Friday, December 30, 2011

An End is Just a New Beginning

I now have a 3.239 GPA overall and 3.597 in my major
The fall semester ended a little more smoothly than I anticipated. After camping out at DH Hill for most of finals week, I was able to somehow manage all A's and B's for the semester, although I honestly didn't deserve the A I was given in French 201. I shouldn't have gotten more than a B+, at best.

The Saturday after exams ended, I took the GRE in order to apply to Graduate School. While I know people who bought all sorts of study manuals, flash cards, and practice tests, I can't imagine how anyone would truly study for the GRE. It was, without a doubt, the most obtuse exam I've ever taken in my life! Rather than the analogies that I recall having to sort through during the SAT I took back in the early 1990s, the Verbal sections of the GRE required me to read a bunch of essays and analyze which of five paragraph long answers seemed to best respond to whatever deep thinking question was posed. And, usually, the paragraph answers I could choose from were incredibly subtle in their distinction, which only succeeded in making the test unnecessarily dense and incomprehensible.

Regarding the Quantitative sections of the GRE, maybe I would have done better if I had been fresh out of high school and college before taking this, though the main focus seemed not on actual problem solving, but rather on understanding the relationship of variables to one another. Most of the questions didn't even involve numbers, at all! The few questions which did have numbers that could be solved couldn't possibly be solved in the short amount of time given for each section. So, I was left to only half solve each of these questions, and then make some leap of logic to guess from among the given answers. At any rate, I was able to score in the 84th Percentile for Verbal, and in the 61st Percentile for Quantitative, which is enough to qualify me for the Graduate Psychology program at many US universities, including NC State. Presumably, I could apply to other universities, as well. However, as I've said to friends, I don't really want to pack up and move unless I have a job to go to which is paying for the move.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Off My Game

I'm still waiting for the release of The Secret World
This week has not been one of my better experiences. And, as I've mentioned previously, this semester isn't exactly shaping up to be one of my more crowning achievements, either!

Aside from being low on sleep for most of the week, I got grades back on two tests which were not very good, at all. To be fair, the 80 (B-) I got on the Finite Math test wasn't as horrible as it could have been. I wasn't as confident in my math skills as I perhaps should have been. I made a minor stupid error that cost me 5 points right off the bat when I got confused and thought that the slope of a line is the negative of the slope of its corresponding perpendicular line, when it is actually the negative inverse of the slope of its corresponding perpendicular line! Oh well... I've never claimed that math was a strong point of mine.

The harder hit for me came just today when I received my grade on my first test in Cognitive Psychology. I knew I wasn't going to make an A, since some of the test focused on brain anatomy, which has always been a difficult concept for me in regard to psychological study. I try to memorize the parts of the brain and their primary functions in cognitive processing, but every time that I do I get this dizzy feeling upon realizing that my brain is reading about my brain and how it actually functions. It sort of reminds me of the movie Inception, in that some mysteries are just better left unanswered. At any rate, after making a fool of myself on several questions that, again, I should have known the answers to, I ended up with an agonizingly painful 76 (C) on the test! My only refuge is that we still have two more tests, a final exam, and a paper due in that class. Since I usually do well on papers, I am hoping that I will be able to pull out at least a B+ in Cognitive Psych.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Time Management

Taking time for lunch outside
This semester is really testing me in ways I haven't been before.

I've posted in the past about my habit of procrastination. Often I find that I work better under the pressure that procrastinating provides. Over the last few weeks, however, that has not been the case, at all. With the homework needed to stay on top of my Intermediate French and Finite Math courses, the 10+ hours of research work for The Doctor each week, as well as the reading for Cognitive Psychology and Behavioral Research, I am really being asked to accomplish more in a limited amount of time that I am accustomed. For ten years at the radio station, I essentially had 10 hours of work to get done in 40 hours a week, with the remainder of my time spent being on alert in case something went horribly wrong.

The thing is, I really enjoy my downtime. I like being able to have time to read Internet forums, watch The Young Turks on YouTube, read political blogs, watch the occasional documentary on Netflix. While I find that keeping up with politics is stressful, it is stressful in a way that I find fun. Having to constantly do work to maintain my grades is stressful, but not in a way that I find especially fun. The problem is that there is a specific goal in mind with regard to the school work. I HAVE TO make good grades. I don't have to know that President Obama's ridiculous "jobs" plan consists of 56% tax cuts for corporations.

Of course, procrastinating wouldn't be as big of a problem for me if I would actually do all the things I need to do. As I put things off, the stack of things I need to do constantly gets bigger, increasing the pressure until I worry that I might explode. And the work for The Doctor is a particular beast for me, because I hate the feeling that I am letting someone else down. If I make a C in French it doesn't hurt me, emotionally, as much as knowing that I'm slowing someone else down or preventing them from accomplishing their tasks in an efficient manner. That's why I was never meant for customer service. I despise slowing other people down.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One More First Day is Done

This is what $718 looks like
After an incredibly uneventful summer spent toiling away doing little more than data entry for the good Doctor's social psychology review project (without pay, of course), and eating a mostly steady diet of macaroni and cheese and cheap microwave dinners, I am finally back to the grind of classes. A couple of weeks ago, I bought my books for the semester and have since decided that, because they were so expensive and heavy, if I can consolidate my book load by selling back at least half of the books to the bookstore and getting the ebook versions from Amazon, I will probably try to invest in an iPad to use as an ereader. I have already calculated that I can save at least $150 this semester, if I can sell back all my psych books and replace them with ebooks. And, assuming I keep the iPad through at least the next three semesters (and hopefully beyond if I can get into grad school), it will have paid for itself by the time I graduate with my Bachelors.

Regarding my classes, I was actually pretty anxious last night and couldn't get to sleep. I ended up falling asleep around 3 AM, and had to wake up at 7 AM to get ready for school. I was most afraid of Intermediate French and Finite Math. After attending the first day of class, I am less afraid of Intermediate French, but I am still nervous about Finite Math. We aren't allowed to use graphing calculators in the class, only scientific calculators, so at least I won't have to struggle with the old nemesis, my TI-84 Plus. I suppose I can quit carrying it around and save myself some weight in my bag! The main problem with the math class is the instructor, of course. I don't know if he is a full professor or just a grad student, but he goes way too quickly through his notes in class, and speaks very quietly in an auditorium of 200+ people! We are supposed to get assigned seats next week, so I'm sure I will be near the back, which will only make things worse! If I am going to have any hope of getting through this class with a B or higher I'm going to have to do all the homework as diligently as possible.

Friday, May 20, 2011


I'm pretty sure that never happened
The last week or so has been filled with a vast expanse of nothing as I've stayed at home and watched online videos and read articles about how much the world, or at least the US, sucks right now. While I have absolutely no expectation that the Rapture will occur this weekend, despite the assertions of some right wing lunatics to the contrary, with all of the reports of Conservatives taking away people's collective bargaining rights, voting rights, and rights to entitlements around the country I can sort of see why some might be waiting in anticipation for such an event. I'm guessing Jesus offers a better universal healthcare plan than the US!

On the plus side, I finally received some emails from the good Doctor about starting research. His group of around ten research undergraduates, including myself, will meet up with him next Monday, assuming the world hasn't ended, to discuss our various work assignments. Because he has so many students working with him, the Doctor is dividing us among several different research projects. We will have a weekly meeting for all the groups to talk and update one another on the work being done by everyone. I am part of a group that will be doing some literature review work about geriatrics and social psychology. Right now, things are sort of vague, but the meetings on Monday should clarify what we are supposed to research. My group is working under the Doctor's graduate student in cooperation with a research group in Surrey, England.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Numbers Are In...

I was really expecting a B in French
Well, that wasn't at all like having teeth pulled!

Now that I've completed my first semester at NC State, I have to say that in some ways it was harder and in some ways easier than I had originally expected. As you can no doubt tell by the semester grades, the two biggest struggles for me were French and Psych Research. I was really disappointed with my French grade. While I can only really blame myself, I did explain in detail during my course evaluation a couple of weeks ago that I don't think the course should have required as much homework as was expected of us. That was my major downfall, as I usually made 85-96 on the tests. The course is on one hand sold as a refresher or review of French, and students are required to take a placement test to stay in the class. But, on the other hand, the course crams all of the material from French I and II into the span of one semester. As I commented in my course evaluation, the main reason students take this course is because they don't feel confident in their speaking abilities and want extra prep time before entering the 200-level French course which is taught almost exclusively in French. Students, such as myself, want French 110 to give us greater confidence with our speaking and oral comprehension, which I don't feel like the course actually provided. Granted, my French writing and reading has improved slightly, but I feel as though my speaking and conversational skills actually regressed a bit over the semester because so little time was focused on actual conversation skill. And, after all of that, I have a C on my transcript!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Preconceived Notions

Number Crunching in SPSS
Hopefully, as you get older, you start to learn that first impressions, while important, aren't the best gauge of a person's worth.

I've been doing a final project in Psych Research Methods involving self-segregation in college lecture halls based on race and gender. Because we weren't allowed to choose our group members, I happen to be in a group with a young woman whose initial impressions early in the semester left me feeling less than enthusiastic about working with her. We had a few minor conflicts in the first few weeks of class which showed her to be a self-centered snob with a very low opinion of me. For my part, I was probably a bit petulant, and unwilling to let her off-hand comments go unchallenged. To be fair, out of the four of us in the team, she and I are probably the most dominant personalities of the group, as evidenced by our performance during our in-class presentation. But, after getting a chance to work with her and have a few normal conversations, I've come to appreciate her contribution to the group. Of course, she now comes off as another one of those overachievers that I've encountered here at NC State who wants to have her entire future mapped out in detail. However, getting a chance to learn that she and I have both been frustrated with our grades in Psych Research Methods, and that we both have issues with how the grad student instructor of the class has taught the course, has allowed me to see her a little more three-dimensionally than before. She still has a little bit of an air of haughtiness about her, but I get the sense that it, probably, is more a guard against her minor insecurities than an actual excoriation of people as being less important than her.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Limping Toward the Finish

Honesty is so refreshing these days
This was the last week of the semester, and I gave oral to women on three different occasions this week, which made things seem incredibly hectic. Now that I have your attention, settle down. My life isn't that interesting!

On Monday I had my final French oral exam. It went well, at least in the beginning, as my female partner and I were reasonably prepared for our skit and art conversation. Things started going downhill once we were required to ask each other questions from a predetermined list of questions in various tenses. The professor started dropping our generally high scores on the grade sheet. At least, we got through it with at least a C.

On Thursday, I had to rent a campus Zipcar for a trip to Wake Tech's Health Education facility for an oral exam that I had promised to do for an old acquaintance from high school that friended me on Facebook. It was okay, although I got there early and ended up sitting in the wrong building for half an hour before anyone came out and asked me why I was there. I was told that I needed to walk to the opposite side of a parking deck from where I was to get to the dental facility. I had some x-rays of my horribly crooked teeth made, but otherwise my teeth were apparently in too good a condition for actual cleaning work to be done. Since it is a teaching facility for dental hygienists, they wanted someone whose teeth were worse off than mine, I guess. At any rate, it was nice to see an old classmate who somehow managed to have a daughter in the intervening years and somehow didn't gain much weight, as so many of my other high school comrades and I have.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sometimes We Make Sausage, Other Times... Progress

Poe Hall From the Court of the Carolinas
If you happened to friend me on Facebook, you probably already learned that I had a meeting on Monday with a Doctor about PSY 499 work. The good Doctor is a young man, perhaps younger than myself, with a very quiet demeanor. His German accent only adds to his charm, and I described him to a couple of people as "adorable". In fact, even though we have had very little contact with one another thus far, I'd be willing to say I have a little bit of a crush on him. This is hardly a new phenomenon for me, as I have had exactly four crushes on men in my life. Of course the good Doctor is married, and his wife is quite attractive in her own right, if the photo on his desk is an accurate depiction. To be honest, I'm not sure where I was going with that!

At any rate, we only spoke for about fifteen minutes, but it was enough time for me to feel like an idiot, albeit a well-spoken idiot. The Doctor is very intelligent, as are most Europeans when compared with us lowly Americans. He attended the prestigious Max Planck Institute and is currently studying emotion and cognition in adults and the elderly. He asked me simple questions for which I felt like I had no good answer, though I flapped my lips and came up with something to fill the silence. Honestly, how do I get caught up on a question like, "What are your goals for the future?" or "What sorts of things would you like to research?" After giving it some thought, I think it has something to do with motivation.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Fortunes of Futures Passed

Fortune Cookies Are Getting Morose
I'm not one for backup plans. Generally, I make my mind up, I go in a direction, and I see where it takes me. If I end up someplace good, then I'm happy. If I end up someplace not so good, then I'm not so happy, but I deal with it and accept my fate... at least for awhile. However, I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't start trying to create a backup plan, in the event this whole going to Graduate School and becoming a professor thing doesn't work out.

The thing is, I don't see myself as becoming anything other than a college professor. Well, at least not realistically. I've had a fantasy for years now about creating a company with my friends for the sole purpose of saving the world from itself. That whole God complex of mine enjoys reveling in that fantasy. But, the job of college professor is uniquely suited to what I consider my strengths, while still allowing me to indulge in some of my weaknesses. For instance, I love giving presentations in front of groups of people. I enjoy reading up on some obscure bit of knowledge, breaking that knowledge down into a set of presentation slides, and teaching it to people who didn't take the time to learn what I just discovered. Also, I enjoy being a little judgmental (that would be classified as one of my weaknesses). Asking people to write a literature review paper, or other such assignment, would allow me an outlet for looking down my nose at students who seemingly can't find their ass with a roll of toilet paper.

Friday, April 1, 2011

That Thing I Said... Yeah, Screw That!

Poe Hall Sign
So, I've been trying to come up with themes to reflect the overall trends of each week. While I'm sure that by now I'm exhibiting a clear vacillation in my attitude, if I had to come up with a theme for this week it would be "Let's shit all over Ashe's hopes and dreams!" In psychological research, there is a term called "regression toward the mean" which basically means that even though participants in a study may occasionally exhibit unusually high or low scores on a given examination, during repeated re-tests the participants will typically regress in performance toward their natural average. This week I got grades back on several tests, and I wasn't happy with the results. I made an 86 (B) on the Ergonomics test (a drop from 94 on the first test), a 73 (C) on the Biology test (a drastic drop from 94 on the first test), and an 80 (B) on the Psych Research test (a slight uptick from the 78 of the first test).

I honestly don't see why my grades dropped so much this time. I can't say that I did anything drastically different from the first tests. I take notes, I read the textbooks, I do whatever homework is assigned to me. Admittedly, both my Ergonomics and Biology professors gave smaller curves on these tests than on the first ones, but that wasn't enough to account for a 10-20 point drop in test grades! Some of the material on genetics really threw me for a loop on the Biology test, so that certainly didn't help. I'm just terrified that these test grades may fall into the category of regression toward the mean! And, on top of all that, we had speakers in my Orientation to Psych seminar today talking about graduate school who repeatedly emphasized the importance of a good GPA and standardized test scores in order to gain acceptance. Apparently, it's almost not worth it to even apply if you don't have at least a 3.5 GPA in addition to high test scores.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Home Stretch

The Wolf Ears in Spring
With only a month left in the semester I feel like things are starting to come together, slowly but surely. Of course, I don't really have anything to base that on, considering that I am still waiting to find out what I made on my most recent tests in Biology, Psych Research Methods, and Ergonomics, and I am behind in my work in Accelerated French (bien sur!). And the fact that I am hoping to skirt by on the generous province of my professors' grade curves probably shouldn't be seen as positive evidence of personal progress! Nonetheless, I have made a few small steps in the forward direction. I was finally able to register for classes for Fall 2011, and I made first contact with one of the psych professors regarding PSY 499 work. I still have to fill out an application, so there is no guarantee that I will get accepted to the professor's lab, but my optimism (unfounded though it may be) is giving me a little bit of an emotional boost for the time being. At least getting a response back from a professor is better than the last month of silence I've had to endure!

The one letdown of the week, however, was learning that I will not be able to work in the tutorial center for the university. Apparently, they don't hire tutors for humanities, though nowhere on their website do they mention that fact! As a result, I went to a 30-minute information session only to learn that if I want to tutor I have to be proficient in math, physics, or chemistry! Maybe it is for the best, since they apparently do not give their tutors very many hours each week, and you have to actually pay to take the training course for tutoring. In other words, by the time you actually tutor you would probably only break even financially! The woman who ran the information session even indirectly admitted that fact when pressed about whether one has to pay for the training course. That is fucking brilliant! A part-time job that only manages to pay for itself! Wait until the Conservatives and Corporate Tycoons hear about this one! Fuck you Capitalism! Fuck you right in the face!

Friday, March 18, 2011

A False Alarm?

Jeans and Chucks
Monday and Friday were eventful bookends to a decidedly mundane week. On Monday, I managed to get a 94 on a French test, which is always nice, and on Friday I had tests in Psych Research Methods and Biology. I'm not confident about my grades on those tests, but I'll find out about them next week.

The more concerning event happened Monday afternoon during Biology. As I was sitting in the auditorium taking notes and listening to the professor, I realized that my left leg had become numb. Since the auditorium seats are always cramped, I thought my leg had just fallen asleep from being in a bad position. Unfortunately, I couldn't move my leg at all. It felt heavy, as though it suddenly weighed 500 pounds! After a moment, I discovered that my left arm was also numb and heavy and that I couldn't move it, either. Thinking that this was not a good thing, I made sure to test my right leg and arm, both of which seemed to move normally. Considering that my seat is in the middle of the row, I couldn't exactly get up and leave in the middle of lecture, assuming that I could have even walked with a dead weight for a left leg. So I just sat there and continued trying to observe what was happening to my body. I struggled to move my left side, but couldn't make any progress. Eventually, I began to lose focus on the room, and I couldn't hear anything that was being said. My head fell down and I went unconscious for about five seconds before snapping back to reality.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Maintaining Position, Going Nowhere, Situation Normal

Cubicles in the Learning Commons at DH Hill
Next week is Spring Break for NC State, though I can't say that I will be going to any sort of exotic locale for fun and excitement. Instead, I will be at home presumably trying to get caught up on my reading for classes. For now it seems that the focus of my life revolves around simply maintaining the status quo. Very little of interest or consequence occurred outside of the brief excitement of preparing for, and engaging in, my Midterm Oral Exam in Accelerated French. It went well since it largely involved me having to memorize things which I needed to say. Ever since I was a child it has been easy for me to memorize speeches and songs with little effort. I even find it enjoyable. Memorizing speeches is among the talents I apply to public speaking, generally.

The few highlights of the week, such that they were, happened on Wednesday when I went bowling with my psychology friends, and then later helped another friend in the Social Work program with a paper at DH Hill. However, despite having other enjoyable interactions with friends throughout the week, I find myself suddenly experiencing loneliness. I liken it to that feeling of being alone in a crowded room -- you know you should be feeling more pleasure than you actually are in the situation. That isn't meant as a dig on any of my friends. Rather, it is an unfortunate consequence of trying to conform to societal norms.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Social Cost of Free Expression

Free Expression Tunnel at NCSU
(NOTE: The following post includes a graphic depiction of a violent fantasy which I had this week. It should be understood that I have absolutely no intention of acting on this fantasy, or any like it. If you are bothered by descriptions of violence, do not read this post. I hope that anyone that I care about who may read this won't think negatively of me after reading this, should they choose to do so. However, I'm fairly sure that the people I care about already understand my intentions.)

I've railed against hypocrisy in the past. My reasoning is that if you believe in, or otherwise espouse, a principle you should be willing to live with the consequences of that principle because in doing so you will either learn that the principle is worth defending or that it is a stupid principle that no one in their right mind should have supported to begin with. I've even gone so far as to say that, as an extension of this anti-hypocrisy attitude, I have never done or said anything for which I am ashamed. While I still assert that position, I will say that sometimes I do things which, while not causing me shame, do cause me a small amount of regret.

On Wednesday, my friends and I were hanging out in the lounge in Poe Hall as usual before our Psych Research Methods class. In case you haven't already figured it out by now, I can be something of a loud mouth. Most of the time this isn't a problem, and I've even discovered that some people find it to be rather amusing. Those who don't usually are not very happy to be around me, and that typically suits me just fine. Well, on this day some guy who was sitting behind us in the lounge yelled at us (me, in particular, since I was speaking at the time) to be quiet. To our credit, we did become silent while the guy remained in the lounge. However, I was seething with anger. When the guy finally got up to leave, I just couldn't hold in my hate any longer and I flippantly insulted him as he walked away. Needless to say, he wasn't pleased with that and responded in kind. I could have escalated the matter but chose not to out of fear that what I wanted to do would get me kicked out of school.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Knocking Down the Pins

Textbook and Bowling Scores
As another long week draws to a close, I find myself reflecting more on positives than negatives. Grade-wise, I was able to get a 94 on my Biology test (with a 9-point curve), a 94 on my Ergonomics test (with a 5-point curve), an 87 on my second French test (no curve), and a 78 on my Psych Research Methods test (for which I REALLY think there should have been a curve). I am almost caught up on my French homework, and I am fully on top of all the reading in the rest of my classes.

The overarching theme, if one can be found, for this week has been about trying to put out feelers and make connections with people around me. First, I'll touch on the frustrations. Professors in the Psychology Department at NCSU are apparently not the most communicative bunch of people in the world. This comes as a shock only because it has always been my contention that people who are drawn to psychology tend to be over-sharers. Psychologists are supposed to be the touchy-feely people. We're supposed to want to tell everyone everything and be willing to listen as everyone else comes to cry on our shoulders. Why then can't a single professor email me back within a WEEK when I try to set up appointments to talk about doing independent research work for PSY 499? You'd think they would love to sign up suckers like me who are willing to devote hours of our lives to reading research studies and doing data entry for little more than course credit and the vague hope that maybe, just MAYBE, we will look 2% better than some other dumbass when we apply to Grad School. My advisor informed me that I shouldn't get too discouraged by not getting an email back from the professors I contacted and recommended that I continue to be persistent. Anyone who knows me should be aware that persistence isn't my problem. Finding that fine line between persistent and stalker is where I'm a little less comfortable. I'll send out follow up emails next week and see if I can make any progress in getting my PSY 499 done.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Don't Panic. This is Only a Test...

DH Hill QR Codes
While I can't exactly compare it to the trials of Hercules, this has been a little bit of a rough week for me. I've been experiencing a little discouragement as it seems like the honeymoon, hectic as it may have been, is beginning to fade at NC State. I had three tests this week in my hardest subjects (Biology, Ergonomics, and Psych Research Methods). I wouldn't have been worried too much if it weren't for the fact that I've been reminded about three times over the last week that getting accepted to Graduate School is apparently pretty hard. Don't tell me that! Sure, it may be true, but it feels like I was given the option of having sex with a cute, big breasted brunette, with that Jewish Princess look I'm apparently fond of, only to be told, "Yeah, that didn't work out as we expected. Here have this scrawny 12 year old redheaded boy instead!" Besides being quite a bit illegal, I'm not even INTO 12 year old boys! Maybe that wasn't the best analogy in retrospect!

One good thing did come out of the week, though. As part of my newly discovered assertiveness, I reserved a study room at DH Hill and invited several friends from my Psych Research Methods class to study on Thursday afternoon before the test which happened this morning. It might come as a surprise that this was the first study group I've ever participated in during my entire school history. I was certainly aware that such things occurred, but it never entered my mind to try and be a part of one until now. Maybe I wasn't ready to share my brilliance with others. Maybe it was just that I was so scared of doing well on the test. At any rate, it went as well as I could have possibly imagined. Not everyone showed up, but those who did were very helpful. We all seemed to contribute something positive to the group discussion, and we were able to wade through the sometimes confusing material. I won't know what sort of grade I got on the test until next week (nor the grades I got for Biology or Ergonomics), but I felt pretty comfortable after each exam I took this week and think that B's are very likely, and A's are not impossible.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Change of Scenery

NCSU Belltower
There's the old saying that the more things change the more they stay the same. Well, things have definitely changed. Since last November 1st, I was accepted to NC State, lost my car due to a broken timing belt, road an Amtrak train for the first time to Charlotte, experienced what can only be considered a clusterfuck of a college orientation, registered for classes, and began to make a name for myself in the new environs of a major four year research university. It is sort of surprising how NOT overwhelmed I have been thus far.

I've been attending classes for a month now, and I find that the work load is, so far, about even with what I had come to expect at Wake Tech. Gone are the expectations of a written paper and an oral presentation for every class, only to be replaced with an expectation for a lot more reading and independent homework assignments. The biggest adjustment has been the relative claustrophobia which I've experienced. The buses to school and back have been packed, as have been the 200 seat auditorium classes, the campus food courts and coffee shops, and even the library.

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