Riding the Strugglebus: Amtrak Misadventures

Posted by | Posted on August 19, 2011


Last night was the first time I had ever woken up in Washington D.C. and not known why I was there. Wait, wait! It’s not what you think! Let me explain…

I spent all summer at Hopkins taking classes and working at a lab downtown at the School of Medicine. By the time August rolled around, I hadn’t really been home for about eight months, so as soon as I was done with my second set of summer finals (I know…summer finals…yuck), I hopped a plane back to Houston. The next ten days were a whirlwind of friends and family. My last full day there was spent on the beach (the sandy one in Galveston, not the grassy one at Hopkins!), playing soccer in the sand and Frisbee in the 89°F water. But the time came to leave home and go back Home(wood), so I got on another plane…destination, Baltimore…

When I got off the plane at BWI, everything seemed fine. I went to baggage claim and got my stuff. I headed out the doors and followed the signs to the left, where a bus that said “AMTRAK/MARC” pulled up and took me to the BWI train station. This is where my misadventure began.

I walked into the station and asked when the next MARC train heading to Penn Station would be taking on passengers (the MARC train is preferable to Amtrak only because it costs like four dollars to get to Penn from BWI, compared to the Amtrak which costs around twenty dollars). He replied that it would be about an hour. I was tired from a long day of travel, so, having no interest in waiting that long, I tearfully parted ways with my twenty-dollar bill. He handed me a ticket. This train was arriving in five minutes. HINT: My first clue should have been the ticket.

My second clue should have been that he told me to cross the bridge to the southbound side of the tracks. But I wasn’t paying attention, because I was exhausted and I just wanted to get back to school.

The train arrived and I, a little suspicious of my whereabouts, asked the conductor if this train was heading to Penn Station. “Yeah,” he said curtly. I persisted, “Penn Station…in Baltimore, right?” “Uh-huh.” Satisfied, I got onboard and lay down across two seats. Before I knew it I was asleep. I woke up to the sound of the conductors voice over a speaker in my car. “…(unintelligible)…Wash…(unintelligible)…D.C.!” I bolted awake. “WHAT???”, I shouted, causing the girl and her mother (who were wearing matching Georgetown hoodies) in the seats directly in front of me to jump halfway to the ceiling.

I disembarked, and found myself in what was unmistakably Union Station in Washington D.C.

I looked at my ticket, lo and behold it said: “TO–WASHINGTON D.C. (UNION)”!

I felt so betrayed! I had been misled to believe that I was going back to Homewood, and there I was walking behind two Hoyas in the nation’s capitol.

I began telling my story to everyone wearing an Amtrak uniform. Luckily, Amtrak’s headquarters is at Union Station, and my story reached the ears of a corporate higher-up who took pity on me. Turns out, he’s a Hopkins alum who now works for Amtrak and teaches Marketing classes at the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business. A train to Baltimore was just leaving, and he was supposed to be on it as well. He spoke to the conductor for this train and got me on for free! I thanked him and we parted ways–him (I can only imagine) to the super-fancy-special-private car for Amtrak executives, and me to Coach.

Finally back at Penn Station, I walked outside just as the JHMI shuttle was rolling up. I got on and it dropped me off at Charles Commons.

So I guess there are a few morals to this story…

First: Check your ticket. Do it right now.
Second: B’More is NORTH of BWI; D.C. is SOUTH of BWI…if you’re on the SAME SIDE as the ticket office, the trains go NORTH.
Third: Hopkins alumni are friendly, helpful and EVERYWHERE.
Fourth: The JHMI Shuttle is your friend. It will never forsake you. Say thank you to the driver when you get off.

Stay classy, Johns Hopkins.


Posted in Advice, Breaks, The "Real" World |

The Calm Before the Storm (and after…)

Posted by | Posted on August 13, 2011


Anybody familiar with the weather, which I sincerely hope is everyone, knows that a storm can come sneak up at a moments notice and disappear just as quickly.  Many things in life follow along with this pattern, and because of that it is vital that we become accustomed to rapid changes in our lifestyle, then rapidly being switched back.  For example, when I was moving into camp, not much time was given to become accustomed to life there, and as soon as you grew to a regular routine, it was time to go home and suddenly you were back to the lifestyle you had before leaving.

The view of Newport, RI from the upper boat deck.

Going to school is surprisingly similar.  The first semester comes as a bit of a shock to the system.  There are countless new faces around you, a new room, different rules from home, more freedom and independence.  By the time second semester rolls around, you’ve made your friends, you have a group you are comfortable with, know the routine and know what to do and when.   But second semester does not last forever, and eventually the time will come to move back.

That being said, from my experiences, I’d like to pass down a few words of wisdom to help out when dealing with these rapid moves.  First, don’t let them sneak up on you.  When you are getting everything ready to leave for school, don’t wait until the last minute to start thinking of what to pack, only to realize that you still need to shop or that you get there and forgot something important.  Start a list early, and add to it as you go about your planning.  This will help when you finally move in, and can be confident that you don’t need to be doing any last minute shopping and can know that you have all you’ll need.  The same applies for when you are ready to leave–when you determine you no longer need something until you go home, pack it.  That way when move out day comes, you’ll be able to say your goodbyes without having to worry about packing and such.

Second, I’d recommend you keep an open mind towards meeting people.  Everywhere you go will come with a different group, whether it be school, camp, home, etc.  Don’t go in with that attitude of immediately missing your home friends.  By the time you experience your new place and meet new people, you’ll be comfortable enough without them.  Be accepting to people and keep in mind that many of them are in the same situation as you are, new and confused.  Bond over what you have in common; explore together or learn from their experiences.

Finally, if you find something you enjoy, make a mental note of it but continue to try new things.  One thing which I do regret about freshman year is that I stuck pretty much to the same three or four places for eating and such and only towards the end of the year did I begin to branch out more.  I liked the places I went to, but never got to experience other enjoyable places until the end.  Once you’ve tried a variety of places, you can determine which are the ones you’ll continue to frequent and this will lead to a diverse and fun experience.

I hope this was helpful, and that you’ll keep some of these tips in mind for the next time a storm shows up on your radar (wow, that was really cheesy…sorry).

Thanks for reading,


Current track: H*A*M by Jay-Z and Kanye West


P.S. This will be my final post in the Class of 2014 Freshman Blog, seeing as how I am entering into my Sophomore year.  Thus, all my future posts will be in my own blog, http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/nick/. Enjoy!

Posted in Advice, The "Real" World |

What I Learned At Camp

Posted by | Posted on July 30, 2011


For the past 5 weeks, I’ve been in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania working at a camp teaching leadership training to Jewish teens between the ages of 15 and 17.  It is a program which I attended before my junior year in high school, and it has been an honor to come back as a staff member.  Through this experience, I have grown in several ways and have had my experiences at Hopkins come in handy several times.

The McOcho

1. Late nights during finals week are nothing.  Yeah, you may stay up late a few nights a semester before a big exam, but when you are the sole staff member in charge of 25 teenage boys in a bunk for 5 weeks, its like having a calc final every morning and pulling an all nighter for it every night.  They are exhausting.  They stay up until 3, knowing perfectly well that they have to be up at 7:45, but complain every morning anyway.  You’d think that by week two they would catch on, but no, they did not.

2. People seem to have a very, very difficult time setting up projectors.  As a future computer scientist, I was always the go-to guy for projector set up.  It really is astonishing how people can’t figure out where the one cord on the projector plugs in to the computer.  It doesn’t take a degree to figure that one out.

3. Campus food  > camp food.  Don’t complain about dining hall food at Hopkins, it is exponentially superior to camp food in every way.  If you’ve ever read my blogs, you know I love food, and its been difficult here to get proper nourishment (see the McOcho picture, taken on my day-off trip to McDonalds).

Chillin in the kiddie pool

4. Kiddie pools make everything more fun.  This is true both at Hopkins and at camp…hence the purchase of a $20 blow up pool for next year.

5. 3G is your best friend.  You never truly appreciate something as simple as 3G service until it becomes like a unicorn, you’ve heard it exists around camp but you’ve never actually seen it.

It may seem like I don’t like it here, but don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it.  The people are fantastic and the experience has been amazing.  The negative aspects of the camp are things we can bond over and crack jokes about.  It overall has been a growing experience, and many things I have gained from here will help me as I move into my sophomore year at Hopkins.


Thanks for reading,



Current track: Pon De Floor by Major Lazer

Posted in Advice, The "Real" World |

The Woodpecker

Posted by | Posted on July 29, 2011


Woodpeckers.  Those birds used to drill their long, sharp beaks into the wooden boards on the outside of my house.  They’d show up occasionally and the sounds they’d make would reverberate through my house, body, and brain.  They sounded like power tools.  A nuisance.  Rather annoying, actually.  The light gray paint on a few of the wooden planks was starting to chip off.  Sometimes, when we heard the birds pecking away, we’d just ignore them (that was hard, because they were really irritating!) Other times, we’d get so fed up that my dad would climb onto the roof and attach one of his many bandanas to a pole (he even made a scarecrow once)—in the wind, this rag would whip against the side of the house and scare away any woodpeckers at work.

Me smiling in a kayak because I'm successfully avoiding woodpeckers!

The summer before I went away to college, my parents decided to fix up the outside of the house.  Most of the boards were replaced, every single hole was filled, and the entire house was painted a darker gray.  We hoped that this darker color would be less inviting to the woodpeckers—maybe they’d leave us alone now.

Well, it worked for a little bit.  But then, just this morning, we had an unwanted visitor.  I was sitting in my kitchen enjoying a delicious breakfast waffle.  All of a sudden, I heard a loud series of patters.  My dad ran outside just in time to catch the flutter of the wooderpecker’s wings as it flew up and away into the treetops.

“You better get out of here, Bro!” My dad called to the bird—as if speaking to it colloquially would help his case.  The woodpeckers were back.

So, I bet you’re wondering…what extended metaphor could JHU_Lucie possibly be trying to create with these long-beaked, feathery flappers?

Don't worry, be happy! :) --photo by JHU_Joe

I associate woodpeckers with the people in life who simply detract.  Those who act as deterrents or degraders.  A woodpecker could be the girl in your homeroom who made a mean comment about your shirt.  A woodpecker could be the boy at lunch who wouldn’t invite you to sit with him and his friends.  A woodpecker could be the professor that gave you three exams in one week, or the boss that made you fetch her a coffee and later asked you to return it, claiming there was too much soy milk in it.

We’ve all probably been targeted by a woodpecker throughout high school at one point or another.  They’re unnecessary and irritating, but they’re there nonetheless.  My house needed slight repairs from the damage of the woodpeckers, just as you yourself might need some “re-patching.”

Making the transition from high school to college is the perfect time to make these renovations.  Fill in some of the cracks and apply a fresh coat of paint.

Stay away, woodpeckers!!!!--photo by JHU_Joe, again

So, where am I going with this?  Well…just as the woodpecker returned to my house, woodpeckers will most definitely come back to you.  Going off to college doesn’t mean you’re moving to Australia, where there are no woodpeckers (side-note: Australia does not have woodpeckers and nobody knows why!)  Then again, maybe you are going to Australia—to the University of Sydney—where you won’t ever stumble across those pecking pains.  What you will find, however, at any university (yes, including JHU) is the human version of woodpeckers.  Those detractors, deterrents, and degraders.  They’re out there.  Now, I’m not sitting here telling you that Hopkins is full of them (because it most certainly is NOT), but going to college means entering the real world, and entering the real world means opening yourself up to woodpeckers.  Be ready to overcome whatever social and/or academic challenges these woodpeckers may throw at you.

How should you go about this?  Just as we fixed up our house, you should tend to yourself; make sure you’re not scarred from any past peckers.  Making relationships, building confidence, acquiring new knowledge, involving yourself beyond the classroom, and immersing yourself in your environment will help to fortify your character and make you less susceptible to long-term woodpecker damage.  Then what?  Maintain!  Work hard to quickly patch up any fractures, always have a can of fresh “paint” handy, and be ready for whatever flies your way.

Posted in Advice, Social Life, The "Real" World |

The Screenplay of My Life

Posted by | Posted on July 9, 2011


At Straight Up Films, the company I’m interning for this summer, I spend my days reading and critiquing screenplays.  One day I’ll read a romantic-comedy.  The next, I’ll pick up a murder mystery, or even a zombie western (I’m not kidding).  It’s always been a dream of mine to write a screenplay—perhaps I’d even base it on my own life.  The problem is, although I have an idea of the direction that my life is going, I’m still unsure of where life’s path will eventually take me.

I came into Hopkins as a Neuroscience major, planning to go on the pre-med track and eventually attend medical school.  Or did I want to become a plastic surgeon?  Within two months, I had changed my major to Film and Media Studies.  When I took my Introduction to Fiction and Poetry Writing course, I switched over to the Writing Seminars department.  Indecisive.  I know.

The way my schedule would look next semester if I were to add Chemistry to my courseload

A few days ago, I came up with the idea that I wanted to become a dermatological surgeon.  I quickly signed up for Chemistry to fulfill the first of my pre-med requirements.  The next day, I dropped the class.  Indecisive, again.  I know.  I realized that dermatology was more of a hobby in my eyes, and, as my mom says, “Medicine is not a hobby, it is a lifelong commitment.”

Me (left) and Rose...one of my friends from Hopkins who knew that she has wanted to be a doctor since before she was in middle school

On some days, I’m sure that I want to get my own agent and try out for commercials.  On other days, I want to be that agent.  One week, I want to be the host of a reality TV show.  The next week, I want to write the TV show’s script.  Soon after, I want to star in it.  Do I want to be on screen or behind the scenes?  Do I want to write a script or be written in to a script?  Do I want to produce?  Direct?  Or am I destined to work in Las Vegas and be the bartender at the Hard Rock Café?  (I am a certified bartender, you know.)  These are questions that I ask myself every day.  My parents tell me that many people who end up on TV didn’t necessarily dream of being famous—maybe they started as a radio personality.  Or a lawyer.  Or a seismic activity expert.  Does the fact that, at the age of 18, I know I want to entertain mean that I’ll never make it there?  Does it mean I will make it?

A school like Hopkins has the tendency to scare people. The students are incredibly driven.  Many of my friends knew what career they’ve wanted since they were in middle school.  I, however, did not. I’ve switched my course load many times (ask my academic advisor, he’ll vouch for me), yet I still don’t know exactly what I want to be.

Read it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t know.  I’m not ready to decide.  And you know what?  That’s perfectly OK.  My summer film internship will help me determine if I’m more interested in reading scripts or working on the production of movies.  The book I’ve been reading, Sit, Ubu, Sit by Gary David Goldberg (the creator and writer of the hit NBC TV show, “Family Ties”), has given me some insight into the television industry. Maybe the fact that I get jealous of performers in the NYC subway systems means that I’m destined to perform.  Maybe the fact that after reading Goldberg’s book and learning of his 14 million dollar syndication packages, I’m suddenly (gee, I wonder why) inspired to write a TV series, means that I’m destined to create—who knows?!

The world will have to wait for the screenplay of my life to become a major motion picture—I simply haven’t come up with an ending yet.

A screenshot of me and my friend Julie in Cobra Starship's new music video, "You Make Me Feel"


Posted in Perspectives, Reflection, The "Real" World |

HOPping Off of the Stress Rollercoaster!

Posted by | Posted on June 25, 2011


Most high school students know that, come summertime, their schedules completely open up.  What a relaxing time compared to their 8:30AM-3:00PM high school class schedules, right?  Now that I’m a college student, summertime hasn’t become any less relaxing for me; the difference is that my school year has become so much more relaxing, that the dividing line between school and summer is quickly becoming imperceptible to me.

Something that most first-year college students find incredible is the amount of free time that is available to them on a normal weekday.  Sure, they have class for the occasional 3-4 hours, but it’s nothing compared to high school’s grueling seven-hour-straight workday.

JHU_Lucie’s first semester at Hopkins: I took five courses. Three days a week, I only had two short classes.

JHU_Lucie’s second semester at Hopkins:  I also took five courses.  My classes were a bit more spread out than they were first semester.  Occasionally, I’d only have class for a mere two and a half hours a day!

Here's my schedule for next semester

And here I am, going into my first semester of sophomore year, and I think I’ve finally got it right.  Since I came into Hopkins with a few AP credits, I can afford to take four classes next semester.  Three out of five days a week, I have class for less than two hours.  Two of those days, I only have one class! And, get this: I’ve learned how to make my course schedule fit with my body’s schedule.  I am a huge night owl (most days of the week, I don’t go to sleep until about 2 or 3AM).  I know that I have a hard time functioning early in the morning.  Therefore, the earliest class that I signed up for starts at 10:30AM, and I’m not taking any nighttime courses since I have A cappella rehearsals at night (and also, I hate to miss my weekly Stressbusters on Monday nights!).

Being home for summer definitely feels different—living in a house is nothing like living in a college dorm, NY is nothing like Baltimore, and, of course, I miss all of my crazy friends from Hopkins.  What’s not too different, though, is the amount of stress that I have.  Check out this line-graph displaying the difference in my stress in high school vs. college (not really sure what the stress-scale is measured in…)

My stress chart (click to enlarge)

Notice how in high school, my stress-level fluctuated like a rollercoaster!  Hopkins has given me the ability to ‘HOP’ off of that rollercoaster.

Summer is no longer a quickly-fleeting, long-awaited fairytale.  In fact, Hopkins is becoming that quickly-fleeting, long-awaited fairytale.  In fact, I’ve done the calculations, and I’m actually working more hours over the summer at my internship than I would be spending in class if I were at school!  I can’t wait to get back.

Posted in Classes, Reflection, The "Real" World |

A Day in the Life of Allysa

Posted by | Posted on June 17, 2011


Many SAABers have written a “microblog” of their day and so I decided to give this a try to give you a glimpse into my life!

7:30 AM – Woke up to a vibrating bed. Yep, a vibrating bed. Because I’m deaf, I can’t hear a regular alarm, so my entire bed vibrates. When I have friends over, I like to have them sit on my bed and, without their knowledge, have the alarm go off. Imagine what your reaction would be if an earthquake suddenly happened. It’s like that. Snooze button.

7:45 AM – Really gotta get up.

8:00 AM – Finally got up. Put my hearing aids on. Sounds come to life. Made coffee with my very handy Keurig single cup brewer. You just put in a K-cup and ta-da! Fresh brewed coffee.

My coffee machine and of course, my Hopkins mug!

8:30 AM – Off to class. It takes about 10 minutes to walk to campus from my apartment.

8:45 AM – In Remsen 233. Said hello to my two interpreters who just arrived right before me. Today’s only lecture (I’m taking Chemistry I and lab) so part of the reason why I love Fridays: no lab! Dr. Pasternack teaches for 2 hours (classes in the summer usually last this long because everything is condensed into one month). We focus on thermodynamics and in particular absolute entropy. We also cover Gibbs free energy and its relation to spontaneity. You can imagine how hard it is for the interpreters to sign thermodynamics or stoichiometry or Avogardo…

11:00 AM – Class is finally over and I am starving! Met up with my boyfriend (he’s a tour guide, so maybe you’ve seen him around!) and grabbed lunch at Chipotle. One of many students’ favorite places to frequent. Grabbed a grande latte with soy milk at Starbucks afterwards.

12:00 PM – Off to Mason Hall for work! Admissions_Daniel is my boss. I would say it’s probably the best job I’ve ever had so far. I help out with SAAB and admissions-related stuff.

Where I work

5:00 PM – Done for the day!

5:10 PM – Stopped by the sculpture gardens near the Baltimore Museum of Art (right next to Mason Hall) on my way home. Took some shots. One of the pieces was undergoing renovation and it was really cool to watch the artist do her work on the piece.

Baltimore Museum of Art's sculpture gardens

The newly renovated piece

5:20 PM – Said howdy to my neighbor JHU_Noah!


5:25 PM – Cleaned up the apartment and did the dishes. Living in an apartment for the summer has been so far such a great experience. You become really independent. I used to be a bit wary about living off campus but it’s a thousand times better than I thought. The area is safe, I see people that I know every day (like JHU_Noah!), and the neighborhood is just so charming. The only time I spazzed out a bit (well…a lot) was when I heard very loud knocking on my door. Usually, people text me beforehand so I can keep an eye out for them since doorbells and knocking don’t really work for me. So I had no idea who was at the door… But then I got a text from my brother saying, “Open up!” It turned out to be a surprise visit!

7:00 PM – My boyfriend and I decide to go to the Inner Harbor. Took a cab (just a 5 minute ride away).

Inner Harbor at Sunset

7:15 PM – Got dinner at Edo’s, possibly the best sushi place I’ve ever been to. So good!


8:30 PM – Explored the Inner Harbor!

Aaron and I

11:30 PM – Finally home. Off to bed. Turn hearing aids off. All goes quiet.

Posted in Academics, Baltimore, The "Real" World |

We on TV!!!

Posted by | Posted on June 14, 2011


On the set!

That’s right, people, I am officially a TV star.  I now join the ranks of Jerry Seinfeld, Gary Colman, and Homer Simpson. This past weekend, I was on MTV (don’t worry, it wasn’t on “16 And Pregnant”). How did I get my big break? Funny you should ask. Here is the story of my rise to stardom.

A friend of mine who I did a summer program at NYU with a few summers ago came in to visit from Michigan, and we decided to meet up with a few other friends of ours in New York City.  We did some exploring, went on the ferris wheel in Toys-R-Us, got some chocolate at the Hershey’s store, and I got a baller M&M’s tie at the M&M’s store.  As we walked through Time Square, a young woman came up to us holding orange wristbands and asked if we wanted to be on MTV.  Obviously, we accepted.  She gave each of us a wristband and directed us to the building where everything was going on.  When we went in, they took/searched out bags and had us go through metal detectors (this is the point where they confiscated my Swiss Army Knife, which I never got back).  We were told we were going to be a part of the live studio audience for the show “The Seven”, which was filmed in the same room that TRL used to be in.  “The Seven” is a news show where the top 7 entertainment stories are presented in front of a live studio audience.  Unfortunately, that day there were no celeb guests (I had my fingers crossed for Justin Beiber), but it was still pretty cool being in the studio.

The most epic Nerf gun of all time.

Before they made us leave our cellphones, I texted my parents to have them TIVO it so I could re live my fame over and over again.  As it turns out, I was ACTUALLY ON MTV!!! In the beginning you can see about half of my body, and for about 3 seconds 2/3 of the way into the show, I am clearly visible in a pan of the audience.  Epic? I think yes.

So what does this have to do with anything? Its simple.  Be spontaneous.  Don’t think you need a plan, you never know what kind of plans your plans can get in the way of.  Our plan for New York? Go to New York.  Come back home eventually.  So whether it’s walking around in New York City or a weekend at school, don’t think you need to have your life needs to be perfectly planned out.  The best things can happen spontaneously and without warning.  If an opportunity presents itself, take it. Take it and enjoy it.  When you come to college, one of the best things you’ll find is the lack of plans.  Want to hang out with someone? Go down the hall and knock on their door, see if they’re in.  If not, go find someone else. That’s how it works, no need to plan out who you’ll see and what you’ll be doing.  And that is probably the best part about coming to college and meeting new people: you never know who will show up and what you’ll do.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed. I’ll be signing autographs next year, so come find me if you want one!


Current track: Numb/Encore (Lincoln Park/Jay-Z)

Posted in Advice, Social Life, The "Real" World |

Wish Me Luck!

Posted by | Posted on June 11, 2011


Summer is a time for fun, relaxation, catching up on lost sleep, oh…and job applications.  As much as I don’t want to face the facts, I know that I have reached the time in my life where I should strive for a job or an internship over the summer.  One year ago from today, this was my biggest fear.  I had no idea how to go about applying for a job.  Writing a cover letter or a resume? Forget about it.  I was totally in the dark.

The textbook that I am keeping forever!

During my first semester at Hopkins, I took a course called Professional Communications.  In this class of less than twenty students, I mock applied for a job and was required to write a complete cover letter and to put together my resume.  The course’s textbook, Successful Writing at Work by Philip C. Kolin, is officially the only textbook that I’ve bought at the JHU Barnes and Noble and have decided to keep as opposed to sell back.  I recommended the class to a few of my friends, as well, and I’m a strong advocate that the course should be required for all Hopkins students in general.

Second semester, I took Oral Presentations.  In this course, I learned how to deliver concise yet informational extemporaneous as well as prepared presentations—a skill that I will absolutely need to master before I enter the job scene.  Additionally, the class’ TA conducted mock job interviews with the students.  Each speech and mock interview was followed up with constructive criticism from classmates and a feedback form from the professor.  The course also used an interactive video program to record each of our presentations online so that we could watch them in the privacy of our own rooms and evaluate our performance.

Don't worry...even though I'm applying for internships, I'm still enjoying my summer and seeing my Hopkins friends!

This week, as I prepare for my upcoming interviews, I’ve opened my notebooks from these two courses and have spread my notes all over my bedroom floor.  I went back to my Professional Communications folder on my computer, opened my resume assignment, and pressed print.  In addition, I’ve reviewed my oral presentations that were recorded online.  And now, I am ready.  All I can do is put my newfound skills to the test. Wish me luck!


Posted in Academics, Classes, The "Real" World |


Posted by | Posted on May 31, 2011


Yes, it’s that time of year again. The season of warmth and sun and fun and friends and polysyndeton and hiding from CTY kids. It’s Summer at Hopkins. It’s SummerHop. Get psyched.

The Beach is the spot to be during the summer. This picture is misleading. The Beach is always full of people playing soccer, tanning or just hanging out.

I first experienced SummerHop when I took classes during the second summer term just before my freshman year (read a blog about my pre-frosh SummerHop experience here).

Just hugging a giant Reese's at HersheyPark. No big deal.

But SummerHopDos is going to be a whole different adventure. There are some key differences between this summer and last. A year ago, I was living in The Buildings with a bunch of rising high school seniors and a few Hopkins freshmen like myself, whereas now I’m subletting from one of my best friends and staying in his house in Charles Village, just a block or two south of Barnes & Noble. Last summer, I was taking 6 credits of humanities classes (Introduction to Bioethics and Foundations of Modern Political Philosophy), whereas this summer I’m not taking any classes at all (not for credit anyway…) and am doing research full time at the School of Medicine. I am, however, attending a class. Next Fall, I and nearly all the sophomore Neuroscience majors will be taking Nervous System I (followed by NSII in the Spring). Since they’re both offered in the Summer, why not check them out?

And on the weekends, we explore. This weekend I’m going on a road-trip with some friends into the heart of

At a JHU SummerU party...

western Pennsylvania…why? Because we can. The weekend after that we’re going to an Orioles game and will probably be up to some shenanigans, which have historically ended in disaster and hilarity. Yes, my friends, on the weekends we are Blue Jays on the lam.

But when we return, we put our noses to our respective academic and professional grindstones and excel in a way that only Hopkins students can. Unrelenting, indiscriminate, indefatigable learning. Or something.

SummerHopDos. Let’s go Hop.

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