And so ends another chapter in my life.

The past 2 days have been a blur. I need some sleep. Actually I just woke up from a 2 hour nap, but I need more sleep.

Last week of work
My last week was pretty good. I got all my projects wrapped up early, so there wasn’t too much stress. I played 2 games of dodgeball Monday night and my arm was like rubber afterwards; one game was spairing for my mentor’s team, and one game with the interns. I lost both.

On Thursday my manager took me and a bunch of Search employees out for lunch to Red Robin to celebrate my internship. Then Thursday night Stacey (the Waterloo recruiter) took all the Waterloo interns to a funky family Italian restaurant – Buca di Beppo. We gorged ourselves on huge pasta dishes that were amazing, polished off a 3L bottle of wine, and ordered some chocolate cake and tiramisu.

Last day of work
Waiting for Baggage
My last day of work was great. I checked in my final code change around 10:30. So I wasn’t rushing throughout the day to finish my work. That allowed me to fire off good-bye emails and talk to members of my team. I had already told most people I wanted to use my next work term to explore opportunities at other companies, so I didn’t get any questions about that, but there was a lot of people asking if I was going to come back as a full-time employee. Pat (Director of Test for Search) grabbed me first thing in the morning to chat over a Krispy Kreme doughnut. He said he was impressed with the work I’ve done. He originally interviewed me in Waterloo last fall, and mentioned he knew he wanted to hire me within the first 5 minutes of our interview, and that my work confirmed his impressions of me. He offered me a full time job whenever I was ready to come to work for Search, good from when I graduate until perpetuity. Very flattering stuff, and it’s a tough offer to turn down. I’m not convinced Microsoft is the best option for me yet, but what a sweet backup plan. 🙂

Some time during the morning Sherra (our director of group moral and cool stuff) stopped by my office with an MSN backpack full of goodies. The backpack is really nice and there was some cool stuff in it – some more t-shirts, a wireless mouse, a picture frame, and MSN Search branded toys and stationary.

Darinee and I
I had my final evaluation just before lunch. It went really well. My manager (Reena) and mentor (Darinee – shown right) both spoke very highly of the work I’ve done. It’s nice to be appreciated. The last 4 months have flown by, but I did manage to get a lot done. My mentor made me 3 CDs which was really cool – an original, mellow, and funky mix. A lot of bands I don’t normally listen to – The Books, Morcheeba, LCD Soundsytem, and countless other bands that I’ve never heard of. Should broaden my horizons.

I was sad to leave. I really felt that I had just started to hit my stride in the past few weeks – getting comfortable with submitting bugs and cranking out automated test cases. But all good things must come to an end.

Return home
Waiting for Baggage
After a late night packing, cleaning, and helping Sarah and Casey move some of their stuff, I managed to get 3 hours of sleep before we had to head out to the airport. Clearing customs was uneventful and the flight went quickly as I watched the Lemony Snickett’s movie.

OK. I’m off to get some more sleep. Tomorrow I unpack and avoid writing my work report.