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Click Here To Procrastinate

Click Here To Procrastinate

Picture this: it’s 11:45 p.m. and you have a paper due at midnight. Luckily, you’re almost done except for some last minute edits and one final proofread. That’s when you get a Facebook notification from a friend who just tagged you in a post. Even though you’re dead set on submitting the paper and your mind tells you no, your finger hits the notification and you enter a world of procrastination filled with memes, videos, and literally any other distraction known to man.

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I’ve been there. You’ve probably been there. The fact of the matter is that procrastination is an epidemic. Unfortunately, an increase in Facebook groups like “Dank Memes Gang” as well as the birth of the YouTube autoplay setting doesn’t make our procrastination problem any easier to combat. Also, sort of like how people have certain foods they like more than others, each individual has his or her preferred procrastination medium. While most agree that theirs is Facebook, others might primarily procrastinate by playing video games, or going on Reddit, or Snapchat, or Instagram, or … you get the point.

My medium of choice is YouTube.

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this is a .gif lol

It’s strange because no matter how much work I have to get done and no matter the obscene hour of night I am awake at, I always find an excuse to land on www.youtube.com as well as a justification for it. Sometimes it starts out as simply as looking up a song to listen to while I do my work. From there I see a related video and no matter how random or irrelevant it may be, I’m drawn to it – especially if it is listed as “recommended”. It might as well say “click here to procrastinate” because an hour later I find myself watching some video that while really random is actually very interesting, but completely irrelevant to the work I need to get done.

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Me when I see a “recommended” YouTube video

You’re probably thinking that the rest of this blog is going to dedicated to tips that will help you fight the urge to procrastinate. If this is what you are looking for, you’re on the wrong blog my friend. As the title of this post may have suggested, I will be doing quite the opposite. So without further adieu, I present to you a countdown of the Top 10 YouTube Channels I find myself on when I realize that I have been procrastinating. I’ve included the channel name, my favorite video posted by it, as well as a brief description of the channel. I apologize in advance if any of these channels becomes a new time suck in your life. Consider yourself forewarned.

10) Unbox Therapy

Un-boxings and reviews of some of the newest products and innovations that exist in the world

9) Vsauce

Answers to the most interesting questions one may have about science or life in general

8) LifeAccordingToJimmy

Funny skits that all college students can relate to (viewer discretion is advised)

7) TED

A series of talks by some of the most creative and influential thinkers in the world

6) DevinSuperTramp

Short videos that highlight unique talents and fun adventures

5) AsapSCIENCE

The myth-busters of the internet

4) Wong Fu Productions

Shorts that portray situations we know too well featuring predominantly Asian American leads

3) Nigahiga

Entertaining videos for people of all ages produced by one of the original creators on YouTube

2) Philip DeFranco

A daily news show that discusses current events and pop culture

1) CaseyNeistat

A daily documentation of the very interesting and entertaining life of filmmaker Casey Neistat

While writing this blog I procrastinated 4 times. Hours lost: 2

SOHOP(kins)

SOHOP(kins)

SOHOP(KINS)

About a week ago, I had the opportunity to be a Host Advisor for SOHOP. SOHOP, for those who don’t know, stands for Spring Open House and Overnight Program. It’s an event where accepted students have the opportunity to visit Hopkins and stay overnight in order to gauge whether or not they fit in at the university. As Host Advisor, I had the responsibility of making sure visiting students attended all of the planned programming, were matched with a current student that would host them over night, and felt at home throughout their stay. During SOHOP, I had the opportunity to meet many students, and from my short conversations with them I could tell that each was extremely intelligent and talented in his or her own way.

After conversing with accepted students, I found out that for some, Hopkins was their dream school right from the get-go. However, for others SOHOP would really serve as the deciding factor between whether they would come to Hopkins, or go to some other (obviously not as amazing) school. In order to gauge what their experience at Hopkins would be like if they were to attend, it was the admitted students’ job to ask me all of the questions they had on their minds, and it was my job to truthfully answer them.

SOHOP-text

In this blog I thought it would be interesting to include some of the most common questions I got, as well my answers to them. I’ve also included some funny questions towards the end, some so silly that you wouldn’t believe they were actually asked.

What is your favorite “thing” about Hopkins?

I got this question a lot. Everyone wants to know that one “thing” that that drew me to and keeps me at Hopkins. I’m fairly certain I’ve addressed this question in one of my earlier blogs, but the simple answer is that I love that at Hopkins everyone is so involved both on and off campus. This is made possible not only because Hopkins students are extremely self motivated, but also because the university offers over 300 different clubs, organizations, and student groups to all of of its students. If you’re interested in seeing what I am involved in, I wrote about it in my last blog titled: “Why I don’t have time for the gym“.

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At Hopkins, we work together!

What is your least favorite thing about Hopkins?

I’ve noticed that when students asked me this question they were really curious because until this point they had only heard great things about Hopkins from admissions officers and other faculty. Interestingly enough, my least favorite thing about Hopkins would have to be the rainwater drainage system. You’d think that a school that conducts a lot of engineering-related research would be able to easily handle flooding from rainwater. However, when it does rain a lot (and I mean a lot) walking to class becomes very difficult, especially if I’m trying to stay dry. On one occasion I even packed an extra pair of socks and shoes because I knew there was no way I’d make it to class without being ankle deep in water at some point or another. That being said, I’ve noticed that there has recently been an effort by Hopkins to collect and direct water so that it drains a lot faster. Phew!

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Is everyone at Hopkins pre-med?

No! Many people assume this because the university is well known for its research and for its close ties to the Johns Hopkins Medical School; however, everyone is not pre med. In fact, the number of people that graduate pre med is a lot less than you’d think. I’ve noticed that some people come in to Hopkins on the pre med track because they feel pressured to do so by their pre-conceived notion that everyone around them will also be pre med. However, once they’re actually on campus many students realize that there so much that they are interested outside of the world of medicine.

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And now for the not so serious questions/silly interactions:

Which calculator will help me get good grades here? I’m kind of conflicted between the Ti 84 Plus Silver Edition and the Ti 89.

Honestly, all that matter is that the calculator has it has numbers… I wouldn’t stress to much about the specific model.

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Student: Who is the author of your Physics textbook?

Me: I have no idea. Let me check.

(I look at book)

Me: It says “Halliday”

Student: OHHH! Halliday, Resnick, and Walker are my jam!!!!

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If I’m conducting an experiment in the middle of the night and need access to chemicals where do I go?

It took me a couple seconds to realize that this was a relatively serious question. When I realized he was being serious I said:

I am not so sure. Depending on how close you are with a professor, I’m sure you’d be able to work something out. That being said, I don’t think its common for freshman to have overnight lab access.

A question like this shows you how motivated Hopkins students really are!

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Can we go out (to a party) tonight (Wednesday night)?

Yeah… we’re going later tonight. It should be on your SOHOP schedule…

(this was my attempt at humor – we did no such thing)

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Images provided by JHU and .gifs provided by Giphy.

Why I Don’t Have Time for the Gym

Why I Don’t Have Time for the Gym

Why I Don’t Have Time for the Gym

This year my New Year’s Resolution was to go the gym more often, and for the first couple weeks of the year I was successful. This is because during Intersession I had ample time between class and homework for two-hour long gym sessions. However, once Intersession ended and second semester started, I became a lot busier than I could’ve ever forseen; my daily two-hour long gym routines became weekly one-hour gym visits. Even though I make it a point to go to the gym at least once a week, this isn’t enough for me to stay fit. However, the reason I don’t have time for the gym is perhaps a good one. It’s simply because I am involved in many things around campus, probably too many – and here are a few:

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Ralph S. O’Connor Recreation Center

Digital Media Center (DMC)

I spend six hours a week working at the Digital Media Center (DMC). My primary responsibility is to assist patrons with checkouts of various media equipment (from cameras to professional audio). I also teach students how to use various software and equipment around the lab if they are having difficult time with them. You’re probably wondering: What’s a Neuroscience and Applied Math and Statistics double major doing working with media? Interestingly enough, ever since middle school I’ve had a fascination for videography. I used to make short videos with my friends and then edit them for my family and friends to watch. Even though this is still nothing more than a hobby, it’s definitely helped my approach many of my classes with a creative perspective. Over the years I have not only worked with film, but also developed my skills in photography and graphic design. Recently, with the help of some of my friends, I’ve been getting into music mixing and DJ-ing. There is so much that the Digital Media Center has to offer that I likely will make a blog post on the space alone. In the meantime, if you’re on or around campus – stop by. I might even be around to say hello!

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The Digital Media Center!

Admissions

Since I love film so much, I took it upon myself to gain experience in the field. I recently got another job working with the videography team for the admissions office. We meet for about four hours a week and work on projects for the Hopkins Admissions YouTube channel. Since I got this job only recently, I haven’t been a part of many of the projects they’ve made this year. Nonetheless, being on the videography team as well as being involved with the Student Admissions Advisory Board (SAAB) and Hopkins Hosting Society give me the opportunity to not only learn film, but also to interact with those who work at and visit the admissions office. By making videos advertising all the great aspects of Hopkins, I in a sense virtually communicate with prospective and admitted students as well as their families. To think that a video we put together could make or break a student’s decision to come to Hopkins amazes me.

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Mason Hall – Admissions Office

Dynamic Perception Lab

On Mondays you can find me in Ames Hall working in Dr. Fischer’s Dynamic Perception Lab. The research conducted there is in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and aims to answer three questions about visual perception. 1) How do we isolate key contents of a scene? 2) How do we predict what will happen next as a scene unfolds? 3) How do we perceive a stable world in the face of noisy input? In order to answer these questions experimental data needs to be collected. Most of the work I do involves creating 3D animations and interactions of objects using Blender, a 3D modeling and animation software. There is a steep learning curve for Blender. Fortunately for me, I was used to 3D modeling as I did a lot of work with Autodesk CAD and Inventor in high school, so learning the software was not as hard as it could have been.

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3D model I made on Blender!!

OrcaTV

Too add to the two jobs and research I’m involved in, I also have an internship with OrcaTV through which I serve as a Student Ambassador for the Hopkins campus. OrcaTV in a nutshell provides college campuses across the country with the technology to curate university-related content submitted by students and circulate it across media platforms around campus. It’s my job to work with the Director of Content and market the OrcaTV platform to clubs and student groups around campus. So far, I have spoken to a couple student groups and have been pushing for them to use OrcaTV to advertise their events to students. Fortunately, the commitment to OrcaTV isn’t too much. I usually spend an hour or two per week speaking with club leaders and then communicating my progress to the Director of Content. Having this internship has definitely developed my communication and networking skills, and for that I am very grateful.

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OrcaTV Logo

These are definitely my four most time consuming commitments on campus. Even though they take up a lot of time during the day and keep me up late at night (sometimes till 4 or 5 am – shhh don’t tell my mom) I am happy to be involved in each. This is because from each I learn new things and develop skills in areas that I otherwise would have no access to. For instance, at the DMC I can learn how to use an audio studio, from the admissions videography team I can cultivate my filmmaking kills, by doing research I can learn how to use new 3D modeling softwares, and through OrcaTV I can develop better communication skills. Even though if when I’m older these interests are a thing of the past, I still would be proud to have once been a part of them. 

Image Credits

  • http://web.jhu.edu/sebin/b/h/rec_354-2422331492-O.jpg
  • http://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/dmc/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2015/06/20150727-DMC-lab-middle-bay.jpg
  • https://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/files/P33100011.jpg
  • Me via Blender
  • https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/558637424432001024/2DtInbYE.png
What I learned in class today: Investing in Chipotle

What I learned in class today: Investing in Chipotle

This semester I’m taking Introduction to Business with Professor Aronhime primarily because I’ve recently been considering minoring in Entrepreneurship and Management. E&M, a minor in the Whiting School of Engineering, is one of the most popular minors on campus and exposes students to a wide array of classes designed to equip them to lead in business, professional, and academic arenas. All of this is not to say that I will definitely pursue an E&M minor, rather I’d like to experience the world of business and Intro to Business seems like a perfect way for me to do this.Impress-InvestorsTo students who are interested in taking Introduction to Business, be warned – the class is writing intensive. This is something I may have overlooked when I enrolled, but have somehow managed to keep up with the many memos and papers that we have had to write. A couple classes ago, we talked about value investing. Essentially, value investors look for stocks that are trading for less than their intrinsic values and then decide whether or not to invest in them. This may seem ambiguous, but I’ve learned that there are many qualitative and quantitative analyses one can use to determine whether or not a company is undervalued and ultimately whether or not they should be investing in it. Investors make a lot of money from doing this alone, and I am surprised that there aren’t many more of them. I have included an excerpt from a paper I wrote (removing some mathematical jargon) for Introduction to Business about whether or not Chipotle would be a profitable investment.

Chipotle: Risky Business?

Who doesn’t love Chipotle? The Mexican Grill with over 1,200 restaurants worldwide offers savory, yet healthy, food for relatively cheap prices. More importantly, it combines the speediness everyone appreciates about fast food restaurants with the tastefulness everyone loves about fine-dining. While customers may love everything about Chipotle, I learned that some investors say that now is terrible time to invest in the company especially considering its recent involvement with faulty food sanitation. However, after investigating and analyzing Chipotle’s specs I’ve found that the franchise may in fact be undervalued which would mean that now would be a good time to invest in the company. In the proceeding paper, I will be providing both a qualitative and quantitative analysis of Chipotle to show not only why I think it may be undervalued but also to support my claim that if this is so, why the franchise would be an opportune investment.6358851058574255301073699047_imageEven though in the past couple of months Chipotle has been under inspection due to its methods of food preparation and for outbreaks of E.Coli and Norovirus, the restaurant has a great overall brand and is actively working to fix the health issues it may have caused; therefore, the franchise isn’t going anywhere. By this I meant that the multimillion dollar food company is not going to let a bad batch of lettuce or meat result in its filing for bankruptcy any time in the near future. To add, Chipotle has recently started working with Burson Marsteller a renowned communications and relations firm through which it plans to enact several food-safety procedures and fund a multimillion dollar marketing campaign in order to ultimately increase its quarterly and annual earnings; the company is headed in the right direction. Similarly, as mentioned previously, the fast casual restaurant industry is on the rise due to both it’s efficiency and sophistication, so it’s likely that Chipotle will be frequented by many customers in the months to come.

It wouldn’t mean much that people enjoyed going to fast casual restaurants and eating the food Chipotle offered if the economy overall was not doing so well. This is because people are willing to spend money only when they feel confident about their financial situation. In order for society to feel confidence, the economy has to be on the rise. Fortunately for Chipotle, while the economy has seen better days, it is not in a state of recession and it does not appear to be approaching one. In fact, a quick analysis of the graph for the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past three years has shown that the economy is progressing. From the aforementioned qualitative analyses of both Chipotle’s traits and the current economic climate, I believe there is sufficient information to show that Chipotle as a company will thrive in the coming years.Chipotle_Barbacoa_Bowl_2xHowever, a qualitative analysis alone is not sufficient to prove Chipotle’s profitability. On the quantitative side of the matter, things are also looking good for the franchise. Namely Chipotle’s calculated price to earnings, inventory turnover, and overall earnings per share ratios have all been favorable since 2014. In 2014, Chipotle’s price to earnings ratio was at 52.87 and in 2015 it dropped to 33.88. This 19-unit drop suggests that less money needs to be invested in chipotle for a dollar profit to be made and this is likely a result of the company being undervalued. Similarly, for Chipotle, from 2014 to 2015, the inventory turnover rate increased from 210.78 to 219.06. This increase of around 8 units, while by no means a very large, illustrates that over time Chipotle has been increasing sales, most likely due to an increase in demand for Chipotle over the years. Lastly, in 2014, Chipotle’s earnings per share were $14.13 and in 2015 the value increased to $15.10. While minimal, this net increase of $0.97 suggests that Chipotle is making more money and thus heading in a good direction.

To an investor, the trends in these ratios are somewhat favorable. Collectively, the decrease in the price to earnings ratio and the increases in the inventory turnover rate and the earnings per share show that currently, Chipotle may be undervalued, suggesting that if invested in its share price will rise and that a profit will be made. Right now, the cost for one share of Chipotle is $524.29, which is higher than most stocks. The company has a 52-week high of $758.61 and a 52-week low of $399.14, respectively most likely over and undervaluations. Since it is beneficial to buy low and sell high, and the current stock price is closer to the 52-week low than it is to the 52-week high, it is likely that the share price will go up with time than down. My analysis suggests that an investment in Chipotle at this point in time is favorable from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. Overall, I believe it is Chipotle’s simplistic yet effective business model that attracts customers and this combined with the quantitative analysis makes the company likely to grow over time and that makes it a valuable asset. That being said, the stock price (even at its 52-week low) is rather high and I know I don’t have that kind of money to spend on one stock.

TL; DR: Introduction to Business is fun, and an investment in Chipotle is most likely not as risky as you may think.1024px-Chipotle_Mexican_Grill_logo.svgImage Credits

  • https://d3q49wayiwmron.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/Impress-Investors.jpg
  • http://cdn1.theodysseyonline.com/files/2016/01/16/6358851058574255301073699047_image.png
  • http://www.chipotlefriendorfaux.com/assets/img/meals/Chipotle_Barbacoa_Bowl_2x.jpg
  • https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/3b/Chipotle_Mexican_Grill_logo.svg/1024px-Chipotle_Mexican_Grill_logo.svg.png