Sunday, June 26, 2011

Waiting for a New Week

One very important part of college is balancing social life and homework. Sundays are always fun. All the students wake up late or in my case, spend time in the city with friends. I made sure to balance my time with homework, which I have been dreading to start.

My dad always tried to get me into running when I was younger. I really enjoyed it, but there were those days when I just wanted to stay in my pajamas and loaf around the house. He would come up to me and say “The hardest part is getting out the door.”

This little piece of sage advice directly applies to my homework situation. After a quick snack, I sat down and turned on my clip lamp to the assigned homework pages. I found that I got focused rather quickly and I knocked out about half my assignment. Spreading out work over the course of a few days really helps with coping with stress. Homework is due Tuesday.

The workload here is definitely different than high school. For macroeconomics, we are assigned about twenty-five problems total in the review sections of the chapters that we covered. Although the assigned numbers will be Chapter 2 - #2-5, there are a lot of sub-questions (eg. a-f). I am planning on finishing my assignment tomorrow and then reviewing my material with Andrew in the afternoon. Students study here because they want to, not because they have to.

I took a break from my homework to get dinner. New arrivals came onto campus today. There was another ice cream social with Frisbees and Twister. I remember when I was a new comer to Brown University. Now I feel like I've always lived here. I met some new students (one who is going to Yale for the Grand Strategies Program after his stay at Brown) before leaving early with Steph and Alina. We explored to the basement floor of Marcy Hall where the walls were plastered with graffiti and various paintings.
At our floor meeting, Mikalei discussed the events going on this week (Tie Dye Tuesday, and the Pizza/Ice Cream Party) and we also talked about our high and low points of Summer@Brown so far. Although most of my floor mates talked about their encounters with boys, I went on a different track. My high points were definitely winning the scavenger hunt and also getting really involved with my class (like having my suggestion for “Blood Diamond” go through with a majority vote). My low point would have to be group work for homework. Andrew and I work together really well, but our third member, Jose Barrionuevo, is not much of a help. He says intelligent things once in a while, but Andrew and I do most of the hard work.
We broke our floor meeting with an improvised group cheer, and then headed to Dana and Steph’s room to hang out. I left early to blog and finally the noise next door has toned down. It is time to sleep once again.

Popping the Personal Bubble

I came back to my room after my RA meeting and there was something written on the whiteboard on my dorm room. It said, “Turn off Your Alarm.” I remember the RA mentioning that we all had to be considerate of each other’s space, and I thought I was courteous of everyone’s space. I came into my room and I felt embarrassed: my alarm was set for 9:02 AM, but I left my dorm by 9 AM this morning. That is just one of my forgetful habits that I must change before I go to college.

Daily mishaps include: forgetting something in my dorm and not coming back for it even though I need it, leaving my work area covered with books and being so engrossed with my studies I forget an important meet up. I need to remember I am not the only one operating at the dorm.

I have cleaned up some of my bad habits such as leaving my cell phone either off or in a “hidden” place and asking if my roommate if there is anything wrong. College is all about cooperation. If I am to be a part of the system, I must conform so then it is an enjoyable experience. At least I am learning it now when everyone is not stressed and won’t kill anything that annoys them. I wonder what would happen if I did not have such an understanding floor or roommate. Hopefully I did not disturb too many people this morning—I still have two more weeks to go.

Throwing Disc

Had a lot of fun today. It was a lazy Sunday, and I spent most of it outdoors. I pass most of my free time by playing cards with friends. I've been learning a lot here at Brown, from the concept of epigenetics to the rules of various card games. Slept in again, waking up around noon. Immediately went to lunch because I was starving.

Taught my friend how to make a waffle, and then topped it with ice cream and chocolate syrup. It was great. After lunch, I turned in my laundry to student services and took a shower.

I went to hang out on the main green with a couple of students and we partook in a recreational activity. The rest of the day was relaxing, and now I'm ready to learn again. Class recommences tomorrow.

Meeting New People

Being at such a diverse school as Brown means meeting a vast variety of people from not just across the country but from all over the world. I realized the range of people here today when I came across an exchange student from Germany. I met Julia on the bus taking us to Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, thinking she was a Summer@Brown student. It turns out that she was a pre-med student tagging along on our shopping trip. I have a passion for linguistics so I was fascinated with her ability to speak German. She even taught me a few phrases. I might take up German in the future after I master Spanish, which I am currently studying.

Meeting Julia made me think about everyone I have met so far. In my class alone, there are 16 international students out of 31 in total. They represent countries including Colombia, China, Korea, Costa Rica, France, Great Britain, and Switzerland. In my house, I know of girls from China, Korea, Nigeria, Turkey, and India. I usually wouldn’t have a chance to encounter such a variety of students. Brown’s diversity doesn’t just come from international students. There are people from different parts of the United States, and that right there can make a considerable difference in our student body. People from Massachusetts might not share the same beliefs as those from California, and this allows us to broaden our views of opinions from people of unique backgrounds. I enjoy listening to other students share their experiences about their hometowns and their lives growing up. I hope other students can learn from me as well.

Work Plus Play Equals Success

As I reflect upon my blog yesterday I tried to implement my thoughts into today. I did not want to put off my lengthy homework assignment for tomorrow, so I decided to get an early start. I worked diligently on the homework so that I could fully grasp and retain the information. The thing I like about the college experience is that you have so many hours in a day to use for studying and things of that nature. In high school there are many distractions that occur every minute of the day. Many of these distractions leads to me not spending as much time as I should to study. But so far here in this summer college environment I am able to truly focus on my work and hence I am able to acquire a greater understanding of the material.
Today a new arrival of Brown summer college students came. It was quite interesting to look at their faces and their parent’s faces and see quite a bit of uneasiness and uncertainty, but to also that that was me about a week ago. It is amazing to see how much I have developed in just a weeks’ worth of time. I am able to successfully navigate myself around the campus; use my resources to help better my college experience, manage my time effectively, and lastly get out of my comfort zone, and stretch to a place that I have never known.
I also have found another trick to being a successful and happy student, and that is a balance to work and play. So even though today I felt that I was semi swamped with work, I was able to find time to play Frisbee, socialize and even watch a complementary movie provided by Brown. This enabled me to not feel stressed regarding my work load. So all in all today was a pretty successful day.
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