As a Bonner, I am required to complete my work-study portion of my financial aid package off-campus. First years complete their hours at a local Saint Paul Public School, and I have been assigned to Linwood Arts Plus School. We are required to work approximately 6 hours a week, which can be split over 2 or 3 days. In my case, I will be working with Linwood's K-3 students and tutoring them in English and Math. On Tuesdays and Thursdays of each week, I will work at the school from 9am to 12pm.
Linwood is about a 10 min bus ride and a 8 min walk away. For the nosy people here (I'm looking at you- haha!), I will take the eastbound 63 bus down Grand Avenue from Macalester and ride until S. Oxford St. I walk southbound down Oxford and Linwood School will be on my left. Since Bonners do work off-campus, we receive a semester-long unlimited bus pass to get to our worksites. I have also been using it to explore the Twin Cities!
On Tuesday (yesterday), I had my job orientation where I met with the administrators of Linwood and took a tour of the campus. Here's the front of the school (with Jennifer in the foreground).
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In other news, September 24th marked the 1st month anniversary for Bonners! We have been at college for a month already! Here's a picture of all 12 of us :)
Google Calendar is my life. I don't think I can survive college without it. I plan out my homework sessions, classes, rehearsals, Bonner meetings, and even my meals occasionally on my calendar. Here's a weekly view of my Google Calendar this week:
Here's the breakdown:
9:40am-10:40am - GEOL 194 - Geology: Planet Earth
It is a lecture based class taught by a visiting professor. I'm not particularly good at science and I really don't know what to make of this class yet, so I believe I will use the pass/fail grading option for this class. (Each semester, we get to choose 1 class for the pass/fail option.)
12:00pm-1:00pm - MATH 135 - Applied Multivariable Calculus I
I decided to take Calc 1 because I felt like I was taking my AP Calc class just to get a decent grade, so might as well take it again! To be honest, Calc 1 is actually nothing like AP Calc; we do a ton of coding-like activities on a program called RStudio.
I don't have morning classes, but I will be doing my Bonner work-study in the mornings from 9am to 12pm beginning in October.
1:20pm-2:50pm - POLI 294 - Civic Ideals and Higher Education in America (First Year Course)
This course is co-taught by a Political Science professor and the president of Macalester. Compared to my other classes, this class is very reading-heavy and writing intensive; however, I do think that the readings are very interesting. Some articles I have read discusses the purpose of higher education and the original purpose of a liberal arts college. Although this class gives me a ton of homework, I actually think it is my favorite class this semester. I can see that my writing and my ability to write reflection papers is improving with every paper that I submit.
3:00pm-4:30pm - HISP 305 - Intro to Hispanic Studies: Oral and Written Expression
I could have opted out of taking a language class because of my AP Spanish Language score, but it feels awkward for me not to take a language so I continued with Spanish. Depending on what happens in the future, I may decided to minor in Spanish, and this course is the first course that counts towards a major/minor in Spanish. At the beginning of the school year, I actually debated between this class and the Spanish class one level lower. My placement score landed on the high end of the range that is recommended for the Spanish 204 class, and with the advice of the Hispanic Studies department chair (who is now my Spanish professor), I decided to challenge myself and enroll in level 305. At first, I felt like I was the only student who cannot speak Spanish fluently in class, but I slowly realized that speaking is the strong point of others while writing is my strong point. My Spanish professor calls on people to answer questions on the spot each class. While it is very intimidating to me, it forces me to actively listen in class and practice my speaking skills, regardless of how embarrassing it could be occasionally.
4:45-6:15pm - Macalester Chorale
I decided not to audition for the smaller choir (Concert Choir) this year because of its time commitment, so I joined the Chorale as a first soprano. The Chorale has around 60 members and we practice twice a week for 1.5 hours each rehearsal. Our first performance will be early October during Family weekend; we will be performing around 5 pieces. (If you look at Saturday's schedule, you will see a trip to the mall- I will be buying my concert attire then)
Even from looking at the class descriptions above, you can probably guess that I'm a social sciences and humanities person. Math and natural sciences are not my strong points at all, and I'm just taking those two courses to get my requirements over with before actually considering another course in those departments. I'm hoping to major in International Studies and minor in Spanish, but it's possible that I might change majors or add minors also.
As far as homework goes, I try to do most of my work on Mon/Wed/Fri since I only have 2 one-hour classes on those days. I aim for 6-7 hours of homework time on those 3 days and 3-4 hours of homework on Tue/Thurs. My study buddy, Jennifer (also a Bonner), and I have decided to make Friday nights a homework night because that's when everyone is off doing something else, so all the study spots are super quiet. We try to do some work on weekend mornings too so that we have the afternoons and evenings free.
On weekends, Jennifer and I usually go out to eat or explore new places (from the past pics of Midtown Global Market, Mall of America, Minnesota State Fair, etc). This Saturday, we will go to Rosedale Mall to buy my concert attire and just check out the area. On Sunday, both of us will attend a CPR training course that's being offered on campus.
Stay tuned for my next post! It'll be about the Bonner work-study program! :)
I know it took very long for me to post some pictures of my dorm room, but I didn't finish "decorating" until the past few days, so I didn't want to take photos before then. Some background info about my dorm life. I live in the Doty residential hall, which has single-gender floors. I have 1 roommate and we basically split the room in half. There's a sink in our room so that's very handy, but bathrooms are down the hall.
Here's a close-up of my collage. I've included photos as far back as summer of 2010 to photos of my Bonner family here at Mac! The cropped out part of the right side of the bulletin board is a small postcard collage (shoutout to the Doris twins, Adrienne, Izzy, and Dominique) and a dry erase board. The bottom card is an early b-day card from my aunt! I'm turning 18 on October 21st (cough, cough) :D
70 cent wing Tuesdays at Buffalo Wild Wings means that the Bonner crew will be there! All of us ate a total of 92 wings as a late night snack past Tuesday night :) The outing was also a birthday celebration for fellow Bonners, Austin and Jessica (both wearing paper hats)! Here a photo of us after the food fest in our signature "squad" pose.
Here's the YouTube video of my performance at the Class of 2019 Orientation Talent Show!
Here's a photo that I forgot to upload in the last post. During Orientation, all of the 1st years were separated into smaller groups called clans (Macalester's mascot is the Scot- as in Scottish people- so it only makes sense that we get sorted into clans). I was in Clan Strange, which is an actual Scottish clan apparently. Half of my clan takes my First Year Course, so it helped me to recognize some faces...
Wednesday was the first day of school... Macalester hires photographers to take 1st Day photos outside the Campus Center (we call it the CC) every year, so, of course, I went and took one with Bonner friends- see above.
Opening Convocation was held in the gym yesterday (Thursday) morning. Earlier in the week, I signed up to be part of the opening procession of flags in the Convocation. Of course, I choose to carry the Hong Kong flag because of my background and culture, so I took a photo to commemorate!
The speaker for the Opening Convocation was James Forman Jr. Born and raised in Atlanta, he is from a family of activists for racial equality. He spoke about our country's struggle with race relations and the biased decisions that arises when dealing with crimes. One quote that he left us all with: "We are not just changing for today. We are not just changing for tomorrow. We are changing for 10,000 years from tomorrow." (paraphrased)
The Bonners and the Macalester chapter of Habitat for Humanity partnered up today for the annual start-of-the-year rummage sale! Half of the proceeds goes towards Habitat and the other half goes to Bonner to fund our weeklong trip to New Orleans as part of our required J-Term course. Donated clothing and dorm essentials from past May were taken out of storage and laid onto tables for sale. According to the earliest estimated profits from the rummage sale, it is rumored that we have raised over $3,000 from our 8-hour long sale.
Tomorrow, a Bonner friend and I will be heading to the Minnesota State Fair (We got subsidized tickets for $2! They were originally sold for $13!). I'm excited to try all the interesting foods and watch some entertainment. I have never been to a fair so I'm really looking forward to tomorrow! I will try to take a bunch of pictures! :)
And if anyone's feeling generous and want to send me anything (letter, gift, food, anything!), here's my address (we don't need to include our box numbers):
1600 Grand Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105
Monday was a big day. The Faces of Mac seminar, which took place in the afternoon, was by far the best activity during the entire new student orientation. Upperclassmen from every single demographic that you can imagine told their stories. They talked about the struggles they faced as a Mac student and the struggles they face as a person of their particular demographic. Every story was told with such raw emotion that it was hard for my eyes not to water because I was feeling every emotion behind their every word. It was as powerful as the presentation that the 72 Orientation Leaders did during the official student welcoming on the 1st day of Orientation. OLs walked onto the stage alone, in pairs, or threes to say 1 powerful sentence about themselves. About 50 sentences later, I can already relate to at least 5 of them personally. The presentation not only let me know that it's okay to feel down and even depressed occasionally, it showed me that it's normal to feel all sorts of different emotions throughout my 4 years at Mac, and that I am not alone.
From the screenshot above of a friend's snapchat, you can probably guess what I will write next. Monday night was especially nerve-wracking for me because it was the Class of 2019 Talent Show! Of course, I did a mashup of a bunch of different Kpop dances, but it was my first time dancing alone onstage! Being 2nd to last on the setlist definitely made me more nervous, but I thought I did well overall. Here's another screenshot of my performance on another friend's snapchat. I will try to post a video of my performance soon!
The picture above shows most of the 1st year Bonners and some of the 2nd year Bonners that showed up to support my performance! It has only been a week, and I can honestly say that I love my Bonner family already!
After the talent show, all of us decided to go to the basement of the Campus Center, where we can play video games. All of us ended up playing Just Dance 4 for 2 hours, dancing to super cheesy and embarrassing songs late into the night. Here's another screenshot from a friend during my turn at Just Dance 4.
I began my morning on the last day of orientation with a volunteering session called Into the Streets. My group was assigned to a non-profit called Urban Roots, where vegetable gardens in East Side Saint Paul help unite the community's youth. Our group ended up doing about 2 hours of gardening work, which included some weeding and harvesting of purple potatoes. Personally, outdoor activities have never been my type but it was nice to have an opportunity to see a different side of Saint Paul.
My official first day of classes begin tomorrow with Planet Earth: Behind the Series at 9:40am and Calculus I ('cause I never did fully grasp Calculus) at 12pm. I am finally coming to terms with being a college student because my first paper (a reflection paper) is due on Thursday in my First Year Course (Civic Ideals and Higher Education in America). Trying to start the year without procrastinating is difficult, but, so far, I have visited the writing assistant's office hours for help(she's an upperclassman) and I will be doing some final revision tomorrow morning so that I can turn it in Thursday afternoon in class!
PS- I just received an email saying that I will be part of the Macalester Chorale this year! We shall see if I get assigned to be a 1st or 2nd soprano.
college student. junior. international studies major. over-the-top foodie. travel and lifestyle student blogger?
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