I cannot believe that I only have three more semesters left of my undergraduate studies! It seems like time has flown by so fast and it was just yesterday that I was starting freshman year. Unfortunately, these three semesters are not going to be easy, as indicated by my classes right now, and I am going to push hard all the way to the end, especially because I am interested in going on to graduate school.
I had a great winter break, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time off as you can see below. However, it’s back to school and I have to get back into the swing of things again.
This semester, I am taking 5 classes. 4 of them are engineering classes and 1 of them is a general education class. So far, the content of each class seems very interesting, and I am really looking forward to my CHE 444a class in particular, because it is a laboratory class within the chemical engineering department. So far, I have just been taking lecture-style classes in the chemical engineering department, and outside of my research lab that I work in, I really have not been doing much engineering. Taking a science class, like physics or chemistry, with a lab portion, is one thing, but actually doing engineering is something completely different. I am really looking forward to getting my hands dirty with some real chemical engineering classes.
Spending so much time in engineering classes is interesting, but it can be interesting to break it up with some non-engineering classes. My general education class that I am taking this semester is AMST 301 – America, the Frontier, and the New West. So far, we have been discussing the frontier and American expansion during the 1800’s and how to define the culture of this movement. I have always enjoyed American history, and I often romanticize what it would have been like to be a cowboy back in the 1860’s, so this class really captures my interest. We even watched a clip of How the West Was Won in class, which was awesome. I am looking forward to learning more about this important time period.
Another class I am taking is CHE 476 – Chemical Engineering Materials. Unlike other chemical engineering classes I have taken, this class does not seem so focused on equations and problem solving, but more on learning about the properties and uses of metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, and other materials. We have been discussing how certain kinds of materials are useful for specific processes, because of their microstructure. I am finding it interesting and a nice change of pace.
My classes are very interesting, and take up most of my time studying. However, I do enjoy the time I get outside of classes with different extra-curricular activities. I was voted by the trombone section in the marching band to be section leader another year, so I am really looking forward to improving upon what we accomplished this past season, and becoming an even closer section. Also, I am really looking forward to some amazing performances coming up. This Friday, I am going with the band to California Adventure where we will be playing for Yamaha’s 125th anniversary. Other performers at the event will include Earth, Wind, and Fire and Elton John! I am so glad that I have the opportunity to be a part of events like this. Look for a blog about the event next Wednesday!
Another extra-curricular activity that I am involved in is my research lab. This semester, I am taking a larger role in the lab and taking on more responsibility. It will be nice to be more active in the research project and to be learning more about what is going on.
This semester is going to be difficult and a challenge, but I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty in my chemical engineering lab class and doing some fun things in the marching band. Also, this spring, I am going to be working my butt off to try and get an internship for the summer. It is extremely difficult, so wish me luck!