Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ah, So There's the Hype

In my last blog post, I noted that there was little fanfare as I finished the last requirements of my degree. Fast forward through a week and a half of strawberry picking, roller coaster riding, running along the beach and partying like I'm in a Freddy Prinze Jr. movie to TODAY, and I got my fanfare.

My parents flew in all the way from Edmonton, Canada to join me in the graduation festivities weekend, and it has certainly been a busy weekend filled with receptions, pig roasts and, appropriately, a visit to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Today was the BIG day, in which I attended not just one, but two, graduation ceremonies - the "final exercises" on the UVA Lawn and the ceremony on the Darden grounds where I actually received my degree.

And so, with that, this chapter of my life ends. I tried to avoid goodbyes today, feeling fortunate that I could pinpoint times that I will see most of my good friends here again in the near future. I've been so honoured to have my parents in town, AND to have had family watching from across the continent (well, from Canada, more accurately) on the Darden stream as I was "conferred" my degree.

Today officially marks the beginning of my three month vacation and I'm excited about heading back to the Outer Banks tomorrow to kick off my summer travels and spend some time with my parents.

Congratulations to all my fellow graduates - I am truly honoured to be a part of the Darden Class of 2011.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


There was no fanfare or champagne cork popped or choir singing this afternoon, but at 2:27 p.m., my entire world changed. Sort of.

2:27 p.m. was the time, according to Outlook, that I sent off an email declaring that I had finished the final deliverable of my MBA. Classes finished less than an hour and a half before that, and in true Darden style, the final class was epic. Two students did a presentation "summarizing" all of the learning from the course - though if you replacing "summarizing" with "mocking", you would have a better idea of how the presentation went down.

So I'm done. Pinch me. I thought that the news of being finished would entice me to sprawl out on the grass and read something truly frivolous. Instead, since procrastinating is something that only needs to be done when there is something to procrastinate from, I didn't take it easy and instead made a dessert for my potluck (Nanaimo bars - a Canadian treat - in case you're curious), tidied up all the areas of my apartment that got bogged down with exam clutter and folded all my laundry before heading off to my evening events.

For more than three months, I get to live without setting an alarm clock, and without feeling pressure to perform in any way, shape or form. This will probably be the last time in my life that I have that luxury - the luxury of no email coming in on my phone that demands my attention (it'll switch from "can you do X on the group project" to "the client needs that analysis by the morning") and nothing that will bring out the competitive nature that drives me to not be a slacker. I've got more trips lined up in TripIt than I've ever had slotted at one time, and it all promises to be very exciting. (Stay tuned for posts from: Outer Banks, DC, Boston, Iceland, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Canada!)

I'm just ignoring the fact that the next few weeks are going to be filled with way too many goodbyes.