Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm Now A CAPM!

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Since returning from the Christmas break I've been putting in several hours of study every weekend or so in order to prepare to sit for the Project Management Institute (PMI) Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exam. Well, all of those hours finally paid off today when I passed the exam! While my intention is to eventually sit for the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, I do not have all the required work experience hours yet. So, In the meantime, I decided to pursue the CAPM designation as an intermediate step towards that PMP designation. Now all I need is a job to put my new project management skills to the test!

The test itself was not overly challenging. It was a computer based, multiple choice exam with pass/fail scores returned immediately after you hit "submit exam". Among all of the classmates taking the exam (11 test takers out of a class of 35), we formed study groups, read texts, prepared presentations, and then last weekend did a two day crash course on all the material! The discussions we had were excellent and made the dry material a lot more interesting. I should also mention that the test centre was uber high tech with fingerprint scans, ceiling cameras, and noise dampening headphones!

Everyone who wrote the exam today passed, and so we all went out to the nearby on-campus pub to celebrate. After a couple of pints... I then had to go to an evening class to not only sit in on a lecture but also hand in an assignment and write a quiz! This certainly made for an exhausting day!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Here Is The Proof...

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MUN, the City of St. John's, and pretty much the rest of the province shut down early Monday evening in preparation for the coming winter storm. Supposedly, it was reported on the local news that people went grocery shopping yesterday to stock up on the essentials after hearing that this storm is to last well into Wednesday! The snow began falling Monday at around 3:00pm, and soon after, the winds became quite strong. Overnight there was a mix of snow and rain with ice pellets. This (Tuesday) morning, St. John's has been left with essentially a mixed bag of terrible weather that has resulted in the closure of everything non-essential across the region. MUN is closed until 3:00pm today... sounds like another snow day!

Last night, the roommates and I decided to venture outside and see just how bad it had gotten. Here are a few videos of what it looked like outside my apartment at Burtons Pond Monday evening:

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Sigh... most of it had melted last week and we could see the grass!

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Shenanigans in the snow.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A Winter Weather Update: It Ain't Over Yet!

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Over the past week we have had three winter storms! To make things worse, Environment Canada is forecasting an additional 50cm of snow overnight. That said, I must say that the snow really is not a terrible thing, especially when considering the number of snow days we have had. This semester, MUN has been closed three times due to snow or deteriorating weather conditions. Of course, my tune would be different if I had to shovel a driveway or walk long distances to and from school. Outside of St. John's and the Avalon Peninsula, I think winter has left a larger mark. I read last week that Fogo Island declared a state of emergency when an avalanche blocked the only road into the community with snow. Since that last storm, I think things have almost returned to normal across the island - just in time for tonight's pummeling!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Is Winter Over?

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Class let out a little early today, and so I decided to take a drive up Signal Hill. Today was a really nice day - nothing but blue skies and seasonably mild temperatures. Unlike Ottawa, most of the snow in and around St. John's has now melted! Tomorrow it is suppose to be +7C with rain. So long as it is not snow, I think I'll manage. With the rain, the last piles of snow should disappear... so, is winter over? I must say that this past winter has been great. The temperatures were mild and there really wasn't that much snow. I arrived thinking that St. John's was going to be covered in several feet of snow and that spending many winters in Geraldton has done little to prepare me for a Newfoundland winter. Sure, the snow started a little early this season, but it's quickly over and spring is just around the corner. Now, I say this with fingers crossed... I hope I can now put the car brush and winter boots away.

Signal Hill was busy today, and I think it was because people wanted to take advantage of the nice weather. I set out for a two hour hike but found many of the trails closed - until May and the start of tourist season. Regardless, I did what trails I could. Here are some pictures from the hike...


Cabot Tower, sitting atop Signal Hill.


The five hundred foot climb to the top of Signal Hill. May I suggest driving?


Can you see the person at the end of the rock face?


Canons aimed to defend St. John's harbour... many years ago. Did you know that a German U-Boat actually fired torpedoes into the harbour during WWII? Underwater nets strung across the harbour prevented them from causing any damage.


Fort Amherst across the Narrows with Cape Spear (the most Easterly point in all of North America) located at the top and far left of the picture.