Published: August 28th 2006May 31st 2005
I completed my undergrad at Loras with degrees in Business Management and Spanish. Studying abroad two semesters with a double major and finishing on time seems sort of congested in retrospect, but it all worked out, and now I can start to tackle that loan debt. However, I can no longer consider myself a poor college student anymore. For now, I am just plain old poor. As for a way to pay back my indebtedness... I'd love to travel the world. Unfortunately, due to past experiences, I have made very little money doing so. My next best option is to find a job that will offer some potential to see the world! For the summer, I've accepted a paid internship as a conference director for International Business Conferences on the East Coast. So yeah, the east coast is my home for the next couple months, but following summer I am open to leaving the country for a while. I enjoy living and learning new culture and feel a year working abroad would be a tremendous help when applying to grad schools. I'd like to get my Masters in International Relations at some point. In addition to the experience I would gain,
Wagon ride in the countryside
I'll be able to pay off those things they call loans and save money as opposed to spend it for the first time in my life. I would still like to get a pilot's license and go to sailing school at some point in the future. It is also necessary I return to Europe and Africa and hopefully make a trip through South America at some point in the future. These are things that cannot be done in the country of the USA nor when I am retired, in a walker, or waiting for a social security check each month. To celebrate graduation, I took the liberty of allowing myself to attend the various local bar establishments here in Dubuque on a frequent basis over the last couple of months. I justify this by using the old "college student/glory days" excuse which seems to work quite well. I found myself in a two-month phase of stress-free living. At the same time, it was a nice way to see all the faces I've met in the last four years of school one last time before going different directions. Surprisingly, my grades have not suffered as a result of my, should we
Dan's boat on the Mississippi River.
say, "less focused" semester. I maintained A's and a B with only half the stess!
My final semester at Loras was 18 credits. This felt much better when compared to the 22 and 21 credits in the past. I was able to focus a little more on my health and make more time to run. During lent, I made a commitment to run 10 miles a day for all 40 days and stayed true to that. Although I can reflect, pray, and clear my mind through running, I felt that I was almost treating myself to a leisure activity as opposed to making a sacrifice or commitment to srengthen who I am. For this reason, I gave up meat and sea food and read scripture each day. This did grow my will and faith and hopefully I can still appreciate with all the blessings I have and chose not to go without. As a result of the 10 mile runs, I found I was better able to extend my longer runs and sustained a 20, 30 and even a 40 mile run. This all built up to a new personal marathon record of 3 hours 22 minutes last Sunday
Boston Harbor Cruise
LeadAmerica harbor cruise
in Madison, Wisconsin. As I started, my first mile was under 6 minutes, which was a bad thing if I wanted to complete 25 more miles so I backed off and averaged a 7:45 minute pace which put me in the top 10% of runners in the race. Still didn't win though. My friends Steph and Mike also raced in the Madison half-marathon so it was real nice to have company the night before and the day of the race. Needless to say, I'm a bit sore and am taking a couple days off from running completely, something I rarely do.
Also, I am officially car-less. I sold my convertible, because I no longer have use for a car in New York or overseas. In the mean time, I look forward to getting something a bit larger, faster and more reliable in the future.
Not only am I car-less, I also ended my five year job at DAC Inc. This is a job I am sure I will miss. Working near full-time the past five years has kept me sane, because it has allowed me to be productive and better with time than I would have been without
Kelli and I on a walking tour of lower Manhattan.
a job. Because I worked with people with various disabilities, I have also grown more patient and appreciative of the things over the years and will truly miss that aspect of working at DAC. In all, I guess I am trying to get as much living in as possible. A few weeks back, on my way to the airport I witnessed a truck role over on the interstate in front of me. Even though the driver lived, it was a reminder as to how life can end suddenly.
I'm in New York right now working for LeadAmerica in a Global Business and Entreprenuership program. LeadAmerica sponsors leadership conferences designed for select high school students. College students from all over the country and globe come here to work and instill values and business concepts in the students. We hope to give them an edge in the future. It is rewarding for all of us and is so much fun. At the conference we have guest speakers, monument and site tours, as well as college level academic material.
Summer for me began with training in our nation's capital, DC with all types of college and grad school students from all
United Nations Building
Took a tour on a day off of work
around the country. This I enjoyed, because we were able to spend the week on Georgetown's campus and to soak up a little history and sites in the mean time. Next stop was Boston. We were put up in university apartments at Bently College where we conducted out our first Business Conference to 250 students over the period of 10 days. I used some of work and free time to go to a Red Sox game, the Cheers bar, walk the historic district and view the sites of Boston and take a harbor cruise. It's wonderful I have a job that also allows me to be able to do these things.
After the Boston conference, Kelli flew out during my time off and we spent time going out and just being together. It was also my birthday so I guess you could say I was happy about everything... as though I'm usually not! :-) We came to New York to a Broadway show, walked in Central Park, toured downtown Manhattan where I am staying and also took a trip to Pennsylvania with some LeadAmerica friends. After Kelli returned to Iowa, I began my second conference. In this conference, aside
Deserts at Serendipity, NYC
from academics, we took the ferry to Ellis Island, saw the Statue of Liberty, toured the Federal Reserve Bank, shopped on 5th Avenue and all the must do's. I am living on the 10th floor at Pace Plaza in the heart of Manhatten's Financial District. Wal Street is around the corner and the World Trade Center site is blocks down the street. At night, I run the Brooklyn Bridge which has an amazing view of the NYC skyline. Because of city life, I have little time and desire to run more than 6 miles at a time which goes to show how long and exhausting our days are as I generally aim for 10. Regardless, I enjoy this life and would not trade my summer for the world.
Up next, is a conference in DC again. In the previous conferences I was in charge of 12 staff who worked directly with the students but I didn't have any students. I'm excited, because the program in DC is smaller, I will be able to take a group of my own students and do coursework with them.
A couple nights back we attended a performance of a 17 year old
Before going to a Broadway show
violinist prodogy in a local theater. I enjoyed the concert very much and it was a nice change of pace. Yesterday was interesting for me as LeadAmerica staff and students were the audience for the CBS morning show. A couple of us joke about our national television debut and being discovered! So the day began at the break of dawn and ended at 4:00am after a trip to the hospital as one of the students here had issues. Needless to say, I am just fine on little sleep but look forward to more sleep in the nights to come.
All in all, I have met great friends so fast, seen amazing cities close up, and learned a lot more about what I enjoy. In this entry, I will not write deep thoughts, but I want to wish all my family and friends many happy days. The people around us are those who help shape and develop who we are as individuals, and I guess I thank you for being a part in my life. Had I been born in England or Thailand I would have developed so differently than now. Weird to think about huh? At some level or
another, there is a mastermind to it all. As for me, I am as confused as the next guy, but at least I know there is a God to thank for all of this wonderful confusion.
There are more photos below