Friday, May 20, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Current Location: Gainesville, FL

Yes, I FINALLY changed location to update my "Current Location" in my blog entry. After a crazy few days, I have now made it home!

On Tuesday night, we went out to an amazing graduation dinner at Eleven Madison Park. It was so delicious - we had the 4 course meal, but it was honestly more like 7-8 with surprises. It was such a special dinner with my family. Since I might not be back to NYC before I leave, it was great to have one more amazing dinner in the city (even if my parents wallet was rather unhappy about it!). We even got a tour of the kitchen!

Wednesday was commencement, the final university event. It was a lot of fun - engineering got to bring giant inflatable hammers. We all cheered for our school and had one last hoorah. Afterwards I got to pick up my diploma and take some pictures. Even got another one with the dean!

Then it was to finish packing, attend a last few parties, and then Thursday morning bright and early pack up the car and start heading home. My dad and I were driving home, and we finished loading and left around 11:30. We drove for about 12 hours to reach Florence, SC and stayed the night there. Today we woke up at 7 AM (ughhhhhh) and drove the rest of the way. Home, sweet home. I plan on sleeping about 14 hours a night for a week to catch up on this little rest that I've gotten over the past 4 years!

I have a few exciting trips going on to help distract me while I await Peace Corps notification of where I am going (which should be in 2-4 weeks if the email sent was correct). On June 8th, I am leaving for Europe to visit my friend Laura for about 2 weeks! We plan on doing some traveling, though we don't have an itinerary in place yet. We are thinking of hitting up Rome, Venice, Barcelona, and Amsterdam, as well as London and Paris briefly, where I have been before. It should be pretty busy for me - traveling every other day will be exhausting but exciting! It will be my last trip to Europe before Peace Corps, so I'm gonna make the best of it! Then in July, the family heads to Toronto for a few days. I've also never been to Canada, so it should be a great family trip!

Still awaiting an invitation. Turned in my final transcript and diploma with date of graduation, so they have everything needed from me. Hoping to know soon. The first possible country for the two possible categories I think I could work in is Guatemala on August 8th - for the 8 week notification, I need to hear no later than June 13th. Fingers crossed that all works out and I hear something soon!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Graduation Week

The last few days have seriously been a whirlwind! I finished classes, got my final grades, had my senior celebration events, and had my school's graduation! Had a few delicious dinners with my family with a few more delicious ones to come. I am going to do show a photo summary rather than write on and on about all my events.

First, we had our senior dinner, where we ate with faculty and heard about awards in the engineering college. Below is a picture of me with the dean!

Next, we had our senior gala. We got to get dressed up in long, fancy gowns and have something like a senior prom! Below is a picture of me and Laura in our ball gowns

After that, we had our "Last Lerner Pub," where we got free beer and got to dance around to great music. Below is a picture of me with my friends Lucy, Lili, and Melissa.

Then we had a senior boat cruise, to see the sites of the city. If you are on a boat, of course you have to take a titanic picture!

Then it was graduation. These are the pictures I took with my own camera of some of my fellow seas graduates. There will be much better photos from my sister with the family to come.

So yes, now I am a graduate of Columbia! Tomorrow is our commencement for the whole university! I'm so lucky to have had this opportunity.

Also, this week has been GREAT at distracting me from no Peace Corps news. Hopefully something soon, but nothing yet. I feel very lucky that I haven't yet gotten one of those emails telling me to be prepared for a change in date, but it could be coming soon. All I can do is wait and hope!

Also booked my graduation trip to europe but more on that next post! Now I must return to packing up my room :( 2 days until I leave for Gainesville!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Almost over...

So a few days have gone by, and no news from Placement. I can't really say I am surprised - they said 4 to 6 weeks, and so far it has been less than a week :) A girl can dream right?

And that's exactly what I did! I had a dream a few nights ago that I got an invitation to serve in Panama! That is one of the possible countries for my region, start date, and nomination, and I woke up so happy from that dream... then I realized it was a dream :( c'est la vie

In other news, senior design is officially finished and turned in! That leaves me with 2 exams tomorrow, and one final group paper due at midnight (which is super close to being done), and then I'm finished with all my schoolwork at columbia. It's such a bizarre feeling... after 4 years, I'm finally done. When one door closes, another door opens, and hopefully that's what will happen with the Peace Corps!

My family gets up here in less than a week - my dad on Friday, my mom and grandma on Saturday. Then we've got a crazy busy week ahead before I leave for home the following Thursday - less than 2 weeks away.

Less tan 24 hours, and then let the party begin!!!

I also wanted to say happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. In particular, to my amazing mother and grandmother. I am so blessed to have such amazing women in my family that really inspire me to work hard to achieve my goals. I love you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Placement - First Contact!

Oh, happy day!!!! I was in the computer lab, freaking out regarding my senior design presentation at noon, and what do you know - an email from placement!!!! I SOOOOOOOOOO needed that. It's been a hell few days, and until Friday is pretty insane for me. I thought senior year was supposed to be fun and relaxing, but I was wrong! My placement assistant requested an updated resume, proof of my enrollment in my Spanish class, and a final transcript. I only have my current transcript until I graduate in 2 weeks, so I turned that in. After my presentation, I got an email saying she has sent my final onto a placement specialist, and I should hear something in 4-6 weeks. It's possible that I will hear sooner, since I often hear people being told 4-6 weeks and finding out in a week or 2.

FINGERS CROSSED! And now back to end of the semester work :(