Community / Personal / Reflection

My Favorite 2011 Millennium Network Memory (Tammy’s M-Story Part 1)

Question: What is the Millennium Network? Simply stated, we are a non-profit organization with the focus to bring great people together, introduce them to a refined and effective process of learning, and build a greater impact within communities across Canada. I’ve shared my 2011 M-Story on my blog (below). Feel free to check it out and learn about my experiences this past year with this incredible bunch!

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Many of you know that my relationship with the Millennium Network is likely comparable to the relationship between you and your significant other. I  mean… I wake up talking to #MNetwork members, interact with them throughout the day, turn to them when I need advice or some academic/inspirational nurturing or simply someone to talk to, and they are pretty much almost always the last people I talk to before I sleep. WOW! Nevertheless, it’s clear. I sleep and breathe Millennium. It is a significant part of my life, what can I say? Plus, the people are AMAZING. ‘nuf said.

Yesterday (on the eve of New Year’s Eve), I posed a simple question to the Network on our Facebook Fan Page (which you must totally check out and “LIKE”):

“What is your favorite M-memory this year?”

As I sat here, listening to Beethoven’s “Piano Trio in E Flat Major” on Grooveshark, I realized I couldn’t write just ONE memory. It was too hard. Rather than filling up my post with my “top 3” (as I originally planned), I decided I would do what most of you thought I’d do – I’d BLOG ABOUT IT! In any case, it’ll be part of my M-Story sharing. (If I REALLY needed to choose just one – from 2011 – it would be summarized by this post: Montréal Trip Reflection: One of the Happiest and Fulfilling Weeks (Living A Meaningful Life))

So here it goes… here’s my M-Story for 2011. (There are too many mini side stories to share, so I will try to succinctly share the major ones.)

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Tammy Wong’s M-Story for 2011

In December/January 2011, I moved to Waterloo for a work term. I did not know a soul in the city, but I knew I would be there for at least 4 months working with an epic team within an awesome company and on a product that absolutely fascinated me. (And still does! Heck, all technology does!) Nevertheless, I reached out to a Millennium Laureate, Alice C (Calgary; met her at the ’07 Western Regional), in October and she introduced me to her friend in the area, Jonathan F (whom she met at one of the Nationals), who tried to help me find a place to live and showed me the ropes of “subletting.” I also reached out to Hamoon E (Waterloo; met at ’09 Regional) who called out to his 1000+ Facebook friends for me! Arriving a week early, I spent a week in Toronto. Together with Selina A (Waterloo; met via MNetwork’s Facebook page), we organized a Christmas Lunch – see photos. Here, I met several members from the Toronto/Waterloo M-Hubs. It was GREAT!

As I settled in Waterloo over the next couple of months, several Waterloo laureates I had met in Toronto reached out to me. M-azing friends like Samantha S, who introduced me to an on-campus fellowship group; Danny C, who invited me several times to events; and others who selflessly offered to help. I felt safe and very comfortable, knowing I had people I could easily reach out to. In February/March, Arjun G (UWO; connected after my AVIVA campaign in 09/10) reached out to me to assist with TEDxUWO, and there I was, meeting the M-Hub crew from Western. By the end of March, I realized how many mutual friends I had with several of the new laureates I had met, and spent an incredible weekend with one of them, our mutual friend, and their friends. (Ex. Birthday sushi dinner, Shanghai dim sum, more food, and talking our hearts out!)

Early April and, in fact, for quite some time before that, I had been conversing with Vini V (McMaster; tweep) over #Twitter. It was all very random and we made the connection that I had responded to one of her posts on our Facebook page earlier in the year. It was totally legit! We set a “blind date” for some M-bonding time at the Art Gallery of Ontario basking in the Maharaja exhibit until we were kicked out, and then headed for some late-night poutine. It was an instantaneous connection and I even introduced her to my friends. By May, I was ready to stir some of my own action within the Waterloo M-Hub and hosted a Potluck & Games Night. It was SO MUCH FUN. Everyone home-made something, and Praveen A (who eventually brought a pie) even attempted making salmon… It was incredible to finally spend an evening chatting, bonding, and learning all about everyone’s passions/involvements. We even Skyped with Michela M (UWO; now living in Vancouver+met at Edmonton M-Hub) during our Cranium game.

June approached and I had two birthday parties; with friends on Edmonton’s Jasper Ave and then in Toronto’s Distillery District. (Obviously the “M” was part of each crowd.) At this point, I already felt so comfortable blending my friends together. Plus, MNetwork members seem to always “fit” in. I think we’re all floaters at heart – haha! Later that month, Matthew C (from Prince George, BC) was visiting Ontario and called me up! He even offered to travel to Waterloo, but a meeting brought me to Toronto, so we briefly met up. It was SO AMAZING to re-connect. For Canada Day long weekend in July, my Millennium (brown) sis, Urooj M (UOttawa; met in Edmonton when she was working there), invited me to stay with her family. And in one weekend, I was welcomed into her family, attended my 1st Brown Canadian wedding event, and even met the extended family! When I say the MNetwork creates phenomenal friendships and connections, THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN. I also organized an Ottawa M-Hub Luncheon (i.e. Secret birthday for Urooj) that weekend and met laureates I’d later meet again in Montreal! Plus, I finally met Sarah DM (Carleton; worked in Edmonton for 1 year but we never got to meet) and we had this crazy heart-to-heart about our academic journeys and career aspirations. (And this was at our first meeting!) It was pretty cool, because she gave a couple of us a tour of CBC Ottawa! (What a great sneak peek into the life of a journalist.)

July/August went by insanely fast. We celebrated the outdoors with a Waterloo M-Hub event at the Waterloo Jazz Festival with more heart-to-heart conversations and plenty of sweet treats (*Symposium*), then hosted a Toronto Summerlicious event (@Stone Grill) that brought more Waterloo laureates together (in Toronto). My last evening with Waterloo members was at Ennios, where we literally discussed EVERYTHING M-related. (It was memorable, because it was me at a table with 6 other guys in a dimly lit restaurant eating escargot…) My trips to Toronto became more frequent, and I was meeting with Vini again! This time, for some Salad King goodness, with 2 other Toronto Hub members. Another time, we did a spontaneous evening at Snakes & Latte for some gaming. (This was a memorable trip too, because I relied solely on my BlackBerry to take me there.) Before I knew it, my summer flashed by, ending with>>>Toronto Island>>>the Toronto Symphony Orchestra>>>the Opera>>> {YYZ..}.

[Fast track to September. By the way, I ended up staying in Ontario for 8 months.]

Of course, we know the M-life does not end there. (WOW, I just said that. M-Life.) My family made a trip to BC and I had one evening to myself. I spent the time meeting new friends and connecting with old faces! (M- included! And these connections were intense – everyone knew everyone else in some way. A few of which I had connected when I was in town on previous occasions.) We flew to Victoria for a few days, where I finally re-connected with Eric L (UAlberta BCom; former Edmonton M-Hub member who played a significant role in my AIESEC and BCom life.) It was amazing to speak with him again and learn about the fascinating things he has been up to – so much inspiration! Following this trip, I went straight back to school for my final semester.

This semester was unlike any other. What I thought would be 4 months of project work and studying, with just a single trip to Ontario in September, evolved into one EPIC unforgettable journey. (Read Undergraduate Degree Finale (4-month PHOTO recap): Living the Balanced life for a full reflection.) The Edmonton M-Hub hosted a Fall Kick Off lunch at the Sugarbowl, where we brought together several alumni that had fallen out over the past year. It was incredible to re-connect and see such warm and familiar faces! Throughout Sept/October, I began spending a lot of time with Abbeir H (UAlberta; met in 07 when I first joined!) We’d meet in the library, work on her resume, talk about life, and eat! Plenty of sharing. Simran L (UNBC; actually met her and several other laureates at the IMPACT! Conference in Sept) and I started texting each other with a daily inspirations too! (We continue to do this!)

By October, the Edmonton M-Hub just had to meet again! Breanne L (UAlberta; an absolute gem who continued to connect with me during her semester in Germany last year – thank you for my birthday postcard!!) opened her house to us and we had a Halloween Potluck! By this point, the M-Catalyst Regional Conferences were in full swing, registration-wise, and both my heart and mind were urging me to apply. After encouraging a handful of members to register, and more importantly, after a Skype chat with Urooj, we decided to register TOGETHER! It was a click to purchase flights and that was settled. November came sooner than expected and days before my trip, I had learned about the university’s FREE Observatory and got the M-Hub together one more time before exams. A heart-to-heart with Nurin D (UAlberta; joined in 07 avec moi!) beforehand and she’s interested in M-Sessions!

Off to Montreal I went and I had THE TIME OF MY LIFE. (I did a cost-benefit analysis of the trip beforehand, and after being there, the benefits significantly outweighed the costs!) To read about this trip, see the link mentioned above. It was filled with first experiences, bonding with the Montreal/Ottawa M-Hubs, learning about local initiatives and projects, etc. It was PHENOMENAL and well worth the week of school I missed… (and had to catch up on.) I returned to Edmonton with the final PUSH in mind and nerdetted out for a month/all of December. In the middle of the last 2 finals of my undergraduate degree, we had our M-Summit, with plenty of “homework prep work” beforehand. They gave me a breather from my daily projects/reports/studying, so like many of the M-Team likes to say, “it was my refuge!”

And here we are, at the end of this post, and it’s the holidays again! This year has flashed by, and re-reading my 2011 M-Journey makes extremely thankful for all the people God has placed in my life and all the experiences I have had. I cannot wait for 2012 to arrive and am excited for the next 12 months! I hope you have enjoyed my small M-Story, and remember, there’s so much more to life than just “school” or “work.” Go out and enjoy life!

To sum it all up, Millennium Network members are: Authentic in Conversation, Reciprocal in Relationship, and Rigorous in Execution! (3 of our guiding principles.) What will YOUR M-Story look like? That’s totally up to you! It’s what you make of it and we’re here, fully loaded, to help you succeed in your dreams.

Lots of #MLove!!! And *CHEERS to all the new M-connections in the New YEAR! (Let me know if you want an even more flavourful taste of the NetworkM and we’ll schedule a time to talk!)

Your Chief M-Love Officer,
tyw.

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2 thoughts on “My Favorite 2011 Millennium Network Memory (Tammy’s M-Story Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Shads in Waterloo! (Waterloo Shad Valley Alumni Network) « tyw lifestyle blog

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