Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Relaxing Break From School

Hello everyone!

Last week was quite the relaxing one since we only had classes on Monday and Tuesday. We had the rest of the week of for Rosh Hashanah, which was very nice. To kick off my stretch of free days I went on a 'Vertical Tour' at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on Wednesday afternoon. This is a tour where you get to climb the spiral stairs in the walls of the cathedral all the way up to the various levels of the church and then up onto the roof, giving you incredible views of the stained glass and architecture, and then incredible views of Manhattan and the skyline. I absolutely love churches and cathedrals even though I'm not personally very religious. The architecture and history are the things that appeal to me! During my travels in Europe during high school, I visited many famous cathedrals, churches, and basilicas and it's quite the awe-inspiring experience to be in the presence of so much. It was nice to have the same feeling last Wednesday right here in New York!

The following day I went to the train station to pick up my mom and grandma who had come down to visit me for a few days. It was very exciting to have visitors and I spent the next few days taking them to some of my favorite parts of the city like the High Line, Central Park, the Guggenheim, and the DUMBO Arts Festival. They also came to see my room since I'd made a few changes since when my mom helped me move in and they had brought me a few things for it. It felt nice to show off a little space that really felt 'mine'. Sunday morning was their last time in the city and when I said goodbye to them. When I got home after I realized that my dinner that night was going to be the first meal I had had to cook/pay for myself since Wednesday as they had been feeding me the entire time! It took a little while to get back into the routine of cooking, but I feel back on track now, thankfully.

Even though I had a lot of fun, the break from school was also quite productive! I was able to get a lot of work done and even get ahead on the homework for a bunch of my classes! It felt great to be proactive and I'm thankful that I had the time to do so. Luckily, we also don't have class this Friday due to Yom Kippur, so I won't be getting too used to the school routine... Also, I apologize that this post came so late! I'm aiming for posting every Sunday night, but it's become too hard to do that with all of my work. Therefore, I've been doing Monday nights instead, but was too busy last night as well! However, I think Monday nights will probably become the normal night for my weekly posts. Well, that's enough babbling for now! Talk to you again next week!

~ Adam Hobbins '18

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Study Abroad At Last! (And All At Once)

Hey everyone!

It's that time of year again. With fall and PSLs (Pumpkin Spice Lattes) comes.....Opp Fund application time! For those of you wondering what the Opp Fund is, it's short for the Opportunities Fund. Basically, as a Macaulay student, you are endowed $7500 to use for study abroad, unpaid internships, educational conferences, grad school applications, honors projects, and tons of other opportunities that you would otherwise be paying for out of pocket. Macaulay believes that you should not have to do so, therefore the endowment of $7500 per student.

However! You have to apply for this money, justify its use, and fills out all sorts of paperwork before you go gallivanting off to Europe. Which is what I'm currently doing at home on this beautiful Saturday. I'm applying for a winter study abroad program/class in Florence, Italy about the Italian Renaissance. I've never been out of the country (Canada doesn't count), and I'm super excited to go to Europe.

Now a lot of people I know use their money for all sorts of things (as listed above). I plan to use all of my money for studying abroad. I just find that to be the most valuable experience I could possibly have with that money. I want to stretch my $7500 as far as it will go, and then make up the difference. I really wanted to do a semester abroad, but I found that I didn't have the time due to a double major and other concerns. Therefore, I plan on applying for another study abroad program in Paris for next summer. This program is on the literature written about Paris. Having taken 12 years of French, being an English major, and basically loving French culture and food, I am ridiculously excited to go there.

Despite the fact that I will have to pay for some of the trip, I'm incredibly lucky that Macaulay will pay for one and a half trips! There's so many options for trips, from CUNY, SUNY, and even other programs. You can even propose one from outside their database. And Macaulay will pay for your tuition there if it's CUNY-equivalent (which most universities in Europe are).

Right now I'm just trying to deal with the financial ins-and-outs of this process, documenting my costs and such so Macaulay can appropriately fund me. I keep telling myself this will all be worth it when I'm in Italy. Just four months and I'll be looking at this everyday:


After years of dreaming about going to Europe, all of my dreams are coming true (and all at once)!


Friday, September 26, 2014

What will your verse be?

Hi, everyone!

It's late on a Friday night, and we're nearing the end of the third day of this mini-break. I'm going to be honest with you all. I have felt somewhat unmotivated and disillusioned for the last couple of days and am only now getting back to my happy self. I think September is just not a good month for me. Or maybe I just need to regroup and refocus on what's important: doing amazing on the MCAT and in my classes so that I can have some peace of mind next semester.

Anyway, sorry to start off in such a somber way, but I think it's important for me to tell you guys when I'm not feeling all that great in addition to "the good stuff" like amazing classes and good laughs. You need to know that this whole "college thing" can be challenging. And let's not get started on this whole "life thing." haha.

I'm feeling better about things in part because I just finished watching Dead Poets Society, which was amazing because Robin Williams can literally play any role and because of the main message: "Carpe diem." I think we (especially we, millennials) waste too much time doubting ourselves and being afraid of being proactive in life. What are we waiting for? We won't be this young forever. We won't have all of these opportunities forever. We have to take advantage of every experience and "contribute our own verse." (I love you, Walt Whitman.)

In less serious news, fall TV is off to a great start! I loved the first episode of Gotham and am looking forward to seeing how it develops in the coming weeks. And Parenthood is back for its last season! I love this show to pieces because of how honest it is. It portrays a beautifully complicated family in all of their glories and defeats. The Big Bang Theory is back too, and I'm loving the nerdy humor as always!

One quick tip for you guys: Clean out your closet at least twice a year so that you can get rid of clothes that you don't wear anymore, and make room for some new ones! I've been good about doing this during the past few months, and I've gotten rid of a bunch of clothes that I just don't wear anymore. But don't throw them in the garage. Donate them to a charity that collects them, or drop them off at an H&M location and get a 15% coupon for every bag of clothes that you donate!

We're supposed to have some fabulous weather this weekend so go soak up some sun!


Quote of the Week

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

~ Thomas Fuller