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Pi the Pumpkin, Colby College’s Newest Student

On Saturday, a very important event took place. Pi the Pumpkin was born. It started off as a normal day; I woke up, went to the gym, ate breakfast in Dana, and then went over to the Spa to do some work and learn my lines for R.U.R. Around 2, my friend Adrienne texted me and asked if I wanted to go carve a pumpkin behind Bobs. This sounded like the greatest idea ever, so I zipped over to Bobs to find dozens of pumpkins waiting to be carved and painted. I had thought that going off to college meant my pumpkin carving days were over, but boy was I wrong.

So, carefully, daintily, I picked out the perfect pumpkin that would later become, the one, the only, Pi the Pumpkin. Pi didn’t take long to carve because of his naturally small features. He’s small but mighty (at least that’s what his friends say). Lo and behold, after just 20 minutes, Pi the Pumpkin was born.

Pi decided to apply to Colby early decision. Since he was the first pumpkin child to ever apply to Colby, they admitted him on the spot. Pi is psyched to be Colby College’s newest student.

Pi is very studious and loves to read. He is considering majoring in English and minoring in Creative Writing. He wants to be a mentor for Colby Cares About Kids, write for the Colby Echo and join the Colby Outing Club because Pi loves being outside!

Pi was so excited when he moved into his new dorm, Foss! His first night eating in the Foss dining hall, there was a Gyro Bar, and Pi especially loves Greek food, so he was very happy. They also had pumpkin cheesecake for dessert… Pi opted out of trying any since he says he doesn’t support cannibalism.

Here is Pi sitting in the Spa, contemplating life. Pi agrees that the music in the Spa is always spot on.

Pi needed a picture to put on his ColbyCard, so he took this selfie while rolling around in the fall leaves.

Here is Pi in front of the arch of Lovejoy, where he goes for his Spanish class.

Pi’s first visit to the beautiful Lorimer Chapel.

Best friends/Foss roomies :)

About Katie

I’m Katie and I’m from the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. I'm a freshman, I live in Foss, and I love Colby! I am currently considering majoring in Spanish or psychology (or both). Some of my favorite things include: acting, singing, playing the piano, writing, fuzzy socks, chai lattes, lying in the grass, Broadway show tunes, Jane Austen, hedgehogs, TedTalks, baby animals, Gilmore Girls reruns, blue Freeze Pops, the ocean, and hugs. I’m so excited to continue my adventures here at Colby and share them with you all.
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El Miedo de Spanish

When I entered Spanish 128 on the first day of classes, I was ready. It had been a year since I had spoken Spanish formally, but I loved the language. Everything about it was beautiful and fascinating, from the rolling of the r’s to the culture that came with it. I have always enjoyed learning and speaking multiple languages, so this was right up my alley. As we began conversing casually about the usual “what have you done this summer,” I realized I was rusty. When you become fluent in a language, you begin to think in that language. Your mind is not translating English sentences to Spanish ones, but Spanish phrases come naturally. At the end of senior year, after I had been taking Spanish for 6 years in a row, I was at this level. However, within a year, it had slipped away.

I was beyond nervous speaking to others in Spanish. My words slurred and stumbled over each other and I constantly had to pause to think of the Spanish equivalent for what I wanted to say. It made conversations very choppy. Then, I heard everyone else talk. They spoke beautifully, articulating their words smoothly and thinking on their feet. Even their American accent (yes you have an American accent) was minor. This created even more fear inside my bones of speaking Spanish. I felt extremely conscious of all of my mistakes. Then I met Betty.

Betty Sasaki is my professor, and she is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. She makes sure to articulate her words so we can understand them better and always shows up with a smile (even when she’s sick). Whenever we discuss the readings in class, she brings so much enthusiasm to the topic, which pumps you up and makes you feel even more interested in the characters. She listens carefully to what each student says and provides positive, encouraging feedback. I never feel afraid to speak Spanish, because she responds so happily and reaffirms what you say. I cannot imagine a better Spanish teacher. Betty creates an environment where not only do you feel free to speak Spanish even if you mess up, but you want to.

(Below find some more of my Feelings of Fall photos from on campus!)

 

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am now a sophomore in AMS (sweetest dorm on campus) still ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Recently I have decided on majoring in Computer Science and Global Studies. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, and a smile.
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The Pitfalls of Buying Used Books

“That ending was a little weird, wasn’t it?” I asked my classmate before class began.

“Oh, I really liked it. Everything came together really neatly.”

“Really? I had the opposite reaction. It seemed so abrupt, and she never tells us who the woman is at the beginning of the book.”

“Um, I’m pretty sure she does.”

And so it was that I realized that my version of The Circle of Karma was missing the last thirty pages. As you might guess from the title, the book’s structure mirrors the central theme of karmic cycles, having the protagonist go on very long pilgrimages in various forms before finally returning back to the home where she began. The novel even ends with the words “the circle of karma,” making the metaphor very explicit.

In my version, it ends with the protagonist a hundred miles from home hearing the news that a minor character has died. The last sentence is “Surprising that you didn’t hear of it…”–ellipses and all. I was wracking my brain about what significance the minor character held that would make his death worthy of ending the book, and I had indeed come up with a fairly convincing analysis. I’m sure my brother would use this as evidence of the inauthenticity of literary criticism as an intellectual exercise, given that I could analyze what the author never intended, but I would say that the opposite is true: I could tell that the ending was unusual given the structure of the novel.

It got me thinking about which book would be the worst to have end thirty pages prematurely. After getting past the usual suspects of murder mysteries and love triangles, I settled on A Tale of Two Cities. The ending of that was so good that it made the whole thing worth it. I’d highly recommend it, even if your high school took it out of its curriculum as mine did–the year after I had had to read it.

About Catherine

Hi. My name is Catherine and I'm a sophomore English major, currently enjoying my first year at Colby. I was born and raised in Berwick, Maine, an exotic little town near the New Hampshire border. I am involved in Let's Get Ready, which provides free SAT prep for local high school students, and Inklings Magazine, which is a literary journal here at Colby. Like all English majors, I enjoy reading and writing, and Virginia Woolf. A hobby more specific to myself is that every Christmas I spend far too much time making elaborate snowflakes. It is a very seasonal form of artistic expression, but it is also, unfortunately, the only one in which I have any talent. Thanks for reading.
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Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!

There are few things more appreciated than a bright and sunny afternoon after a week of horrendous downpours. Thank you, Helius, for finally pulling out your chariot today. If you’d like to do that more often, I can promise no one will begrudge you for it.

This is a view from Johnson Pond, where I spent a good couple of hours essentially sunbathing, trying to soak up as much sun as much as I can before winter. It was such an idyllic afternoon that I’m having trouble avoiding clichés in my description. Suffice it to say, it was lovely.

In other news, my friends and I went to Party City this morning to pick out Halloween costumes. I decided to be a rainbow, for which I bought all sorts of rainbow paraphernalia: gloves, hat, tights, face tattoo, and hair extensions. I found this costume very apropos due to the theme of the weekend: the relenting storm. My friends are being Mickie Mouse, a baseball player, Spiderman, and a character from Top Gun whose name I forget, having never seen the movie. Once we watch The Nightmare Before Christmas, we’ll be all set for Halloween.

Another of the highlights of my already highlight-filled day was this banana pudding I got at Bob’s dining hall:

 

Just look at it. It’s a thing of beauty. Because I eat dessert far more often than normal people, I like to play off my bad habit as preparation for a lifelong dessert connoisseurship. By my developing standards, this was one of the best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Catherine

Hi. My name is Catherine and I'm a sophomore English major, currently enjoying my first year at Colby. I was born and raised in Berwick, Maine, an exotic little town near the New Hampshire border. I am involved in Let's Get Ready, which provides free SAT prep for local high school students, and Inklings Magazine, which is a literary journal here at Colby. Like all English majors, I enjoy reading and writing, and Virginia Woolf. A hobby more specific to myself is that every Christmas I spend far too much time making elaborate snowflakes. It is a very seasonal form of artistic expression, but it is also, unfortunately, the only one in which I have any talent. Thanks for reading.
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Thai, Ice Cream, and Ballroom Dancing

As this week comes to an end, a lot of my stress has gone down (temporarily, of course). I’ve learned that college is a never-ending cycle of new work and assignments, but that’s okay. It’s all about getting things done piece by piece, and not getting overwhelmed by the bigger picture.

Thursday night was a very fun night as me and my friends decided to order Thai food takeout before going to Ballroom Dance club. The nice delivery man came all the way in the rain to the common room of Perkins Wilson (or Pewi, as some call it) where my friend Isabel lives, and then we all proceeded to stuff our faces with delicious Pad Thai, chicken lo mein, cashew chicken, rice, coconut soup, and lots of other things which I am blanking on at the moment. After having our Thai feast, we realized that we still had a bit of time before Ballroom, so we quickly made our way over to Dana and used our dinner swipes to get some ice cream for dessert.

The ice cream in the dining halls is always delicious, and the flavors rotate every day. Some of my personal favorites are Moose Tracks, Deer Tracks (basically any of your Tracks ice creams are always a good choice), Vanilla Grape Nut, Pumpkin, and S’mores ice cream. It’s always pretty hard to resist the ice cream in the dining halls, and my roommate Hannah once shared with me the concept of breakfast milkshakes, which means getting very creative and making a milkshake in the dining hall at breakfast… I have yet to try a breakfast milkshake, but perhaps at some point in my 4 years here at Colby it’ll happen.

So anyway, after our ice cream run in Dana we rushed over to the Bobby Silberman lounge where the magic of Colby Ballroom Dance happens. I am not really a dancer, but in Colby Ballroom, that’s okay! Lot’s of non-dancers attend the Thursday night dance classes. Our instructor, Bruce, is a seasoned ballroom dancer, and he breaks down all of the steps so that virtually anyone can learn. Each week, the group collectively decides on which type of ballroom dance we want to learn. This week we did tango and it was a blast. To give you an idea, in the past we’ve done swing, cha-cha, salsa, waltz, and a few others. Going to Ballroom on Thursdays is always one of the highlights of my weeks, as it has been a great way to meet new people. When we learn the dances, the girls rotate around and dance with each of the guys so that we get to know everyone. While the nature of Ballroom Dance is sometimes a little bit sexist, I’ve had a great experience learning ballroom so far this year.

I think one of the most important things for incoming college students to know is that your expectations of what college will be like will most likely be very different from the reality. When I got here in August, I had a very clear picture in my head of what I thought my life here would be like. I thought I knew exactly what clubs I would be in, what types of people I would be friends with, and what activities would make up my every day life. However, I’ve found that my life right now is quite different from what I expected, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s a wonderful thing. I am doing things right now, like learning ballroom dance, for instance, that I never thought I would be doing in college. By being open to change and trying new things when opportunities come my way, I have already grown so much as a Colby student.

Friends and Thai food :)

The only thing you need for Ballroom Dance at Colby: fun socks to dance in!

Colby Colby Colby, still wet and rainy, but still beautiful as usual.

I have become a bit obsessed with the homemade peanut butter that they make fresh in Foss every day. It is perfectly crunchy and thick and nutty, and making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on fresh toasted bread is always a treat.

“About That Elephant”, a slam poetry show on Friday night! It was incredibly eye-opening, humbling and inspiring… a beautiful performance.

 

About Katie

I’m Katie and I’m from the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. I'm a freshman, I live in Foss, and I love Colby! I am currently considering majoring in Spanish or psychology (or both). Some of my favorite things include: acting, singing, playing the piano, writing, fuzzy socks, chai lattes, lying in the grass, Broadway show tunes, Jane Austen, hedgehogs, TedTalks, baby animals, Gilmore Girls reruns, blue Freeze Pops, the ocean, and hugs. I’m so excited to continue my adventures here at Colby and share them with you all.
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Let’s Eat!….with 6 Strangers

One day, I was standing in line waiting for food in Dana. That’s how stories always start, isn’t it?…..with food. As I always do, I started up conversation with the girl in front of me, remarking on whether it was worth it to stay in line or not. Randomly conversing with a stranger is often met with two responses: either the person is friendly and we continue the discussion, or the person looks around as if wondering, why me?, gives me a ridiculous look, and ignores me. Luckily, the girl was friendly and we enjoyed our small time in line together. She was a freshman and we parted ways afterwards. I know these moments seem small, but they are the foundation to building a friendship. I realized that I really enjoy talking to freshmen, because they are always so open to talking to new people. Then it hit me, how come freshmen are the only ones being super friendly? Why is it so hard to start up conversation with someone? Why do we confine ourselves to our friend bubbles?

Although Colby is a relatively compact campus consisting of a small population of students, it never feels that way. There are always people you don’t know and can learn something new from. Last night, Colby put together an event in order to get people out of their set friend groups to engage with other students and alumni. I attended the Dinner with 6 Strangers in order to get to know new people, because I really like to talk to people. To start off, the food was amazing. Sodexo prepared a special meal for us that was exquisite. On the menu was a salad with a cranberry vinaigrette and pear slices, breaded chicken with apricots and rice pilaf, and pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. Mmmmmm heavenly.

Although food is very important, the dinner was all about the people and the conversations that arose. I sat at a table with an ’09 alumni who works at the Career Center now, a freshman, two seniors, and two juniors. It was really interesting hearing from such a wide range of class years how their time at Colby has been. I loved hearing stories about their day, their study abroad excursions, their five-year Colby reunions, and their first experiences with such a grand campus. There were some awkward moments, but most of the time we were just talking about our lives and I laughed a lot, which is always a good sign. From this you really get to understand how involved and diverse Colby is for such a small campus. There are people interested in so many things and getting involved in some way. At the end, everyone concluded that every single person has a story to tell, whether you have been through some drastic change or not. Everyone has a story and if you are willing to listen, you can learn a lot.

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am now a sophomore in AMS (sweetest dorm on campus) still ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Recently I have decided on majoring in Computer Science and Global Studies. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, and a smile.
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Rain, Rain, Go Away

I usually really like the rain. One day this summer, I had just finished buying groceries and it was pouring rain; there was a huge mob of shoppers standing by the sliding doors waiting for the rain to stop before going to their cars. I, on the other hand, didn’t want to let the rain slow me down, so I indulgently leaped across the parking lot, grocery bags in hand, getting a good healthy soaking on the way to my car. People stared at me like I was crazy, but I didn’t care. To me, the rain was poetic and natural and beautiful. I was happy to run in the rain.

Well, this week in particular I find my present-day-self laughing sardonically at my old rain-loving-self. It’s been miserably rainy and cold for the past few days, and according to my iPhone, this cold and rainy mix will continue for four more days… YAY. But forgive me. My negativity is uncalled for, I know. Like a slight breeze to a flame, my hatred of this rainy weather is only heightened by my increasing levels of stress as I chip away at the mountain of work I have to get done this week.

Papers, presentations, reading, reading, reading, midterms… the list goes on. But don’t worry, I won’t bore you with all the gory details.

Negative energy is contagious, and freezing cold rain stirs up a lot of that type of energy in the air. Our moods are often contingent upon the weather. Sun = happy. Rain = sad. I also know that me writing about the rain and about having a lot of work just makes my readers more stressed out, so now I will turn this into a happy post! I like putting pictures in my posts because it reminds me of picture books, and picture books are fun to read. So, let me tell you about some things I’ve done this week, picture book style:

1. I took this really cheesy selfie with my parents and my brother Nick during Family Homecoming Weekend this past Saturday.

2. I hibernated in the Bixler Music Library (one of my favorite places to study!) writing my Latin American history paper. This picture shows a little room in Bixler where you can sit and do work. The couches are slightly too comfortable… I tend to fall asleep on occasion.

3. I ate Honey Nut Cheerios for lunch at Bobs because I love Honey Nut Cheerios and Bobs is the only dining hall that has them (Dana just has plain Cheerios…it’s just not the same)!

4. Tessa ate strawberry ice cream in Foss and I documented the event.

5. I took a picture of the rainy sidewalk up to Diamond.

6. I rehearsed for the play that I am in with Powder and Wig. It’s called R.U.R., and it’s about robots taking over the world (I am a scientist in the play, not a robot).

7. I went to the gym (yay me!).

8. I drank a Chai Latte at 11 p.m. without realizing it had caffeine in it. Let’s just say, me + caffeine (at any time of the day, let alone 11 at night) is not a good combination.

9. I practiced my singing and my piano (two of my loves).

10. I spoke lots of Spanish and sang lots of Spanish at rehearsals for the World Vision Song Contest. Look out French, German, Italian, Chinese, Russian, and any other languages I’m forgetting… the Spanish team this year is looking good!

11. I laughed a lot with my friends.

12. I RAN THROUGH THE RAIN!!!

^ You know, looking back on it, this week hasn’t been all that bad. I do like to run through the rain. I’ve noticed that a lot of my fellow Mules like it too… or maybe the just run out of necessity. Mules love running (I just made that up. Gotta study up on my Mule facts, right after I finish all of my homework). Hooray for a rainy week. I think that me and Rain can be friends again… maybe.

For the record, selfies make me slightly nervous because I tend to drop my phone when trying to take them (yeah, I’m a cool college kid, I know), so this was a risky move in the rain. #daredevil #isacrificedmydignityforthisblogpost

About Katie

I’m Katie and I’m from the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. I'm a freshman, I live in Foss, and I love Colby! I am currently considering majoring in Spanish or psychology (or both). Some of my favorite things include: acting, singing, playing the piano, writing, fuzzy socks, chai lattes, lying in the grass, Broadway show tunes, Jane Austen, hedgehogs, TedTalks, baby animals, Gilmore Girls reruns, blue Freeze Pops, the ocean, and hugs. I’m so excited to continue my adventures here at Colby and share them with you all.
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Concert Goings

I never used to be a big concert go-er. There was never anyone that I was interested in enough that I would go through all of the work of buying tickets, driving there, and waiting in line for what could be hours. I also wasn’t willing to spend a lot of money on one fleeting moment. But things change.

Bastille Concert over Fall Break

This past weekend we had our Fall Concert. I really enjoy how Colby hosts a Fall and a Spring concert, because we are able to experience two different types of music (or the same) from the comfort of campus. Last year we had GroupLove in the Fall and Krewella in the Spring and the year before that we had Macklemore in the Spring. As you can see, the Spring ones tend to be more exciting, bigger names. That makes sense though because in the Spring everyone is celebrating the return of warmth, sunshine, the freedom of summer, and the end of the term, and most amazingly, the end of work. So…it’s a big deal.

Spring Concert - Krewella (photo credit: Verge Campus)

This Fall we hosted Chance the Rapper, who frankly, I had no clue who he was. As per usual, I wasn’t planning on attending the concert. Somehow my friends talked me into it and I’m glad they did. Concerts are quite the experience. There is the pushing from side to side, the shoving to the front, the tall people who always happen to be standing in front of you, and the suffocating air thick with sweat. And then, there’s the music and the quiet right before the roar from the crowd as the main performer walks on stage. That is my favorite moment at concerts: the giddy anticipation before the big reveal of seeing the artist/band up-close and in the flesh.

Yes, I was elbowed in the head a few times, my hair was pulled, someone took my hair elastic, and there happened to be a shoe next to me at the end of the concert, but there was also the mutual exhilaration, the swaying, the leaping as we all let go of our worries and enjoyed the music together. In my Social Psychology class, we discussed happiness. I learned that if you think of doing something in terms of the experience you will gain over the money you will spend, you become more willing to do things and have less regrets, and thus are happier. And let me tell you, concerts are quite the experience.

photo credit: Verge Campus

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am now a sophomore in AMS (sweetest dorm on campus) still ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Recently I have decided on majoring in Computer Science and Global Studies. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, and a smile.
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First Midterm of the Year

To the envy of all my non-English major friends, today was my first and only midterm of the year. The classes I’m taking rely solely on essays for assessment, so I haven’t taken a test since last April. And let me tell you, it’s been wonderful. Yes, I may spend three or four times as long writing an essay than I would preparing for an exam, but it’s worth it to forego the stress of a time limit and the regret of not studying that one thing that you wrongly assumed there was no way, none at all, that the professor would ask. In high school I grew used to the stress, but now that I take tests so infrequently, the fear strikes me anew, like a child seeing a horror film for the first time.

The midterm was for my Global Women Writers class, in which we examine the intersection of colonialism and patriarchal hierarchies in the works of women from the Global South. It’s actually a really great class, not half as pretentious as it sounds, although some of the jargon in the articles we read does at times give me pause. Here’s an example from Derek Wright’s article, “Regurgitating Colonialism”:

Much has been said in recent literary theory about patriarchal discourse’s monologic and omniscient voices and its phallogocentric closures that presume to penetrate and possess truth through language. (120)

If “much has been said” about this topic, I shudder to think of the more obscure topics that are discussed in literary theory circles. But I digress.

The exam consisted of placing quotes from the novels we read into their thematic context and then writing three short essays. It was supposed to take 70 minutes, but our generous professor, Professor Roy, whom I admire to an outrageous degree, let us stay for seven more–which was lucky, because I’d started my final essay with two minutes on the clock.

At this point, I have no idea how I did. My ideas were unorganized and my handwriting a frantic scrawl, but there weren’t any unfamiliar topics. I suppose I’ll see how it all balances out. Until then, I’ll just keep my fingers crossed.

About Catherine

Hi. My name is Catherine and I'm a sophomore English major, currently enjoying my first year at Colby. I was born and raised in Berwick, Maine, an exotic little town near the New Hampshire border. I am involved in Let's Get Ready, which provides free SAT prep for local high school students, and Inklings Magazine, which is a literary journal here at Colby. Like all English majors, I enjoy reading and writing, and Virginia Woolf. A hobby more specific to myself is that every Christmas I spend far too much time making elaborate snowflakes. It is a very seasonal form of artistic expression, but it is also, unfortunately, the only one in which I have any talent. Thanks for reading.
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Bad Good Movie Weekend

I really need to get my priorities in order and stop procrastinating on my assignments, But if you happen to suffer from chronic time wasting as I do, here are some things you can do that I did.

What is the Best worst movie out there?

“Troll 2″ was the unanimous decision. I had never seen it before and after watching it I can definitely say it has some very skeptical special effects and surreal plot. We watched the movie in Lovejoy 100, a large lecture hall. The best part of the entire experience had to be right after the movie ended. Someone knocked on the door and in fear of getting int trouble (which there was no reason for) we dashed out the back as quickly as we could all the way back to our dorms. As we sat in my room discussing the movie my roommate barged in complaining why we didn’t open the door when he knocked. We’d ran out without realizing who has knocking. The experience was rather humorous for everyone that was not my roommate.

The following night we had a similar outing. My friends and I watched the Grand Budapest Hotel. The first good movie I had seen in a while. We came prepared this time with brie, crackers, and cheese.

Then judgement day came for me, Sunday. The day I had to do all my work. Spending 8 hours in Miller Library is not a fun day. The only notable thing I did other than study was attend the CCAK (Colby Cares About Kids) mentoring session. CCAK students are paired with a child and the two grow together over the years. An interesting experience I look forward to partaking in. Now if you’ll excuse me it is time to do my literature reading.

About Tanvir

I am a first year student interested in the biological sciences. In addition to being a blogger, I am a research assistant in the biology department and a writer for the Colby Echo. In my free time I play table tennis and billiards. As someone born and raised in New York City, Colby College is a change of pace that I look forward to experience these next four years. My long term goals include completing a novel, becoming a physician and being a professor. My goals may be lofty but your moral support will help me reach them. So, Thanks for reading.
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