Hey, everyone! We just finished with reading period, which is a week free of classes given to students to help with studying for exams. While this week encourages students to study hard, there are always events to compensate for the hard days of studying.
Last week marked the end of classes for the semester. While it was easy for me to part with a couple of my classes, there were two classes I was sad to leave. The first class was my expository writing class, what Harvard students call “Expos.” As freshmen, students are required to take an expository writing class, which is a writing-intensive course taught in sections of about 15 students. There are many different expository writing classes, such as Family Matters, Darwinian Dating, Voice of Authority, etc. I picked the class HIV/AIDS in Culture. At first, I had some contrasting opinions about the class, but as we started to progress and look deeper into the texts, I began to appreciate the different works we studied. In addition to enjoying the art and literature in the class, I’ve learned a lot from my teacher, who is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. Having been diagnosed with HIV for the past 15 years, he has played an active role in spreading awareness and fighting for public acknowledgement. My conversations with him were extremely interesting, and I feel privileged to have taken this class.
The second class I will miss is Math 1B. Similar to Expos, this class was memorable because of my professor. He has received countless awards for his research in this field, and is well-known for his work in gauge field theory. Despite being this world-renowned math mathematician, he was one of the most downto-earth and humble people I have ever met. Before coming to Harvard, I had a stereotypical idea of what Harvard professors were like, but Professor Taubes broke every misconception I had. Constantly cracking jokes about himself, and engaging in one-on-one conversations with all of his students, he was a very approachable person. On the last day of classes, he did a magic card trick that left our class speechless.
I have been studying pretty hard for finals, but I’ve still had time to attend some social events. This week, the Harvard Varsity Club hosted the 2nd Annual Winter Charity Ball. I attended the Ball with a couple of members from the Women’s Tennis Team, and we had a great time! It was held at the Sheraton Commander Hotel, and all the proceeds went to benefit a nonprofit organization that uses coaching and sports to promote social change.
This week, I also had the honor of co-hosting a puja for the Dharma Club. A puja is a religious ritual performed as an offering to various deities. This prayer was for the celebration of the goddess of knowledge, music and creative art. In the puja, we said opening prayers, saraswati slokas, and sang bhajans. About thirty people attended the puja, and it was a great way to receive blessings for our upcoming exams!
Later in the week, the First Year Social Committee hosted “Frost Fest” in Annenberg, the freshman dining hall. At the event, students built gingerbread houses and decorated sugar cookies, and great holiday music courtesy of Harvard’s acapella groups helped to spread the holiday spirit.
That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading this entry, and I’ll post again next week!