Jared McInelly, TMMBA Student (Class of 2012)
My mother grew up in tiny little town in Alberta, Canada. Every year, no matter how far away we lived, we’d make the trek to Raymond. One of the last markers to look for before we’d get there was Frank’s Slide. In 1904, half of Turtle Mountain broke loose and came rumbling down the valley where it buried most of the town of Frank, Alberta with over 90 tons of limestone. Over a hundred years later the path of destruction and debris pile are still easily visible. The road through Crowsnest Pass takes you right through massive, two-story high, sun bleached boulders. The first time I saw this as a kid I was amazed, even a little scared that such a thing could happen. I’ve been fascinated by Frank’s slide ever since.
Two weeks into my first quarter in the TMMBA program I started hearing rumblings about “Frank’s exam.” Peopled talked about it with an awe of respect mingled with a hint of fear. Just like I felt the first time I saw Frank’s slide. I began to wonder, “were T-accounts going to become two story boulders, smashing me into wondering why I decided to go back to school?” Rumors were that the test took 15-17 hours to complete (so I planned on 22-25). That’s a lot of time when you’re working and going to school. My study group and I decided to work really hard to finish all of our other assignments before the week of Frank’s exam. It was a good move. By the time the week of the test came, I had nothing that had to be done except Frank’s test. I was really nervous as I downloaded the test questions and the spreadsheet template. It was my first official test in almost ten years. As I opened the test I began to imagine Turtle Mountain as it started to rumble and shake. I could see small boulders beginning to crash down the mountainside before the whole thing gave way. As I read the first question the panic of being buried in a field of journal-entry dust began to creep up my spine. I read the question again and sat back in my chair. “Wait a minute, I know this” I thought to myself. A few minutes later I was T-accounting with the best of them. I felt great when, 15 hours over three days later, I was finally finished.
Looking back now, it was actually a pretty ‘fun’ exam. I didn’t get the best score in the class but that’s not my goal in the program. But I do have a good, fundamental understanding of how to interpret Income statements, cash-flow statements and balance sheets, something I’ve always wanted to know how to do. And I’m glad that Frank’s exam didn’t become my own personal Frank’s slide.