I’m late again. But wait! there is more this time!

Welcome Back to ΣΝΖΦ. I won’t even bother to apologize this time because I think it will become a common thing for me to get delayed. So I will really only write for the blog when I have free time. This week I had some free time because I didn’t have Math homework, courtesy of the Midterm for this class that was this week too.

At least all my efforts are being worth, I had only good grades until now. Even on my Beatles class Midterm, I that I thought I had done horrible because I forgot some of the names of important people. I’m really very bad with names. Is not that I don’t care about the person, is just that I’m very bad at memorizing at all. If I can make the thing I’m trying to memorize have some sense, it should be ok for me to record it. But names are very hard to give a meaning. Luckily I learned a great technique for memorizing peoples name at my rhetoric class. On one of our first classes our professor made us stand on a circle and we had to say a characteristic that begin with the same first letter of our name. Also we had to repeat the name and characteristic of the people that spoke before us. So, in short, when I meet someone new now, I create an adjective for him/her on my mind.

Now that we are speaking about rhetoric, I think it is important to share my experience with this class, because it’s one of the hardest classes I have and is mandatory for all new first year students. Well, some students already took rhetoric on high school, like most of my friends, so they are pretty comfortable about it. Still, you can find people like me, who didn’t even knew the meaning of rhetoric when I went to my first class. It is the class I did more work so far, not because it is difficult. But because I have to do things I never did before, like these things that professors and students call “papers”. I had never written a paper before in my life. I wrote essays yes, but nothing with the format of a paper, with all its formats exigencies and citation quotes formats. Nevertheless it is a work I’m happy I did. I mean, I recognize its importance and I’m happy I did it. Obviously my paper is full of mistakes, but I’m glad I made them, (as long as they don’t interfere too much with my good grades), because that way I will learn better, which is my main purpose here.

You see, whenever I get an exam back the first thing I do is to go over my mistakes. Usually I find mistakes that I did by distraction. One time I was in a rush and calculated that 5 times 6 was 36, you can imagine my reaction when I saw that after receiving my grade back. Still, sometimes I do find problems that I got wrong because I did a horrible mistake and, when I do, I fell very happy. I guess those are two of many of my guilty pleasures: Understanding the subject being discussed on class, and being able to detect my mistake and learn how to correct it.

I think that’s all I had for today, But I still feel guilty for not being able to post on the blog, and because of that I will put a bonus today, one beginning of a short story I had to write for my Fiction writing class. I hope you enjoy. See you next wee… Whenever am able.

(the story have no name, I’m sorry)

Julia finally took a seat on the kitchen table after preparing breakfast for her daughter and husband. She stared at the empty chair on the other end of the table while playing with her hair. With the other hand, she grabbed her piece of bread with butter and started to eat. They are quite late tod… She was thinking before Tom appeared on the room. “Good morning my darling,” he would usually say. “The food smells good”. But nothing came out of his mouth. He sat on the chair next to her and opened the newspaper, protecting himself behind it. Julia wanted to see the face of her husband and not the picture of a “missing child” on a page of the Chicago Tribune. She waited. Is he not going to say anything?

“How are you darling?” She finally said.

“Good, good” He answered.

“Did something awful happen on today’s news, for you to be so quiet?”

“Not on the news, no” Tom said while closing the paper.

He smiled at her. But something was different on his smile; He smiled like one of Julia’s student’s about to receive a grade when they weren’t sure whether it would be an A or an F. Usually it was a F. She took her cup and noticed she forgot the coffee. “Oh silly me, I forgot the coffee, I will make some more”. Julia said.

“No no no, sit my darling, I will make the coffee”. Tom said.

He put his hand on her shoulder, forcing her to sit down. He got up and started to make the coffee. Julia was amused by how her husband seemed quite unworried about his job this morning; he never had time to do anything before going to work.

All her thoughts went away when she saw a portion of a piece of paper coming out her husband’s pocket. Was it an envelope? Tom came back to the table. “It will take about five minutes for the water to boil”. He said. The same smile was on his face, but that’s not what was concerning her anymore. When Tom mentioned time, Julia looked at the clock and realized that her daughter was late. “Christine!” She shouted. “You are going to be late for school”. Silence was here response. The same silence that had been filling the house the entire morning, silence that was a new guest on the house.

“If she’s not awake by the time the bus arrives,” She said. “I’m not driving her to school”. Tom’s smile vanished from his face when she spoke her daughter’s name. So he got a F, Julia thought. She knew something was different, something was wrong. “What’s the matter?” she said. Tom looked at the table; he got up to finish the coffee. But before doing anything he took the letter out of his pocket, weld back a tear and put the envelope in front of her.

 

Changes II

Hello and welcome back to the late Sigma Nu Zeta Omicron. I’m mostly sorry for my delay, but this time I had not only a lot of homework but I also had to study for a chemistry exam I had on Thursday night. I finally found some time to write and so here I am. 

To start today I would like to give you some advice. Taking 12 semester hours is ok, 15 is nice, but 18 is for hard working people. So keep that in mind when you decide the amount of classes you are going to take. I think 18 credits worth of classes would be ok for me, since I’m not the lazy type and am used to working hard, but alongside with my classes I’m working for 15 weekly hours, so it kind of became a considerable amount of things to do, which is keeping me busy and a little tired most of the time. Because of that I don’t think I will be able to write my blog on the same day of the week as I was originally doing. But I promise I will try to keep it weekly. 

Some people say that “there are no limits for men”. Well I guess they should correct the phrase for “Men know no limits”. It is obvious that everyone have their own limits, but being the wise decision maker I am, I decided to join two clubs. Yes I know, now I have even more things to do, but here goes some more advice: everybody needs a break, so try to find a club or a hobby so you can relax and express yourself. You should always give yourself a safe amount of rest.  

Well let’s talk about the two clubs I’m on. The first is the ESL RPG club, which I was already on last semester, but we are still playing the same game and there will be new players so I am excited for that. The Other is the EPX Studio, a club to meet people that are creating either a video game or an animation. They are cool and they also have pizza and soda very meeting. Still, I really don’t know anything about programming a game, so I went there expecting to learn more about it. However, everyone was already on a project and trying to make some progress on their work. I’m not sure anybody will be able to teach me, so I might give up on this club. 

That’s kind of hard for me to do, because I hardly give up on things, I always stay until the very end of it. I think I’m changing and learning to do some concessions. Another thing that I think I will change is my job. I’m currently working at Hillcrest marketplace. I like there and other workers there are very cool. But my friend gave me this great idea of becoming a tutor. That Idea struck me because I noticed that a lot of students search for math and chemistry tutors, and I have the requirements to become one,( a grade greater than B on the class you want to tutor and a GPA of 3.8 or more). So I decided that next semester, if I do well in my chemistry class, I will leave my current job and apply to become a chemistry tutor. 

Now that we are talking about changes I want to say something I noticed. In my first semester, I changed as a student. You see, I never gave that much importance to my grades in school, I always learned only enough to pass. If the minimum GPA of my school was 2.4, I would get 2.5. Not that I was a bad student or something like that, I just wasn’t interested in what I was learning at all. But here this changed, maybe because the structure is very different. Back in my high school you never decided what course you wanted to do. All years were the same courses: Math, Portuguese, Geography, History, Literature, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, English, Sociology. But here I really got to choose what I wanted, that made my interest grow, and I became a better student. I was very happy with my grades and I have the feeling that I actually learned a lot in my classes. I still don’t know if this second semester is going to change me. Until now I can only predict I will get more responsible because of all the classes and work I have to manage. But only time will tell what it will be. 

That’s all I had for today folks. I hope you are all doing great and see you next week.  

As Yusuke Urameshi, a character from a anime I would watch always said: “I did not met the other world for nothing”.

 

And here we are again!

Hello, and welcome back to another semester of Sigma Nu Zeta Omicron.

What else I have to write about if not my break? So let’s go.

It all started with my flight to Chicago being cancelled due to the snowy weather. As an alternative I got a flight to Dallas, and from Dallas I would fly back to São Paulo, Brazil. When I reached Dallas I thought that life on Iowa made me very used to calm, relaxing and kind of country places. Because the airport there was enormously big and it had stores everywhere, I felt lost and confused on the “big city” it was a very strange experience. On the other hand, now I know how a blind fells in the middle of a gunfight. But when I got home everything came back to normal, even though I was still on a “big city”. Maybe I felt very comfortable as I was passing through the familiar buildings.

On Brazil I did all that I wanted. I started by eating all the food I missed, like “feijoada” a rice and beans plate with some meat, I saw all my family and girlfriend, (I even spent the 25th of December and the 1st of January with her), And I went to the places I used to go. I felt very good to be back home and since we are having summer there, I enjoyed a warm and sunny weather. I thought that it was hard leaving home to come to college, but returning and then leaving again it’s even worse. I felt like I didn’t had time to do everything I wanted too, well but what can I do right? At least this time my siblings came with me and my parents to Iowa too. And we made a little stop on the way to Iowa.

I went to Costa Rica with my family, and we really had a great time there. I would say that Costa Rica is kind of like Brazil, but they speak Spanish and their vegetation looks more like some pictures I have seen from Australia. I guess they were on summer time too, because they had a lot of sunny and warm weather. This is why we mostly just stayed on the beach and the hotel pool. We also had a chance to go tubing in a river, which was very funny.

Finally I came back to Iowa, it was good to see the university again, But I’m feeling very nervous because this semester I have more classes and I’m also working more. I hope that’s not too much for me. Worst case scenario I will have to start to use some time of my “sacred weekend” to do college stuff too. The only thing I needed to do before the beginning of classes was to buy my books and stuff for my classes. Speaking of classes, this semester I’m taking Math, Chemistry, Fiction writing, Rhetoric and a class about the Beatles.

I’m not exactly sure about what to expect from this last tree classes. The only thing I expect from the Beatles class is to find people that play instruments so we can start a band. Oh I almost forgot, I did great with my grades last semester! I really hope to keep on with the good work. I even got invited to be part of the University Honors program, and I accepted it. Of course I did, it’s a honor to be part of the honors program, even though I still have no Idea what this means and what I gain with this. I hope I get a scholarship.

I guess that was all. I look forward for the beginning of classes and for this semester. See you next week.

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!

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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!

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