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Hey Everyone! I can’t believe that it is already mid-march. Regular decisions are coming out soon, and before I talk about experiences from the last couple of weeks, I wanted to wish you all best of luck!

School has been going well. This semester I am taking 4 classes While I enjoy all my classes, the two classes that I’m really passionate about are my Computer Science and Economic Tutorial Class. As an economics concentrator, all sophomores are required to take economics tutorial focused on a topic that they find interesting. My tutorial is focused on National Security and has been really fascinating. My computer science class has also been great. It is the very introductory level computer science class(CS 1), and is extremely well taught. I was a little hesitant about taking this class, but it has been my favorite class of my Harvard career so far!

Front Gate of Winthrop House, my sophomore dorm!

For tennis, we traveled to Chicago to play Northwestern and Vanderbilt in a double header. On the first day we took on the home favorite Northwestern Wildcats. In college dual matches you start with 3 doubles matches, and follow up with 6 singles matches. The team that wins the majority of the doubles matches(2 out of 3) receives one point. Then each singles match counts as one point. We won the doubles point, but fell behind 3-1. Our four remaining matches were able to come back, as fellow sophomore, Denis Nguyen was able to help the crimson to a 4-3 victory with a win at the top spot. On the second day we faced tough SEC rival Vanderbilt. We had a tough 4-3 battle with them the previous year, so we knew this year would be no different. After winning the doubles point, we were entrenched in a battle on all six courts. We were able to pull away for a 3-0 lead, but they managed to cut the deficit to 3-2 with a couple of spirited wins. I was able to pull it out for the crimson with a tough three set win, and we held on for a 4-3 win.

HMT in Chicago with alums Ashwin Kumar ’08 and Ali Felton ’12

After an exciting weekend in Chicago, we headed to Cornell for the ECAC Championships. For the first time, we faced other Ivy League teams as a warm-up for the ivy league championships in April. We faced three tough teams, Yale, Princeton, and Cornell. We were able to take out Yale and Princeton, 4-2 and 4-3 respectively, but fell to Cornell 4-2. Overall it was a great weekend of tennis, but it was definitely nice to head back to Cambridge.

In addition to tennis, I had a chance to travel for another one of my passions, chess. Because tennis and school takes up a lot of my time, I have not been as active as I’ve been in the past, but was delighted at the opportunity to compete for Harvard at the Ivy League Chess Tournament. Columbia hosted the tournament, so I had the opportunity to spend the weekend in New York City, and was graciously hosted by the Columbia Men’s Tennis Team. The chess tournament had four rounds, and we ended up taking first in the U1800 rating category! I really bonded with my teammates and we all had a great weekend.

Harvard Chess at Ivy League Tournament in New York.

Harvard Chess Teammates!

So the past few weekends have been filled with school, tennis, chess and travel, but I have had time to hang out with the people that make this Harvard experience so special. While you learn a lot from the classes, and participating in athletic events, you learn a lot from the eager peers that surround you. It’s these people who help you push yourself harder than you thought possible and achieve far more than previously anticipated. It is a really special group of people, and something I will always treasure.

Thanks for reading this entry, stay tuned for next week!

Hey everyone! First of all, Happy Valentines Day! Sorry for a little bit of delay, but I took some time to rest and recover over the break. So, after finals in December, I headed back to Northern California, and enjoyed couple of weeks at home before returning back to the east coast. I came back to campus on January 11th, to start training for the spring season for tennis.

We started off the season by having our annual fitness test of 25 dominators, which are basically line suicides. After passing the test, we enjoyed a couple weeks of intense practice with no academic commitments.

Team picture after passing the fitness challenge

In the last week of January, the tennis team traveled to Oklahoma to compete in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. In the first match we played Notre Dame and came away with a close 4-3 win. In the next round we played against the top seed Oklahoma and lost 4-0. It was great experience to play two high ranked teams, and it was the first time I had ever been to Oklahoma.

Harvard vs. Notre Dame

Team Yoga in the hotel prior to matches

After the weekend of traveling, we started the first week of classes. For the first week of classes, students have the choice to shop any class they find interesting. At the end of the week you have to submit a form with the final list of classes you want to take. After much consideration, I decided to take Economics 1010(2nd year economics course), sophomore tutorial for economics(which is required for everyone majoring in economics), Spanish Ab, and Computer Science 1. After the first week of classes, we headed to New York and played at the Billy Jean National Indoor Tennis Center. This is the same site where the U.S. Open is held, so it was a great experience. We split our matches with St. Johns and Alabama going 1-1.

Before the break there were several great events worth mentioning. The Men’s Tennis Team hosted a luncheon at the Faculty Club where several professors and faculty members attended. We had a great meal and each professor gave us some advice regarding the rest of our time in college as well as plans after.

Team Luncheon at the Faculty Club

I also attended the Eliot House formal, which is a dance formal hosted by an upperclassmen dorm. I went with the senior captain on the girls tennis team, and we had a great time.

Eliot House Winter Formal

That’s it for this post! Hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day and stay tuned for the next entry!

Hey everyone! I hope you had great Thanksgiving! The last several weeks on campus have been interesting and full of new experiences!

For the first time I celebrated el Día de los Muertes. This is a Mexican holdiay, that focuses on the gatherings of family and friends to pray and remember friends and family members who have died. For our Spanish class, each student brought a picture of a family friend or someone famous whom have passed away. We then decorated the picture with images, colors, and glitter and hung the murals on the wall to remember and celebrate their lives.

Celebrating the lives of family and friends on Mexican Holiday, Dia de Los Muertos

After celebrating Día de los Muertos, the men’s tennis team headed to Virginia for our last tournament of the fall. In the tournament, we played several matches against William and Mary, Notre Dame, and Old Dominion. After the tournament we walked around William and Mary’s campus, and took our annual picture at the Sunken Gardens.

HMT at the “Sunken Garden” at William and Mary

On November 11th, the students at Harvard celebrated Diwali in one of the upperclassmen houses, Lowell House. Diwali is known as the festival of lights and is one of the most important Hindhu festivals of the year. Commonly it is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities in their homes. While Diwali is popularly known as the “festival of lights”, the most significant spiritual meaning is “the awareness of the inner light”. Central to Hindu philosophy is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal.  The celebration of Diwali as the “victory of good over evil”, refers to the light of higher knowledge dispelling all ignorance, the ignorance that masks one’s true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite,  and transcendent reality. The house masters for Lowell House were kind enough to host Diwali in their home. They hosted an Indian Puja(prayer) and sang several bhajans(songs). Afterword, we had an authentic Indian Dinner to celebrate the occasion.

Class of 2015 photo at Diwali

The weekend of 17-18th marked the 129th Harvard-Yale Football Game. There was a special vibe on campus as many Harvard alumni and Yale students swarm Harvard’s campus. The Friends of Harvard Tennis hosted a tailgate in the Beren Tennis Center, so we had a chance to meet  many of the Harvard Tennis Alumni that were present. It was great to hear about their experiences in college as well as their pursuits after graduation.  The football game was also very entertaining, but the social experience of the Harvard-Yale game was really special.

Alumni Chris Clayton ’09 (far right) joins our team for a workout during Harvard-Yale weekend

Lastly, I once again spent Thanksgiving at a friend’s house. The Steinroeder Family were kind enough to host me again this year, and it was great to spend a couple of days away from campus before returning for the final stretch of the semester. Happy Holidays everyone!

Hey Everyone! Happy Halloween! I know that early action applications are due in a couple of days so I wanted to wish everyone the best of luck!

School has been going pretty well. We finished our first round of midterms a couple of weeks ago, and our second set of midterms are not for another couple of weeks. This leaves a little more time to engage in school activities. I had the chance attend a couple of Indian Puja’s hosted by the Harvard Dharma club, and I was able to be more involved a club called “On Harvard Time”(OHT). OHT is a comedic club that creates weekly segments about various events both on and off campus. While I have only been to a couple of meetings this year, everyone in the club is really nice, and is passionate about what they do.

The highlight of the week had to be attending “Club Ex” which was a dance show hosted by the Expressions(a Harvard hip-hop dance crew). One of the members of the dance team, went to my high school, so I decided to go to root her on. I didn’t really know what to expect, but every performance was full of energy and passion , and it was a highly entertaining evening.

Expressions Dance Company perfoming

The last couple weeks have also been full of intense practice and competitions on the weekends. We first traveled to Yale and competed at the Northeast Regional Championships. Here, every team in the Northeast brought players so it was a good assessment to see the competition we will face in the spring season.

Northeast Regionals at Yale

After the Regional Tournament, Harvard hosted the Harvard Halloween Invite. Here we played at the Murr Tennis Center against players from Dartmouth, Brown, Amherst, Tufts, and Army. Now, the fall season for tennis is almost over as we travel to Virginia in two weeks for our last tournament of 2012.

Harvard Halloween Invite

While we have been experiencing great weather all year so far, Hurricane Sandy has made its way to campus and has made quite the ruckus. Classes were cancelled, this past Monday, for the first time since 1978. While it seems the storm has passed by here, my thoughts and prayers go out to all the families where the hurricane really caused a lot of damage, such as New Jersey and New York. Hope everyone stays dry and safe.

 

It seems like we have only been on campus for a short period of time, yet we already find ourselves in October! I’ve been in full speed in all areas of my life, so it’s not surprising that the first month has flown by so fast. We are currently in full practice mod, for tennis, which consists of practice, strength workouts, as well as agility conditioning. As for school, we are currently having our first midterms this week.

Harvard Men’s Tennis 2012 Team Picture

Agility Conditioning at the Football Stadium

For tennis, we had our first tournament of the fall, last week, in Napa, California. Here we had the opportunity to play tennis in one of the most beautiful locations I have ever seen. The tennis club was surrounded by trees and wild-life. In addition to the tennis we had several other events to help us explore the beauty of Napa Valley. We were given a tour of a local winery where we learned all the behind the scenes work involved in the wine-making process. In addition to learning about the wine-making process, we stumbled across the owner’s race-car collection. It included several old-school porsches. We also stayed with host families who treated us with great hospitality. Overall, it was a great trip and I hope to return back soon.

Four members competing in Napa Valley

Tour of the winery

The “secret” collection of the owner of the winery

 

In addition to tennis, school has been going well. I’m taking four classes this semester: Economics 1010, Applied Math 21a, Spanish, and Culture and Belief 22. I am really enjoying my math and culture and belief class, and feel that my schedule is pretty manageable. The next month will get interesting, as all the sophomores will be expected to declare their concentrations(major). Once we declare our concentration, we will be assigned to advisers who will oversee us in our field of study. It is an exciting time as we start to take more classes associated to our major, and less general classes.

That’s all for this post! I have a couple of midterms this week, and will resume the tennis schedule the following week, as we travel down to Yale for the fall regional tournament.

Similar to most years, it seems like the summer months pass faster than normal, and you find yourself at the start of another exciting year. This past summer has been one of the most rewarding summers of my life, but I am definitely excited to be back on campus for another school year.

I officially ended the internship at the Pac-12 Conference in mid-August and traveled to New York for a week before heading back to campus. My time at the Pac-12 Conference was extremely rewarding, as I had the opportunity to work with a lot of really interesting people from really different backgrounds. This was my first time in the work force, and I learned some really valuable lessons. The most important lesson was to always remain curious about what you are doing. If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. I felt that everyone at the Pac-12 really loved what they did and, as a result, it was great environment to work in.

After leaving the Pac-12, I had a chance to compete in a grass court tournament in New York. I made the trip with a couple of Harvard teammates, and this was the first time any of us had a chance to play on the grass, so it was a new experience. The tournament hosted several formal events, so we had a chance to relax and unwind after some intense matches. After the tournament, I headed back to campus for the start of my sophomore year.

Overall, I leave this summer with many positive memories, and I look towards this school year with mixed emotions. I am excited for the new year, but there is always certain feelings of anxiety and doubt as well. Unlike freshmen year, your sophomore year bears more responsibilities, such as declaring your concentration(major), and you start to feel the expectations of the outside world. It is nearly impossible to predict what lessons I will learn, or what journeys I will embark on, but that is where the true fun lies. Looking back on my freshmen year I could not have predicted how the year would turn out. All my four year plans and schedules I made on the first day were inaccurate and are long gone. Each day brought new twists and turns and amidst all the unpredictability, I experienced the most rewarding year of my life. For this very reason I will not try and predict where I will be at the end of my sophomore year because if history is to repeats itself(as it does so often) I would simply be wasting my time. Instead I look to my sophomore year with a smile as I’m sure it will lead to something far greater and more rewarding than I could have possibly imagined.

 

 

Pictures from the last couple weeks of summer:

Pac-12 Networks Launch Television Network

Pac-12 Digital

With teammates at tournament in New York

Watching Andy Murray at the U.S. Open

As promised, here is the firsthand account of my experience at the Pac-12. Just to give a quick introduction, the Pac-12 athletic conference consists of 12 member schools (Stanford, Cal, UCLA, USC, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah). The Pac-12 conference recently expanded, adding the Pac-12 Enterprises, with one office in Walnut Creek, CA, and a new office location in San Francisco California. When I started working, in late May, everyone in the company worked out of the Walnut Creek office, but once the new office opened in San Francisco,  my group moved there.

The Pac-12 Enterprises is in charge of launching the Pac-12 networks, which consists of six regional networks, and one national network that will be dedicated to broadcasting every varsity sport at the Pac-12 schools. This task is a huge undertaking, as the Pac-12 Enterprises is taking 100% ownership of the scheduling, producing and distribution of the video content, something no other conference has tried to do. To accommodate this extensive project, the new office in San Francisco has several full size studios with multiple “dark rooms” used for editing and processing the videos. Comcast, one of the our television distributors, occupies the first floor, while the Pac-12 enterprises occupies the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building.

 

New Office Entrance

 

Interior pictures of the San Francisco Office

The Pac-12 Networks is planning to launch with TV everywhere, where you can watch the Pac-12 channel from any mobile device (Ipad, Iphone, web, etc.) as well as on a television set. As an intern on the Digital Team, we are in charge of creating the visual design and functionality of the digital broadcast (web and Ipad viewing) of the Pac-12 Networks. In addition to creating the digital content, we are in charge of relaunching the Pac-12 conference website.

When I started working here, I honestly didn’t really know what to expect. As my internship comes to a close, I know I will look back on this summer and feel that I was part of something really special. It isn’t the huge studios and office spaces that have made my time here so memorable, but it has been the people I have had the opportunity to work with. They come from many different backgrounds, but they share the same passion and desire to take collegiate sports to the next level. As a college athlete, it is refreshing to see so many people who are passionate about improving the collegiate athletic experience, as well as make it more accessible to high school players who are striving to compete at the next level. Working here has helped me learn more about myself as well as what I would like to do in the future.

Mayor of San Francisco, Edwin Lee, welcomes the Pac-12 Enterprises staff to the new office.

So the countdown has officially started, with the Pac-12 networks scheduled to launch on August 15th! Thanks for reading this post, and I will write a quick recap after we launch to talk about my final thoughts about this summer, before I head back to the east coast for my sophomore year!

After an extremely exciting year in Cambridge, I returned back to the west coast. Having been home for several weeks, I have been pretty busy unpacking, reconnecting with family members, as well as starting an internship.

 

Pac-12 Athletic Conference Logo

This summer I will be working on at the Pac-12 conference. The Pac-12 is an athletic conference that participates in the NCAA’s Division 1. The conference has twelve members: Stanford, Cal, UCLA, USC, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State, Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado. This summer, the Pac-12 is planning to launch the Pac-12 Network which is a television network that will broadcast many sporting events across all sports of the Pac-12. I am currently working for the Pac-12 Networks, as part of the Digital Team. We are in charge of creating the web content, as well as the interfaces for the devices that will be broadcasted on the network. It has been an extremely interesting job, and everyone I work with are really great people. They come from really different backgrounds, and are all really passionate about what they do.

Members of the Pac-12 Digital Team

In addition to working, I have continued to train for our fall tennis season. I am playing for my home club’s league team, as well as some adult tournaments in California to make sure I will be ready to compete once I get back to campus.  It is really nice to be able to get out on the court, especially after a long day at work, so I try to hit at least 4-5 times each week.

Thanks for reading this entry. My next entry will focus on my job, and will give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work at the Pac-12.

It is always hard to say good-bye to an amazing class. Last year, I thought I experienced the worst, when I had to say good-bye to all my life-long friends and venture into a new environment where I didn’t know anyone. Little did I know that I would venture over three-thousand miles and make closer friends in one year than I have my whole life.

Throughout my life I have been a competitive junior and traveled the U.S. playing national tennis tournaments. Tennis is such an individual sport, and in the juniors you just look out for yourself. In college, it is supposed to be more team oriented, but before coming to Harvard, I didn’t understand the team aspect. In the fall, I continued to play as if I was still an individual. Since then, I feel I have grown so much, as wells as grown closer to the team.

I owe this growth to the four seniors on the tennis team. They are Davis Mangham, Alistair Felton, Jon Pearlman, and Mac McAnulty. While each one has a complete different personality, tennis has unified them and they comprise the HMT class of 2012.

First we have our captains, Davis Mangham and Alistair Felton. Davis is the most responsible person I have met. He is always on top of his work, takes care of his body, and never misses a practice or a workout. More importantly, is one of the coolest people I have ever met, and I always enjoy being in his company.

Davis Mangham

Our other captain, Alistair, hails from Great Britain and has been a great leader through many battles we have had this year. He is a world-class doubles player who can return virtually any shot blasted at him. He also constantly invites us to his room to hang out or watch a movie, and really made me feel part of the team during my first couple months at Harvard.

Alistair Felton

Next, we have Jon. Known for his six-pack beach body physique, he is probably the most entertaining player to watch on a tennis court. His passion and fire is second to none, and he truly wears his heart on his sleeve. He is one of the most hard working tennis players I know, putting several hours outside of practice to improve his game. I really looked up to him this year, and he inspired me to try harder and push my boundaries farther than I thought I could.

Jon Pearlman

Last, but not least, we have Mac. He is one of the most interesting people I know. Not only does he excel in academics, breezing through his undergraduate years with a near perfect GPA and at ticket to Oxford, but he is one the most vocal tennis players both on and off the court.  Whether he has to climb a tree, or shout through a small opening in wall, Mac is always keen on voicing his support in our dual matches.

Mac McAnulty

These four seniors really shaped my first year at Harvard and is the reason why I had such a positive first year experience. Being part of this team has given me so much invaluable experience and memories that will last me for a lifetime. It’s not only in the advice they give and direct commentary, but also through the indirect effects of their actions that they continue to influence everyone on the team. They are our mentors and leaders, and I will continue to look up to them for the rest of my life.

While it is sad to say goodbye to such an amazing class, it is a very essential part of life. This cycle enables the next generation of warriors and fighters, to rise up and make their mark as a member of the HMT. Like many great graduates before them, the HMT class of 2012 will be missed greatly, but they  will never truly be gone, but continue to live and be present through our actions. Congratulations HMT class of 2012, and best of luck in the future!

 

Harvard Men's Tennis Senior Class of 2012

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April normally marks the start of league play in Division 1 tennis. The winner from each league will get an automatic-bid to the NCAA national tournament in May.  This year had proven to be a banner year, but an ivy league title would solidify our great season and give our hard working seniors their first Ivy title of their career. We started off the ivy title quest with two matches at Cornell and Columbia. We were able to overcome Cornell 7-0 on the first day and headed to the heart of New York City with a lot of confidence. Our match was scheduled to play at 2 pm at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center. Playing in front of a very rowdy and raucous home crowd. the Columbia Lions were able to overcome us by a 5-2 margin. The Columbia Lions played a great match, and we headed back to Cambridge, still determined to win the Ivy title. The next weekend, we played Penn and Princeton at home, and turned in two wins, 6-1  and 5-2 respectively.

Harvard vs. Princeton match

The following weekend we played our Harvard- Yale rivalry match and took on the Brown Bears in Providence Rhode Island. A lot of Harvard and Yale alumni were present at the match, and competed in the Alumni Grudge Cup. After a strong doubles display and four wins in singles we beat Yale 5-2, and headed to Rhode Island where we edged Brown 4-3. This put us in first place in the ivy standings with one match left against Dartmouth.

A win against Dartmouth would mean that we would secure our first ivy title in four years, and get an automatic bid to NCAA. We started the Dartmouth match slow as we lost the doubles point. In singles we were able to win at No. 1, 4 and 5 to tie the score 3-3 heading to the last match., the No.2 singles match. In the No. 2 singles match, Denis Nguyen, was entrenched in a three-set battle. In the final point of the match, he hit a volley that forced an error from his opponent to help us clinch the Ivy title!

Men's tennis with the ivy league trophy after the match.

After winning the Ivy title, we found ourselves in Reading Period. Reading Period is the week before finals where there are no classes, to give you time to study. During this week, the upperclassmen houses hosted several activities that were open to rising sophomores to welcome them into the houses.

While I wasn’t able to make it to any of Winthrop events (my house for next year), I was invited to attend Elliot House’s formal. Eliot House’s formal was an extremely extravagant event with great food, lots of dancing, and a chance to meet the tutors and the House Master of Elliot. I was invited by Sam who is a senior on the Women’s Tennis Team, and we had a great time.
 

Sam and me next to an ice sculpture of the mascot and emblem of Eliot House.

After Eliot Formal, we had exams, which went pretty smoothly. While most students head home after exams, I had the opportunity to travel to Florida. The Men’s Tennis Team qualified for NCAAs, and our first two rounds were held at the University of Florida. In our first match we played Virginia Tech, which was a rematch of a match we played in February in Cambridge. We were able to repeat the result as we won four singles in a 4-2 win. In the next round we had the privilege of playing No.12 ranked Florida in front of a home crowd. There were plenty of gator fans in the crowd, and despite putting up a good fight, we fell to Florida 4-0. That officially ended our season, standing with a 23-3 record. Here is a link to the gocrimson recap video: Men’s Tennis Recap

Men's Team at the first practice on the University of Florida courts

 

Final match of the season against University of Florida

As I’m writing this on my flight back to California, I can’t believe the school year is already over. I have met so many wonderful people and have experienced so many things that I will never forget. I will go into more detail in my next blog! Stay tuned, my next blog will contain a reflection of the year.

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