05 January 2006

The Asepie-Year-in-Review

Dear Friends,

Salut! I hope that this post finds you well (which means thoroughly stuffed for me) after this holiday season. Given my strange aversion towards "catching up" conversations, I thought I'd use this venue to give you the higlights of 2005.

2005 was a very good year, full of new and exciting experiences. In the beginning of the year, I finally felt like I was getting the hang of graduate school and life in NYC. Classes were intellectually stimulating and personally challenging, a great combination! My Group Counseling class changed my life and the way that I look at interpersonal relations. I also started working as a Graduate Assistant at Columbia's Center for Career Education, where I work mostly with undergraduates and some Masters students. That's given me a taste of career counseling, and I've learned all sorts of useful career and job related information (though it all basically boils down to one word: Networking! j/k there's other stuff too).

Throughout the year, I also found great fulfillment in my work with my Research Team under Dr. Christine Yeh studying the cultural adjustment and mental health of Asian immigrants. Another exciting event, my resume turned into a C.V. this year! Two posters I helped out with were accepted at conferences this summer (Asian American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association). Hopefully the journal manuscripts we submitted for that work will be accepted! I've felt eternally grateful for these experiences and working with Dr. Yeh...this just may be what I want to do with my life!

The other major experience this past year has been my fieldwork as a Counseling Intern at LaGuardia Community College. Since September, I have been doing academic, career, and personal counseling with the extremely diverse population at this school. I have also been fortunate to have the opportunity to teach a class called "New Student Seminar," which is aimed at helping students succeed in college and in life. My syllabus covered topics like college policies, time management, career exploration, study skills, diversity, and more. Teaching has been extremely challenging, and I have great respect and admiration for all teachers. However, I've found the environment invigorating and woud love to continue teaching as part of my career. Counseling has tested me in many ways - do I like counseling? what kind do I like? I'm still figuring out the answers to these questions, but one thing I know is that I thrive in a diversified work environment. I could NOT do therapy/counseling all day!

That's what has taken up most of my time this year....the spaces in between have been amazing as well, with time spent staying in touch with my family, fostering new friendships, making connections with old friends and acquaintances, bonding and having fun w/ Jon, and revelling in the greatness of my new home: NY. In 2006, I will strive to continue building on relationships, making new ones, and experiencing life with friends old and new! Thanks for indulging my narcissistic tendencies. I'd love for you to shoot me back with your own. Happy New Year!!!

The following section is a random assortment of experiences over the last year, inspired by one-too-many-hours spent watching VH1 countdowns. Enjoy!

*2005 at its Best and Worst*

Best Live Performance Experiences
1. Fiona Apple at the Nokia Theater
2. Karaoke Night w/ Career Education POD girls at AmCafe
3. Upright Citizen's Brigade at Central Park Summerstage
4. The Decemberists at Warsaw in Brooklyn
5. M.I.A. at Central Park Summerstage

Most Uncomfortable Live Performance Experience
1. Stand-up at Comic Strip Live. The awkward, shifty feeling I get watching stand-up is akin to what many others feel when watching acappella.
2. Me and Matt T. serenading "Total Eclipse of the Heart" to a taxi driver. Under the influence.

TV Shows I Couldn't Stop Watching
1. Everything on the Food Network
2. The OC
3. Laguna Beach
4. Arrested Development
5. Making the Band3
(hmm, three of these shows are set in Orange County...)

Hit-on-Repeat Music
1. "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson
2. Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine
3. Kanye West's Late Registration
4. Common's Be
5. "Home" by Michael Bublé

Best Gastronomic Experiences
1. Next Door Nobu's $120 eight-course Omakase Tasting Menu, see pic of Black Cod w/ Miso (Thank you, Skadden Arps!)
2. The many cooking adventures of Jon and me this summer
3. Union Square Cafe
4. Seafood Soondubu at Seoul Garden in Koreatown
5. My summer of Tasti-D-Lite (fave flavors: anything w/ peanut butter)

Most Underwhelming Gastronomic Experience
Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. Pay $30 for fish that is worth about $15.

Best Museum Experience
The MoMA's Cezanne & Pissarro exhibit

Could-Have-Skipped-Museum Experience
The Chanel Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Best Celebrity Sightings
1. Natalie Portman dining w/ Zac Posen and friend at the restaurant Barbuto
2. Keanu Reeves on the Upper West Side(86th/Broadway)
3 & 4. Food Network celebs - Dave Lieberman at Williams-Sonoma and Rachael Ray at a booksigning at the Union Square Barnes and Noble. As we were taking this picture (see left), I said to Rachael in my nerdy giddiness, "We're HUGE fans!" and she zinged back, "You look sure look small to me!" in true-Rachael-Ray form. She's actually quite nice and not as annoying as on TV...she even let in us late coming fans, signing our books past her allotted time, much to the chagrin of her PR people.

Worst Celebrity Sighting
There are none! Every sighting's a good story. Ahh, I must not be a true New Yorker yet.


stine said...

steph, this is truly an awesome year in review. I am going to have to do one myself although i do not have nearly an exciting life! ok, what is up with your Orange county obsession? Maybe you need to move to CA. I love Nobu and hated Mesa Grill (worst food and so overated!). thanks also for being on team and being so awesome!

Steph said...

This weather has had me seriously considering the move West! Thanks for the comment!

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