Today was a day of mixed emotions. It was our last day of ICA/E and the last day of the month. It’s hard to believe that we’ve come far enough to have completed one of our courses already! That is one of the side effects of such an intense program; just blink and time has flown by. I’m glad to have completed ICA/E but we will all miss Ralf. The entire class pitched in and bought him a parting gift with which he seemed very pleased. Fortunately it’s a small campus so we’ll still see him around.
The last day of the month means that we all have new seating assignments starting on Monday. During January I was between a German and a Brazilian. During February I was on the end of a row beside Victor, from Peru. He and I had a great time together and I will miss his witty commentary next month. As a show of support for each other we wore similar t-shirts to class today. He wore a red España Toros shirt while I wore a red Houston Texans (Thanks, Stacy!) shirt. Together we were Los Hermanos del Toro Rojo (The Last Unicorn, anyone?); pictures will be posted on FaceBook soon.
During our discussion of sustainability economics, Ralf made the point that Americans were very wasteful. He noted first that someone in the third world will generate, on average, 149 times his bodyweight in waste during the course of his life. A European will generate over 1,000 times his bodyweight. An American, on the other hand, will generate almost 4,000 times his bodyweight. Then he remarked, “And look at Bryan; Americans are getting bigger all the time.” Little did he know that no higher compliment could be paid to a member of the UMC–AH!
We finished the day with a Lebanese dinner organized by Zina and Ziad, our two Lebanese classmates. Ziad, a former professional basketball player, has been incredibly gracious in helping me learn more about my Syrian/Lebanese heritage. The dinner was wonderful; everyone was there including students, partners, faculty, and staff. I’m just sad I had to take off so soon!
There is a lot to do this weekend in preparation for classes, career services, and our first hardcore integrated exercise next week. My plan is to start the preparation on a good night’s sleep–a rare luxury around here.