In the news

ReconRobotics is featured in today's broadcast of All Things Considered on MPR. I was recruited to be a demonstrator and hand model at the last minute. I ended up in three of five photos in the slideshow!


I got acceptance letters last week from both Carlson and UST. So I got that goin' for me. Which is nice. I feel like I ought to be more excited, but honestly, once I got those GMAT scores there was never any doubt.

So with my high score, stellar references, and work history I'm an incredibly desirable candidate, right? What kind of fat scholarships are coming my way? Well, nothing from Carlson. I told the admissions director up-front that St. Thomas was my top choice and asked what he could do to make their costs comparable (their estimated cost for a part-time MBA is $67,032 versus $47,353 at UST). He told me if I was applying for full-time we could talk, but there's no scholarship available for the evening program.

OK then. UST offered a Dean’s Scholarship that covers the cost of one course. Asking around, it sounds like this is their best offer. So for that (and numerous other reasons) I will be attending the University of St. Thomas in the fall.

Full Paisley Post

 I guilted myself into writing at least one whole post about my second-born. Paisley is at a really fun age. She is talking up a storm. Such a smiley, happy baby! She turns one year old next month!! :-o

 On weekend mornings I take care of the kids while Jenna sleeps in. Every night Natalie asks me, "will you be home when I wake up?" She loves these days. But usually Paisley is the first one awake, and I get to spend an hour alone with her--sometimes even two--before her big sister rolls out of bed.

Paisley loves playing in the water. She might actually enjoy learning to swim, instead of being terrified by it like Natalie (and I) were. She likes reading books, bopping her head to the music, and pulling up the towel over her head to play peek-a-boo after bath time. I love her very much. The end.

The GMAT: Nailed it!

The official GMAT score report is in. I got a full six out of six points on the Analytical Writing section of the test. Funny story: this is the first part of the test, and as I was doing a final read-through of my essay, the time expired.

As I watched the clock run down, I was thinking in the back of my mind that this was okay. But then I started to second-guess myself. Throughout the next three hours of the test I worried that this meant it hadn't been submitted! It was a huge relief when I finished and the administrators were able to confirm that, in fact, everything I had written was saved.

Overall score is the same; 710, 92nd percentile. I aced the Verbal section and sucked it up on Quantitative and Integrated Reasoning. Overall, I got the results I expected. I would recommend Total GMAT Math to other test-takers. My score would have been a lot worse without it.

Déjà vu

Eight years ago I was floundering. Even though I had just completed my undergrad the year before I was already feeling stuck in a dead-end job and afraid that I was wasting my life. Trying to find another job was too hard* so instead I applied for law school.

It was the perfect plan! Protection from having to make grown-up decisions for another couple of years combined with a huge salary increase. There was only one problem: it would have been a huge mistake. I needed more time out of the academic womb to figure out my place in the world and where I wanted to go. Graduate school was not the place to do that. Now, eight years later, I'm excited to begin MBA coursework and confident that the experience will be beneficial.

Differences aside, I can't help but reflect on what it was like to go through that application process in 2004. I applied to nine different schools (nine!) and was rejected by every one. By the end it was actually a relief. This time I'm calm and curious to see who extends an invitation (I applied to Carlson after all so I'll be attending one of the two AACSB-accredited Minneapolis programs).

*Maybe I'm being a bit harsh; I did start planning the Craftstravaganza that year.

Paisley berry face

Sometimes I feel bad for not writing about Paisley. Natalie was the star of this blog before and after her birth; not just its primary topic but its raison d'être. Paisley is just a victim of second-child syndrome. Other than the occasional emergency, we've seen it all before.

Besides, I haven't been blogging much in general for the past couple of months. Did I really write nothing about the full Arimaa set I sculpted with modeling clay? Taking Natalie to the newly-opened vintage gaming mecca Zap Arcade?? Our company party on the Budweiser Deck at Target Field?!

Well maybe I'll get to all those eventually. Meanwhile, if you find yourself starving for Andy news, I started a Tumblr about my thrift shopping adventures and scored some great finds in July. On Sunday I'm flying out to Las Vegas for another trade show, so you might also get another post bonanza like the one prompted by my trip to San Diego. What happens in Vegas yadda yadda yadda but what I eat and drink in Vegas is fair game.

Four on the Floor

Natalie's 4-year birthday party. Her aunt Holly made an amazing cake as usual. Jenna went overboard as usual and filled the house with candy! It was great.
I painted the classic playing piece design on foam core and we made some gingerbread girls.

The candy kingdom. The kids drew cards and raced down this path to the "castle" which was filled with candy decorations.