It’s crazy to think how fast this semester flew by—I travelled to three away games, attended my cousins wedding, continued to explore Los Angeles with my friends, and balanced a full course load of engineering classes.  Now that I’ve been home for a week, caught up on sleep and lots of good food, I’ve realized just how exhausting the final weeks have been.

My roommate and I decorated our door for the holidays with lots of pink and lights!

I drove up to Northern California for a quick Thanksgiving then came back for the big USC-UCLA game where USC won 50-0!  After Thanksgiving break, we had our final week of classes, which was full of many projects and problem sets.  My BME Senior Design class culminated with the presentation and final paper of our semester-long project, where my group designed a bike trainer system to monitor heart rate, respiratory rate and muscle activity using EMG sensors to detect slow twitch vs. fast twitch muscle fiber activity by analyzing the different frequency ranges of our power spectrum.

Our final BME Senior Design Project

Needless to say, when the week was over, I was excited for Friday when my sorority hosted its final invite of the semester! The theme was Barbie and Ken, so while some went with the more traditional approach of high heels, my date Ryan and I decided to be fun and comfortable in onesies pajamas!

Onesies for invite!

And then it was finals weeks—the way that finals work at USC is generally as follows.  Classes for the semester end on a Friday and then final exams run from Wednesday to the next Wednesday.  For the most part I really like this format because students get the first few days off with no classes so that they can study and prepare for their finals.  This year, the majority of my finals fell on the last two days (Tuesday and Wednesday), so I was still studying for my last three finals and project (all within 30 hours of each other) after some of my friends were already home and enjoying Winter Break!

I did however survive all my finals and am happy to be at home for break, where I’ve spent the days with family and friends at home and in San Francisco.  My family hosts Christmas dinner every year, which will surely add to the fun and chaos of this break then next week I’ll be in Napa for a day and then off to Tahoe for New Years–cross your fingers for snow!

The huge Christmas Tree at Union Square in San Francisco

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! Be back in 2012!




Claire, Class of 2012