Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I Never Trust Atoms Because They Make Up Everything!

This morning my roommate and I woke up at the same time, at 7 AM. I think she went to the bathroom, but since there was another one on the other side of the hallway, I walked to that one instead, I figured that it would be less crowded. I came into the bathroom and no one else was there, so I was able to save a shower spot for myself! After coming back to my room, my proctor dismissed our group to walk together to the commons for breakfast. Today's special were waffles, so I could not help myself. I have recently blogged about one of my goals being able to finish one of my meals, so at breakfast, I actually was able to finish everything. I had orange juice, two waffle slices, sausage, and eggs. I think that Mother Hummd was more proud than I was of myself. 
This is virtual proof that I did, in fact, finish my plates. The group cheered
me on to keep trying to finish (thanks for the support). 

Following breakfast was the same meet up routine with our TA, but today was the last day that he would be walking us to our class. Hummd, Arnold, and I had a brief talk with Zach, and we found out that this is his 6th year back at VSA to help. He knows that our cohort has to blog and remembers some of the past members that were also a part of the ILC that attended Vanderbilt for the summer! By the end of what we have learned about him (he wants to be a lawyer), it was time for us to all walk to class. 

The group presentations started once everyone was finished settling in, my group with Hummd and Andrey was going third, explaining how the social body represents one big machine as a metaphor, show examples, summarize the author's point of view, and mention whether or not we agree with his points. Since we had already planned out what we were going to say and the order that it was going to be in, I thought that it had a nice flow to it, as it was organized, structured, and timed accordingly. It was short, sweet, and to the point. Our presentation solely focused on the comparisons that the social body had to society, how the social body's health related to society in general. If the social body is ill, then there are conflicts in society, whereas if the social body is healthy, then society itself is balanced and in harmony. The professor then went into a lecture of culture shock shortly after all of the presentations were finished, then more of the mindful body itself, stretching out into fine details of different beliefs and examples of medicine and its interactions with the body. There are three parts of a mindful body, and that is: individual, social, and political. An individual body would tie into the physical basic parts of a human, arms, legs, organs, etc. As for social (which our group touched on), it is based off of a big metaphor of a big machine, like how we often use terminology like "I need some recharging" as something that a machine would use to recharge. We use these references from the social body to nature, society, and culture. For the political body, its power rests in the ability to regulate the social body. Later on in class, but shortly before lunch, she played a video of the !Kung (a San people who live in the deserts of Kalahari) performing their healing routine, which is through super intense dancing and singing. I learned of a new culture and their own belief that these medicine dances lie in all of the !Kung, and often manifests itself in sweat. 

Lunch came and passed by pretty quick actually. I felt really hungry (for once) and ate a plateful of fries and fried shrimp, with a side of Oreo rice krispies and coca-cola for soda. The cohort sat together again along with some new friendly faces from Pennsylvania, who also has a scholarship program provided for those who are accepted to the Ivy Leagues. We told them a little bit more about the ILC and the whole process with the essays and interviews, along with all of the other events that contribute to this amazing opportunity. I also brought up a joke that I saw on one of the guy's shirt in my Arete class that read "I never trust atoms because they make up everything" and I started cracking up. The guy ended up looking at me weird, but once I explained to him about how hilarious I thought his shirt was, he was more understanding. The others at the table, however, did not think that the joke was so funny, but thought that it was funny that I had found the joke hysterical. 

When we finished with lunch and started walking back with Zach, I told him about the joke too, and no one seems to really find the joke that funny. I might just have a unique sense of humor. Class started out with the whole class planning a flash mob on the last day of school, with the star Ms. Talley (our professor) in the middle of it, and learning how to do a dance move. Ms. Talley went over a few of the terms again and then showed us a clip of organ trafficking that happens really common in Europe. I had already watched a similar video from one of my classes at school, so I felt like I had a way better understanding of kidney transplants with the people who sell their organs for money. This topic was spurred up with the question that my professor posed to the class: "How do you guys feel about health care? Should it be a human right?". I was the first to raise my hand and elaborate on the topic. I remembered that I had a very intense debate tournament over healthcare from before, so I tried to incorporate as much information that I had from those rounds while also expressing the way that I felt about it. I thought that it should be a human right because health care makes some situations unfair based off of the wealth status of the person. However, it would not be really feasible for every single person to have it as a right because medical centers and professionals do work for money, so by making it a right, that money would be lost somehow. This discussion then led on for a long part of class so Ms. Talley ended it off with talks about society and judgement. The class went on a break before study hall started and we were actually handed some packeted printed copies of the book, "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down", that we were supposed to receive sooner, but we will get them tomorrow. 

I read with Hummd at the same location that I was at yesterday, by the windows. We got really into the book so we lost track of time. Hummd can read at an amazing speed (she literally had only 2 more pages to go before the end) and I only got half of what she read, out of 59 pages. If you can get your hands on this book, I would definitely recommend for it to be read because it starts out with an amazing hook that is just unbelievable, and gradually throughout the next few chapters, it is like the book follows their life. I do not want to spoil anything so I will keep it short and to the point, it is focused around Hmong culture, especially on child birth and what happens afterwards. There is also a comparison of Hmong culture to American culture, where the differences can truly be seen and even felt, in a way. 

After study hall was (you guessed it!), our Arete class. Finally, I was able to put on the equipment and actually do the real thing. I really underestimated this sport, for when I was first introduced to the class, I was inspired to try and start a fencing club at my school. Then, I realized today, how hard it actually is to learn as a beginner. With everything, it takes a lot of practice, but one session from today was enough for me to know that I was not meant for fencing. Fencing is still really fun to me though, but I do not think that it is a profession that I would go into towards the future. 

Just because I was not physically successful in the practice, does not mean that I was not going to get a picture of me in the process! My partner was practicing the fencing moves with me the whole time, but we also had a few minutes of a break because it was really tiring. What I find funny also is that her name is Kathy! So we were basically Kathy's squared (since a majority of people also call me Kathy for short). It took a few strikes and reposts here and there until it was time for dinner. I was not really hungry, so I got as little food as I can (to prevent wasting) and gave some to others who were still hungry after eating their meals. 

Finally, the most exciting and interesting part of the day (for me) was the admissions process meeting. Everyone was walked over to Wyatt Hall to meet about 1/3rd of the admission officers. There were at least 10 who were there, and the one who is assigned to recruit from California was also there! Unfortunately, I was not able to talk with her, but I do intend on emailing her in the near future for any questions. The officers had a plan for us to split into a few groups with two officers in each to go over the activity of where all of the students were given a case study to decide between 3 applicants, who to admit, waitlist, and decline. I was given a bigger idea of how everything worked once we got into the applications and the ultimate decision between the applicants. Like one of the applicants, I had a low SAT score (compared to others at this summer academy, but higher compared to my school average) but good and consistent grades, and I have come to realize that standardized testing does not define who I am as a person as a whole. If I come off as a well-rounded person to the admission officers from my applications, then they will take my scores into consideration with the extra-curricular activities that I am involved in with my school. The applicant that I was most similar to was chosen for admission at the university. The overall admissions meeting really instilled the confidence in myself for my performance, and that I probably should not let others and their scores get to me by constantly comparing them. 

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