Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007 - It's Like The First Day of School Again

Started the day to the sound of “Speedy Way”, or for those of you that aren’t LG C3100 owners, my cell phone alarm, which was shortly followed by my regular alarm clock. Record bed-jumping out of time. I really can’t stand the sound of that as an alarm, so it always makes me get up. Showering in a stall was an, um…unique experience. I could barely move, and my bathrobe almost got wet trying to take it off. I thought that there would be some form of competition to get to the shower, but I guess they are all lazy goats that don’t care to wake up early since there was no one there when I got there. About an hour later I am walking to breakfast, not too bad today. If they have bagels everyday, I’ll be happy.

Off to the first class, Conceptual Mathematics, or Integrated Math III. I barely remembered anything from the tour, but I assumed that it was on the second level since the number started with a 2. All of the schedules stated “2258”, yet the classroom was 225B. Even the teacher, Mr. Baker, was confused at first. He plops down two boxes and a book on top. The book looks to be the teacher’s edition of something, but it was actually the students’. That book is almost like 3 inches across the spine. There really wasn’t any math or anything academic today, but just general/introduction review instead. He is a pretty down to earth guy. Labs are every Tuesday and Thursday, which means that we don’t have to lug around those huge books every day. We are supposed to be receiving some sort of interactive CD to go along with the Cognitive Tutor course. He ended up letting us out really early, as there was nothing left to discuss.

SAT Prep was in Porter Hall, C18A. Somehow we landed in A22, thinking that it was the right place. There was a whole number mixup before anyway. We were there early, so it didn’t really matter, as several others also realized that we were in the wrong room. She was nice and helped us find the instructor of the other class, and from there she lead us to the room. We received two Princeton Review SAT books. The Manual for the SAY and 11 Practice Tests for the SAT & PSAT. The instructor told us that the test scores from yesterday would arrive some time during the class, and from there we could review. She talked a bit about the actual test and introducing some basic SAT, non-knowledge required information. Then, someone walked in with a large envelope…our scores. People started clapping and cheering, although I don’t know why. I don’t think anyone had thrilling scores. She called everyone up one by one to pick up their score reports, and congratulated me on my essay score, although I don’t consider a 9 that impressive, especially being that I didn’t finish the essay. I had a 1535 total, which isn’t much, but I can only work harder and study more to improve my score. I want over 2100, but I will be content with 1950 or higher, I guess. There was commentary on my essay, things that I already knew like, work faster, end paragraphs better, and to stress the topic more. Yeah, I didn’t finish, they can stop rubbing it in. We went over some of their patented techniques, such a POE (Process of Elimination), POOD (Personal Order of Difficulty), Ballparking, and another one. There was also the tale of Joe Bloggs, the average student that falls into all of ETS’ traps. The whole story has a sarcastic overtone. It’s somewhat of a lighten-upper. I can think of better ways to spend 2 hours a day, or even self studying faster with these books now, but if what they promise, at least a 200 point increase in all levels, is true, then it would be worth it.

Skipped lunch at the Café today and looked to see if Pepperazi, the pizza place in the University Center was open. It wasn’t and only Taste of India was. But downstairs Si Senor was open. I was going to get the chicken fingers + fries, but something told me to try the tacos. They were cheaper too. The way that they were arranged looked tasty, but it really wasn’t. We went to sit outside, since it was such a beautiful day. When I open up the container, there is a mote of greasy stuff surrounding my tacos. The first bite in and my fingers are orange with more greasiness. It was okay, I’m sure better than whatever they were serving for lunch today, but still not satisfying. I have yet to eat something that has been more than just okay since I’ve been here. Their tacos are weird too. A ton of cheese goes in first, followed by a little lettuce, and then a ton of low grade beef. I chose to opt-out on the sauces. When I was finished, the bottom of the container was completely covered with like a .25 inch layer of that stuff. I think I’ll get the chicken fingers next time. I stopped at Entropy to buy a soda because it was 11 cents cheaper than buying it from Si Senor or from a vending machine.

Off to Doherty Hall for Physics. It took a while to find A200, but when we did, it was nothing like expected. First, I thought it smelled a little smoky, and the hallway was very dusty, but it turns out that there was construction being done, and there was a small fire. Very close to, maybe even in, the hallway. Therefore, this meant that we could not go to class until they finished blowing all of the smoke/dust out and cleaned up. We waited in front of the door in the dusty hallway for like 10 minutes until a TA told us to go to the other Physics class for a few minutes until they could clean up everything. The class moved pretty quickly when we got to it, starting off with vectors, velocity, speed, and acceleration. Mr. Frankie Li, still don’t know exactly what to call him, had to leave, so the TA, Chris, took over and assigned a few fairly simple review problems.

Electronics was in A200 also, as I could already see with the oscilloscopes, multimeters, protoboards, and signal generators already set up. He started off with an odd, brief introduction, and then drew a circuit on the board, explained it a little bit, and told us to create it on the protoboard. Most, probably all, people didn’t have a clue what they were doing, including me. The teacher and TA (I forgot their names) go around and help everyone individually, but it is still a really awkward learning environment. I figured it out somewhat with the help of the Lab Sheet, which could have practically been in Japanese, but the class finally ended.

I didn’t feel like going to dinner and eating soggy food, so I ventured out into the city looking for something. Found a pizza place, Maximum Flavor, but the flavor definitely wasn’t maximum. It was okay, and I’ll probably be returning, because it is cheap, and they have a pretty good selection of everything.

I return, read a few chapters of Physics and SAT Prep, do a few things on my computer, and then retire for the night early. 11:30. I haven’t been to bed that early in like forever.

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