In the City (Part 2)

Coming to the United States, I have come to understand multiple things about myself. In my opinion, the US reflects back what you put in. If you are looking for inspiration, or if you are wishing to do some soul-searching within yourself, you might find what you’re looking for here. It could also just be because of the situation I am in; coming to live as an independent women, firstly as a student doing research with a professor and practically learning cooking on the go, making decisions about going on road trips, the occasional eating out, and meeting people…  I have experienced so much in the past two months here.

On soul-searching

Since classes started, I found myself yearning for time to myself in order to reflect and ponder on the day-to-day happenings and to give voice to my thoughts. I find myself wandering around, taking in the sights as I head to class, invariably late. But how can you not take your time exploring the city when it’s beckoning you with all its temptations? The subway is another matter- while it’s undoubtedly convenient connecting any two locations with minimal walking (oh the irony!), it’s also invariably late. I guess it complements me. Not in a good way.

I mean, if I always head to class five minutes before class time and arrive late, then I should consequently leave even earlier right? But I stick to the time that I have set for myself, invisible threads fiddling with my brain circuitry to program my conscience to stick to routine. Actually, the past week has seen me heading to my classes on the dot –  and by on the dot, I mean I leave from my dormitory room at the time classes start.

On cross disciplinary connections

Another thing I wanted to draw attention to are the classes that I am taking. I mentioned in my previous post that I’m taking two engineering courses, a cognitive neuroscience course, as well as a journalism course. One thing that really amazes me is how my classes complement one another, especially across different disciplines. Just the other day in my neuroscience recitation, we were discussing a paper which outlined an experiment carried out to measure the difference in spike activity between epilepsy patients and individuals without the condition. One of the quantitative methods that were used to obtain the results involved the use of signal convolution. Convolution is a term whereby two signals – an input signal and a response signal – get multiplied with each other to produce an output signal. The output signal, in this case, was used to compare the brain activity between the subjects and the control. The point is, I was taking a class in signals and I was able to follow the logic of the methodology, despite it being for a different course. Knowledge is beautiful, indeed. ^_^

On journalism

In my journalism classes, we are:

   a) keeping up to date with the news,

   b) learning essential skills for a career in print journalism, or how to become a better writer in general, and

   c) learning about the power of the internet from the “Queen of the Internet” herself (which is what my journalism professor calls herself)

In addition, there are numerous rules to follow when writing for a paper. Rule number 1 need not be mentioned here since it is clear that I have broken it multiple times in this piece alone (hint: it pertains to the sentence length, and unnecessary details I have provided above). Rule number 2: KISS. No, not what you think.– Writers and students  will understand what this means. KISS is an acronym for It basically stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. Why make your sentences extra long, and why convolve your sentences in such a way that there will be multiple double negatives making positives and where you can easily run-on to run-on sentences using redundant vocabulary and comma splices, right?

Until next time.




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