Monday, December 14, 2009

My Masterpiece

Thursday's essay test in my business capstone class? Bring it on! You can't tell from the picture, but every new topic begins with a bold title. All I need to do is draw some charts at the bottom, label topics in the margins, and maybe do some color coding with highlighters. Six point font is very readable..and I am happy that all I needed from 6+ chapters fit on my allowed "one-sided cheat sheet." Thank you, Dr. Pinto, for being nice to your seniors.

Now I just have to get ready for the other finals. All of this test taking really adds up...I have been evaluated by spitting information out on paper for about 15 years. I agree with a comment in my friend Liana's last post. To paraphrase what she said, I am thankful for the opportunity to get an education, and want to continue to learn throughout life, but I'm happy to be almost out of the cycle of (learn, hw, exam, project, exam, final)x5. Christmas break is going to be glorious.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What I want for Christmas!!

A labradoodle!

Ok, maybe that wouldn't be the best choice right now, considering I live in an apartment where animals aren't welcome, aaand I don't have a job.

But my parents didn't ask what I needed/what was practical, they asked what I wanted! :)

Anyways...I am thinking of blogging again. After I returned home from Hong Kong I took a 7 month break from it, because I didn't know what to say. My "travel blog" froze when I walked off the plane, but it's thawing out! I took the world clocks off, changed the picture, took off the cheesy name, and picked new colors. Ah, there we go, not all posts need to say "Fun week in Beijing" now, they can say "Fun week in BG." It's pretty much the same title, anyways...just a little abbreviated. :)

Christmas break is 12 days away, and I'm ready to bake some cookies, relax, and read some books. I'll also probably update my resume and think about getting serious about finding a job for when my education chapter closes this May.

That's all for now, I shall end with another picture of a labrador + poodle. These are images from google, btw.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Going Home

Well then, I guess that about wraps things up on this continent--Finals are over! Between the library and a silent study area on the 19th floor of my dorm, I have been sitting still a lot lately!

Speaking of the 19th floor, what’s up with people leaving their stuff unattended?

I mean, more than just a textbook and binder….we are talking cups, snacks, bags, sweaters, calculators, etc. I saw a sign on the door to the room that said “Please do not leave items unattended for more than three days during the exam period.” Really? This is one of the many things this semester that has been so different from what I’m used to. I took this picture pretty early in the day, not many people, but the room really fills up from about 7:30pm to 1 am!

The view from my room sure has transformed during the last four months. I started out watching dump trucks carrying away dirt, and look at the progress! The bamboo scaffolding is going strong, and the crane is hard-core. Hearing construction everyday has certainly been a trial, and I’ve learned a lot of tolerance, but I’m happy that there is only one more morning of it! I think that the new building is going to be some part of the university, possibly a visual arts building…something like that. Bummer for the future kids who are going to lose the view! I know my roommate came in multiple times at night to find me sitting on my desk and staring out the window…I just couldn’t help it.

This morning was the last church service with the people I love in Hong Kong. I am sure going to miss this bunch, they made me feel so welcome. These folks are so sweet, and I will cherish the memories.

One more little topic to add…

My parents got an email from my home university, basically letting them know what I might act like as I “re-acclimate” to life in the USA. You know, wanting to make sure the memories live on by talking about them, feeling frustrated that my international experiences have no role in my day-to day-life, or being depressed that I am reverting back to my old self after a period of growth and change. Some students might even feel condescending towards norms in the US. I’m not a psychologist, but I certainly can see how students that go abroad might encounter these feelings upon return.

However, I don’t think it will be too much of an issue for me. I had a nice time, don’t get me wrong, but I’m ready to be home sweet home. I’m sure it will help knowing that the best friend I made will be in Cleveland all summer, and I can always go visit her and revive some of our stories. Hmm..Perhaps I will go on about how amazing the MTR is, or how I really miss all the tea options. Hahaha, we shall see. If I do, just smile and nod, maybe add a couple uh-huhs in there somewhere and all will be well. I don’t foresee there being too much of a reverse culture-shock in my circumstance, but if I’m wrong, don’t say I didn’t warn you. :P

THANKS for following my travels—sharing made me feel less far away!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ocean Park

The semester is winding down! In an effort to have one more fun day before studying completely takes over, Liana, Sophie, Anne, and I went to Ocean Park. It’s an amusement park, but the major lure is the Panda’s and ocean life. We had a really good day, and I took some fun photos of God’s AMAZING creatures. The colors were so vibrant, and I was especially captivated by the Jelly Fish exhibit.

Before the Ocean Park pics, two others need space in the bloggersphere...I Finally made it up to Victoria Peak on a clear night. It was quite a view!

My radiant friend, Liana!

It seems that all clown fish have been permanently named Nemo.

This was a four story, viewing aquarium simulating an atoll reef. Liana said all the fish are very well fed in aquariums like this, which makes sense so that they can coexist more peacefully.

Quote of the day: “He has fish in his purse”

the new home for the Panda's...opening soon.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


After taking about 240 pictures while in Beijing, I picked my favorite 60 for facebook, and then further reduced them to 30 for blogger. So it’s safe to say this is just a recap of the highlights, and if you’re interested I have a bunch more pics that can be viewed at a later date! After a week off school for the Easter holidays, I am in Hong Kong for 4 more weeks and then it’s back to the USA.

So lets see where to begin…I went to Beijing with 5 other students from my home university. Dr. Bennion, a Bowling Green professor (who has been the overseer of our program) met us there and planned two days of tours for the group and a meeting with the American Embassy. Three of us opted to take an approximately 3 hour flight, and the other three chose to take the train for about 25 hours. My group included Melissa, Liana, and myself. To insert an interesting point, the stewardesses came around and collected all foreign newspapers before we landed, because they are not permitted in China. We got in pretty late and needed to change a small amount of Hong Kong money into RMB for the taxi ride to our hotel downtown.

I hope the next two paragraphs are not a bore, but I have to tell the money story, as it was my first experience in China. Here goes…None of us had notified our banks about our travels, opting rather to take sufficient HK$ and just exchange at the hotel for an almost non-existent fee. Well, all the currency exchange places were closed (after midnight) and we were about to just go ahead and get money out of an ATM and then call our banks when we spotted a currency exchange machine—woohoo, right? Well…turns out, after we stepped up to the machine and touched “English”, a guy in a blue suit stepped up and said he would help us, as he worked for Travelex (the company of the machine). At this point we didn’t really need the help, but he seemed determined. I was fishing my wallet out of my bag and he was clicking some things on the screen when he announced that it was temporarily broken. What, it was fine a minute ago??

The man said he would take us to a Travelex booth and exchange the money himself, and we decided to followed him back past customs (showing our visas and passports again) in desperation. Along the way he said there would be a commission fee. Being skeptical, I ensued a series of questions about why the machine quit working? Why we had to pay commission when the machine we wanted to use was out of service? Finally, after he said the machine charges commission too, I had to give up and just be thankful we weren’t going to be stranded at the airport for the night. Poor guy, I was definitely giving him a hard time and a suspicious look.

When we finally made it out of the airport we got a taxi and were on our merry way to the hotel. I have to say I felt extremely comforted driving on the right side of the road! It was an enjoyable 30 minute ride and traffic was really light so late at night. Ok, now for some pictures!

Noodles in the park..delicious.

Intricate designs on the all the temples and parks!

Outside the forbidden city--that mote is 3,800 meter long!

Scorpions and seahorses on a stick…the scorpions were still squirming. The guy would cook them up fresh for those interested. No thanks!

Outside the entrance to the Forbidden City. Most people use the other entrance, and it was nice going against the tourist crowd…smart tour guide.

Intricate carvings in stone between two sets of steps

The Forbidden City

The other entrance (our exit) with Mao Zedong picture…facing Tiananmen square.

Tiananmen Square

Temple of Heaven

Andrew and some ladies that wanted their picture with him. This happened sooo many times! People who probably hadn’t seen many westerners wanted pictures with us. Some even took our pics while we were weren’t looking. It was crazy.

Olympic Park from the window

We took a tour of a Cloisonne Pot factory, which I really enjoyed. Cloisonné, an ancient metalworking technique, is a multi-step enamel process used to produce jewelry, vases, and other decorative items. (from Wikipedia, of course :)

All of us and The Great Wall of China!! We were pretty excited.

Our tour guide Jamie

That was 454 steps, in case you were wondering :D

Our fancy restaurant dinner on Thursday. Peking Duck with Liana’s roommate, Sophie, and her mother. They live in Beijing and very generously took us all out to eat and taught us about all the dishes on the table. Sophie’s dad couldn’t make it due to work, but it was great meeting her mom (who doesn’t speak English) and a few of her friends.

The Summer Place. It is a huge garden/lake place where the emperor would retreat in the summer. Absolutely gorgeous.

Blurry, but for all my Troy readers—HOBART!! This company started in my hometown.

Well that’s it for the pictures. I can’t do the trip justice with a blog entry of course, but it at least shows a bit of the experience. We had great, clear weather for sightseeing, which Jamie said is not usually the case. One place I didn’t get a picture of was the silk factory we toured. It was interesting seeing how silk is made, starting with the silk worm, and moving through a series of phases. Did you know that the little strand of silk on one cocoon can stretch longer than a mile!

It was strange not having a working cell phone and Internet connection. For some reason calls to the US didn’t go through, even on Melissa’s calling card. I definitely realized how much I like being able to contact those I care for, and it was a long time without talking to my mom. :) We managed to get to an internet cafĂ© to check our emails and let our parents know we had arrived safely, so we all felt a little better after that. It only cost 3 RMB for an hour! That’s about 44 pennies US$. For a little info, the Chinese Yuan is also known as Yuans, and RMB. It was weird getting “change” in bill form. For instance, if you pay with a ten you might get 2 fives back. The fives are smaller in size, and represent half a yuan, but it definitely had me confused at first, especially because coins are used too.

It was neat being able to recognize that the language is different in the Mainland than in HK. Granted, I still have no idea what is being said, but I could recognize that it sounded a bit different. HK has 2 official languages, English being one of them, so it's pretty easy to get around. However, in China, that is not the case. All of us felt a little more challenged than usual in the communication department. While traveling back to HK, we were excited to return to a place where we feel comfortable..or at least familiar.

Hmm, what else to share... I can’t think clearly because I stayed up way too late trying to finish this post. I may write a follow up blog if enough things come to mind that could be added, but I guess I’ll go ahead and call it a night. Thanks for reading!