Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Just Another Holiday

The end of the American Thanksgiving celebrations seems to put everyone into a tailspin for the next series of holiday celebrations. Suddenly, New York City is back to its cheery holiday mood. The shop windows are all dressed in the holiday colors and there is that obvious chill in the air. Then there's the shopping and the many dinners/lunches to schedule with friends. Yet the world doesn't stop - I have too much in my plate to take in any more even just for the reason of celebrating something I just celebrated last year.

I am still undecided on what to do this year – if I am traveling to see my parents or if opting to stay home in New York will be more reasonable and less stressful. Work has become crazy the past weeks and until the last minute I have been terrorizing my travel agent with more changes to my itinerary. I am amazed that the brave woman still bothers to take my phone calls. As per our last talk this afternoon, she has given me a strict deadline to get ticketed by the end of the month (which happens to be this coming Friday, 3 days away) or lose my reservations altogether.

I would drop the world in a second to fly back home and indulge in the love of family anytime. It was always great to look forward to weeks of slowing down the pace and of just kicking back and relaxing. Perhaps it is a process of growing up but the priorities are now screwed up. No matter how the immense the amount of mental debate I undertake, I keep coming up with the wrong mindset that staying in New York and hashing out the urgent demands at work as more important. To sit idle on a plane for more than 15 hours each way has become an awful nightmare for my constantly double-booked self. And frankly, yes, I love this life of crazed pace. It makes me feel so alive!

I have addressed four boxes of Christmas cards and the stamps are attached, they’re just waiting for their mailbox drop date. I am wrapping up whatever work already is on my desk with the assumption that I am leaving. I have shopped for the gifts to bring home. And yet the Christmas decors for my apartment are out, deciding if they are going up. Mentally, I am not yet in December but more like April. Is it a sign of age to lose my glee for what was once my most favorite season of the year? Perhaps I'd even dare to say that at this point even the idea of Christmas has lost its meaning on me.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Real Thanksgiving

I have written before about how I can't relate to the celebration of the American holiday of Thanksgiving. I still haven't and have really no intention of putting much effort into it. Not when it continues to be insignificant to me, the foreigner in New York.

This year, however, will turn out to be the first official Thanksgiving dinner I will be hosting. My friend's friends are driving into the city from New England and we have offered to make dinner. As of tonight we are still drawing the logistics of how to make dinner magically appear on the table. Will there be the traditional turkey and stuffing and all that jazz or shall we adjust it more to reflect our personalities (and where we come from)? An odd combination, of course, but it could be worked out.

I will blog on this next weekend.

For the meantime, I will write about school and how it was more of a 'deja vue' for me. Three intensive Saturday classes on Project Management later, I will share some of the juicy details of the experience in the next blog entry.

Stay tuned!

Monday, November 05, 2007

On Being Back to School

On Wednesday last week, I officially I became a member of the NYU campus for the Fall 2007 school year. I went to the Union Square office and registered for my class and through the registrar’s window, was handed my class schedule and my student ID.

I had trepidations about going back to the classroom environment. Within the perimeter of my small world at headquarters, classrooms were for language classes and software training. Going out into the real world worried me – was I competitive/smart enough? Who would I eat with at lunch at the cafeteria? My friend laughed at me and said I sounded like a 4 year old on her way to nursery school and offered to take my hand and walk me to school. But seriously, I felt so anxious that by Friday evening, I was ready to call up NYU and withdraw my enrollment.

Well, I didn’t retract my enrollment. The night before Day 1, I hovered around my closet for about 3 hours putting together what to wear for what seemed like the event of the century. I organized my syllabus and some notes from the first email from my professor in a binder and stashed that in an academic-looking bag with my spiral notebook and some pens. I figured I’d decide about bringing my laptop after the first class. I also hardly slept.

I took the subway to downtown Manhattan on a crisp Saturday morning when the tail-end of hurricane Noel blew 20 mpi winds into the city. I easily found my classroom and introduced myself to the professor before realizing that I was the first arrival. Good grief.

Slowly, the class filled. Most of the instructions were done by Powerpoint presentations and some notes on the flipcharts. Although she didn’t really strike me a quite an expert in the field, I thought the professor conducted the class well. Homework and quizzes would be uploaded online, she informed us, on the NYU website’s ‘Blackboard’ site. Textbooks are suggestions but online references and some reading materials were handed out after class. Well, it was like being Rip Van Winkle waking up after 100 years and realizing that yep, they do things quite differently now.

At the end of the day, I stepped out of the campus and my friend was waiting for me at the Starbucks around the corner. He asked me how my day went and I smiled. It was good I said, sort of like a case of déjà vu but in a more ‘Jetsons’ kind of way.

Later, readers… I have homework to do.