May 10th, 2011
I am finished with the arts. I liked it, and it was fun, but I want to go back to science now. It's almost graduation, and while I'm excited, there is so much to do and so many things that I'm trying to remember, I feel like I have no time for all of this nonsense. I now have my summer mapped out fairly well.
Prom is this Friday. Finals will hit full force in the following weeks; all the end of school stuff will take place. I will have one week between May 27th and June 2nd between when school ends and when I graduate to get myself together. My friends and I leave for senior week on the following Saturday June 4th for senior week. I will come back one day before the house rent expires, Thursday June 9th in order to be back in time for Relay for Life on Friday June 10th that night. My summer classes at HCC start on June 13th. They include Inorganic and Organic Chemistry, Calculus I and Calculus II, however, starting June 13th, I will only be taking Inorganic Chemistry and Calculus I. The other two courses start in the beginning of July, but the first two courses run all the way through summer and will finish when the second two classes end in August. My graduation party for friends will be held on June 18th or 19th, Saturday or Sunday, my birthday weekend. I will visit NASA several times if I can this summer in order to keep that contact open. I will be attending a 3 day writing conference in Pennsylvania in order to: take classes, give a 1 hour presentation on Story Structure, and pitch my novel to agents to see if any bite. That writing conference occurs almost immediately after my HCC classes end. After the writing conference is over, I will have about a week or two to get established at Hopkins before the semester starts. The first semester is pass fail, but I intend to gain a reputation for being an A student early rather than getting Cs and trying to pull myself up. We'll see how that works; apparently that's a common story I've heard from JHU kids.
I am exceptionally glad I did not choose to do Biomed. My dad was one of 4 of the original BMEs from Hopkins when that major was just getting started. Now, when I say I'm going to Hopkins, people immediately assume I want to be a doctor. There are so many people in the BME program, it's ridiculous! It would be impossible for me to distinguish myself there, which is why I chose something else. EE/CE is a comparitively small department, and the few times I've visited, I've encountered the same 3-4 guys every time to show me around the lab and explain projects and problems they've encountered. Last time I visited, I indicated my interest for robotics and getting into projects where I'd have a chance at getting my name on the paper. They showed me a few of their competivite robot projects, all of which were nice, but not quite what I was looking for. They have about 3 projects that were very interesting, and I might be interested in taking part in, however it seemed that there were a lot of student run robot teams building nice, but unoriginal ideas. I think I have my plan laid out though for how I'm going to get my name on a paper by third semester.
I've been giving some thought to graduate school, and what I've decided is that I really want to keep my options as open as possible at this point. I want to make myself competitive for Medical School, Law School, and even Business maybe. If I went the business route and somehow managed to get my graduate degree from Harvard, I would be taking the exact same academic route as Bloomberg did...kind of interesting. If I go to Medical School at University of Pennsylvania I will be taking the same route my dad took to get his PhD MD. If I go to law school, I want to make sure I know what I'm doing. My uncle was a lawyer, and I've been able to shadow a few women lawyers with a background in science, so that's been helpful. I'm not quite sure what I'll do after college yet.
I will pursue a PhD over a Masters. I am against trying to get a PhD and an MD, because it takes so much time and energy without proportional payoff. I am considering law. I would not mind teaching, however I would also like to go into the business/research world. My one resolution in life is: I will not be poor.
I will go to school for as long as I have to and put all of my resources towards education, but I will not at any point pause my education in favor of a temporary job. Once people stop school to take a break and get a job, they never get back. I must stick it out as long as I need to get the education and earning power to pay off all my debts as quickly as possible. I will be poor as dirt in the process of getting smart, but once I finish, I will pay it all back quicker than I even spent it. I will get married between 25 and 27 and will reevaluate my life for afterwards between now and then when I know more about how the world works. That's my plan :)
April 25th, 2011
I am dead. My schedule this week is totally crazy. In fact, my schedule for next week and the week after that...and the rest of the next two months....and the rest of the summer....and my entire life is an absolute disaster!! I feel like a nuclear bomb exploded in my agenda book. I just can't do it all. Did I do this to myself, or is this just how life works? I think it's just life.
Starting from the end of spring break, the last few days.
Wednesday = MVA
Thursday = UMBC compsci lecture and discussion
Friday = UMBC physics lecture and network hacking/defense club
Saturday = Lancaster
Sunday = Lancaster
Monday = "wow I have a lot to do" epiphany revisited
Tuesday = the calm before the storm (includes exposure to high stress radiation from lots of different people regarding various deadlines)
---leave school at the end of 5th period
---carpool with Alyssa to get to APL
---Katie, Shreyas and I will talk to our little crew of executive committee and make sure everything will go smoothly
---I go check in with the presenters so they know that I know what I'm doing
---Alyssa and I get dinner and head back to Glenelg to get ready for the GT fair which will start at 6. I still haven't quite decided what to wear. Is a sequin dress inappropriate? Probably a bit flashy, but then again it's fun to dress up.
---GT fair starts at 6 and ends at 8
---I will have to leave early after only presenting once so I can drive to Hopkins in time to make their 8pm deadline for checking into SOHOP, after which time I will attend a mixer until 1 in the morning and sleep in someone's dorm
April 23rd, 2011
It's officially fourth quarter, and I'm now heading towards the end of my spring break...sadly. I don't have much to report on the progression of my mentorship projects, only because I've been so busy with a thousand other things, that now, while working hard on all those things was very beneficial before for me, I now have bigger things that I need to take care of in priority.
I attended several lectures and discussions with my boyfriend this past week. I particularly liked physics. I really wish I'd taken AP physics instead of chemistry, but I guess I'm glad I took chemistry also. I wanted to take all three: chemistry, bio and physics all this year, but thought it would probably be too much to be doing concurrently with college stuff. I really did love physics though the first time I took it, which was weird because I thought I'd hate it.
Ive been asking all my older engineering friends from NASA and Steve's college friends too about the advantages and disadvantages of different related majors: for instance electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, physics, etc. They're all biased in different directions for different reasons, but overall, that discussion solidified by decision to enter as an EE.
I've been reading constantly lately, though I really should be studying on my actual coursework. I love my Kindle!! It's kind of funny though, because while I do read modern stuff also, I have a decided tendency toward the old boring classics. And it's not even because I just want to read them so I can say I've read them, but I actually like that style of writing and the subject material. It's a rather convenient preference nonetheless.
I'm in the middle of reading Ben-Hur, Picture of Dorian Gray, and Wuthering Heights right now. Wuthering Heights is my least favorite of the three, but Picture of Dorian Gray is my favorite at the moment, though sometimes it switches back to Ben-Hur. Oscar Wild is a hilarious writer, but I'm beginning to think he was gay. His sarcasm reminds me a bit of Mark Twain, but their ideas are quite different. I also like his perception on his own ego as described by his own characters. It adds reasoning and humility behind his very arrogant philosophy. Psychology in books is so interesting! Sometimes I wish I could study it for real. Anyway some of his quotes from the beginning (I've only gotten to about 17% so far) are:
“Why Basil, he is Narcissus, and you – well of course you have an intellectual expression and all that. But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose or all forehead or something horrid.”
“I believe that you are really a very good husband, but that you are thoroughly ashamed of your own virtues. You are an extraordinary fellow. You never say a moral thing, and you never do a wrong thing. Your cynicism is simply a pose.”
“Yes she is a peacock in everything but beauty,” said Lord Henry
“Yes horribly unjust of you. I make a great difference between people. I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellect. A man cannot be too careful in choice of his enemies. I have not got a one who is a fool. They are all men of some intellectual power and consequently they all appreciate me. Is that very vain of me? I think it is rather vain.”
Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love; it is the faithless who know love’s tragedies.
But the bravest man is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in self-denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us. The body sins once, and is done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure or the luxury of regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it and your should grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that the greatest events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain and the brain only that the greatest sins of the world take place also.
I really liked the second one there; it explains the whole introduction very well.
On a second note. I don't know what's going to happen with this GT fair. I predict it will be alright of course, but nothing special. Nothing to which I'd particularly desire my name be attached to represent my "legacy". The whole "legacy concept" drives me nuts. Legacy can't be mandated for a grade! It's like requiring an inventor to create something that will change the course of history. Of course it's every person's goal to cause positive change, but change for change's sake only is misleading. It also cheapens the status of being a leader, because doing good things should be a personally enforced goal, not class initiated. Then again, I can understand the applicability of having some kind of marker or basic requirement for having a bit of decision-making power. I am a fan of having plenty of tests to test competancy as a general rule. Oh well. I guess I don't really have a decided opinion on the subject, because I am both for and against the idea for different reasons. I just don't like that "going above and beyond" is now being forced into some kind of rubric. It should be personal ambition to improve things rather than self-interest in getting a recommendation that drives leadership. I don't know. I'm not technically leadership anymore, so it's not my business.