Archive for the ‘School’ Category

Power freak security guards

September 16, 2008 Leave a comment

Apparently, if a door is not specifically labeled "Exit" you are not allowed to use it, and the campus wanna-be police will let you know this. So, instead I walked 10 feet to the right to use a door that opens into the same area, but does have the necessary signage. All of this happening when there was no traffic either direction, but at least if there WERE a sudden stampede, I know I was safe.

Categories: School

High School

September 9, 2008 Leave a comment

Just when I thought K-12 was far behind me, I discover that CCNY has a high school on campus as well. The kids have access to the college cafeteria, so at 11am a flood of teen angst arrives with a rise in decibel level. I thought it was bad enough when, maybe once a week, the Preuss school at UCSD would allow its students to use our food court, but this happens everyday.

On another note, I really need an umbrella soon. I’m used to my rain warnings coming in the form of dark clouds and cool weather. Today, it was sunny and in the 70’s when I walked into class, and raining and yet still hot when I got out.

Categories: School

Posting from THE City College

September 4, 2008 1 comment

It’s pronounced THE City College, not City College or “the City College”. All administrators during orientation added this emphasis, seemingly to distinguish it from the several other colleges in the City University of New York. It is the oldest (1847), and the most prestigious of the schools, while also being among the top 3 most diverse colleges in the country. An ID is required to enter any building on campus and there is security everywhere. The architecture definitely rivals UCSD, but it feels like a MUCH smaller school, the total population is ~15,000 compared to 20,000+ undergrads at UCSD. Physically it is also a lot smaller.

I’m taking only two courses this semester, mostly due to a screw-up by the college, and apparently I’m “lucky” to have any science courses at all right now. I’m taking Physical Chemistry 1 and Biochemistry 1. P-Chem seems very similar to my engineering thermodynamics courses, except on the molecular scale compared to machine-scale. Biochem looks like it’s a mixture of biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry but in more detail. Both classes have less than 50 students, compared to the ~300 I’m used to.

I’m approaching the end of week 3 here, and I definitely still feel like a tourist. I’ll add pictures of my place soon. I actually have furniture in my room, cook dinner everyday, and am still alive after the laundromat. My neighborhood is called Crown Heights, but my apartment is only a few blocks West from Prospect Park and then Park Slope. Crown heights is highly Jamaican and Carribean, and Park Slope is kind of split between black/white and is becoming more and more gentrified. Park Slope is a fun neighborhood to visit for good food, there are plenty of restaurants lining 7th Ave. For my birthday, Holly and I went to a Japanese/Peruvian (random mix) restaurant for sushi, and for brunch it was a French restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village.

One of the best parts of NYC is the subway system. $81/month for unlimited rides. Also, the trains are air-conditioned, but the terminals are not. So, you sweat while you wait for your train, but then it’s nice. The 3 train stops right in front of my apartment, which I usually ride to Atlantic Avenue, a major hub in West Brooklyn. From there I can take a number of different trains into Manhattan, usually either the A, D, or N, all express trains. It takes me 30-60 minutes to be pretty much anywhere in Manhattan.

Holly lives in West Williamsburg, which is about 2.5 miles North. But, due to the crazy way the trains are organized, it takes me ~45 mins to get there and I have to take two trains. For an idea of how weird it is, I either take the 3 to Atlantic, then ride the M into Manhattan, which then U-turns back into Brooklyn. OR, I take the 3 a couple stops past Atlantic, walk a few blocks, and ride the G, and then walk again. Her neighborhood is completely different than mine. She lives in a highly Hacidic Jewish area, and you’ll regularly see kids running around in traditional clothing. The neighborhoods are probably one of the most interesting things about NYC. Walk a block and the demographic can do a complete 180. I really like Park Slope, it’s a Brownstone neighborhood, which is the type of architecture. It is what you’d expect to see after watching a New York sitcom.

I haven’t really explored that much so far, but I have been in a few major areas. 42nd St. and Times Square is more fun at night, and is very fashion oriented. Union Square is much more laid back, with plenty of people on benches relaxing and a constant farmer’s market. I also went to “ground zero”, but wasn’t really able to see anything. While I was there I visited the World Financial Center, which is right on the river. It’s pretty cool because there is a huge patio area where you can walk by the docks.

The weather here is probably the worst part. I’m pretty sure since contracting Mono last summer, my sweat glands have suddenly learned how to operate. Since I’ve been here it has been in the high 80’s and very humid (a trip the Shores would be nice right now), I think A/C is in order for next summer. The subway stations are the worst. Luckily, it should start cooling down next week. It’s kind of random, there is even the occasional thunderstorm while still being hot outside.

I think that’s about all I have for now, just continuing to try to get my life organized here. I’ll try to think of more interesting things for the future.

Categories: New York, School