February 24, 2014

New Semester….New Habits

It has been a while since I have written a blog. I am actually a bit lost for words, but I guess I’ll just start with my experience of this week and the semester thus far.

It’s kind of shocking to know that I am in my second semester already. Realizing that in a couple more weeks, I’ll be a junior is a bit intimidating, let alone frightening. This semester has been fairly good to me so far, except for that chemistry exam I had last Wednesday.

Of course, I wouldn’t expect anyone to be happy to have taken an exam, especially chemistry. Have you ever had one of those moments when you’ve studied hard for a quantitative subject, looking through past exams and working in practice problem, but when the exam is finally given you feel as if the material in front of you is not exactly what you prepared yourself for? This was kind of one of those moments. I am just hoping that I did well enough to be satisfied.

This semester’s chemistry has proven to be better that the previous semester’s. I actually like chemistry now, especially since I make every effort to get extra help; I even attend a second chemistry lecture separate from my own. You’d be surprised how distinct the clarity level is between two professors teaching the same subject, not to say that one is better than the other.

Furthermore, besides chemistry, all my other classes are going well. Currently, my favorite class is Intro to Aging Studies with Bookwala. Every time I am in that class, I feel empowered and enlightened not only by the subject but also the insightful contributions of my peers. I’ve really been able to hone in on refraining from dominating conversations that I have become passionate about and to listen to what others have to say.

There are so many interesting things to learn about how people age and what contributes to the aging process. I must admit that learning about aging makes life a bit depressing, that we are simply born to reproduce and eventually die in slow, progressive, and symptomatic stages. My biggest fear in life is becoming old, so my hopes in taking this class would be to learn how to “age successfully.” This subject is extremely interesting and so interdisciplinary that I do wish that it was a major rather than a minor. But I guess this class is sort of a blessing in disguise in regard to satisfying my intellectual aptitude in learning about things that I will deal with later on in life both as a human and as a physician.

Speaking of physician, yesterday was the 5th annual (I think) Sophomore Surge networking event. The name makes it self explanatory. At first, I told myself that I would only stay for half of the program but ended up staying for its entirety after realizing the value of being there.

Firstly, although it was an event to network with professionals, it also gave me the opportunity to connect with folks within my class year, especially those I didn’t know or never talked to. I thought I knew a lot of people in my class, but it was good to see myriad new faces. I have been bombarded with networking skills from my high school program called The Opportunity Program that I really didn’t need any sort of guidance with….networking.

Actually, it’s gotten to the point that I have a sort of dislike for networking because most of the time it feels very disingenuous, almost mechanical in behavior and makes me feel as if I am begging for something I am not ready to have….a job. Of course that is not the point of networking, but it feels good when I meet a network that I don’t feel so robotic when talking to, someone that I can talk to comfortably. Overall, it was a great day.

Today was RA Appreciation Day. Basically, each staff group got together and baked goodies to show off and get judged on. My group made a cake and cupcakes with cookie dough in the middle. The cake was superb and should have gotten us first place but I guess the judges felt pity for the others and decided to go with another winner. Here were some of the contestants.

a cake with white frosting and raspberries on top spelllng "Boo"

Our delicious cake.

two cakes with peanut butter frosting and chocolates around the border and spelling "S" on one and "M" on the other

cupcakes with white frosting surrounding a cake with a white frosting border and blue and red frosting spelling "i"

And two of the other not so good treats.

See you next week.

posted in Kofi Boateng


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