Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It’s good to be back

After living the college dorm life for the last two weeks, it felt really great to be back home this weekend.  Back to my old routines.  Back to riding my bike.  Back to writing.  And, while I really enjoyed everything about the experience, I think Dorothy said it best as she closed her eyes and repeated, “There’s no place like home.”

Before going any further, I guess I should say a little bit about Western CUNA Management School (WCMS), which is where I have been.  Here’s a partial description of the program from their website.

“It prepares today's and tomorrow's credit union people with the depth and breadth they need to contribute to their credit union's success and their own personal career goals -- depth of knowledge to help them do their jobs better -- breadth of background to make them more well-rounded and valuable members of management. In addition to receiving solid academic training and practical background, students at Western CUNA Management School establish strong professional networks throughout the credit union movement that benefit both themselves and their credit unions.”

smith-campus-center Basically, it’s a miniature MBA program for people who work in the credit union industry.  It is a three year commitment with two weeks of college living at Pomona College (which is a beautiful campus) each July where you learn and study and network.  I have already forged deep bonds with many of my 87 classmates was we start our journey.  I am also proud to say that I passed the first exam with High Honors (I scored a 92) as did many others in our class.  Now, it’s time to start my first project, which is due April 1st.  They told us we should plan on the project taking 200-250 hours to complete so if anyone out there has some spare time I could have that would be great.

I got home Friday night and was ready to settle in.  Unfortunately, I had to work most of Saturday so my routine was still a little whacked.  It wasn’t until Sunday that my “normal” life got back on track.  I woke up, watched part of the Tour de France and then headed out for a ride.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as I rode to the Flying Goat to meet Carmen and David.  After all, I had not been on the bike for two weeks.  Just to complicate things even more, I was testing out a new saddle.  In the end, I felt great.  The only real signs of fatigue where in the upper body and my back side.  It’s amazing how quickly my ass forgets what it feels like to sit on the saddle for three hours.  I ended the day with just under 50 miles of easy tempo on some of my favorite roads with just a few hills.  It was the perfect ride for easing back into the groove.

Another routine I missed was writing this blog.  I have actually been contemplating taking a long break but I discovered I missed this creative outlet more then I thought I would.  I guess the phrase “absence makes the heart grow stronger” isn’t limited to romance.  So, the blog shall continue as I record my adventures, and misadventures, on and off the bike.

When you think about it, it has been an awesome two weeks.  I am honored to be selected to attend WCMS.  I already miss my new friends that I met at school and my FB friend number is growing rapidly.  Upon returning, I was immediately reminded about the great friends I already have as we rolled and laughed our way around Sonoma County on our bikes.

Over the next year, I am looking forward to getting to know my classmates better even if I have to do it electronically.  As always, I am looking forward to many, many miles on the bike riding with close friends who I have gotten to know personally.  Throw in the occasional french toast breakfast and that’s a routine I can live with.


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