- May 5th, 2010
Dang...almost one year since my last update! I don't even use twitter, nor do I log onto facebook anymore, so really I haven't reported any of my activities publicly.
Since my last updated, I'm officially an UMBC student, majoring in Biological Science! This involves driving for about 100 miles per day, 5 times a week, some sort of rush hour traffic everyday. Surprisingly I'm not as tired as I thought...it simply became a routine I have to do, and I don't complain much, except for the gas price. Student body is generally a lot younger than me, mentally I felt like I was a bit of an outcast, especially I am a transfer student who didn't know anymore. Funny thing is, I dress so young, no one can really tell I'm that much older, even though I feel like I can be their aunt haha.
My impression of the school compare to UMCP: a lot smaller, buildings more modern without the traditional college look, higher percentage of asian seen thus far, less obnoxious people thus far, students seemed to display less school spirits, worse parking (yes, worse), nicer professors, major bee problem!
While I was excited about attending the new school and get on with my academic career, I miss the exterior design of the buildings at UMCP - the traditional college campus buildings with pillars at the front. While parking lots might be closer to the buildings, during the beginning of the semester (maybe first 2 months), I believe there were not enough parkings for all the students. In many instances I had to pay parking meter because I cannot find a spot anywhere. Parking situation eased a little towards the end of semester because students would drop classes and leave campus earlier, resulting in more available parking spots. Would I rather walk far than have to pay extra? Yea probably. Although to be fair, UMCP students have to pay for a parking permit, while UMBC students don't. Besides the obvious (higher asian populations - everywhere I go I would see asians), I also noticed students don't wear as many collegiate outfit. When I was in UMCP, A LOT of students would wear clothings spotting "MARYLAND" or "TERPS" or the terrapin logo. This is not the case at UMBC. In fact, I've seen students wearing UMCP gear, or sweaters/t-shirts from other school. Another problem I have with the school is that near the entrances to the Engineering Building have crazy amount of bees flying around when the temperature got warm. I was so scared I had to make detour and enter from a less bee-infested entrance. One thing I love about this school is the teaching quality. I never took a biology course over at UMCP, but I personally feel that the professors from this school (at least the one who I happened to have) are amazing! They seem to be more passionate about teaching, from including their own research experience during lecture, or ensuring students understood the material (periodically check if students had questions). Their attitude towards students are a lot different from many of the engineering professors I had. UMBC professors are equally bright (eg my genetics professor received his PHD from Havard and post doc at Stanford, or the professor I'm working under was a Johns Hopkins med school graduate), but they are surely better appreciated by their UMBC students.
I'm doing ok in the classes thus far, consider I do have job(s) to go to. I'm getting borderline A/B grade in genetics, while I believe I have a solid A in evolution/ecology. I also applied to be a TA for BIOL100L lab class, so currently I am assisting a graduate TA and the professor during the lab period. I just signed up to be a TA again next semester. Every little bit helps me at the gas pump! This summer I'll be taking cell biology. Next semester I'll be taking 2 lab courses (genetics lab and cell biology lab), developmental biology, organic chemistry 1, and some random course so remain my full time status.
I am also taking a chemistry 2 class at MC. The professor is the dorkiest guy I ever met! He might seem a little odd to other students (especially his teaching style, which drove 2-3 students to drop the class), but I think he's cool! He really want students to understand the material, while grades his exam with extreme leniency. I have a solid A from the class no doubt!
My last exams plus final exams are coming over the course of the next 2-3 weeks, I guess I wouldn't have time to give another update soon.