For my Spring project, I had originally intended on learning how to play a few songs on the piano. In my dorm there is a piano on the second floor and one of my friends had offered to teach me the basics of reading music and using the keys. I was so excited to start this project because I have never played an instrument before but have always wanted to learn piano. Then during my spring break, Ohio State announced that students would not be returning to campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was devastated that I had to pack up my dorm and resume classes online from my house.
My four younger siblings also had to resume their classes online and with both of my parents being essential healthcare workers, I became in charge of helping my siblings with their school work. I spent many hours helping the twins with their math homework. I taught them Algebra I and worked with them on their Kahn Academy assignments. I proofread English assignments for my youngest brother and helped the oldest brother with his senior thesis paper.
While helping with middle school and high school homework, I was also trying to balance my own college coursework. I struggled to find a quiet place to study in my loud and busy house. I typically stayed up late to finish my homework after my siblings had all gone to bed and my house had finally become quiet. Despite the challenges of spring semester, I finished with grades that I am proud of and my brother graduated high school, the twins graduated eighth grade, and my youngest brother completed seventh grade.
Without a piano, I was unable to complete the spring project I had planned and prepared for this semester. However, I was able to spend well over 10 hours helping my siblings earn amazing grades and succeed this semester despite all of the challenges we faced. I am proud of my siblings and thankful for all my parents have done during these hard times. I am hopeful that school will resume in the fall but if that is not possible, I am prepared to be a teacher, tutor, and student once again.
During my second semester at Ohio State I will teaching myself how to play All of Me by John Legend on the piano located on the second floor of my dorm. While learning to play the piano has always been an interest of mine, I had never had regular access to the instrument before living in my dorm.
I will begin with watching lessons on Youtube that will familiarize me with the piano, instruct me on how to place my hands on the keys, and teach me how to read simple pieces of music. Then I will begin working with a friend who is very talented pianist and will give me one on one instruction using the piano in our dorm. I will slowly become more comfortable with the piano and after lots of practice with my friend and by myself, I will learn how to play a few simple songs that I really enjoy.
Learning how to play the piano will allow me to explore my creative side and hopefully help me destress. I am very passionate about music and I know this will be an enjoyable project for me.
This week I attended an event celebrating Arabic culture with a few of my friends. We decided to attend this event because it gave us the opportunity to learn about a culture that was new to most of us. We were also hoping to try some new foods because what college student doesn’t love delicious and free food. The amount of food we ate was enormous. The people serving the food wanted to make sure we left the event stuffed. They even offered to let us take some leftovers back to our dorm. It was really touching and made me feel more at home. At the beginning of the event I definitely felt a little out of place, but everyone was so nice and welcoming that my awkwardness quickly wore away. Being surrounded by kind people and great food did make me miss home. I can see why so many people join organizations relating to their culture. Having a wide community of supportive people surrounding you can be very beneficial in helping students acclimate to college life. Organizations like the Arabic Student Union not only support Arab students, but they also support students like me who want to learn more about the diverse Arab culture. ASU also supports Arabs around the world through humanitarian aid and by supporting justice and peace. They also promote a better understanding of Arab history, culture, and political, and religious diversity on campus. Each person from the organization that I engaged with was willing to answer any of my questions and did a phenomenal job educating me on their culture. The students were very open and understanding. I felt that they were truly excited to help me learn and grow my understanding of Arab culture. Organizations that increase cultural diversity awareness are crucial for creating a more welcoming and accepting campus environment. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to learn more about ASU and the amazing work they do to support Ohio State students of all backgrounds.
The topic of diversity and inclusion is very important in today’s world. People are more connected now than ever before. These connections allow us to meet people of all different backgrounds. Increases in diversity give people the opportunity to learn more about different cultures, religions, histories, and traditions. Friendships can be formed and a greater appreciation for others can be reached. By focusing on increasing diversity on campus, we can form new relationships and become more educated about the world around us and the people that live here. I wish that more students would go to these types of events and take the time to meet people different than themselves. Oftentimes people tend to keep to their own groups, but I think it is important to branch out and meet new people. I am looking forward to attending more events that focus on diversity and inclusion. I love connecting with people and learning about people’s experiences. I have learned so much by simply engaging with others.
I attended a seminar on ‘Shakespeare Among the Suicide Bombers: The Turmoil of Theater in Modern Afghanistan’ seminar with one of my STEM friends. The lecture was held at the Thompson library and featured coffee and Baklava. I was surprised by the diverse crowd at the lecture. Many of the students were undergraduates who were studying the lecture for an intro to theatre class. Many of the other attendees were professors and faculty from the Middle East Studies Center. The speaker, Nushin Arbabzadah, was really amazing. She is an afghan play-write that travels to universities and educates people about the history of theater in Afghanistan. Her list of accomplishments is extensive and highlights her passion for the arts and education. Many of her accolades involve her work as a translator and journalist. Previously she delivered the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute Annual Lecture on contemporary Afghan theatre from its humble origins on the dusty streets of ancient towns to its elevation at the court to its devastation under the Taliban to its current recovery through international efforts. The content of her lecture was very new to me. Having never been very involved with the arts, I was blown away by the sheer beauty of Afghan theatre. Not only did I learn about theatre in Afghanistan, but I also learned about the history of the country, the politics, and the culture of the people there. I gained insight into the impact of theatre on women in society. By becoming involved in theatre, women have more opportunities to grow and achieve their dreams. This fabulous lecture kept me engaged and made me eager to learn more.
While this lecture did not relate to research in my major, I still found it was a meaningful and insightful experience. As a student, I want to have a wide breadth of knowledge and work to learn about topics outside of my department. As an medical anthropology major, I am focused on the study of humans which is a vast and diverse topic. By learning more about the human experience through theatre, literature, and political struggle, I am further enriching my studies. Furthermore, by attending lectures outside of me specialty, I can make new connections with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Events like seminars are perfect opportunities to network with new people and become more acquainted with different areas of study.
I truly enjoyed the lecture and felt that I gained valuable knowledge and insights into a very unique culture. I am met amazing people including an Afghani film critique who was seated next to me during the presentation. I plan on attending more seminars that are outside of my area of study as well as ones that relate to my major and research interests. I am grateful that I have so many amazing opportunities on campus to learn the world around me. I would encourage more undergraduate students to branch out and take time to attend lectures like these because they are great opportunities to learn from experts and prominent researchers. There were many great things about this experience and I’m excited to continue to educate myself outside of the classroom at Ohio State.
During my survey class last week, a representative from The Arts and Sciences Center for Career and Professional Success came to speak about the resources available to help students become career ready. Her presentation was very informative and insightful so I decided to make an appointment with the Career Coach for Undergraduates interested in Healthcare and Wellness. I made an appointment for the next week through my Handshake account which is an amazing tool that is available to all Ohio State students.
At first I was nervous about the appointment because I haven’t had any career development before and I do not have a professional resume yet. I had also never had much exposure to career building in high school because resources focused more on college admissions but not beyond that. When I arrived at my appointment, my career coach began by asking me a few questions about my career goals and how I’ve begun to develop my resume thus far. Next we discussed possible research opportunities I could pursue and other volunteer organizations I could become involved with during my time at Ohio State. We also discussed plans for the summer and how I could go about finding opportunities in Cleveland by creating a LinkedIn profile. I found the Center for Career and Professional Success to be a very valuable resource even for first semester freshman who feel they are no where near beginning their careers. I felt that the reassurance and guidance provided to the students is very helpful in keeping students focused and engaged with their education. I also felt that I had gained a better understanding of the timeline for pursuing research positions and internships.
While I had a very pleasant experience with my career coach, I felt that they were not as helpful as I had hoped. When I talked about being a STEM Scholar and how that might help me build my resume, she admitted that she was unfamiliar with Scholars its benefits for students career wise. I also asked for recommendations for volunteer opportunities geared towards pre-med students that would be educational and worthwhile but they just told me to do some research online. I had hoped to be directed to other resources but this was not the case. If I were to suggest a change for The Arts and Sciences Center for Career and Professional Success, it would be to support the staff in becoming more up to date with what students are involved in on campus and how these opportunities could benefit students in the long run. By being knowledgeable about Honors & Scholars, student run organizations, and volunteer opportunities, the staff could better help students become more involved and help them make decisions that will assist them in finding a job in the future.
The Ohio State University has countless opportunities and resources for its students and I am excited to explore more of them during my time on campus. My next appointment will be at the Dennis Learning Center so I can develop my study habits to be more effective and efficient.
Having been a swimmer my entire life, the pool has become a place of solace for me. Doing high school I made some of my best friends through the swim team. One of my best friends from high school joined the Ohio State Club Swim Team last year during her freshman year and when I came to Ohio State I decided to join the team as well. My first swim practice I went with my friend from high school and her friends. They were all very nice and each told their favorite memories from club swimming.
Joining club swimming has been the perfect student organization for me because I have been able to make amazing friends while remaining active. Swimming gives me an opportunity to take my mind off of classes and recenter myself. The practices are Monday through Thursday at 7:45pm which has been very beneficial for me. Now I am more motivated to complete my homework early so I have time to attend practice. Taking a break from assignments and studying is also beneficial and helps me regain my focus. Being active is important to me and swimming is one of the best workouts for the body. Not only is swimming easy on the joints, but it is also a full body workout. Swimming is a form of exercise that a person can easily continue to do throughout their entire life.
At first I was worried about being able to complete the workouts because I hadn’t been swimming competitively during the summer but each practice’s workouts are a suggestion and individuals can scale the workout to fit their needs. I was invited to swim with a few of the sophomore girls and it was a really great time. They played music and were very welcoming. I had originally been worried about fitting in with the team but I quickly made new friends and now we walk to practice and get dinner after practice most days of the week. The team also has social events of the weekends so teammates can bond outside of the pool. One of the club leaders will make dinner at their house and everyone will eat food and hang out. I can definitely see myself holding a leadership position in the club one day. I think I would do well in the vice president position because their job is primarily communicating to the team important information about dues, meets, and events. Though I could also see myself as the meet coordinator because one of my strong suits is planning events.
I am grateful to have found the club swim team because it has provided me with the opportunity to make friends with older students which is great because they give helpful advice and are wonderful connections for the future. Already I have learned about how to secure off campus housing for my junior year and how to find a research position. Though the team is much larger than my high school team, I have found that it is still a very close knit community and supports each team member.
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[ “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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Delete these instructions and add your own post.
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