My Year-End Self-Analysis

Per the advice of LifeHacker.

Done while listening to Neil Young’s “Harvest” Album


  1. Started a relationship with a wonderful woman
  2. Graduated Georgia Tech with a BS in Electrical Engineering, a Spanish Minor, an International Plan and Co-op Certificate, and a 3.06 average
  3. Took my sister on a cool trip to Spain
  4. Had a fantastic cross-country roadtrip
  5. Summited Half Dome
  6. Drew up plans with Kelsey for Entropy
  7. Got a fine job in Beijing
  8. Started the AIESEC Beijing Trainee Committee
  9. Started BrainCanvas with King
  10. Learned a good bit about my ancestry and shared it with the family
  11. Had a wonderful Blue Plate Special shift on WREK


  1. Didn’t get distinction for graduating
  2. Lost out on my bid for the MindValley traineeship
  3. Didn’t make it into the NOI BootCamp in DC in July
  4. Didn’t get the Eben Tisdale Fellowship
  5. Didn’t make it past the first round in the Unreasonable Institute selection
  6. Got no job offers from the career fair
  7. Fell off of good updating for BrainCanvas
  8. Haven’t started learning Chinese
  9. Started, then stopped working out again
  10. Poorly handled turning down the AIESEC Official Expansion Mongolia invitation

Five Pictures to Sum Up 2009

  1. Revolutionary Beers at City Tavern
  2. Spain Trip 2009 304
  3. California Roadtrip 2009 433
  4. img_9344
  5. img_9075

Looking Forward to NYE 2011

  1. Making Waves in Washington, DC
  2. Working Out my Body, Mind, and Soul
  3. Learned Conversational Chinese
  4. My Writing is Referenced in Influential Publications
  5. Making Music Regularly

Winds Blow East

Again it has been too long since I have recorded anything in this blog. How unfortunate as well, as it has been a truly great summer with a lot of experiences, thoughts, and mental progress I think.

In short, since my last post Arcadiy and I completed our great journey West to California, where Kelsey met me and we had a fantastic two weeks in Big Sur, San Jose, Berkeley / Oakland / San Francisco, Napa / Sonoma Valleys, and finally at Get Golden with AIESEC San Jose at Yosemite National Park where we climbed to the very top of Half Dome – my greatest summiting feat. Then I flew out to New York to see some friends including Tiffany and A. King, who were on the cusp of beginning their terms as the first duly elected AIESEC US Member Committee team members in twelve years. I returned to Alabama, where Kelsey came down to visit again for a weekend, and I worked out and relaxed. In July I went up to stay with Kelsey for three weeks in Chapel Hill while also catching Independence Day in Washington, DC. After another week in Gadsden, I helped her move into a new home in DC, where we spent two weeks and said “see you later” for a year (or six months or so) the day before she started her new job this week.

The “see you later” is because on Monday morning I fly out to China for one year to work at a startup content delivery network company called Prime Networks in Beijing. It is a technical traineeship through AIESEC.

That came after a great deal of wrangling with three different opportunities over the summer, and this is what came out on top. Thankfully so, I believe. In China I will get to spend a year in a totally foreign culture, as the only time I’ve been to “Asia” was when I was on the eastern side of Istanbul for a month in August 2007. I will have the opportunity to learn as much as I can of a major world language, Mandarin. I will be working in an area that is related to my degree, and not just teaching English. I will be working for a start-up, to immerse myself in the entrepreneurial environment. From my perspective, although I don’t want to get ahead of myself too much, I am getting a pretty good deal.

I know a lot of people get stressed and anxious and even teary-eyed when they go on a journey like this, leaving their homes and their loved ones. The leaving is not lost on me. I recognize and understand my feelings of separation from my good friends, my family, and my girlfriend very much. The same goes for the places I won’t see for a year. But the drive to know and experience more, to know more people and be a part of more places and learn more from the wide world is orders of magnitude greater than the sadness. I have never been homesick before. I don’t think I will start to in China. I feel propelled towards it, with the wind at my back and the path leading East for now. So much to learn and so much opportunity is a bell-clear beckoning on an early morning.

I must abed now, but soon I will be in Shanghai for two weeks to complete immigration. And then the task begins!

Them Tuesday Vibes

I finally got my Russian invitation letter to go to EUROXPROS, so tomorrow I will go and get my visa. I will also try and schmooze them into some kind of useful partnership for the LC, like facilitated visa processing for someone wishing to catch a Ride.

I forwarded the applications for the CC of IC 2008 in Brazil to the national leadership list and to the LC, and I have already gotten five emails asking for details, expressing interest, looking for reference, etc. I’m glad I could be the vector for that.

Today was a rollercoaster day. It started out pretty good when I got my letter of invitation, but then it tanked after I found out my grade on the prob/stat test I took Thursday, and when I couldn’t do most of the homework I had due today in Instrumentation & Circuits, and even then, I couldn’t finish the lab. It was exemplary of my reasons for loathing much about this place. But then I had a nice dinner with Laleh and Ben James, where serendipitously Willy’s was selling $3.50 burritos with a college ID – only on the first Tuesday of each month. Our conversation focused mostly on facilitating exchange, shall we say.

Finally, just as I was dropping Laleh off, I got a text message from our SGA president – the bill for Laleh to go to APXLDS passed! So in the end, today was a day of balance. Too bad it was in such extremes.

I’ve stayed up too late to do it now, but Thursday morning if it isn’t raining I’ll start running again.