What’s the Point?

I have always thought that the reasons why I never went to my professor’s office hours were because I didn’t have any specific questions for them. I always thought it was for those who may want to go more in-depth with their education.

I was always told that office hours was very helpful. They’ve been pushing and drilling this fact into me ever since I walked through the doors of this school 3 years ago. They always said that it was a great way to get to know your professors, to understand them on a personal level and they can understand you.

So I tried.

I went to office hours last year for organic chemistry and I attended my first office hours this year for genetics.

Both times were a mess, and they were not enjoyable experiences. I can’t even remember if I had gotten my question answered.

Today was probably the worst one that I had ever attended. I thought that I would like toe professor. That’s why I even went in the first place. Great lecturer. He seemed nice when I last talked to him. And then… I guess his true colors showed today.

I come into his office hours to see 3 people already in there. They seemed to have questions over the last year’s exam. I obviously didn’t have questions over that because I was still trying to figure out what was going on in that class.

So that’s when I knew this wasn’t going to be a very good office hours. I was tempted to just turn around and not come back, but I stayed.

Big mistake.

So After a while of the people who were already in the room asking their questions, the professor turned to me and asked if I had any questions. Well.. I told him my question wasn’t very specific, but I just wanted to ask him how I should approach the exam questions. That’s the question that most professors say I should start with when going to their office hours. I wasn’t very good at asking questions, so I decided that I should start there.

Instead, I get a sarcastic response of, “Well, first of all I would say to get some sleep.”

Obviously I know that health and sleep is a great thing to have before any test, but I did not come to your office hours to ask about my health. I came to ask for advice on strategies. Of course I laughed, thinking that he was funny, and I thought he would proceed to seriously answer my question.

Instead, he just stares at me and asks me what exactly my question was. I repeated it again, and hoped that he would get what I was asking. He just gave me a generic answer, saying that I should do more practice problems in the textbook. That was about it.

The girl next to him, who was a student, also said that I should be doing more in the books and that many of them were straight from the book. So of course they were tag-teaming on telling me the same thing.First off, I came to talk to the professor not another student. If I wanted to do that, I could have went to a student advisor instead of dropping my nervousness and going to see a professor.

This was exactly what I was fearing. I never wanted to go to office hours because I felt dumb while going there. People actually went there for some professional questions. That’s why I never went to OH; I felt like my questions were never good enough. I just went there for advice, but maybe it wasn’t a good idea.

At that point, I just felt really bad for coming to this thing. I didn’t even want to come in the first place. He told me to come and see him, but I didn’t really know why I should because it was my problem, I obviously had to figure out where I went wrong. But I decided to go anyways, thinking that maybe he would help me out.

Nope, that is not what happened.

And then, the other girl sitting next to me leaned over and told me that she had the same question for him. So when it came her turn, she asked the same question and she got the most intricate answer I had heard for this professor. He told her how to approach it and how to look at the problems. What was the best way to take the test, etc…

I wanted to really listen to everything he was saying, but I was so hurt at this point that I had tears in my eyes. I didn’t want to cry in front of this professor, it would’ve been super embarrassing. But I am sure that he saw eyes super watery and super teary-eyed. He was giving me a weird look because he wasn’t sure what was going on with me. I just wanted to get out of there.

He asked for my name afterwards, so we basically knew each other. That was a start.

So me and this other girl were leaving and I told her that I needed to learn how to ask questions like her (even though I felt like I asked the question the same way that she did). And she said that she didn’t do well on the last test either, so I felt a little better that someone else was also going through the same thing as me.

But I just felt really bad about everything, so I walked over to the next building, locked myself up in a stall of the bathroom, and I just cried for a good 10-15 minutes. It was a really deep, heavy-heaving bawl session. Tears were falling onto the floor of the bathroom and I didn’t even try and wipe them away. I just let them fall.

I felt like a failure, like I had tried my hardest to step out of my comfort zone and ask for help, and I still ended up tripping and falling on my face. I felt so bad because as a Junior, it was expected that you knew at least a little bit about how to navigate these things. This is stuff I should have learned when I was a freshman. Why am I still struggling?

This brought me back to the time when I had gotten my grade back from my Molecular and Cell class freshman year. I remember getting that grade back, leaving the lounge that I was sitting in with friends, went back to my room, closed the door, turned off the lights, went under my sheets, and cried. At the time, If felt like I had studied like crazy for everything, and I was failing so badly. I thought about transferring or changing majors, but nothing actually happened.

And here I am, still a junior struggling in the same major that I thought I would love.

It’s been a huge rollercoaster with this bio major. I feel like I enjoy learning the material, but it is just not clicking in my head. I fail when it comes to tests, which means that I really do not know the material. And it’s crazy because I got all A’s over the summer while doing SMDEP, and it was over the same material, but for whatever reason, I was failing when it came to doing the same thing at this school.

What’s the difference?

Anyways, after a while, I wiped my tears, splashed some cold water on my face, and went about my day. It was a nice day outside, so I sat outside for a little bit under an umbrella. I called my mom because I need to get some financial aid stuff figured out. I guess my reasoning was that I could distract myself from one problem while working on another problem. And it kind of worked. I ended up going to the financial aid office, talking with them, and figuring some stuff out. It made me feel good because I knew I was doing something. Even though I was still trying to figure out another problem, I felt like I was accomplishing something else in the meantime.

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Accommodating

Having a roommate is usually not a problem for me. It’s usually been fun actually having someone to share a place with. And usually each person has had a roommate before, so we kind of stay out of each other’s way. We also liked the fact that the room was mainly quiet. I guess we kind of understood that we didn’t want to talk because that’s all we’ve been doing during the day. Plus, coming from classes and doing work and focusing all day, sometimes you just wanted to get back to your room and unwind.

Well, this is not how it has been this year.

My roommate this year is… different to say the least. She has never lived with anyone before this, so  she is not used to sharing a common place or common room with anyone.

And I think she is still trying to understand how that is because we do not get along very much.

She is always asking me to do this and do that, and can you please do this, and can you please do that? And I barely do anything as it is.

So here are a few things, to name a few:

  1. She is always asking me to close the window even though she is the one with the fan and I am not. I told her that I needed
  2. There was a weekend where she had asked me for personal space for BOTH days of the weekend. I was just like Really? I was already on my way home, and I was ready to just unwind and relax. I have yet to understand what that was all about, whether she wanted a guy over or she just wanted the room to herself. I still don’t know how that works because she is always in the room. As in ALWAYS. And I’m barely ever in the room, so the time that I want to be is when she asks for the free time? I was utterly confused.
  3. She asked me to turn off all of the lights, even though I was in the middle of studying. I was thinking about it, and I realized that it was super inconsiderate of her to ask me to turn them off even though I was the one studying. I offered to just have my own desk lamp on because I needed to study, and she was just like “No, it’s okay. I will just stay awake.” At that moment, I kind of just said okay, because I was not willing to cut my study time in half. People were already in the study lounge so I was not going to study there. And I had a prelim in a few days, a very important one.
  4. I walked in one time and saw her cuddled up with a guy on her bed. I guess that was not a problem, but it was just that I was not notified or anything about it. The guy woke up when I came in and he was just like “Hello.” I was just like, “Hi.” It was kinda awkward, so I just grabbed my jacket and left.
  5. I always ask her if I can play music in the room, so this time she was like sure. So I plug in my music. Music helps me to focus on homework while studying. And this night (actually, it was last night), it really helped since I was studying for this Genetic prelim (I really hope I did well. I had it today and well.. it could’ve gone one of 2 ways, and I just hope it went in the right direction). So I am playing my music for a little bit. And I put on the music from my Spotify that is very calming and relaxation to help me focus. It played for about 20-30 minutes, then she said for me to put in earphones. I was just confused because she had just said that I could play it. So I put on my earphones (the ones that have one side messed up). I guess what bothers me is that I do not tell her to lower her things unless it is blatantly loud. Like there was a time when I wanted to take a nap, and her show was on just way to high. As in, you could hear it from outside of the room. So I asked if she could please lower it. Instead, she shuts her laptop and walks out of the room. I was confused because she would ask me to do these things plenty of times.
  6. She is always asking me to turn off my hanging lights, though during the first week of school she was saying how she really liked them. I only ever put them on at night to set the mood and so I won’t have to turn on my desk light (you know, the one that she said herself that she didn’t like). There was a time when I had my hang lights on and then she asked, “Hey can we turn off that light?” I said, “Sure, can I just turn on my desk light?” And that’s when she said, “Oh… can we have all the lights off tonight?” I’m just like what? I stare at her for a second wondering if he was serious, and she was. The thing is that she wasn’t even going to bed. She was just chilling

College Roommate… Let’s Talk

Today marks a year and four days of how long we have been roommates, and… to say the least it feels much much longer than that.

You asked if we could talk today, and I couldn’t agree more.

How about we talk about…

  1. The only times when you ask for “time to yourself” are when I am in the room. And I am rarely ever in the room already, so that already tells me that it’s not the fact that you just want time for yourself, but you just don’t want me in the room.
  2. There is no compromise being made here if you see it from BOTH of our point of views. We made an agreement to have the lights out by a certain time. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t have our own individual lamps on if we need to (especially since we’re college students, and yea, we kind of tend to study at night). We share the main room light so I understand that that light needs to be out by like 10pm (like you wanted). To have me turn off my lights in the middle of me doing something is not okay. Especially if I have a prelim that week and I am in the middle of studying. Taking a 2 minute break between studying does not mean I am done studying.
  3. You asked me if I minded you watching your show because your earphones were broken. I said sure, but something told me that you were not telling the truth. The reason why was because you tend to not wear earphones at all, even when you don’t ask me. In fact, I think you don’t like wearing them. The one time I had asked you to wear earphones because I was studying, you ended up closing your laptop and leaving the room. So… the other day I saw that your earphones were on the ground under your desk. I decided, “Why don’t I figure out what’s wrong with it and try and help her out?” So I try your earphones and low and behold… they worked perfectly fine. Maybe it’s just your laptop… or maybe they do work fine and you didn’t want to wear earphones. Hmm….
  4. There was a time that I asked you if I could play music. You said yes. So then I played my music. Not too loud because I can’t focus with music too loud. 15 minutes later, you tell me to wear earphones. And so I do. But didn’t you just tell me that I could play music? And now there’s a problem with me playing anything that I have. It seems like I am always the one having to wear earphones and you never wear them.
  5. I am confused because you were talking about how you didn’t like how people didn’t tell you how they really felt. Or you didn’t like passive aggressiveness. Yet, that’s what you do all the time. Everytime I walk in, there’s a sigh. Everytime I put on a light, there’s a huff. Everytime I am on my bed just on my laptop, there’s a moan. Everytime I play music there’s a grunt. It seems like me just being in the room (or in your ‘holy’ presence) bothers you.
  6. To have lights turned off every time that I leave a room is unreasonable. I am just going to the bathroom and you want me to turn off all lights. I go to say hi to a friend and the lights need to be turned off. Yes, I will turn off the light when I am leaving for a long period of time. That’s what I’ve always done. But for me to leave for about one minute just to come back and turn the lights back on doesn’t really help or change anything. That just means I’ll be flickering the lights on and off. That’s even worse than just leaving them on for the minute that I’m out of the room.
  7. No one can see in the dark, and not everyone has the same daily schedule as you. If I come back late, I will be putting on my small dresser light to navigate. And to expect me to come home and just go to bed (like you do. Actually, I don’t even know if you left the room all day) is a mistake. I like to atleast relax, and watch d video or 2 on my laptop. Or atleast try and get an assignment or 2 out of the way.
  8. How is it that the dim light at my dresser bothers you but your laptop being on high brightness and playing a show that you fell asleep to doesn’t faze you at all? Do you not notice that? Just my lamp?
  9. The 2 people that you’ve brought to the room have been guys.. and I understand that you said that they are over for studying, but it didn’t seem that way. If you were only there to study, why did you stare at me when he was in our room, looking at me like I should’ve gotten up (from studying) and left the room to give you guys privacy? And the fact that he was coming over at about 11:30pm gave off warning signs. That is the time when you are in bed and not studying anymore. If you are going to have guys over, then please do what you want outside of the room or at a decent hour. Not when I am in the room studying… I mean I guess if you want to do something, just be quiet or something. But… come on, that’s common courtesy :/
  10. You are always in the room, either sleeping or on your laptop. And then you are telling me that you want to be more involved in the community, but you have yet to step out of the room all day. I told you that in order to be more involved in the community, you need to at least try. They will not be coming to you if you have not shown yourself or interest at all. I told you this during the first week of school, and you disregarded me (well, I doubt that you listened to me in the first place).
  11. It seems like me just typing on my laptop bothers you. Me just being a student bothers you. What is up with that? Everytime I am typing on my laptop and you’re watching a show or laying in bed, you are just sighing, blowing air, huffing and puffing… What does that even mean?
  12. I own half of the room and for you to act that I am not even there and that you control everything that happens in the room is a mistake. If I want a small lamp on to read, I will be putting on a lamp. If I want to keep my window a crack open for some fresh air, that will be happening. I often have to turn off the lights early or close the windows or stop moving for you, and it is now getting tiring and annoying. I cannot keep doing this anymore.
  13. If you need more personal time to yourself or if you feel like you cannot share a common space with someone, I believe a single room is more fit so you don’t have to worry about having a roommate.

What am I Passionate About? Time’s Running Out

08/19/2016

Today’s move-in day at my college, and it’s bittersweet.
This is my Junior year, and I still am unsure as to what I want to do with my life.
I should be overjoyed that I am graduating in 2 years, but as I look back at my last 2 years in college, I ask myself, “What have I actually accomplished?” Maybe I’m being dramatic, because I feel like I have done a lot, but I just feel like I haven’t done enough.
For one, the fact that I am still questioning my major even though I declared it last year tells you a lot.
It seems like everyone has kind of figured out their niche and where they belong, but I’ve used so much time looking at all the opportunities available to me that I haven’t really narrowed down my search yet.
This summer did help a lot though. I actually achieved a lot this summer now looking back. First and foremost, I was able to actually see what I might be doing in the future by shadowing a surgeon. It was amazing what he does, but I was questioning myself the entire time: “Could I be able to do that once put into that situation?”
I know that I should have more shadowing hours by now than this, but with the amount of shadowing I’ve already done, it definitely has helped me get an idea as to what I will be doing.
And now, I am looking into what I am actually passionate about.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been back in my college town and just working a whole bunch. It’s been boring and fun at the same time. Talking with my co-workers has actually been super rewarding.
There was one co-worker who was basically my twin (like it was scary). He had come back to Ithaca early for the exact same reason as I did (he got bored at home, and decided to come back and work a whole bunch of hours before school started), and he lived a state below me.
We got to talking, and we realized that we have even more in common. He basically had the same interests as me. He likes technology and wants to do something along the lines of building and creating and designing stuff. He said how he looked into almost all majors imaginable at Cornell, and took things because he felt like he needed to (bio classes). He said how he has changed his major every summer (like I have), and that when he graduates he wants to do something with technology.
I couldn’t believe it. He was basically quoting my life aspirations.
He told me that he was studying Information Science, but it’s under Interdisciplinary because he had chosen a major so late. I looked into the InfoSci major, and I couldn’t believe it.
It was basically everything that I ever wanted.
It combined psychology, sociology, technology, math, science, etc. all of these things into one. And I loved it so much.
AND their main offices are found in my favorite building on campus (the building is absolutely gorgeous!).
AND their website was so user-friendly, I loved it so much.
AND their website was in my favorite color. Even. Freaking. Better.
I just loved everything about the major and I wish that I had noticed much earlier on.
I think that I would like to change my major, but I am wondering if I would have to change colleges within my university or enroll in this separate program.
And the problem is that I have taken so many classes in Biology already that I am almost done with the major, so what would be the point?
Maybe I should just get the minor?
I don’t know. So many choices and so little time.

Thoughts on Technology

So I just finished talking with a friend about how I was thinking about pursuing the Information Science minor, a subject that she is majoring in. I always was interested in everything that she was doing and studying in class since my freshman year, but I didn’t know much about the major. It wasn’t until I started talking to a co-worker about it (turns out that he is studying the same thing). In fact, we have alot in common during this time which kind of scared me for a little bit, but after getting over that, things got really interesting.

He told me that he studied Information Science and he told me that he really liked it. He then asked me about what I wanted to do, and I told him that I was interested in the medical field, which was why I am on the premed track. Then, I told him about my other interest of technology and being able to design, create, invent, and improve technology in the health field. He said that he basically wanted to do the same thing, and that’s when I was a little taken aback. I had no idea that Info Sci even did that kind of thing. So I looked into it and… it was just ridiculous how much I loved their website (even down to the colors!) and the overall experience I had on just their website. I then looked into the classes and the classes were even better. I always though the idea of artificial intelligence and robotics were super interesting to me. The idea that the person didn’t have to think for themselves anymore of inserting that kind of thinking into an inhumane object was just.. mind-blowing to me.

I also believe that technology will eventually rule all of our lives. Just saying .

So anyways, back to talking with my friend.

I told her about the Info Sci that I was taking this semester that talked about the ethical issues that arise while talking about artificial intelligence and automatic systems like that. I have only taken 2 classes so far (and slept during the last 20 minutes of both, but in my defense it’s at the end of the day), and it’s been really interesting. We’ve actually been talking about philosophy and what people say about who has rights to what? We are basically trying to define what human rights are. It’s actually super interesting, and the readings are cool. And the professor is cool too. He has two white, fluffy puppies that he passes around the class so we can all hold them. They are soo cute (and so therapeutic). When I was going to pass him to the next person, he pressed himself against me and sat back on his hind legs, like he was prepping himself to be picked up. It was literally one of the cutest things I’ve ever had the chance to witness.

Anyways, so she told me how Info Sci was one of the best decisions she’s ever made.

Info Sci is a social major and such a broad, new field. It’s focused around people and how people interact with technology, and your job is to find ways to improve their experience. She talked to me about how GoogleUX came to her class, which I thought was super cool. I honestly didn’t know what she was talking about or what that was, and then later on in the discussion she described what they did. So basically, they evaluate how people work with technology, and they see what they can do to change the settings or make it better for them. In other words, UX = User experience. I’ve heard of the term before, but I had no idea that was what they did. It just sounded boring to me.

She told me how she has tried out different technology by companies such as this thing to bring a virtual world to people. It was so real to the point that people would forget to pay attention to their own daily tasks (ex: a couple forgot to feed their own baby because they were too busy taking care of their virtual baby in their virtual world. Another one is that people would forget to eat food while in this virtual world). So she said that part of their job is to figure out how to improve these technologies so that people remember to actually go back to reality for sometime.

I have always been interested in that kind of technology: 3-D printers, Google glasses, Eye contacts for diabetics (I didn’t know was a thing until she told me), etc.

I also told a friend once when I went to the Coca Cola Company with him and other friends this past summer that I would love to work with the design of their products. Being able to interact with people and create videos for their ads would be such a cool job. And now I realize that if I were to study Info Sci, that would be the work that I would do. It’s just all coming together for me, and it’s kind of exciting to realize what I like and that there’s something out there for me.

She then told me about how she wants to work mainly in music and media, and figure out how to improve the experiences of tour buses for artists. Apparently, being in a tour bus is actually very taxing on the brain, to the point that people develop mental disorders and depression. I thought that was super interesting and the fact that she wants to focus on that is really neat.

She also said how Info Sci majors came up with the entrepreneurship hubs that were newly built at my school, and… you do not understand how happy I was to know that they were the ones to design it. I have always thought that those spaces were beautiful. They are so nice and look so appealing to the eyes. To know that they were the ones to design and decide to build that place just blew my mind.

I knew there was a reason why my favorite building on campus happened to be their building. I also knew that there was a reason why I loved Iron Man, not just because he’s a great and awesome super hero, but also because of what he does. He creates robots (iron suits) and works with artificial intelligence. I always thought that was really cool.

I knew there had to be something out there that worked with it. What a turn of events!