I had training in Minneapolis this week, and I could not find any loved ones to accompany me, so I had to go solo. That meant driving 5.5 hours all by lonesome and navigating through some big city traffic to arrive at my destination. I do not enjoy driving in general, and I especially detest driving in heavy city traffic, which abounds in Minneapolis. I figured I better suck it up and get over it…so I did.
Fortunately the rental car company gave me a Ford Edge, replete with Sync and all sorts of comfortable amenities. It was so nice to be able to plug in my phone and control everything with the massive touch screen in the car. However, now that I see how nice cars CAN be, my sweet Fusion is starting to pale in comparison. Sometimes I think the secret to contentment is not knowing what else is available – seeing the greener grass in all its convenient glory. Anyway, I digress. A friend of mine gave me the Brief History of Time audio books, and after wrangling with my iPhone for a few hours, I finally figured out how to get the books loaded. The books entertained me delightfully for the first 4 hours of the journey, when all of the sudden, the book started over at the beginning, right when I was learning about how the Earth is losing magnetism and how that might mean the end of the human race. I really wanted to see how the story was going to end, so I was quite disappointed. I evidently did not really figure out how to load the audio book on my phone. I only figured out how to load a portion of the audio book to my phone. Silly Hlo. Anyway, I finished off the trip listening to the Robb Wolf Podcast, which was pretty entertaining.
The drive into the city was pretty uneventful. I almost plowed over a car while taking an exit, but I DIDN’T actually plow it over, so all was well. I checked into my hotel (a super nice Homewood Suites, well-equipped with full kitchen, king-size bed and ceiling fan), and set out to investigate the area. I found a grocery store across the street, a Lululemon down the road, and a whole slew of restaurants – very nice area for a hotel. I wandered through Lululemon, successfully talking myself out of buying $60 running shorts, then made myself a massive salad from the salad bar at the Rainbow Foods grocery store. I retreated to the hotel and was in bed by 9ish, wary of what to expect the next day.
The next day was actually really good. I met and befriended the two other people in my class who were from out-of-town and promptly conscripted them to have dinner with me. We had an excellent evening together despite horrible service and overpriced food.
The rest of the training went by well and quickly. The instructor was amazingly organized and efficient and had a good read for when the class was starting to get disengaged. It was definitely one of the better training sessions I’ve ever gone to. One would hope that a Business Analyst Bootcamp would be well-run, since BAs are all about efficiency and taking care of the details, but I was still pleasantly surprised.
By the end of the week I had made 2 new friends, learned how to write use cases, reconnected with a cousin I hadn’t seen in years, gained 2 pounds from eating lots of tasty food, ran 10 miles in total (and discovered a beautiful near-by trail thanks to our marathon-running class facilitator), faced my fears of driving in city traffic to venture to Trader Joes and my cousin’s, and finished two books (The Power of Now and Wool). It was a very eventful week! I’m actually glad that I ended up going alone because if I had gone with Tim or my mom, I just would have ended up staying in my comfort zone – hanging out with people I knew at places within walking distance. It was a good learning experience, in more ways than one.
And now it’s back to work tomorrow. I’m nervous about it, for some reason! I feel as if I’ve been away a long time. If it’s not too busy, I hope to review the notes from the class and update some of my templates and note a few things I want to implement. I don’t just want to file the binder away and forget all the good tips I learned.
I wish you all a great week! It’s beautiful here in Iowa. I wish it would stay like this forever.