Thursday, January 25, 2007

Buzy buzy bee

I had great intentions on keeping up with this on a weekly was a nice idea. Since my second semester began the calendar has begun to fill up at an incredible pace. Not only is there the need to wrap my brain around Public Poicy and Statistics (fun fun), but then there are the meetings with this Prof and appointments with that one, as well as award applications, prepping for presentations and trying to train for the marathon in May.

Sigh...I think I need a holiday.

On the fun side, I had the chance to watch a production from the music department that was based off Dr. Seuss' "Lorax". It was great. I am waiting for some pics from it to share with you all.

Though this past week has been crazily busy, I feel that there is very little to write. Most of the business is of little interest, just life type stuff necessary to move ahead in the academic field. Some of the fun stuff to come though will be presentations about China to different community groups - a little light entertainment.

I will keep you all up-to-date as it happens.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tidbits from 2006

Jan - Feb was spent in Argentina (with my lovely nephew C and family) and Germany

Then the Gala (ooh lala K&K)

Then it was the GWM (M, K & A),my B-day

my trip to Thailand (happy b-day to me with Nat and Two), and the World Cup

This was followed by A. and X.T.'s leaving party,

a charity event (Helping Hands) and...

my leaving party

PhD life begins in Victoria with M visiting Canada

F and T had their second little girl, Courtney, on Oct. 26th- - isn't she cute.

W.Z. had an adorable little girl, Diandian, in Nov. Congrats new mum.

my younger brother, C, had his first little girl, my niece Quinn Violet, born Nov. 14

while my older but still younger big brother, K, and C of Kamloops were married in Cube in Nov.

D had his first baby girl, Francesca, on Nov. 28th - a beautiful British-Chinese angel
K and C of Calgary were engaged at the beginning of December
M and L had their first babyboy, Matthew, born on Christmas eve - what a gift!!

Mrs. L. sent along the holiday photo taken just before New Years- aren't they all cute, too

And, finally, my "upstairs roommate", J, and her boyfriend K were engaged on New Years Eve!!

A New Semester

Today was the first day back at school for me. Though I have been working off and on with the Project I have yet to complete I haven't had to be in class this past week. I have found the week to bounce a bit with regards to direction. Determining how to balance economics, scholastics and relationship is a challenge - particularly when all three will be in different places come May.

There is little that I can do at present on any of those aspects so the goal is to focus on this semesters course work and the preparation that needs to get done with my work in China while my supervisor, J, and I slowly work together on the thesis direction.

The courses for this semester are Quantitative Methods (Stats) and Public Policy. Today it was an introduction to the latter and the dynamics in the course were very positive as well as the course itself lending to opportunities for scholarly growth. Basically - it looks good.

The stats course begins next Tuesday with a number of us feeling quite shaky about the whole thing. It has been 6 years since I have had to look at numbers and data analysis tools...eeek. However, the courses are designed for our success so this keeps me positive about it.

C and I are already in a count down to reading break ... probably shouldn't be "wishing our lives away" like this (quoted from friend at NWP), but seeing M will be the highlight of this semester.

Friday, January 05, 2007

2007 Underway with Thanks

So, I had some plans. The plan to start writing this on day 1 and stick with it. To find something to take a picture of everyday. To put together a scrap book. To be proactive and avoid procrastination. To keep to my running schedule starting on the predetermined date of Jan. 3rd. To watch my food intake in terms of eating healthy foods. To Yup...I had plans. I didn't have resolutions - just plans.

Of all the plans, plans number 5 and 6 are the only one that have actually been put into action. The runs were good. A bit slow, but it is the start. The healthy food intake started well with a visit to supermarket for salads, salads, and salads. I have cut out caffeine completely and have a bit of a headache, but am working to stock up on water. I find my concentration level is a bit off and so other aspects of what I was hoping to focus on are falling by the wayside. I hope this is temporary.

I have several challenges in this new year. Challenges in terms of choices. The great part is that I have choice so I certainly can't feel bad about that. I found out that my SSHRC scholarship application didn't make it out of the school and that was a bit frustrating. But my Trudeau Scholarship application was forwarded to the national level - if I can get to the interview stage at least then I will feel that I wrote well.

The balance between wanting to do research and having the economics to do it is always one of the greatest challenges. I do have the opportunity to return to work in Hangzhou, but then I have the chance to study in Beijing. I can't do the latter if I do not have the funds - what to do?

So, as we continue to move through this new year I express thanks at all the things that are wonderful, healthy and happy in my life and seek the courage to handle the bumps that are inevitably intertwined in life.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference (all with thanks).

Adventuring in Omaha

Though stuck in Vancouver, unplanned for and a bit frustrating, meant that I had an also unplanned opportunity to visit with DC. It would have been great to have a longer visit before he headed off to visit the fam in 'loops - but any amount of time to share with friends is always valued.

With a scheduled flight out on Christmas morning I didn't sleep a wink...fear of missing my flight I would guess -- any one who knows me knows I am not a fan of early morning flights. I was at the airport by 4am. Then I found out my flight was delayed by an hour. This meant a lot of waiting which always provides time to read - except when one is exhausted.

Finally I was on my way. It was a little over 2 hours to Denver, then another wait before an hour flight to Omaha.

When I landed I had butterflies in my I walked up the arrival ramp, there was M. M. It was so good to be in his space again.

We drove directly out to Fullerton which was about 2.5 hours away to meet some of his relatives for their regular Christmas day dinner. Then another 2.5 hours back to Omaha for my first sight of his home. Though I slept most of the way (M was sooo sweet, he had brought me a pillow and blanket) we had half an hour of Christmas Day left so it was time to open gifts. His family spoiled me and I was so excited when he opened his gift. He had to crack many walnuts open - ones that I had opened the night before, cleaned out, put strips of the flight ticket for February as well as other little notes into and glued back together - and he doesn't even like nuts.

We spent the next week doing a number of things from visiting sites in Omaha and Lincoln, watching M paly football, going to the aquarium, going to the movies, and visiting M's friends.

On New Years Eve Day it snowed so M and I headed out to play in the snow. For the evening we were going to go out to dinner but wound up having pizza at D and L's along with J and L and the Mann. It was a fun night of "intellectual" games (hehe).

The first day of the new year was all about Shmores!

With all the excitement it was definitely difficult to prepare to leave the next day. But, alas, all things change - learning how to work with that is the challenge. But the memories from this holiday are incredible!