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I didn’t have time to write anything new and exciting here because I spent my evening (a) running around a track over and over again as part of the running study I’m in and (b) writing over on my other blog. As part of my digital marketing class, I have to write at least 5 blog postings1 on my “professional” blog2. I’d already written up three (one on brain science, an interview with Tod Maffin from engageQ, and an interview with Dr. Dan from Farm to Fork). So tonight I wrote up two more – one that I just posted and another that I’ll post tomorrow after I proofread it. And I’ve got one more in my brain that I just need to type out3 before Friday (which is our deadline to have postings up on our blogs for the prof to mark). All this to say, you should go check out my other blog if you are looking for something to read, though if you are looking for pictures of hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats, you will be greatly disappointed.
- Because even though I’m done going to classes, I still have some assignments to wrap up. [↩]
- For a “professional blog”, you have to actually do research and write something that adds value to the world, rather than just posting pictures of cats or hot hockey players with no shirts on or hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats. Please tell me there are photos on the internets of hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats… OK, I just Googled “hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats” and there are NO photos of hot hockey players with no shirts on holding cats – at least not in the first few screens of the Google Image search results and, as I learned in my digital marketing class, nobody looks beyond the first few screens of any Google search results because we are all lazy. At any rate, clearly this is a blue ocean in the market and some entrepreneur should really get on that. [↩]
- Since the app that reads my mind and types up the blog postings and various other brilliant ideas in my brain has still yet to be developed. Another blue ocean for you entrepreneurs out there! [↩]
Tonight I go to the last class of my MBA program. Despite the fact that I’ve been talking about it non-stop for the last month, it’s still a bit surreal. As I reflect back on the 2 years of classes I’ve been to, I can honestly say that despite all the blood, sweat, tears, and insane amount of sleep deprivation of the last 24 months, it’s been pretty awesome. I’ve learned a tonne, been challenged in new ways, expanded my worldview, and made some fantastic friends. I’ve taken things that I’ve learned in school on the weekend and brought them back to the office and used them on Monday morning to do my work even better than I could before. One of the last things I have left to do in my program is finish up my “industry project” paper – I’m doing a project for work and because I’m able to apply the things I’ve been learning over the past 2 years and because I have a supervisor (from school) who is pushing me to go farther and work even harder on it, it’s going to be freaking awesome!
So, yeah, in conclusion, you have to be a bit insane and/or a masochist to take an intense program like a part-time MBA program while working full-time, but it’s totally worth it.
I decided that the little red pen I’d been using to cross out the days left in school on the calendar just wasn’t quite satisfying enough, so I bought a red Sharpie.
But I only have 30 days left of school!
And I may have added a countdown clock to the right side of the blog.
The other day I came home to a card in the mail. It’s not my birthday and it’s too early for Christmas cards (even for the most eager of Christmas fans), I thought, so what could it be? As it turned out, it was this:
A card from my friend Dr. Erika, wishing me well on the home stretch of my MBA program. It arrived exactly when I needed exactly this kind of encouragement. I’m keeping it on my kitchen counter so that it’s the first thing that I see when I get home from a day of work or a night of class and it reminds me that I can do this!
And this is just the latest example of all the love and support and patience I’ve been getting from my friends over this past two years.
I have the best friends ever.
Just spent my last weekend in class. Let me repeat that. After two years, I have just spent the *last* weekend that I will ever have to spend getting up early to go to school for 8 am, staying there ’til 5 pm, presenting and discussing and listening and learning… and repeat, so that by the end of the weekend I’m completely and totally mentally exhausted – albeit with my brain filled up with all sorts of awesome new knowledge. It’s a bit surreal – it feels like my life has been full of these weekend classes for so long now that I barely remember a life without them1. I’m sure it will take a while to sink in.
This is not to say that I’m done school completely… at least not yet. I still have 34 days left. Not that I’m counting. Oh wait, yes I am.
I’m down to just three courses and my industry project, all of which are currently in progress. I have exactly 7 classes, 1 quiz, 1 short assignment, 2 big papers, 2 presentations, 1 project, 1 client presentation, and 4 blog postings left to do. It’s a lot to get done in the next 34 days2 – along with working full-time (and a half marathon thrown in the mix for good measure). But there’s really a big shiny light at the end of tunnel.
I’m just hoping that I’ve managed to keep up enough of a social life – limited though it was – over the past two years that my friends will still want to hang out with me. Because I’m really going to have a lot of time on my hands come December 8.
- I’m also in shock at the thought that I won’t be seeing my classmates, who I’ve seen so much they feel like family, on a regular basis any more. I plan to head downtown on some of the days they have classes to go have lunch and/or drinks with them, because I’m just not ready to not see them anymore! [↩]
- Technically the paper for my industry project isn’t due until January 15, but I’m planning to get it done before the Christmas holidays so that I can be free! [↩]
So I’ve got a whole bunch of random tidbits floating around in my brain that are too small to write actual blog postings about, yet are being insistent that they want to blogged1. So, in an effort to appease said tidbits, I give you this bulleted lists of random thoughts, ideas, and mini-stories:
- So I was out at the (new) Tiki Bar on Friday with Cath, her husband, and some friends of theirs. For the uninitiated (which included myself until I went there on Friday), the Tiki Bar on Main is a place that makes fantastic rum-based drinks that all seem to have, at minimum, eleventy billion ounces of alcohol in them. After hanging out there for a while, we decided that food was in order, so we headed out to get some (as the Tiki Bar’s food is nothing to write home about). As we were leaving, one of the group asked Cath to carry something in her purse. To which she exclaimed, “I can’t put that in my bag – it’s full of science!” In her own defence the next morning, she explained:
- My frogs are doing, if you’ll pardon the pun, just swimmingly. Tyrion remains the tiniest of the four, as he likes to take his time finding the bloodworms at feeding time2. In contrast, Timbit is huge because he’s very good at eating as many of the bloodworms as is froggingly3 possible. (I feed the frogs a block of bloodworms every other day, which I dump in the tank and then I have no control over the relative proportions that each frog eats. It’s every frog for himself at feeding time.) So Timbit really is earning his name, as by the end of feeding time, he’s as round as a little Timbit!
- After searching through the NHL players list, and with help from my Aunt Lynn and my friend Cath, I compiled the following players with dirty sounding name for Team Hockey P0rn:
- Jiří Tlustý
- Patrick Kane
- Evander Kane
- David Legwand
- Alex Burrows – but he’s hurt, so I’m replacing him with Michael Ryder4
- Alex Semin
- Grant Clitsome
- Victor Hedman
- Kevin Shattenkirk
- Dennis Wideman
- Josh Harding
- Jon Quick
- So far, most of my points are from the double Kane5, but Quick has also helped out.
- As I get closer to the end of my MBA program, I’m starting to experience a bunch of “lasts”. A week ago, I had my last full weekend of classes AND my last class at UBC’s Robson Square campus. The part-time program that I’m in is made up of full weekends of courses that occur roughly every third weekend and are held at UBC Robson Square. But I only have one more class from the part-time program (Change Management) and it’s (a) broken up over two different weekends and (b) being held at the Point Grey campus, so the course I took from the EMBA program last weekend was the last class I’ll have at Robson Square and the last one that takes up a full weekend. Oh yeah, and it’s the last EMBA class that I’m taking. Of course, the Change Management course that I just mentioned, coming up in late Oct/early Nov will be my last class from the part-time MBA program. For 6 weeks starting Oct 21, I’m taking two full-time MBA courses (one on Monday nights and one on Wednesday nights) – these will be my first and last full-time MBA classes. And after that all I will have left is to wrap up my industry project (which I hope to have done in December, though it’s technically due Jan 15) and my online business ethics course, the latter of which will provide my last exam! And then I’ll be done all the things and will be ready for (what I’m hoping is) my last university graduation in the spring!
- And speaking of graduation, we got a notification that it’s time to book grad photos, so I finally got around to asking UBC about something that I’d heard rumour of, but wasn’t sure was true. The item in question is what robe I am to wear at my MBA graduation – I will be receiving a Master’s degree, but I already hold a doctoral degree and was told that one is supposed to wear the robes of the highest degree they have, not the robe of the degree they are getting. I checked UBC’s website but couldn’t find any info, so I emailed them and received official confirmation that I should, in fact, wear the PhD robes. Long live the pink robe and puffy hat!
- Some have already been tweeted, but apparently this was not sufficient to get it out of my brain. See also: a bunch of stuff that I want to write up for publication but just haven’t been able to find the time! [↩]
- Or possibly he’s just not that bright and swims to every part of the tank *except* where the bloodworms are. [↩]
- “Froggingly” is the frog equivalent of the word “humanly”, right? Because I first tried “frogly” but that didn’t seem right. And spell check says neither of them are words, so it’s no help at all. [↩]
- I missed the deadline to change it for this week, so I’m screwed on that front as I’ve wasted a roster spot on someone who won’t even be playing! [↩]
- So I’m sacrificing in comedy by having two Kanes instead of just one Kane and another dirty name, but it’s hard to give up the points when I’m getting so few! [↩]
After three weeks vacation, the inevitable refrain from many colleagues upon my return was, “Tough to come back, eh?” But the thing is, every time someone said that, I thought, “Not really.”
Now, don’t get me wrong – I had a super fantastic vacation and am already dreaming up ideas for my next trip. But at the same time, I’m not devastated to be back. I love Vancouver – it’s so gorgeous here and there’s tonnes of things to do – not to mention all my friends are here and I miss them when I’m away1. And I know this might sound heretical, but I actually love my job. I’m working on all kinds of interesting projects, I have really nice co-workers, and my new commute rocks2. And I’m even excited for the courses that I’ll be taking this semester3.
Prior to my vacation, I was definitely burnt out – non-stop work and school for such an extended period of time is not a good idea. So while I still liked my job and most of my courses, I was running on empty. But now that I’ve had three weeks to disconnect from work and school, my batteries are re-charged and I’m feeling rested, rejuvenated and ready to get back at ‘er. There really is something to this whole work-life balance thing.
- And my frogs! [↩]
- And now I’m looking into buying a rack and pannier for my bike, so I can bike to work, making my commute even more awesome [↩]
- Especially since (a) there are no accounting courses in the mix, and (b) I’ve devised a course schedule that will allow me to finish the MBA in December, instead of next May! I think that will require a whole blog posting – once I get through all the vacation blog postings. Which require that I get through uploading all the vacation photos to Flickr and labelling them! [↩]
The last few blog-less days here at NTBTWK are directly attributable to the fact that I’ve been in school everyday, 8 am ’til 5 pm, since Thursday. While sane people may have been out enjoying the epic sunshine and glorious heat, my colleagues and I have been holed up in an underground bunker known as a “classroom” at UBC Robson Square learning about NPVs and IRRs and funding models and complex adaptive systems. The first 2.5 days of this stretch were focused on Healthcare Finance and the last day and a half, plus all day tomorrow is on Healthcare Strategy in an Economic Context1.
On the plus side, I now really get what NPV is2 and how to calculate it. We learned this in the core part of the program and have used it in a few projects and I would get it while we were working on it, but then I wouldn’t really remember what it was all about later. It just wasn’t really one of the things that stuck foremost in my mind3. Happily, the profs who were teaching the finance course were exceptional, so I think it will really stick with me this time! The prof teaching the strategy course is also excellent – she has so much experience at the executive level that she shares with the class and she got us to do some very thought provoking exercises to gain insight into the perspectives of a variety of different stakeholder groups in the system that I think will be helpful to make as a change agent. </jargon>
These two back-to-back courses are actually from the Executive MBA in healthcare – a different program than the part-time MBA program that I’m taking, but I’m allowed to take them because I work in the health sector. My cohort is actually done for the summer, but I’ve chosen to take these two courses now, which will allow me to have no classes after tomorrow4 until the very end of September and, in combination with some other courses I’ve taken outside my program, will allow me to finish my program in February instead of the regularly scheduled May end date for my program.
Light at the end of the tunnel – I’m coming for you!
- I have, however, managed to catch some of the sunshine in the evenings, since the sun stays up so late, in the form of a 5 km run one day, reading on the pier another day, and a 10 km bike ride tonight. And I also cleaned the frog tank tonight after my ride, so I have to say I’m feeling rather productive [↩]
- Net Present Value. But you knew that, right? [↩]
- This is a hazard of learning eleventy billion new things in every class – they can’t all stick! [↩]
- Though I do have two papers to complete, which I hope to get done before I go on holiday, though one isn’t due until September 20, so if worse comes to worst, I can finish it when I get back. [↩]
I’m on a bit of break from school right now. I had an exam last weekend and next weekend I am taking two back-to-back modules, but this week and this weekend, I’ve been able to think very little about school work1. And I have to say it’s been quite nice. It’s pretty awesome to come home from work and go to yoga practice or head out to a baseball game with a friend or meet a friend for dinner – and just have a normal life.
Of course, this is not to say that I don’t like school – I actually love it. I’ve learned a tonne and met some awesome people. I know a lot of things that I didn’t used to know and you know how much I like knowing things. It’s definitely been worth all the effort and the blood, sweat, and tears. But I am very tired. So I’m glad that I’m having a wee break right now and then after my two modules next weekend, I get to go on my fabulous European vacation! I think that will be just the thing I need to prepare me for the home stretch of school!
- I have some pre-reading for next weekend’s courses which I’ll have a look at this weekend, but I haven’t yet started that. [↩]