Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: Notes at the End of the Year

This has been a very crazy but productive 2011! Here’s what I have learned this year: • Change is the only constant • Regardless of income always have an emergency fund • Become more financially literate by knowing what’s in my retirement • I am more resilient than I give myself credit • Holding grudges are counterproductive for my health and happiness 2012 will be a very good year because I have finally realized what I am doing and am ready to take it to the next level. I will live my life to the fullest by becoming more creative. I will also resolve my living situation, remove any and all grudges and increase my productivity by earning my PMP and SAS certifications and start my own business.

Celebrating New Year's Eve 2011

I ate at McCormick & Schmicks this evening. I have a lot to celebrate this year. Regardless of my personal life, I have managed to earn my CAPM certification in the middle of an earthquake! If I can achieve this distinction during a natural disaster, certainly nothing can stop me in 2012! Cheers!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Financially Speaking

Finishing the analysis and valuation for stocks final has taught me a new set of finance skills. I am better equipped to decide my future including retirement. I am developing investment strategy which’ll provide me with more income. Since next year, I’ll deal with more intellectual property with songwriting, magazine articles and TV pilot. Moreover, I can read financial statements, calculate ratios and uncover deals. I will do these checks on firms that interest. Next year I’ll celebrate my 10th year MBA reunion and even with marriage and child rearing I’ll be sitting on a Fortune 500 board by my 20th year MBA reunion. Tomorrow I will open a regular savings at PNC. I’ll deposit what I can into it. Right now I want to create a habit. The statement savings requires $200 floor and my life isn’t stable enough for this account. Once it does then I will upgrade accounts. Right now I want to create a savings habit. In addition, I want to reconcile then close my HSCB account because I am no longer using it. Furthermore, I will read my retirement statements and reassess my diversification because it will start working for me in 2012. I’ll fax the HQ office for more 2012 investment information because I make my retirement decisions over the Christmas holiday break. Thanks to the two finance courses, I will be more astute next year. I have taken analysis and valuation of stocks to decipher venture capital deals and become an angel investor. I possess sufficient business knowledge to advise new start-ups. Acquainting myself with the value side will help grow businesses. I am also big on microfinance because I know that offering small businesses these small amounts stimulate the economy pulling America out of the recession. Next year, I will focus on realizing all of my business goals.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Good News

I have a multitude of good news. First, my George Patton Memorial Scholarship check is in the mail and I should receive it by Tuesday. I have pestered HQ for nearly one month over $200. Still it is a scholarship and I have earned the money. In even bigger news, I have won a personal victory which I cannot comment on only to say that I am very proud of its results. I can breathe and enjoy Christmas, New Year's Eve, MLK Day, Presidents' Day and the Cherry Blossom Festival. Most importantly, I can be still listening to intuition. Tomorrow I will restart my project management studies by purchasing another notebook, buying PMP Certification for Dummies and PMP Certification books, rereading PMBOK and start reading PMI Scheduling practice guide. I have three months giving me more than enough time to focus on obtaining my PMP certification. Attaining the PMP separates me from everyone else; and, that's exactly what I want. In addition, I will pay the SAS' base SAS certification e-course tomorrow because I know that I can master the material WAAAY before March 2012 when Rockville holds its base SAS certification class. I want to do more than stand out! I must be ahead of the curve! Come spring, I will possess two certifications. My future has become brighter and there is no limit towards achieving the life I want to live.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

White House Tweetup Photos

Here are the Monday, December 5, 2011 White House Tweetup photos
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Eisenhower Lobby Christmas Tree
Brad Cooper
Macon Phillips

Friday, December 09, 2011

White House Holiday Open House and Christmas Tree Tour

White House Holiday Open House and Christmas Tree Tour
I follow the White House on Twitter and when it posts the Tweetup link, I click on it registering for the event. I am thinking ‘What the heck?’. The last week of November I received an email saying to respond by noon; however, my boss and I were so busy with the deadline that I didn’t see the email until 12:15pm. I feverishly completed the registration form praying that the White House would had penalize me for my tardiness. When I received the confirmation, I jumped for joy running out to buy a new digital camera specifically for this event.

The instructions told us to meet at 17th and State Place NW to pass security before entering the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. After going through the turnstiles and obtaining our passes, we walked through a maze from the Eisenhower building to the South building where lo and behold there was no wi-fi for the Tweetup. Luckily, I had my small notebook where I jotted down notes and photographed all of the White House staffers: Tina Tchen, the First Lady’s chief of staff; Brad Cooper, Executive Director of Joining Forces non-profit; Jon Carson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement; Aneesh Chopra, Assistant to the President for Technology and US Chief Technology Officer; Macon Phillips, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Digital Strategy; Laura Dowling, White House Florist; and, Bill Yossess, White House Pasty chef. I asked Jon Carson about if the Administration considered nationalization the $50 billion infrastructure program to reduce unemployment like FDR did with the New Deal and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Carson thanked me for mentioning the American Jobs Act provision then explained that FDR didn’t solely rely on the federal government to create jobs. He partnered with private companies to hire workers when unemployment was 25%. He also mentioned that President Obama was trying to broker the same deal with the American Jobs Act.

The Tweetup ended with all of the participants leaving the South building for lunch and upload photos and post tweets. I ate at Café Soleil right down the street off of 17th street NW. Afterward I walked through Executive Park to 15th and Alexander Hamilton Place for the Christmas Tour. Receiving this invitation was awesome because normally you must contact your elected official to obtain approval for a White House tour. I was on the grounds with the other Tweetup participants and several others. After going through three checkpoints, we entered the White House. Every single room contained Bo, the Obamas’ pet dog. The Florist and Pastry Chef said that Bo was a big factor in the Christmas designs. There was Bo made of recycled material and another one constructed from marshmallows and licorice. Finally, the high school choir sang Christmas carols in the foyer next to the White House front entrance.

This Tweetup and Christmas tree tour were more than just goodwill promotions appeasing people. They were informative granting us access to key White House personnel. The Christmas Tree tour embodied the season presenting ebullient decorations throughout the House. I loved both events and couldn’t wait to register for another Tweetup!

White House Christmas Tree Tour Photos

Here are the White House Christmas Tree Tour photos that I have taken on Monday, December 5, 2011.

The White House Blog Has Published My Tweetup Photo!

Yes! The White House has published my White House Tweet up photo of Macon Phillips on its blog! This past Monday I and 150 others attended the Holiday Open House Tweet up where we met with Tina Tchen, the First Lady’s chief of staff; Brad Cooper, Executive Director of Joining Forces non-profit; Jon Carson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement; Aneesh Chopra, Assistant to the President for Technology and US Chief Technology Officer; Macon Phillips, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Digital Strategy; Laura Dowling, White House Florist; and, Bill Yossess, White House pasty chef. When the White House posted my picture I was surprised because when I took it, I didn’t think that it was clear. Regarding the Tweetup I asked Jon Carson a question about if the Administration would nationalize the $50 billion infrastructure jobs program to reduce unemployment similar to FDR’s New Deal. He thanked me for mentioning the American Jobs Act then told the room that the New Deal partnered with private companies to hire workers reducing 25% unemployment during the Great Depression. Carson mentioned that the Obama Administration was trying to accomplish the same things.
Attached is the blog.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Something Big is Coming My Way

Change is the only constant and through it is December, I feel that something big is coming my way! For this past week, I have awaken in hustler mode thinking of the next big thing. Even though the New Year is next month, my mind is percolating all new kinds of things. I am very excited at the prospect of receiving a promotion and attending numerous Christmas parties. This year these events are higher caliber than last year. Meeting newer people enables me to expand my professional network. I am ready to break free of the monotony and this is the season for achieving this. Financially, I am in a better position courtesy of my very good performance appraisal and earning my CAPM certification. These two things position me to earn more money. In 2012, I will pass my PMP certification exam allowing me to vie for more senior position. Possessing an MBA and six years’ experience, I am ripe for a manager or director position. I know that by ending 2011 on the right note, 2012 will be a dandy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

18th Day of Nanowrimo

Today is the 18th day of the National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo for short). I have been extremely busy surpassing over 22,000 words. I still have 20 untyped pages outstanding and more than another 20 pages that I haven’t fleshed out using an outline. In addition, the system still hasn’t been working since November 1st and I have been reduced to typing and submitting my entire manuscript instead of pasting it. I refuse to let this get in the way of winning this year because my manuscript is very inspiring and has helped stimulate my thinking. Tomorrow before waiting for my groceries, I will pick up my outline. This will enable me to get started on writing 1,667 words daily. I know that my outline will exceed 1,667 words. Personally, I think that it’ll exceed 3,000 words. In addition, I will rest then return to Panera Bread to focus on writing more. I do feel that I will be very successful Saturday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Crumbs Bakery New 17th Street NW Opening

I waited 20 minutes in line to get my red velvet cupcake at the new 17th Crumbs Bakery. The line went faster than Bobby’s Burger Palace. Two months ago when it opened I stood in line for 45 minutes before ordering. In 90-degree heat, that took a lot of stamina. I posted the top of my cupcake. The icing was sinfully delicious and luscious. I used a spoon because of its thickness! I ate every single morsel! I knew that Crumbs had a repeat customer!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Joining 85 Broads

It is official! I am an 85 Broads Washington, DC chapter! I feel so accomplished because it’s symbolic! I equate it to receiving my project management certification. It’s one thing to be an MBA professional. It’s another thing to become an 85 Broads professional. This organization is the crème de la crème of women professionals. I am glad to be a member of the sorority!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Time to Re-Up!

I have taken a nearly one month sabbatical since passing the CAPM exam and now it’s high time to return to studying for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification; and, with good reason. All of my PMP recommenders say that they will approve me and on the 28th headquarters will have a PMP program briefing event. I’ve told the program manager about my receiving my CAPM and my interest in learning more about HQ’s connection to the university project management program. The school awards a MA in Project Management and once I receive my PMP, I am looking forward to being on the staff as an assistant or an instructor. I like helping people reach their fullest potential and working as the liaison between my employer and the school is a wonderful way to accomplish this objective.
I have given myself three months to pass the PMP but I do think that I can achieve this in two months. The new PMP exam uses the same project management manual. In addition, I have the new Rita Mulachy PMP exam study guide. I’ve used the last edition to pass the CAPM; and, since that test uses the same manual I know that I will pass the PMP even if the test has changed 25%. I will bill myself as a ‘change-agent’ because I am able to pass the new PMP without assistance from Internet practice exams. Realizing that in less than two months, my academic fate can change is exhilarating!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Having an Actual Labor-Free Saturday!

Today I have awakened finally able to catch my breath and enjoy this Saturday without running errands. I walk to Books-a-Million (partially because my beloved Borders is out of business) to purchase the latest Washingtonian and Dolce Vita magazines. The latter is an affluent lifestyle magazines befitting of the DuPont Circle area. Seeing that the Books-a-Million doesn’t have the latest Capitol File magazine, I walk down Connecticut to News World magazine shop to buy it. I can always count on this store to have the latest magazines. And viola! Of course, News World has it along with O magazines. I grab these two magazines and head back to my apartment where I watch the Food Network and read these four magazines before departing at 12:30pm for my Four Seasons restaurant lunch date.

I decide to wear the floral v-neck Eliza J dress and carry my larger brown embossed croc Kate Spade purse to accommodate my Capitol File magazine while walking down M street. Realizing that I late, I hail a cab at 21st costing me $5.25. Though I know that I could’ve walked seven more blocks and been late, I think that it is my personal responsibility to be on time. I refuse to take advantage of other people over some meal. I arrive there ordering fish tacos (which dare I say are better than Oceanaire’s that I had during restaurant week and that eatery is renowned for its seafood!) and leaving with a $26 bill ($22 meal with $4 tip). My lunch is cheaper than yesterday’s breakfast (Four Seasons charged $6 for orange juice. Luckily, it didn’t charge for refills.).

I walk back home down M Street crossing the St. Mathews church where the bums that I’ve scrapped with sitting on the streets. Since I report them to the church father, they haven’t said anything to me. This makes my day since it’s static-free. I settle down watching TV yet automatically become uninterested because I love wearing my floral dress and must get outside. Therefore, I drop off eleven dresses to the dry cleaners. Since the weather is starting to cooperate staying in the upper 80s instead of the blazing 100s, I can now wear lined dresses. Dropping them off also means that they no longer occupy my mesh bag but now will hang from the closet. I can pick them up Wednesday. Still feeling fidgety and realizing that the Books for America store is still open I call it asking for donating my 15 books. Ironically, the Labor weekend has me doing my spring (fall) cleaning because the end of American summer. I stock all of them in my CVS reusable bag and walk through DuPont Circle down P street to 22nd street where Joshua reviews them for highlighter marks then hand me my donation slip.

As I head up the hill, 15 books lighter, Pesce restaurant captures my attention. It opens up at 5:30pm coinciding with my climb so I enter asking if it’s opened. The bartender says yes and I ask to be seated near the window. Out of nowhere, the waiter puts the large menu board in another seat right next to me. This is a first. I ask him questions about the appetizers and the entrees before ordering the spaghettini. Containing shrimp, corn, broccoli, and linguine sauce, this dish is worth the $20! Since this is a local seafood restaurant not part of a national chain, I will patronize this establishment again. Finally, for now I have returned to my humble abode full of no hard errand running just having fun, enjoying the weather, decluttering my life and reading my favorite magazines.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The CAPM Chronicles

Thursday I received my CAPM license number meaning that I was officially certified! I accepted the reality that my personal and professional lives would change forever because that was a difference between a professional and a certified professional. I possessed an MBA but adding CAPM project management certification provided another dimension. That motivated me to email all of my Project Management Professional application recommenders this afternoon (might as well since Hurricane Irene's aftermath kept me inside). Once I was able to sit for the PMP exam, I will pass it propelling me into the stratosphere. Armed with this coveted certification combined with five years' experience and an MBA, guaranteed numerous options. However, I wouldn't depend solely on these three attributes. Starting next week I will start expanding my professional networking. Call it career management because if my reality will change, I must change whom I associate it.

Tuesday I will attend the 85 Broads Washington, DC chapter's summer soiree, to meet all of its members. These women are corporate CEOs, businesswomen, venture capitalists and community servants. I identify with them because I am just as successful. Though there are several membership levels, I have decided to join the $250 Visionary because I want to promote books and my blogs. Moreover, my nine years' MBA experience tells me that I should start over again especially since I have the credential to successfully function at this level. By the time I join in mid-September, I will have taken the PMP exam (I will not receive my score until mid-October because the Project Management Institute [PMI] has published a new exam and hasn't run diagnostic testing on passing or failing yet). I will arrive there armed with my graduate degree and project management certification.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I've Passed my Certified Associate Project Manager Exam!

I passed my Certified Associate Project Manager exam Tuesday, August 23rd during the 5.9 earthquake. My PMP exam prep instructor remarked that I earned it! I surely did! Now I am awaiting PMI to mail me my license and identification number. Hopefully the organization will release my results allowing me to submit my PMP application. I really want to have everything sent because it lets me focus on preparing for it!

Remembering to Breathe

With everything that’s happening
I need to catch my breath
Relax enough to smell
The roses
Raindance amongst the waterhoses
I’m hunkered down
This project management’s study
Weighs on me like a ton
Its heaviness nearly won
Making me say uncle
Yet I remember
To Breathe
Rest and relax
On failures, fear, shortcomings and odd circumstances
These represent life events
Sometimes will make me seethe
Yet all their negativity
Dissipate immediately
When I remember to breathe

Monday, August 15, 2011

Prime Rib Restaurant Week Lunch

The Prime Rib’s lunch special is savory and not to be missed. The restaurant’s imperial crab entrée with tartar sauce and lemon is great especially for $20. Add the house salad and crème brulee and this award-winning eatery is offering a deep-discounted bargain! Furthermore, its impeccable waitstaff service will have me returning afterward. This steakhouse is a winner!

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Overcoming my Fear of Failing the CAPM Exam

Ever since mid-July, I have been operating in fear mode. PMI will change the PMP test starting September 1st. Today is August 4th and in five days I’ve decided to sit for my CAPM exam. Yesterday I scored 117/162 on a practice exam falling four points shy of the required 121 to pass. The Oliver Lehmann CAPM practice test has a higher passage rate (74.6%) than the CAPM exam (61%). This higher rate motivates me to retain more knowledge. Today I’ve returned to the PMBOK writing down every project management plan subsidiary plan’s definition, input and output to conquer my fear. Last night I saw a pattern. If I mastered the management plans related to the core project management plan, I would know whether or not the question discusses an input or output. Knowing that would had given me more than four correct answers to surpassing the 121 threshold. My original fear bore out of never overcoming the GRE 700 quantitative threshold because something quirky always happened. Till this day 660 was the highest that I ever scored. It was like an albatross around my neck weighing me down. Subconsciously, the GRE feeling permeated my brain when it came to project management. However, I released that fear of failure by writing down what I didn’t know. I do feel that not only will I pass the CAPM next Tuesday, but PMI will approve my application and I will pass the PMI before August 31st.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My new Georgetown hangout

When the hostess at Bourbon Steak remembers me before asking for my reservation time, I’ve become a regular. Right now I need it because I love walking one mile to clear my mind and people-watch. Experiencing this magnifies that I am moving up socially. This means a lot to me because I’ve only gone to Georgetown to shop at CUSP. Now Bourbon Steak is my go-to place whenever I am in Georgetown. What humbles me about being acknowledged is that I am the same person now as when I arrived to Washington, DC five years ago. Though my wallet has changed, my behavior of displaying courtesy hasn’t.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Donating to Books for America

Yesterday I realized that I have a plethora of books that were cluttering my place. I surfed the Internet finding the Books for America charity. This bookstore donated books to schoolchildren. Since I was a literacy advocate completing America Reads tutoring, this organization was right up my alley. Taking an early lunch I sorted through my inventory finding 28 books. I separated them into two recyclable bags that my mother gave me after DC ratified the 5 cent plastic bag fee. After work I called the employee telling her that I would be arriving. Weather cooperating I put one bag on each shoulder walking the five blocks to Books for America. The employee sorted through my books checking for yellowed paper, highlighted pages and publication dates. Adhering to the charity’s guidelines I was certain that she’d accept all of my books and I was right. The woman rejoiced at seeing Toni Morrison’s A Mercy exclaiming that the bookstore didn’t have much of her. “I was happy to feed the need.’ I replied. I understood her sentiment because if you didn’t get Toni Morrison on its release date the book would be sold out! Returning home I felt great giving my books to help improve area children because I knew the importance of literacy. This initial drop off motivated me towards donating books on a quarterly basis to not only de-clutter my humble abode but to enrich my community.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

PMI has approved my Certified Associate of Project Management (CAPM) application

I am so happy that the Project Management Institute has approved my Certified Associate of Project Management (CAPM) application because obtaining this license is one of my career objectives. My first test date is Friday, June 10th. If this falls through then I will take it Friday, June 17th. Though 61% is the minimum passing score, I have designated 75% because I will take the harder Project Management Professional (PMP) exam and need to master the material. If I score over 75% then I will submit my PMP application that Saturday. PMI takes 5 business days to review references before rendering a decision. I want to take the PMP as soon as possible because I want to retain as much knowledge and to reclaim my summer.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Second Individual Career Session

I have had my individual career session this afternoon. I handed him a copy of my career profile and individual development plan outlining my decision to take the two project management certification exams. The first one was the Certified Associate Program Manager (CAPM) was the lower-level one and I will take it in June. I decided to take it because at $225 it was $180 cheaper than the Project Management Professional at $405. I didn’t know the test’s format so taking the CAPM made more sense because once I knew what to expect, I’d register for the PMP. Moreover, during last week’s PMP exam prep course one of my classmates was audited while another was denied. Attaining CAPM certification eliminated either situation from happening to me because Project Management Institute cannot disqualify my application.

I told him about how receiving these licenses all but guaranteed a promotion at Census because last year when I interviewed for several positions, I would had received the job had I obtained either CAPM or PMP certification. In addition, obtaining a position qualified me for the Leaders Development Program. I informed the counselor that my mentor and other graduates received another promotion after completing this program. Ultimately, becoming a Senior Executive Series was my goal. It was interesting because when I told him about the three career paths that were my foci the counselor commented how could he help? That astounded me and I answered that I felt the need to bring something to the table. After all my career was my responsibility to navigate. I just needed some feasibility tests. The hardest thing for me was decided whether or not to use my third and final career session in August or immediately after Labor Day or wait until December.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Studying for my CAPM and PMP

With finals over with, I am reinvigorated and ready to study for my Certified of Associate Project Manager (CAPM) and Project Management Professional (PMP) exams this summer. I have enrolled in online classes since last April. Currently I am enrolled in USDA Graduate School's PMP exam prep evening course which has exposed me to a real certified instructor. I like the face-to-face interaction because if I am unsure I can receive immediate feedback. There are no discussion boards and waiting 24 hours for the instructor to post my answer. Furthermore, the USDA instructor is providing us with tips on creating an application that doesn't get audited. This is huge especially since I have never taken the PMP before, the exam will change on August 31st and I don't need an audit delaying my application. This will force me to take the new PMP exam which is something I truly don't want to do. Though there are only two more weeks remaining in my PMP exam prep, I will have both my Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and study guide books read. They will help me access when I will take the CAPM and PMP exams. I have decided to take the CAPM first since it is $180 cheaper and has the same format as the PMP. If I don't do well on the CAPM, PMI allows two more retakes with the re-examination fee. Moreover, I don't have the pay $405 to fail on the PMP. It is all about knowing the test format before entering the PMP exam. Hopefully, I can take the CAPM by mid-June and the PMP by mid-July.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week is Teacher Appreciation week and I would like to thank my econometrics professor and teacher’s assistant for accommodating my homework submissions and teaching me STATA. Though I am an economist and well-versed in SAS, learning another statistical software helps differentiate me from everyone else. This has taken time and effort and I grateful.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Redeeming Qualities

Rats! I have bombed two questions on the math economics final. All I want to do is score 80% but now I will be happy with a 70%. What is so disappointing is that I have studied and read the material. This is the second time that I have taken this course which is incredibly discouraging. It would be one thing if I haven’t put any effort into this thing. However, I have done just that which is why I am hurt right now because math economics is like day and night versus econometrics. At least I have econometrics where I can redeem myself. I have been earning 96% on my research report. This week I am looking forward towards submitting my final econometrics assignment and other homework because I will receive an A. Having scored an A at the USDA Graduate School, I want to keep my A here. I can still redeem myself. In the meantime, I will focus on econometrics and project management.

I know the reason why I am not fretting as much over math economics is because of project management. This is one event. Earning my CAPM certification redeems my spring and summer. Now I can devote myself towards project management. The CAPM is straightforward. There is no professor using me as a guinea pig to publish his new textbook. Manny is trying to get me ready for acing the certification test the first time. Now I can reread my PMBOK and doing my brain dump. Even with econometrics right around the corner, I will reread the first four chapters of PMBOK by next week. This Friday is my off day so I will dedicate myself towards project management. I still feel that another employer will call me in for an interview before May 19th so it is essential that I get everything read before May 12th. This extra week lets me review the material before taking the CAPM. Possessing the CAPM certification before entering the interview puts my resume on top! I really want to work at the Bureau where I can help people. This is one of the reasons for pursuing my CAPM certification. I get be of service helping people. I remember what it was like dealing with a shady creditor without any government help. Now I will be in a position to help others suffering in silence. After finishing the CAPM, I will write down a lessons learned then submit my PMP application to sit for the exam. I will finish way before August 1st because I envision myself attaining both licensures before my birthday. I want to have some kind of metrics because I feel as if I am running in place for the past two years. Receiving my CAPM and PMP guarantee that I am farther along in my professional progress and measly math economics cannot deter me from this!

Monday, April 25, 2011

WMATA has the worst customer service

Wmata has the worst customer service forcing me to file two complaints: one going to school and another coming from school. I arrive at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue NW promptly at 7:40pm knowing that the bus will arrive there at 7:45pm; but, it didn’t show forcing me to wait with two others until the 8:08pm bus. If this were Tuesday’s econometrics class, I would had been late for my finals. This tardiness compelled me to complain because this was the beginning of my university’s two-week finals exam. If that wasn’t bad enough, I arrived at the corner for the bus at 9:01pm but that bus didn’t show. Never in my life did I ever have to wait two hours to go down the same street. That’s crap! However, the one good thing about my bad fortune was that WMATA didn’t have to worry about me using its buses on Tuesday and Wednesday. Rush-hour surcharge or not, I am hailing a cab because acing my finals are too important to depend upon WMATA.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Yesterday I dropped off my evening dress to a friend who worked at a high school. The school took these dresses for needy girls who couldn’t afford a prom dress. Even though I could had asked for a receipt, I didn’t because seeing a girl happy at her prom was payment enough. Later I learned from my friend that another undergraduate alumna lived here but after her residency will return to Ohio. I told her that I was thinking the same thing. I wanted to start by funding a scholarship. I didn’t just want to return with more money and experience but with more meaning. What was the use of spending five years here returning the same way as I came? I envisioned endowing two book scholarships one per university. I even knew how much money I would need to bring my dream to fruition. She then notified me that every month she ate brunch up in upper Northwest DC. I told her to provide me with the details and I would attend. This drop-off opportunity was a wonderful way of reconnecting with old friends.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Project Management Brain Dump Assignment Forces Reassessment

Doing the project management brain dump forces me to change my studying approach. Now I will start from the beginning by outlining chapter 1. I will do this later today since my PMBOK is at home. I am happy to discover this now instead of later because I can make-up for lost time. I can finish rereading chapters 1 through 4 by Thursday and finishing chapters 5 and 6 by Sunday even with the final review sessions. I will not be stopped! Completing ½ of the PMBOK this week is realistic given that I have already read 1/3 of the book. Furthermore, Manny says that I should read the PMBOK three times. The first time I’ve read it, I haven’t picked up on the definitions. Now that I will be rereading the material, I can do this. I want to be just like that old man in class who remembers every single definition. Memorization is indispensable since I feel that I must read ahead in order to sit for the exam. For some reason, I feel that a potential employer will interview me either this week or next. In two weeks having ¾ of the PMBOK read positions me to ace the certification exams. I don’t know why my intuition is telling me this. I guess it is the rapidity of the Bureau’s response to my Policy Analyst fellowship application. I am ready to go for it because I am a winner! I just pray that I don’t have to take it the same week as my AU finals else there will be some problems. However, if so then I think that I can manage this.

In addition, I will keep a journal chronicling everything that’s happening. This week, I will complete the certification's application Excel spreadsheet submitting it to Manny for him to review it. Since I will reread the first four chapters, filling out the application is will be easy. I will be proactive because you only get in what you put out and my intention from the beginning is to ace both certification exams during my first try. I will email Manny about this because taking the first one is the cheaper, easier route. I want to be able to know what the exam looks like before putting down more money for the second test. I will ask him after the second class because I want this held in confidence. I am thinking about sending it to him Friday, Saturday the latest. Manny says that I must view this endeavor as a project if I am going to pass the test on my first try. I am ready to tackle this and anything else that comes my way!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Today I have thrown away two bags of trash containing old shopping bags and clothes that I haven’t worn in over two years. There are some things that I have purchased and never worn. Since I cannot donate them to any charity, they must go. This exercise forces me to take stock in how much space they have taken up all of these years. Also I have found many new pictures and books that are necessary to my receiving a higher grade. Throughout this entire weekend I have been thinking about putting my dresses in the dry cleaning to organize my closet. I need to know what I have because during these next two weeks I will drop off prom dresses and business clothes. There are many size 12 girls and women who need my clothes. Finally, spring cleaning helps me de-clutter mentality sharpening my focus; and, I need this with three weeks remaining before finals.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Project Management Class Week 1: Motivation

I leave Thursday’s class tired but knowing that my instructor was capable of having me pass the Certificate Associate Program Manager (CAPM) and Project Management Professional (PMP) certifications this spring and summer. He has taught the brain dump exercise where you spend the first 15 minutes writing down all of the formulae and notes that you have remembered. I will apply this to my American University classes since their finals will be in three weeks. Also I learn that having read four chapters of the PMBOK that I am further along than my classmates. Today I have completed my brain drain and will reread my first four chapters before starting chapter five Monday. By Thursday, I have chapter six read. This represents half of the book with this being my second week. Chapters 5 and 6 along with chapters 7, 8 and 11 are the most covered chapters on the CAPM. Getting these out of the way during weeks 2 and 3 will enable me to pass the two exams on my first try. The instructor says that we should read the PMBOK. At this rate, I will accomplish this objective.

Getting ahead will also benefit me because a potential employer is interested in me. Having my CAPM license increases my chances. If this doesn’t pan out then there are other public and private employers interested me. My instructor says that obtaining the PMP certification results in one promotion. This is music to my ears because after five years I am looking for one. However, I like how project management has organized my work because I truly want to do better professionally.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Helping a Friend

A friend of mine has emailed me saying that his university of choice has denied him based on low GRE scores. I recommend him to because it offers free GRE exams. In the middle, I search Spanish and see all of these tests in my results. There are math tests which I will learn because I will obtain my translator license and travel for the US Foreign Service. Also this site has three MS Project 2007 courses which I am thinking about enrolling in as a refresher. They will complement my upcoming project management class because I just don’t want to pass the CAPM certification exam, I want to kill the competition. It is my way of realizing my promotional goals.

I know what it is like to be denied acceptance into my dream university but this motivates me to work harder. I use my work money to finance math courses to pass economics classes. In addition, I have used my money to enroll in several project management courses, join the Project Management Institute and ascend the corporate ladder. Using money out of my own pocket, I know that he will take full advantage of these free resources. Learnatest is the reason why I am at my current school because it has pulled my math grade up from 490 to 600. This site is the reason why I am here and want him to realize his dream of not simply being accepted into the counseling program but also attending debt-free and working on the university staff. I want him to live out his dreams because he is a hard worker.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Let the Countdown Begin!

Let the countdown begin! I enrolled in USDA Graduate School today and in less than two months I will obtain my Certified Associate Program Manager certification. I have gone from inertia to action! Now it is real because next Thursday the 14th I will be sitting in a classroom armed with my PMBOK ready to learn. This transaction has taken me out of my lackadaisical thought because I am starting to get sick of American. I just want it all to be over with allowing me time to enjoy my summer. No more new software learning or spending two nights a week in class. I can reclaim my life! Yesterday’s brilliant 75-degree weather drove home the point for me that I needed to get out more and evening courses weren’t conducive to that! I just remembered that in one more month it will all be over with allowing me to focus on my summer.

Obtaining my CAPM certification and then my PMP project management certification later this summer or early fall is essential to my career because I feel as if I am stuck in a rut. For over three years I have tried getting a promotion but feel like I am running in place. Last year I enrolled in project management courses and now will complete my final certification preparation course before sitting for the CAPM certification exam. Receiving this license increases my opportunities in both the public and private sectors and armed with five years’ experience, I am a shoo-in for a lot of managerial positions. I am giddy with excitement that my life is about to change for the better in the next 1 ½ weeks that I cannot hide and it has been a very long time since I have felt this way!

Monday, March 07, 2011


Everyday I awake
I know what's at stake
And I am happy
And nobody will make me sad
I decide to shut out hate
And instead be glad
For what I have
It's important to make the most out of day
Therefore I can let drama get in my way
Of becoming happy

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Exceed is my 2011 Word of the Year

Exceed is my 2011 word of the year because I will exceed everyone's expectations even my own. There is no way that I will be here December 31, 2011 at the break even point. By that date I will receive my promotion, MA in Economics degree, Certified Associate Program Manager (CAPM) and Professional Management Professional (PMP) certifications, payoff my Cleveland State Perkins and Great Lakes student loans even though I am enrolled part-time and they are deferred because I will eliminate all debt, employ my organizational knowledge to advise an interest chapter to full-fledged status, become healthier physically, emotionally by taking time for myself and realigning my hip, travel more professional and personally by using all of my vacation days, and getting my company off of the ground with sales of $100,000.