Is anyone else astounded that it’s already the middle of September? Summer days always pass by quickly, but the last four months flew by at nothing short of lightning speed. The old adage that time flies when you’re having a good time couldn’t be truer. So what exactly did I get up to (when it clearly wasn’t blogging)? Here’s my summer 2011 in all it’s glory.
After making the long drive from Calgary to Victoria at the end of April, I quickly settled into classes, a new summer house and good times with great friends. School started out with a bang when my class of 65 students were randomly assigned groups for the Peter Thomas Innovation Project. With only $5 of start-up capital, each group had 10 days to turn that initial investment into the largest amount of wealth, be it financial or social. Though my group didn’t win either category, it was an amazing learning experience and a great introduction to the Entrepreneurship module to come.
Following the Innovation Project, I worked on a number of small assignments and an individual pitch presentation (which I killed!), but the true highlight of May was without a doubt Sasquatch Music Festival. I’ve already written a brief post on this trip, but please allow me to elaborate. Packed and ready to rock, nearly 20 of my fellow BCommers and I made the trek down to the Gorge in Washington for four days of sun, music and all around good times. Days were devoted to socializing, playing games and recounting shenanigans and nights were spent singing and dancing at some amazing shows. My favourite performance of the weekend had to be Robyn, a Swedish pop queen with crazy beats. Damn, that girl had energy! A close second to Robyn would have to be the seven-piece Irish-descendant band Flogging Molly. I’ve never danced a jig so hard in my life (one could say riverdance-esque), and with thousands of other people doing the same it was truly a cool experience. Other notable shows included MSTRKRFT, Ratatat, Matt & Kim, Death Cab for Cutie, Pink Martini and Modest Mouse.
School and life in Victoria continued on as usual into June, but what made this month stand out was a couple of trips away from my island life. As I documented on here a while back, I succumbed to the Canucks fever late in the season and watched many a play-off game with my friends (most of them life-long Vancouver fans). With Game 5 happening in Van, a group of us planned on heading over for the weekend to join in the city-wide celebrations. As with a lot of plans I’ve been apart of, this one fell by the wayside in the days leading up to the game. However, in a wonderful turn of events and spontaneity, I rushed from my morning class that Friday and managed to make the 1 o’clock ferry with a fellow Albertan (read: Oilers fan). A bit ironic that the two kids from Alberta were the ones going across, but we were able to meet up with a group of BCommers (Canucks fans) on the ferry and had one of the best days/nights of my whole summer. From snagging a booth downtown a mere five minutes (FIVE!!) before the puck dropped, to celebrating the Canucks scoring the only goal of the game late into the third, to wandering Granville St. afterwards and highfiving everyone who passed, to somehow by-passing the massive line at Ceili’s and celebrating all night long, this was an absolutely epic trip.
Later in the month I had the pleasure of visiting Seattle with the lovely Eden Dearing to see some stand up comedy courtesy of Chelsea Handler and her co-horts. Less than 48 hours in the states meant indulgence of the best kind: food and shopping! After spending waaaay too much on clothes (most of it was on sale, I swear!) and finally getting to try the wonder that is Chipotle (the biggest and most amazing burrito I have ever had) Edes and I headed back to Vic, though not before passing through the less than impressed Canadian customs (we didn’t know the spending limit). Seattle is a very cool city, we lucked out big time and stayed in a hotel right by the historic Pike Place Market– home of the very first Starbucks!
July began with a bang Canada day weekend when we got a crew together and headed up to a cabin on Lake Cowichan courtesy of my good friend Simon and his family. Many shenanigans, hours on the lake and beers were had by all. One of the more memorable moments was when two of my buddies christened me Geoff (or more proper, Geoffrey), a name which has since stuck.
Classes finished at the end of this month and to end our Entrepreneurship module, every group pitched their business plan to a panel of investors. Working in a group with three other BCom beauties (the aforementioned Eden as well as Connor Edwards and Evan Horgan) our business expanded from Evan’s pitch way back in May to bring a modern, automated hotel concept from Finland (where he went on exchange) to North America. Throughout the semester we worked on various aspects of the business plan through projects for each of our classes, receiving feedback and direction along the way. By the time our presentation came, we had developed all of the pieces and all that was left was a bit of polishing and compilation. The presentation itself was stressful, but also one of most fulfilling things I’ve done during my whole degree. On a side note: if you’re debating where to take a BCom degree, seriously look into UVic’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, especially the entrepreneurship module. I can’t say enough about this faculty or specialization.
Funny enough, the month ended off similar to the way it started when a group of about 45 BCommers headed up to Cowichan River on a big yellow school bus for a day of floating and celebrating the end of classes, forever. Half the fun of this trip was the ride up: we had a great bus driver, the music was blasting and it was beautiful and sunny outside. A truly great way to end July.
With classes done (and no exams in Entrepreneurship!) all that was left between me and my degree was a 30 page business plan. Our group worked solid for a week to perfect our paper and on August 5th, I was officially done. What was there left to do but celebrate?
Starting off right, the Gustavson Grad Gala was held on the 12th of August and was truly a night to remember. We all got dressed to the nines, went to take pictures at the UVic sign (didn’t mean to rhyme, I swear!) and headed down to the Delta Ocean Pointe for a night of dinner, drinks, laughs and reminiscing. As part of my gig to put together the yearbook for our grad class, I had students vote for their peers in a number of ‘most likely to…’ categories (including ‘most likely to end up in a white collar prison’, ‘most likely to become Prime Minister’ and ‘most impressive dance moves’). It was hilarious calling up all the winners (they even got prizes!) and if I’m able to toot my own horn, I’d say it was pretty entertaining for everyone else as well. I also definitely need to toot the horns of the gala coordinators- a big thank you and shout out to Eden and Leta for organizing such a successful and fun event!
A mere two days after the Gala 72 of us sorted ourselves out and made the trek up to Sproat Lake for 4 days of houseboating. That’s right, 72. It was truly the best way I could possibly think of to celebrate and say goodbye to our time at UVic . Days were spent lounging in the sun, swimming/diving/floating in the lake, playing games and enjoying great tunes. When the sun went down even more good times were had, including campfires, more games, pictures and countless dance parties. Big thank you to Andrew Hall and Evan for getting this trip organized and to Evan for being our ever diligent and wonderful Captain! Let’s make it an annual trip, ok?
Since making the long drive back to Calgary on the 28th of August, I’ve begun to settle into life here. My game plan is to save some serious cash by living at home (thanks Mom and Dad!) and working at Earls so that I can take off on another adventure in the new year. I’m thinking SE Asia for this round, though plans can and will most likely change before February comes. I’ll also be posting on here a lot more, so stay tuned!
Happy Monday everyone!