Today, I attended the STEM diversity event at the Journalism building. I was not particularly excited to attend this event; I do not feel the most comfortable talking about the ideas of identity politics because I would consider myself to be a priveleged person. In any case, I went to the event so that I could complete the event attendance requirement and also so that I could write this post.

Prior to going to this presentation, I had talked about identity groups in the past. We have all talked about our own identities in one scholars survey class already. But besides that, I had attended a summer program in the past about global studies in which I, along with 60 other students, discussed about how the actions of one group affect the lives of other groups on the macro scale (e.g. how fast fashion culture in the U.S. affects how factory workers in Bangladesh live). So I went into the presentation with a few ideas in my head.

We talked about how there are dominant and minoritized groups, and how these identity groups affect how people would act. It was an interesting presentation and it made me think deeply about how power can influence certain societal groups. I genuinely felt like I learned something from the presentation. I will say, though, that very few people contributed to the conversation. Understandibly, the topic itself was one that can be hard or feel a little awkward to talk about. I myself found it a bit hard to talk about things because I did not want to say something offensive or something dumb which would embarass myself. This led to a lot of awkward, long silences when the presenter asked for audience participation. In fact, nobody volunteered to speak what was written on the slides of the presentation as well. For those, one of my friend and I essentially take up the role of reading the text, which wasn’t very hard to do; I just felt weird that nobody wanted to read out loud.

I understand that I am a priveleged person. I come from an upper-middle class and I am a heterosexual male. On the contrary, my identity as a Japanese-American would make me a minority; however, I would not consider myself as minoritized. I feel comfortable with the Japanese friends I have here at Ohio State and it is nice to have a sense of belonging for one of my identities that is not very represented at this school. For my everyday life, there is not much that I have to think about regarding my identities and that idea is the definition of privelege.

In the STEM field, I feel like that there is little representation for minoritized groups. Even in our scholars group, there is little diversity of races. In my opinion, diversity of ideas is more important than diversity of people; I will concede that having different identity groups will tend to have different experiences growing up and therefore more diverse ideas. I never think that having too much diversity is a bad thing, since discussing our differences in ideas is what makes us move forward socially.

A selfie of myself after the presentation

Half of my face (far right) in a selfie after the presentation

Campus Resource

Rewind it back to Saturday, October 5. I’m feeling a bit sick (it started around Thursday) so I stay in bed until about 3:00 in the afternoon, when I finally move around to eat. The Buckeyes are playing the Michigan State Spartans this evening; naturally, as a ticket holder, I go to the game, and disregarded the slight headache and sore throat I had prior to going to the game. My friends and I arrived to the game late, but nothing of importance really hapened in the game so far. I stayed there until about the beginning of the third quarter, when I started getting chills and began feeling worse. I went back to my room and took some medicine. I ended up sleeping at 10:00 after advice from my floormate telling me to go to bed after being in his room (which was at room temperature) with a winter jacket. I woke up at 1:00 in the morning since I had more than enough sleep in the morning and was not tired at all when I went to bed. Essentially my cold got worse as I tossed and turned in bed for a few hours trying to put myself to sleep as I felt hot and cold at the same time.

The next morning was even worse. My throat got even worse; I was coughing; I had a fever and I felt like I was going to die. So after talking it with my friends, I made an appointment for Monday (Sunday’s appointments were already full). I went after class, and while most of the symptoms went away by that time, I still was a bit under the weather. I talked to a doctor, and she gave me some medicine and I received a piece of paper saying that I went to the Student Health Center. I didn’t use it to get out of classes though, since I already felt good enough to go to class.

Looking back at the experience, I felt like the whole process went very smoothly. I went to the information desk and confirmed that I would be seeing a doctor, I got called, and I left with what I wanted. However, the process would have been a lot harder had I gone when I was at my worst during the cold. My only complaint (which is a nitpick to be honest) is that it is a bit far away, and that CVS is right by Houston so it is far more convenient to go there instead.

In general, Ohio State offers many services to its students. Unfortunately, I believe that most of these services are overlooked by most of the student body as there isn’t much information about them unless they are looked up online. The Student Health Center is a more popular resource, but I’m sure that there are many other services that I and other students could be taking advantage of if I knew about them. I guess it’s just that there’s so many of them it’s almost impossible for people to know all of the services offered by Ohio State.

Inside of the Health Center

The Student Health Center building. I Went back to take these pictures for this assignment.

STEM Seminar

This past Thursday, Nick suddenly asked me on if I was free from 4 o’clock to 5 o’clock. It was right after I was coming back from class. I said yes, although it was right in between the time when I was free from classes (my class ended at 3:50 and I go to the next one at 5:10). He reminded me that this ePortfolio post was due and there was a seminar was coming up (which he was going to), so I tagged along to be able to write this post.

We went to Scott Lab and went to see Matheiu Vrard’s seminar on “Determination of the evolutionary states of red giant stars through the use of seismology.” He was introduced by one of the astronomy professors here at Ohio State as a graduate student from France. In the seminar, there were quite a few undergraduate students there; I recognized almost all of them since they were also STEM scholars. Because of this, I did not feel too out of place in about a dozen graduate students and adults who also attended the seminar. However, I did get a sense that the seminar would be hard to comprehend, to say the least, as the age of the people attending gave an indication to the seminar’s “level of difficulty.”

As expected, the seminar went over my head (and presumably every other STEM scholar’s head, even if they were astronomy majors) as soon as it began. Coming into the seminar, I knew that red giants are essentially very big stars; much bigger than our Sun. I learned that they have exhausted their hydrogen cores and therefore are on their last breath of their life. That was about it for my knowledge about red giants. I used to be interested in astronomy until my parents unsubscribed from the National Geographic Kids magazine, whereafter my interested in astronomy slowly faded away as I moved to the States. In any case, the rest of the seminar was all Greek to me (technically it was just English with a French accent), partially because of his accent, partially because of my distance to the speaker, but mostly because the information was, in the most literal sense, years ahead of anybody’s knowledge of astronomy.

There was something I found fascinating about the seminar, looking back to it. It was that while I did not understand almost any of the information that was spoken to me in its entirety, I was intrigued for the whole presentation. It was incomprehensible, but knowing that we as humanity have gone this far in understanding these planets, some that are millions or even billions of light years from Earth, amazed me. Mr. Vrard’s presentation may have been nothing out of the ordinary; his content may have been known to all graduate astronomy students.  Even still, the intellect he showed on the subject and the passion that he carried for what he researched carried me to listen to him. I came out of the seminar with almost nothing comprehended about the topic; I should have asked questions like some of the guests present for the seminar. However, it was a worthwhile seminar in my experience.

I do believe that there is great merit for those who are active in the academic community, even as an undergraduate student. These seminars intrigue me and it would probably be even more interesting to me if it was one that was closer to my major. Going to these seminars and talking to the presenters and making your presence be known to them can be a great way to start a network with professionals that never would have crossed my sight had I not been active.

The presentation and me

Academic Support

Over the past few weeks, my roommate has been sick all the time, and while I had been unaffected by his declining health, his cold finally got to me last week and I had to skip out on a CHEM 1610 lecture on Thursday morning because I was not feeling too well. After taking medication and some more resting in bed, I managed to finish out the rest of my classes for that day. However, I was behind on the course material (for obvious reasons) and I needed to catch up. I used this opportunity to take myself to the Chemistry Learning Resource Center located in 160 Celeste Lab on Friday after classes were over.

Prior to Friday, I had never gone to seek help academically. Not that I’m trying to brag, but I just never asked to get help on anything in general. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s just an Asian culture thing. In any case, I decided to break this bad habit and went to the Learning Resource Center.

There, I learned about acid and base neutralization reactions, a continuation of what I had been learning about for the past few lectures (oxidation numbers, soubility charts, strong/weak electrolytes, etc.). The Learning Resource Center was relatively empty; I assume it will get much busier later in the year during exam weeks and when more people will realize its utility. I found out that the Learning Resource Center was quite helpful in making me understand the “new” material (I had been taught this material last year in high school but I had forgotten a decent amount since then). Because I had help in essentially a one-to-one situation, I felt that I had comprehended the information far better than if I had just gone into the lecture. I could stop and ask why each step was done instead of hoping that I would understand later in a lecture.

Regarding help-seeking in general, I feel that doing so as soon as possible is the best choice a student can make. There is (and should be) no shame in wanting to get a better understanding of course material. I think it’s not that students shaming other students for going to get help, but rather  your own fear of being perceived as “not smart enough” by others.

Personally, I find no issues with what the Learning Resource Center(s) offer as of this moment. I am not sure how busy they get during midterms or finals week but during the time I was there, there was only myself and a few other students present in the room. I think it is up to the student on whether or not they will get help on their academics. I feel like Ohio State has a good infrastructure for their support. I got help on my lab report from my lab supervisor when I had to turn in my carbon copies in my lab notebook and they were very helpful and I got a grade that I was satisfied with.

Would I teach at the LRC myself? Probably not, but I do appreciate the services they offer and I believe that it is a great place to learn more about any subject matter and a way to get a better comprehension of the course material.

Chemistry LRC at Celeste



Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.

  • Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc.
  • Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
  • Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
  • Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
  • Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]


[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

Student Organisations

During the Student Involvement fair I found the booth for the Japanese Student Organization. Since none of my friends are Japanese (and none of them were particularly interested in coming along), I went alone to the first meeting of JSO in south campus. I met a Japanese friend (named Yuhi) who I became acquainted by chance with during move-in day. During this first welcome meeting, I met the office members of the organization. They seemed to be very friendly, and a number of them happened to be friends of Yuhi as well. During this barbecue, I signed up for being an OA (office assistant), a step below the actual office positions and help with setting up various meetings and events for the general members.

Because I became friends with Yuhi prior to the meeting, I have made many friends during this meeting and some who live in my dorm as well. I feel that it is crucial to make as many connections as I can early in the year so that I have many outlets to talk with if I need advise or help about classes, internships, or just college in general. Upperclassmen have more experience in college and being close to them makes it easier to ask for advise than asking a stranger upperclassman.

This Sunday, I attended the weekly informational meeting for JSO. A few of the OAs and all of the office members attended it. There they planned out how future events will proceed and assigned office members to lead individual parts of said events. Although I and other OAs did not have much say in what would occur, we were allowed to give a few ideas that could be implemented for these events (e.g. what to do for icebreakers in the upcoming general body meeting).

I believe that it is important for me to join and be an active member of JSO. I should keep in touch with my Japanese origins so that I can meet other Japanese members at Ohio State and to maintain my level of Japanese. This club is important for building a good social network for me and I feel that it will meet my interests. While the club itself has many members (there were at least 50 students who joined for the welcome party), the club president informed of me that only around 20 students are active members in the club.

I feel at home in this club because I am Japanese. I could not have met people outside my classes or my dorm had it not been for JSO. I met a friend named Natalie who happens to live in Houston House. I think that I am very lucky and fortunate to have known a person who is in STEM Scholars and is part of JSO. And although it is a bit unrelated, my brother is also in JSO. He goes to Purdue and has told me to go to the MJSA conference (a conference where many JSOs from many universities attend to meet other members in different colleges) which is held in Purdue this year. I plan to attend the conference to meet my brother and I could not have had this opportunity had I not joined JSO.

JSO OAs after the Sunday meeting


About Me

Hi all, I’m Takuma Goto and I am (currently) a Chemistry major. I am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and yes, I am a Steelers fan but I will try to keep that secret during conversations to keep myself alive in Ohio. I also plan to have a Spanish minor and/or probably a Statistics (Actuarial Science) minor as well. I love to watch anime, read, play video games, and overall to just browse the internet. I also do like to hike and hang out with friends, and luckily I have made good ones already here.  In high school, I was involved in Key Club, soccer, and later on speech and debate. I am still a little unsure of what would like to be in the future, but I am willing to try out a lot of things. I am excited to see everybody here and to have a great time in my four years in college!