Bard Life

Race's life at Bard

Today We Went Apple-Picking

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Fall Break Aftermath

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So I just wrote a paper on Calvin and Hobbes. That felt amazing.

I’m kind of buried in homework at the moment, but that’s because I decided to take the day off homework and have a late night having fun. Totally worth it. I needed a break (after fall break). It’s odd how taking a break from work makes it so much harder to get back into the flow of things.

Over the weekend I went to visit my grandparents and their sheep. Long Greyhound bus trip, but I was happy I did it. Had some withdrawal symptoms there because they had no cell phone service or internet. It’s scary that places like that exist, right? Anyway, it was good to see them, and it was much better than sitting in my room with nothing to do all break. I got about 300 pages further through A Game of Thrones.

I have a Calculus midterm on Monday that I am (or should be) studying for. Kinda worried about that. It’s all stuff that I think I get, but it’s just going to be hard to remember all the formulas. Memorization is my least favorite thing in the world. Y’know, besides genocide and mass starvation all that stuff.

I got my first paper back on Thursday. Got an A-, and I’m pretty happy with that. I’d love to be getting solid As, but it was my first paper, and I would have been disappointed if it had been that easy.

I’m actually really not sure how well I’m doing in my classes. I feel like I’m doing well, but I have yet to see a single numerical or alphabetical representation of my grade in any of my classes other than that paper. I think I’m going to go ask my professors how they think I’m doing.

Anyway, I’m ¬†pretty busy here, and I can’t wait for the week to be over. I know, it’s only Saturday, but I usually pretend like Thursday and Friday nights are my weekends and do my work during the day on Saturday and Sunday when there aren’t any particularly exciting events happening.

It feels good to be productive though. I like being busy, whether it’s with social life or work.

It’s October Already?

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Where the hell did September go?

I’ve been really busy here at Bard. I can’t really remember the last time I experienced boredom. The days are just packed.

Anyway, I had my first two Calculus quizzes and my first Physics exam. The Calc stuff I did pretty well on, and I got a 96% on the Physics exam. I was really pleased with that. Our FY-Sem class is wrapping up Plato’s Republic, which generated a lot of really great discussion, and is making me think a lot about what morality really is. I’m also editing a paper for FY-Sem as I type this on Milton’s Paradise Lost, about how Milton’s depiction of Satan is a more morally just figure than Milton’s God. It’s really interesting.

My nonfiction class is really amazing. We’re doing workshops for the first time, and I’m getting a five page piece I wrote critiqued tomorrow afternoon. I’m kind of nervous, but I’m also really proud of the piece, so I’m hopeful that no one will hate it too much.

As for the social life, my friend groups are becoming better defined. I now have a regular crew that I eat meals with almost every day, and I made a bunch of new friends from Keene (a dorm on campus) through my girlfriend, Angela, who lives there. There’s a bit of a party scene at Keene, which is cool to an extent. Apparently vodka is the drink of choice on this campus. (Side note: I discovered on Friday night that chasing vodka with water does not work.)

My friend Sofia and her band also had a performance at one of the on-campus venues the other night. We all came and danced and had a great time. They were amazing.

Fencing is also going really well. I’m having a lot of fun. I was worried that I’d be really rusty, but I’m actually winning most of the bouts I fence. It’s pretty satisfying to fence against a junior who’s been part of the club for a long time and crush him in pretty much every match.

Anyway, I should probably stop procrastinating and edit this damn paper now.

Care Packages & Calculus

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Calc 2 has been pretty difficult. Every time I left that class I would think to my self “Oh gods, I didn’t understand any of that! What am I going to do?” It’s highly stressful. But then I’d go back to my dorm and do the homework and understand everything after a while. Our professor just teaches so fast that all I can really do is copy down everything he puts on the board as fast as I can and then try to figure it out later that night. So far it’s been working, but it’s still stressful to leave every class thinking “Wow, I suck.”

However, things are looking up. Whenever he teaches us something new he always writes out a few problems for us to solve in class, just so that he can see whether we’re understanding everything or not. Usually I never finish these problems, but yesterday he taught us how to do, and I quote, “the longest calculus problems you will ever have to do,” and I finished the in-class problems before almost everyone else, and I felt like I totally understood what we were doing when I left class. That’s the first time this has happened, and I feel great.

In other news, my parents sent me a care package in the mail that arrived today. I was expecting it just to be my mouse and keyboard, but it turned out to be full of snacks, an entire twelve-pack of ramen, some tea, a pot and strainer, silverware, and a bowl and mug. It was awesome. I almost died trying to carry it all the way to north campus from the post office, but it was worth it.

I love my parents so much.

PS: The club fair was last night and I got in contact with the fencing and slam poetry clubs. Looking forward to that!

Time Flies When You Work Your Ass Off

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Has it seriously been another week already? How many has it been now? Five? Six? I’ve lost count.

Anyway, we’re really starting to get into the swing of everything here. My Mondays through Wednesdays are really hectic and busy because all my classes are during the beginning of the week. I am so glad my Calc 2 class is only twice a week. I would not be able to handle it if it were three times a week. Anyway, I had a very long first half of this week, and now that everything has slowed down I don’t know what to do with my time. Half of me is like “get all your work done, oh my gods, you’re being so unproductive! Get off your ass!” and the other half of me is like “I am so exhausted from the first half of this week, I just need a break for a day or two.”

Part of the problem is just that I have this weird feeling where I feel like I have to be spending all of my time either out with friends and doing stuff or doing homework. I’ve had 17 years of sitting on my ass at home on the internet as my only form of entertainment, and now I feel like since I’m in college something more interesting must always be happening somewhere. So I always feel like I should either be out doing things or doing work so that I can spend more time out doing things later. I really need to figure out how to just relax for a while.

On another note, I’m considering changing my major. This might just be a passing fancy or just a knee-jerk reaction to suddenly having to do a ton of math all the time, but I feel like I might do well as a Computer Science major rather than a Physics major. I’ve been tossing the idea around with one of my friends who is planning to major in Comp-Sci, and he’s making it sound really cool. I think I need a better picture of what the lives of people in those different fields are like, because although I know that my major doesn’t determine what I do with my life, I have to pick one regardless, and it would give me an advantage if I’ve been studying the right subjects for four years before I entered the working world.

Like I said, I need to learn how to relax.

The First Week

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Holy hell, has it been a week already?

All right, my Physics class is interesting. It’s not exactly the same physics that I took in high-school, which I’m happy about, and it’s not as hard as Calc 2, which I’m also happy about. It’s more like the problems are just messy. They usually resolve into pretty neat answers, but to get there you have to slough through a bunch of values to the fifth decimal place and stuff. It’s ugly. I haven’t had the physics lab yet, though. That happens tomorrow afternoon.

Calc 2 is difficult in that it’s new material that I haven’t learned before and I don’t have my formulas from Calc 1 memorized. It takes me longer to do all the problems, since I have to use my cheat-sheet for everything. Being good at math does not mean being fast at math, but we have to cover so much in every lesson that it gets a tad bit overwhelming at times.

Nonfiction is fun, and our professor is totally wacky and cool. I like how completely open-ended all of our prompts are. I just write shit and it turns into something cool. The essays we read are really interesting, too.

FY-Sem is probably my favorite class just because there’s so much more interaction with other students. We get to talk about interesting issues. So far we’ve just been reading Genesis, and the discussion is pretty fascinating. I really like all of my classmates, and I want to make friends with them outside of class.

First Day of Real Classes

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I just finished my first day of real (non L&T) classes at Bard. I’m taking Physics, Calc 2, Intro to Nonfiction, and First Year Seminar (a mandatory class for all freshman).

My Calc 2 class is kind of scary because my professor talks at approximately the speed of light, and we reviewed all of Calc 1 in the first half hour of class and I wasn’t sure how well I remembered it. Physics was really cool, and I got a massive wave of nostalgia when he wrote “F = m*a” on the blackboard. Nonfiction was strange and awesome. We read a weird essay that was like a list of “how to do _____” for girls in some very sexist culture, and this is a direct quote from our professor: “This isn’t actually about all of this. This essay is about sex. The history of the world is really the history of the regulation of sex, OK?”

So yeah, welcome to Bard I guess. FY-Sem isn’t until tomorrow.

EDIT: FY-Sem was awesome. My professor is really cool, and so are all the kids in the class. We talked about Genesis for like half an hour, and it was awesome.

Recreational Activity

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These past few days have been really amazing. L&T is drawing to its end, and my friend group has been solidifying itself a bit more. On Saturday I went to my very first Rocky Horror Picture Show, which was amazingly wild and crazy and hilarious. The next night my friends and I all drove into town at 1:00 in the morning to get food from a diner, which was delicious. The food at Bard is pretty mediocre, so the diner was a welcome relief. Last night, after I signed up to be on the Debate Union, we watched a horror movie called The Conjuring (why is it that horror movies seem to be all titled “The _______ing”?). Then at 1:00 in the morning (best hour of the night) a bunch of people from another dorm showed up and we all went outside in the rain to play tag in our underwear. I caught a cold, but it was absolutely worth it.

College is crazy.

Getting Into the Swing

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Sort of figured out L&T at this point. Everything is going pretty smoothly. I just finished a 4 page paper, and I’m really happy with the results. Had a bit of homesickness last night, but other than that, things have been going fine. Did my own laundry for once, which was ridiculously expensive. Today I went to a lecture about quantum mechanics, which was really cool, even if it didn’t get very in-depth. It was mostly just conceptual talking. Feeling kinda strange that I haven’t really had much time to sit down at my computer and screw around on the internet.

First Week + My Weekend

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Well, I’ve officially been at Bard for a week, though it feels more like a month. L&T is really cool, and I’m making friends with a lot of the people from my class. I went to a concert at SMOG on Friday night, which is a little garage covered in graffiti art that people sometimes play music at. It was amazing. Yesterday half of our dorm got together because we all had to read Antigone, so we all read the lines of different characters, and we had a good time. This morning I went down to the waterfall with a few friends, and we swam around in there. It was absolutely freezing, but it was still incredibly fun. There’s a tie-dye & pizza party happening at our dorm right now and my roommate Austin made a really badass tie-dye T-shirt.