Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I woke up this morning to my roommate walking in our room, since he had been in the bathroom getting ready for the day. I got up and got ready too, and I met up with my proctor group to go to the dining hall. This time we ate at the commons right across from our dorm, and we'll be eating there for the rest of the program. I didn't really get a chance to take pictures of the dining commons though, since I didn't bring my camera. I sat with my proctor group for breakfast.

After I finished my meal, I realized I forgot something in my dorm, so I asked my proctor if I could do so. He said yes, if I checked in and out with the office of our dorm, so I did. In the office, they asked me if I asked for permission, since they did not receive any notice that I was coming and since one of the staff members got worried when they saw me walk alone to the dorm. I told them I had spoke to my proctor, so I was not guilty. Later, the person that saw me walk to the dorm confronted me. I explained what happened, so I was innocent yet again.

We met our TAs outside of the commons and walked to class. Thankfully, my class is right next to the commons, so I hardly have to walk anywhere. I had to find my class on my own at Brown, so it was different being guided. On one hand, with Brown, I got to find my class on my own without worrying about timing as long as I get to class on time, since we had to meet at a very specific time with Vanderbilt. On the other hand, Vanderbilt guided us to class to make it easier for us. I preferred the independence of Brown.

Class started out with some introductions, though I'm still trying to learn everyone's name. Dawson Gray, our instructor, is a high school teacher, and he is a bit of an eccentric fellow. After we spent some time discussing the class as a whole, we did a "puzzler." Dawson will start class every day with a puzzler, where we try to solve an extremely difficult puzzle or problem. Today, I figured out our puzzler rather quickly; we had to figure out a pattern in a dice game. After the puzzler, we started discussing matrices, particularly addition, subtraction, scalar multiplication, matrix multiplication, determinants, and inverses. Much of it was review, though I got more practice in. I am starting to realize that lectures are not compatible with my learning style since they don't always pace themselves at the same level as my learning. If it gets too slow, I find myself needing to force myself to stay awake. I still do need more practice with the more advanced portions of matrices that we reviewed, though.

We had a lunch break three hours into class, so we went to the commons yet again with everyone. I sat down with people I had never met before and started talking to them, so I managed to make some friends. After we finished, one of them left, so I was left with the other and we sat on the patio of the commons, waiting for our TAs to come back and guide us to class. I believe that will be the last time they do so. While I was chatting with my new friend outside, I got caught up in the conversation and didn't pay too close attention to the time. I heard someone call my name from behind me, and it was my class. I don't think I delayed them too long, though.

In class, we finished discussing matrices and we moved onto Fibonacci sequences. We had an activity involving music, and it was a bit interesting, though near the end of the activity it trailed off. We were then assigned a project at the end of class, where we have to give a lesson on a math topic to the math class. We have nearly the entire length of the program to do it; my lesson is due next Friday. After getting the assignment, we walked to the library to work on our assignment, since there were computers.

After class, we had a less academic class known as an arete class. I took an improv class, and it works much like a workshop. We did some teambuilding today, and we will be acting soon.

The hour after arete was allotted to much needed free time. I walked around and chatted with people, though I didn't make any meaningful connections. If I could have, I would have went to the convenience store, but there were restrictions against that.

I met with my proctor group after and we went to dinner together. I ate quite slowly at dinner, so when the dining hall began to empty out, a VSA staff member, who was an undergraduate, decided to sit with me as well as a few others still around. I did not eat fast enough to finish my plate, though that might have been my fault for not scarfing everything down immediately.

The proctor group met for the scavenger hunt. We walked around campus and saw a few of the sights, though the weather was quite humid and we had to walk around quite a fair bit. I did not enjoy the proctor group scavenger hunt too much, since it did not fit with my type of "fun."

When the scavenger hunt ended, we were given free time yet again. I spent a good amount of free time just bouncing around between groups, though I met some potential friends. We were sent back to our floors at the end of free time.

I've still been trying to settle into the structure of this program. It seems a bit too rigid in some areas, while I like being independent. I've started making a few new friends though! I'm starting to find my own way.

1 comment:

  1. Tell me more about the math you're doing. I've been wondering for weeks what this class is all about!