Final Push

Happy Wednesday everyone. Welcome back for another exciting episode of a day in the life of an MBA student. This week, I’m getting extremely busy and starting to notice all the semesters projects are now coming to a close. Final segments are beginning to get wrapped up and the demand and stress of these activities are starting to pay a toll. Over the years as I learn how to manage school, work, personal life, etc… I have learned that when I push my self to the brink, I usually get sick. Well folks, the past week I have been getting over some type of sickness now circulating the Bate building.

Started with a headache, sore throat, and within in a few days I was down for the count. Alka seltzer, Dayquil, Nyquil, and sleep have been my friend for past week. Thank goodness I had a short spurt of staying proactive which allowed me to take a well needed break for a few days. The next couple of weeks and the weeks proceeding Thanksgiving will be filled with some much needed time in the library. I typically get a lot more accomplished when I’m forced into a small cubicle and forced to complete the task at hand. I enjoy my time at home, but the distractions and the beautiful scenery surrounding me is entirely too distracting.

What tools do you use to study? I’ve been putting together small study groups with friends and those seem to help. I sometimes get side tracked but a majority of the time I’m focused in the library and get a lot accomplished. Find what works for you, and maybe share some secrets of your own. I could sure use the help.

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Rough Week

Happy Wednesday ECU. First off I would like to thank all my followers. It’s been a rough week and my motto of staying positive has pushed me through some hard times. Obviously work has been stressful, and school has been stressful as well. On top of that, Saturday, my dog went missing. Then Sunday night, I got sick and missed the past 2 days from work. I’m feeling a little better now but I’ll probably have a short day and take off early from work to continue recovery.

Saturday I woke up and decided to do a couple errands around the house. As I was leaving I noticed a hunting dog running across my front yard. My dog “Penny” decided to follow the hunting dog. Heading down the street I noticed a young boy standing on top of his truck. Being a good person I figured I would stop and ask if he had lost his dog. I gave him directions towards my house and let him know my dog was running with his but DO NOT pick my dog up. Needless to say I have yet to see her. We have lived in this house for over 2 months and this is the first week she hasn’t come home.

penny

Not the greatest photo but I think it’s great to see how Scarlet and Penny became “friends” in such a short period of time. Penny, more than Scarlet would follow us around and just wanted attention. We really hope she comes back soon, but most of all we hope she’s safe. I know it’s not the best comparison, but I understand the feeling of not having closure when a family member randomly goes missing. There are lessons to be learned from this situation and I hope I can apply some of these lessons when Penny returns home.

On a more positive note I’m feeling a little better and getting some things done at school. Fell a little behind because I was sick so thank goodness I tried to stay ahead before the weekend. I look forward to reporting in next week and hopefully with some positive news about Penny.

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Sick day – with a view

Happy Wednesday ECU. Writing you today from home, feeling a bit under the weather but what a way to spend the day. Kind of hard not to find inspiration and motivation with an environment like this.

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Over the past couple of months I’ve had some life altering events: dropped another class, redirected my focus towards school, and bought a house. Obviously on the top of that list is the new house. The past week my wife and I (mainly her) picked up around the house and finally started to organize a lot of our material possessions. Another positive is we were finally in a position to purchase a few pieces of gym equipment so I can finally start working out from home. There are still a lot of things needed to complete this personal gym but at least I’m on the way.

I worked out really hard for the first time in almost three months with a fellow employee and I’ve been paying the price all week. Thanks to Jon and Caleb, my legs have never been this sore. Feels good to slowly get back in the swing of things, just doesn’t feel good to not be able to use my legs. Eventually I’ll be back to a regular routine, but for now the focus is and must be school.

As previously mentioned, if you’re keeping up with the blog, I put together some study groups to make sure I stayed focused in school. With the combination of setting the computer up at home and spending a majority of my free time in the library, I’ve noticed a significant difference. That being said, this past Sunday after cleaning, the wife and I spent a majority of our downtime relaxing outside by the fire (and watching football of course).

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I’m an avid believer that hard work deserves rewards. Little milestones along the way to keep you focused which adds fuel to the motivational fire burning inside you. Sometimes I’m guilty of rewards myself to often, or prior to actually successfully reaching the milestone. I also notice that sometimes I work better when I skip the reward and head straight to the reward. If you’re keeping up, my point is different strokes for different folks. Right now this happens to be working for me. I’m going to continue to analyze my progress, and definitely report in to all my followers on how I’m doing.

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Tough Week

Reporting in this week, kind of ironic that my post is a day late. This weeks post is going to be shorter than usual. After a nice long weekend spending time with my family and working on my house, I received some bad new for school. Apparently I submitted an assignment in an hour late and I will be dropping a class and signing back up next semester. As I’ve proved during this blog I am an open book, and anything that happens to me I’m going to share with my followers.

I think it’s important for me to share, you to read, and both of to learn from this experience. Another thing you’ll learn about me is I always take full responsibility for my actions. This class that I have to drop is unfortunate. However, it does not put me back in the program which is a plus, and I can’t blame someone else on the outcome of receiving a zero on an assignment. Ultimately I should be responsible for the outcome. Adversely what if the outcome was positive? Would I want to give someone else the credit for something positive I completed.

I think this shows the importance of having internal drive. External factors don’t typically force me to make rash decisions. I take a step back and look at the positives and “MOVE FORWARD”. Life must go on and we can’t dwell on every negative outcome because there’s adversity around every corner.

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Busy Break

Happy Wednesday everyone. Hope everyone had a fun filled fall break. Mine was spent doing house chores with my family. My parents came down and helped around the house with painting and yard work. This weekend we were able to put up a pull up bar (so I can start working out in the back yard), a bat house, and my mom did A LOT of painting on the inside.

This Thursday my wife and I share our 3 year marriage anniversary. We’ve been together 10 years and I can’t imagine a greater person to be with. We balance each other very well and I think that’s what is most important. Find someone who makes you a better you. With the new house we’ve been limiting our purchases. I got her pair of shoes but I also decided to make her a birdhouse using items we found around the new home. If you know Jordan, she loves birdhouses. So this was a big win.

birdhouse

After the long fall break it was back to school work. Just recently found out I received a not so stellar grade on a project I had been working on so I’ll  be meeting with my professor this up coming week. Just another lesson learned. Grades aren’t handed out they are earned and I always take full responsibility of any outcome, whether it be good or bad.

Trying to stay positive and proactive, I’ve set up a couple study groups with people in my class and friends needing to study for non school related activities. I’m hoping that this is a step in the right direction. I think that it’s important to adapt and find what works best for you. Maybe this is what I need in order to increase my passion for my education. If it’s not, then once again I need to be smart enough to adapt my technique and find what works best for me.

If you have any pointers or maybe you too want a study buddy, leave a comment and I look forward to posting another update next week.

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Rescue Family

Happy Wednesday everyone. As usually a fun packed and busy week ahead of me with school work and house chores. Glad to report the newly purchased house is slowly taking shape and developing well. Once we get closer to the end result I’ll be sure to share some pictures with everyone so you can see how far we’ve come. Currently I am still trying to catch up with some school work, the move and the loss of internet for about a week to a large den out of any momentum previously gained.

On a lighter note, you’ll be happy to hear that the Pulido’s family rescued another dog. If you didn’t already know, our first dog (Scarlet) was a rescue dog that we obtained from the animal shelter in 2007. When we moved to our new house last week, there was a dog that had been living under the house. She was in desperate need of love, care, and medical attention. We decided we would wait about a week and see if she took off, or if anyone claimed her, before we took her to the vet. Yesterday marked the week and we took her for a check up.

Penny

The vet said she was healthy and after a few medications to fix a skin rash, she should be able to come inside and be around other dogs. If you don’t know much about the Pulido’s, you should at least know we are animals lovers. Feels good to take care of a dog in need. After rescuing Scarlet we realized how lucky we were and have come to realize that sometimes the animal you rescued, actually is the one rescuing you. We look forward to the future at our new house, with our new family member.

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I’m Back

Hey everyone. If you follow me regularly you’ll notice I haven’t been posting the past couple of weeks. You will notice the Study Abroad Program posted their blogs in my absence. We didn’t want to overload our readers so this gave me a break from writing and allowed me to edit and post ECO COB material. Now that I’m back, I’ll give you a brief update on my past week and how school has been going thus far.

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This past weekend (4th of July), I spent three days in New Bern on the river and was lucky enough to bring my dog to the hotel. My wife and I take vacations from time to time and our biggest gripe is having to leave our dog behind. This Fourth was extra special because she could join us.

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After a long weekend, and watching the sun go down followed by fireworks on the water; it’s time to get back to school and finish my second summer session. You’ll be glad to hear I did receive a B on my last class and so far this summer it looks promising I’ll receive an A. I could very well use this A to balance out my GPA and take some stress off my plate. I’ve been doing well prioritizing, spending less time at the gym and focusing more on school. It not my ideal day but I am definitely less stressed and completing assignments well before their due date.

I look forward to those comments and continue to follow us on social media. #ECUCOB

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Live your Life

AH1

 

Written By

Andre Harness Jr.

COB Study Abroad Program China

 

Life is an adventure that you have to live, stop thinking about it and live it. I know what you are thinking, China? How much fun could one have in China? Isn’t it a communist country? Don’t they hate Americans? I think I’ll pass; Europe would be a better time. Let’s start with killing that stereotype. The Chinese have an amazing culture and have been more open and inviting to us then one could ever have dreamed. We have been, simply put, celebrities. China rolled out the red carpet and accepted us with open arms and in turn all seventeen of us dropped our guard from day one and dove into the culture headfirst. We have had to learn to eat with chopsticks which at first was a challenge, but one that we all concurred and honestly now it’s harder for us to eat with a fork. But what about the language barrier? Dr. Chen supplied us with a tour guide named, Cindy. Who has been an angel. honestly, she has made our China experience priceless. Anytime that we have wanted to catch a cab anywhere day or night she has made it happen and made sure that we were being safe every step of the way. Anytime that we have been out and needed to order food or if we are at the market buying things she has been there as our communication crutch; Cindy has simply been amazing. But I don’t know anybody going with me? Being thrown into a foreign country has bonded us like you could never imagine. We are from all over the country and all walks of life and we have all come together to be a family. We dropped our guards, we’ve had disagreements, we’ve loved hard, and in return we’ve formed friendships that will last a lifetime. We will always have China.

China has been, well words can’t even explain. We have been blessed to have Dr. Chen with us who is from China. He and his staff put together the most amazing life changing experience that one could ever dream of. Home is over 15,000 miles away and he has made it feel like we never left. The hotels that we have stayed in have felt like palaces and every step of the way he has gone above and beyond to make sure that every student has not just felt comfortable but welcomed. Being homesick has been out of the question. He has not just made us try new foods but he has taken us on once in life time company visits. We have had the opportunity to go to Lenovo and be the first student group to get to tour their testing facilities and their corporate campus. In addition we got to visit companies that helped us understand exactly how the Chinese live. Everything from how much it cost to live in China to how much it cost to start and operate a company. The relationships that we were able to form with Vice Presidents and owners of companies will go along way as we enter the work world and was a priceless experience that we will forever be grateful for.

AH2

We have also been fortunate to have Dr. Grubb’s youthful flavor added to our trip. He has been like a father to us, always there when things haven’t gone smoothly. Everything has its ups and downs and although we have been up for over 95% of the trip; when things have dipped south he was there to smooth them out, lend a Band-Aid, a hug, and a timely joke to keep us focused on the amazing experience that was in front of us. To say that we have been blessed doesn’t do our situation justice. ECU supplying us with both Dr. Chen and Dr. Chang was the perfect pairing and one can only be thankful that they took the time away from there families to take us on this adventure across the world. If you were thinking about studying abroad hopefully this helps you decide to go. It is truly a life changing experience.

Live your adventure.

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The Hidden Treasures of China

BKHS

 

Written By

Ben Krisay

COB Study Abroad Program China

 

BK1I want to start off by mentioning how amazing this experience has been for me. I am sure the same goes for the rest of my friends on this trip. I knew that this trip could be a once in a lifetime experience, and provide the opportunity to understand a wonderful culture. Coming into the trip I was not completely sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by how friendly and understanding the people are in China. Now I would like to summarize the day, and highlight some of my favorite parts about the day.

We started our day by going to a business called North Star Company, which is a state operated real estate company, and is also publicly traded. They build apartments, malls, and even personal homes; which are extremely rare in China. Although they have built homes for single families, there are new policies in place that forbid this. The corporation even had a part in constructing the China Convention Center, which was the media hub for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as well as the center for all fencing events. After visiting the convention center, we walked over to the two main Olympic buildings: the Birds’ Nest and the Water Cube.

After visiting with North Star Company we went to lunch at an area called 798; I will explain what 798 is further into my blog post. When we first arrived at the 798, we all went to a food court in the area to find lunch on our own. Spicy food is not widely popular in Beijing and the northern part of China. Since I usually eat spicy food in the states, I was on a hunt for some HOT food. I went with my friend Tyler, and Dr. Chen to look for some of the hottest food I could get. We stumbled upon an entire area of the food court that had spicy food.

BK2There were many types of food in this dish, and I will list a few. I had the pleasure of trying: lotus root, cow lung, 3 different types of tofu, bamboo shoots, frog legs, and duck blood. I know what you are thinking, that I am crazy for trying some of the foods like cow lung. The way that I look at it is, if I do not like it, I do not have to eat any more, but I will never know if I like it if I do not try. Surprisingly the cow long was very similar to calamari, and maybe I would not have liked it as much if it was not spicy. I know that some people on the trip were not as adventurous as me when it came to trying new foods. I hope that you take the same approach, and find out if something is good by tasting it, not by judging the looks of what is on your plate.

BK3After lunch, Tyler and I split up from Dr. Chen, and started to explore 798. Once we started exploring I started to understand what kind of place 798 was. This area was originally mostly manufacturing factories, but when the factories went out of business, this area turned into a local art scene. As we explored the area started to see street art everywhere, such as the graffiti, and sculpture in my pictures. I have always been fascinated with complex, and well put together graffiti, so this place was perfect for me.

There were plenty of local shops, presumably run by local artists. Walking into shops you could see art made by local artists, and there were even pieces that were not for sale. We walked into a shop that sold Ocarinas, which are flute like instruments made from clay, and used glaze that turn to glass when fired in a furnace. They had all kind of sizes and shapes that you could choose from. The guy working at the shop played a little tune on one of the Ocarinas. Tyler ended up buying one after this, I would have too if I had the extra Yuan to get one.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see the small amount of 798 that I did see. I wish that I would have more time here, and had not spent so much time eating. If you get to take a trip to Beijing I would highly recommend that you visit 798, especially if you are interested in art.

BK4

In summary, todays trip to 798 was a memorable one for me. I got to see some local artists representation of what art is for them. I think that art can be in many forms, and even the way that you live your life can be an art form. I am starting to realize that seeing the world can be an art in itself. Not every person takes the chance to leave the comfort of his or her home. This can be especially challenging in a country, where the majority speaks a completely different language. I have learned that stepping out of your comfort zone can provide incredible opportunities. There are hidden treasures in every country, but sometimes you have to go out and look for them. I can say that I have seen at least a small amount of the hidden treasures that China has to offer. I believe traveling is the perfect way to experience things you had no idea about, and may even offer opportunities that will change your life.

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Bucket List

CBHS

 

Written By

Chelsea Boles

COB Study Abroad Program China

 

When I first found out that the COB study abroad trip was going to China, I knew that I had to visit the Great Wall of China. The Great Wall has been on my bucket list, and many of my classmates shared the same view. This was going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and we couldn’t be more excited.

After waking up in the morning, I could not believe that today was the day everyone had been looking forward to. We had to all get up very early and make sure we had plenty of food and water in our system before making the forty-minute drive to the Great Wall. As we were getting closer, the mountains started to look bigger and bigger. We could see parts of the Great Wall peaking over the hills. Everyone started getting very exited, knowing what was about to happen and what we were all going to accomplish today. We all started to strategize on the bus about which side of the Great Wall we wanted to climb and with whom we wanted to climb. The driver then parked the bus, and as we got off, we walked to where we could take a group picture before climbing the wall. Later, after climbing the stairs and trekking parts of the wall, we could take an after picture to see how worn we looked.

CB4

We split up into groups of at least three or more and picked which side of the wall we wanted to start. The side my group picked was the side that had better views and fewer tourists. We started climbing the wall and did not stop. When we were not climbing up the stairs, we were walking up pathways at forty-five degree angles. I did not realize the wall was going to be so challenging to climb. The steps were uneven and at some points we had to either run at an incline or hang onto the railing and pull ourselves up. We helped motivate each other whenever a person in our group was struggling. Some of the group members could not go any further and had to stop from exhaustion; while other group members went on to the peak.

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After awhile of trekking, we finally reached the furthest point of our side of the wall.  It took us a minute to catch our breath from the walk, but afterwards we all looked around to see the once in a lifetime view. The first thought that I had was “Is this real?” I could not believe my eyes. All of our walking and climbing had been worth it. I had always wanted to visit the Great Wall but never knew it would actually happen. We stood there for about ten minutes in awe of everything around us. The group I was with made walking up the Great Wall much more memorable because we had all became much closer over the past three weeks. As we were looking at the majestic scenery, we were all looking at each other with smiles on our faces saying “we made it” and “we did it”. At this point in the trip we became more than classmates we became a family. I can finally say that the Great Wall is checked off of our bucket lists, and we could not be more enthusiastic.

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