Monday, July 14, 2014

First Day Of Creative Writing Class

Dining Hall

The building where my class is at.
Right or Left? You choose.
This morning I woke up really excited knowing that today was going to be my first day of class. I woke up at 7:30 AM because my cohorts and I planned to eat breakfast together at 8 AM. When I went to the Dining room Vicky, Alexa, and Oyin were already there with a girl name Elizabeth and I think she’s .taking economics I’m not really sure. When I was done eating my breakfast around 8:30 AM, I left to go look for my classes because I didn't wanted to be late for my first day of class. Fortunately, it was a good idea that I had time to go look for my class because it took me awhile to find my class. I knew where the building was at but there was two different ways you could have go right or left and I took left because it said 110 and my class was in WB-102 so in my mind I was like it needs to be here, so I went in and I looked everywhere and couldn't find the class. Then I went back where I started and a lady passed and I asked her if she knew where it was and it was in the right side the whole time and it was in the first floor. It was a good idea that I went early because if not I would of probably be late to class.                                                                               
My Class for 15 Students
When class started a girl broke the ice by telling her name because everyone was quiet, and then one by one we were telling our name and where we come from. I don’t remember everyone name but I took notes of some of my classmate info. There’s Kristine from Chicago and she scuba dive for fun. Wendy she’s from Cupertino California, and Quincy also from Cupertino. Robert he’s from Los Angeles. Lucy she’s from the suburban of Chicago. Tess she’s from Portland, Oregon. That’s the only classmates I remember but I hope I get to know each one this pass three weeks. Then our professor came in Achy she’s a really nice and funny woman. She was born in Havana, Cuba.  My professor name is very long; Maria Alicia Del Carmen Obejas Velazquez Pleites Milena Maldonado. She calls herself Achy because when she was Young she mispronounced her second name and since then her whole family started calling her Achy.  Every name of hers has a story behind it and that was our first assignment to picked one of our name and makes a story. Achy got 21 blood transfusions when she was born and she was in the hospitals for her first two years of birth. Achy let us go at 9:45 AM so we can work on our assignment and we needed to come back at 1 PM. I called my parents after I got out of class and asked them to tell my why they chose my name and one thing I found interesting was that they picked my name middle name because it was biblical and at that age my mom used to go to church with my grandpa. I also email Kevin from Georgetown so he can help me on my assignment and luckily for me he was available to help me. Kevin gave me some comments on where I need to improve on and what mistakes I’m doing. I told Kevin that is better to know what I’m doing wrong and not keep on making the same mistakes over and over.
I started doing more research about Josue; my middle name. I got my assignment done around 12:30 PM so I still had time for lunch and get back to class. When I arrived at the dining room I found Alexa and Vicky there and I sat next to them and started talking about their class and how was it. Vicky said that she was just watching videos in her class. Alexa told me that her class is okay but that she has a lot of work to do.
Study Group Time
Fat People Problems.
After I finished my lunch I went back straight to my class. We all had to read our story in front of everyone. It was really awesome hearing about everyone perspective of their name. Every one of us had a totally different story to talk about and that’s what I found interesting that we all come from a different background. When everyone finished telling the story we got our next assignment that was to read “Indian Camp”, and then we each got a character and we need to tell the story all over again but in our character point of view. This was a very challenging assignment for me because we need to make the story in own perspective and we could make our own speculation in the story. My character of the story was George he was a white guy that knew the Indian tribe already. The Indian tribe was Ojibwa. When Achy gave us the assignment she told us that it was due by midnight. After that she let us go at 3 PM. I came straight to my room and started researching about the tribe and George so I can be able to write my story. Then like around 4 PM Oyin text me to come up to the fifth floor because she wanted to hear how my first day of class went. They were having a study group too so I took my stuff so I can join them. We all had homework to do except Vicky that she needed only to answer seven questions that they assign her to do. 
The View on the Fifth Floor

Then Vicky and I went to the Dining room around 5:30 PM because we were planning to go to CVS store to buy stuff for us and for Oyin and Dani. It took us literally one hour to go to CVS and come back. During our walk Vicky and I were talking about her sport that is basketball and my sport that is soccer. I found out that she is very committed to her basketball team and that she made the winning point in one of her playoff game when she was a freshman. It was good talking to her about the things we are so passionate about is awesome how much dedication we put into these sports. When we got back to our Residence Hall I came to my room because I had a big story to write about. I kept making research about the story and the little by little taking baby steps I was writing my story of George. It took the whole night and now I know what hard works really is because in my high school I at least take one hour to do an essay; that’s not the same over here. I couldn’t even go to the movie night that my RA was going to do tonight at 7 PM. Now I know the sacrifices that a lot of students do just to be successful and I’m planning on doing that.
Tomorrow I hope I don’t get a big assignment as today but if I do oh well I have to do it because that’s why I’m here for to get better and improve on my writing. 

Developmental Psychology, Day 1

 I woke up before my alarm this morning, probably because I was nervous for the first day of classes. I went down to breakfast with one of the girls in my tour group, Elizabeth, and then we met up with some other friends. Yesterday in the the Great Hall part of the dining hall, I met a girl named Meg from Los Angeles who was also taking psychology. We exchanged numbers so that in the morning we could find the class together. After I ate breakfast, I met up with her and another girl taking psychology, Alyson, and we walked to our class at Beecher Hall. Luckily, our class's building is only about ten minutes from the dining hall and the dorms. I know many of the other Insight programs are located fifteen minutes or more from our location, so we were fortunate.

 We arrived about five minutes early, and a couple other people were already in the room. The first thing I noticed about the room was that it was a small meeting room with no more than thirty seats in the room, and all of the seats were at a large rectangular table. Since I took a summer class at Brown last year that had about 140 students, I assumed this is the kind of class it would be. I thought this because when I looked on the application website, it said the class was full and that a weight list had begun. I did not understand that the class size maxed out at sixteen. Once everyone got there, I also noticed something else about the room.  Out of sixteen students, only three were boys.

The professor is Named Cassie, and the TA is named Amanda. We started out by doing introductions and then some name games. Most of the morning was spent revising the syllabus and going over some basics. Our final project is to conduct a research experiment with a group, make a group presentation, and write a ten to fifteen page paper on it. We discussed the details of this project later in the day. We also talked about some specific psychological studies that were done decades ago that were not ethically correct and why. One case was at Stanford University, and it was where college students were put into a scenario where the group was split into prisoners and guards. Both took on these roles, and pretty soon the guards were abusing their power and getting too absorbed in the study. Some "prisoners" went crazy and the experiment had to be ended early. It turns out that the man who ran the experiment is now very involved in making sure that research with human subjects is safe and ethically correct.

Before long it was noon and time for lunch. I went with Alyson back to the dining halls, although there were some food trucks. We both did not bring our wallets, but I am sure at some points we will grab lunch at the food trucks instead of the dining hall. Every meal is fun because you end up sitting with some people you have not met yet, and some people you know, so you get to meet more people and here about their experiences. Around eight of us were at one table and all discussing how the first half of our day went. Some were saying their class was relaxed and laid back and others were saying they knew their class was going to be a challenge. This class is definitely going to a challenge for me because of the workload outside of the class, but it is so interesting so I will be very motivated.

One hour for lunch may seem like a lot at first, but walking there and back takes time, so you end up having to keep a close eye on the time. I started heading back, but I did not reach the building before it started pouring. I was soaked by the time I entered class, and will definitely remember to bring my umbrella next time.

The next half of class was primarily focused on our group project. We had several options of subjects in developmental psychology that we could focus on. Five other girls and I picked what children’s morality looks like at a certain age, and whether that changes from when they are alone to when they are with a stranger around. Our group of six will split into two smaller groups; one to test the child alone, and one to test the child with another person in the room. Our plan is to tell the child that they will be given a simple questionnaire. We will leave the room with a bowl of candy on the desk with a sign saying only take one piece please. Whether they take zero, one, or more than one will be recorded, and whether when asked about it whether they lie about it or not will also be recorded. We talked this through with Cassie, who likes the idea. Tomorrow we are going to figure out more details.

After class ended I went back to the dorms to work on my homework, which I had quite a bit of. I hope tomorrow I will have enough time to get out of the dorms for a bit.

First Day of Biotech

I knew the new school year would be difficult, but who knew it would start like this?

Thankfully, I found my class a good 10 minutes early today. I’m glad I didn’t get lost.

We started off the class with introductions. We all said our names, where we come from, what grade we’re in, and why we chose the class. Though that was probably Dr. Bhasin’s way of breaking the ice, it did nothing to relieve the nervousness we all seemed to have.
Where my class is

Next, we went on to a lecture. Dr. Bhasin seems friendly and nice, and gives really in-depth lectures. We covered most of my freshman year of biology in about an hour (which was crazy tiring). Honestly, I was a bit tired by the end of the lecture. Though I did remember most of the things Dr. Bhasin was lecturing, I felt too intimidated to say anything in a class full of extremely smart students. During the beginning of the lecture I felt like I was lost and was trying to catch up, but by the end of the lecture I was feeling a bit better about myself.

During our lunch break (which is between the lecture and the lab, lab write-up, and discussion portion of the day), most of us in the class walked over to the Dining Commons. It turns out a lot of people were lost! I’m glad I’m not the only one who was lost. I really hope I do better the rest of this summer, though.

The lab part of the class was difficult. I paired up with a girl named Emily from Singapore, who’s really sweet. I think part of the requirements for joining this class should be to have had recent experience with a microscope before, because I definitely was not ready for what Dr. Bhasin and the TAs had for us. The lab today was supposed to be about Lab Safety and Lab Basics, but what we did definitely did not feel like that. We basically did three labs in two hours. For someone who hasn’t touched a microscope in two years, that lab session was definitely challenging.

My partner also doesn’t have that kind of equipment at her school, so this was totally new to us. We had to figure out how to use the microscope and micropipettes, as well as how to read and set the micropipettes.

I hope I got a good grade on the lab write up, which was due at the end of the day (at around 3 PM). My brain felt like it was melting by the time class was over.

Crerar Library
The class then took a tour around Crerar Library, UChicago’s scientific library (which I’m sure will soon be my favorite hangout). Since it is close by, my roommate and I walked to the Harper Memorial Library after class. We didn't find books or places to read in it, which was surprising. Instead, it had offices and classrooms (which I’m glad we found).

Right now, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work we have to do in this class. Just for today we have two short articles on biotechnology and biomimicry to post and explain with our class online as well as a Fire Safety quiz (I'm done with both!). To read, we have a four-page (front-and-back) article about Superbugs (to be discussed on Wednesday), two lab protocols we’re getting tested on tomorrow (one being 11 pages [got it out of the way already], the other being 8 pages long), and today’s lecture and lab notes to review.

I skipped all of today’s after-school activities and almost missed dinner trying to get everything finished (I ran into the Dining Commons a minute before it closed). I just hope tomorrow’s a better day.

I'm sorry there aren't as many pictures!

Every dark cloud has at least one silver lining, however—at least I’ll know I’ll be a biology pro in three weeks’ time.

First Day of Class

Today was our first day of class at UChicago. I woke up before my alarm clock again so I’m guessing that I was very anxious. I went to the bathroom to get ready and then I went down to the dining commons to have breakfast with my cohort. I’m extremely lucky that my class is only about a five minute walk from my dorm so I had a lot of time to kill. I was really paranoid and I was worried that I would be late so I came to class early with my friend Beatrice.
My Classroom Building
Our professor’s name is Aleen Bayard.  She gave us permission to be informal and said we could call her Aleen. She is a Stanford and Columbia graduate who has been teaching Getting to Green: The Business Case for Sustainability, the class that I’m taking, for the past four years. One if the first thing that she said was that since we were a sustainability class, we were going to practice what we preach so we are going paperless for this entire course. She also practices what she preached and she lives a sustainable lifestyle by not eating red meat and by recycling. I really like her style of teaching because she uses a lecture style but we are free to interrupt her in the middle anytime to ask any questions and to see if she can clarify things for us. Her goal is for this to be an open discussion class so we can just share our ideas while we learn from asking questions.

My Nametag
The first thing that we did when we got to class was make nametags for ourselves so Aleen could remember all our names. We did a sort of icebreaker where we told everyone stuff about us like why we want to take this course and how we define “green.”  Our class is really small but diverse at the same time. Most of the kids are from China and Brazil. We have one girl from Mexico and another girl who is from Switzerland. Once we got introductions done we went over the syllabus and class expectations. We have three field trips planned and a lot of guest speakers coming in to talk to us. There aren’t a lot of tests for the class; we will mostly be doing projects, group work, and a lot of reading. We had an assignment that we had to do during our lunch break. We had to read and have an opinion about three reading materials with 10, 16, and 3 pages. I got through what I could and luckily there wasn’t a surprise quiz on what we were supposed to read.

We spent the bulk of the day talking about sustainability. We watched a video on different people trying to define it and giving their input on it. Sustainability is extremely hard to define and everyone tends to interpret it differently. We looked at the current definition and we found that it also has some holes in it. The definition was very vague and while it was able to cover some things, it didn’t bring attention to other things. We spent the latter part of the afternoon discussing the triple bottom line. The triple bottom line, or 3BL, is a way for a company to measure its profit, its people, and how it’s been doing environmentally. We had different companies as examples so we could sort of get an idea of the different ways which it is presented. The goal by the end of this course is that we are able to make an educated decision about whether we agree that the 3BL is a good idea and that it works or now.
Studying With Friends
A challenge that I will face with this course is planning my time effectively. The homework that we have to do is mostly reading and from the looks of it, most if not all of them are over ten pages. I want to be able to understand what I’m reading fully and that will take extra time I also have blogging and getting enough sleep to worry about. Almost everyone that I’ve met on this trip told me about the importance of time management and taking care of your body. I didn’t understand the severity of their words until now. It’s almost easy to want to stay up all night doing my blog or reading and skipping meals just to get extra work done but that isn’t healthy and it will catch up to me eventually. Hopefully I can take some of the advice that was given to me about finding the right balance between taking care of yourself, school, and a maintaining a social life. 

The Second Orientation Day

This morning I woke up at 8:45, brushed my teeth, and got dressed to go get breakfast from the dining hall with my roommate. I ate some eggs, bacon, and mini blueberry muffins. At breakfast we met up with Amber and Edga. After breakfast we decided to check one of the athletic centers out which is also the biggest athletic center the school has on campus. We walked for about 10 minutes. The school is like a community and I like how there’s an emergency pole with a blue light. You use it for when you don’t feel safe while walking or when you get lost and can’t find your way back to where it’s familiar. The pole is for emergencies only and for instance you are walking and you see someone behind you and they’re walking behind you for a long time so you would press the button on the pole and keep walking and press another until the Police come to your aid.

Me Working Out at the Ratner Gym

At 11 AM all the students met in the West Lounge for a mandatory Health Service meeting. At the meeting the speaker came from the health center and she was basically talked to us about the health services and what we can go there for. She also told us about the counseling services they have. It was actually a short meeting because as soon as everyone got there about 20 minutes later the meeting was over and everyone went back to their business until later plans we had for the day. For my free time I went with Jimmy, Dani, Alexa, Oyin, Dani’s roommate (Kaitlyn), and Kaitlyn’s friends that she met to take a trip to the library and the Ratner Gym. First we went to check the gym out and for me that was the second time there. Jimmy and I stayed behind and started lifting weights while everyone else went to the Mansueto Library. They got to witness the book elevator and I thought that was pretty cool. At the gym I worked mostly on my arms, a little on the legs, and my abdominal area. I might be scheduling a gym visit very often so I can be ready for next year’s season of basketball. Jimmy and I headed back to get lunch. I ate some fruit, salad, and the drink I had was Gatorade. After lunch I went to my room and took an hour nap before we had to all go to a transit orientation from 3 to 3:45 PM. This orientation basically was about going over the rules and the transportation to get to places with our RAs. I think that it’s cool that the students can get on the buses for free if we have our IDs. But before we started, we watched some of the World Cup while we waited for Anton and some people were there just to watch the game before they went to their meetings. The teams that played was Argentina and Germany.
Us Watching the World Cup
At 4:30 PM we had to go to another mandatory residential service and safety meeting. All the students met again in a place called Kent Hall where they talk about the things we can and can’t do and an officer came to talk about how the emergency poles work. It was basically the same as the other mandatory meeting we had earlier. After that meeting we had a choice to go on a restaurant tour to various locations. Each RA had a certain place they would go to and that’s how we chose which one to go to. I chose to go to Five Guys with the RA named Michael while some of stayed behind and ate in the dining hall. Other than having a bad cold while on the trip, I had fun on the long walk.
Everyone Departing the Meeting in Kent Hall
To end my day I went to study break where we all go to our RA’s group and hangout with each other and eat the things the RA’s make. Our RA, Anton, made some chocolate cookies with Nutella and some chocolate covered marshmallows. After hanging out a little I checked in for curfew a little early since I wasn’t feeling good and I went to my room for the rest of the night.