Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thankful for Firsts

The point of this series of blog posts is to highlight some of the things I'm thankful for these past two years and hopefully find some reason/purpose/"so what" for all this gratitude.

When I think back to my London years, I generally remember all the new things I've seen, done, tasted, etc. And these "firsts" are memories I treasure.  Here's a sample...

First MBA rugby world championship tour.  This was one of the FUNNEST weeks I've had this year.  Here's a group of my stream (B)est these girls.

First half marathon.  Ran the Edinburgh race with my AMAZING friend Joyce in 2:21:40.  We've worked together quite a bit here in London.  I feel like we've been through it all, to hell and back.  And, it was great to symbolically cross the finish line with her.  This was such a happy moment at the end of such a happy Scotland trip with friends.

First Pimms.  One of my new favorite pasttimes is meeting up with this awesome chick Phillipa at the Windsor for an afternoon Pimms.  So British.

First costume competition.  In our first year, a group of ~10 stream B classmates decided to dress up as Charlie Chaplins for a Halloween party where there was a group costume competition.   We chose this costume because it was relatively easy to put together.  And, it was the first of many costume parties in business school.  I don't know what I'm going to do with this suitcase full of random costumes and accessories if/when I move...

First time organizing a hen do (a.k.a. bachellorette party).  Our fearless captain Carolyn (a.k.a. de Vil) got hitched this year.  And the women's rugby team couldn't not celebrate with her before the big day.  Lynnie (a.k.a Casper) and I put together an...err..."special" post match social at the Windsor.   That was a day never to forget.  Like our tour motto, what happens on tour stays on tour, I've got to keep mum about the shenanigans.  However, I will say I haven't laughed so hard or much in a very very long time.

First trip to Paris.  In all my previous travels, I had always avoided Paris and really the whole country of France.  The truth is that I wanted a boy to take me there.  Well, that wasn't going to happen anytime soon, and my dear friend Lis was working there in the fall of 2010 and invited me to spend a weekend with her.   And, it was love at first sight.  Any chance I get to go to this charming city, I'll jump at.  Here's a photo of us in front of one of the many gorgeous buildings and parks Paris has.  J'adore Paris!

First time to cut loose.  Our recent Scotland trip was one of my favorite trips I've had the past two years (and I've traveled alot).  I think it was because it was such a great group of people, and I decided to leave my work behind to enjoy the weather and company.  Boom.

First Thanksgiving abroad.  Even when you're away from home, you can find a group of people to celebrate the holidays with.

First Indian wedding abroad.  My mom recently came to London, and we traveled to a family friend's wedding in Birmingham.  It was good to get out of student mode and do some normal people activities.  This is a photo of us from one of the ceremonies.  First time I've worn a sari too.

First Aggie Muster abroad.  Who knew there was such a large Aggie community in London?!  I met some great folks, and it was great to see maroon, boots, and rings!

First TED conference.  I cannot believe I spoke at a TED conference (dream come true) with some amazing classmates and fellow speakers.  Such a happy day.

First Pride & Prejudice moment.  Like most girls, I have a thing for Jane Austen.  Our trip to Yorkshire / Derbyshire was one of the MANY great UK and international trips I've taken.  This photo is from Chatsworth House where Pride & Prejudice was filmed.  Aww.

First time leading a group of 35 students to India.  This India trek last December was a highlight of my time in school.  I met so many great people, worked with my awesome partner Sherene, and got to show others the greatness of India.

First time skiing.  The Swiss Alps aren't a bad place to learn.  Though I will need to take more lessons to truly pick this sport up.

First time bartending.  On Thursdays, we have a weekly (free) schoolwide happy hour.    I thought about taking bartending classes in Houston years ago, but I'm glad I didn't.  I picked it up here in London.  Here's a photo with Kieran (a.k.a. Moses) who taught me how to pour a beer and the fabulous Dina (a.k.a. Winner).

First alter ego.  Nicknames are a big deal here.  And mine is "Pi".   Long story of how I got it, and it's one of the more unique ones that's been given.  These nicknames that we give each other are a great way to quickly get to know each other and bond.   And some of them are SO funny.

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