Stevens


The Unlikely Trip To Mont Tremblant 2

Now here is a trip that if you had asked me about two months ago, I would have said would never happen let alone me going on it with people I knew from high school, university and some that I had never met before including the one passenger in my car. Excuse me for any glaring typing mistakes as I wrote this in literally fifteen minutes while I am waiting for my car being serviced.

The last week or two leading up to my trip had been so hectic that I didn’t even get a chance to view videos on the basic fundamentals on what to do. I had been tied up at work and then went south of the border for a few days. Ultimately, that probably had little to do with my failures on the first day but that might be normal to expect since it was the very first time I had ever gotten on a snowboard.

It hadn’t snowed much the night before our first run and that probably made the falls that much more painful on my entire body. We went straight for the green trail which was a much longer trail then I was expecting for a first run but better than the bunny hills because that was just way too short for me to do anything on. Naturally, it ended up taking us nearly two hours to complete the first run. It was tiring and painful but the mountain was scenic and enjoyable to be on. There were definitely moments I was afraid of what was going on and let that allow me to fall instead of fighting through it and get into it more. My issue wasn’t about gaining speed or learning how to turn, both of which I was surprisingly decent at, but I couldn’t get myself to slow down or stop without my legs giving out and taking a fall. I think if I didn’t have a friend who was just as new to this as I was, I wouldn’t have willed myself to go out again the second day — the first day was just that bad. It was crucial to have a buddy though because we would alternate going in front of each other and continue to call each other names as a means of motivating one another (we did occasionally say nice things to each other too but that’s just not our nature).

Just as importantly, it was so helpful to have someone who was better than we were every step of the way. It almost served as a light at the end of the tunnel when I was struggling on the first day to look up and see them stopped ahead waiting for us to catch up and then urging us to continue forward on what seemed on the first day to be a never-ending trail.

As bad as the first day was, I would say the second was that much better, if not more. We got a little delayed start in the morning but by the time we got out there, I was much more relaxed and ready to let it all go. Lighter traffic even for a Saturday might have played a role in me becoming more comfortable too and along with the conditions getting softer with the snow overnight and the fact that I was falling less, made for a much drier morning the second time around. We planned on cutting our time down the mountain by half from the first day which seemed very ambitious but not only did we reach that goal, we shattered it comfortably on the very first run of the morning (not that it is anything to brag about but I would call that significant progress).

I was practicing more on slowing down and stopping and not just speeding, falling and struggling to gain any momentum on the straight stretches, which turned out to be a much more effective way to get up and about. All the practice in the world probably doesn’t matter when you’re coming up with a little speed behind someone and they turn right into your path and lead to a wipe out. I’m glad it was someone I knew and that it was described by another watching as a “moment of embrace” as we hit the ground gracefully, making a potentially dangerous moment into something we can laugh about. As disappointed as I am of no video footage from my first time out, I am just glad this moment was never recorded.

Leading up to the last run on the final day, I was probably feeling the best I had and that was a good thing because I would need every ounce of that good feeling to get through the last run. The conditions had gotten much more terrible with the snow and wind picking up, fatigue was starting to settle in and for me, I couldn’t see anything through my fogged up goggles. As awful as it may sound, I must admit, I enjoyed that last run more than any because I was going through it without much complaining even though my body was ready to give out from being tired which is more than what I can for my other newbie friend.

Admittedly, I wasn’t in the greatest of physical shapes which led to my legs being extremely sore, my arms being dead from picking myself up all weekend but I wish I had done this up sooner and I would enjoyed it even more than I already did. There are some picture below, no videos unfortunately, which did have its pros and cons.

I had always joked with my roommates from university every time someone mentioned a trip up to Canada that I would believe it when I saw it. I would have never expected the trip would ever materialize let alone getting 11 people ranging from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Toronto and all meeting up in Mont Tremblant without losing anyone or anything.

Can’t wait to go again next year. Whistler, anyone?

 


My Trip Home (12/24 – 12/28)

A blizzard wasn’t exactly what I was looking forward to when I went home this past weekend but it sure made things interesting.

The drive down there Friday afternoon was really good since I guess not too many people drive down to the United States on Christmas Eve. The border, which didn’t have too many cars, ended up costing me over an hour because I was classified under “Document Control” which required further inquiry on their end. It turns out that since I am no longer actively residing in the US, I will need to apply for USCIS – I-131, Application for Travel Document or otherwise risk losing my permanent resident status. A slightly confusing point was the agent telling me I need to apply for any travel over 6 months (which will be in January for me) but the application instructions say the permit is required once you have elapsed over 1 year. I figure I should get that cleared up as soon as possible since I am traveling to Boston in February.

It was good to see our new house fully furnished for the first time and I did sleep in my bedroom for the first time as well. The huge driveway, which is quite useful for the tons of relatives that come to visit, is also a very big pain to clean storms that dump 18” of snow on you. My mom had prepared lots of good food which obviously included Kofta (of course) but we ended up eating out most of the days – Popeyes, Chicken Guy, Kabab Paradise and Sun Tavern. Let it be known for the record however, I did not leave New Jersey without eating Kofta at least twice – because that would have been unacceptable on my part.

I was hoping to see a lot more friends from high school on Monday but the blizzard took care of that. However, the day wasn’t a complete waste as roads cleared up a little so I saw a couple of friends from Milltown before wheeling and dealing decisions took place to relocate the 222 Secret Santa Tres over to Justin’s house so Jolly White Giant could also grace us with his presence because 30” of snow is too much for him to drive in. I will also neither deny nor confirm the fact that a vast majority of that time was spent playing/yelling/screaming at Mario Kart.

Work is pretty light again this week as we all anticipate/dread the YE stuff to start next week. One coworker next to me answered her phone this morning by saying, “Alien Headquarters, Guadalajara. How can I help you?” – all in joking of course, we don’t really host reception services for the Alien HQ… as far as I know.


2010-11 Stevens Athletics Calendar

For anyone interested in the Stevens Athletics’ calendar, I have created an unofficial once again this fall. The fall sports include Equestrian, Field Hockey, Men’s Golf, Men/Women Soccer, Men/Women Cross-Country, Women’s Tennis and Women’s Volleyball. As more schedules get released, I hope to keep updating this calendar so even if you add it now, you’ll get all the updated scheduled into your calendar automatically. If you are interested, I have embedded the calendar below and given the link if you would like to add it to your calendar as well. For those only interested in specific sports, I will also attach individual sport calendars and you can pick and choose.

Here is also the iCal and HTML link to the calendar:

If anyone needs instructions on how to import these calendars into your own, feel free to ask.

Here are the individual calendars by sport which are in .csv and are formatted to be simply imported into your calendar. I would recommend right clicking on each link to save the specific ones you want and then individually import them to your calendar. You can also just click the link to open up the calendar for viewing purposes.

Equestrian

Field Hockey

Men’s Golf

Men’s Soccer

Men’s Cross Country

Women’s Soccer

Women’s Tennis

Women’s Volleyball

Women’s Cross Country


I’m Moving To Canada 7

I have been looking forward and dreading this day for a little while now. I was more than certain to move on from my undergraduate life at Stevens and into the next stage– but I had no idea it would involve me moving back up north to Canada. I was never sure how to make such a decision and how much I would debate it from the moment I know that I might have the opportunity. Slowly but surely, more and more people I know have begun to find out about the next chapter in my life that I have decided to accept employment in the great city of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. It wasn’t my first choice but in the end, it was my best choice because of where I wanted to progress professionally.

The last decade that I have spent in the Garden State has been something remarkable. I was never a big fan of moving down here in the middle of 7th grade but I have since grown fond of this place. I may not have always liked the political decisions made here, their sports teams or even their lack of Mars chocolate bars, but the people were a different story… and seriously, why aren’t there Mars chocolate bars here?

Dating back to 2001, I decided to go to the Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies (MCASMET) for high school which was only in its second year of existence when I first started. I like to think, that along with several people from our class, I had some sort of influence in the way things developed in that school. This is the place where I learned to question facts and not take them at face value. This is a place where I learned to be disciplined while debating with a classmate who was fundamentally incorrect. However, this is also the place where I got into trouble for not being “patriotic” enough during my freshman year but this is also a place where I made a best friend who I rarely go the stretch of a full day without making contact of some sort.

I hope to continue the lasting relationships I had formed not only with those that I was fortunate enough to learn from in my classes but a couple of old teachers and a soccer coach as well. It has been five years since I graduated from MCASMET and I was just at the reunion a couple of weeks and I am already looking forward to where everyone will be in the next five years.

My undergraduate studies just concluded with my commencement in late May and even though I will not say it was everything I hoped it would be, I will add that it wasn’t too bad. I think I am correct when I say the first person I befriended at Stevens became one of my better friends and would go on to become my eventual roommate several times over, including this final year. I had another roommate who was more civil-ized than the rest of us but I am not sure how he survived the constant slew of cheeky insults tossed his way. I was certain he hated me at times but hopefully that’s more temporary than a full time thing. I’m gonna miss competitive games of basketball and racquetball down here in Hoboken and sometimes down right painful games if you played with the right (or wrong) people.

A tidbit: Did you know one of my best friends from high school went to graduate school with a best friend of one of my aforementioned college roommate?

One thing I never did understand was how big the western culture is on moving away from home or disassociating ties from those that raised you. That is probably the one thing that puzzles me the most. Family is the one place you can always turn to whether it is in a time of need, time of celebration or anything in between. It is time to grow up now but moving to another country away from your immediate family will always be difficult but strong faith and belief should see you through. Hopefully, this next chapter is as resourceful as I expect it to be and we’ll see where I go from there.

For those looking to get in touch with me, can still use my same email address or cellphone  number starting July 4th but in order to text me, you should use my Google Voice number because I won’t have an international text messaging plan to start off. If you need any of those information, feel free to contact me and we can exchange information.

Now, who is up for a visit to Toronto to visit me?


Stevens Commencement 2010

Stevens Institute of Technology has their commencement this Thursday. This year, they have organized for the ceremonies to be steamed online so that even those who were not able to be on campus to see it in person.

If you so feel inclined, you can watch on the embedded video below or use the following link (mms://wms.219B.edgecastcdn.net/20219B/StevensGrad) Thursday, May 27th for Stevens 138th Commencement. The Undergraduate ceremony begins at 10:30 am and the Graduate ceremony begins at 4:30 pm.