Wednesday, August 21, 2002

If interested, here is a link to my piano programme (It's a Word doc, may want to Save Target As... instead of viewing on the internet.. your preference.) (It's actually the programme handout for my recital in July.)

(No, I decided against Ireland in the end in favour of Debussy.) =)

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!
Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!

I passed my ARCT piano exam!!!

Haha, I’m obviously VERY excited! =)

[sigh of relief] =)

THANK you for everyone who has supported me… for everyone who attended my recital, for everyone who helped out (ushering, refreshments, adjudicators, programme, sound, lighting), and for everyone who gave me many valuable comments and coaching, for everyone who has listened to me practise or let me practise at their house... THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!


Praise the Lord. =)

Monday, August 19, 2002



I haven’t been able to do that for a while now; the past few weeks have been pretty chaotic. Orlando didn’t come at a very opportune time, either.

It feels good to be able to just slow down and *think*. (Driving long distance at night is quite conducive for that, I find.)

To reflect on the past weekend, past month, the past couple of years, and see where I’ve succeeded or failed, where I’ve been strong or need to improve from here…

I see how God has worked in me, how I fit into his will, and where I have to continue to trust in Him.

Reflections can be indeed humbling, but at the same time, awesome.

The conclusion is often one and the same, however, no matter *what* has been going on…

I fall at His feet, and am overcome by his grace. =)

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
– Matthew 11:28

Monday, August 12, 2002

How safe it feels to be on Canadian soil.

Haha, as the finale to the conference, after breakfast and checkout, we were addressed by the firm's chairman, Jim Turley. Again, he emphasized the firm's commitment to its people, encouragement in achieving work-life balance, and importance in quality and integrity. I guess that's what they wanted to do for the conference, to push the firm's culture as a selling point to attract many young aspiring accountants. I think actual training was minimal in the conference... which makes the conference an even bigger waste of money. =P

As soon as we were dismissed, I boarded the shuttle bus that took us to the airport, and caught the flight to Toronto, getting out of the airport at 5:30pm.

Back to my world... especially this crazy week... I need to practise piano. =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Ouch, ouch, ouch… I guess I just experienced my first time getting sunburnt.

Today, we had “Team Challenge” outdoor activities, where we had to participate in various events, typical team-building activities. At the end of every activity there was a debrief on how these events related to Ernst & Young’s “global shared values”: Integrity, Teamwork, Leadership, Client-driven, and Innovation (not sure if I missed any… I should probably know these by heart by now.) The activities were pretty fun, and my team was pretty cool. However, it was outdoors ALL DAY (9:30 – 3:30), in the middle of an open field, on a clear sunny day in Orlando, Florida.


So much for my many efforts at avoiding getting a tan. [sigh]…

All throughout the conference the presenters have been emphasizing these shared values, expanding on each one. This morning the presenters spoke about Leadership. They described a number of facets of leadership that they felt defined the term. I don’t remember most of them, but the one that stood out was “servant-leader”.

I don’t know what faith they believe in, but they did share that they were religious. However, the concept of servant-leader really only brings one person to mind: the person of Jesus Christ. I was very impressed that they are able to bring such meekness into the culture of the firm. And their humility was apparent to everyone.

After dinner, we had a little treat: we were lucky to see the illusions of Craig Kargas. It was amazing, but extremely freaky. He performed tricks as mind-reading (predicting beforehand that 4 members of the audience would collectively pick: a Dodge Viper that is black, with license plate AB4792, with a cost of $52,711.13. It was crazily scary. He also performed physical distortions (he broke off the head of a spoon by pinching it (and concentrating, but that’s just performance) right in front of our eyes. I don’t know… it was just really crazy stuff. =P

This evening after dinner, everyone went out, and I got a taste of Pleasure Island. Well, nothing really, just a number of clubs in one place (8 of them, to be exact.) We were all tired anyway, so we didn’t stay long. Why some parents brought their kids to Pleasure Island, I don’t understand. =P

Anyway, one more session tomorrow morning, and I will be on my way back home.

So enough Orlando for another few years. =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all!

It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all!

[Sie gai jun sai siew, siew, siew,
Siew duk jun kay miew, miew, miew

Blog ending 1:
"Ahhh! The singing! The singing! Make it stop...!!!"

Blog ending 2:
“Ring, ring, ring,”

“Hello? Oh! Hi, Karen Yam! I’m actually on the It’s a Small World Ride right now… hahaha….”

Oh my, oh me.

[more to read below if you’re really bored… =P ]
Ah, the magic of Disney.

I haven’t been to Disneyworld (or Florida, for that matter,) for a long time, so visiting the Magic Kingdom brought back many memories; no particular undertone intended, just that many sights, sounds, and things were actually familiar to me. (I’ve probably been to Magic Kingdom at least four to five times.)

It was a better experience than I expected (so yes, Janey, I did have fun today, =P) even for a relatively “non-Disney” fan.

As soon as we got off the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, we were greeted with the principal theme and multiple variations of “When You Wish Upon a Star.” We planned out our route, and decided to circle the park in a counter-clockwise fashion, starting out with Tomorrowland.

Wow, I’ve never claimed to be a really bright kid when I was little, but it is only now that I appreciate cleverness and punniness of the park. What 10-year-old will appreciate the Shakespearean allusion in the store name: The Merchant of Venus? Or, the Geiger’s Counter, an ice cream parlour? How about the cleverness in the name of the singing alien in the Starlight CafĂ©, Sonny Eclipse? I think I *did* understand the pun (back then) in “The Lunching Pad” though! Oh, the enlightenments.

We went on Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, actually a new experience for me. =P

Aside from the Buzz Lightyear ride, everything else was virtually unchanged for, perhaps, over 10 years?? I don’t remember if FedEx had such strong sponsorship of Space Mountain back then though.

Next up was Toontown Fair, where every moment is a Kodak moment.

Fantasyland followed, and of course, we *had* to go on the “It’s a Small World” ride. It practically epitomises the Magic Kingdom! Unfortunately, it wasn’t as *magical* as it felt when I was little, but alas… the only direction that innocence can go towards is being lost. =P I had really wanted to go on the Snow White ride, but there wasn’t too much time. Next time, though: I must overcome my fear. I remember being absolutely terrified of that ride. [shut up..=P] (And can you believe the lineup for the Peter Pan ride was 65 minutes??? Crazy!!)

Anyway, next to Liberty Square and Frontierland for Splash Mountain (still quite excellent after all these years) and the Haunted Mansion. After all those years of going to Disneyworld, I have never been to the Haunted Mansion, and it was a lot of fun. We were pretty scared, actually, but mainly due to self-affliction. (We were *genuinely* scared…) Anyway, I shall tell that story some other time.

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Friday, August 09, 2002

Aiya, I have been spending way too much money… my classmates and I went shopping again today…

The conference officially started today with a reception, where we basically had a Waterloo reunion (I think there are around 20 of my classmates here…) instead of the original intent (I assume) of getting to know other people. After an hour of mingling, the entire Ernst & Young delegation migrated into the next ballroom for a presentation and dinner

I think it’s really funny how much Ernst & Young has invested into this conference… the point of which, I think, is to “sell” the firm to these summer interns as a place to work full-time. I think that’s a waste of money because if these interns already accepted offers to come for the summer, wouldn’t you think they would want to return?? Anyway… I guess it’s a free trip for me, but still. =p.

It’s funny: Think huge pep rally – convention centre set up for dinner, say, 90 tables? There are 750 interns plus 140 facilitators / presenters. The lights are dim, the music is blasting, the clubbing-type lights are going, and there are two huge screens at the front, primed for an Ernst & Young PowerPoint presentation.

The best thing was the automatic cordless polling device. Everyone had a remote control-like thing which generated automatic statistics, so the presenter could ask a question, and it would generate a stat in 20 seconds, like the ratio of male to females (47:53), where people were from: International, Canada, or USA (5:13:82), or whether or not we agreed that leading a successful career was synonymous to earning a high salary (49:51) [interesting…].

After dinner, I think most people went to Pleasure Island for clubbing. My classmates and I declined, and decided to go to the pool. I was smrt enough not to bring my bathing suit… it was a *really* nice night, complete with a replicated Mayan pyramid. =P I really miss swimming. I guess going to the PAC next term won’t really compare, won't it? =p

Anyway, breakfast starts at 7am tomorrow…so,

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Some things airport staff should never announce:

“Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the delay, but we had some complications due to a fuel leak…”

God is good. =)

And so my International Intern Leadership Conference experience begins, situated at the fountain of youth: Disney =P at the Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Wow, reminds me of last year when I narrated my accounts in the City of Life: Hong Kong, China.

“I miss Hong Kong...” I whine. =P

Anyway, I could *not* leave my computer behind; there are too many things on my mind to disconnect myself from my world for 4 days… I’ll be back in Toronto on the 11th.

I had about an hour to kill because I arrived early before the rest of my friends are supposed to land. So here I am, on my computer, complete with Starbucks coffee, in the middle of Orlando airport, composing my first blog from the land of the free. I was disappointed, actually. I was looking forward to plugging into a data port and dialing-up… but to no avail. I guess Toronto is somewhat more advanced in this area. =P

I’ll probably see you online tonight. =P And maybe actually retire early, for once... oh yes, if anyone's interested, I can be reached at 407-939-1000 room 5444, or just ask for me. =P

Until next time, this is Gladys Yam.