Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Oops... one more thing...

The previous post needs some clarification...

For the first time in my life, I'm headed in the right direction. I LOVE business school, and I'm working toward something right now. My summer job is intended as very practical experience for the work force I will be entering in due time. The volunteering that I do is leading to the same thing. And the friends I am making at school will be good friends during my career as well. So, I'm not cynical and bitter... I don't need anything to change. 2006 is the first year I am heading into with a positive outlook and a sense that I really know where I'm going for once. There's no questioning the direction like I did when I was heading into computing science. There's no wondering if I'm going to get in to business school. There's no sense of responsibility to my job that's holding me back from anything.

I truly am moving forward and enjoying every moment of it.

Looking Ahead to 2006

Hmmm... well, 2006 will most likely be a repeat of 2005. Now, I know that probably isn't a good way to start off the year, but 2005 was an overall good year. And the structure of 2006 will be the same - a summer of day camp sandwiched with two semesters of school. Throw some volunteer work on top and you've got 2006.

I know that I'm supposed to set goals and New Year's resolutions and all that crap, but the truth is that the goal is beyond 2006 and the events of 2006 are just leading me there.

When I sat down to write this blog, I had intended to write something profound and make 2006 somehow different and more special than 2005, but I'd rather go into the year with low expectations. Day Camp will go well, once again, and I will do well in school... once again. Of course I want to grow and all that stuff, but why should I sit down and make a huge list of things in my life that need to change when the reality is that by February, I will have lost the list and the routine of my life will be the same as always - it never changes.

I am quite aware that I am sounding completely cynical, but it never hurts to have low expectations, because then you won't be disappointed.

So, here's what 2006 holds: two good, fun, educational semesters of school, a good learning experience running day camp during the summer, and some fun trips and experiences sprinkled throughout. I will continue to grow and learn, and that will be that.

And I will not fall in love, because I never have, and I never will. There is no more hoping that the new year will bring love to my doorstep. I am officially career woman now.


My head is a jumble of thoughts tonight. Exams finished almost a week ago and life has been a whirlwind since then. Parties, getting ready for parties, shopping, work and, oh yeah, a day for just being sick. But now I get to breathe.

But when I sit down to breathe, I realize that a whole week of my life has just slipped by. A week that for months I was looking forward to because it was supposed to mean I was doing nothing and simply enjoying Christmas.

But now I'm not so sure that Christmas can be simply enjoyed. My friend and I were discussing this the other night, as we wondered where the magic had gone. When I was younger, Christmas was the time of Christmas musicals (which I LOVED), evening visits with the family around the advent wreath, singing and dancing to Amy Grant's "A Christmas Album" with my sisters and putting ornaments on the tree. And I LOVED the lights - the candles and the Christmas tree lights gave me a feeling like euphoria that I can't even describe. I used to sit in the room with all the main lights off and the candles and tree lights on and wish that Christmas could last forever. We have a nativity scene with 24 characters and bring one out each day in December. My sisters and I used to fight and fight over who got to choose that day's character, then we would play with them for hours. But now we barely remember to take them out.

And I don't know where it went - that magic that used to be Christmas. I don't know if I can blame exams. And I definitely can't blame the busy-ness of Christmas parties, because those are designed to invoke the magic. And it definitely isn't the lack of decoration and cheesy Christmas music in the malls. Nothing else has changed - only me.

Is it age? Now that I'm 24, a year is a 24th of my life. When I was 5, it was a fifth of my life. So Christmas came much less frequently. Maybe now we just get sick of it because it's Christmas so often? Christmas starts in November - as soon as the Halloween decorations are down. That's 1/6 of the year. Maybe Christmas just becomes much less precious.

By now you probably think I am going to make a point soon, but I really don't have one. The truth is that emotions shouldn't rule Christmas. The truth is that Christmas is a celebration of God's greatest gift to mankind: Himself. And it shouldn't matter how I FEEL about that... I still need to respond with worship and reverence. Perhaps I am being selfish in trying to rekindle the old FEELING of Christmas, because it shouldn't be about what I get from it.

And so, this post will end. Without anything significant or profound being said. Just a confused and tired 24-year-old girl trying to figure out life once again.

No matter how I feel, God, thank you for the sacrifice you made.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Done like Dinner

Finals are done.

I'm still in shock. I raced through this morning's multiple choice final and handed it in and then I was done.

So, I'm done now.

Unfortunately, I've got tonsilitis, so that's not fun, but I'm taking lots of Tylenol and keeping it in check. I'm less in pain and more just tired and out of it. And I now have to go clean the house and shovel the snow off the skating rink because I've got 50 people coming over for a Christmas party tonight.

But, I'm done.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Three Down, One to Go...

Okay, I actually finished #3 on Thursday, but haven't posted anything because I've been too busy RELAXING. And then studying again today... you can only relax so much when you've got 8 chapters of Marketing textbook to read and review.

Getting sick, which TOTALLY sucks because I've been so busy over the last month and a half and things are finally winding down and now my body's rebelling. I guess better now than when I was in the thick of things.

Going to see Messiah tonight, which is going to be TOTALLY awesome. I'm really looking forward to it.

Anyway, I really have nothing interesting to say, as you can see, so adios.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Two Down, Two to Go

I finished the most dreaded final of this term today. NO MORE BUS 201! It was a three hour exam on Excel, and it's done.

I didn't put my name on this one, either, but I didn't have to, so it wasn't a big problem.

Here's a seemingly random tidbit: to turn down the volume on an iPod, all you do is rotate that little wheel. You would think it's easy to figure out, but it's not.

We were allowed to bring music into this exam, since it was open book, so I borrowed my Mom's iPod. She showed me mostly how to use it, but didn't show me how to change the volume. So, I was in a relaxed mood listening to "For Unto Us a Child is Born" from Handel's Messiah when suddenly I realized everyone around me kept glancing at me and laughing because the music was so loud. I couldn't figure out how to turn it down, so I just had to turn it off. Sad times.

Anyway, Management Science is tomorrow and after that it's smooth sailing until I write Marketing next Tuesday.

Monday, December 12, 2005

One Down, Three to Go

Finished my first final today. Forgot to write my name on it. (All is not in vain, though, as I am 99% sure that I DID remember to put my ID number.)

Finals would be much less stressful if I didn't want to go to grad school one day. I made that decision this weekend. How will I ever be the CEO of a company without my MBA?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

2005 Year in Review

Saw someone else doing this in a blog, so I figured I would start as well.

The general outlook on 2005 for me was generally positive. Maybe not always, as there were some definite rough patches, but I would say that 2005 was a year of significant accomplishments and just generally moving forward in a very positive direction.

January Highlights:
I managed to work my school schedule so I only had classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. (Okay, lame-o, I know, but it was a long time ago! How am I supposed to remember?)

February Highlights:
Accepted my summer job as day camp coordinator at my church... after the children's pastor hunted me down for months.

March Highlights:
Went snowboarding in the mountains for the first time. It was an enlightening experience in the sense that I learned just how much I prefer skiing quickly down black diamond runs to sitting tired and sore in the middle of a green run with a snowboard strapped to my feet.
At the end of March, I found out I had been admitted to Business school... which not only gave me the opportunity to create a great schedule, but also took the pressure off with final exams.

April Highlights:
The biggest memory from April is how much fun exams were. It was beautifully sunny, and I got my first bad burn of the season sitting outside on a picnic table with my friends memorizing dates for a history exam. Now, you may not think getting burned was a highlight, but it was the sun and beautiful weather that made it all worthwhile. One of my friends also started dating the guy she is now engaged to during this exam time, and it was really exciting to be with her for the start of all that.

May Highlights:
Started my summer job and it was just an all around good experience. I learned to appreciate school because of the flexibility of the schedule (despite the heinous amount of work I don't get paid for).

June Highlights:
June really is a blur, to be honest. I think it was in June that my sister came home from Montreal, so it was good to have her around again.

July Highlights:
First week of Day Camp made for an incredibly busy July. I worked more during July than I have worked in any other month, except maybe the months I spent working at camp when I was on staff there. However, all the hard work paid off and our camps were incredibly successful - a huge blessing to me.

August Highlights:
I inherited a dog, a car and a house for the month as I was housesitting for a couple who had gone to the Philippines. I loved having a dog and it was really awesome to have my own space for that month which was again really busy. Of course, I had people over on a frequent basis and it was a more relaxed end for the summer for me.

September Highlights:
Started business school. Love it. Absolutely love it. Met some awesome people.

October Highlights:
Road trip to Seattle to see my favorite band - Switchfoot - in concert. For a weekend. I spent over 20 hours behind the wheel of our van in three days, and I wasn't the only driver. But it was all worth it, as we met up with my best friend in Vancouver for the trip down to Seattle.

November Highlights:
November was an incredibly busy month, but a big part of me really thrived on that. Group projects and assignments dominated my every free moment, but in the process I made some great friends and got to build my teamwork skills.

December Highlights:
Yet to come, I suppose, as it is only the 10th. It would be unfair to comment until January. I am looking forward to relaxing as exams finish and spending some time doing a lot of nothing. Catching up with friends who have been away and friends who have been here, but just too busy to hang out. That's the agenda.

There have been low points, too... But what would be the point of dwelling on them?

As January and 2006 approach, I'll probably do a post on what I'm looking forward to in 2006.

And alas, the practice final for my business class is calling my name and I should stop procrastinating...

Is there anything more beautiful than a good conversation?

Yes, I suppose there is.

Tonight I had a great time - went to a friend's birthday party and we sat around discussing and solving all the world's problems: the yuppy obsession with pets; affirmative action; Paul Martin's "brilliant" ban on hand guns, especially the illegal ones (yes I am being sarcastic); raising children; censorship; hypocrisy in the church; employers of choice (nap rooms and billiard rooms lead to increased productivity and greater workplace safety); education; discipline vs. desire in our relationship with God and many other topics of great interest to me... and finished sharing stories of summers spent working at camp. The beautiful part was that there were no big arguments, just insightful thoughts.

Unfortunately, it is 2:30 a.m. and I can't sleep in too late tomorrow and my eyes are red and swollen because I was allergic to the beautiful kitten that I kept trying to hold. (I hate cats, but kittens will always hold a special place in my heart...) But it was worth it. And one of the best parts of the evening was that there was a kitten at the house and another couple brought their three-month-old puppy.

Baby animals and great conversation... what more could I ask for?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Warm Days, Finals and Other Ponderings

Oh, the joys of Edmonton weather. Tuesday was so cold, everyone had their Eskimo parkas on. I think it was at least -20. The ground was covered in a nice, thick blanket of snow, assuring all who cared that we were certain to have a White Christmas.

Today, those hopes are in jeopardy, as the weather warmed up to a balmy 8 degrees and all the snow melted away. Although I'm sure that in the next two weeks, the weather will drop and it will snow once again, it felt wrong to be listening to Christmas music on the way home from school. To be honest, there's something magical about a cold December and drinking hot chocolate to warm up. It just feels that much more... romantic... in a 19th century novel kind of way. Oh well, my anthem for today: "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow..."

But, to think I missed the balmy "winter" day to be inside studying. Now that I've achieved the goal of the past few years of getting into Business school (note: I didn't get rejected that many times, that's just how much time it's been since I thought "I'd like to go into business," did all my prerequisites, and raised my GPA), there seems to be little practical reason to do well in my classes. I decided at the beginning of the semester that my goal for the remainder of my degree was to learn, rather than get good marks. But, here I am, writing out cue cards to memorize meaningless definitions for my Marketing exam... and skimping on studying for my Management Science exam because I can do well without really knowing what I am doing. I don't know why it is so firmly embedded in me that marks matter... because no one else cares. Anyway, it is a mystery I could ponder for sentences and paragraphs and blog posts without ever finding an answer, and boring everyone to death, so I'll stop now.

I said there would be other ponderings in this blog, but I don't know yet what they are... it just sounded more poetic to add it to the end of the title. And alas, I must go clean the bathroom now. That is the poetry of real life. At Christmas, I always want to feel like I am somehow a literary character or something... it is such a reflective time and I always think big thoughts. But then real life calls in the form of a dirty toilet and impending company and I am jolted from that literary romance. And with that, I depart from the life in my head to the trudging reality that is.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Nine Months Later...

My sister just pointed out to me that I hadn't blogged for a while. So, here it is... I'll try to get in the habit again. I miss writing.

I'm in Business school now. It's great. The big decision of my life these days is whether or not I want to do a double major... or even if I can. It would have been much more simple if I didn't have such a great Accounting prof this semester. Never in a million years would I have dreamed of majoring in Accounting... But now I might.

Anyway, I have to leave for school in 5 minutes and am not quite ready to walk out the door. So, tootles... and check back often... it's exam time, so I'll be procrastinating.