Harvard Bound Nominated for Clear Admit's Best of Blogging Award

I'm so excited to announce that Harvard Bound has been nominated in the 2009-2010 Clear Admit Best of Blogging contest. Thanks so much to the Clear Admit team for all of their support over the last year in promoting Harvard Bound, and now for the nomination! Unfortunately, only nominated bloggers and Clear Admit staffers are eligible to vote in the awards, but I certainly welcome anyone who wants to help cheer me on via the Comments section! :)
You can check out all of the nominated blogs (20 current students and 20 applicants) by visiting this link: http://blog.clearadmit.com/2010/04/best-of-blogging-nominees-2009-2010/.

The winners will be announced on May 4th -- the top blogger receives either an iPod Touch or an Amazon gift certificate, and runners up are offered WSJ/Financial Times subscriptions!

Wish me luck (and good luck to the other nominees)!

A Modern Day Fairy Tale (thanks to my dad!)

This is the fairy tale that we should have been reading as little girls!

Once upon a time, in a land far away, a beautiful, independent, self-assured princess happened upon a frog as she sat, contemplating ecological issues on the shores of an unpolluted pond in a verdant meadow near her castle.

The frog hopped into the princess' lap and said: Elegant Lady, I was once a handsome prince, until an evil witch cast a spell upon me. One kiss from you, however, and I will turn back into the dapper, young prince that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry and setup housekeeping in your castle with my mother, where you can prepare my meals, clean my clothes, bear my children, and forever feel grateful and happy doing so.

That night, as the princess dined sumptuously on lightly sauteed frog legs seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce, she chuckled and thought to herself:
I don't fucking think so!

Exploring Massachusetts: Salem and Plymouth

As my time in Boston slowly edges to a close, I really wanted to take some time to explore all of the historical and/or touristy sites that this state has to offer. Despite living here for nearly two years, there's a ton that I haven't seen, either because time hasn't allowed, or because access to a motor vehicle has been scarce. This past weekend, though, my college friend and sorority sister Melissa came to town and since she is brave enough to drive in this crazy state, we rented a car for three days and spent some time in two of Massachusetts' most famous areas: Salem and Plymouth.

Our trip to Salem consisted of a visit to the Salem Witch Museum (apparently Salem's most visited museum), where they gave a 30-minute panorama-type retelling of the 1692 Witch Trials. Something like 19 innocent people were killed due mostly to false testimony and scapegoating -- one poor man was pressed to death.

We also spent a lot of time walking around the cute town where there are lots of witch-related and even normal shops. Of course, we both bought cute Salem t-shirts (mine says "Stop in For a Spell," so cute) and took lots of fun pictures, including this one memorializing Elizabeth Montgomery, an actress best known for her role as Samantha in Bewitched:

We also visited the earliest burial grounds in the town, although none of the convicted witches were buried here. There was a Pilgrim in this graveyard and the wife of one of the "witches." There was also a Witch Memorial with benches laid out for each of the people that were killed -- each bench had a name engraved with their death date and the way they were murdered. Lots of people laid flowers on top of the stones.

Also while in Salem, we ate lunch on the Pickering Wharf harbor and took photos in front of the Witch House, which is the oldest standing structure in Salem. Apparently it was once the home of the Judge that convicted the witches, and eerily enough, both Melissa and I had orbs/ghosts floating in our photos of the house (look near the sign on the right side)!

Our trip to Plymouth was also fun. We got to tour a replica of the Mayflower, which is docked at Plymouth Harbor and is actually still seaworthy. Man, it was a small ship for 100 people! I think we saw a total of like 6 "beds" on the whole ship, so I can't even imagine where they put everyone unless they were a whole lot shorter and thinner than people are today!

We also went and saw the actual rock, which truth be told, was just a rock with a big 1620 carved into it. I was even more disappointed when I found out that the rock wasn't even claimed as the landing place of the Pilgrims until 120 years later in 1741! I wonder then how anyone KNEW that this particular rock was THE rock considering all of the pilgrims would have been long dead by then...Is one of our country's historic sites thus a scam??

We also went and visited Plimoth Plantation, which was a site I had been wanting to see since arriving in Boston in the fall of 2008. Basically, there are several parts: A crafts center where modern-day artisans build clothes and household items that would have been used in the 17th century, a replica 1627 English village with role-players who try to convey what life was like for the Pilgrims when they first arrived and an Indian village where modern-day Native Americans wear traditional clothing and just talk with people about their culture.

The plantation itself was really cool as there were lots of farm animals roaming about and we got to watch "Pilgrims" baking bread, engaging in metalworking, farming and tending to the animals. It was also interesting again to note how small all of the quarters were!

Overall, it was a lot of fun taking a trip back in time over the weekend and I feel like I got to see a lot of the state while we took the scenic routes (aka got lost) several times! And here's a fun fact: apparently there are a million Dunkin' Donuts in Boston. We saw 15 of them on the 30-minute route from HBS to Salem....crazy!
'Til next time!

Ready or Not, Graduation Here I Come!

I'm ready...

  • To no longer share a bathroom: Fighting for the toilet at 7:30am when you first wake up and really have to pee is not fun, nor is dealing with someone else's MESS!
  • To have a kitchen again: Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, your prepared foods sections have treated me well for the last two years, but I'm really to make somre real food of my own once more (or at least try not to poison myself).
  • To have a bi-weekly, regular paycheck! 'Nuff said.
  • To be living with my two chihuahuas again. Bella and Bailey, you are a source of endless, unconditional love and I miss you like crazy!
  • To come home in the evenings and be able to veg in front of the television/computer without having cases to read for the next morning. I'm tired of watching Dancing With the Stars, Grey's Anatomy and Glee on my 16" computer screen.

I'm not ready...

  • To say goodbye to all of my wonderful international friends who will be jetting back to their home countries half-way (or farther) around the world. I will miss you all, and I hope that someday I am rich enough to come visit you all. Jun, I will start saving NOW so that I can come to your wedding in Japan!
  • To leave behind the wonderful resources that exist at HBS: My amazing professors who are a hotbed of the most cutting-edge research and knowledge; my fantastic career coach Jana (and all of her colleagues at MBA Career & Professional Development) who always have a pep talk ready; the beautiful Baker Library with its endless tools to help you expand your mind; and of course my brilliant classmates, who have taught me that I am NOWHERE near as smart as I thought I was...and I'm all the better now because I learned so much from you.
  • To forfeit my student discount at movie theatres, museums, art galleries, etc. (Why, oh why, Harvard University do you so clearly mark the expiration date on these things? Ok, I know it's for safety reasons, but I do love me some discounts.)
  • To have to squeeze myself into formal business clothes every morning. Sweats and my Converse sneakers make for a wonderfully comfy day.
  • For all my memories to fade. I find that, much as we try to hold on to every little detail, our minds must move on and sacrifice memories of old moments to make room for the new. This, in part, is why I chose to write a blog. Thankfully, many of my favorite times at HBS have been chronicled here, where they will remain forever accessible.

Less than two months until graduation. I can't believe how fast two years has gone.