Archive for February, 2011

Two Months Worth of Adventures

February 24, 2011 - 5:28 pm 1 Comment

So much has happened since my last update – frankly, too difficult to re-cap in just one post! I’ll write about my Ford Focus Global Test Drive experience in Madrid over President’s Day weekend in a separate entry, but will attempt to highlight the main events of the last two months here.

Christmas: After two years of being abroad, I relished the experience of Christmas at home greatly! My dad exercised his newfound culinary skill with roast stuffed pork, while my mother’s Chinese cooking found a happy resting place in my stomach. Christmas has special meaning to me because we write each other cards and cherish family time together. Now that I’m finally earning my own income, I felt really happy to buy presents for my family, particularly a large collection of samurai swords for my little sister!

New Year: Grace, mom, and dad came to visit me in New York City, and we did everything from dine on the gigantic sandwiches at Carnegie deli to walking through Times Square on New Year’s Eve, delighting in the spectacle of people watching. Notably, Jia got us tickets to see “The Importance of Being Earnest”. I loved the play – it made me laugh so hard that my stomach hurt! Grace ended up staying for a week longer, and we had so much fun wandering the streets of New York. A lot of our sisterly time revolves around food, museums, long walks, long conversations about random discoveries in our life, and k-dramas, certainly the perfect mix.

Resolutions: Each year, I put together a new list of resolutions. Looking back over 2010, I did indeed accomplish my objectives, but looking forward, I’ve realized that so much of my life has changed. I’m no longer a student now, worrying about performance one exams and papers. My life no longer feels episodic, broken into semesters or quarters, but rather, a continuous cycle by week. There’s no longer a fixed metric for self-evaluation – no objective standard to decide whether I’ve made a meaningful contribution anymore through competitions, grades, and awards. But I refuse to let myself settle into complacency as I adopt a more routine life.  

Watching community theatre in Northern Virginia: Throughout January, I took advantage of the opportunity to go home quite a few times, braving the Chinatown bus and travel sickness. Now that my dad has a habit of perusing the Washington post art section, whenever I go home, he buys tickets to community theatre. Notably, we went to see a production of “The Drowsy Chaperone”, a Broadway musical within a comedy. I loved the show – not only was the storyline and the music compelling, but the plot demonstrated a unique mastery of irony. Another weekend, my father bought tickets to “Beyond the Horizon”, a Pulitzer-prize winning drama by Eugene O’Neil. Sparking a spirited debate within the family regarding the extent of its artificiality, the tragedy engendered a rather muted emotional response for me personally, despite the supposedly heart-wrenching content.

Chinese New Year: My first Chinese New Year at home in ages! My mother considers it very auspicious for me to finally shed the overhang of the tiger year. To celebrate, we went to a lunar New Year festival at a local elementary school, where we had a lot of fun playing guessing games and watching dance performances. My mother made the tastiest dumplings to herald in the year of the rabbit, which I devoured with relish! Even though I did not stay long at home, each hour in the presence of my parents brought me great joy. When I go home, I feel so insulated from the pressures and pace of the outside world. (Though admittedly, going home is not particularly good for my waistline as I can’t refuse the tasty delicacies made by my mom and dad!)

Work: I feel really lucky to have a job in which I’m continuing learning – where political and economic news has a guttural relevance. Each day, I’m doing something different, whether it be learning about a new business or industry, or figuring out a new method of analysis. Earnings season left me really busy; the hours are long, but the day passes quickly because the list of items to read and digest continually expands. Slowly, I feel a lot more integrated in the group – it’s hard to imagine that I’ve now been here for nearly six month…time seems to accelerate each week.  

Givology: We’ve really progressed over the last few month! Each week, I’m holding lots of interesting conference calls with organizations such as Soapbox Soaps (for every organic soap you purchase, they provide a similar soap to a person in need around the world), Emerge Global (social enterprise that sells jewelry made by sexually abused girls in Sri Lanka), and Kabultec (a literacy program and empowerment training for women run in Afghanistan), among so many others. Each day, I get inspired by hearing the updates from our ever-expanding partner network, the enthusiasm of our volunteers, interns, and team members, and the stories from our donors. In addition, we’ve brought on a lot of new members to our team, who have infused our organization with a newfound energy and spirit!  I intend to blog a lot more about Givology to share some of the insights and perspectives of the people who I speak to every day, so stay tuned!

We’ve yet to announce one exciting strategic partnership development – will do that as soon as the final documents are approved. Regardless, this partnership will be a step change for Givology!

Notably, we have a major March 11th NYC fundraiser upcoming at the Hudson Hotel. We’re aiming to raise $10,000 for 10 of our partner schools, each dollar making a tremendous impact. Your support means a lot – if you can’t come, a donation online still counts towards our goal!