A hodgepodge of thoughts

I keep telling myself to write more but I never have time, and when I do, I’m so exhausted that all I want to do is sleep. That’s what college does to you, kids. When I was younger, I always wondered why my parents love to sleep so much, and now I know why. Life is tiring.

This blog post is a collection of jumbled up thoughts I have accumulated over the past month after moving back to Providence for senior year. It’s very random. You have been warned.

University Life

New year means new dorm. My first impression of my new dorm was: wow, this building looks like a prison. No offense to the architect though, it’s just my opinion. The building is very aesthetically unpleasant; very obnoxiously dull and gray, even on the insides. Apart from that though, the dorm has several redeeming qualities: good-sized bedrooms (I have a single!), close access to a minimart, close access to an eatery (opposite of Jo’s and two blocks from the Ratty) as well as close access to a gym (we have our very own gym called the Bear’s Lair). I think I like it here.

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Aside from a new dorm, I have also embarked on a new extracurricular activity. I’ve recently joined Brown Political Review’s Media Team, which focuses on bringing political updates/news to members of the Brown University community through videos and photos. I’m very excited to be joining BPR, not only because I’ll be joining a fantastic group of people, but also because I get to do one of the things I’m most passionate about: photography. I guess it’s not quite photography, because we do produce more videos than photos, but I also really enjoy videography. My friend Tyler and I recently finished our very first BPR project of the semester. ISIS has been getting a tremendous amount of coverage in recent months, so we thought it would be a great idea to create a video explaining what ISIS is, as well as their history. I’m very proud of the work we did, it was the first time we did stop-motion, and although I’m sure we could have done a lot better than that, I’m proud of creating such a great video in a short two weeks.

Another reason I am really excited to work for BPR is that, aside from getting the chance to do photography, I get to expand my knowledge on politics, which has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I want to be able to turn on the TV, switch over to the news channel, and be able to understand every single thing the news presenter is talking about. I’m aware that joining BPR won’t instantly make me understand every single thing that’s happening in this world, but hey, at least it’s a step forward, right? I feel that being surrounded with all these political issues will give me a different view of life.

New semester means new classes. This semester, I did more shopping than I have ever had. I tried out a bunch of class, and have settled on these four:

CSCI 1570: Design and Analysis of Algorithms taught by Paul Valiant

It’s only been four weeks into the semester and already, I feel like I’ve learned so many things in this class. As the course title suggests, you basically learn all about algorithms. You learn about the different types of algorithms, which algorithm is suitable for which type of problem, and you basically learn to develop algorithms that are not only correct, but also effective (by effective here, I mean that the algorithm should take the least possible amount of time to solve the given problem). So far, we’ve learned about dynamic programming, divide and conquer, and Fast Fourier Transforms. Algorithms class always manages to twist my brain in so many different ways, but I know that at the end of the semester, I’m gonna be very happy that I took this class.

Oh, btw, all the CS classes at Brown have themes. So for instance, my Computer Systems class last year was Mario, one of the Intro CS courses was Sherlock, and so on. I’m pretty sure the theme for this class is something along the lines of “Taylor Swift and her boyfriends”. In our first homework, one of the problems mentioned Harry Styles, and in our second homework, we had a question on John Mayer!

CSCI 1270: Database Management Systems taught by Stanley Zdonik

I have to admit that this class hasn’t been the most exciting. However, I feel like with the amount of information we process each day, knowing how databases work would be an important skill to have, and that’s mostly why I’m taking it. Stan’s a pretty quirky man, and apparently, he’s the president of the International Bluegrass Music Association. Oh, he also has his own Wikipedia page. How cool is that?!

ARCH 0150: Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology and Art taught by Laurel Bestock

I’m not really sure how knowing Egyptian Archaeology will be helpful for my career (my mom didn’t explicitly say so, but her expression was kind of like wtf when I told her I was taking this class), but I don’t even care, because this class is absolutely flipping fun. Like, seriously. Professor Bestock is such an engaging professor. I mean, the field of Egyptology is already interesting, and when you combine that with such an amazing professor, you get one hell of a class. Just today, we learned about the 4th dynasty kings, and about how it was during Khufu’s reign that the Great Pyramid of Giza was built. If you get a chance, definitely (at least) shop Professor Bestock’s class. You will not regret it. It’s so fun.

ANTH 0200: Culture and Human Behavior taught by Sarah Chase

This class is less fun than the Egyptian Archaeology class, but it’s pretty interesting. We’re learning about human behavior by examining different cultures around the world. I feel like this class would make for a really nice ‘fourth class’. It’s relatively easy with not that much work. Plus, we get to watch movies every Friday. How awesome is that?

Vistaprint!

During the last week of my internship at Vistaprint, I handed in a submission for Vistaprint’s Tech Blog. My submission finally got published last week; I think it looks pretty nice. Check it out!

Wrapping Up

Being a senior is quite exciting, yet stressful. The thought of finally being an adult, and finally being free is indeed exhilarating. Yet, the thought of having to face life and being completely independent is nervewracking at the same time.

I was catching up with one of my friends when she mentioned, “You know, this is the last time you’ll probably ever experience college life.” Then it all started to sink in. She’s right. I might plan to get a masters later in life, but I’m never going to experience undergraduate college life ever again.

For now, my focus is on deciding on my workplace after graduation. After that, maybe I can sit down and relax for a bit.

Kærlig hilsen,

Indira

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