the day of celebration

Ah, the day of celebratory adventures in honor of the past 11 months dedicated to Careerstep's course. 

So, the much anticipated (and dreaded) MTE final was conquered unofficially on September 28th (as soon as I hit the little 'Submit Exam' button at 10:33 am, 7 minutes before the 48-hour testing period was over) and absolutely, positively officially owned in the face on October 5th (after returning to the apartment from a super long walk with Jason to find the scary email in my inbox). I graduated with High Honors on the first go. I had to read the email twice before I got up the nerve to tug on Jason's shirt sleeve, asking him to verify what it actually said. I hadn't really had any doubts that I'd graduate (even though only about 70% graduate on the first try, one only needs an overall score of at least 85% so... I wasn't worried), but I was pretty sure that if I got anything but High Honors (overall score of at least 95%) that I would be looking at a retake of the final, for my own sake. Ahh, but it was all unnecessary planning. No retakes for this korean. She did it. :)

On the 4 straight transcription files I got a 98%, but once it was averaged with the score from my 2 editing transcription files, my overall grade was a 97%. The highest grade that I know of personally is a 98% by another Careerstep student, so I am more than pleased. A couple other neat percentages:
  • Currently, Careerstep's hire rate for High Honor graduates is 96%.
  • Currently, Careerstep's hire rate for their MTE graduates (the specific course that I took) is 100%. 
 It's most definitely comforting.

So, after Jason read the amazingly exciting email, he picked me up and spun me around the apartment. There may or may not have been some drooling involved. (You try having someone sling you over his shoulder while you're laughing giddily and being spun in [seemingly super fast and tight] circles... Drooling happens. I've learned to live with it.) Puma even joined in the celebration by jumping on top of his perch and whining at us, wanting to know what all the excitement was about. We made the night an official celebration by breaking out one of our 'For Special Occasions Only' drinks, the Grapefruit (or was it the Clementine...?) Izze. It was a celebratory night. 

Obviously, one night is not enough of a celebration for such an occasion, so a weekend adventure was planned for the upcoming Saturday (though of course, now it's just this past Saturday so... yea) to be filled with Longwood Garden wanderings, a super cool corn maze "fun park" (I've always wanted to get lost in an all-out corn maze, so I was super stoked), and dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Even though Jason has been stupid busy with homework the past few weeks (literally, nonstop), he told me he would take the whole day off for me. I still can't help but think that I don't deserve him.

It was a lovely day, a little bit on the warm side at times and ridiculously sunny at all times, and we exhausted ourselves with adventuring. The highlight for me at Longwood was their lily pad exhibit. It was ridiculous. They had so many kinds of lily pads, varying from really small pacman-like pads to super awesome, spike-lined lily pads that I'm pretty sure could support a small child. (*After further research about these lily pads, it turns out that if the weight distribution is done correctly, a medium-sized child may even be held. Definitely going to keep this in mind for the future...) Also, throughout our Longwood wanderings, I had Jason test the sharpness of all things prickly, and he definitively stated that the spikes on these lily pads were by far the sharpest of all the other test subjects.

We also discovered a really cool pepper plant (its edibility [that's a word, right?] was debatable) with yellow, red and purple peppers. I would love to put them in a salad just for the color (regardless of the taste [almost]). We wandered through a meadow and saw a groundhog-type animal eating lunch. We even got to see a pomegranate bonsai with 2 pomegranates ready for the picking. I really wanted to pick them... We took a small smattering of pictures, some of which can be seen in the haphazard collage below, and it was a pretty sweet afternoon. The only drawback was that we didn't get to watch the fountain show... but that'll save until our next visit.

Smattering. To see them enlarged, feel free.

After getting our fill of super cool plants, we headed to the corn maze, which was about an hour's drive away. I loved it. Since it is close to the end of corn maze season, the corn was the drab brown/yellow and not the lush green, but it didn't matter. The maze was still plenty intact with the corn stalks well above my head. The maze was rather daunting, but we only got turned around a few times and made pretty good time once we figured out where not to go. It was such a large maze that, even though there were a ton of people there, you only ran into other people every now and again. At the beginning of the maze, the park gave us these flags made of a felt square and long pole. The purpose of said flag?
If you got frustratingly lost, you could wave your flag above the corn stalks and someone would come lead you out (there was a lookout tower where an employee stood watching for any such panicky waving flags). Jason didn't want to carry the flag around the entire time though so we didn't bring it with us. I think we got a little lucky in that there were several paths that, when taken, would lead you all the way back to the beginning and we didn't take any of those paths (which was good, since it's one thing to realize you've gone in a small circle and it's a whole other thing to go from 60% complete to 5% complete).
Once we finished the corn maze, we went on to do some of the other mazes that were available. These included a rope maze, a bamboo maze (I love bamboo, but a maze constructed of it really makes your eyes go crazy. I highly suggest subjecting yourself to this.), and some other random mazes. Overall, it was a really cool time. Next year though, I think we'll go a little bit earlier in the year so as to see the corn maze in all of its greenness.

By the time we left the mazes, it was late-ish and we were pretty tuckered out from the hours of walking in the sun, so we called an audible and decided to save the Cheesecake Factory for later on this week and just go make dinner in bed at home. It was a perfect way to end the day.

So yes. Good weekend. Life is good. I'm as content as this kitty...

...well, maybe not this content.


  1. Rayah, please look at the first picture in this post and realize what it made me think your hair length was. is? I CAN'T TELL.

  2. i realized this, which is why i made sure to put in another picture (at the corn maze) where you can absolutely see the rest of my hairs. rest your fears!