Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Last Thursday I wrote my last final exam at the University of Calgary. Given my long relationship with said institution, this really is a landmark occasion.

I started at the U of C in fall 2004, as a young, naive engineering student. I was planning to major in civil engineering and use it as my pre-architecture undergraduate degree. That lasted about two weeks, until I realized that I HATED engineering. I was able to transfer into the Faculty of Science, where I was technically a math major but actually a general studies student searching for a new purpose as I took general interest courses for a year. After a brief detour to attempt the Bachelor of Commerce at the Haskayne School of Business, I settled in to a cosy new department, the department of Economics in the Faculty of Social Science. It finally felt like home. I've loved my economics classes and my economics professors all the way through. I've micromanaged my schedule to accommodate classes with my favourite professors, like the amazing Dr. W who taught me Intermediate Microeconomics Level 1, Canadian Public Finance, and Economics of Taxation. I took two classes in a row from the incredible Dr. H, who not only taught me the fascinating intricacies of Industrial Organization and Regulatory Economics, but helped me discover my ideal career path in electrical regulation and find a great summer internship.

I'm really going to miss finding random, out-of-the-way places to study. I still remember the time when I hiked all the way to the top of the 14-story Social Science building for some exercise and then decided that the secret landing at the top, with a door leading to some sort of storage room, was a great place to sit and read Sallust's The Jugurthan War. While taking a summer course, I discovered that if I left for school at the same time as Daddy left for work, we could bike together and I'd have an extra hour before classes to study. I found an unlocked door to the roof of Craigie Hall, where I wiled away that early morning time in the sunshine. The amount of time that I've spent in the study carrels in the library tower is just despicable, but I did discover that the third floor and seventh floor are typically the least crowded.

On the days when I forgot my lunch or was running late, I'd run over to the Institute for a cheap lunch. The frozen burritos, pizza pops, and canned soup were a huge boon to a poor, hungry student. While there, I would do the crossword puzzle or the sudoku from the paper—although, once Jane my crossword buddy was gone, it wasn't quite the same.

There's a lot of memories for me on that campus, and I'll be sad to go. But I'm excited for new things and to discover a whole new world of the workplace, where I will undoubtedly be able to fill my life again with little quirks.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


My paper is finished! After months of procrastination, I finally got started on it about 2 1/2 weeks ago and have spent time on it a hour here, an hour there. At times I was so excited and motivated about the topic that the paper practically wrote itself. At other times, I would sit staring at my computer screen for half an hour, type four words or so, delete a sentence, then take a break on facebook before repeating the cycle over again. The wonderful thing, though, it that it's done a day early and I can spend tomorrow preparing for my job interview and getting started on my studying for Monday's exam. Only 7 days left!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Engagement Photos

In the middle of all the craziness, Benjamin and I knew we had to get our engagement photos sometime before we sent out our wedding invitations, which we want to get out before Christmas. However, you read the last post—you know how much other stuff I have to get done. Now to understand how busy Benjamin and I are, take the stuff I have to get done, multiply that by 3, and you'll get the basic picture. The added complication is that Benjamin has about five group projects that need to be done this week, so his schedule is not only filled with completing the work, but coordinating his schedule with seventeen other people to plan the projects.

By last week, between our busy schedules and the likewise busy schedule of our photographer, we had already rescheduled twice. We had finally decided on 2 pm this past Saturday when I realized, "Wait a minute! I have a piano recital for my eleven students and their families at the other end of town at 4 pm... how is this going to work?" Our photographer couldn't go any earlier, and I was worried about getting to the church in time to set up. My amazing fiance was able to take some time out of his afternoon to help me get everything ready for the recital, and so we squeezed pictures in at 2 o'clock anyways. They turned out great!

If you have some time and want to see more, they're at http://hopephotography.com/redd/index.htmlBut be warned, there's over 200 and it might take a while.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Almost There...

Exactly 13 days from right now I will be finished at the U of C. Finished my undergrad. It seems so close... and yet so far. It seems so far because it's only 13 days, but in those 13 days I still have to accomplish:
  • One Christmas piano recital for 11 children under the age of 13
  • One personal finance exam on mortgages and personal loans
  • One finance assignment on risk management and insurance
  • One 15-20 page research paper on the roles of economics and policy in determining optimal wind penetration levels
  • One job interview
  • One energy economics final exam
  • One final exam on applications of Excel to economic data management
  • One essay on the evolving Senatorial attitude towards imperial successions in 1st century Rome
and one day of work as a dental receptionist.

But if I can only hang in there for 13 more days, I'll be free!