Back to School… Again

If you follow me on twitter, you’ve seen me use the hashtag #backtoschool. I’m not mocking the rugrats or getting excited about upcoming sales. No, my friends, I’m going back to school. Cue the Adam Sandler:

I’m going to grad school to get my MBA at CU Denver.


I’ve always thought about going to B School but this year, as I joined the Quarter Century Club, decided to finally pull the trigger. I can’t live the life of leisure (#lifeofleisure) forever without making some more dinero (that’s money for those of you who don’t speak Spanish). Its not all about money though. I’ve got to build on my current skillset to excel in business.

People at the university like advisers and professors say that along with each class, I should expect to spend 10-20 hours studying. I doubt that but at the same time, I anxiously await it. Everybody has a different experience with school and my hope is that I can still have a social life and do well in school. Good luck to me.

Any tips, hints, tricks etc for getting through B School are welcome!

Exciting Upcoming Week: Comedy, Party, and Colombia

This week is going to be awesome. I’m seeing Chelsea Handler, going to our annual A-Bay Party, and travelling to Colombia.

I’m going to see Chelsea Handler perform in her Uganda Be Kidding Me show tonight at the Bellco Theater in Denver. I have a great seat up close. None of my friends wanted to shell out the big bucks to see her (cheapest tickets were $80) so I spent some of my Christmas present money to buy myself a ticket. I’m pumped.

chelsea-handler uganda be kidding me

Tomorrow my ski house is having our annual A-Bay party. It’s a day of ridiculousness when we all show up at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area tailgate, party, and maybe snowboard all day long. This year I have a sweet pair of retro skis to debut. I hope we keep the tradition of building a jump and generally creating a scene.

Abasin Party pic by Mark Miranda

Finally, on Tuesday, I’m flying to Colombia! That’s right. I’m flying to South America for the week. I’ll be delivering a four day training on one of the international programs of CISV called Village. For the other few days of my trip, I get to explore the city of Medellin. Wish me luck and let’s hope I survive the next week and a half without fun-overload!

Location of Colombia

My Trip to Portugal

Wow, this is so long overdue. As in, nearly a year overdue. I had a draft written but never finished it up. I am not as great at posting travel as I used to be. The reason I went to Portugal is for CISV. It was the Regional Training Forum (RTF) for Europe South! From March 26-March 31, over a hundred learners gathered from about 22 countries. We had FIVE trainings going on including Interchange, Seminar, Step Up, Train the Trainer (TTT), and Village. 

RTF Portugal March 2013Because I’m part of the International Village Committee (IVC), TTT trained, and had availability for that week, I got to go to Portugal. Hitting that trifecta is difficult which is why there weren’t two Village trainers from Europe. My fellow trainer is from Egypt. That made creating the training challenging with the 9 hour time zone. But, we prevailed and were able to plan ahead.

Our trainees ranged from staff to planners to a JC. We had the spectrum of participants, ages, and countries. As Village has a strong emphasis on the content area of diversity, this group was quite fitting. It was one of the most interesting CISV experiences I’ve had as an adult. A year later, I still have favorable memories of the good times we had.

After the training, I had just under a day to explore Lisbon. I did what I could. Oh, and I accidentally walked the city in the completely wrong direction. I did that in Vancouver too (twice!). It was mainly because I know absolutely zero city-navigation Portuguese. I can say good morning and good night along with various phrases all day long, but not so much with the signs I saw in the city. When I finally met up with my friend and host for the night, we went to a small gathering and hung out. Since I had stayed up the night before until the crack of dawn and walked around Lisbon all day, I was so tired I could barely put sentences together. The funny thing was, in Portugal, they stay up really late at night. I probably got 4 hours of sleep before my taxi arrived the next day. Zero sleep on top of 6 hours of jet lag on top of travel problems on top of language barriers makes for a fun and exciting trip.

I had a interesting time with traveling this time around. My travel troubles…

  1. Plane leaves late from Detroit to Paris
  2. Sprinting through Charles de Gaule to make it to next flight including a ticket check, passport control, and security.
  3. Not being able to get money from my debit card at an ATM.
  4. Air France losing my flight reservation from Paris to Atlanta

Thankfully I made it on time to the training and home on the flight I had booked originally! Travel schedules can get messed up but you just have to go with the flow. It probably helped that I was so tired I couldn’t expend enough energy to care.

I took a bunch of photos of my time in the city and at the training (about an hour outside of the city). Take a look if you have time.

Check out all my photos from the trip (click here)

March Craziness… No, Not Madness

Snowboarding at Copper Mountain 2013

You guys, March is crazy. Am I the only one who feels that way? Snowboarding season is at a high and here in Colorado, our snow has been ridiculous. Any day not on the hill feels like a failure. We had Indoor Kickball Championships last weekend on a Saturday morning. I had to go because my team, Ballzagna (say it out loud to hear why it’s funny), wouldn’t have enough players if I didn’t show up. Turns out, we only fielded a team of 8 when we could have had 11 out there. We did well in the tourney and placed 3rd or 4th. I’ll take it!

I just found out in the past week or so that I’m going to Colombia! Since I’m an international trainer with CISV for the Education and Programs Regional Delivery Team in the Americas, I was up for the spot. I trained Village last year in Portugal and this year they’re sending me to Colombia. I’m so thankful and grateful for CISV in my life. I love training and having another truly international CISV experience during the year. With this, I will need to work with another person to create the programming at the training. He happens to be a friend of mine who lives in Colombia. We’ll do most of the prep before we run the training which will, again, take a lot of time- possibly taking me off the hill. Timing will certainly be easier than last year when I planned with a woman from Egypt. I’m happy to dedicate my time to this organization because a) how much good it does in the world and b) how enjoyable my time is whenever I’m in a program.

RTF Portugal March 2013

This summer, also with CISV, I volunteered to direct a 19+ Youth Meeting in Calgary, Canada. There isn’t too much prep work involved. I say this after having directed a Village with nearly 100 people in 2012. This year’s program will be 35 people or fewer. Its a 2 week program for young adults. Right now, we just need to make sure the precamps are correct and somewhat aesthetically pleasing.

I’m also working on some things on the pro[fessional] front which require more of a weekend time commitment. It’s not huge but just big enough that I’ve missed some days on the hill.

March is such a good time to be on the mountain but I’m going to miss some days for other commitments. It’s okay because the other things are important to me. “Doing it all” can be a little stressful. I remember feeling the same way last year at this time. I have to remember the following idea: