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I’m back!

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You might have noticed that I didn’t post anything while I was abroad.  There are a couple of reasons for this.

1.  No one told me WordPress was censored in China.  Hard to blog on WordPress when you can’t access the site.  But I tried. I swear.

2. By the time we got to Korea, the trip was more than half over and time was flying by – I didn’t have time to jot down my thoughts on paper let alone throw a blog post together.

I do still intend to blog about the trip though.  People have already started asking me about it and I don’t want to disappoint so I assure you – I’m working on it!  I still haven’t decided how exactly I’m going to do this though.  I’m toying with a couple of different options.  I will either blog as if I’m still over there, in the present tense and based on the journal I kept.  Or, I’ll just write a series of posts that summarize the trip as a whole but aren’t necessarily a day-by-day sort of account.

We got back Saturday night, I slept all day Sunday, and then I was back at work on Monday & in class Tuesday so I haven’t organized or edited my photos yet but I think as I start to do that (this weekend, I hope), that will help with organizing my thoughts and beginning to form blog posts. I plan to have something posted by the beginning of next week at the latest.

For now, though, let me just say – the trip. was. amazing.  No, really.  Part of me, I think, is hesitant to blog at all right now because I feel like I’m still processing everything and I fear that my posts would just be me rambling, somewhat incoherently, about how *amazing* it all was. But I’ll figure it out.

Until then–

 

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The end of another semester & a preview of the summer ahead

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Well, I can’t believe I’m saying this but another semester is very quickly coming to a close.  This week is the last week of classes; next week is finals.  The end.  Well, not the end.  Just the end of this semester.  I took an online Economics class this semester, a Process Analysis & Cost Management class, a Managing People in Organizations class, a Negotiations class, and an Integrity class.  I’ve loved some of my classes this semester but I’ve also just sort of suffered through part of the semester.  So I’m really excited that after next week I’ll be able to cross another one off the list.

I’m also really excited because I leave for China (and South Korea) on May 16, which is in less than three weeks.  Eighteen days, kids. Eighteen. Days.  I’m going to be honest though – until yesterday when I got my passport back with the pretty little Chinese visa inside, I wasn’t 100% convinced I was going anywhere.  But I am – we are.  The group I’m going with is pretty small – 6 students and 1 faculty member.  It seems to be a good mix of people and I think we’re all going to get along pretty well.  Did I mention that I’m excited?  Because I am SUPER excited.

I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to approach blogging while abroad.  Since it’s possible that other people in my group will direct their friends and family to my blog, I want to keep it fairly general – general updates on what we’re doing, photos, etc.  In other words, minimal personal reflection and thoughts.  My hope is that I’ll be able to blog at least every other day while we’re gone with some sort of update.  But when we get back, I’m thinking I’ll plan on some sort of wrap up post with a more personalized response to the trip.

Also, when we get back from the trip, I’ll be working on an independent study, based, in part, on the trip.  I’m focusing on the role of gender in international marketing and I’ll be doing, I think, a sort of compare/contrast between the US, China, and South Korea.  I’m getting nerdy excited about it.

It’s going to be an amazing summer & I can’t wait to get it started.

 

Classes, Work, Korea, and Juice – Oh My!

Once again, I fell off of the blogging bandwagon.  But I’m back.  For today anyway.

This semester has been a little bit crazy.

I’m taking a total of 11 credit hours: Process Analysis & Cost Management, Managing People in Organizations, Economics, Professional Integrity, and Negotiations in the Workplace.  It’s been keeping me pretty busy.  But that’s not really what’s been crazy.

As part of my Graduate Assistantship, I coordinate this Speaker Series.  For the most part, I really enjoy it.  It’s a great way to meet successful professionals in the community and also,  I’m getting to do all of the marketing for the events  – which I’ve discovered I LOVE.  Things have been a little bit crazy with booking the speakers and getting the promotional materials out there but still, my GA isn’t really what’s been ‘crazy.’

I’m going to be going to China and South Korea in May as part of a Study Abroad trip.  It’s a relatively short trip – 3 weeks – but I am SUPER excited.  Because of this, I’ve been immersing myself in all things Korean.  I’m interested in the China portion, too, of course, but because I have a number of Korean friends (both Korean-American and Korean) I have more of a personal interest in visiting & experiencing Korea.  I’m actually hoping to meet up with a friend who studied in America but returned home, to Korea, while I’m there.  I’ve been studying the language, reading about the country, and watching Korean Dramas (that’s a blog post in & of itself for another day).  But again, that isn’t the ‘crazy’ part.

The crazy comes into play with this silly idea I had about a month ago.  I watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead on Netflix for probably the 3rd time.  If you haven’t seen it, Joe Cross has an incredible & inspiring story.  To sum up the basic premise of the documentary, Joe had a number of health issues and was also overweight.  He’d been eating unhealthy, processed food for quite a few years and basically just felt it catching up with him. So, after talking to his doctor, he decided to do a juice fast.  For 60 days.  60 days – nothing but fresh juice, herbal tea, and water.  Insane, right? I definitely thought so the first time I watched the documentary.  But still, it inspired a 5 day juice fast, which left me feeling rejuvenated.  Now, when I watched the documentary again this time around, I thought… if 5 days made me feel that good, I wonder how I’d feel after 60 days. So I tweeted that I was thinking about doing this insane thing.  And it all just kind of exploded from there.

That was at the end of January.  I decided to start this craziness on January 31st, which seems a little strange, except that it means my last day will be March 31st.  So I’m currently on day 26 of my juice fast and with just a couple of exceptions, I’ve felt truly amazing.  There have been times when I’ve craved certain foods – or anything I can chew on, really – and times when the smell of something cooking made my stomach growl, but I’m being a 100% honest when I say I’ve never felt so clear, alive, and energetic in my life.

So why did I decide to start all of this craziness?  I was already vegan so I was probably eating healthier than some people.  But I was still eating a lot of fried and processed foods.  I could have survived on fried potatoes and Daiya, if I’d let myself.  And for a vegan, I wasn’t eating nearly as many fruits and vegetables as you might think.  I figured a juice fast would kind of reset my body.  And almost half-way through this fast, I know it’s made a huge difference already.  While some processed foods still sound pretty good to me if I let myself start thinking about it, when I’m feeling truly hungry, the first thing that pops into my head is an apple now.  Honestly.  I think the thing I want most in the world these days is to bite into a fresh, crisp apple.  And I wouldn’t have said that a month ago even if I was starving.

Well, that about sums up my world at the moment.

Until next time —

♥kristina

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