  Our friends have largely forgotten what we look like.  However, we ARE taking two vactions in the next few months!  In addition to the week we’ll spend in Buffalo for the holidays, we are going to Disney world in mid-February, and Aruba in April.   I kind of hope I can make those trips pregnant.  🙂

A better note

At least SOMETHING good happened today.  Frank found out he passed his Final Assessment!  He now unofficially has his ASA!!  (It’s not really official until the Society of Actuaries puts out their official list of ASA’s and he’s on the list, but that won’t be until June, I think.)

Congrats, honey!  Not that you read this blog, but I am very, very proud of you.

Lest you think this means our days of studying are over… he’s already decided to go for the FSA and has begun studying.

It’s funny though… we initially planned, way back when, that we weren’t going to have kids until he got his ASA.  And then I accidentally got pregnant and all that changed.  I couldn’t even imagine my life today if I didn’t have Lane and Jake around.  Fate does seem to know what’s better for you than you do, sometimes.  I wouldn’t change it for a second.

A Very Big Wait

Frank finished his final assessment, and he’s feeling cautiously confident. He should hear whether he passed or not in anywhere from 72 hours to six weeks. They say it can say six weeks; one of his coworkers heard in 3 days. So…. I’ll share the news when he gets it but we have little idea when that will be.

For now though, I have my husband back. Even if he is wiped out. 🙂

A Very Big Deal

Frank, as you may or may not recall, is an actuary.

Actuaries go through this whole really hard exam process to get to add little letters to their name.  After like six exams, they can call themselves an “A.S.A.” which stands for Associate of the Society of Actuaries.  Add a couple more exams, and they get to call themselves an “F.S.A.” which stands for a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

In actuarial circles, getting your A.S.A. or F.S.A is a really, really big deal.   Each exam is really hard, and you have to pass six of them to get to the A.S.A. accreditation.

This week, Frank is doing his Final Assessment.  This is basically the sixth exam to get his A.S.A.  It’s not an exam in a traditional sense; it’s more like a super-in-depth case study/homework assignment.  He has 96 hours to do it.  It’s open book, but that’s sort of irrelevant; you really have to know your shit to do well on this thing.

He started it yesterday, which means it’s due on Thursday.  As you can imagine, we’ll be seeing very little of him in the next few days.  I’m not even sure where he is; I think he said he’d be at the library.  But he’s working hard and hopefully kicking butt, because in his world, and therefore our world, this is A Very Big Deal.  Not only is it a true distinction, but the financial rewards just for getting those three little letters are pretty big.  A decent bonus, a substantial pay increase, plus eligibility to hold just about any actuarial job in his firm.  (Only a few distinct positions seem to require the F.S.A., and those are the REALLY nerdy math geek positions, the people that really know this stuff backwards and forwards.)

So, and I don’t ask for this often, but keep your fingers crossed for him!  He’s worked so hard to get to this point, and we’ve done a lot of not seeing him while he studies.  He’s spent family vacations studying giant binders of information and with his nose in his laptop doing modules (the prep work for exams).  Like I said, this is A Very Big Deal.