Posts filed under 'Travels'



Back to the grind

Yesterday marked the start of my Spring semester in the MAcc program, which is my last semester eek! Winter break felt like it flew by, though it was definitely nice to relax before hitting the books once again. I also came to the somewhat sad realization that this is the last year I will have a “winter break.” From here on out it will be all paid vacation in smaller increments.  Over winter break, I was able to spend a beautiful winter weekend in Deep Creek Lake (as I mentioned in my last post). While in Deep Creek, I was able to go hiking in the state park by the shore, ice skate at opening weekend of WISP ski resort, and relax by the fire in the cozy cabin we rented. Below are a few pictures from my cabin adventure.

View from the cabin in Deep Creek at sunset

 

Taking a walk by the lake at Deep Creek State Park

 

Also over winter break, I was able to spend some time at home with my family in Maryland, where I was able to enjoy some Redskins football, good food, and relaxation! It was great to be home, but I am recharged and ready to go for the Spring semester. The MAcc students are actually required to submit the application to graduate this first week back. I will have completed a total of 31 credit hours this year, including our core classes, accounting electives, and non-accounting electives. Since it seems like the end of the program is nearing far too soon, I am going to make it a point to work hard in school, yet also have some fun with my classmates. On our first day back, I was able to venture to lunch with some MAcc friends to a spot I have never been to before that day: the quaint restaurant in the Short North, Tasi. This cafe was friendly, casual, and had delicious fresh food. Tasi serves breakfast all day long (made from scratch), delicious sandwiches and paninis, salads, and beer/wine. I ordered a grilled chicken panini and it was delish! I will most definitely be going back for brunch in the near future! Below is a view of the counter inside Tasi. I will continue to post about classes and Columbus adventures as the semester continues!

A view of the counter inside Tasi


Winter break 2012 :: Europe Trip Part III: Frohe Weihnachten!

(This is installment #3 of 3 blog posts recounting my 2012 winter break trip. See here and here for the earlier installments.) On Friday, December 21, we made it to our final destination:  Nuremberg, Germany.  The first order of business was to walk through the Christmas market, known as “Christkindlesmarkt.”  Hundreds of booths are set up to sell handmade Christmas ornaments, wooden toys and nativity scenes, and plenty of warm wine and sausages.  Shoppers come from all over Germany but also all over the world, so I was happy to learn that most vendors spoke English, too!  Some of the most beautiful displays were the ones containing hundreds of glass ornaments like the one below.

Ornaments hang from a display at the famous Nuremberg Christmas Market

On Saturday, our first full day but also last day in Germany, we walked around the “Old Town,” the part of the city completely surrounded by a wall.  At the north point of the Old Town stands an old castle which provides great views of the city.  The architecture here was much different than that of England and France, but beautiful nonetheless.  We also stopped in a church that stood in the same square as the Christmas market for a short organ concert of some recognizable classical tunes.  Many people took a break from the cold, windy outdoor market with us to enjoy the music.

Bird’s eye view of the “Old Town”

Our last night in Nuremberg was spent again at the Christmas market, where my family and I finished up our Christmas shopping.  Some of my favorite booths to visit were ones containing intricately decorated nutcrackers and little smoker men, seen in the picture below.  It was hard to stop myself from buying something from every booth, but my limited remaining euros and limited suitcase space kept me in line!

German hand-crafted nutcrackers and smokers for sale at the “Christkindlesmarkt”

As I was flying across the Atlantic for ten hours to get back home the next day, boredom ensued and I settled on reading my passport for entertainment.  Yes, there are quotes in that thing – several well-known ones from Lincoln and the Declaration of Independence – and others new to me.  I found one to be relevant to us students, coming from astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka:

                      Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds…to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation.

As we Fisher MAcc students return to campus for our last semester of school, we should keep this in mind.  We are the future our profession, and we have an obligation to make progress and push farther to reach greater heights than before.  With that, I’m looking forward to a great spring 2013!


Winter break 2012 :: Europe Trip Part II: Parlez-vous Anglais?

The second stop on our tour of Europe (aka “winter break 2012″) was the beautiful city of Paris!  We kicked off our four days in the French city with an “Illuminations Tour,” where we took a cruise along the River Seine to view some of the most beautiful buildings, bridges, and statues lit up at nighttime.  One of the coolest buildings in the night lights to me was “La Conciergerie,” which was a prison during the French Revolution and held prisoners before they were sent to the guillotine.  Dark history, I know…but beautiful building!  The tour also allowed us our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower all lit up at night – what a beauty it was!

La Tour Eiffel glowing bright in the Paris night sky!

Another highlight of my time in Paris was walking up the steps to the top of the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris, or better known to Americans as the Notre Dame.  My knowledge of the cathedral was limited to what I could remember from the Disney movie (which wasn’t much), so it was great to hear a little bit about its history, dating back to its construction in the 12th century.  There were a couple of huge stained glass windows in the cathedral that contained colorful glass that dated back to the 13th century, which was a little hard to wrap my head around!  What was amazing was all of the people who had come to see this Parisian piece of architecture that once represented a sanctuary of safety and hope during the French Revolution, and still serves as a place of peace for people today.  The views from the cathedral weren’t too bad, either!

View of the French city from the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris

A trip to Paris wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the palace at Versailles.  I don’t have enough space to go on about all of the history of the palace, its surrounding gardens, and former residents, but I will tell you about my favorite room.  It was called the “Hall of Mirrors,” and it was literally just that – a long hallway lined with mirrors and windows.  Giant chandeliers hung all along the hallway so that it was completely full of light.  There were beautiful scenes painted on the ceiling that seemed to glow from all of this light.  This was one of many stops on our tour that reflected just how detailed and grand this palace was – just like the gold accents on the palace in the picture below.

My sister and I outside the grand Palace of Versailles

Our trip to Paris was complete with a stop at the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, the Musee d’Orsay for some Monet and Renoir, plenty of shopping on the Champs Elysees, and quite a few baguettes and bistros.  Much too soon, it was time for us to hop on another train – this time heading to Nuremberg, Germany!  Au revoir, Paris!


Winter Break 2012 :: Europe Trip Part I: London Calling

What’s the best Christmas present I’ve EVER received?  And the best way I’ve EVER spent winter break?

Well, that would have to be our family trip to Europe!  My mom, sister, and I traveled to London, Paris, and Nuremberg, Germany, from December 13-23.  Lots of travel, sightseeing, shopping, eating, and simply spending time together made for an unforgettable experience.  I’ll be breaking my re-cap into three blog posts – one for each destination.  So, here’s LONDON:

Tower of London on a bright, sunny afternoon near the River Thames.

To prevent myself from carrying on and on (you should see my 500+ pictures on FB), here are a few great moments:

1.  Les Miserables – no, not the movie – the on-stage performance!  This is one of my favorite musicals, adapted from Victor Hugo’s novel depicting 19th-century France on the brink of revolution.  We enjoyed this spectacular show on our first night in London.  Check out this video of my favorite song from Les Mis, performed at the 10th Anniversary Concert by Lea Salonga:

“On My Own” from Les Mis

St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background as we strolled across Millennium Bridge.

2.  Double-Decker Sightseeing Tour – this was the source of about half of my pictures from the whole trip!  Having never been outside of North America, I was excited to see buildings that were more than one or two-hundred years old. London did not disappoint!  We saw Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Elizabeth Tower (often confused with Big Ben, which is actually the name of the bell inside the famous tower), the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and countless other well-known sites.  Our tour guide gave us a great historical overview of the city – including the Great Fire of 1666, the reign of Queen Victoria, the construction of Shakespeare’s Globe, and many other significant points of history to the Brits.  She even pointed out fun sites like JK Rowling’s apartment and Margaret Thatcher’s home.  I definitely recommend tours like these if you want to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time.

3.  Carols at Westminster Abbey – what a concert this was!  A young boy’s choir sang Christmas carols on the evening of Sunday, December 15, our last day in London.  The church is not only home to normal worship services, but also major events such as Prince William and Kate’s wedding a couple of years ago.  The building looked even more beautiful at night than it did on our tour during the day!

The beautiful Westminster Abbey lit up on a cold winter’s night!

4.  Tea at Bea’s of Bloomsbury – oh the desserts!!!  The three of us enjoyed afternoon tea and a huge tiered platter of desserts at this little tea shop in London.  The Brits take their tea seriously, and as I was recovering from strep throat, I had to take the green tea seriously as well.  We enjoyed vanilla caramel cupcakes, scones with strawberry jam, double chocolate brownies, chocolate meringues, and many other delicacies.  If your mouth isn’t watering yet, check out their website for pictures that will certainly do the trick!

5.  Shopping at Harrods - the world’s greatest department store!  If you think Macy’s in New York is the best, what with that great big parade in November and all, think again!  Harrods has to be the most luxurious, grandiose shopping experience on the planet.  I’m not just talking multiple stories, but rooms across rooms of perfumes, furs, fashion boots, Christmas toys…and then you have the food!  An ice cream parlour, a room dedicated to seafood, another to wine, and the list goes on and on.  Unsurprisingly, we had quite the task in trying to simply find the exit!

Overall, London was a great way to kick of our trip to Europe!  On Monday morning, it was time to take the “Chunnel” to Paris, where the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysees awaited…

 


Winter Break Festivities

Hi readers!

I can’t believe the second session of Fall semester is already over! It is hard to believe I am already halfway finished with the MAcc program either … with classes ending, that of course means finals are among us. This time around, I was done with finals week on Tuesday and am now free for winter break activities! On Friday, I plan on heading to Deep Creek Lake, which is halfway between Columbus and my hometown of Mt. Airy, MD. I have been going to cabins at Deep Creek for years during the summer months for fun weekends of boating, tubing, and relaxing with friends and family. During the winter, the nearby Ski resort, WISP, is open for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, you name it. This coming weekend is the opening day for WISP’s winter season and I am hoping to get out there for skiing and ice skating! There are also tons of hiking trails along the lake and mountains of western Maryland to add to the winter activities list. After a long day of outdoor adventures, it will be great to come back to the cabin and relax in the hot tub! (Check out the pics below for some nice scenic views of Deep Creek.)

After a few days in Deep Creek, I will head back to my parents’ house for about 10 days to visit with family and friends for the holidays. I know one thing for certain…I will be getting my fair share of delicious seafood while I am back on the East Coast. (Sometimes good seafood is hard to come by in the Buckeye State :-)) Then before I know it, it will be back to Columbus to get ready for new years celebrations and the start of spring semester. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which I mentioned a few weeks ago, will also be getting started in January with several training sessions to prepare the MAcc students for this important service project. It is going to be one busy winter! Happy Holidays everyone!

A view of the lake from the ski slope at WISP

 

Ski Slopes at WISP

 

A shot of the cabin I will be staying


Take a Break with the Buckeyes

The weather outside is cooling down, but things in the Graduate Programs Office are heating up!

One of the best aspects of the admissions process at the Fisher College of Business is the ability for prospective students to meet with current students in different cities throughout the United States- and even internationally. Over winter break, a program called “Take a Break with the Buckeyes” will be in full force.

If you are thinking about applying to Fisher, current Fisher MBA students will be traveling around the world during winter break and have volunteered to meet with prospective students in a relaxed setting to answer any questions you may have about the program. You can check out the list of cities here: Connect with Fisher on the Road

If you have any questions or if you’d like to schedule a meeting near your hometown, please contact us!


A Day in the Life of a Fisher MBA Student

Or a week in the life of an MBA student

First term ended a week ago, I am thankful for the wonderful professors at Fisher. It is amazing how much you can grow in 7 weeks. It took me a while to get used to being a full-time student. (5 hours of sleep?! More coffee, please…) Here is a quick overview of a typical week so far:

Monday

Wake up at 4 am in Cincinnati, arrive in Columbus at 6 am

8:30-11:45 am Data Analysis and Managerial Economics

Lunch, errands, reading assignments, gym, dinner, homework

Tuesday

8:30-11:45 am Marketing Management and Accounting

Lunch and core team meeting

1:15-2:45 pm Workshop Core

More reading assignments and homework

Wednesday

Same classes as Monday

ProjectOne team meeting

Seminar on MBA Career Path

Did I mention endless homework and readings?

Thursday

Same classes as Tuesday, usually no Workshop Core

Student club meeting

Grocery shopping, gym, yes, more readings to do

Friday

Same classes as Monday

ProjectOne meeting

Drive home (Cincinnati)

It’s our Date Night! Mike and I go out for dinner and dancing

Saturday & Sunday

Catch up with my dad and sister

Run errands, do laundry, go grocery shopping, cook… household chores

Check email, start reading & homework assignments for next week

Watch Criminal Minds, Burn Notice, Castle, NCIS

Pack up for the week in Columbus

 

I talk to my husband 2-3 times a day. We talk about school, work, life, and silly little things. Because we see each other only on the weekends & holidays, it is important to have open and honest communications. One of these days, I will learn to Skype!

 

 


Why I didn’t go to Detroit with my wife to see Louis CK last week

Subtitle: …and other dumb stuff I do

Before classes started, my wife informed me that Louis CK was touring and that, as luck would have it, he was coming to Detroit on Friday, Oct. 12th. At the time, this seemed perfect… my last final should be sometime earlier that day, I thought. We’d be able to make it up to Detroit in plenty of time for a 7:30 PM show. So we bought tickets (Louis CK subverted Ticketmaster and sold tickets to his show directly on his website… awesome business savvy on his part).

Fast forward to Day 1 of orientation for the SMF program. Each student gets a really nice Fisher folder, chock full of papers with information we’ll all need in the coming days, weeks, and months. One of the enclosed documents was a calendar. The calendar showed that Saturday, Oct. 13th was also a day on which I could have a final exam (or at least that’s how I read it). Keep in mind that I had not yet received the syllabi for all of my classes yet. Based on the calendar, I informed my wife that I would likely not be able to attend the Louis CK show and that she should find a friend to use my ticket.

Fast forward to about 10 days ago… I realize that I do not have a final on Saturday. In fact, my finals are over by 10 AM on Friday. I called my wife and informed her of my incomparable stupidity (she’s already aware of my affliction); my call is a few days too late. My wife has already asked a friend who is working up in Michigan to join her. To my dismay, this friend accepted the invitation.

That is why tonight I sit at home in Dayton alone with my dog (is “alone with my dog” an oxymoron? if so I’m going to use it as the title for my first book) while my wife is probably laughing her pretty butt off to the comedy stylings of Louis CK (seriously, if you haven’t seen “Louie” on FX, check it out… it’s an odd combination of funny and sad that you won’t find anywhere else on TV… Louis CK has a rare talent for making fun of his own life in a way that induces both pity and laughter simultaneously).

The answer to the “why” in the title of this post is: because I’m dumb.

As promised, here’s some other dumb stuff I’ve done:

1) I ran myself over with my own car (it was a Ford E-150 van, actually).

2) I once asked my wife if she needed anymore “Versus cotton panties,” to which she replied, “Do you mean ‘VICTORIA’S SECRET cotton panties’?” Watch enough sports and your brain automatically turns “VS” into “Versus,” not “Victoria’s Secret.” My bad, Mr. Wexner.

3) While driving down the freeway, with the radio already turned off, I’ve reached for the radio’s volume knob because I was having a hard time conversing with my wife over the road noise. My wife noticed this and asked, “Did you just try to turn down the road noise?” Yes. Yes I did.

Enjoy the Buckeye game Saturday night. I’ve been to a game at Indiana’s stadium (yeah, just one). They call it “The Rock” (must be one of those ironic names). Not a great college football town (basketball’s a different story), but the stadium should be filled with Ohio State fans. I love it when Buckeye fans can do the O-H-I-O chant around an opposing team’s stadium. GO BUCKS!

 


Whoosh! Time is flying by

Do you hear that whooshing sound? It’s the time at Fisher passing by!

In an earlier post I mentioned that since I got enrolled in the Fisher MBA Program, a curious thing has happened: although I have more stuff to do, I have much more time! What do I do with this time? Well… since school just started, and I believe that everything should start with a break, I took a vacation.

Yes, a VACATION. That thing that I wasn’t sure actually exists. I did it. I visited Washington DC, I visited Atlantic City (where I spent more time in the Atlantic waves than in the casinos), I’ve been for a few days in Nashville, TN and for a dramatic finish, I watched a colored Niagara Falls:

Colored lights reflect on Niagara Falls

Of course, this post is not about my vacation, but about my time at Fisher. I am amazed how fast 8 weeks of classes can pass whooshing by. I have never been in school – at any level – where I enjoyed so much actually being at school and I don’t think there was a time before when I actually thought “oh, good thing I have classes today, I’m looking forward to it!

Remember the time in middle school, high school and college (I don’t really remember my primary school years) when school meant “you’re dumb, the professor is smart, you shut up, listen and take notes while the professor talks”? Fisher is nothing like that.

As a first year at Fisher, am taking 3 classes in the first semester. First one is about Microeconomics (it’s called something else, but really, it’s Microeconomics). The best class I took in my whole life. Interactive and challenging. You have to be prepared (and there’s a lot of reading to do), but it is so fun to be in class, to discuss sometimes absurd situations (to better understand an economic concept), and to make sense of what seemed to be so random at the beginning! And Accounting… who thought Accounting can be fun? I always hated accounting, and I went to the class expecting to hear “bla bla bla bla bla debit bla bla bla bla bla income statement bla bla bla bla bla cash flow“. Surprise! It was nothing like that! I guess if you have very good professors anything can be fun.

Oh, did I mention how amazing everything is? If you want to hear more about it, join me every Thursday night at Varsity Club, and I’ll tell you all about it. There will be free beer involved. Or you can wait a couple of days and read my post about midterms. Until next time, GO BUCKS!


Oktoberfest – It must be fall

This weekend I had the pleasure of leaving Columbus and all of the demanding schedules of grad school to relax and attended “The Nation’s Largest Oktoberfest” in Cincinnati.  Rumor has it, the 5+ blocks of 5th Street that Cincinnati closes every year for this celebration is by far the largest Oktoberfest in the USA, and ranks close to the top with some globally.

Oktoberfest: Good for beers and tons of crazy people

For those that are unfamiliar, Oktoberfest’s traditionally are German celebrations held in the fall to drink, eat and enjoy music and other entertainment.   Some people choose to dress in traditional German outfits as well.

The Oktoberfest in Cincy proved to live up to its expectations.   There were over 20 different beer vendors sampling and selling their brews of fall seasonal flavors.   For the low price of $4, you could purchase a plastic stein and enjoy refills in your cup for a reduced price.    The city truly was alive, and with music, drinking and authentic and unauthentic (deep fried) German treats and eats, Oktoberfest in Cincinnati proved to be fun.   The Cincinnati Reds also clinched the National League Central Division as well that evening which helped to intensify the celebrations.

Columbus and local cities around have various Oktoberfest celebrations and opportunities to take part in this fall event.  Columbus’ happens to be this weekend, and the admission is free!  See for yourself

 

 


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