Dizzy! I’m so dizzy!

I haven’t posted as regularly as I would have liked, so this entry is going to be somewhat disjointed. May and June have been busy months, filled with some great experiences. The most exciting of these was finally landing a job! Oh what a long journey it’s been. At the end of fall quarter one of my friends had introduced me to KPMG’s Columbus recruiter who, from that point on, kept me abreast of entry-level audit openings. In March I received an e-mail about an opportunity in Chicago, so I promptly filled out the necessary application form and sent it off. April was relatively quiet, but May brought with it a phone interview that was the start of something wonderful. A week later I flew out to Chicago, and a day after that I received an oral offer. I still get butterflies when I think about my journey to get to this point – I am exactly where I want to be. The mock interviews, resume reviews, coaching from Fisher and KPMG staff, help from some awesome MAcc-ers and oodles of persistence really paid off. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So, what to write about next… A few weeks ago Geoff and I had the opportunity to attend a Columbus Crew game at a hefty discount (again, thanks to a fellow MAcc student). The atmosphere was great and the opponent – LA Galaxy – was formidable. The Crew lost, but we had a great time sitting on the shaded side of the stadium, eating our Dippin’ Dots (I wonder if they’ll ever stop referring to it as “the ice cream of the future”). At halftime, right before the sun had started to set, a plane flew over the stadium and dropped three skydivers right onto the field. Awesome! The entire experience was a nice warm-up for the excitement of the World Cup.

The MAcc graduation ceremony was held on Friday. My parents were not able to attend, but it was great to have my husband there and to see so many families make their way here from all over the world to support the graduates. I cannot believe how quickly this year passed.

Saturday I met up with an incoming student who holds an undergraduate degree in architecture. We went to lunch at Mozart’s, walked around the Fisher campus, and took a trip to the Student Union. I can’t wait to hear how he does next year.

The head Rabbit has something to say!

The great thing about having friends? Every once in a while one of them will help you out with your blog. This post comes courtesy of Scott K., a fellow MAcc student and a die-hard baseball fan:

Most of the Harvard Business School cases Nadia and I worked on together for AMIS 823 began with a disclaimer that the case was not meant “to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation.” Anyone who would like to observe ineffective handling of an administrative situation could simply sign up for intramural softball at Ohio State. Umpires who don’t know basic rules and 50%+ forfeit rates due to teams being given less than 24 hours notice and told that the posted schedule is incorrect when they arrive at the ballpark are just the beginning of what you can experience.

Still, softball gave our group another opportunity to do something fun together away from school. When we weren’t winning, we resorted to what we usually do elsewhere: laughing at ourselves and giving each other a hard time for real or perceived quirks. This quarter those personal flaws became mythical enough to be chronicled in doodles and comic strips during before and after class.

Somehow my extremely handsome hockey playoff beard (which died too young and would have become even more glorious if our Penguins had gone as far as they did the last two seasons) became a common target. Eventually I got the impression that some people genuinely thought it was hideous, which is unfathomable. In the comics drawn by Nadia and our friend and teammate Chia-Lung, my beautiful beard became comparable to any number of objects, including a kiwi fruit and a bush that had grown so unruly that it swallowed a park bench.

I’m not the best sketch artist, so the only jokes I’ve put to paper were in the form of a Harvard Business School case that Fisher MAcc students might study decades from now. However, this guest blogger opportunity presents my chance to depict and describe the softball exploits of Nadia and Chia-Lung. Paying tribute to their class and durability, respectively, here are the 1983 Topps Evstiounina rookie card and the 1975 Topps Lee rookie card.

The Rabbits of Caerbannog

According to rabbit.org the average lifespan of an indoor rabbit is nine to twelve years. Unfortunately, that range is sliced and diced for a co-ed intramural softball-playing Rabbit. In fact, it doesn’t run past the first playoff game. Being ahead for six innings only to lose it in the seventh… makes you want to hug a carrot and cry.

I was hoping I could write a post about my first Columbus Zoo experience by now, but I’m running a little behind schedule. I had this wonderful plan: the Student Union sells tickets to the zoo for $5 each (two per BuckID) starting at 5 pm every Thursday, and I was itching to get some and use them over the weekend. I would have been quite successful too, had I arrived 30 minutes early and jumped in line just as it was starting to form. That didn’t happen – I came in at the tail-end of a 100-person queue and had to walk away as a result of time limitations. I’ll be trying again this Thursday, though. I really want to see the new polar bear exhibit. The one at the Cincinnati Zoo was awesome:


Spring quarter has started off with an academic bang that’s been double underscored by the incredibly lovely and distracting weather. I don’t remember winter, or even fall, being this hard. The managerial accounting course I’m taking is intense – my team has to complete a case analysis for nearly every class meeting, and the entire class period is dedicated to discussion (quite enjoyable). The syllabus for the undergraduate auditing class is filled with cases, quizzes and reading, reading, reading. This coming Monday will bring an exam in IFRS… I can’t believe I’m about to write this, but I’m so happy (!) governmental accounting starts at 8:30 am, a fortunate circumstance that forces me to get up early on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but keeps those days entirely open after 10:18 am. Oh, and the exit exam is due in a week (right between my two midterms). And I’m playing on a co-ed intramural softball team, which is bringing some pain and bruising into my life (there exist a number of embarrassing pictures to go along with the story, but I need to obtain permission to post them). I wish the grassy, sunbathed courtyard would stop calling my name…

A Buckeye in the Steel City

Even though I haven’t been a resident of Pittsburgh for over five years, I still go back to visit my parents. They live in the suburbs, and that’s where I usually spend most of my time – but not last week. I decided to use my latest spring break to visit all the fun places I had taken for granted during my K-12 years but had begun to miss after I moved away.

Geoff and I started by driving down to the University of Pittsburgh’s campus. The Cathedral of Learning is one of my favorite buildings of all time. It contains a giant reading/study room and almost thirty nationality-themed classrooms (Russian, Lebanese, Chinese, etc) that appear to be utilized quite regularly. The Cathedral is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

(My camera can’t handle panoramic shots, so I had to take multiple photos and paste them together to somehow create a much squatter representation of reality.)

Continue reading “A Buckeye in the Steel City”

Revisiting Franklin Park Conservatory

In mid-March the FPC opened two new exhibits: The Hot Shop and Blooms & Butterflies. In order to make good use of our student memberships, Geoff and I decided to pay the place a quick visit before leaving for Pittsburgh.

Some random observations:

1. Everything looked and smelled better (greener) this time around, and there was more exploring to do out-of-doors. I am willing to take a wild guess and say that summer will be an even more fun time to visit.

2. A flesh-and-blood artisan doing real time demonstrations out in the courtyard is much more exciting to watch than is a looped recording of glassblowing. It was amazing to see (and feel the radiant heat coming off) nearly-molten glass being cut and molded with ordinary scissors, tongs, and a wad of wet newspaper.

3. Butterflies: quite pretty from far away, but scary up close. In fact, the closer they get, the more they resemble winged caterpillars. It might be my bitterness coming through, because I spent ten minutes trying to photograph a blue one, and I have 100 pictures of a thin brown line and ONE photo of what I actually wanted to capture (it’s below). That bugger knew exactly when to flap his wings shut.

My life in pictures:

Ahhh homemade pizza, I’m not sure how much more of you I can stand, yet it looks like there is no end in sight. Geoff and I can’t seem to reach a point at which the left over pizza dough, pesto sauce and toppings run out simultaneously. So we keep on buying more of one thing, then another… At least the output is getting better and better. The latest chicken-bacon-broccoli creation was the best so far.

Tucker – Petland’s free range tortoise – enjoys charging at carts and is surprisingly lithe when it comes to avoiding candid photo moments. Yes, he’s good, but not that good…

Dispatch Ice Haus – the best place to go if you’ve never learned how to ice skate and are looking forward to a little bit of pain. I think I might have to back off and try roller blading first. Blacktop doesn’t hit you back quite as hard as ice does. Makes me wish I had Tucker’s mad maneuvering skills.

The weather outside is beau-ti-ful. The snow has melted, the neighborhood geese are MIA, and my cabin fever is subsiding. As far as I’m concerned, the changing of the seasons is one of the best parts of living in Columbus.

Semi-homemade Pizza

One of my more cooking-inclined friends gave me the idea to make a pizza at home. It turned out to be highly customizable, fast (under 20 minutes for the entire process), tasty (even more so when I remember to cook the crust a little before adding the toppings) and quite cheap:

pizza dough: $1.67
pesto sauce: ≈ $2.00
cheese: $2.00
pepperoni: ≈ $1.00

All I need now is a pantry full of olives and anchovies, and I’ll be set for a while.

Maybe someday this will take first place on the “Pizza Power Rankings” list…


I found a hill in Columbus!

Almost a year ago, when I was still living in Cincinnati but already searching for an apartment near OSU, I ran across an internet discussion of cool, hidden areas of Columbus. I didn’t spend much time reading the posts, but the mention of a waterfall squirreled itself away in my head. So… last night when I was taking a break from work, I finally decided to look into this concept of a waterfall in a super flat city, and I found one! Afterwards, I somehow landed on the Metro Parks website and found a sledding hill! And that’s how this weekend’s field trip was born. Geoff and I woke up early in the morning, grabbed a camera (but not a sled, grrr), and drove north.

We visited Hayden Falls first: After parking in a tiny, snowed-in, easy-to-miss lot (just west of the Scioto River), we descended into a small gorge and walked along an elevated trail until we hit the falls. It definitely wasn’t Niagara, but we enjoyed hanging out on the observation deck, listening to the geese as they honked and chased around a flock of ducks.

Afterwards we drove northeast to Highbanks Metro Park: home to one of Ohio’s Prehistoric Earthworks (something I had heard about from one of my undergrad professors). The “Earthworks” are man-made mounds that form huge patterns in the ground which are most easily discernible from significant heights (kinda like crop circles). Nobody seems to know why they were ever created, but apparently they’ve been found all over the world.

Highbanks also happens to be home to a sledding hill (complete with hay-bale-bumpers around all trees), and a variety of hiking trails, so it’s going on my permanent list of weekend activities.

VITA Weekend

Just last week, after finally receiving our W-2’s and all other necessary paperwork, Geoff and I sat down to do our taxes. Oh the perks of being married filing jointly. Can’t wait to see what a baby does to my tax refund (actually, yes I can).

Then! I spent Friday (5:00 pm – 9:30 pm) and Saturday (10 am – 3:30 pm) volunteering for VITA, and dedicated my Sunday to reading a fifty-page chapter on the taxation of partnerships. (To quote Aladdin: A whole new world…shining, shimmering, spleeeeendiiiiiid?)

VITA was quite gratifying, and a lot less stressful than I expected. Most of the volunteers were partnered up (safety net #1), were armed with resource guides (safety net #2), could ask other teams for help (safety net #3), and were reviewed by site managers (safety net #4). The rooms had windows, the chairs were comfortable, we got free food … if the internet hadn’t gone down Friday night, forcing us into the 1970’s pen and pencil routine, it would have been a perfect time.

Yet another thing taking place last week: spring quarter (over)registration. Looks like I’ll have a busy first week of classes, but it should calm down after I drop one of them. I was really hoping to have a schedule that ended at noon or so every day. As it stands now, I foresee a lot of packed lunches in my future.

Coming up next: pictures of my attempt to walk my cat in the snow. She didn’t like it, but I was getting cabin fever, and she kept following me around like she was interested in my plans for the great outdoors.