Dawg Days of Summer

It. Is. So. Hot.

In case you were unaware, the heat wave that has hit the Midwest and South this year is practically based in and around Tulsa and my hometown of Fort Smith, AR. The other day it was 114 degrees in Fort Smith – hotter than anywhere else in the entire country on that day. Luckily for me, I was spending that record-high day in the beautiful, high-of-78 Rocky Mountains in Colorado. My dad and I went to raft, fish, ride horses and shoot guns. What a trip! On the day we drove back, we woke to 45 degrees at 7 am in Colorado and ended with 97 degrees at 11 pm in Fort Smith. Crazy… So now I’m spending a couple of days here in Arkansas catching up with friends before heading on another long roadtrip to Destin with the “in-laws.” The heat shouldn’t be so bad if there’s a beach to go along with it.

Apart from my trips, summer went really well for me. As I’ve mentioned, I got the opportunity to work for the Williams Companies, a Fortune 500 energy company based right here in Tulsa. What a valuable experience. I spent the summer doing economic research, analysis, and consultation with Williams’ lead economist. Not only was I able to do challenging and relevant work, but I met a boatload of awesome people, many of whom are very influential within the community and industry. And to boot, I got a window office on the 46th floor. I didn’t calculate the total time I spent staring out the window, but I’ll suffice to say it was more than a couple minutes. AND I got paid well to do it – not too common in the world of college internships.

School starts in a couple of weeks. I’m excited to get back, see everyone, and hit the ground running this semester. I’ll be taking a decently full class load – Finance, Management, Microeconomics, Spanish Linguistics, and Professional Writing. What I’m REALLY excited about is my schedule – first class at 1 on MWF and at 2 on TTH. Finally, I’m going to get a sufficient amount of sleep! Granted I don’t stay up until 4 every night, that is…

That’s about it for now – gotta go buy some new sunglasses for the beach. My old ones are somewhere beneath the rapids of the Colorado River.

Later.

Winding Down

What a semester it’s been!

I guess you wouldn’t know, though, since I haven’t been on here in, well…awhile…

So. Extended leave of absence behind us, alot has been happening. Like I said in earlier posts, I’ve spent this semester serving as president of my fraternity. What a job! I now know three phone numbers by heart – my house, my mom’s cell, and Stanley Security Co., the operator of the fraternity house’s fire alarm. Let’s just say their operator and I are on a first name basis… Other than that phone number, the main thing I’ve learned through my stint as executive in chief is that foreigners know NOTHING about American university Greek life. That is, fraternities and sororities. These collegiate “social societies” are wholly American concept. The other day i had to attempt to explain to my Spanish teacher, a Spaniard, what exactly a fraternity is. In Spanish. No small feat, especially when all she knew of fraternities was the typical mainstream cultural reference – Animal House. Luckily for me, that’s not the fraternity environment here at TU, so I was able to tell her otherwise without lying to her face.

Apart from my presidential duties, most of my time is spent on school work. Classes are going well, for the most part. I’ve learned quite a bit this semester – how to build an information database, why Americans are so much more opposed to taxation than in other countries, and how to say fun things like “inflation rate” and “mortgage lender” in Spanish. Finals and end-of-semester projects are creeping up all too quickly, so honestly, I don’t want to talk about classes any more.

For Spring Break I headed two hours east to the Ozark mountains in Arkansas to go caving, hiking, and camping with my girlfriend and her family for 4 days. I know – that sounds awful, but fortunately, I have awesome “in-laws,” and the time was fantastic, especially at a true natural gem like Devil’s Den State Park just a couple hours away.

As school ends, summer kicks into gear, and I’ll begin my first real job as an intern at Tulsa-based Williams Companies. Williams is one of the nation’s leaders in the natural gas industry – one that’s going to do nothing but grow in the near future. I’m really excited about it – I’ll be working in the Economics Department doing research on energy markets and the like. Again, I know, that sounds awfully boring to some. But to be the right hand research assistant to the executives of a 3000-employee company like Williams is a fantastic opportunity. It’s also great to be a TU student, as Williams HQ (which is located in Oklahoma’s tallest building, BTW) is a ten minute drive from campus. It’ll be a great summer here in Tulsa.

Like I mentioned before, finals are fast approaching, and the biometric facial recognition paper I’ve been putting off for 2 months is due in 6 days. Considering I didn’t know what “biometric facial recognition” meant until earlier today, I had better get started pronto.

Later!

Here We Go Again

Hi all!

So… I haven’t been on here in QUITE awhile. A ton has happened since my last post. Last semester wrapped up well; grades, body, and mind are all still intact – no small feat, as you’ll soon learn, for your average college student.

Many new developments have taken place in the life of Taber in the past few months, most notably being elected practically out of the blue to be president of my fraternity. That may not sound like too much, but given I hadn’t even entertained the idea of being in charge of/ responsible for a large group of college guys until it was announced I had been elected to do the job. SO, I’m now living in the fraternity house (my fourth living arrangement in four semesters…) and fulfilling all the duties that go along with the new position. As much work as it is, though, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Another development, I think (I can’t remember exactly when I last blogged), is my new mentorship at Will Rogers High School, just a couple blocks east of TU. A new organization here on campus is working with the underprivileged school to develop mentor and tutor relationships between students from each school – kind of like a localized Big Brothers Big Sisters. My “mentee,” Ta’andre, and I meet once a week for after-school tutoring/catch-up, and then I go two times a week to sit in on classes with him. It’s a great experience, as I can see his grades rising every week and see our relationship developing as his trust in me grows. It’ll be my goal over the next two years to convince him how important it is to graduate high school and to help him actually achieve that goal. Wish us luck!

Classes are looking good this semester. I actually like every one of my professors. Very few students at any college could say the same. Even the boring subjects like Management Information Systems aren’t that bad with a good teacher at the helm.

That’s it for now. Off to the gym so I can fit back into my pre-Holiday jeans. Later!