Sunday, July 8, 2012

Just What I Needed

Today was a much needed day. I'm speaking for my self of course, but I think my cohort enjoyed it as much as I did. Today we had no plans at all, so we all had free time to do whatever we wanted. I woke up at 7:45 which was extremely weird because, I woke up without an alarm, there wasn't any sun in my face, or any noise outside. That was kind of weird, but I didn't actually get out of bed until my alarm rang, at 8:45. At 8:55 I met with Mariko and Alysa out in the quad, and together we headed to the gym. I am obsessed with working out, so this was definitely something I had been looking forward to. We were in the gym for about an hour and a half before hunger began to take over. At 10:40 we were back in the quad waiting for everybody to come together so we could go to brunch in King's Court. After brunch we separated from each other, and went off to do our own things.

At around 2:30, Mr. Lawrence texted us to ask if we were free for dinner. I had a bit of reading to finish up for class, but I had plenty of time to finish before then. Mr. Lawrence signed us all out, and by 7:20 we were all headed to Baby Blues BBQ. I couldn't go to a BBQ place and not have an ribs, so I ordered half a rack of Memphis ribs with cornbread, mac n cheeses, and rice. The dish came with the cornbread and i got to choose two sides. I really enjoyed dinner! It wasn't just the food, which was great, but the company. We laughed a lot and talked about a variety of topics. I love spending time with my cohort, we have all become so close.

I will be joining Mariko in the morning for an early work out before class. Our second week of class, wow the time sure does fly. I'm sure that's exactly how I'm gonna feel in the morning, so I'm going to get some sleep. Goodnight!

Ribs on Ribs on Ribs

I slept in a little bit earlier this morning than normal seeing as it was our first Sunday and I had no activities planned today.  It was nice to actually rest because I think this is the first day since we left home that we have had a full day unplanned.  In between my resting periods, I read through the books that we were assigned to in class:  Crack Capitalism and An Essay on Liberation.  These books focus a lot on what needs to be done to change the current Establishment and overthrow capitalism.  I read the assigned sections of each book, but tomorrow I think I am going to finish them up because they're really interesting and explained a lot of ideas that I had never thought about before.  In total, we have nine books that we are going to read and discuss, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the last four that we had read so far.  I'm excited and interested to talk about the content of these books in class and continue reading the others!

Since it is Sunday, the program we are in does not provide breakfast, but rather a later brunch.  We ate at King's Court this morning for the second time; we ate here for lunch last Sunday as well.  I am happy that we use meal swipes at this cafeteria instead of conference dollars because we have unlimited meal swipes and a total of $250 conference dollars for the whole four weeks we are here.  Through a meal swipe I am able to get as much food as I want, which is exactly what I did this morning because I was super duper hungry.  They have a greater variety of foods at King's Court too, so I definitely enjoyed my brunch there. 

For dinner tonight, Ian took us over to a restaurant that is actually right across the street from King's Court.  This place is called Baby Blue's BBQ, so of course I got some ribs!  I feel like I haven't had ribs in such a long time until tonight.  Since all the platters come with cornbread and two sides of your choice, I decided to get half a rack along with some collard greens and mashed potatoes.  This meal was so delicious!  I absolutely loved the food and our waiter was really helpful and funny.  If anyone comes to University City in Pennsylvania I definitely recommend eating at this awesome restaurant.  Good choice Ian!

Tomorrow I am especially excited to go to class because we will be joined by Prof. Filip Kovacevic from Montenegro, who teaches political psychology and leadership studies at the University of Montenegro.  For our class he will be presenting a lecture and leading a discussion on Political Street Theater and Youth Activism (See class syllabus for more information).  I am thrilled that we are going to have professors from all over the world coming to speak to us, it is such an incredible opportunity.  Can't wait!

First Week of College

The first absolutely free day of my voyage to the east coast was well spent with a lot of sleep.By a lot of sleep I mean that I actually got my full 8 hours of sleep.This was very refreshing ,because when I decided to get up I was not at all tired.I did my usual morning routines and then met the rest of the gang and headed to Kings court for brunch. I actually ate breakfast which consisted of "pounds" of Froot loops. Mmmmm mmm good. I hadn't had a bowl of cereal in months.Along with cereal I also added sausage ,eggs, and potatoes. 

After breakfast the day was what we made of it. I decided to ,along with Chloe, start on the books that we were supposed to read for class. They were very interesting and made me take a different look at our society. In the middle of reading we got a text from Mr Lawrence telling us that he would take use out to dinner that night. We were all excited because we hadn't seen nor talked to him in a while. Well OK just a couple days but we have grown so close to him that its hard to forget the first week that we all spent together.

Mr Lawrence finally got here and we all signed out and headed to Baby Blues BBQ. This was going to make for good eating. Ribs , cornbread,Collard greens, Mac 'N' Cheese etc. Soul food.I ordered a baby back rib with mac'n'cheese and baked beans.It sure was messy but how good it was surely over took the messiness. I cant believe we left El Cerrito 13 days ago.This is one of the best trips ever!
Dinner At Baby Blues BBQ

Day of Rest

Today, I slept in for the first time in what felt like forever. I met with Ivette and Alysa around 9 AM to go to the gym. I usually have soccer several times a week, and I have an intense summer workout that I need to follow, so I was super happy to find that Ivette and Alysa are as intent on keeping in shape as I am. As it turns out, the showers in the gym are much nicer than our dorm showers, so I hope to mostly shower at the gym this week.

Ivette on the elliptical
After our workout, we met the rest of the cohort for brunch at King’s Court. We only get two meals on Sundays, so I made sure to eat more than I usually do for breakfast. For those who don’t know me, that’s A LOT of food.

With nothing scheduled to do today, Clara and I seized the opportunity to make a small dent in our summer reading assignment for AP Lang. I wasn’t as productive as I wanted to be, but I did manage to read a chapter from Fast Food Nation and take notes. I also read a little bit from my unofficial summer reading assignment, Crime and Punishment. The book is fascinating but hard to read, mostly because a lot of the book is made up of the main character’s thoughts, with less action. I also read the electricity and magnetism packet for next week’s class, which I hope will help me grasp the labs and lectures more quickly.

The cohort went to dinner with Mr. Lawrence tonight, but unfortunately Clara and I couldn’t go. We had bought tickets to Spiderman before we knew about the dinner, and I didn’t want to bail on my roommate. The three of us went to King’s Court again for dinner, and then headed over to the movie theater. Spiderman was amazing, although after my roommate found out I was such a scaredy-cat, she teasingly suggested that she pretend to be the Joker, from Batman, and wake me up in the middle of the night. I told her that if she did, the whole dorm would wake to my bloodcurdling scream.

Although I was sad to miss out on the chance for dinner with the cohort, I was really happy to spend some time with my roommate. The Penn Team frequently dines together during the week, and I know there will be plenty more opportunities to hang out in the weeks to come.

End Of Week 1

After multiple days of going to sleep late and waking up early, I finally got some extra hours in bed. I woke up at around 9:30AM, hoping to see a quad full of people. My hopes were shattered, the quad was empty. With an hour and a half until brunch, I decided to get ready slowly, hoping that the next time I get out to the quad filled with people. When I got out again, I met up with Jacob. Both of didn’t know the way to the King’s Court, so we ended up going with some of our RCs. I learned more about the program and that the students aren’t the only ones from across the map, so are the RCs.

The Cohort Enjoying Breakfast
After breakfast, I went back to my dorm and read about Ohm’s Law. On Friday, our professor gave us a packet on Ohm’s Law to give us a heads up on what was going to happen on Monday, tomorrow. I remembered most of the material from high school, but felt that the review helped reinforce the small things that I have forgotten. Later in the afternoon, students from another program, engineering, started arriving. It reminded me of my first day, the feeling of being lost and excited. Talking about lost, yesterday night, Cameron and I learned that all the dorms are connected, so now we do not need to go outside to visit one another. Today, we learned that we can go almost completely around the buildings. As we walked, we noticed that there were two other RCs doing the same thing, which motivated us to learn more about the UPenn.
A New View Of The Quad

Ian Lawrence came at 7:00PM to take us out to dinner at Baby Blues BBQ. Nearly all of us ordered ribs, which left all of us satisfied. We caught up on what each of us was doing. Tomorrow, we begin a new week in Physics, which will contain new material, new lab partners, and the trip to Hersey Park!

Lazy Sunday

After over nine blissful, beautiful, amazing hours of sleep, I awoke this morning around 10 AM.  The dining hall doesn't open until 11 on Sundays, so I had plenty of time to mentally complain about leaving my bed and get ready.  I felt more rested this morning than I have in a long time, and it was a precursor to a wonderful day.  For brunch, I had fruit, pancakes, and mac & cheese (it looked too good to pass up).  

I returned to my dorm and attempted to make a dent in my summer assignment for AP Language and Composition.  After majorly failing at that, I went with Mariko and her roommate Christine to buy tickets for tonight's showing of Spiderman.  Sadly, just after we purchased them, we received a text from Mr. Lawrence planning a cohort dinner at 7.  Unfortunately, we couldn't go, but I know there will be plenty more dinners to attend.  

After a detour at Ben and Jerry's, I spent some time in my dorm relaxing and preparing for the coming week of class.  It was great to rejuvenate before another week of work.  I went to dinner with  Mariko and Christine and then we walked to the movie theater.  We arrived pretty earlier and got ourselves prime seats in the middle of the theater.  Christine is really fun, and the movie was awesome. I may even see it again for the next Friday movie night. 

Tomorrow starts our second week of class.  I know it will be just as awesome, if not more so, than the first week, and I'm very excited.  We will end the week with a trip to Hershey Park to study roller coasters.  Sounds like hard work.

Sunday Funday

This morning was a wonderful start to the day. After getting more than eights hours of rest, I woke up without the help of an alarm. I then headed to the David Pottruck fitness center with Ivette and Mariko. We stayed at the gym for about an hour and then headed back to campus. By the time we reached campus we were extremely hungry. At 11:10 a few of us headed over to King's Court for Sunday brunch.

After consuming a nice brunch we were free for the day. Me, Ivette, Clara, and Mariko all headed towards the UPS store so I could purchase stamps and send a letter. Then it struck us--"No post on Sundays." Disappointed, we made our way back to our dorms. For the next couple of hours we all did some reading for our classes. I sat in my dorm and, in between watching episodes of Pretty Little Liars and The Real World, I read through the lecture material and labs for this week. 

At 7:00 all of the cohort except for Mariko and Clara headed down to Baby Blues with our chaperone for dinner. Baby Blues was a small restaurant located right down the street from Kings Court. The dinner was fantastic. It was nice to just sit down and have a meal with the cohort to start the week off.  I am extremely ready to learn what this weeks holds for all of us.