For the past three years of admissions volunteering, I’ve been asked the question “why did you choose Hopkins?” countless times. My answer has always been the same. “Well,” I say, “I liked how easy it is to double major here. I always knew I wanted to do something with computer science and business, and Hopkins made it very straight forward to combine the two. I thought the campus was absolutely spectacular, and I liked that there was no language requirement, because I hated taking a language in high school”. And that is how it went, over and over, like a broken record.
Until this year, when unexpected mid-summer scheduling changes meant that I now had an open slot in my schedule. I wasn’t interested in or had taken most other econ classes offered that would fit in the open schedule slot and I didn’t think I could handle the work load of a third computer science class. So, I made a bold move and signed up for Hebrew I.
Why? I don’t know. I spent a solid 8 years of Hebrew school throwing spitballs in the back of the class and sneaking out to go play basketball in the synagogue gym. I always planned on ending my language education in high school with an understanding of the Spanish language only slightly more advanced than the Taco Bell menu. But, for some reason, I decided it would be a cool thing to undertake and probably the last chance I’d ever get to formally learn a language.
So far, it has proved much more difficult than I had initially expected. I can honestly tell you that I put in just as much work in this class as any upper level course I’ve taken and still find myself needing help now and again. However, it is a course where progress can be measured far easier than most others. I can actually feel myself learning the language, and can look at where I was in the beginning of the semester compared to now and see a massive change. On top of all that, my back strength has probably improved, because this textbook weighs a ton, so carrying it around all day is quite the workout (although, my Algorithms textbook still takes the “I’d rather carry bricks than this thing in my backpack” award).
At the end of the day, though, I’m actually very happy with my decision. It is nice at least being able to say I know a little bit of another language, and my ability to read Hebrew has improved drastically so maybe now I won’t be totally lost during the Jewish holidays.
Thanks for reading!
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