Monday, June 28, 2010

Newsflash: 9 minute hurricane

Yes Yes, I have been pretty slacker with the entries, and I apologize. Before I do a "catch-up" entry though, I will put up these crazy pictures and talk about our very own natural disaster.

As the title says, we had a nine-minute hurricane in Charlottesville. Apparently this bad-boy stormed across Blacksburg, VA (aka home of Virginia Tech) before rampaging into Charlottesville. Did I mention that this was the first day of the first session of Orientation? For those nervous first years out there (and nervous parents), it was quite a story to tell.

The rain poured down around 5pm, instantly drenching the pavement and all those who were unfortunately outside. This weather wasn't too surprising though, because we've had flash thunderstorms (and flood warnings) a couple weeks before. However, things got noticeably scarier when the wind picked up and the rain started falling horizontally. As seen by the pictures, the wind shook branches and hurled small stones against the window. Finally large trees were brought down with lightning, thunder accentuating each thud.

Then it stopped and it was 5:13pm. The damage? Power lines were out (the building I was in and my house, as well as the entire Corner and Downtown area had no electricity), traffic was in confusion as street lights had ceased to work and fallen trees directed the flow of traffic. Incredulous people pointed and stared at a crushed car on 14th street. It seemed like all roads leading out of Charlottesville were blocked by purposefully spiteful trees and power lines.

After work, I rushed home and went straight to my refrigerator to chug my soymilk. No way was I going to let my oh-so-expensive $2.50/carton soymilk go bad. I had cereal for dinner that night.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

summer loving

I apologize for the lack of updates. Summer tends to do that to you, especially if you are working full-time.

I started a cooking habit, where meals are actually made in my kitchen. By being part of the food industry, I am more aware of how I impact the environment and how the decisions that I make in the supermarket are part of the food industry. The picture on the left is some tomato+mozzarella bruschetta that I made with a friend.

Orientation starts today! A lot of my people that I know are Orientation Leaders (OL) this year and I hope that they won't be too nervous for their first Orientation. Best of luck firsties!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

alumni weekend: welcome back to c'ville

I am sitting at Mudhouse, a coffeehouse downtown, doing some work. Large commotion ensues. The proprietor, a young man in his mid twenties who apparently is broke because he disappeared for two years to travel to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina (the things you hear about people's personal lives), spied one of his sister's college friends. She, the sister's college friend, was back in Charlottesville for Alumni Weekend. She has been working in DC for the past couple of years and now she came back just for Alumni Weekend, with her boyfriend (point to eye-candy on her arm). The conversation that ensued (pretty much verbatim) was:

Proprietor: "Hey hey! Yeah you look great! You haven't aged a bit."
Alumna: "Yeah? Thank you! Thank you!"
Proprietor: "Yeah~ So do you want to go on a date with me?"
Alumna laughs and lightly punches him. Boyfriend on arm growls.

Apparently graduating college doesn't make you smoother.

But really, college graduates fascinate me. One thing is for sure, I will join their ranks very soon so I am really curious about life after college. Having had many fourth year friends as a first year, I do know a lot of college graduates, but I think they are still too fresh from college (FFC?) to be good specimens of alumni.

If they are working over 40 hours a week, how do alumni make friends? What do they do for fun? What is the dating scene like? What makes their world go round? As a college undergraduate, the word alumni is synonymous with networking, which goes under the heading of "careers." However, surely life after college is more than just work, right?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


My belated congratulations to the Class of 2010 and all those who have worn the honor of honors. This was my second time attending graduation and it was my second time saying good bye to many of my friends.

For those of you who do attend graduation, or Final Exercises as they are known at UVA, be prepared for the masses of people (see picture on right). Some good tips:
  1. When trying to get on the Lawn for the morning speeches, get on line on the side of the Rotunda that faces the Hospital, and not the side that faces the Chapel. Everyone and their mother will be trying to squeeze into the Lawn and one side will have a longer line than the other. That side will be the one facing the Chapel.
  2. If you're going to eat out during graduation weekend, reserve your spot. Eat on the Corner for dinner on the day of Final Exercises because most people will want to eat in fancier restaurants Downtown. However if need be, then reserve ahead.
  3. Parking is a premium. Avoid driving.
  4. Bring an umbrella. If it rains, as it has done for the past three graduations, then you have an umbrella. If it is sunny, then you have shade. Umbrellas are win.
This year's main speaker was President Casteen. It was hilarious because he was the main speaker, then he was also featured to introduce the graduates, and then he made the closing remarks. By looking at the itinerary, it would seem like the Casteen Show. If it actually was, I don't know because I left in the middle for lunch.

While this may seem blasphemous to the UVA-fanatics out there, I ask you to consider what graduation actually means. It is time for the graduates. What does this time mean to them? They are bittersweet, joyful, wistful, regretful, relieved and other emotions. Can the four years (or three for some) that they have spent here at this institution be summed up in a two hour ceremony, a diploma, and a handful of pictures? Are all the conversations, lunches, dates, practices, meetings, and promises that you have made be represented by your presence at graduation? I will be blunt. Whether you are there or not is irrelevant, but whether they are there is the world. Remember you are not the one graduating, but they are.

With this spirit in mind, being present at your friends' diploma ceremonies means a lot to them. The picture on the left is for the Commerce School diploma ceremony. While the speech given was absolute propaganda about giving back to the Commerce School and perpetual alumni status, the excitement on the faces of the graduates was palpable. Some were going to New York, some were going to Singapore, some were going to Boston, and some were returning as 5th years in MS Commerce. It was a period of transition for all of them and I wish them the best of luck!