Kid’s story: Long, hard road out of hell

Timeline: Sunday morning

I see: Liverpool vs. Arsenal

I hear: the commentators and my brother’s constant messenger sounds

I smell: yes, I do… I need a shower

I feel: younger

Yup, I’m home for Christmas break. The trip over was quite fine: I flew on Thursday to Fort Lauderdale and got a ride down to Coral Gables where I spent the night, and flew home from Miami on Friday. I can’t begin to describe how happy I was to be back in Latin America.

And yes, I count the Miami area as Latin America. I mean no offense to the Americans, really, but even those living there (and I mean those who have no Latino heritage for at least four generations, or around 1% of the population) agree. A popular saying down south is that Miami is the capital of Latin America; make of it what you wish.

Back to the topic: I’m home for Christmas break. It was tough coming here at first. I mean, I had a very clear yearning for seeing my friends and speaking Spanish and the food and all that. However, I was afraid that it would be hard for me to go back to Columbus.

Regarding the friends thing, I have a few friends in Columbus (at least for my part), but I have known them for a little over three months for the best part, and in my culture you have to know a person for a longer time than a few months in order for him/her to be considered a close friend (by the way, the lady friends are a different category altogether). We’re getting there, but I miss my close friends.

Speaking Spanish is pretty self-explanatory, as is the food thing.

Even with all that, I have a few plans pending for the upcoming quarters that do quite a good job at outweighing the pros of staying home. There’s also the fact that my gordita told me she misses me (and I believed her), and the fact that I found a new home for my baby Samantha here (home) so I must relieve my babysitter MH of his duties with Sarah (in Columbus). And yes, I feel proud that I can have a babysitter with more than half an MBA degree for my baby :).

So it was hard to decide to come home and it will be even harder to go back, but I feel I must make my so-far-very-large-and-soon-to-be-even-larger investment (and all those A’s) count for something. Sorry, Fisher College, looks like you’ll have to cope with me for another quarter.

Now I just have to forget about that bloody loneliness that usually kills me in Columbus…

“¿Y quién tiene la shave del gol? Sha te voy a deciiiiir quién tiene la shave del gol…”  – Fox Sports guy

Final exams are upon us

The bad news is that it’s finals week. The good news is that it means the quarter is almost over. This weekend I have spent most of my time studying although I was able to make some time to watch a little college football and watch the Blue Jackets put together a poor effort against the Colorado Avalanche. Cincinnati won their football game yesterday to finish an undefeated regular season. In my opinion, their coach, Brian Kelly, will soon be Notre Dama’s coach and make the Irish winners again.

Overall it has been a good quarter. School has taken a lot more of my time than I had expected but I have learned a lot. I am sure the Christmas break will be very relaxing but I am kind of looking forward to my next quarter when I will be taking Global Sourcing and Operations Management.

Anyway, time to get back to studying. As promised, here are a few pictures from Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving and returning to class

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I went down to Hilton Head with my girlfriend’s family and it was a nice break. We got on the road at 3:45 pm on Tuesday and arrived at our destination at 2:30 am Wednesday morning. Overall it was a pretty relaxing trip. I got to play golf twice, went horseback riding and got in a round of putt putt golf. Unfortunately, I also had to do a  little school work over the break since I have a group project due today for MBA 812.

Going back to work yesterday was a little bit of an adjustment, but I think I am already back in the swing of things. Right now I am looking forward to getting this quarter over with and enjoying the Christmas break. If I’m lucky I’ll make it to a Blue Jackets game or two and maybe even an OSU basketball game.

This weekend I am going to be spending all of my time studying for my finals on Monday and Tuesday, but hopefully I will be able to find some time to watch the SEC Championship game.  Anyway, that’s it for now. I will post some pictures from Thanksgiving in my next blog entry.

Aaaaaand we’re back!

Well I had to get right back into gear upon arriving back in Columbus yesterday morning.  It was great to be back but slightly depressing knowing I was coming back to a big presentation and 2 big papers and then 2 finals…all in under two weeks.  But today I’m confident that I have things under control.

My Thanksgiving was wonderful.  For the first time ever in the 5 thanksgivings I’ve been flying back and forth between Columbus and NYC I was not delayed.  The trick is to get the absolute first flight out on Wednesday (which happened to be 6am…) and wait and fly back on Monday morning.  I also lucked out with the weather.  So I successfully made it to New York by 7:30 am and was picked up by my mom.  We then went over to the Bronx to pick up my brother from school at Manhattan and ate at a great diner near his school.  The rest of Wednesday was spent playing rock band with my siblings, taking a nap and eating thanksgiving dinner number 1.

Thursday, Thankgiving, we had our traditional “non-traditional” thanksgiving.  My family never seems to have the traditional thanksgiving day which I actually like.  Sometimes traditions get a little intense and people get upset if they aren’t followed, so we never make plans.  3 years ago we were all in Ireland because I was studying abroad and my family came to visit.  We had chicken and watched Back to the Future.  2 years ago we were in Mexico with my aunt uncle and cousins because my cousin was studying abroad in the Yucatan (that has been my favorite thus far).  Last year we stayed at home but went out to eat with friends.  This year was a little bit different, we met my aunt uncle and cousin in upstate NY near Poughkeepsie and went for a beautiful hike and then ate dinner at TGI Fridays.  As I said…non traditional.

The rest of the weekend was spent mostly relaxing and procrastinating. I also had thanksgiving dinner number 2 courtesy of my Uncle Mike who had the big traditional thanksgiving…and bbqed his turkey with bacon on top (it was delicious).  By Monday though I was ready to be back to my own apartment (I have been relegated to the guest room at my parents house) and finish up the quarter.

Exciting things coming up:

-Finishing all of my work

-OSU Christmas concert with my co-workers in Career Management

-A trip to see the wild lights at the Columbus Zoo!!

Thanksgiving Break

Sarah and I were very excited to get the chance to go home for Thanksgiving break. We packed the car, and when I finished class at 5:00pm on Wednesday, Sarah picked me up at Gerlach and we were on our way. Unlike what you may be used to, getting out of Columbus (even the day before Thanksgiving) was easy, and there was little traffic. We headed east toward Pittsburgh, then headed into DC, and down 95 to Richmond. We got to Sarah’s house at about 1:30am, and I went to sleep right away. We did an afternoon meal with her family, then I took off for DC to do dinner with my family. It was very nice seeing the family, and just getting to relax.

I went to my little brother Dustin’s hockey game, and just got to spend time with my family. Sarah and her family made it up to DC Saturday morning. Sarah and her sister/mom, as well as my mom were planning on wedding dress shopping, and Sarah’s dad, my dad and I were going to another of Dustin’s games. Sarah wound up finding a dress, and she is very excited about that! We did a murder mystery dinner that evening with the two families, which was a lot of fun!

Sarah and I took off Sunday evening for the long drive back to Columbus. It is about 7 hours from DC-Columbus, but it is a very easy drive. Long, but extremely easy, and the time definitely flew by. Overall, Thanksgiving break was fantastic!

Kid’s story: DC

Timeline: Sunday, very late (again)

I see: my piggies

I hear: nothing

I smell: my apartment – kinda missed it, kinda not

I feel: a headache

So yeah, Thanksgiving was this past Thursday. I understand there’s an important American tradition behind it, which I totally respect, but for me it was just a very long weekend. Given my desire to get out of Columbus for a while and my ever-shrinking budget, I decided to drive over to Washington, DC to visit my cousin. Rather than boring you with the Thanksgiving food and all that, I’ll bore you with some things about my trip.

I left on Wednesday right after class. I came home, left my school bag, picked up my luggage, and took the baby to have her lunch. I decided to buy premium this time, and it turned out to be a good decision. There happened to be a McDonald’s right beside the gas station, so I also bought my lunch: two burgers and a soda for $3 (not the healthiest option, I know, but did I mention my ever-shrinking budget?)

The trip took around seven hours. I was told before I left that the scenery would be beautiful, and I could see that it was for a only a small part, as by 4 p.m. the sun had already set and from then on I saw nothing more than the tail lights of the cars in front of me. However, the drive was quite enjoyable, given my fondness of American highways (if you don’t know why that is, you haven’t seen the highways).

DC rocked. I cooked the turkey and it was delicious (which was a big deal, because I would have settled for “edible”, but my cousin and her guests both survived it and liked it). The best part of the trip was that it snowed back here in Columbus on African-American Friday (or so I heard), and as usual DC was spared, so I was spared in turn. Saw the monuments, met some “interesting” government people, and most of all enjoyed the weather. I had a really hard time coming back because I like being pampered and my cousin was totally spoiling me.

The drive back was somewhat hellish, as there were a few accidents in the road that brought traffic to a standstill for some time in a couple of occasions. Also, there was some ice on the road at some point and it poured at some other. Add to that the fact that I was (am) seriously depressed because I scratched my baby against a mailbox out of sheer carelessness… but it all turned out well.

Now, it’s back to reality with my EPI final tomorrow initiating the long and tedious suffering that will precede Christmas.

“Silence! I kill you!”  – Achmed the Dead Terrorist

This week’s top five

  1. Best person in the world award this week goes to my rockstar cousin for her hospitality towards me during this weekend.
  2. My baby took me all the way to Alexandria, VA, which is ca. 450 miles away, on just one tank of fuel; just one more reason for me to love my baby.
  3. I came back, against all odds… that’s cool (I guess)
  4. I could watch TV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  5. And following on the previous one, I was introduced to the George Lopez show, and as Gabriel Iglesias says, “I damn near pissed m’pants”.

“(whrrrrrrr…)” –my furnace

Xavier University College Entrepreneurship Conference

Last week I took a day off of classes and headed down to Cincinnati for Ohio’s Only Statewide College Entrepreneurship & Ethics Conference and Competition (I think the name needs to be changed to…something you can remember).  The conference was attended by graduate and undergraduate business and entrepreneurship students from several Ohio/Kentucky Colleges including: Ohio State – Fisher COB, Xavier – Williams COB, Bowling Green and Northern Kentucky – Haile COB.  There were three components to the conference: a keynote addresses, breakout sessions (which took the form of lectures and/or forums) and a small business simulation.

Here were some of the highlights:

  • Computer business simulation that required our team (four other Fisher Students and me) to run a coffee: setting pricing, ordering inventory, advertising, and hiring and firing.
  • Breakout session reviewing the concepts behind Kim and Mauborgne’s book Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant.
  • Breakout session presented by Dr. Chris Manolis on Entrepreneurial Marketing.
  • Breakout session presented by Dr. Ravi Chinta titled Model Business: A Tool for Business Plan Evaluation.  Here, he described a 23-dimension rubric he used as a venture capitalist to evaluate a business plans—however it can also be reverse-engineered a give an entrepreneur a few things to think about when writing a business plan.
  • Keynote Address by Pete Hensler, President of RC2 a toy and infant/toddler products company that licenses and sells John Deere, Disney, and Tommy the Tank Engine toys.  The primary takeaways were to keep a global context (RC2 does much of its manufacturing in China, but has recently turned to the country as a new market for its products) as well as list of ten question that he asks himself everyday to keep him focused.  Also, he ended his speech with this video…definitely worth a watch.

Reposted from aaron360.com.

A

1/350,000

There have been a lot of times that I have worked hard in order to beat the odds.  Most recently, it was to get accepted to Fisher.  I have worked hard to beat the class average on the mid-terms.  I hope to be in the top of MBAs and get an internship.  Basically, I am always trying to beat the odds and essentially “win” the next lottery.

However, this past weekend, I think I overcame the biggest odds I was ever up against.

Over the weekend, I drove down to Louisville Kentucky in order to visit my best friend.  As we were catching up, she was telling me this story about this crazy bird that kept attacking her windows and her cars because when it saw its reflection, it got really scared.  We were laughing about it, and did not think anymore about this crazy bird.

However, the next morning, as we were going to the store, we realized that my car’s side mirror was the latest victim.  The bird had attacked my mirror and there were scratches and bird droppings all over the side of my car.

We laughed about it, and decided to make a quick stop at the car wash before going to the store.  As we were going through the car wash and we heard a loud thunk.  We did not think much about it, and left the car wash.  We could not stop talking about what a great car wash it was and how easy and quick it seemed.

However, when we pulled into the parking lot and got out of the car, I looked at Katie and noticed that my spoiler on the back of my car was not connected to my trunk anymore.  The suspicious thunk we had heard was something knocking off my spoiler.

Needless to say, it became a big ordeal.  We spent the day going between the car wash and the car dealership, trying to fix what had happened.  Currently, I have holes in my trunk covered with black tape, and a large spoiler sitting in my trunk.

As I spoke with the manager from the car wash, he was laughing almost as he told me that I was the first car that this had happened to in the 350,000 car washes that had gone through, since their opening 5  years earlier.  I did not know if I should have been upset about this, or happy because that is a big deal.  I have never gotten anything where the odds were 1/350,000.

If only we had not bought a lottery ticket instead….

A Long Time Gone

Well, I haven’t posted in a few days. It’s just been one of those weeks. One where you thought you were busy before and then the busy door slams in your face and you realize you were wrong.

Friday I drove to Louisville for the North American International Livestock Exposition. I’ve been coaching a 4-H team for the past 3 months and this past Monday was the competition. It was a very long weekend, but they ended up placing 5th overall, 4th high individual overall, 2nd high team in Quality Assurance and high individual in Quality Assurance. I’m very proud of them and I’m sure they’re glad it’s over, too. A picture of my team is below:

My team at Lynn's Paradise
My team at Lynn's Paradise

Tuesday morning, I had to wake up very early to get my fiance to the GRE by 8:00am. That’s no easy feat considering I live off of Sawmill. But we made it and he did very well. His application for graduate school at OSU is complete!! We’ll finally be students together! That’s pretty exciting. 🙂

With all of that stuff going on, when Benjamin and I were on our way to my work, my car started making awful noises…and then my dad comes to look at it, and the power steering motor had died. So my dad and I switch cars and when he was taking it to the garage to get fixed, the power steering belt fell off. Luckily it was right as my dad pulled into the parking spot. If he had been on the highway, we would be replacing the engine, too. Then, this morning, I was on my way to work and a rock flew into my dad’s car (because mine’s still not fixed) and cracked the windshield. This is just not my week for automobiles.

BUT!!! There are a few positives about this week: 1) We didn’t have class last night! It was great to just relax, but that means we still don’t have our midterms back. 2) Tonight is Mirror Lake night. Everyone should go, even if you don’t jump in, go just to watch! It’s a sight to see. 3) Tomorrow I’m heading up to East Lansing to visit with my fiance then Saturday we’re going to Ann Arbor for the game. I’m STOKED! This is the best part of the football season! I’ll post pictures next week from my travels!

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