Hopkins Take Two

Name: Aliza Fishbein

Year: Class of 2011

Hometown: Potomac, MD

Major(s): Political Science and Public Health

Previous Guest Blog Entries:
Nov 19, 2007: Tales of a Hopkins Freshman, (click here)


Hi, my name is Aliza and I’m currently in training for the Blue Key Society here at Hopkins. That’s the organization of students that act as tour guides on campus. If you’ve come to visit you have probably met a few of our members.

So anyway, when you meet prospective students you hear a lot of concern about social life on campus. I know, I had those same concerns when I applied just last year. After my week this past week I paused and literally thought: “whoa, whoa! Wait a sec!” I thought I’d share with you the story of my past week.

I’ll start with last Wednesday, 7 days ago when after a full day of classes I went to the Foreign Affairs Symposium’s guest speaker, John Bolton. I remember watching him speak at UN Press Conferences on TV just last year and was able to walk just 4 minutes to Shriver Hall and hear him in person! It was a little chilly that day so I decided to treat myself to Tamber’s, the Indian restaurant / 50’s Diner across the street from my campus dorm. I am currently pledging a sorority on campus, Alpha Phi, so I asked a sister of mine to join me. We sipped tea and discussed our days.

Come Thursday, a light day for me (I only have one class), I decided to sleep in a bit and leisurely get to my schoolwork. At 2:30 I met my upperclassmen friends at their cars in front of the library so we could meet the group of Baltimore City middle school students that we mentor at the National Aquarium in the Inner Harbor. I love my mentee, Aya. She is aAya driven 8th grader with lots of spunk and attitude. PSA Mentoring, the group that I belong to, does not draw its mentees from the bottom of the academic pool like the other mentoring groups on campus. Rather, it recruits from the top. Our mentees are typically the students who want to learn but don’t get the attention in the classroom they deserve because of the other rowdy students throwing chairs and such. These students need a positive influence in their lives to encourage them to stay on their track. So at the aquarium we saw a dolphin show, learned about how to preserve the marine environment, saw the sharks, stingrays, and seahorses. It was Aya’s first visit to the aquarium; I couldn’t believe it! And she lives in Baltimore!

Every Friday evening the HOP (Hopkins Organization for Programming) holds a movie night of recently released movies in the Mudd Auditorium. Usually my floor mates and I grab blankets and go over there for a nice relaxing evening movie. The movie that night was Enchanted which turned out to be hysterical even though I wasn’t really looking forward so much to seeing it. I was persuaded to go and I’m so glad that I did. That night was also a Mardi Gras themed party at the football fraternity, WaWa. They titled the evening MardiWa, I know, so clever. A bunch of my friends hopped over there too for some late night fun.

On Saturday morning I woke up extra early, grabbed myself a lox andAphi bagel from the Einstein’s in my dorm and headed off to the Marriot. On that particular day a not for profit organization called The Priceless Gown was holding their annual event in Baltimore. Over the past year they collected 1700 prom dresses plus assorted accessories. Some of my sorority sisters and I went to act as personal shoppers to hundreds of Baltimore City girls who wanted to pick out the perfect prom dress but couldn’t afford to pay for one. I had such a great time with my friend and meeting girls all the while learning a lot about the population of Baltimore. When the community service project was drawing to a close the girls and I walked just a few blocks to M&T Bank Stadium, home to the Baltimore Ravens. It was a chilly day but it didn’t matter because it was ESPN U’s double-header of University of Virginia v Syracuse and Johns Hopkins University vs. Princeton University Lax1in Lacrosse!

I hope you are aware that Hopkins is very, very proud of its champion Lacrosse team! Everyone was coming over in buses from campus and came together to cheer on the Blue Jays to victory! What a morning! It was my first Hopkins lacrosse game so I definitely enjoyed it. I came wearing all my gear and my black and blue Mardi Gras beads. Whenever we score the Blue Jays always chant the number of goals we have. So at four goals we stand up and chant: 1-2-3-4 WE WANT MORE! It’s so exhilarating to be out there with a winning team and its fans in a large NFL stadium.

At Hopkins it’s not all play as you may be surprised to find out from my week. After the game I returned back to campus to complete some homework. The next evening I attended the Foreign Affairs Symposium College Democrats vs. College Republicans debate. It was enlightening, particularly during the time election season. Afterwards was my sorority formal, Poison Ivy, which is well attended by many students not just by my sorority. I don’t usually go off campus to much in a general week, but this particular one was refreshing and welcome, especially as the weather was beginning to warm up.

The next few days consisted mostly of class and lots of meetings for my various clubs. I shadowed some tours as part of my training, and met with some of my political action groups as well. Right now I’m sitting at the Hopkins Hillel where I work as a building monitor. It’s said to be the best Lax3place to work on campus because it’s not difficult work and you mostly get to sit at the front desk and get paid to do your homework. I highly recommend it.

I hope that this blog entry has been enlightening for you. At Hopkins we’re a balanced bunch of students who both work hard and play hard. We’re active members of the community both on and off campus. So I really hope that you don’t find yourself checking Hopkins off your list because you’re not sure if we have an active social life here; it’s booming here! Hope to see you next fall!!

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