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I am back on campus! But before I get into my hectic Harvard Summer School Proctor training schedule the past few days, I’d like to take a second and comment on Jeanie’s incredible post. I feel upstaged. You should read it…it’s filled with insider goodness. While I disagree with Wigglesworth being the best freshman dorm (I lived in Greenough my freshman year), I like to think that part of the reason why Jeanie had such a memorable experience was because I was one of her Peer Advising Fellows…she just forgot to mention me. A Peer Advising Fellow, or “PAF,” is basically an upperclassman buddy that every first-year student is assigned to based on broad academic and extracurricular interests. Each entryway of about 20-30 students within a dorm building has 3 or 4 PAFs who work with the Proctor to help with personal and academic advising. They also plan weekly study breaks that have lots of free food and are (supposed to be) a lot of fun. We try our best to be creative! I’m entering my third year as a PAF, and I miss Jeanie’s entryway in the Wigglet a lot. We had a lot of fun at all of our study breaks, which included some awesome themes, such as Super Bowl (nachos and wings, anyone?), holiday, and ice cream, to name a few! Free food is amazing in college. Sometimes, I attend events just for the free snacks. Student group information sessions and academic panels and open houses are just two of the several types of events that are notorious for providing delicious, free food: Boloco burritos, Finale cakes and desserts (cheesecake is my favorite), the super popular Pinocchio’s Pizza (“Noch’s” for short), etc. Wherever you end up in the world, find the free food. Don’t get me wrong, I love Annenberg and our dining hall food, but it’s nice to change it up once in a while. Also, click the link for Annenberg Hall — our dining hall looks straight out of a Harry Potter movie!

As far as Proctor training goes, we’ve been learning a lot the past few days. This is my second year as a Proctor so I’ve done all the training before, but it’s nice to get a refresher on so many things, from rules to what to do in an emergency. I’ll admit that it did get a bit monotonous at times, and the beautiful (but hot!) weather outside didn’t help to keep any of us focused. My students moved in this weekend, and I have a great group from all over the place. Harvard Summer School attracts people from over 100 different countries. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone. Let’s also hope I don’t have to bring down the iron fist…is that how the saying goes? Yikes!

This summer, I’ll be taking a course called “Tissue Engineering for Clinical Applications” that describes disease pathology, as well as latest advances in tissue engineering and prospective research ideas to treat those diseases. It’s right along the lines of my Biomedical Engineering concentration (major) and I’m excited to learn in a setting that’s more relaxed than during the school year. Now that I only have one class to focus on, I’ll be able to manage my time between my studies, working, and pursuing other interests that I’m not able to during the regular semester.

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There’s nothing like walking out of the exam room after your last final of the semester. It is a long-awaited sigh of relief, (unwanted) reminder of exhaustion, and a huge feeling of accomplishment. Huge. All the hard work has finally paid off–well, for the most part. I remember at least one course I’ve taken here that I didn’t enjoy, which definitely reflected in my attitude toward the class. Regardless, I had that hodgepodge of feelings earlier today as I walked out of the Science Center after my Organic Chemistry final. The strangest part about it all is the interim between having no academic commitments and when you leave campus for home. Many people peace out as soon as they walk out of the classroom, suitcase and all. As a fairly local student (I’m from Massachusetts), I don’t have to catch a flight, so free time is suddenly restocked on all the shelves. I leave campus tomorrow morning.

You might be wondering, what exactly does one do when the majority of people have already left campus and those who are still around are studying for their next exam? Well, I had tea with my Proctor from freshman year (a Proctor ┬áis essentially a “Resident Assistant” or “Resident Advisor” at other schools). Yes, my proctor and I still get together even though she is no longer my advisor. Many students keep in touch with their proctors and advisors from years past, and I think that’s a testament to the Advising Program here. You get to know each other very well, and it definitely isn’t unusual to see students and their advisors outside of an academic setting, perhaps eating in a dining hall or getting coffee together.

After we caught up, I went out into Harvard Square and attempted to get some Christmas shopping done. Now, I’m a very bad shopper because I’m extremely indecisive when it comes to gifts. I’m usually nervous that the person I’m buying for isn’t going to like what I get him or her. I know, I know…it’s the thought that counts. But I can’t help but doubt my gift purchasing abilities, which is why I think the holiday season would be fantastic if no one exchanged presents and instead just enjoyed each other’s company without gifts. I might suggest that, but it’s too late for this year. I was unsuccessful in my search, but it was definitely a nice, somewhat mindless way to spend time after my final exam.

I must now clean my room and pack. I haven’t paid too much attention to where stray papers and clothes have gone because of Reading and Finals Period, so it is a bit of a(n organized) mess!

My dorm room

My next blog post will be from home! I hope everyone has a great week!


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