I am happy to have graduated from the Commerce Department's Aspiring Leaders Development Program because it has stimulated my personal and professional growth and many of its participants have received promotions. The senior executive's lobbying us to take American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) detail drives home this point because I highly doubt that he has gone to the average Commerce Department employee asking him to join. He is looking for the best and the brightest!
Even though it turns out to be a sunny day, initially a monsoon sweeps through funneling wind and rain! I return to my humble abode, get my winter coat with the hood, wear my boots and charge outside ready to take on this hurly-burly force! Hey, I, too, am a force to be reckoned! Ever the Type A personality, I think that I am late arriving at 11:08am but hardly anyone is there. I sit in my assigned seat, draft a plan on how to receive my plaque and certificate without bumping into anyone. Afterward, we take numerous pictures. I particularly want our class picture with Brianna's son because when he turns 25 and enters a leadership program I want to be the one who says that I was there in the beginning!
After graduation, the weather calms down and the sun emerges. I drop off my winter gear, wash my face, call my mother preceding her casino trip and head to my favorite steakhouse to celebrate this momentous occasion! Armed with the restaurant's April $49 six-ounce lobster special in my hand, the waiter recommends two $28 soft crab which are pretty good and filling! They are also cheaper than the monthly special and as the waiter quips, 'You have the rest of the month.' True, indeed. With the cost savings, I have ordered a Coke and a peanut butter chocolate cake which has come nearly to the original amount.
This entire yearlong experience has served as a catalyst for personal and professional growth. Without it, I would have never known how much potential I have. I know that I am a good economist but now I know that I am a great economist! I can actually become not just a GS-12 economist but will one day become a senior executive service economist myself!