Skip to content


Exploring, creating, & reflecting one day at a time

I’m currently sitting at Gate 20 in the international terminal at SFO, following a hectic week of mostly things to be thankful for.

I finished my “dead” week with little juice, having turned in 4 projects during that time span.  One of them received, an A+ though, an accomplishment I definitely never thought I would achieve at Berkeley, and especially not in my senior project class. If you still haven’t seen the toaster project my group and I made, you can check it out here. It’s pretty sweet in general, and it’s also a really indescribably great feeling to watch the video knowing how many hours were put into cutting, milling, drilling, and sanding the machine together (I was on the hardware team). I don’t know if I could’ve taken another 8:00 AM machine shop session in the bowels of Etcheverry, though it was nice talking to Mick and Gordon, the guys who work there, about their lives.

I had 2 finals last week, both in my MSE classes.  Both were sort of “meh” finals, as in I had no idea how I really did on either of them.  In MSE 103, the class from hell with 3 problem sets per week and a non-curved grading system, the average score ended up being around a 60%–yikes.  But our professor liked us and felt we put in enough effort to not give us all C’s like he did last semester, so I got a B, which means I won’t be retaking it (hallelujah!). My professor’s record for failing a single student is 4 times. FOUR TIMES. I’m so happy just to be done.

So I’m waiting for 2 more grades (I got an A in my 4 unit grad class!!), but frankly I don’t think my grades in either class could make me feel very bad right now.  I had the most amazing weekend with the greatest friends, and I’m a half a day away from seeing another.  Sam came up on Thursday night to accompany me to a Death Cab concert at the Fox and then ride these ridiculous electric scooters around Berkeley the next day.  He left the next day for an interview, but was followed by Brett, Ali, and Ian. They stayed for 2 nights and I had the best post-finals weekend of my college career.  I realized that because I’ve always had finals on the last day of finals week (c’est la vie d’un ingénieur), I’ve always just wanted to sleep through the weekend while most people were celebrating.  Fall semester of this year was the absolute worst. Thinking about the fact that I had to take 5 finals in 5 days still makes me cringe, despite the fact that the outcome of that semester was alright.  This year, though, since I finished my finals on Wednesday, I had a night to recuperate (sort of), and then the next day it was beautiful and I was done and ready to celebrate with my friends.

Aside from all that goodness, my uncle, who was in a coma for 10 days during the last week of classes and into dead week, woke up! And he seems to be “all there” from what the doctors can tell, even retaining his Chinese and English comprehension.  It’s truly a miracle and something to be incredibly grateful for.  I think all these great things that happened to me in the past week were more than enough to outweigh the fact that I found someone hit and ran my car (okay sorry for the terrible grammar there but I didn’t know how to phrase it and you know what I mean).  I was hardly fazed which, as most who know me can attest, is highly uncharacteristic of me.

But back to the current situation: I’m waiting for my flight to Lyon. Well, Zurich and then Lyon.  I cannot believe I haven’t seen Brianne in a year; it’s absolutely mind boggling.  It was a really nice surprise seeing Josh this weekend at a party in Berkeley, though, and talking about Bri got me really excited for this trip.

Though the weather in Lyon and especially Berlin isn’t supposed to be that great, I’m excited to get out of Berkeley.  I feel like I’ve been shackled to it for a little too long and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little bit jealous of my graduating friends.  That being said, I think after this trip and after spending several weeks on a vineyard making wine and olive oil I will come back with a fresh outlook on school. That, and I’m pretty much done with all my senior classes (I think the struggle this year was worth it..) so I will be taking a lot of electives and classes outside of engineering for the first time in a long time (yoga, anybody?).  That was really the motivation behind this trip–renewing my determination to do well in school while not feeling utterly burnt out.  12 technical classes in 10 months is no easy feat, my friends.  I know I did it to myself, but I still couldn’t help but reward myself a little bit for the extended effort.

When I get back, I will be making back the money I’ll be spending on this trip by working at CCHC again. This year I’ll be teaching a high school lit class designed to motivate high schoolers to become fans of English and I’ll be teaching another SAT english class.  I’m pretty excited for the writing program, but also a bit nervous that I will be the one responsible for ruining some kid’s perspective on English literature. I guess that anxiety comes with the territory, but the negative consequences tied to teaching this class somehow bother me more than those tied to teaching an SAT class or editing personal statements.  It sounds weird as I type it, but I guess it’s because if you don’t have a love or at least an appreciation for English in general, you’re screwed for those other two things anyway.  Anything I try to do for the kids in the latter two classes is just supplemental at that point.  The lit class will hopefully be building a foundation.

Well that was more than enough rambling.  I’m quite excited for my trip and will be posting at least somewhat frequently (with pictures!). Keep up if you’d like.


%d bloggers like this: