Midterms just wrapped up, and the semester can sometimes hit like a sledgehammer.
I wouldn’t say I’m getting hit like a sledgehammer: I’m wielding the sledgehammer to annihilate all my schoolwork. I’ve been prepping for this semester my whole academic career, so being ready for it now is natural. Certainly, swinging a sledgehammer is not the easiest of tasks, but I’m well trained and fit by now.
At the end of every day, I’m tired, but I feel like I’ve accomplished something.
I’m a little tense because I cannot look at my midterm grades yet. I damaged my laptop and the payment for the repair has not gone through yet, so there’s a temporary hold on my account. The good news is that every one of my Wentworth professors would share my grade with me – all I have to do is ask.
The start of this year has been absolutely crazy. I think perhaps I overcommitted and am in over my head. Regardless, cool things keep happening so I will try to keep it the work rate.
Last Tuesday, Stephen Wolfram visited the school to give a talk about what he does and what computational thinking can do for us. He is convinced that computational approaches to old problems are the future of science. In addition, he described ways that any number of normally boring processes can be automated, replaced, or obsoleted.
That’s the reason that he built his Wolfram Language. He was originally mostly a particle physicist, hanging around the same crowd as Einstein, but a bit younger; he was good friends with Richard Feynman.
Earlier that morning I had gotten to direct Wolfram to his presentation room and explain a little bit about the school. Because of this, some of the faculty from the computer science and math departments invited me to come along with them and Wolfram to dinner! They had made reservations at The Squealing Pig for that evening. By the time students attending Stephen Wolfram’s presentation were done asking questions, time had slipped away and the hour was slightly past 7:30.
Time had slipped so much, in fact, that we missed our reservations at The Squealing Pig and Wolfram opted to go to Au Bon Pain in the interest of getting food quickly. Talking is hungry business and everyone wanted to go home.
We did go to Au Bon Pain and talked for a long time there and two of the three students that came to dinner got autographed books.
Like many students, I have a decent job on campus. I work for DTS as a junior media technician, so I regularly set up and supervise sound at all sorts of events. I enjoy my work because it pays well and I can do homework during downtime. This job specifically, is a boon because it presents opportunities to meet the people active around campus.
The other week, I got to talk to Dean Wenner, Robert Totino our CFO, and Carissa Durfee and Linda Bernazzani, director and assistant director of campus life. What I really liked about meeting all them is finding out that the people behind all the things that happen are so friendly, and even generous.
For example, this Friday I was covering sound at the athletics Hall of Fame event. It was more or less a black tie event, few of the attendees were students, and I was definitely the youngest one in the building. Anyway, my job mostly consisted of sitting in the corner and making sure all the media equipment was working. Dean Wenner, who was one of the guests (hopefully you will get a chance to meet her) approached me from one of the dinner tables. She had gotten up from her own meal to offer me, the student worker sitting in the corner, a full fancy dinner. Beyond this, she knew I would be embarrassed getting the food myself, because I was so out of place and underage, so she got me food!
I am finally all set up to blog, and there is so much for me to say about the first 2 weeks of school that I could not possibly tell you everything in 1 post, so I will spread out the information. By now, I have met all my professors and befriended many of my classmates because most of my classes allow or encourage discussion or teamwork.
Settling into the college routine, classes themselves have not been tough yet, but I have a ton of responsibility. Among other lifestyle and living challenges, completing schoolwork is now solely my job alone. I think I am not the only one here that is used to having a little bit of help and supervision enforced on myself to make sure I keep up with classes. For the first couple days, I enjoyed the liberty, but I do not think I did well without the support – I already missed an assignment: an entire essay.
In response, I have a strategy; I try to get academic involvement with a whole bunch of people so that I have accountability. My friends and I make sure that we are all getting the work done for classes, we can go to each other for help, and we always have a group ready for projects. My professors know my name and that I am interested in learning, and I think they would show concern if I fell behind.
Not to mention all the other academic resources on campus. (see number 9 on this list my friend sent me) I have not needed the FSG or Learning Center help yet because we are still in the review stage for most of my classes, but I think that will change soon.
Speaking of changes soon, I will try to add more pictures to my blog in the future, but at the moment, my only camera is attached to the top of my laptop monitor.
Comment if there is anything specific you think I should add/remove in my blog or that you want to see.
– Steven Chris Joanis