Friday, December 20, 2013

Lauren Takes to the Airport for the Last Time

Well, this is it. I no longer have my fancy security pass and I'm playing the role of passenger today. I've been at the airport for the past 14 hours, since I came in for my last day of work today and decided I wasn't going to leave!

We had our Christmas luncheon today, where we all dressed up in ugly Christmas sweaters, ate lots of tasty food and participated in a gift exchange. Since I had nowhere else to go, I got to spend time chatting with some of the other engineers, directors and even the vice-president of engineering!

In case you haven't heard, I was also selected as Co-op Student of the Year for 2013! I'm thrilled about this and I'm sure that the airport is breathing a sigh of relief that their experiment in hiring me worked out so well. I even got to chat a bit with our new CEO at the luncheon, since he had also heard about the award!

I have a replacement coming in for January, so hopefully the student will be able to find as much value in this experience as I did. I think that the biggest thing I took away was the confidence that was reinforced in me to actually believe that I'm ready to be an engineer (well, an EIT), once I graduate.

I spent my last few hours at the airport with a few of the (female) engineers that I had become close with. We sat around in the Fairmont lounge, which felt pretty classy, even though I was wearing a sweatshirt. I think my uncle would also approve of the beverage I enjoyed before heading to security.

So, you might have seen the WestJet video where they asked passengers for their Christmas wishes and then there were gifts waiting at the destination. WestJet also gave me a bit of a gift this evening too. Although I'm convinced that my stuff has been multiplying in my suitcase because there is just way too much of it, apparently I've just accumulated too much stuff since moving here. My three bags weighed in at 51lb, 58lb and 61lb. Since the overweight limit is 50lb, they were going to be nice and only charge me overweight for two of the three bags. Today was a pretty busy travel day (apparently the busiest of the year) and the payment system was on the fritz as I was going to drop my bags. So, the agent said "Merry Christmas!" and told me that I didn't have to pay because they didn't want to deal with it. Thank you WestJet!

What else have I been up to this week, other than packing? Well, I decided to go to the Hannah Georgas concert last night at the Commodore Ballroom (she's really great live!) and passed marketing with flying colours! I also made these lovely candy cane reindeer because I'm just so crafty (and really like glue guns).

So, here it is. This will be my final post, since I'll hopefully be boarding soon (since the unusually massive amounts of snow are melting just fine) and landing in Toronto in a few hours (if the freezing rain can hold off). I am taking to the airport for the last time . . . for now, at least!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Still Holding Down the Fort Out Here!

So, I might have done that thing where I don't blog for a really long time again. Oops. I've been up to a lot though, between Sparks (we went to the firehall and the library!), school (been doing lots of 41X and have finished marketing, I believe, successfully!), work (I coordinated the building of a can sculpture and we had our Christmas party on Saturday night, which was awesome!) and adventuring around Vancouver (the aquarium, Science World and this crepe place that I found!) with the boyfriend.

Just to make things easy on you, I'll post lots of pictures, so those of you who are writing exams can save your brainpower for that.

The Vancouver Aquarium

We just really love it here. We probably should have just bought season passes because this is the third time I've been here since May and the fourth time this year. We saw the penguins (who never swim, ever), sea otters (they were feeding them shrimp treats!), the dolphin show and a sloth. The jellyfish exhibit was also on, so we had fun looking at that!

Science World

We hadn't made it to Science World yet, so we thought we would head over there one weekend. We went through and explored all of the exhibits (I might have also been very sore the next day from trying to beat the boyfriend in a jumping contest) and saw a movie in the IMAX dome, which was at the top of the facility. We had to walk up this long and winding ramp to get there, which was pretty cool! I created some energy in the running machine (which lasted about 10 seconds) and saw conveyors (I think work is getting to me) and a Pelton wheel (applied fluids and thermodynamics will never let me forget because this is the second Pelton wheel picture I've had in my blog!). We also saw a dinosaur (skeleton) and played with some fun machines.

Trixi's Crepes

I found this place one evening on my way to Sparks and have been going every week all month. I sit in there and have a crepe dinner between work and Sparks, since I don't have time to go home, and I work on the crossword or sudoku (usually I'm done this already because I've become a sudoku master while commuting to work) or read the newspaper. So tasty!

Can Sculpture

I coordinated and executed the building of this can sculpture at work during the airport's big charity blitz for the same food bank that we volunteered at earlier in the year. I drew up the design (the airport logo), selected the cans (which were actually not all correct when delivered, darn it grocery store!) and helped coordinate volunteers to build it on the day of the event. That's (almost) 800 cans you're looking at!

So, that's been most of my adventures lately! I've got less than two weeks left out here, so it will mostly just be packing and wrapping things up. My last Sparks meeting is this week and I should probably get around to my work report at some point.