• The Ross Chronicles
  • July16th

    Exam Results

    Posted in: School

    So my program’s graduation “ceremony” was last week. My cousin accompanied me to celebrate with my friends who were actually graduating (I still have to finish my thesis, so I was not graduating). But I have to admit, I was woefully unprepared for what was to come AFTER the ceremony was over…I walked past the table where the graduates were receiving their transcripts and diplomas and was told “you can get your results even if you didn’t pass.”  My heart sank. I was under the impression that I would have a few more hours (read: drinks) to prepare myself!  I told the lady my name and literally shook as she handed me my results…I was prepared for the worst.

    I stood staring at the paper attempting to find the right column to look at – I could tell Anna, my cousin, was a little nervous as my face gave no clues and she knew how nervous I was! I kept scanning the column full of numbers over 10 certain I must have been looking at the wrong column. I finally looked up holding back tears and said in a shaky voice, “I did it! I passed all of them!” She gave me a big hug and I immediately ran down stairs to call my parents and Laurel. Neither of whom immediately picked up their phones!!!  Finally I got in touch with Mom and Dad and immediately start crying as I told them that all the hard work I’d put in had finally paid off.

    I have to admit, I’m still a bit in shock over a week later…All the hours, days, and weeks I spent at the library studying my ass off – all for the moment of seeing that paper.

    My transcript – showing I passed all of my exams (lowest grade of 12/20 this semester – WOOHOO!!) – now has a prominent position on my fridge :)

    Once I finish and defend my thesis (hopefully in the next couple of months), I will officially be a Master of Science, Business Economics: Managerial Economics and Strategy; minor: International Business.

    Thank you for all the finger crossing, candle lighting, prayers, and good vibes y’all sent my way!




    – Ross


    P.S. – all the C’s in that column are the key/code for “passing” – it’s uncorrelated with the traditional grading scale of the US’s A, B, C, D, & F.  haha Just FYI

  • July3rd

    Despite the fact that I’ll be staying in Belgium until September, a lot of my friends will not be. So as I begin to say my “see you laters” to my friends here, I’ve begun to contemplate once again: “why do we set ourselves up for these emotional roller coasters?”

    Unfortunately, I don’t really have a good answer…but while I was walking in the Brussels Central Park, I came up with the closest thing to an answer that I could:

    We put ourselves in these situations with inevitable good-byes because the moments and memories between the nice-to-meet-ya and good-bye far outweigh the momentary sadness of the end.

    So despite the sadness, I regret nothing. And after all, there is no such thing as good-bye, merely see-ya-laters; if not in this life, in our next.

    I’ve heard it said
    That people come into our lives for a reason
    Bringing something we must learn
    And we are led
    To those who help us most to grow
    If we let them
    And we help them in return
    Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
    But I know I’m who I am today
    Because I knew you…

    Like a comet pulled from orbit
    As it passes a sun
    Like a stream that meets a boulder
    Halfway through the wood
    Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
    But because I knew you
    I have been changed for good

    It well may be
    That we will never meet again
    In this lifetime
    So let me say before we part
    So much of me
    Is made from what I learned from you
    You’ll be with me
    Like a handprint on my heart
    And now whatever way our stories end
    I know you have re-written mine
    By being my friend…

    Like a ship blown from its mooring
    By a wind off the sea
    Like a seed dropped by a skybird
    In a distant wood
    Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better?
    But because I knew you

    Because I knew you
    I have been changed for good

    And just to clear the air
    I ask forgiveness
    For the things I’ve done you blame me for

    But then, I guess we know
    There’s blame to share
    And none of it seems to matter anymore

    Like a comet pulled from orbit
    As it passes a sun
    Like a stream that meets a boulder
    Halfway through the wood

    Who can say if I’ve been
    Changed for the better?
    I do believe I have been
    Changed for the better

    And because I knew you…

    Because I knew you…

    Because I knew you…
    I have been changed for good.

    To be honest, I never truly believed I would make such amazing friends in my short time here…but alas, I did. Amazing and true friends that I couldn’t be more thankful for…

    – Ross

  • July1st

    The blok starts out innocent enough: you wake up somewhat excited at the start of a new routine – awake early, shower, actually put some time and thought into what you look [and smell] like, arrive at the library early with bag and books and bottle of water in hand to wait in line till they open. You spend a good 4-5 hours studying with the somewhat frequent YouTube-distraction-break, then it’s lunch – just a quick one so you can get back on track for studying. Then it’s more studying till 19h-20h and you call it a day. Fall asleep to comedy shows.

    Then you get to the second and third weeks where the hatred of your new routine has now dwarfed the previous appreciation you had for it. You wake up before your alarm due to bright sun entering your windows at ungodly hours in the morning, and you roll out of bed wondering what fresh Hell the day will bring. You wet your hair down within an acceptable afro range and comb it in the hopes it will stay down for most of the day to prevent a jew-fro despite the fact you’re Scotch-Irish. You throw on clothes not caring that someone will undoubtedly notice you’ve been wearing the same zero-effort outfit for the past 5 days. You add a Diet Coke to your study bag for the caffeine…which is soon replaced by multiple RedBulls after the Diet Coke loses any and all effect…you also tend to forget about the water, too…eff that, right? Then you get to wait in line at the library, moping and sighing so everyone knows just how ridiculous you think it is that one has to WAIT IN LINE AT A LIBRARY. So nowadays your studying is less frequently interrupted with YouTube-distraction-breaks, since at this point the exams are taking place seemingly every other day and you’ve somehow managed to read hundreds of pages of textbook and write 70-100+ pages of notes for each class; yet still also manage to read over it and think “there’s no way I wrote this…I’ve never seen this before…WTF?!” Then you go home and fall asleep to some depressing documentary about teenagers with children in abusive families and ya think “well, at least I won’t have a teenager at my 10 year reunion…?”

    Then you enter the last week of studying…You wake up and instead of “wondering what fresh Hell the day will bring” you pretty much know at this point….and you certainly dont give a rat’s a** what you look like – cologne takes on new meanings, by the way. You’re 4 exams deep into the Blok and you’ve got ONE more. You wake up in the mornings of the last week cursing the day you signed up for this class thinking it would be easy…You take your last  exam…probably fail it…then you’re done!

    If you ever finish an exam period not knowing what to do with yourself – I’ll tell you what I did: I finished my exam period by leaving the exam room and making a bee-line to the nearest bar.


    Now I await my results…July 7th…I certainly wonder what Hell that day will bring…for the love of God, PLEASE keep your fingers crossed for me!!!!! :~)


    Y’all have a great day now, ya hurr?!


    – Ross

  • June26th

    Living and being educated internationally and in a very international environment has taught me a lot. I will soon be adding more insights I’ve learned here and from all my classes as time progresses, but for now. I’ve come across some interesting artifacts in my studies for Cultural Issues in International Business. I’m really enjoying reading this text book, because so much of it is common sense, but not thought about until it is pointed out to you verbatim.

    For example:

    For me and much of the rest of the world, the British don’t drive on the left side of the road, they drive on the wrong side of the road.


    This is pretty revealing isn’t it?

    Although very hard to do, it’s becoming more and more necessary to attempt to view other cultures without so much bias from our own.

    As the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard once said “To open our eyes to the absurdity of our own customs is the charm and benefit of travel.”


    Think about it…


    – Ross


    P.S. – the text book, if you’re interested, is Managing Across Cultures by Susan Schneider and Jean-Louis Barsoux. It’s very well-written and a nice read for a text book.

  • June23rd

    The last time I remember my parents helping me with my homework was in 2nd grade when I was learning hook-ed on puh-honics – and it totuhlly work-ed fuh meh.

    My mom said  somewhere around 4th grade was the cutoff  point – when she stopped asking me if I had homework or if I had something for her to sign. Randi always tells the story of when she wasn’t ready on time for school one day, and mom said “let’s go, time to go!” and she walked out the door and started driving down the driveway…sans Randi. Randi had to run and catch up to the car and all was well. Lesson learned. hahaha Randi still isn’t always punctual, but hey – who is? She is however very independent just like me, we can hold our own.

    I even remember some of my friends’ moms would actually go through their backpacks (in JUNIOR HIGH!!!!!) to check for stuff their children needed to do. This seems immensely silly to me – but so does beating your children and some parents do that all the time – guess I don’t understand that either, cause it was never done to me.

    During this current exam period from Hell (I’ve taken 4 so far, 1 to go!), I’ve heard so many students say stuff to the effect of “if I fail a test, my parents will be so pissed”  – by the way, it’s necessary to mention at this point that exams are so difficult here, failing an exam is not an isolated or rare occurrence. I think it’s rarer if someone actually passes ALL of their exams on the first try. They even give tolerance points where you can “fail” a test with one or two points under passing and “cash in” points to get through without having to retake the exam {you can only do this a few times…and we don’t have any tolerance points for my masters program :( first year ever that they don’t have them…sucks.} Either way, back to the point.

    I NEVER remember worrying about what my parents would think or how they would feel if I didn’t do well in school, and I certainly don’t worry about it now – I’m 22 and getting my masters, I’m certainly not in it for my parents. I didn’t do any of my schooling “for my parents” I did it for myself. I graduated high school with a 4.0/4.0 at the top of my class and graduated university with 3.883/4.0 magna cum laude from Tech FOR MYSELF, not anyone else. And in this way, I believe that’s why I was successful at it. The only stress that was put upon me was from my own crazy mind. My mom would usually be the one calming me down saying “a B is still great!” Even just the other day at lunch, I was b*tching about my exams and spending 10-12 HOURS A DAY at the library feeling like I’m getting no where and how I just knew I would fail my Competitive Analysis and Strategy exam (which I think I did…this morning) and I was (am) VERY upset about it, and mom said “well, if you do, you’ll just take it again in September and it’ll all be fine.” Don’t ya think that’s a lot nicer than “if you fail this test, we will be so disappointed in you…you have to try harder.” Cause guess what? That’d probably have the OPPOSITE effect, I can tell ya that.

    I’m not really sure why I felt the need to share this, I guess it just struck me as odd that so many students are out there only doing it for their parents/family – that’s what their family expects of them, so they do it. I guess it just seems strange to me, as I was reared to believe in myself, do things on my own, do them for myself, and think for myself. In that way, I never needed someone to sit me down at a table and say “study.” and “work. now.” I did it on my own…with some relatively good outcomes, I think.

    So I’m not telling you how to rear your children or what your parents might be doing or have done wrong! I guess, since my parents are some of the only people who read this blog, I’m actually writing it to them…to thank them. I appreciate to no end the fact that I grew up knowing they’d always be proud of me and that they expected nothing more from me than to be the best person I could be under definitions that I set. It’s nice to have unending support from the people you love the most.


    Throughout the years, I think I have made my parents very proud – but that’s not why I did it.


    – Ross