Thursday, September 25, 2014

L'Shanah Tova!

L'Shanah Tova!  

On this day, September 24, 2014 the night before 1 Tishrei 5775, I attended dinner and services at Hillel.  We have a a very tight-knit community; it was amazing being at "my Jewish home away from home" again now that my Jewish friends are back from abroad.  Tonight, Rabbi Daveen Litwin gave a sermon on fears and hopes explaining that the right balance of the two is essential to ensure that you continue to thrive and are able to push forward with your life.  Included in the top 10 list of fears in the US is flying, intimacy, spiders, death, and being alone.  I was surprised to see fear of flying at the top of the list, but was surprising was that both intimacy and being alone were on the list.  How do you draw the line between intimacy and being alone?  How does one define intimacy and being alone?

In my mind, I think of intimacy as engaging in an intimate or sexual act and being alone as having no one around you (no friends or family) that you can lean on.  I decided to look up the definition of intimacy, as there are many different connotations of the word, and being alone.  

1. the state of being intimate
2. a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.
3. a close association with or detailed knowledge or deep understanding of a place, subject, period of history, etc.
4. the quality of being comfortable, warm, or familiar

being alone:
1. solitude is a state of seclusion or isolation, i.e., lack of contact with people

While being alone has a pretty clear-cut definition, there are many definitions for intimacy, making the line between intimacy and being alone different from person to person.

If there is no clear-cut line between intimacy and being alone, is there a clear-cut line between fears and hopes?  Is there a connection between fear and hope?  In general, one concentrates more on their fears than their hopes as they are more scared about obtaining their fears than their hopes.  I have decided to write a list containing my fears and hopes.  As you can tell from the list below, my fears and hopes are very much rooted in the now and my "immediate" future.

-That I won't be good enough
-That I won't meet my families expectations
-That I will not obtain my academic standards this semester
-That I will not be accepted into a graduate program
-That I will not do something great with my life
-That I will not find a husband
-That I won't remain healthy, or that my health will get worse

-That I become confident with myself and who I am
-I have a successful career and help advance cardiac care
-That I make an impact on the world
-That I have an amazing family
-That I become more outgoing
-That I can manage my time better and participate in the senior college events

What are your fears and hopes?  I find that my fears and hopes are highly interconnected, and maybe that is what keeps me going?  I work hard so that I will meet both my expectations and my families expectation, which in turn will help advance my career and make me more confident.  I can find the connections between my hopes and fears, but one thing that is interesting is that wealth is not at the top of either of my lists.  Many people are concerned about their wealth, yet as long as I have an amazing family, am happy, healthy, and love my job that is all that matters.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Hectic.  That is the word I would use to describe my life right now.  I feel as though I have been running around for days trying to get all of my school work accomplished and attending all of my meetings.  I think the worst of the week is probably tomorrow.  I will have no more than 1.5 hours to my self starting at 9:30 am and finishing 10:00 pm.  Then I will have to start my schoolwork.  To give you an idea of how much I have been running around, I walked 14,000 steps today with an average of about 12,000 steps per day for the last week.  I had no idea senior year would be this crazy; I wish I had been warned!  

In spite of all that, I have still managed to take some time for myself everyday.  I have relearned how much I love to read, and make sure that I read every night before I go to bed.  It really helps me unwind.  

In fact, I made a Costco run this weekend, and I picked up some "typical" college foods: 5 lbs of cookie dough, granola bars, snack packs, and wine (for when I need to unwind a bit :)).  

I also managed to get off campus for some pretty good food! 

I even got to sneak off to the pool for a "work out".

Until next time!

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's the weekend (or actually Monday) of week 1!

Hello fellow people!

I have not had a chance to post, in part because I am not sure what I want to say.  I have delved right into my classes, and they are going!  While I will not say that I love them all, they are all good classes with knowledgable Professors.  However, instead of an update on classes I want to update you on a) grad schools, and b) my social life.

a)  I am on my way to completing my list of graduate programs!  I have looked at over 15 programs already, and have at least 10 more to go.  Right now, my list contains 12 schools.  It is interesting to see how this list grows and changes.  By this Friday, I should have a complete list of the schools to which I will apply.  The excitement continue to build as I get closer to the momentous event of graduating and starting the next stage of my life.

b)  I had a great weekend.  I completed my schoolwork, and had time to go out and play.  I went to my favorite cupcake place this weekend.  As it had been such a long time, I ate one large peanut butter chocolate chip cupcake with a chocolate ganache and peanut butter frosting and one mini snicker doodle cupcake.  They were AMAZING!  In addition, I got to spend hours hanging out with my friends catching up.  I couldn't have asked for a better first weekend back on campus.

I would love to leave this blog post by saying a Happy 24th wedding Anniversary to my parents.  They even sent ME a GIFT!  It was amazing.  So much love to get around.

(The PERFECT way to describe my weekend)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

First Classes = Complete

Another year has passed by where I can say I completed my first day of classes.  It is amazing to be back on campus, and overall I am very excited about the classes that I am taking.  I was very impressed when I walked into my Computer Science class Tuesday morning, and both of the Professors were standing right inside the door.  Immediately, they said hello, introduced themselves, and asked for my name, school, and year.  No, it was not unusual that they asked what school I went to, as I attend a consortium.  In addition, they had the class take selfies and write our names down.  All in all, classes are off to a good start.

I am giving a presentation on Friday about my summer research, and met with my lab Professor today to work out the kinks.  In fact, her research students were invited to a microbiology conference to present their work and she believes that I might be the best candidate!  It is very exciting to have many opportunities where I can share my research, and excitement; it is a great feeling to have a Professor believe in you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Moved In

Am I a senior yet?  Has senior year technically started because I have moved in, or does it start tomorrow because that is when classes start.  I can see how one may view these questions as ludicrous, but in the eyes of my peers and myself, it is a question we are asking.  The start of senior year leaves us all with mixed feelings.  OMG, we're seniors?  Already?  How has town flown so fast?  What do you mean I am going to be in the "real world" soon?  You mean I have to find my own job?  Oh no…senior thesis….

It seems like just yesterday that I moved in for Freshman year, and we were all so excited.  College is a time for us to find ourselves, and to experiment with classes, majors, and career ideas.  For my whole college career I have known that I wanted to go into the sciences, however, I had wanted to incorporate economics into that plan.  Until I took my first economics class, then I just wanted to be in the sciences.
On the other hand, I discovered an area of interest that I never even knew existed before: feminism and science, and the underrepresentation of women in the sciences.  I discovered this subject area Sophomore year while fulfilling one of my general education requirements.  It is amazing what you can learn, and how much you can expand your knowledge, by having an open mind and trying out new classes (even when they are required).

As I am getting ready to start my last year, and to go out into the real world, I am grateful for the opportunity that I have been giving.  The opportunity of going to a small Liberal Arts College.

Here is to an amazing senior year!  Party on :)

P.S.  Here is a picture of my room.