Year 2004 In Review (Finally)

I am taking forever to reflect on this past year and the new semester is about to begin.  Damn… where to begin?

Career
I quit my job as a loan officer in 2004.  The money was less than what I expected and I learned what I needed to learn to continue on my own.  More importantly, I was inspired to go back to my original plan to be in international business.  I want to keep my license.  And, I still need to come up with a business plan to launch retail mortgage as a side business.

Academics
So, I applied to b-school.  And, I got into my school of choice (although, admittedly, my school of choice wasn’t very selective).  Now, here I am, at Monterey.

My degree will involve three semesters.  I just finished my first and most difficult one.  It was difficult because I had to do the International Business Plan (IBP) right from the get-go.  A typical MBA student is supposed to take the IBP only in his last semester.  And since I’m an Advanced Master’s International candidate, the school’s curriculum deemed I was ready for the capstone course in my first semester.  Although I was a bit nervous at first, I soon realized that I was more than capable for the task.  Although stressful, I had a very successful semester.  I impressed a lot of new people, learned new skills, and managed to keep good grades.

I still need to write an entry about the IBP itself.  But, I’ll save that for later.  I think I’ll just keep this entry a topical summary.

Social
I met relatively few people compared to my days at Humboldt.  During the first couple of months when I started my undergrad, I met over 50 people.  By the end of the first year, I could not walk across campus without saying “Hi” to twenty.  After my first semester here, I’m lucky if I can remember ten of my classmates’ names.  The IBP really consumed me.  My social life was completely forsaken.

However, there are a few notables.  During the summer program, I found a new good female friend, R… I chuckle at the thought of this friend:  R-nita Scandalita.  She’s not as wild as the “aura” around her seems to convey.  I wouldn’t typically gravitate towards someone like R. since I’m such a boring guy.  But, we were able to talk openly and we developed a strong friendship that continues even though she’s back in Virginia.

S. I met through R.  And, while R. went back to the East Coast, S. stayed here at MIIS to study Translation & Interpretation.  S., although from Beijing and this being the first ever in the United States, speaks English better than most Americans I know.  Even more impressive, when she’s doing her interpretive work, she has a British accent.  How cool is that?  In a way, S. replaced R.  But, to my slight disappointment, S. does not appreciate the degree of disclosure that I am used to with R.  All in all, she is a great friend.  A great person to spend time with.

I made some guy friends, too!  F., I met through an MBA classmate.  He came to MIIS from Taiwan to improve his English and study for his GREs.  I helped him a bit as a language partner.  And, he helped me a bit during my Mandarin summer program.  When the partner bit was over, it translated into a good friendship.  F., sadly, moved further north to pursue his graduate degree in aerospace.  But, I hope to continue my friendship with F.  He is very mature and has a very good heart.

B. I met from odd circumstances.  He asked me out on a date.  As soon as I cleared the air about my sexuality, we were able to hang out.  He is also very mature and somewhat of a film buff.  So, I hope he doesn’t mind having another straight friend.  I’ve lost contact with him over the Winter Break.  So, I hope to rejuvenate the budding friendship we had before the final hours of IBP threw us to the winds.

Love
I broke up with L.  Quite a tragedy considering how much I love(d?) her.  I guess it’s a bit ironic, too.  Besides taking me for granted, lacking in affection, being a bit naive about men-women relationships, giving off a cold, stand-offish personality, and missing critical conflict-resolution skills… L. is a great woman.  She’s smart, determined, assertive, and holds strong family values (not in the Republican-sense… hmm, on second thought, she is pro-life and a closet anti-gay, holds a strong self-responsibility stance towards marginalized people — perhaps she’s a Republican afterall?  Haha!)  But her nose has been in her textbooks for too long and she is not as well-rounded as I imagined her to be.  Yes… I know.  Since when is anybody who we imagined them to be?  True.  However, for me to have loved her so strongly only to be taken for granted even before we’re even married, I came to realize that she could not make me happy.

Anyway, a huge entry can be made about this event in my life.  I’ll save that for some other time.

In other Love news… I have been on the dating scene for a bit.  Can’t really call it much, but there were some prospects.  Now, sad to say, there are none.  No one interesting.  I’ve met many women whom I can have a good time with.  However, I haven’t met a woman who can inspire me to write in verse like L. managed to do at one point.  I don’t think I will for some time.  Shucks… such a tragedy.  I loved writing poetry.  I loved thinking about what to do next to sweep her off her feet.  Damn… I loved being able to say “I love you” all the time.  Eh.  The yearning will pass.  I will love again.

Family
My parents are doing well.  They don’t seem to be arguing as much.  My dad finished remodeling the master bedroom after a decade being a “work-in-progress.”  His next 10-year project?  The roof.  Hah!  Oh, which reminds me: I worked with my dad to redo the roof.  It’s only partially done, but what a great feeling to work side-by-side with my dad.  As a teenager, I hated working with my dad because it was such hard labor.  And I’m such a pussy when it comes to getting my hands dirty.  But, having grown some balls over the last eight or ten years, and minus the raging horomones that augment any emotion, I really enjoyed being in the hot sun, ripping off the shingles of our roof.  It had a strong feeling of accomplishment.

My mom is still dealing with her diabetes.  It is more or less under control, but I worry about her sometimes.

My little cousins are all growing up.  I can still terrorize Feigao with impunity.  And, I can still pick up Tracy in my arms.  I doubt I’ll be able to do that when I come back from the Peace Corps.  I better enjoy each moment while I can.

Personal Accomplishments
I think I lost my fluency with Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.”  I haven’t practiced that piece in quite a long time.  I also haven’t picked up my guitar either.  So, musically, I’ve degenerated.

My Mandarin, having not practiced regularly and deliberately, also have decayed.

My fat, however, gratefully fell off.  I went from a 180 going on 185 to a 160 going on 155.  Although I may be slimmer, I have maintained much of my lean muscle.  So, I no longer have a spare tire.  I can see more definition in my arms, my chest and my abs.  In the physical sense, I’ve done well.

I would still like to learn Beethoven’s “Appassionata.”  I want to sing some Jackie Cheung songs in Mandarin.  I want to learn more about wine tasting.  And I want to learn how to use Flash to develop my own webpage.

I also want to develop my own investment system.  After taking that Financial Statement Analysis class this Winter, I have taken a new interest in an hobby of mine.  So, I guess I should add that to the list.

Conclusion
The year 2004 was a year of new beginnings and abrupt endings.  The outlook is bright.  I’m alive and healthy, and I still got a lot of uppity goodness in me.  So, here’s to 2005!

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