Finals week

Hi! Welcome back once again to another Sigma Nu Zeta Omicron post. Probably the last one of this year,(there there, calm down, there’s no need to cry), Because we are on finals week and afterwards we move into winter break.

This weekend and beginning of Monday made me notice that there are two kind of people in this university. Those that panic and start to live on the library trying to learn a 16 week work on a single weekend and Those that worked hard during the whole semester and now are just chilling on Starbucks or someplace like that, because they are confident with what they know and see the final as another common exam. I would say I’m somewhere in the middle. Because I studied the whole semester long and so I’m confident with what I learned, still I really need to do well on these exams to keep my good grades. I’m only a little bit stressed because I don’t know how the exam is going to be like.

In the end the semester ended up being like my weeks. I use all my free time during week days studying or doing homework so I can just relax during the weekend. And I spent my semester studying a lot and doing everything I could, now I can relax a little because there are no new things to learn or study, jut review. It’s all about making a choice, you can relax in the beginning and rush and work hard with everything in the end or keep a pace working during the journey and rest in the end. Everyone eventually have free time to relax and have fun, what makes the difference is when they choose to have this time.

Let’s stop talking about finals week and start to talk about what comes after them, winter break. This break I’m going back home, Brazil, and I am very excited to see all my family and friends, and my dog of course. But most of all I can’t wait to eat Brazilian food again, I miss it so much,(oh, no I noticed that I haven’t eaten any Japanese food since I came here, I will include that on the list too). For some reason I only started to strongly miss my home now that I’m near to going back. I missed home since I came here, but not as much as I do now, maybe because I had a lot of things to do and study before, so I couldn’t think a lot about it. I feel very bad for some of my friends that are only going back to their home on summer break. I don’t really know what you can do here during the break.

Well I guess that’s it. I would like to thank all of you that read my blog,(I don’t really know if anybody does), but even if nobody knows about my blog, it’s a good thing for me to sit down every Monday and reflect about the past week. Also it’s great to have these texts. I’m going to save them for the future. It really was a great opportunity that the University of Iowa gave me and some other students by entrusting us with this blog. Thanks all of you and thankyou UI for the blog and a great semester.

P.S: If there’s somebody there reading my blogs I would really love to see comments. Don’t worry I don’t bite.

See you all next semester!

P.S(2): here follows a photo of me and my friends celebrating Christmas ealier this Sunday night before finals week.

reflections on the finals week

Hello and welcome back again to Sigma Nu Zeta Omicron. We are now on count down to the finals!

Next week I will have my first finals. I’m lucky enough to only have two finals, (well, three if you count my arts class, but it’s not going to be an exam or anything). That was only possible because I finished my math class early. My finals are ESL-reading and Chemistry, I’m pretty comfortable about both of them, maybe I’m a little more worried about chemistry, but I’m confident for them. The only thing I wasn’t prepared at all, was the evaluation of the courses that you have to make.

That was very difficult for me, because I usually don’t judge my teachers. I mean, as I grew I learned that it’s not the teacher that needs to adapt to you, it’s you that need to adapt to his/her way of teaching. If you didn’t like a teacher on my school, there was nothing you could do about it except for learning to like him. So, after a couple of classes with a certain professor I can get how his/her teaching method is like and adapt to it. Hence, these evaluations were very difficult for me, since I became so used to their way of teaching and cannot easily find any good or bad points about it.

I know that most people don’t take them seriously or even don’t do them. But as I told before, I do everything I do very seriously, there’s nothing I don’t give importance in my life. On the other hand it was cool to be the one grading and not the graded. It was the first time that I actually had the chance to give a grade to a teacher or even write comments about what I thought about his/her course.

The finals week made me start to reflect about the next semester and about this one too. Of all the expectations I had for this one, there are only two things that I wasn’t able to fulfill. To join the volleyball team and to start a band of some friends. The volleyball is very simple, I missed the tryouts date, (yup, I know it’s sad, but it’s true), so I will have to wait for another one next semester. Now for the band… I have no idea what I will do. I will have to think of something for the next semester. I will have a Beatles class, so maybe this will help me find other people that want to start a band.

Fun fact of the dayOn an incredible coincidence, all my professors and TAs on this semester are men. But on the next semester, all of them are women. I didn’t even look at the instructor while choosing a course, that just happened naturally and I find it amazing.

Finals are almost here and I’m already getting prepared. I really hope I do well, I currently have good grades on my courses, but if I do score badly on my final that can destruct all the work I have done so far. Incredibly I’m not concerned. I have never been as relaxed for important exams as I am now. I will try to do my best, but in the end it will be what it have to be, and there’s nothing you can do about it afterwards. So the only thing I know for sure is that I won’t be mad if I don’t do well on my finals, although I want to do great, who don’t.

That’s all that I have for today, have a good week and/or finals, see you next week.

ΣΝΖΟ’s Thanksgiving special edition (part 2)

Hello and welcome back to ΣΝΖΟ’s (Sigma Nu Zeta Omicron) thanksgiving special edition, (part 2). I hope you all had an amazing break. Here it is how mine was:

My thanksgiving break was awesome. Things that I wasn’t expecting happened and all my expectations of things I was planning to do were met, if not surpassed. But let’s organize things. It’s better to go on chronological order, beginning with the weekend. On Saturday night I went to subway to have dinner.

Sorry, I will have to make a confession here-on average, I went at least once a day to subway during this break. Before you judge me, I will let you know that I could not use my university meal plan because all UI food places were closed and subway is the cheapest option of meal I found around campus- That was it, let’s get back. On subway I found one of my friends working there, what was amazing, because she left the university when we were near the middle of the semester, and felt happy I had the chance to see how she is doing.Moving on to Sunday morning, after I go to church I face time my family on the mall. It turns out that while I was talking with my family there was a Brazilian girl on a table close to mine and she noticed I was speaking Portuguese. So after I was done she came to me and introduced herself, and that’s great! She’s the first Brazilian I met since I first came here and now I have someone to speak Portuguese in person.

Now we can move to the week. Monday was just ok, I went to Hy-Vee, but mostly I just chilled. Tuesday I went to some exhibitions here at the university, they were about clay, politics and how the university contributed to space programs in the past. All of them were very good and I could really entertain/inform myself there. Wednesday I went to the career center intending to participate on a job fair, just to find out that the fair is going to be this Wednesday. But hey, since I was at the Pomerantz building, I went to the admissions center because they have free bubblegum there, and they are very good. I got at least five.  On Thursday I went to my friend’s grandparents’ house for dinner. I confess that I had never eaten that much before in my life, there was tons of foods, everybody ate other tons and incredibly, there was tons of left overs. So I took some back with me to my room, (after they insisted a lot, because I felt like I don’t have the right to take leftovers with me). Her family is very nice and we all had a great time there. Now, on Friday, the black Friday, the ISSS department organized a trip to an outlet on a city next to here, it was very nice of them. And I went on it with a friend. The Brazilian girl was there too. I wasn’t planning to buy anything, my intention was only to see how a real black Friday looks like. But, I was weak and so I made purchases on two stores. The first was necessary. We are going to have a baby in the family, so I brought things for baby to give as a present to the parents. The other was a book, because it is from a author I already read in the past and it was only four dollars. Don’t mind the other three books that I already have and haven’t started reading.

This reminded me of something and I will have to run away from the topic. My mother’s rules. You see, for some things in life my mother gave me and my sister rules for us to decide something. For example, now that I spoke of the book, I remembered that when I was a child my mother had a rule about books: “You won’t buy any books if you still have books to read” so I always knew when was the right time to buy books. As time went by and I grew and was able to make my own decisions I abandoned some of this rules. Now, I only have two of them, which are: “always have salads with your meals” and “sodas only on weekends”. Coincidently, both are related to food/nutrition, and I think I kept them because I never had any problems on these fields. The only problem related to nutrition that I had is that I wasn’t used to drinking much water.

Now I wonder if I will have this kind of self-controlling rules for my children or even if I will create more for myself. If I was to make one new rule for me before I came to the university that would be “always do everything you can”. I will have to explain this one. I’m the kind of person that always does what I’m required to do, but I do not always do everything I can, that is, everything I’m offered. For example, for my chemistry class, our homework have grades, so the grade you get is based on the amount of questions you get right. But you are only required to do some exercises and you complete the assignment. They do have extra-credit questions for you to get the maximum grade available. Can you guess what I was doing? Exactly, I only did the required ones, so I never got the maximum score. Now I noticed that those points could really be helping me, they are the difference from why I currently have a B+ when I could easily have an A-. So yes, everything matters. Another thing that happened was on my arts class. We have this sketchbook where we can make 50 drawings and turn them in for extra-credit by our final time. But since it was extra-credit I didn’t cared about it. But I realized that I’m the only one on my class that is not doing it and that can affect very badly my class performance grade. So I was expecting to get on date with my drawings this thanksgiving but I was lazy and only did Three. OH S#!% I forgot we were talking about thanksgiving. Sorry about this interruption.

Well… I think I’m done with thanksgiving anyway. That was it then. Thanks for joining me on my conclusion of my break. I hope you all had and keep having a good week. See you next week!

ΣΝΖΟ’s thanksgiving special edition (Part 1)

Hello and welcome back to ΣΝΖΟ’s (Sigma Nu Zeta Omicron) thanksgiving special edition, (part 1).

I’m writing in the beginning of the holiday week to register my plans and expectations. For starters I would like to say that we don’t have thanksgiving in Brazil, by that we can conclude two things. This is my first thanksgiving and I have no idea why people celebrate thanksgiving. To solve this mystery I asked my American friends. Their answers were basically: “to celebrate that we are grateful for everything that happened to us this year and for the things we have”, “Back in the day, the first settlers to come to America were starving and near their death, so the natives helped them by giving them food and showing how to survive here, and we are celebrate this day because we are thankful for their action”, “It’s a special holiday where you can eat a lot of food”. Of course I went to the famous Dr.Google, but he gave me a lot of different versions and so I decided to come with this conclusion: “In the past everyone had their reasons to be glad something happened and that’s no different today. So let us take a week to appreciate all things that make us happy and eat a lot while doing it”.

Where I come from we also have a holiday that last a whole week. I would translate its name to “pissed of week” (semana do saco cheio- in Portuguese), as the name say; it is a week that you just don’t do anything because you are pissed of everything. But not many people “celebrate it”. I never was able to miss school because of it, for example.

Let us come back to the U.S. For international students, like me, the name of this holiday is: “go on a trip somewhere or stay at the dorm alone”. My original plan was to go to Chicago with my Indian friend. But we still haven’t got the money to do so, Hence we decided to stay at our dorm. I think my floor only have 5 or 7 people left, including me and my friend, still some of them are going to Chicago today (lucky b@$!@#%$). So it will be the two of us against a whole week on the dorm. But we made our plans too. They are not as good as going to Chicago but at least it’s something.

The plan is: MONDAY- do homework and find out where Hyvee is (it’s about time); TUESDAY- go to some exhibitions for my first year seminar; WEDNESDAY- go to a job fair(because my friend want to find a new job, I’m perfectly fine with the one I have, but that’s story for another post); THURSDAY- go to a thanksgiving dinner with one of our friend’s family (she had to insist a lot for us to go, because we don’t want to be a burden to anyone, neither we want to interfere with family meetings); FRIDAY- go to the mall, grab a chair and a popcorn and see the madness that the black Friday is (where I come from we have a fake black Friday, where the owners of shops rise the price of the products before putting them on sale, so their price stay the same while the say it is on sale. Also, I want to see if all the crazy stories I heard about black Friday on the U.S are true); WEEKEND- procrastinate on life and finish any pending homework.

We can say that the climax of my week will be Thursday and Friday, I think I will be able to have a good time. Next Monday I will write about the outcome of this week,(If I survive the black Friday). See you next week!

blog-13

Hello! And welcome back again to more paragraphs of Sigma Nu Zeta Omicron. I hope you all are doing well.

Last week was pretty good. The good things started on Tuesday, that was the day that I took the third midterm and final exam for my math class (this is the course that I finished earlier). And so, after Tuesday I don’t have to attend any math classes until the end of the semester. I had to do some extra work in order to achieve this, but it was worth every minute, because now I basically only have my chemistry course to worry about,(the others are ESL and Arts, so they are not a big deal). You might be wondering what I do, now that I have more free space on my schedule. Part of me wish I could answer: “I’m sleeping more”. But the other part of me is proudly answering: “I’m having breakfast at Burge Marketplace,  because they have omelet!”. In fact , sometimes I sleep more. I used to wake up at 6a.m, now I wake up at 8a.m, but sometimes I also go to bed a little bit later than usual, so I sleep the same amount. (But don’t worry, I still get my 6-8 hours of sleep every night).

Tuesday was also the elections day.(I won’t say may opinion about American politics and their parties because it’s not my country for me to know who is better and to decide anything). But I found it very cool that all my American friends were with their eyes fixed on their computer screen following the results the whole night. I never saw anyone so worried about elections before. On my country we care about them, but we don’t follow the results that with all that conviction, we just wait for the final word on the tv.

We can now jump to the weekend. Saturday night something very interesting happened, I was on one of my friend’s room and he just decided that he wanted to go to Starbucks(at 9p.m). I said, “why not” and so we gathered two more friends and went there. It was a home game night, so there was a lot of people on downtown. I never saw that much movement before. The nightlife on Iowa is normal, but on Saturday was too much. It was cool to see that we have that much of movement here too.

On Sunday I went Ice skating with my friends at the mall. I have only ice skated once in my life, but I was very little and couldn’t remember anything. So I consider that as my first-time ice skating. And I will let you know that I only fell 7 times.(yes, you have permission to laugh, I laughed every time I fell too). It was a funny experience, but I still have a lot to learn. I could walk a little bit and somehow I managed to make turns even without knowing what I was doing. It was a funny experience. The worst part was seeing small children ice skating like fish swimming. They were even playing tag and racing against each other and not a single one of them fell. I guess some are born to ice skate and others to polish the ice with their bodies.

Now entering this week. They are going to repeat the pick one event tomorrow and Wednesday. This time I hope that the men’s volleyball club are there, I really want to join them and at the pick one event on the beginning of the semester they weren’t there. The woman’s volleyball club were generous enough to get my e-mail to give to them. But I guess that never happened, only God knows what was made of the piece of paper where my e-mail was.

I believe that is all for today. Have a good week everybody. See you later.

blog-12

concerns

Hey! It’s good to see you again. Welcome back again to Sigma Nu Zeta Omicron. This week nothing very interesting happened. But it brought me some concerns. I really hope I can handle them well.

It all started with a e-mail I received regarding Thanksgiving. The coordinator of my residence hall wanted to know who will be here during the holiday, and that made me start to question what I will do. My original plan was to go to Chicago. But I realized that it won’t be that easy. And I also don’t have anyone to go with me, since all my friends already have plans. So the new plan is to stay here with a couple of friends and discover how to survive during this time. We also plan to participate on the Black Friday, because we never had the chance to see how they really are. Therefore, all I can do is wait to see the outcome of this decision. I’m hoping for the best.

I think e-mails are the devil’s invention on how to bring concerns on a fast and convenient way to you, since my second concern also came with an e-mail. Do you remember when I said I finished my math course earlier? Well it turns out that nothing comes for free. I will have to take my third midterm and the final exam for this course. But both will be on the same day, tomorrow. So now I will have to deal with a 3-hour math exam in the middle of the day. Isn’t that fantastic? I hope I do well, because I am very worried about this exam. Well, it will be what it will be.

My third and last concern is about my courses for the next semester. On Saturday my friend started to make his schedule for the spring classes. I realized that it was a great idea to come up with a plan and show up to my meeting with my advisor with it to see what he thinks about it. Hence, on Sunday night, it was my turn to make plans for my next classes. I was aiming for keeping my classes all in the morning, because this semester the majority of my classes are in the morning and that is working very well for me. But, none of the classes I need have a 7:30-8:20 a.m. class. The earliest one starts at 8:30 a.m. So my evenings were invaded a little bit. Another problem I had was with my photography classes. I wanted to take a photography course, but the only one available for my level is a 6:30-9:00p.m class, and that is too late for me. They have other beginner classes, but they require the completion of other classes. So I will take “basic drawing” in order to move to introduction to digital photography. The good part is that now I have more time to save money for my camera.

Ahh, I almost forgot. This Saturday (November 5th) was my birthday. The first that I passed away from my family. I Facetimed them, which made it a little bit better, but I still wish they were here. Still, I had a great time with my friends. They filled my door with lots of post-it notes saying happy birthday. Now when I open the door a couple of written compliments fly away. And for the first time ever I gave myself a present. What is funny is that I brought me a jacket. That is funny because I have never bought clothes before. But I guess I need to change to survive the winter. It was so strange that when I told this to my sister she stared at me with a strange face and said: “did you buy it because you need it or because you wanted it?” (in Portuguese: você comprou porque quis ou porque precisava?).

So in short, that was my week, when concerns started to show up. But it is ok. An important philosopher (I forgot whom, but I would bet it was Socrates) once said: “a life without problems is not a life worth to be lived”. That being said, let them all come! I’m ready for them!

See you next week!

blog-11

Halloween

Hello and welcome to the 10th post of Sigma Nu Zeta Omicron. Do you know what that means? Exactly, nothing except that I managed to get through the semester so far. Ahh and also that I avoided killer clowns, let’s hope that this don’t become a thing here on Iowa(Go Hawks!) too.

This week was pretty straight, nothing different happened. But we had the “halloweekend”,(which the existence I only discovered on Friday). For those like me that are not familiar with the term, halloweekend is a celebration of halloween during the weekend, since Halloween it self decided to dress as Monday,(the worst of all monsters), this year.

My experience with it was very funny, because I got to see how Americans celebrate Halloween. Back in Brazil, Halloween is only a great thing for children. So ,for us, it’s only the day that children go from door to door to ask for candy. For grown ups it is a reason to throw a party, but most parties are just like any other party, and very few are for you to go dressed as something, so it really isn’t a big thing there, probably because it’s not part of our culture. But here I got to see that everybody have the Halloween spirit.

The best part about all of it, is all the free candy that you can get. Still, other very cool thing happen to,. Like haunted houses. The university of Iowa made a haunted house open for the public on the IMU, and it was pretty good, the cool thing was to see the haunted house on the front page of the “Daily Iowan” news paper this morning. Because they reported it as such a big event( I think here is the same, but in Brazil if a news is on the front page of the news paper, it means that it is the best or worse thing that happens this week).

 

Hum…. I don’t think I have more to talk about the university it self.

 

Ahh but I do have something to talk about the weather,(again). Remember when I paraphrased game of thrones saying “winter is coming”? Well, it turns out winter is making fun of me. I think this because the whole last week was very cold,(for me that is, you could still see some snow man walking on shorts), but than we had a moment of happiness and warm weather on Friday and Saturday. Sunday morning was warm too, so I went to the church with no jacket. But when I left church, it was cold again, and I could see Jack Frost, Olaf, Santa ,(or whoever is operating the weather machine) laughing at me. So I can’t really expect nothing about the weather. I have to get up and check the weather to see what I will need to wear for the day.

 

Oh sorry, I lied. I just remembered of something to say about the university, and it concerns my Algebra Classes.

 

My Algebra course is based on a online platform called Aleks. Which means we can teach our selfs the subjects covered by the class. I used most of my free time during week days doing exercises on it and learning more and more stuff. And it turns out I got close the end of my class. On Sunday, I finished everything I could have done, and so I completed the class,(I even got a certificate, which I printed,  because I was very proud of my self at the time). So now I only need to care about my exams on this class, meaning I can concentrate my homework time on my chemistry class. Hence, improving my grade even more.
Now I have nothing to talk at all. See you next week!

blog-10

Changes

Hello! I hope you are ready for another post of Sigma Nu Zeta Omicron, because here we go!

Last week my life changed.

So, the thing is that my first-year seminar has kind of a strange dynamic. Because of that, our classes follow this rule: one week we meet in an auditorium with all 130-something students, to see someone’s presentation, And on the next week we meet in small groups of 8 people to discuss the course and what we are doing. So far I have seen three presentations. The first was about people that volunteer (not as a tribute) to go help a country in need, usually an African country. The second was an astrology professor talking about her study of the center of the galaxy. The last one was about photographs. It was during the third presentation that my life changed.

My whole life I have never given importance to photographs before, even though my father always tried to teach me their importance. I never liked to take pictures and never liked to take photos of myself. If you go to my Facebook or Instagram page you will find that 99% of my pictures are the ones that I was tagged on. I never saw pictures as something of importance. Therefore I wasn’t excited at all to this presentation.

The presentation was given by my first-year seminar professor because he is a professor of photography too. As he showed the slides and spoke more about pictures I got more and more interested. At one point I just stopped and said to myself: “what was I doing with my life until now? Why was I so blind and never saw those things before?” And, maybe for the thousandth time in my life : “my father was right”. My professor spoke of how pictures capture a unique moment by a unique point of view while he showed more and more pictures and explained a little about them. At one point he showed a picture that just inspired me. I saw that and said: “my god, that’s amazing, I want to do something like this!”.(the picture is called “playground in Tenement alley” by Lewis Hine, I will try to post it).

So that was the moment that changed my life. I’ve been so inspired by this presentation that whenever I see a good “frame” I just take a picture of it. Now I want to learn more about photography. I think I will change my arts class for a photography course next semester and if I really like it, I will try to get a minor in it. The only thing is the only camera I have is the one on my phone, I don’t know if I will have to buy a camera, probably I will. My knowledge about cameras is very poor, I can only say that they are expensive. So I’m already saving money.

 

Now going to a completely different topic. During the weekend I went with some of my friends to parts of the downtown we hadn’t seen. And part of the adventure was discovering this cool and strange bookstore called “the haunted bookstore”. You may think that the name is just to attract clients, but believe me, when you go inside you can really see why they chose this name. The bookstore is a house, an old style house with two floors. All rooms of the house are filled with shelfs with old, and probably second-hand books, each room is a different category. They also have two cats that wander around the house (cats are the only animals that I don’t like, but that’s a story for another day). The place is so creepy that while you walk you actually expect a book to fly off a shelf and hit you in the head. But the things they sell there are very cool and it’s worth taking a look. I bought a book about chess (it’s been a while since I started looking for one) and a friend of mine brought a Monty Python’s card game, (they have board games there too). So this week was a pretty good week, despite the  fact that I spent it studying for my chemistry second midterm. That was all I had for today. See you next week.

.img_1172

Best weekend so far

Hello! I hope you are doing well. Welcome to this week’s post of Sigma Nu Zeta Omicron. There’s not so much different than usual that happened last week. Still, something very good happened during the weekend. I will get there in a moment. If you are one of those people that just likes to jump to the main part, go ahead to the next paragraph. If you stayed here I will tell you what happened now that I’ve reached the middle of the semester. My volleyball classes are over. That’s because they were half-semester classes. Our last day was very nice, we had candies and also played two sets. I felt kind of sad because that probably was the last time I was playing volleyball with my classmates and I really had a great time with them in my classes. I think you can say that bad things start to come at the middle of the semester: the end of the most fun classes and midterms. So far I handled both of them alright. I don’t miss my volleyball classes that much, and I did well on my midterms so far. The only thing that is left to solve is what I will do with my Tuesdays and Thursdays now with the absence of my coolest class openiung a hole of free time from 10:20 a.m. (time my art class finishes) to 5 p.m. (time I go to work). I don’t like the Idea of doing nothing. I will probably put the time towards going to the gym. I don’t think you can say something like “I have nothing to do,” being a University of Iowa student. There’s always something to do, both for your courses or entertainment.

Now that we are speaking of things to do, let me tell you the greatest thing I had this weekend. A friend of mine invited me to go with her to a Latin America event. It was a dinner, where they would serve food from Venezuela and other South America countries and a group would present Brazilian dances. And I was like: “ok, it’s worth going. I haven’t seen anything of my hometown here yet.” I have no regrets. The food was fantastic and the dances were very accurate too. I really felt at home seeing all the dances that reminded me of my country. I was very happy by the end of the show. I also had the chance to speak with one of the dancers and I finally spoke Portuguese in person with someone! I mean, I still speak Portuguese with my family and girlfriend on face-time, but it’s not the same as speaking in person. I went back to my dorm very happy. I can’t explain exactly why. Maybe it was because the dances reminded me of moments I had in Brazil during my life. Some of the dances I had seen before in my school  because we learned how to dance them, the others I had only seen on the TV. Well that was only my Friday night. I still had plenty of fun on Saturday. I took the bus to go to the mall with two of my friends. One of them said that I go too much to the mall, since I have gone there every weekend so far. But I can’t help it, I was used to going to the mall at least once every weekend. That is one of the things we do for entertainment. I will probably go there next week too.

I will also see you next week. Because that’s all I have for today. See you…

Hello again! I’m glad to see you one more time. Last week my classes began and that’s the topic I have for today.

Again, I thought I was prepared for what would come but I was totally wrong. It all began on Monday with my math class at 7:30 a.m. I was the only one with a textbook there, and when my professor saw it he told me that I wasn’t supposed to have that, because we needed to have only the computer copy of it since our classes is based on an Alek’s online course.

I had to change my book, so I rushed my way to the IMU Hawk Shop to change it. When I got there, I realized I did not have the receipt, and I remembered throwing it away that exact same morning. But by that time the garbage trucks had already taken care of Mayflower. Fortunately an employer told me to go the billing office to recover my receipt. That’s what I did, and it worked. So, with the access code for my virtual book in hand I ran as fast as I could to my next class, General Chemistry.

There I got surprised to learn how lecture classes really work. All I knew about it was that you had to read the book before attending them, but it goes way beyond that. In addition we saw the required percentage of grades they have to give. So what I understood is that they have to give some bad grades too, meaning that your score will be compared with the ones of your classmates before your grade is given. That worries me because the majority of the class is Americans, so their English is better than mine.

Now moving to the last class of the day, an ESL course called: Academic English skills. This class went well except for one thing, the other students are very shy. The class is really small; I think we are 20 at total. So we often have that uncomfortable silence when the professor makes us answer a question. But that will probably go away with time; at least I hope it will.

My other classes are Elements of Art, Volleyball I, and the Passport Project. The first two I don’t have much to talk about. For arts I can say that the difficult part was finding all the materials I needed. I had to go to from one store to the other before I could find everything. And there’s still a drawing board that I need to buy. My volleyball class appears to be a class where I will enjoy my time playing with others and making new friends. Now, the Passport Project really surprised me because I was expecting it to be a history class about Iowa. Instead, it is a class about Iowa City right now, and the things we can do in the city. So we get this Iowa passport and win visa stamps every time we go to an event in the city and write about it. I guess it will be really cool.

I had only two concerns about my first week. 1) Will I be able to go from the physics building on Pentacrest to the Visual Arts Building in 10 minutes? 2) Will I be able to find a job? The first answer is: yes, thanks to my bike I could make it in 7 minutes. The second one is also yes! I saw an advertisement on Hillcrest’s market place saying they were looking for employers. So I signed my name and received an e-mail from them. And I already have a schedule to work there. So if you ever get the chance to see me, feel free to say hi to me, I won’t mind.

Well, that’s all I have for today folks, I feel happy to share my experience with you. See you next week.