A look back on winter break 2010

My heart is still in the southern part of the U.S., where it was warm and full of my holiday memories. This past winter vacation, I went to Atlanta and Disney World in Orlando FL with my wife. We originally thought that we could leave the chilly weather in Ohio and Michigan and would have a sunny and warm vacation; however, it seemed that we brought the snow to the south.

I spent my Christmas weekend in Atlanta with my cousin’s family. We also got to see his baby, who is now 18 weeks old. It snowed during the second day after I arrived in Atlanta. My cousin said it was the biggest snow in Atlanta in the past three years. Nevertheless, our interest in going on excursions was not diminished by the big snow. We went to CNN headquarter, The Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola. At CNN, we joined the studio tour, which takes about one hour. On the tour, you have the chance to see what’s inside the CNN and what the real working environment is really like at CNN. It was so cool to see Don Lemon broadcasting right in front of you. The Georgia Aquarium is also very interesting. In the world’s largest aquarium, you are able to have the chance to touch rays and see rare Beluga whales and whale sharks through a giant glass viewing theater. At World of Coca-Cola, we first watched a 4D movie about the “secret recipe of Coca-Cola”. After that, we visited the show rooms which demonstrate the history of Coca-Cola, the machines producing Coca-Cola and also looked at some Coca-Cola pop art. At the end of the tour, we could taste 64 different Coca-Cola drinks from all over the world.

Then we flew to Disney World for the new year. We spent 6 days there, which is a little too long, but I took the opportunity to visit all four theme parks. As a big boy who refuses to grow up as Peter Pan does, I really enjoyed my time at Disney World. This is really the place that makes all your dreams come true. With Disney’s magic, you can see and “be” in every Disney story you have ever read, imaging that you are the Beast imprisoning the Beauty in his palace or Snow White waiting his prince. The most exciting moment was the New Year’s firework. This was one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen. The castle with splendid fireworks, how amazing and fascinating it was! If you plan to go there, here are some recommendations for your Disney trip: If you want to see the themes in Disney’s movies and characters such as Mickey and Donald, you should spend your limited time in the Magic Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studio. I also recommend to not stay within the Disney Resorts. The only advantage of staying in the Disney Resort is the convenience of moving between different theme parks. However, to me, it seemed rather expensive relative to the quality of lodging there.

My First Football Game

I went to my first football game on October 9. It was a game between Indiana Hoosiers and Ohio State Buckeyes. Buckeyes demonstrated their dominance on the field and played an exciting blow out game for all the home fans. By the way, after that game, Buckeyes became the No.1 team of the country.

the Horse Shoe

As a foreigner, I have heard thousands of times from my friends who had worked or studied in the United States that Americans are crazy about football; however, it was not until I came to America that I realized the fascination of football for Americans. It’s not only a game or an activity, but an all-day event for people to enjoy the exciting games and spend the weekend with their friends and families. You can see many people tailgating along the road and around the stadium. Especially, for the people in Columbus, Buckeye football must be one of the most important parts of their lives. Buckeyes football is famous and reputable nationally. Also, this traditional strong team bears the expectations and the pride of the city.

Tailgate outside the stadium

As a Buckeye, you must go to the “Horse Shoe” at least once. Ohio Stadium, with the seating capacity of 102,329, is the fourth largest on-campus football stadium in the U.S. I was fascinated by the atmosphere in the stadium as soon as I stepped in. The marching band played before the game started and at the halftime. People jumped and yelled during the game. The fans would also do stadium waves. It is common to see people do fan waves at a game; however, it is totally different when 100,000 people do the stadium waves at the same time. The most exciting part of the game to me must be the time when the marching band came up to our deck. They played the marches right in front of me and it was so exciting!

Overview of the stadium
Marching band at the halftime
Marching band came to the upper deck

The more I know about the American football culture, the more I understand why Americans love football and why it is the biggest pastime. The game itself is up tempo and very intense and the game also provides a great chance for people to get together! I am now really looking forward to the last game of the year, the traditional classic rivalry battle between Buckeyes and Wolverines!

a blow out game

My Columbus Impression

It has been four months since I came to Columbus. I want to talk about “my Columbus impression”. From the aspect of international student, I think Columbus is the best place for students from other countries to study and enjoy their student life. Thanks for the friendly people and environment in Columbus, which make me smoothly accommodate to my new life at my own pace without any stresses.

1. The right size

Columbus is the 16th largest city in the United States, with about 750,000 residents. It’s a city that is not too big and not too crowed. As Columbus people say” you can get anything you want in 20 minutes by driving”, living in Columbus is very easy and convenient. Besides, Columbus also maintains a widespread municipal bus service called the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA). Seldom can you see large crowds on the street, definitely, except for the weekends for Buckeyes’ home game.

2. The right location

Columbus is located in the central of Ohio. You can easily go to the big cities in mid-west by driving. It takes 2 hours to drive to Cleveland, 2.5 hours to Cincinnati, 3 hours to Pittsburgh and 6 hours to Chicago. If you don’t want to drive or you want to go to east or west coast, you can take airplanes at Columbus International Airport. There are many flights directly to all the big cities in the United State.

3. The right people

I got some changes to visit other places in America (Atlanta, Chicago and “Ann Arbor”). I can tell you for sure that the people in Columbus must be the friendliest ones I have ever met. When driving, they always yield the road to pedestrians and rarely honk their horns. They always wear big smiles on their faces and say hello to you enthusiastically.

4. Many cool places

If you are a big sports fan like me, Columbus is really the right place for you. For the local teams, we have Columbus Clippers (AAA baseball team), Columbus Crews (ML S), Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) and our favorite team, which you can never forget, the Buckeyes. Also, you can go to Cleveland to watch Indians (MLB) and Cavaliers (NBA) and Cincinnati for Reds (MLB) games. We have the Columbus Zoo. The polar bears are the superstars drawing a lot of traffic every day. There is still one place that I want to recommend, the North Market. The market sells all kinds of foods, meats, vegetables and handcrafts. You would be first attracted by the ancient style building and then fascinated with the aura inside it.

5. Many interesting events and fairs

I went to the Red, White & Boom this summer in downtown Columbus, which is the biggest annual firework show in Ohio and one of the biggest in the country. I also went to The Ohio State Fair. There are many food vendors, a very big grocery and handcraft market and the cable car, which could bring you across the fair center.

I was so lucky to choose Fisher MBA. It’s really a nice place for me to pursue my MBA degree while enjoying my American life at the same time.