Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Half-Marathon. This got real.

So in February, I wrote about possibly, maybe, kind of, probably running a marathon... I mean half-marathon. Well a year later, I will be. My friend from Cleveland and I will be training for the Charlottesville Ten Miler. I love how as soon as you enter the site, it tells you--- no it commands to you--- that

2012 Race Day is March 31st!

No ifs, buts, or whys. You better have on your calendars because it's going to happen!

While you can't register right away (and therefore you still have time to back out), I ran the 4th Year 5k a couple weeks ago and it made me feel comfortable enough to do this. My 5K time was a lot better than I expected (anything better than 27 minutes is a good sign, is what I told myself), I didn't die in the race, and it made for good stories later (like the point in the race where I had told myself that I could walk this part but then couldn't because there was a photographer and then couldn't because I was being challenged by this older person to a race to the death sprinting up this hill! Aw yea!).

In any case, I will be running a 15K in March!

Friday, November 18, 2011

See the Future

Fourth year is passing me by. Next week will be Thanksgiving Holiday break and a week after that Finals will start. I think it's time to pass the baton onto another student.

If you're interested in becoming the next UVA blogger, send two entries to yk3m@virginia.edu by Nov 30th.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hoo-rah-ray, Hoo-rah-ray, ray, ray--U-Va!

The Good Ole' Song.

It was something that I was supposed to have memorized it in my first year. However wanting to buck authority, I skipped out on a lot of traditions at UVa. Instead, I've made great memories in replace of them and I don't regret not going to the traditional events my first year.

Why? I can argue about the utilitarian exchange of going to the better experience (which is my opinion and very subjective), but I won't. Instead I will say---because now I am a fourth year and I'll be going with first, second, third years, exchange students, transfer students, friends, acquaintances and it'll be a richer experience than if I had gone first year with the few hallmates that I knew.

Speaking from an anthropological view, I am amazed at how much pressure there is to share in a common experience, if you are considered "in the group." For example, traditions at UVA serve to unify a university of 14,297 undergraduate students. These range from participating in sport events to the 112 Things To Do Before You Graduate List to the ritual of passage called convocation. When you do not participate in these traditions, people are surprised, worried, and even alarmed. That is because you are now a "black sheep" and thus people do their best to bring you back in the fold. If you resist, then you will be considered odd and perhaps even ostracized from future events. If you do participate in these events, then you are rewarded socially with friends, future invitations, and affirmation.

So as I sit in my grey silk dress (with no pearls) and the Good Ole Song in front of my desk with the words "Start Memorizing :)" handwritten on it, I have come to terms that I am going to my first UVA American football game. Hoo-rah-ray, Hoo-rah-ray, ray, ray--U-Va!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hotel Dorms

The newest dorms, Balz-Dobie and Watson-Webb, are hotel dorms. Seriously.

This is my fourth year at UVA (hello class of 2012), and it took my four years to get air conditioning. Of course when the air conditioning comes with the free room, which is your stipend for having serious responsibilities like crisis control, administrative paperwork, and human management, you realize that things in life aren't free.

Unless you live in Balz-Dobie or Watson-Webb.

Now again, to be fair to the prospective students and parents who are gasping with horror, they aren't the only dorms that have air conditioning. In fact, most of the dorms that have recently been renovated or built have air conditioning. (My building probably got built in the 40's or 50's... or earlier.) However, BD and WW provide so much more. When dorms start to "
[offer] modern amenities" and promise to "[foster] intimate, secure, close-knit communities"(Housing), you start thinking about high end hotels, gated communities, and country club residential areas. Furthermore, when it is announced that "Romer said the structures will also exclusively house the Echols and Rodman scholars," because "these scholars, who used to live in Webb and Maupin houses, are placed together for programmatic reasons" (UVA Today), you wonder.

I have personally been in BD and it is a hotel. The toilets flush up and down (up for #1, down for #2), have motion-sensitive lighting, and beautiful lounges. I believe they are LED-certified buildings, and this statement makes me jealous: "The air handler has an energy recovery wheel that captures the heat from exhaust air and recycles it, and the whole precinct is fed by steam from McCormick Road and chilled water from the Aquatic and Fitness Center." It's like the environmentally-friendly version of caviar and Perrier.

So what can you do to get exclusive rights to enter BD and WW? Well you heard the man! Romer said that you can be an Echols or Rodman scholar. For those of us who aren't trying too hard, Housing has a secret sauce that is almost equivalent to that of Google's search. Good luck!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Prices of Rooms onGrounds

Housing FINALLY posted up the prices of different rooms on Grounds. The 2011-2012 prices reflect an increased price.

# Bedrooms Occupancy 2010-11
Bice House 2 Double $5100 $5330
3 Double $4980 $5200
Brown Residential College 2 Single $5430 $5670
Copeley Apartments 2 Double $5100 $5330
Faulkner Apartments 4 Single $5570 $5820
4 Single $6480 $6770 Large bedroom
Maison Française (French House) 1 Double $5070 $5300
1 Double $5220 $5450 Large bedroom
1 Single $5590 $5840
German House 2 Double $5100 $5330
3 Double $4980 $5200
Hereford Residential College 1 Double $4660 $4870
1 Single $4720 $4930
International Residential College 1 Single $5240 $5480 Munford and Gwathmey
1 Single $5480 $5730 Lewis and Hoxton
1 Single $5710 $5970 Lewis and Hoxton (private bath)
1 Double $4680 $4890 Munford and Gwathmey
1 Double $4830 $5050 Lewis and Hoxton (small)
1 Double $5070 $5300 Lewis and Hoxton
Johnson, Malone and Weedon 1 Double $4660 $4870
1 Single $4720 $4930
Lambeth Field Apartments 2 Double $5100 $5330
3 Double $4980 $5200
Lawn 1 Single $5240 $5480
1 Single $5110 $5340 Small, no fireplace
Russian House 1 Double $5050 $5280
1 Single $5500 $5750
Shea House 1 Double $5070 $5300
1 Single $5590 $5840
Casa Bolivar (Spanish House) 1 Double $5070 $5300
1 Single $5590 $5840
University of Virginia Foundation Properties
Off-Grounds Housing

A Hereford single is about 98.21 square feet and costs $4930. This means each square foot costs about $50.20, (vs. IRC Munford single $35.58, Lawn room with fireplace $31.64).

Random Fact: Did you know that UVA owns property? This includes Cavalier Inn, the gas station on the corner of Emmet St and Ivy Road, apartments and more!

Information from UVA Housing website: http://www.virginia.edu/housing/compare.php?type=upperclass.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New layout!

With the end of classes and the nearing of Graduation (for some!), I thought it would be appropriate to have a new, fresh layout. Let me know if you like it! Leave a comment!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"What I Wish My New Employee Knew" - Repost

The thing about hiring motivated, smart, creative young people is that motivated, smart, creative young people – while invaluable – can also be hard to manage sometimes.

I wish my new employee knew that we were genuinely psyched that they found us; that we were flattered by their interest and thrilled by their acceptance of our offer. (We tell them that, sure, but I worry it rings hollow sometimes.)

I wish my new employee knew that some clients are a-holes, and some clients are incredibly appreciative, but they must all be treated equally. That means that the level of effort can’t flag for the prickly client. That means that you shouldn’t use your water-cooler time to gossip or kvetch about the tough cases; it’s unhelpful and nothing good comes of it. (Along with this, it helps to know that the nice clients far outweigh the jerks, over time. Never let the turkeys get ya down.)

I wish my new employee knew that Quality Counts. A typo in an email might not seem like a big deal. But it doesn’t take long for the client to wonder if that sloppiness extends to the way the agency is cultivating their image to the outside world.

I wish my new employee knew that we absolutely and gladly fire clients who are truly abusive. We’re vigilant about this, but most new employees assume that the client is always right and stay quiet for too long.

I wish my new employee knew that when I say I’ve got an open-door policy, it means swing by anytime you have a question about anything. I don’t bite. It’s not hard for me to offer two cents: it’s my job. And I love my job.

I wish my new employee knew that the beginning part of a career is usually a slog. It’s not all Social Media fun & games, sorry. To be effective & accountable strategists, we need databases, research, detailed reports. That’s how everybody starts out, even the rockstars.

I wish my new employee knew that “eagerness is everything.” If you’re eager; if you’re leaning forward; motivated, I’ll lie on the train tracks for you. If you’ve got a dark cloud over your head, its shadow casts a pall over the entire office. That includes my office.

I wish my new employee knew that it’s all fun and games til you complain about working til 8 o’clock every night. Barring a huge project or crisis, we don’t want you working that late; it doesn’t impress us, it makes us question your efficiency. Following a string of late nights in our SF office, we began to require written permission from a manager if someone felt the need to work past 6:30pm. People began to leave on time. Productivity soared. So did morale.

I wish my new employee knew that it’s okay to screw-up sometimes. The sooner you tell your manager, the smaller the screw-up will look in retrospect. If you never fall down, how can you learn to pick yourself back up?

I could go on forever.

-Reposted from PR Squared

Thursday, May 12, 2011

UVA names Michael Strine new CFO

What? What does that have to do with undergraduates? Hmm pretty much nothing.

Unless you consider the fact that Strine as the CFO will take responsibility for UVA's $2.4 billion budget. He'll be in charge of the finances of the University, including its schools and divisions like the Library System. This meant big things when Sandridge was CFO but who knows what the position will entail now.

By the way, Teresa Sullivan is looking to usher in a "new era at the University." Strine is part of President Teresa Sullivan's new team-on-the-top, as the Chief Financial Officer search comes to a close and Chief Academic Officer (CAO) position is still underway. Strine says "being on her team is a great honor, and I look forward to the challenges ahead."

We get a hint of his views when he says, "I realized that in the modern era, universities are the important engines of economic development, providing for jobs, research and health care innovations, community building and, of course, education." Why is it that education is the last on that list? And why is economic development the first? What are his priorities?

He continues to say, "Higher education has the ability to affect public policy issues that touch all of our lives." Clearly his eyes are on public... something.

By looking at quotes from his interview, we can see a lot of key terms being thrown around. The largest are "education," "great," and "public." One of these days, I'd like to see the words "preposterous," "zeitgeist," and "irenic" be the top three words used.

Here is full UVA Today's press release. Also, here is UVA's Operating Budget.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Study Distractions

It is funny how during finals is when I find the best youtube videos and the funniest websites. Last year, I introduced you to sporcle. Well, this year, I bring you Damnyouautocrrect.com and quickmeme.com.

The first one makes me belly-laugh. There aren't that many funny things in the world that make me belly-laugh (sadly). The Greeks had a word for laughter of other people's misfortunes. (I don't remember what it is and I don't think it was sadism.) Anyway, that stuff gets me. It is Quiet Hours and I, being a RA, keep my door open even during finals time. Yet, it's often that I'm snorting in my room because of the hilarious misunderstandings.

The second one uses a part of my brain that isn't fried from all of this essay writing. It's creative, it's hilarious, and it keeps me sane. 'nuff said.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Manifesto of an American college student

I reserve the right to be smarter today than I was yesterday.

I reserve the right to make mistakes.

I reserve the right to change my mind as I learn, grow or get more involved.

I reserve the right to defend my opinion.

I reserve the right to share and spread my opinion.

I reserve the right to choose who represents me.

I reserve the right to love, hate, or ignore any person or thing.

I reserve the right to live with dignity and safety.

I reserve the right to live anywhere.

I reserve the right to gain knowledge in all shapes and forms and from all sources.

I reserve the right to ask questions

I reserve the right to demand honesty and transparency. Most importantly from my government.

I reserve the right to know why certain things are the way they are.

I reserve the right to change and ask for items relating me to change.

I reserve the right to disbelieve what my fathers and ancestors have believed.

I reserve the right to resist.

I reserve the right to protest.

I reserve the right to boycott.

I reserve the right to learn.

I reserve the right to be human--- to be treated, respected, honored and appreciated as a human. Despite all of my flaws and all of the rights that I reserve.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Choosing a college

UVa is considered one of the most beautiful campuses in the US. Also consider that it is a World UNESCO Heritage site and BAM! you have a beautiful, well-manicured "Lawn" with flower trees everywhere. There are trees, flowers, cute squirrels, homogeneous brick architecture, ponds, and groomed grass. As you can see by these photographs, there is something that invites the tourist to take a massive amount of photographs. UVA is aware of it as well. Just check our Week in Photos if you don't believe me that we are one narcissistic, proud hell "uva" school. Around this time of the year, there will be at least one photograph of flowers or flower trees. So if you visit UVA on a sunny clear day, you will fall in love.

However, if you are on a day like today, where it is cold and misting, then you might be turned off by it. Yes, I am talking to you--- prospective young one who is deciding which school to attend. Like you I visited schools, and the skies help the schools that I visited when it was raining. I was snarky to the guides, ungracious to the current students, and deemed a hazard to any staircase that dared to trip me.

Amherst is one memorable example. With its 1960's concrete buildings, Amherst's architecture is the antithesis of UVa's colonial brick architecture. Unlike its neighboring New England colleges, Amherst does not have the ivy-covered brick buildings, but buildings made of what was then cutting edge material: concrete. While Kirin Makker would argue that the 1960s modernist buildings represent a heroic building practice, aesthetic risks, and a confident embrace of current technologies, what concrete doesn't do on a clear, sunny day it definitely does not do on a rainy, cloudy day. Plus it smells.

In short, I hated Amherst and wanted to get away from that bloody town. I hated how it made me feel like I was a cog in a machine, an unmarked slab of concrete, and a lost high school senior in the midst of college applications. I did not even apply.

On the other hand, UVa shined the minute the sun stepped away from the clouds. After a 7 hour drive from New York, I was ready to stretch my legs and the cloudless skies allowed me to do so to my heart's content. It was beautiful and it felt right. My decision was sealed with a bite of my first Five Guy's Burger.

I never critically thought about why it was so beautiful and why it felt right until now. After reading Kirin Makker's article, I realized that in my senior year, I was looking for a traditional look of a college campus. UVa looked the part of an American college (which is appropriate, considering that Thomas Jefferson was so purposeful in his architecture that he created a new aesthetic for university architecture). I was lost in knowing what I wanted in college, which is fine, but then instead of critically thinking about it, I relied on a stereotype of what college was.

In an essence, there is a powerful myth about college perpetuated by popular media, teachers, and marketing campaigns by the universities themselves. It would be a term paper to dissect this myth and the different ways that it affects college choice. (One quick example would be the powerful myth of what Harvard is and then what it actually is.)

UVa also relies on this myth in your head. Whatever the myth may be to you, be aware of it and really do think critically of why college is the right decision for you and why UVa is the right academic decision for you.

Best of luck!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Babies Talking

Babies Talking: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JmA2ClUvUY.

I am sitting in my MDST 3559 class, Dataesthetics, and my professor showed this video. Then he said, "anthropologists from all over are analyzing this video for linguistics."

Aw yea.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Getting Over a Grudge

Reposted from Alexandra Levit's Water Cooler Wisdom
A reader writes: Dear Alexandra, ten years ago in my first job out of school, a colleague I thought was my friend stole my new product idea and took all the credit. Well, it’s a small industry and now I find myself forced to work closely with this person. I swore I’d never talk to him again. What should I do?

I’m very sorry this happened to you. Sometimes people do things we feel we cannot forgive. But I’m going to encourage you to try. My first reason is that perhaps this was more of a misunderstanding than a betrayal. Even though I don’t know the specifics, I can say with certainty that there are very few truly evil people in the world. Maybe he thought he arrived at the idea himself, or maybe was so insecure about making a contribution that he was grasping at straws.

My second reason is that harboring anger and resentment against this person will only serve to negatively impact you emotionally and professionally. Even if his behavior was indisputably callous, it was ten years ago and he has hopefully matured since then, so look at it as water under the bridge and aim to make a fresh start with him.

Remember that you can forgive, but you don’t have to forget. There is no reason to blindly trust this person again until he has earned it. I’m just saying to get over the grudge and move on so that you can be as effective as possible.

This totally applies to college. If you are involved on Grounds, you will definitely need to collaborate with people, share ideas, and work in groups. This can happen.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sleeping in class

I realized why I fall asleep in my Intro to Digital Media class: Nau 101 is dimly lit.

Nau is one of the two new buildings of the South Lawn Project. It looks impressive because of the wall-to-wall glass windows and spiraling staircase. It's brand spankin' new. The toilets flush automatically and you feel posh on the leather couches.

However, Nau 101, one of the large 200 seating classrooms is so dimly lit that I fall asleep. This is why I cannot take a film class and why I hated Art History. Professors dim the lights, you sink back into your plushy chair, and then it's over.

I realized I had a problem when I woke up one class day on the shoulder of the nice girl next to me. She didn't wake me up but gently shoved me off once class ended.

Me: zzz...
Her: *shove*
Me: .... uh.. wut? *looks up* ... oh.
Her: *smile*
Me: *run awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay in embarrassment*

Next time I'm going to sit right in the front where staring directly into the green glow of the projector will keep me awake.

UPDATE: 03.24.11 //

I haven't fallen asleep in the past two classes because I sit right in the front. Also, the first two rows are the only ones that are lit from above. Yay for better learning habits!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


I went out to a club on Thursday night. It was sponsored by Sustained Dialogue and other student CIOs, and you needed to be 18 to enter and 21 to drink. While it was unfortunate that I was sleep-deprived from the previous week and thus was fading at one o'clock, I had a great time getting funky with friends. That's right, funky.

I wish I was one of those talented youngsters that danced like this, or sang like this, or played ukulele like this. That's right-- I'm yours too, kid. However, I was not one of those children made for the entertainment-industry and now the toll shows: I dance kind of funky.

My attempt at the robot is kind of lame and my chest pop consists of everything this guy says a chest pop is not. Unfortunately my chest pop is not BOOM-- an explosion. Instead it's "on par with throwing a frisbee into a category 5 tornado and hoping that your dog will catch it." (theoatmeal.com) In short, it's kind of pathetic.

I hope that I don't turn out to be one of those creepy adults who try to reenact her younger days by going to clubs and then embarrassing herself on the dance floor. While this is actually an ad, this video makes my point.

Instead, I will redeem my cool points by sharing the awesome music that I heard:

Get Shaky - The Ian Project
San Francisco Dreaming - Benny Bennassi vs. Global Deejays
Alors on Danse - Stromae

Monday, February 21, 2011

the weight that no one sees

Today, I found out that one of my residents drinks celery stew every night to lose weight for spring break.

Living on an all-female hall, I see women who are unhappy with the way they look. One extreme case is a woman who wakes up at 5am every morning to jump rope in the laundry room. A more moderate example is a woman who diets, not in the sense that she deprives herself, but in the sense that she is mindful of what she eats. She explained to me that her mother, who is a nutritionist, told her to be careful of what you eat, how much you eat, but also what time you eat things. Another example is a woman who goes to the gym all the time.

Then there is me. For someone who used to run three hours for five days a week, college was hard on my body. It was hard to find time to run and even if I ran that day, it would be only for an hour and usually for short distances. I am also sitting a lot more, whether it is in class or in my room with a laptop or in the library writing my essay. It makes sense that I lost my toned muscles and lean physique for a body that was softer and had less angles. In fact, when I look at pictures like this, I am grateful for the gentleness of fat. It might be also be the natural change from having the body of a 17 year old to one of a 20 year old.

Yet as much as I try to rationalize it, I am not satisfied with the way I look. Why is this? Women? Men? How many of you can say that you feel the same?

//Edit: 02.21.11

What I found...

Celebrate Every Body Week is back again for 2011 and will be taking place February 21st-25th!

Join the U.Va. Coalition on Eating Disorders and Exercise Concerns for a week of fun and informative events to promote a more body-positive culture on grounds.

Body Groove Class

Tuesday 2/22; 7pm @ AFC.

Free! Bring your IM Rec membership ID and dance to your own unique groove!

Workshop -- Your Body Doesn't Lie: Exploring Intuitive Moments

Wednesday 2/23; 3-4:30pm @ U.Va. Women’s Center, 2ND Floor

Discuss and explore your own unique intuitive style to help improve insight and self-awareness in all areas of your life. Led by Polly Williams.

RSVP to Charlotte Chapman at cmc5nq@virginia.edu by Monday, February 14 to reserve a space.

Women’s Center Open House

Wednesday 2/23; 4:30-6pm @ U.Va. Women’s Center, 2ND Floor

Come Celebrate Every Body Week with staff and interns. Enjoy refreshments and learn about our initiative to promote a body positive community at UVA!

Great Jeans Exchange!


11-2pm @ Newcomb Hall table

Instead of dieting or exercising compulsively to squeeze into too-tight jeans, donate them in exchange for a cool, FREE T-SHIRT.

For Help

Concerned about your relationship with food, exercise or your body? Free and confidential in-person eating disorders screenings available @ the Women's Center.

Call 434-982-2252 for an appointment. Also, confidential online eating disorders screening available @ http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/screening/Welcome.aspx .

For more info, contact: UVaEatingDisordersCoalition@virginia.edu or Melanie Brede (mb6ps@virginia.edu) or Amy Chestnutt (aek4k@virginia.edu).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Third Year Council (TYC) Valentines

TYC unfortunately decided that sending anonymous valentines was a good idea. They set up a google doc so that you could send your unrequited love an anonymous valentine and they would act as cupid and deliver your message.

The way they decided to deliver the message is via books in Alderman. That's right. I'll include the email that I received V-Day morning.

The date is February 14th and someone is thinking of you,
Search around Alderman, here's what to do,
Look for book _______ALD PQ 2193 B7B6______ right away,
The message inside might just make your day!

That's right. It's complete with garish emoticon hearts. (For those of you not at the University, ALD PQ refers to the book number of the Alderman library system. How PQ comes to mean Floor 4 Old Stacks, I do not know.)

So of course being the inquisitive person I am, I take the effort to hunt down this book and find my message.

The message said:

"You're so sexy... perfect for me."

and it was anonymous. FML I have a stalker.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Light Ahead

Things are looking up! A common phrase for the sentiment of "WOHOO! The future looks bright!" (Another metaphor, excuse me.) As I sip my Lady Grey tea, I am enthusiastic about things that will happen in the future. I am eager for events in the future to happen. In other words, I am employed!

... for the summer. I will be a digital strategy intern at an advertising company. Does anyone know anything about Winston-Salem, North Carolina? If so, COMMENT.

I am also thinking a lot about marathons. For some reason, marathons seem to be the hottest thing right now. One of my colleagues is training for a marathon, the resident graduate student of our dorm is running a marathon, and my father is running long-distance with marathon runners every Sunday. Last year, one of the RAs I worked with had run a marathon and because he worked out every day, he did it very casually. I found out that one of the bloggers whom I follow diligently runs marathons. She's my age.

Marathon running is about physical and mental endurance. I'm sure the physical aspect of it is apparent to you, but unless you're a long-distance runner, the mental endurance is something that may need explanation. One mile is 5,280 feet. Let's say that is putting your foot in front of you 5,280 times. It sounds like a lot, but in truth you probably walk way over amount in a day. So three miles (5k) is 15,840 times, five miles (8k) is 26,400 times, and ten miles (16.1k) is 52,800 times. A marathon (26 mi, 42.195k) is 138,435 times. You're putting your foot in front of you 138,435 times. Your body is repeating the same motion over and over for 4 or 5 hours. Have you ever done anything 138,435 times? You blink about 20,000 times a day and that's automatic: your body does that for you. For a marathon, that's when mental endurance kicks in. What is driving you after the 5,280 step?

No, I am not running a marathon. However, it's a thought that's in my head and I've never thought about it before. Even when I was running cross country, the most that I've run is 7 miles. Even then, I disliked running races. Perhaps I should think about running a half marathon? Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Three. Two. One. Poof!

So currently I am taking 19 credits. At the College of Liberal Arts and Science (CLAS, Arts & Sciences, or just simply the College), the maximum is 17. To go over, you'd need to course action into classes and perhaps get permission. I haven't quite gotten to that point yet, because I haven't "officially" signed up for my major seminar. I know I'll get into it, so why signing up just yet?

I guess you're next wondering why I am taking 19 credits.
  • The economic answer might be that I want to maximize the benefit of spending over $10,000 on tuition alone, and because it is a sunk cost, I might as well as max out on credits (and go a little over?).
  • The psychological answer might have something to do with the incentives of the classes themselves and how they are all so individually interesting.
  • A fourth year might tell me that it is because I want to have an easy fourth year and take as many classes now as possible.
  • A third year might tell me that it is because of the realization that there are only three semesters worth of classes that are left and I want to take as many classes that I want to take before leaving college (forever).
  • A second year might gape at me. Oh, you'll understand soon enough.
  • A first year might tell me it's leftovers of my overachieving self from high school kicking in for a final spurt.
  • A baby might cry at me.
They're all right.

Listen people, I'm feeling the time crunch. Why do the years speed up after first year? My fourth year friends are graduating and planning to buy balloons similar to this. The more ridiculous, the better. And I will say from the two graduations I've attended before, that there are some hilarious ones! Think four people holding 2, 0, 1, and 0 balloons. Think a host of sea animal balloons. Think sorority girls getting all the same pink balloons... and the same dress... and the same shoes.. well, you get the idea anyway! When college kids are talking about buying balloons in mass, it's either someone's birthday, a revival of prom, or graduation. One of these days, I am going to buy a balloon just for the heck of it, tie it to my wrist, and wear it to class. Then I'll let it go and look like this.

The way I deal with frustrations is to make a statement against it. (See earlier balloon case one more time.) In any case, taking 19 credits also might be my way of saying I'm not leaving college after three more semesters. See? I'm immersing myself in college-ness. Classes! Learning! Fun!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Driving to Richmond

I've been in Virginia for three years now and I haven't visited much of it. In fact, I joke around that the international exchange students see more of the US in a semester than I have in a childhood. Chicago? Nope. Las Vegas? Nope. Seattle? Nope. Austin? Nope. Savannah? Nope.

So I say with pride RICHMOND! Here I come!

Given I never saw Albany in my nine years of living in NY and there was a certain disdain with going "upstate" in NY, which to some city residents meant fifteen minutes north. However, I feel like Richmond can offer something more to the average tourist than Albany did. At least it has the distinction of historical significance. First, in 1610 with visitors from the famous Jamestown. Then in 1775 Patrick Henry gave his "Give me Liberty or give me Death!" speech (summed up even more succinctly as LIBERTY! OR DEATH!). Perhaps the apex of its urban career was when Richmond was the capital of the Confederate States of America. Apparently the White House of the Confederacy still in tact for curious visitors.

My friend needs to go to Richmond for his GMAT test and I am driving Zipcar. Do YOU know of any thing to do in Richmond?

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Internship Dilemma: To check that or to not?

Since January 3rd, I've been interning at Charlottesville Community Design Center (CCDC). It honestly has been the ideal internship. I am gaining design experience by designing a promotional brochure for CCDC, which will be sent to potential donors, volunteers, and board members. Mandy Burbage, my supervisor, has been heavenly, laid back, and very supportive. CCDC is large, airy, and quite beautiful. I have loads of freedom to design, research, and check facebook (for inspiration, of course!).

As a prime member of the multi-tasking generation of Millenials, I've also been searching for summer internships, updating my resume, coding my personal website, checking my online banking account, replying back to hosts of emails, adding contacts on LinkedIn, experimenting with Photoshop, and teaching myself PHP. Did I mention that I also check facebook at least five times a day? Casually, of course.

Here I am at one of the best (unpaid) internships I could ask for, and yet I am still doing other things. While I feel a little guilty about all of the things mentioned above, as I feel now, I would still feel extremely indignant if facebook was blocked, my computer was monitored, and my screen was public. This amazes me. Where is my work ethic and where am I drawing the line? (A rhetorical, academic question, I assure you.)

If I look at it from a productivity point of view, I am being extremely productive. I am not watching movies online during work, or worse, watching porn. I am doing things that will have tangible benefits later on (preferably money). However, if I look at it from the point of view of traditional work ethics, my behavior could be seen as unethical. Of course, another factor to it is that I am not being paid for my time.

Yet, I also want to point out the accessibility of all of the earlier mentioned things. Checking my HSBC bank account only takes three minutes, and searching for summer internships does not involve a trip to an office but a click away. There are hosts of sites that teach PHP, one of which is PHP 101, and they save me a trip to the library. So while it may seem like I am spending all of my time doing other work, in actuality it might add up to only a couple of hours. This goes back to the point of productivity. I know that designing might take only a couple of days out of the two weeks that I am interning. So if I am doing other things because I can quickly, am I... bored?

Truthfully I do not know the answer to all of these questions, but I do know that other Millenials are facing the same questions and that as a generation, we will have a serious influence on the way the workforce works. Or perhaps we'll quietly assimilate to it. Who knows?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

5 Leadership Predictions for 2011

2010 is quickly coming to a close, and fortunately, so is the recession that left most leaders fearing for the future of their organizations. As you think about strategies for managing your team(s) in 2011, here are some predictions to keep in mind:

Retention over layoffs

For the better part of two years, you had to focus on how to let some employees go, and now it's going to be the other way around. The recessionary workplace has been a difficult one, and many employees will attempt to leave as soon as they feel it's getting better out there. You will need to take extra care to motivate your team members and provide real-time recognition and perks.

Re-emergence of innovation as a priority

While everyone was just trying to keep their heads above water, the emphasis on creating and delivering superior new products and services rather went by the wayside. Expect leaders at the highest echelons of your organization to start "talking the talk" and think about ways to "walk the walk."

Equal opportunity leadership development

Nearly every organization now has four generations in the ranks, and waiting to train an employee until he is in a position to manage others is no longer desirable or practical. The Millennial generation (born 1980-95). especially, requires early and ongoing leadership development training as they prepare to take on retiring Boomers' responsibilities at a younger age.

A brave new world of day-to-day supervision

Managing employees and their projects keeps getting more complex, as global mobility and the number of virtual teams increases. As employees work out of their homes in record numbers, you will have to maintain a balance between micromanagement and neglect.

Social networking as a dominant recruiting strategy

Social networking will shift from being an unfunded add-on to a critical component of the recruiting mix. As a leader, you must ensure that everyone who has hiring responsibilities in your organization understands the best way to find, contact, and communicate with the most desirable candidates using social media.

This post was originally published on Intuit's Quickbase blog.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Blogger's Resolution

Before I get on with a blogger's resolution, let me first say:


A blogger really is but empty air blowing in a digital landscape without her subscribers, commentators, and readers! Thank you for a great almost-one year! I really enjoyed reading some of your comments and hope to do some more reader participation in the future. According to Google Analytics, with the exception of December 25th where only ONE dedicated person visited my blog, the year has been a good one. :) THANKS.

So my first resolution? You're reading it! I promise to dedicate more time to you!

My second resolution has been to read the news once a day. I subscribed to nytimes but filtered all of their emails into one folder that hasn't been checked in a while... so I'm going to read the Today's Paper over my Twining's Irish Breakfast tea and cereal every morning. The first headline for today was "G.O.P. Newcombers Set Out to Undo Obama Victories," by Jennifer Steinhauer and Robert Pear. The headline itself was sensational enough, but once they said, "Democrats, who in many cases looked on the law as a rabid beast best avoided in the fall elections, are reversing course," they lost me. Once Democrats are described as seeing laws as rabid beasts, I know that the end is near.

The third is to go running every morning during J-term. For those of you who aren't still at school in the middle of winter break and are instead at home like the sane person you are, it's J-term here. J-term is our snazzy two-syllable phrase for the 5 hour classes that meet daily. Of course those 5 hours don't include the time needed to do the homework and projects after class. The catchphrase on the website is

Intense. Rigorous. Focused. Unique. Engaging.

The font is a lot bigger here, but you get the gist. When you're doing J-term, expect to do nothing else. Happy winterbreak! Luckily I am not taking a J-term class, but merely being a J-term RA. Hence the time to be able to run.

Lastly, I plan on cooking a lot more. Dinner parties was a huge part of my social life last year, so I am going to revive them now. I also just discovered a food blogging site that has a massive following. The first article that I read was an interesting one, called "The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical." More term-paper-esque than whimsical blogging, this article surprised me with its solid writing, convincing points, and extensive research. The comments after this long article blew me away as well. Larikatz says, "Fascinating. You are right, people have to stop anthropomorphizing animals that we eat and take the time to learn how they work before they jump up and take causes. Thanks again."

Readers, the bar is set high.