Entries tagged with “back” from Hawk Talk - Hai

After looking back upon my first year here at UML, I notice that the school gives a lot back to their students. Almost every week, there is some school sponsored event in the common room of each building where students have a chance to win great prizes. Iíve gone to several of these events, sometimes walking away with a prize. Each time I went, they had us sign in with our names; something I thought was pointless. But , contrary to my belief, putting my name down for each event, was useful.  It turns out, if you signed your name into 4 of the school events you automatically get a free trip to six flags! My friends and I have been to about 6, so we were pleasantly surprised when we found out we could all go to six flags, FOR FREE! Such a great way to end the year, plus I found out that I got my room in Donahue that I wanted, so the end of this year is just turning out better than I could expect! Now all I have to do is survive through finalsÖ

-Hai

New Semester!

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Spring semester has already started, and my classes have been great so far. Although I am still an undeclared business major, I am taking classes more focused on the science area. I decided that I would see how I feel about a science focused schedule before completely switching to engineering. Some of my friends already know what profession they want to pursue, but, at the moment, I am not 100% sure what career field I want to go into. Itís a good thing its still early in my college career, but hopefully Iíll be able to decide soon.  I was somewhat worried about still being unsured and undeclared, but some of my older friends have told me that itís ok to still be undecided for the first couple years and that everythign will work out.

So far, I like my classes and my schedule. Some of my classes are kind of boring, but still endurable.  I would have to say that my favorite class at the moment is College Writing II, but thatís only because of the teacher. My professor, Carl Mason, has a very good sense of humor, which makes it very easy for students to open up in class. He also doesnít make students buy books for the class; instead, he makes photocopies of the reading required. He thinks that the bookstore robs the students with their buy back system, which is a common thought amongst my fellow classmates.

Speaking of books, I recommend Amazon.com or any similar website. The bookstore does have everything you need, but they will buy your books back very cheap. I know a friend of mine that told me today he had bought 12 books for around $450, and when he sold them back, he only got $90 back. Even from personal experience, I bought a book 1st semester for $200, brand new in the shrink wrap. Since all of my friends were in that class with me, I never even opened the book, but rather used their books for homework and classwork. When I sold it back to the bookstore at the end of the semester, it was still in the shrink wrap and never opened, but I only got $50 back for it. This semester itís still on sale for $200, and someone probably bought the one I sold back for $140 more than I got for it. I was able to buy my books this semester for hundreds less than I would have if I bought it through the bookstore, and if I treat them well, I can probably sell them via amazon for around the same price I originally bought them for.

Well thatís all I have to say for today! Till next time,

-Hai

Vacation Update!

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This break so far has been great and a lot of fun, but I am dying to go back to school! I've tried occupying myself with various vacation projects, but it doesn't beat the school life.


The one thing I dislike most about Umass Lowell is the distance from my house. I know there are others who live much further away than I do, but it's still one of my number one complaints. Most of my friends are from the north shore area, so have a better chance of knowing other classmates either from sports or mutual friends. It wasn't difficult for me to make new friends, but many others already had head starts. Also, on numerous occasions, my friends will meet to catch up on each other's lives at a local restaurant or home. While it'll take them 5-10 minutes to travel, it will take me 1-2 hours without snow or traffic! It only bugs me since I have to pay for gas, but it's a manageable obstacle for me. So far, I've met up with my college friends a couple times to discuss the latest news, and just recently had to sleepover because of the horrific weather conditions.


I've already worked a couple days at my new store, and it is definitely different from my old store. Although the names and merchandise are exactly the same, I will only see around 5 customers on average at my new store, compared to the thousands I used to see at my old store. Because of the huge decrease in customers, the workload isn't as great, but most of the shift, I'll stand around trying to find something to keep myself occupied. Overall though, I do like my new store more than my old one. I've gotten numerous phone calls from managers and associates trying to ask me to come back, and I do miss all my co-workers, but I would rather stay with my new store. Since there aren't as many customers and isn't as big of a store, the overall cleanliness is better and I'm not asked to stay till ridiculous hours, like 4 in the morning!


One vacation project I would like to share is converting to Linux. If your not familiar with the Linux operating system, imagine Windows and Mac, and how they're both computers but different environments. Linux is another computing environment popular to programmers and web servers since it's almost impossible to get a virus on it. It's been known to many as the more technical environment to many, but I have found it just as easy to operate as Windows and Mac. The current ďversionĒ of Linux that I am using is called Ubuntu, a very popular Linux version that is used by bother beginners and experts. So far everything is great, and I may never use Windows again!


That's it for now guys! A little less than two weeks till move in day, and I can't wait! Till next time,

-Hai

Thanksgiving Break Update

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This past Thursday was Thanksgiving, and a time when most, if not all, students go home. The university was open until 5PM and I had class until 3:45PM. Some of the students, such as the athletes, either stayed all break or came back on Friday. I went back home Wednesday night and was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with my entire family.  Midnight on Black Friday, my family has a tradition of visiting the Wrentham Premium Outlets. We left at 10:00PM, and what is usually a 20 minute drive became a 2 and a half hour drive. I was able to get a couple things there, but going so late was definitely not worth it.

One thing that I was able to get at the Wrentham Outlets, was a backpack. Before college, I was wondering what sort of backpack I should carry around; I didnít want something too big or too  small, too nerdy, etc. For the first couple months I was doing just fine with just a drawstring bag provided by the Student Government Association, but I decided that I wanted a regular backpack to look a little more mature and collegiate like. I ended up getting a backpack with enough space for all my books and school supplies, as well as my laptop. Bringing my laptop to class definitely helps with taking notes, since I can type faster than I write freehand.

Another good thing about going home for Thanksgiving was being able to work. Money is very scarce as a college student, and I was very happy when my old store called me up and asked me to work. I ended up working Black Friday during the night, and Saturday. My paycheck is on a biweekly schedule so Iím waiting excitedly for it to arrive.

I came back to the University Sunday November 30th during the day because my intramural hockey team had its first playoff game during the evening. It was a very close game between us, The Shamrocks, and the opposing team, Couple Beers No Beers, but we ended up winning 7 to 6. I was recently informed that the team which wins the entire playoffs will play the intramural champions from Merrimack. Winning the entire playoffs is kind of a stretch, but hopefully weíll be able to do it. Our next game is December 9th against one of the best intramural teams, Team Compete.

Thatís it for my Thanksgiving update! Time to study for finals!

-Hai

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