For starters, I’m taking my last required applied math class. The idea of last is strange and I don’t think I’m ready to start hitting the rest of the last milestones. Plus, I’m taking a “break” from public health. I wanted to fill my schedule this semester with classes that I wouldn’t usually take to get a breath of fresh air before possibly entering my final year of public health.
My 14 credits are split four ways among different departments across both Krieger and Whiting, and I absolutely love it. I’m covering a wide range of subjects, which entails a whole array of different assignments and class structures, which in turn, entails a whole array of different school supplies. Let’s take a look at the materials I’m using this semester. (For general life-handling and management, I’m using my Moleskine journal quite a bit. I talked about it a bit here!)
Anthropology of Design:
These small dot-grid notebooks are kind of amazing. Combined with my weapon of choice — the fine point Sharpie pen — I’ve come to really enjoy taking notes in Anthropology of Design. I like scribbling down quotes that stick out to me, and make weird side-comments that are sometimes unrelated but usually inquisitive. I annotate my readings like crazy, and despite it being a 2 1/2 hour class, discussion is always fascinating. Everyone brings their own personal experiences and knowledge to the literal table. We’ve defined art as a sort of “trap”, contemplated the extensive use of glass in airports, and decided that the aspect of delay in design can be found in fans waiting for Frank Ocean’s sophomore album to finally drop.
Laptop (and other technology)
Annotated lectures are posted online so I don’t really take notes (just try to listen!) The class covers C/C++, so a laptop is kind of important. We use Piazza as our sort of online hub, and use Github extensively to track changes and share up-to-date versions of group projects.
Introduction to Statistics:
After 14.5 years of math classes, I’ve finally discovered that plain paper is the key to perfect math notes. Why? Lines are too constraining, my handwriting is kind of small, and I like drawing lots of arrows and small graphs. Judging from the past homeworks and quizzes, this is going to be a challenging class; my notes need to be in tip-top shape. Today’s lecture notes are pictured below. And even if I don’t understand all of them, I am very proud of them.
Urban & Environmental Systems:
My professor for Urban & Environmental Systems posts extensive notes online so I don’t take too many notes! I do scribble down diagrams and graphs though, because they’re not usually pictured within the notes he posts. I use a basic spiral notebook and my trusty Sharpie pen and I’m good to go. The class is actually a nice kind of extension to my Mathematical Modeling & Consulting class from last semester. We’re covering optimization techniques for urban and environmental planning, and a lot of the types of problems we’re covering I’ve encountered before in my applied math courses!
This is my first year spending the entirety of my winter break and Intersession back home in Delaware, and I’ve tried my best to not be a degenerate, but I would definitely say I spent the majority of my time in hibernation.
And once I get back to Baltimore, there’s things I’ll still need to continue, and new things I want to do. I know things is like the least descriptive word possible and all of my past English teachers would kill me, but all of the things (ugh) that I plan on doing are all pretty random and unrelated that I don’t know what to call them. I really wouldn’t call them resolutions: some of them are just really important items on my to-do list, others are attempts at positive lifestyle changes. Anyways, here are these things:
I plan on dusting off my DSLR camera that I found in my closet and bringing it to Baltimore with me. I used to love taking photos, first with my camera, and then with my phone. Then, for some reason, I kind of stopped. I don’t really know why. Currently, phone’s Camera Roll is all screenshots and memes. I miss taking photos just to take photos. I think this will help feed the creative half of my brain. He seems hungry.
Yup. Water is good for you for like way too many reasons, and I’m really bad at getting enough water throughout the day. My cousin got me a cool, trendy Hydroflask for Christmas, so if I drink three full Hydroflasks worth of water a day, I’ll call it a success! Real tip: use drinking water as a procrastination tool for studying.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. But really. I haven’t really followed any sort of exercise plan since I ran my half-marathon in October (oops). I used to follow a pretty consistent lifting routine, but before I started training for the half, I was getting bored of the same thing. I need to do some research because I want to change it up. Maybe it’s time to try out those battle ropes I’ve always wanted to use, but never knew how to.
Thanks to all of the environmental health classes I’ve taken last semester, I know eating meatless is a really effective to lessen your personal carbon footprint. Plus, eating meatless at least once a week will save me money and challenge me to try and make some more humane magic in the kitchen.
Aaaannnd on the exact opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve wanted to have a Korean bbq night at my house with a bunch of my friends for the longest time. My friend and I lovewatchingMaangchi’svideos on YouTube and I’ve been inspired! One of my housemates has an electric skillet that I think will be perfect for the tabletop cooking.
Hire me, please.
They’re a black hole of negativity and usually, ignorance. I waste so much time reading what people say and just end up getting really mad for no good reason. Not productive or helpful to me in any way, shape, or form.
I’ve loved living in my house this past year, but we learned a couple of weeks ago that our landlord is selling the property, so my housemates and I are going to need to find a new place. The group of guys I’m living with is switching up a bit, but I’m excited to live with my friend Andrew next year, one of my first friends I ever made on campus. So sentimental.
(And better.) I really want this semester to be the one where I finally internalize that staying up super late and waking up right before noon might not be the best sleep schedule for myself. I have some 9ams this semester, so I am really trying to get in the habit of sleeping early and waking up early.
Every day, I am thankful that my friends have such an amazing taste in music. From creating collaborative Spotify playlists, to sharing Pitchfork reviews, to listening to my friends’ radio shows on WJHU, there’s no excuse for me to listen to the same song the entire day… unless it’s 00000 Million.
My cousin gave me a Moleskine and I want to use it for really whatever: to-do lists, notes, random ideas, recipes, doodles, sketches, angry rants. I already set up my journal like a Bullet Journal, a system that seems easy, efficient, and very flexible, so let’s see if I stick with it.
Random ideas in my journal turn into side projects I want to get my hands dirty with. From graphic design, to data analyses, to apps, there’s so much I want to do that’s not really a part of (but definitely has been influenced by) my coursework.
Described on their website as a “launch pad for Baltimore’s most exciting chefs”, R. House is a newly opened food hall (like a food court, but better?) in Remington (right next to campus!) that features new chefs on the food scene. From what I’ve learned, it’s like a market with a bunch of different individual stalls that feature a different chef and their cuisine. Funny enough, someone described it to me as “kind of like the FFC”. Sounds accurate.
I am 100% serious that this is a real goal of mine.
Inspired by the many demonstrations, protests, and marches happening around the world, I want to help out at a local organization for a cause I support, whether it’s through Hopkins or just through the city itself.
Some of my friends and I have preliminary plans of going to the West Coast for spring break and visiting San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle, but we haven’t settled any details yet. I really don’t want anything to fall through so we need to get on this!
This is the last semester I’ll get with my senior friends, and I need to spend as much time with them as I can before they get annoyed with me and then graduate… and then I become a senior myself…
Despite the fact that I’m still waiting for one more final grade in one of my classes, this past semester is essentially all wrapped up. It seems like every semester that goes by is shorter and shorter, and this fall semester was no exception. Academically, this will probably be my best semester with the exception of freshman fall. Personally, I did a lot of growing and spent good chunks of time reflecting and thinking ahead to the future. I would call that a success. But I didn’t do it all myself! I got some help along the way:
Eddie’s Market and the friendly staff. Thank you to the man who always makes my breakfast sandwiches and the woman at checkout who always gets super happy when I bring my own reusable bag in. Also, just thank you to whoever decided you get a free coffee with a purchase of an Eddie’s breakfast sandwich. One of the best deals in Charles Village. Even when Towson Hot Bagels opens up, I will always stay faithful.
My applied math wifey, Simi, for the cumulative time we’ve spent working on applied math assignments these past 2.5 years and especially this past semester. Thank you for calling me when I don’t understand a concept, digging through lines of code with me to find errors (usually something dumb), and not getting mad when I laugh at your funny looking plots. Although your time in AMS has come to an end, I will be asking you tons of questions about stat next semester!!
My fellow music appreciators, Aaron and Danny. I am thankful for our lil cosmic latte, and for Solange, and 22, A Million, and Topaz Jones, and Blonde. Thank you for always wanting to listen to Nightride and throwing on “Player” anytime you have the aux. You both will always be fantastic additions to any Facebook livestream I ever have, even when we’re not en route to Shake Shack. We will loyally await the next seasons of Insecure and Westworld together.
Low acid coffee from Carma’s, with room. Thank you, best $2 I ever spend in the mornings, for the 1) warmth and 2) caffeine. You are the best companion to walk into Brody or to class with. And although my mom got me French press for Christmas so that I will stop spending my money on coffee, I will always remember you, and on some mornings, I will splurge on you.
Any meal I’ve shared with someone this semester. Thank you Woo, for bringing me boba that one time and wanting to get late night milkshakes with me from Papermoon even though they changed their hours. Thank you Frank, for encouraging me to always make mac and cheese even when its 1 in the morning. Thank you Aaron and Josh for dropping bills with me post-date party to feast on short ribs and pork belly at Joung Kak. Thank you Andrew, for always being down to cook dinner, even in the midst of finals. Thank you Adrian, for the countless dinners and endless hummus.
My housemates: Wade, Simon, Aaron, Tom, and Frank, for letting me decompress in your rooms after a long day. For always being down to chill on any given weeknight, even when you have something to do early the next morning. For letting me steal your ibuprofen, cereal, and articles of clothing. And for being truly for the boys, and joining me again on the quest for a new homestead next year (RIP).
Baltimore. For The Bun Shop and Artifact Coffee, when I don’t feel like studying on campus. For Dooby’s and TenTen, for the best comfort food a boy can get for dinner on a weeknight. For Old Bank and Beatnik and Floyd’s, for fresh cuts and the courage to get me down to a 0-guard fade. For the half marathon itself, the accompanying training, and the race day cheers from the locals. And for Taharka Brothers ice cream, for any and every occasion.
For one of my classes, Environment & Society, our “final” was to investigate an environmental problem of our choice, write up a paper about it, and also incorporate some sort of creative presentation or display that would help people make realistic choices about the issue at hand.
Last week, we presented our creative projects in class and I was wowed by what everyone had to share! My peers wrote plays about fracking, wrote and illustrated childrens’ books about fish protesting the construction of a nearby industrial complex, developed board games that showed players the trade-offs between environmental and economic costs, and made apps that helped you save orangutans. It was awesome.
For my project, I wanted to investigate our current food system and how it has created problems of food insecurity and environmental degradation. For the creative component, I vlogged my experience living on only $15 over the course of three days, only able to buy food from a different source each day: a convenience store, a grocery store, and a farmers market.
I learned a lot from the experience — that being food insecure is exhausting, and that the conventional food system is something that needs to be changed if we want to create a sustainable future for all.
Take a look at my experience and learn what you can do to be an advocate for food sustainability and food justice!
As course registration for the spring semester began to approach a couple of weeks ago, I realized that yet another semester was coming to a close and I had a true-to-form “yikes” moment.
I’ll save the drama and just say that basically, I wasn’t exactly sure I was fully enjoying everything I’ve been studying, and I still wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do after Hopkins. I think I was so focused on knocking out degree requirements left and right for my majors and graduating in 3 1/2 years, that I hadn’t really taken a second to reflect on these last few years and think hard about the spookily close “future”.
I consulted a bunch of my friends and gave them the low-down and they were all extremely supportive and helpful. One of my housemates recommended that I just sit down, look back at the classes I’ve taken at Hopkins, and break them down. What were my favorite classes? What did I enjoy about them? What would be potential related job opportunities?
So I did just that. I took a look at each semester’s schedule, picked my stand-out favorites, and tried to synthesize some sort of overarching theme that could link them all and hopefully produce an aha moment about the rest of my time at Hopkins and after.
Fall 2014: Discrete Mathematics
Wow, what a throwback. I remember the first homework assignment being a bunch of different math puzzles and games, the goal being to get us used to approaching problems from a logical mindset. This was the basis of the entire class. Throughout the semester, I got my first look at algorithms, learned how to write mathematical proofs, and was introduced to a variety of interesting topics like cryptography and graph theory. Might sound like a weird choice, but definitely one of my favorites of this semester.
Spring 2015: Introduction to Computing
Introduction to Computing was literally my introduction to computing. With zero coding experience, I enrolled in the class to get some hands-on learning and programming knowledge. I found myself really enjoying the homework assignments and learning how to problem solve with code. There was something so, so satisfying about getting my code to work and figuring out the solution to the problem at hand.
Fall 2015: Introduction to Optimization
This class introduced me to the field of optimization and helped me solidify my applied math focus area! You can see similarities between this class and my other favorites: problem solving, coding, analytical thinking. These were the aspects I enjoyed the most about this class. The problem sets and coding were challenging, but I distinctly remember the beautiful feeling of running my simplex method function and it finally working perfectly. Super satisfying.
Spring 2016: Data Visualization for Individualized Health
I’ve already raved about how much I like this class, so I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but this class really helped me shape my current path as to what I want to further study and pursue after Hopkins. The class was quantitative and code-heavy, but we also talked about visual theory and how to make numbers aesthetically pleasing and communicable. Ugh.
Fall 2016: Mathematical Modeling and Consulting
I decided to take this class because I was intrigued by the strange, mysterious world of “consulting” as more and more of my friends became newly employed in this field. In class, we learn different topics related to optimization and mathematical modeling, and apply them in consulting-focused group project case-studies. I’ve helped fictitious companies create efficient condominium construction schedules, proposed efficient monorail routes and attractions to improve tourism in a made-up country, and forecasted passenger arrivals and security line wait times at a theoretical airport. The class is heavily focused on presenting our results in a more professional setting, utilizing mathematical topics to solve real-world problems, and building stealthy code that will help solve these problems.
Looking through all of these classes I’ve narrowed down what I really enjoy to a couple of points:
I like quantitative, logical thinking. I think just naturally, I like the problem-solution structure of math. I feel accomplished when I finish writing working code, and I would much rather choose long problem sets over massive papers.
I like needing to be a bit creative. Whether it’s being creative in how I visualize data, in how I approach a consulting task, or how I tackle my MATLAB code, I need to have some innovation in my life.
I like seeing the big picture applications and real-world impact. My class on data visualization was awesome because we worked with clinicians and used real, historical, global health data. My modeling and consulting class is great because we apply what we learn in class to realistic, business case studies and present them as if we are presenting to our clients.
To summarize my final thoughts and the end of my internal crisis: I successfully realized what I enjoy studying, so I will focus on these types of courses throughout the rest of my time at Hopkins, and perhaps they will shed some more light on what exactly I want to do after I graduate. I’ll take some computer science classes, maybe a design class at MICA. Although I’m not entirely sure I want to focus on something in public health after Hopkins, I’ll finish through with my public health degree, taking classes at Bloomberg to learn from brilliant minds and address real-world public health problems.
So, action items:
Enroll in computer science courses next semester to gain more programming skills and see if I really like the field. If so, look into a minor in computer science.
Apply for internships in data science, operations research, and analytics/visualization.
Stay four full years to get the most out of the rest of my time at Hopkins, not rush through anything, and hopefully I’ll find something I enjoy when the time comes!!
film a short documentary about food deserts and swamps (… eventually! This is for my term project in one of my classes this semester.)
filled out a week-long food diary to discuss food waste
This last one was for one of my classes this semester, The Environment and Your Health. The intended takeaway from the assignment was for me to become more cognizant of my own personal food waste. And I did! But I also realized that I am just weirdly fascinated by learning what people eat. This makes sense, because I lovewritingaboutfood and almost all of my YouTube recommendations are cooking or those “what I eat in a day” videos. So, similar to this food diary assignment, I decided to take note of what I ate in the last 5 days. Let’s see if there’s anything interesting about my eating and cooking habits.
I know I’m just about out of groceries when I have to buy breakfast. I try to always eat breakfast at home to save money, plus it also encourages me to wake up earlier. But, on this day I think I was running late for work, and plus I had no more breakfast food, so I bought a breakfast sandwich from Eddie’s Market, which is a small grocery store just a block away from my house. They have this great deal where you get a free coffee with the purchase of a breakfast sandwich. I was sold.
I usually eat pretty light for breakfast, so I wasn’t super hungry for lunch before my class at 1:30. I grabbed a pre-made pasta salad and a yogurt from Levering, and ate it right before class started. Quick and dirty.
For dinner, 3/6 of the guys in my house had a treat-yo-self Friday and we made ourselves some steaks. Some roasted potatoes and steamed green beans on the side and we were food coma KO’d for the rest of the evening.
Saturday – 10.29.16:
Breakfast: everything bagel + hummus + coffee
Lunch: turkey/havarti/tomato/arugula panini
Dinner: butternut squash soup
Again, still no groceries, so I got a bagel with hummus and a coffee from Brody Cafe and was working on a group project on Saturday morning. After a bit of struggling, our MATLAB code finally worked (@JHU_Emily was a witness!) We tried to interpret our output but got stuck so we decided to call it a day.
Immediately after, I went to Trader Joe’s in Towson to stock up on groceries finally and made myself a panini when I got back home. I tried out my housemate’s George Foreman panini press for the first time and it was a complete sandwich-game-changer.
For dinner later, I heated up some leftover butternut squash soup I had from earlier in the week, and got into costume for Halloween festivities. My friends and I went as, you guessed it, Trader Joe’s workers. Low effort, maximum wow factor.
I slept in, so I made myself a nice, sizeable brunch with all of my new groceries. My group needed to continue working on our project, so I packed myself some snacks for the library and made a pit-stop at Carma’s Cafe for literally the best cold brew coffee in the Charles Village area.
Back at home, I made myself another George Foreman panini before hanging out my friend’s place for a small potluck gathering. I baked some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, she made some homemade sushi, and another friend brought some pita and hummus. We feasted.
Monday – 10.31.16:
Breakfast: granola bar + grapes
Lunch: pumpkin soup + bread
Dinner: sausage + potatoes + green beans
I realized that running late to things in the morning was becoming a pattern, so I decided to load up on granola bars and portable breakfasts at Trader Joe’s. This morning, I tried out one of their bars and it’s pretty darn good! They’re the Trader Joe’s Raises the Bar ones, if anyone really cares. I ate a side of grapes at work, while @JHU_Genevieve and I worked on designing some pages of this year’s Insider’s Guide!
I didn’t pack lunch and I needed to find food that I could eat while doing some last-minute review of material for a quiz I was taking that afternoon. I settled on some pumpkin soup and fresh baked bread from Levering and chose a seat at the bar in Levering Lounge, one of my new favorite study spots.
For dinner, I needed to whip up something quick in order to get to a meeting. In under 30 minutes, I had myself some delicious chicken sausage, a side of potatoes, and some green beans! The sausage is again, from Trader Joe’s, and I swear to you — it’s the best chicken sausage on this entire planet. It’s their Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage and it’s delicious sweet and savory and maple-y — ugh, they’re amazing.
Tuesday – 11/1/16:
Breakfast: coffee + free doughnut
Lunch: yogurt + granola
Dinner: soba noodle stir-fry
And today! This morning was rough and I needed to treat myself to a coffee from Brody. I saw that a student organization was handing out free doughnuts outside on Tyler Terrace, so I snagged one and settled on a seat in the library to knock out some work. A bit later, I got hungry again, so I ate some yogurt with granola I packed for myself that morning. I had actually packed it for breakfast, but the free doughnut changed the status quo.
During classes, I snacked on an apple while ironically, learning about pesticide use. By around 5, I was about ready to make dinner, and so I whipped up my go-to soba noodle stir-fry, pictured here:
made a purchase for 1/3 of my meals
visited on-campus dining options 5 times: twice at Brody Cafe, and three times at Levering
65% of my meals were vegetarian
drank coffee 4 out of the 5 days
enjoyed free food 3 times
In conclusion, it is indeed possible to cook for oneself the majority of the time, especially living off-campus with access to real, big-people kitchens. I find that I enjoy my meals so much more when I make them myself. Cooking is also a great stress-reliever for me, and I always try my hardest to carve out 1-1.5 hours for dinner on most nights. Plus, it’s always fun to cook and eat with people, like I did with my housemates and my friends at the potluck!
However, eating on-campus is inevitable just because it’s convenient and pretty good! As a junior, I don’t have a meal plan, so I frequent Brody Cafe, for coffee and snacks and Levering Food Court, for lots of quick lunch options. Other common on-campus dining options for me are Levering Cafe and Bamboo Cafe.
Eating more vegetarian meals was kind of an unofficial goal of mine; I’ve been trying to explore different types of proteins, both animal and non-animal, and plus eating less meat is, besides having fantastic health benefits, cheaper! Eating less meat also reduces my carbon footprint, so that’s always good, too!
Honestly, coffee is a very important part of my morning ritual nowadays. I think I should start making my own coffee though to save money, because it does add up… but speaking of saving money, it’s great when you’re a college student because there’s so much free food on and around our campus.
Bad days are inevitable. Here’s what I do when they happen:
Stop doing work. I won’t be productive, and I won’t feel any happier when I’m doing it.
Down a bowl of pho. Or ramen, depending on the day. Choose your comfort food. Then eat it.
Watch an episode of The Office. Fire drill episode highly recommended.
Listen to Blonde. Poolside convo ’bout this really bad day that’s almost over soon.
Take a walk. Or a run. Depending on your energy level.
Take a nap. They help.
FaceTime a friend.
Get a mani/pedi. I’ve never done this, but four of my (male) friends did this. They said it was dope.
Grab a scoop of Mint Mountain. Current favorite flavor from the Charmery. Speaking from personal experience, this is a cure-all.
Clear my desktop. Highly satisfying.
Edit photos. This might be a very Quan-specific favorite pastime.
Play Catan. I haven’t played a game of Catan since the summer, and I could really go for one right now.
Clean my living space. Clear space, clear mind? People say that, right?
Plan a trip. #SB2K17 must live up to #SB2K16.
Watch cooking videos. Or just binge-watch @emmymadeinjapan taste snacks from around the world.
Find new music. There’s a lot of new albums I still need to listen to. Perfect time to go through them!
Cook a meal for myself. Once I finish watching cooking videos, I usually feel the need to attempt something in the kitchen for myself.
Watch some stand-up. I am not a big stand-up guy, but recently my friends have been showing me some fantastic HBO specials. I highly recommend Sarah Silverman and Louis C.K.
Take a long shower. To date, two of my housemates have vouched for showering in the dark? Is that weird? I might have to try it.
Leave if needed. Sometimes, you just need to leave campus. True story.
I think everyone reaches a point in the semester where everything just piles up: school, clubs, life in general. Fall Break seems to come at the perfect time — right when everyone just about needs it. Including me.
When I have a lot going on, I keep my tabs open, thinking that I’ll need to look at them in the near future, so there’s no point in closing them. But most of the time, I don’t really need them open. I should probably just close them all out and keep Chrome looking clean and not like this:
This is a personal problem that I have addressed and I am working on it. I acknowledge that. A student’s stress level is directly proportional to the number of tabs they have. Here is a graph for the visual learners out there:
There is indeed, no better feeling than closing out all of my tabs after I finish a big assignment or project. And today, after I turned in my first big project for one of my classes and am about to finish my first paper in another one of my classes, I am ready to close out those tabs and metaphorically start anew with a single, fresh, blank “New Tab”. But before I do this, I decided that it might be interesting to dissect what exactly it is that is clogging up my Chrome (and potentially my RAM? My computer has been kind of slow lately — I would not be surprised if this was the issue).
Being a junior means actually, tangibly worrying about what you want to do after graduation. I always thought it would be the coolest thing to work for Spotify doing data analytics or something along those lines. I think I want to work at a start-up or a young company — I’m imagining somewhere where you everyone sits on exercise balls in the office and you get yoga or rock climbing breaks. I’ve had this tab open to join their “student talent community” so that I can get updates on openings and events near me. I’ve kept this tab open for a really long time now because I’ve been procrastinating on updating my resume — and that’s a whole story in itself.
The Environment and Your Health reading schedule
Pretty self-explanatory, I’ve kept this tab open to keep myself on track for the readings we have quizzes on in lecture for The Environment and Your Health. The problem with all of my class syllabi and schedules is that they’re all in different formats and in different locations — I still am trying to figure out the most efficient way to centralize all of these so that I can finally close out this tab. Or I’ll just have it open all semester.
Half-marathon training schedule
I’m been training for my first ever half-marathon since July! I’m participating in the Baltimore Running Festival, where runners from all over (and outside) Baltimore race in events of different distances in a big, city-wide celebration. I was not a runner in high school; the longest race I’ve ever run was a charity 5K back during sophomore year of high school. I’m actually extremely impressed at the literal lengths I’ve gone to make sure I’m ready for these 13.1 miles, and surprised at how enjoyable some of my longer runs have been. Two Sundays ago I did an 8 miler from Charles Village all the way down to the Inner Harbor, around, and back, and it was absolutely fantastic. I’ve been sick this past week so I haven’t been on my running game, but since the half is on October 15th, I definitely have to catch up on my training. I have my last long run this Sunday, a 10 miler!
Men of Principle Scholarship planning documents
I’m in charge of a scholarship my fraternity awards every fall, so these are just some spreadsheets and polls and things to help me organize the logistics of applications, interviews, and planning the scholarship dinner!
Hopkins Creative Design product order
The student business I’m a part of (alongside JHU_Aneek!) is getting ready for a the sale of a new item, so I’ve been researching vendors and products, and finally decided on a product to order!
This blog post!
Mathematical Modeling and Consulting project assignment
I’m only taking one Applied Math class this semester, and it’s called Mathematical Modeling and Consulting. So far, I’m really enjoying this class. It’s taught by my advisor, Dr. Castello, who I also took Discrete Math with, another class I really liked. The class is different than any other AMS class I’ve taken, because there’s a strong emphasis on written and verbal communication skills, and I can really see the “applied” in applied mathematics. For this group project, we were assigned a case study in which we acted as consultants analyzing the status of a construction project. We turned in our project today, so I can now happily close out this tab!
Journal articles for Sociology of Health Illness paper
In one of my public health classes, we’re looking at health disparities among different socioeconomic classes and different racial and ethnic groups. I’m currently in the midst of writing a paper on disparities in exposure and treatment of HIV/AIDS between races, so I’ve got a lot of tabs open of different journal articles and sources I can cite in the paper.
Absentee voter affidavit
Register to vote! I need to get this affidavit notarized and sent over to the Department of Elections back in Delaware so I can receive an absentee ballot to vote in November. It’s my first ever general election vote so I’m pretty excited!
Last week, I stopped by the grocery store on the way home from my 9-to-5 job to pick up some chicken thighs for dinner.
This was my pivotal moment.
I’m in Baltimore for the summer and living in a house off-campus definitely is the catalyzer for feeling old. It comes with routine and responsibilities. I make mental (and physical) notes to remember everything.
Take out trash, after 6pm on Mondays. Pick up Drano from store for third floor bathroom. Call Comcast about spotty Wi-Fi. Check to see if washing machine is leaking.
All this, plus work a full day of my research internship at the School of Public Health and you will find me passed out in bed before midnight on most weeknights. Yet, there’s something very invigorating about being a young aspiring professional experiencing bits and pieces of adulthood. I get excited about the clinical data I’m starting to look at, and the people I get to work with in the Department of Biostatistics. I find myself pleasantly surprised with how easy and cost-effective it was to make my own cold-brew coffee this morning.
(ex. 3: When you start liking things because of how easy and cost-effective they are.)
I feel hip and thrifty when I shop for used furniture in the Hopkins “Free & For Sale” Facebook group. I walk with a spring in my step through the showroom at IKEA, amazed at a) how well the company has developed its brand, b) how much money I spend there (in multiple trips), and c) how dope their consumer analytics team must be. And of course, I feel a smile forming across my face as I think about my paycheck at the end of this month.
And while these things may not seem very fun to most people, I still also have time for more colloquial fun. I just spent the past 5 days camping at Firefly Music Festival in the greatest state in America, jamming to Blink-182 and Porter Robinson (and low-key Mumford & Sons — I’ve been listening to their newest release, Johannesburg non-stop since Firefly ended). I’m making plans to see Finding Dory in theaters. I’ve hung out with friends on enough Charles Village back-decks in the past two weeks to last a lifetime. Basically I’m at this weird stage of life where simultaneously, I want to dance for 12 straight hours in 90 degree weather and also be able to cozy up in my bed by 10pm, and where I pay my rent and gas, electricity, water, and credit card bills, and then proceed to go see an animated film about talking sea-life.
I’m not exactly sure what the main takeaway is supposed to be from this blog. Possible theses:
Baltimore in the summer is a grand time.
Feeling like an adult is being tired 98% of the time. Feeling excited about weird adult responsibilities might just be a me thing.
In an attempt to salvage 3/4 of a semester’s worth of daily 1-second clips for a film project I lost track of, I created this “mini-documentary” featuring two of my favorite things: food and friends. As I was looking through the clips I had, I realized that I filmed a lot of meals, and meals that I shared with people. There were the moments more worthy of being captured: trying fermented shark in Iceland, meeting my friend’s family, eating a delicious, homemade dinner made by my fraternity brothers. And there were the smaller ones: grabbing a slice of pizza from Maxie’s, a Carma’s sirloin panino study break, indulging in Doritos in Gilman Atrium in the late of night.
But no matter how quick, or how expensive, or who I’m with, all of these moments represent a very important part of each day: enjoying a meal, with a friend or two. Because through the ups and downs of this semester, this year, my entire time at Hopkins, it’s always been that — enjoying a meal with a friend — that remains constant, and that I always look forward to.
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