Saturday, April 30, 2011

Digital JPEG Du Jour

So, I took a lot of pictures the past few days and am thinking about opening up a new segment for at least a week. fanitics, enjoy the "Digital JPEG Du Jour" segment.

Paul Revere with Old North Church Backdrop
The five of us on my field study took a walk along the Freedom Trail, a brick walking path that leads tourists across most of the historic sights in Boston. Above is Paul Revere's statue and the place his friend placed the lanterns "one if by land, and two if by sea" to alert Paul Revere to spread the word that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord. Thank you, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for your incredible words.

There was a wedding or something going on at the church when we went by (can't imagine the pricetag).

Friday, April 29, 2011

Celebrating the Royal Wedding

I had been semi-following the Royal Wedding ever since the engagement photos showed up on People magazine. Actually, People was my main source of info on the big day since I don't really watch tv...and since I don't subscribe to People, I only got updates when I went to Kyler's parents' house.

But Monday I was at a celebration dinner for an organization I've been involved with, and as I was sitting at a table with six girls, our conversation turned to the wedding. Most of us said we'd make sure we checked up on the big day and that we may have watched a documentary or two on the couple, but by the end of the dinner there were plans to have a Royal Wedding Sleepover at our place. It was kind of a celebration for the wedding, the last week of school, and graduation. We devised a plan and laid out who was bringing what, and we waited in anticipation of the big day.

So the celebration began last night (and no one had a camera!)

Festivities for the evening:
  • Wine and champagne (so classy)
  • Music: Name that Royal Reference
    • There ended up being some interesting choices as the night wore on. After we hit all the typical songs, we had to stretch it a little. For example: Lady Gaga's Born This Way has the line "Don't be a drag, just be a QUEEN". Also, PRINCE's Purple Rain, and Sara Barelles' KING of Anything.
  • The NFL Draft (for the guys)
  • E! News' countdown to the wedding
  • Taboo (non-wedding related but very fun)
  • Crown making, involving pipe cleaners and scrapbooking supplies
Well after all these festivities, the guys left and we still had time until the wedding. Some people conked out and some of us just sat around talking. Eventually we went to bed at 2AM and set our alarms for just two hours later. It was a nice nap.

My alarm went off way too early, but I got up, and only one of the other girls joined me. We oohed and ahhed over all the fancy dresses  and horrible hats, and we were giddy as the royal family arrived. We made comments like "Oh, Prince William looks nervous" and "Oh, Kate's mom just looks so proud". Like we could actually tell the difference in their expressions!

Source: Google image
 We saw the gorgeous gown, the gorgeous Princes, the adorable choir boys, and the most eligible singleton Pippa Middleton. We just made over the entire ceremony and festivities like we were there and were close friends of the family. Over the course of the morning, all the girls woke up and we admired the royal kiss(es).

Regardless of al lthe hoopla and people making fun of us for waking up at 4 am, it was special to see the two get married. They seem so approachable, it's hard to believe they're royal. I'm glad I had a chance to watch such a historic event, and I'll always remember the year in which they wed because it's the same as us!

And of course, we made plenty of references to our wedding just 5 weeks away. Now we know how to efficiently seat 2000 guests and where to place our cameras to capture every single move during the ceremony. I had to ward off questions like if I was wearing sleeves, lace, a tiara, a 25 foot long train. It was all very fun, but by 9 am, we were pooped. Some of the girls had to leave and do responsible things like give a campus tour or a volunteer event. One girl rolled over on the couch and I went back to my bed, and we woke up again an hour later to head to the gym. And that concluded our celebrations of the Royal Wedding!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Massage, Blasphemy, and Danny

Head Massage? Not the Most Comfortable

St. JFK - Only in Boston - the caption reads "As not what your country can brew for you, ask what you can brew for your country"

Roommate Danny has Been Begging to Make his Debut - Here it is!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

On The Road

Happy Easter everyone! This is the first Easter I have ever spent away from my family, and, God-willing, the last. Listening to evangelists in the car while listening to Christian radio alone in my car just isn't the same as the faith, family, and food I am surrounded by at home.

But the good news is that I have arrived in Natick, Massachusetts and am here to stay for the next month. There will be plenty of posting later about what I am doing and where I am staying, but as for now I thought I would just post a few pictures of some road signs I saw on the trip.

A Middletown Large Enough for a Road Sign
Scranton, PA - Not The Office I Will Be Working At
My Personal Favorite

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Little 500

Kara and I just finished our last Little 500 week here on Bloomington's campus. It was really a fun-filled, exciting week for both of us, and we were able to catch up with a lot of friends that we haven't seen in a while because a) they have already graduated or b) we have all been so busy that we haven't had much time. We were able to spend a lot of time catching up because I did not have class this week so I had all the time in the world and Kara had a lighter academic week.

The most exciting part of the week for Kara and I is always the race. We always know a lot of the riders and really just enjoy the event in its entirety. Friday, the weather was great, but the race was a little anticlimactic, as Team Teter lapped the entire field about 50% through the race. Saturday, the race was the most exciting one we have ever been to, but the weather was awful (not as bad as the year Kamaron raced, though). I really wish we could have been 2/2 on both events, but we weren't that lucky.

Good Turnout Despite the Dreariness
  The men's race is especially exciting for Kara and I because Eric Young, my friend from freshman year, is the best rider in the field. He rides for the Cutters, who just won their fifth straight championship. What made it so incredible this year is that around lap 45, the Cutters got into a wreck, causing them to be lapped. However, over the next 45 minutes, they continually made up ground on the top two teams and finally put themselves in the lead. Kara and I cheered on, while Eric used his cycling gift to catch up and eventually put the team on his back - riding to victory.

Cutters in Yellow, as Usual
  With Little 500 behind us, we are continually looking forward to the exciting next few months. I will leave for Boston this Saturday, and Kara will be graduating in three weeks. She is definitely looking forward to being done! But for now, we are just enjoying the beautiful Bloomington campus and springtime.

Not Really on Campus, But I Enjoy These Trees

Saturday, April 9, 2011

(Almost) Done With My First MBA Year

Well, I nearly have my first year of the 3/2 MBA in Accounting program complete. All that is left is a short assignment due Firday and my field study. Just to keep everyone in the loop, my "field study" is essentially just a 5-week internship that is built into our curriculum. For my field study, I will be travelling to Natick, MA (just outside of Boston) to work for Boston Scientific in their Treasury department. I am really excited about this opportunity, and I think it is going to be a challenging and rewarding experience. What will make it even more challenging (on Kara) is the fact that I don't return from Massachusetts until exactly 7 days before my wedding. (She mentioned this is the last time to get the "bachelor" that was left out of me....)

Anyways, I thought I would just write a short post to reflect on this semester. Overall, it was great and I definitely feel more prepared to enter my internship this summer. It was somewhat like I-Core version 2.0, as I took a wide variety of classes in various disciplines. Probably the highlight of my academic semester was what we did last week - the Capstone Simulation (affectionately known as Capsim).

Basically, Capsim involved integrating Finance, Marketing, Operations, and Strategy into a simulated business environment where we competed with peer teams over 8 simulated years. It was really a lot of fun, and I think what I learned the most from the whole thing was learning to make decisions with limited information while also considering the competitive effects. I also learned that EVERY decision is a trade-off, and not all decisions can be classified as "right" or "wrong". Yeah, it may sound boring to you....but I thought it was the most fun I have had in any school project.

The best thing about Capsim being over is that I am literally in Bloomington for the next two weeks with not much to do. I will probably be working on getting some wedding stuff done (considering my future 5-week absence). This week is the Little 500, and I am definitely looking forward to the races (not so much the other shenanigans). My friend, Eric, is still riding for Cutters, which is (probably) going to win again this year.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What Business Students Do in NYC

One of the first things we did in New York, besides visiting Central Park, is probably what every other tourist to NYC does...VISIT THE FINANCIAL DISTRICT. If that doesn't scream business student, I don't know what does. Out of the 11 of us, 10 were business students, but the other guy had only recently changed his major from business to English. So...we were stoked about seeing this part of town.

We had to visit. It's the financial captial of the world!

We visited Wall Street.

First, we came across this building. I forget it's name. fail. But I overheard a tour guide telling his group that it once employeed the first three presidents...or something like that. That's 'ol George Washington himself greeting the visitors.

Here is 'ol George patting me on the head, telling me how fun finance is and to stay motivated in my classes even though only 6 weeks remained after spring break.

Adjacent to George is the New York Stock Exchange. I was expecting the Bull to be right outside the exchange. Not the case. I was highly disappointed and requested from my Site Leader that we find the bull immediately. In class, I always had a hard time remembering if a good market was a bear or a bull. Both seemed intimidating to me, and then my lovely fiance said, "Kara, remember that there's a statue of a bull outside of the NYSE?" And I've never forgotten it since.

We found The Bank of New York adjacent to George in the other direction, but no bull.

We stopped inside the Trinity Church, which the Queen of England has also stated on the plaque on the entrance.

It was hard to get a picture inside, but it was very elegant. I heard somewhere that you can tell what a country values most by what it spends its money on. Some of the oldest buildings in America are very elaborate churches, and religion was one of the Founding Fathers' main values. Then we built massive government buildings, and today we have gigantic business headquarters. You could definitely see all three elements in New York. And whether or not you agree with that statement, there were definitely a lot more business building construction going on than churches.

But back to our trip. We walked around a ways, and a couple of guys wanted to visit some street vendors. I was just moseying along, knowing that our last destination for the day was a ferry to take us around the Statue of Liberty. Then all of a sudden, I looked up...

and there was the bull! So. Excited.

So we all posed around it, some imitating its expression. And my trip to the financial district was complete.

And then we saw this sign and was once again reminded of my beloved...

In case you don't know, one of Kyler's favorite games is Monopoly. Tangent: One time over Christmas break, I was at Kyler's house while his brother Kamaron and his girlfriend/fiance/wife Anique was there. And we all agreed to get off the couch and play a friendly game of Monopoly. It had always been a fun game at my house, but we rarely ever finished a game. It's so stinkin long! But the Gray family loved it and so we would play. Little did Anique and I know what we got outselves into. Within 15 minutes, Anique was in tears and had quit the game, and I sided up with Kamaron just to be mean to Kyler. It was the most horrible experience I've ever had with those boys, and I vowed to never play Monopoly again with them. I'm not talking about being competitive; they were so ruthless and mean. I won't go into the details because I might see Kyler tomorrow and be mad at him for something that happened years ago.

The good news is, Kamaron and Anique are happily married. And Kyler and I will be soon enough. We were able to see past our differences, and I can finally chuckle when I am reminded of that game.

More pictures and stories to come...eventually.