Today the STEM Scholars program held an event focused on diversity. At this event, I learned many things about both myself and my peers. Going into the event I rarely thought about all of the different facets of my identity. As a white, heterosexual, male from a higher socioeconomic status, life has never really been that challenging for me. I try to stay open to these things but not as much as I should. At the event today my life was opened up to the multitude of possible privileges that I have on top of those mentioned previously. The speaker at this event made a very good point that feeling bad about these privileges that we have that others don’t is normal; however, we have the ability and power thanks to these to change the way things are. The example that she made was that someone who is straight is able to speak up for those who are not while having a smaller probability of being hurt for it. We can all use what power we have to help those who struggle to get that power by being minoritized, another interesting topic we covered in the discussion. Being minoritized is basically when a group is given less power based on who they are. As a generally privileged person, there are many things that I could do to help those that are less privileged than myself. Whenever I am given the opportunity to do so is when I plan on exercising this possibility. If any of my friends are ever saying things that they actually mean and are hurtful to groups of people, I make sure to tell them to think about the things that they are saying and seriously consider changing their minds. I will not stand for anyone who believes that homosexuality is a bad thing or that being of a different ethnicity makes someone intrinsically act a certain way.

In terms of how diversity affects STEM, I believe that it is quite well known that persons of color and women are both heavily underrepresented in the field. This is a shame because every kid loves science, I do not think I have ever talked to a child who had not seen something incredibly cool because of science. The field of STEM is not as heavily gender-specific as say nursing, but, it is still associated as being a field for males. The worst part of a field being seen as something for one type of person is that nobody falls under a single identity. Furthermore, a lack of diversity results in a lack of new ideas and new ways of thinking. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics all get their base from solving problems in new and innovative ways to better the planet. Lacking diversity results in a lack of new ideas and new solutions to increasingly complex problems. Thankfully, at OSU, there is a strong focus on diversity and ways to include yourself in new situations to improve your outlook on the world. The multicultural center that came to speak with us about diversity does many diversity talks throughout the year and rewards those that go out of their way to go to multiple sessions and learn more about diversity and other issues.

STEM Seminar

For this post, I went to a STEM seminar that was in my field, Astronomy. The seminar was called the Astronomy Colloqium and focused on why planets are made out of the chemicals that they are made out of. In general, chemicals depended upon the distance from the center of a proto-planetary disk, or disk of dust formed after the destruction of a star. As the only person I know well who is in astrophysics currently, I chose to go to the seminar alone. While I was there I saw a lot of other students that appeared to be undergraduates as well, but I believe that they were there for one of the classes they were currently enrolled in and not taking initiatives to learn more about their field of study. I did not talk to them to find this out because I sat in the middle of the room yet everyone else sat behind me, but I did overhear them talking about a class of some sort. If I had chosen to talk to the speaker I do not think it would help my career out much here because the presenter happened to be from that college up north, unbelievable, and I never plan on going there, ever, unless I get to watch wolverines get pummeled by Buckeyes.

I had hoped to learn a lot of information during this seminar, which I did; however, I learned something else too. I learned that astrophysics focuses on a lot of material that I found boring, so much so that sadly I almost fell asleep a few times, and I love all things outer space, which blew my mind. Between this colloquium and the intro to astrophysics course I am currently involved in, I have gotten a sense that research is not what I wish to be doing with my entire life, just about anything else sounds a lot more fun for me. Due to this, I found out very early that I needed to change what I was doing in order to enjoy college more and in the future, enjoy what I end up doing a lot more than looking at data all day long.


By going to this seminar, I was able to spot the things that I needed to change about my plan for college as well as my plan for life, although that is not what the actual seminar was for, it taught me all of these things. Now I can plan on being an aerospace engineer, something that will be extremely rigorous, but something that I believe will fulfill what I wish to do with my life, which is a lot more than look at data and stay in school for another twelve or more years. I will say that I do think that the wide range of STEM seminars that were available to go to is extremely important for students at OSU because it grants students the chances to learn a lot about subjects that they did not know about before or to engage new interests in other fields and ponder what life could be like if they changed things up and tried something new, the latter being my experience. I am extremely grateful for this assignment and what it taught me about myself.

Non-Academic Resource

When I saw that I had to visit a non-academic resource I did not know what to think because there was not much that I figured I would need outside of the classroom, but it turns out that there are a ton of things to do outside of the classroom, but I do wish playing badminton or racquetball at the RPAC counted. However, the non-academic resource I chose to use was the Wilce Student Health Center next to the RPAC because I wanted to get the flu vaccine before the onslaught of winter. I found out about the vaccine by seeing signs about it all over campus. I figured it was the easiest thing to do that had the most long term benefit for me, as of right now I do not need study help or stress help. I did really well on all of my midterms that I have gotten scores back for, and I have always had an attitude about myself where nothing has stressed me out. In order to get my vaccine I had to make an appointment, I figured the best way to do this was to go ask at the health center itself. On Tuesday, I went into the health center and asked what the best way was to make an appointment to get a flu shot, and they told me to just walk over to the MyBuckID station, swipe my ID, and select flu shot. Unfortunately, this was after 5 pm, which is when they stop giving out vaccines for the day. I went the next day after class and swiped my ID to find that my insurance was not on record, so I had to walk back to my dorm to get my insurance card and then walk all the back to the health center. Once I got all of that squared away it took at most five minutes to get my shot, bandaid, and be sent on my way. I think the whole process goes as fast as it can possibly go, the only way I could have expedited the process was by making my appointment online ahead of time or by calling, but because I had been by the health center the day before I had chosen to just make it easy on myself. I do not think that the resource could be made any better based on my experience solely because it was both quick and easy to do, the two most important things for me. Again, for me, I do not think that the University is lacking any support services because I did not run into any problems trying to acquire a service that I needed.

Student Orginization

In my short time here at The Ohio State University I have had the pleasure of going to a few different club meetings. The clubs that I chose to join on involvement day were the Astro Society, Casual Sports Club, and Buckeye Gaming Collective. I joined the Astronomical Society mainly because as an astrophysics major I figured it would be the best club suited towards my specific major needs. I joined the Casual Sports Club because I love all kinds of sports and considering that casual sports club meets just about once a week to play a random sport and just have fun I thought that this club would also be a lot of fun. Lastly, I joined Buckeye Gaming Collective because I love to play video games and genuinely thought I could try and get on one of the teams, mainly the Rocket League team; unfortunately, my competitive ranking was just one below what they were looking for in order to try out, so that will have to wait until next year.

So far, my favorite club is the one pictured above: Casual Sports Club. During the second week of school or so the club had its first meeting on the South Oval to play glow in the dark capture the flag. I had convinced my friends to also join Casual Sports Club, but none of them were able to go to this first “meeting”, so I chose to go alone. In doing so, I met a lot of people there and had a blast, even though I did not contribute much to the actual game, it was so much fun to just run around on a beautiful night and enjoy myself. The randomly assigned team that I was on just so happened to win the first two games of capture the flag we played, but the third game ended up turning into a game of rock, paper, scissors for who had to go to jail. Somehow, someone on the other team went 7-0 in the rock, paper, scissors match, leading to our inevitable defeat. Before we all disbanded for the night, both teams met in the middle and got into a very interesting conversation about whether or not a hot dog was a sandwich or not. The best definition brought forth was that a hot dog acts like a sub based on bun shape, and because a sub is a sandwich, a hot dog must also be a sandwich. Based completely on first impressions, I knew this was going to be my favorite club I had joined, I have played sports for my entire life and have always loved gym class. I am also extremely competitive and somehow make a competition out of everything, which I have had to learn to tone down while in this club because casual is kind of part of the entire club.


The second club meeting that I went to was for a game of volley-tennis. Volley-tennis is where you play volleyball on a tennis court but can let the ball bounce a total of three times before losing the volley. This means that you can set your teammates up by bouncing the ball in front of the net and having them spike it straight down to keep your opponents from returning the ball; however, the ball cannot bounce more than two times before another person on your team must hit it. The court I was on had a game of four versus four. My team won the first game by a large margin which then forced us to change up the teams. Volleyball is a difficult sport if you have never played it before, but if you have had even a small amount of experience with, it is quite easy to get better at. As someone who has played volleyball plenty before, I had a lot of fun playing this twisted version on the tennis court, even though it was cut short by the massive thunderstorm that rolled in after about thirty minutes of playtime that also soaked me on my walk back to my dorm.


Joining student organizations is so incredibly important for college life because they help me to get involved with other people as well as learn new skills. The best part about student organizations here at Ohio State is that there are so many that even with the mass amount of students that show up on the ovals for the involvement fair every year I still found three great clubs to be a part of. I cannot wait for my next experience with Casual Sports Club.


Academic Support

Yesterday, September 10, I went to something that I had never gone to before, a tutoring session. The tutoring that I went to was done by the MSLC, or Math and Statistics Learning Center. I went because of the impending midterm that I had last night at 8:00 pm. Due to this being my first midterm of college, I wanted to make sure that I would not be blindsided by the exam. I was hoping to tie up loose ends that I had questions about. I did take AP calculus AB in high school; however, I struggled deeply in that class and took AP statistics last year, a math class that felt extremely easy and did not challenge me in any way. Because of this combo of struggling in calculus and practically taking a year off of math, I chose to take Calculus 1151 to begin college. By doing this I have been able to clear up many of the issues I had back in high school, but there is no harm in double checking that you are doing everything right, so I went to work on sample exams at the MSLC.


Right when I walked in I noticed how relaxed of a setting the tutoring area is. It is relatively quiet with many places to sit, which I found surprising because of it being the day of the midterm. I too chose to make sure I quietly did my practice and checked my answers against the answer keys. In order to ask the tutors questions, they have a pole of sorts that you put a card into that says “Place in Stand for Help” as shown in my picture below. Thanks to my previous calculus experience, I only had to ask a couple questions to the tutors that were there. The tutors do a fantastic job of scanning the room for anyone that has their placard in their stand and needs help. Both times I put the placard in the stand I immediately had a tutor walking over to help me. The first question I had was just to make sure I was using absolute value functions properly because I had always used them improperly in the past, luckily this time I was using them properly. My second question was because my carmen stopped loading while I was in the tutoring area because it was in the basement of the building that the 1151 MSLC tutoring is in. Because I could not check the answers to practice exam I was taking, I had to ask the tutors for help, which I felt bad for because it felt more like I was wasting their time than asking actual questions like others probably had. Fortunately they did check my answers though and found that my main concern for the exam would be ensuring that I incorporated limits at each and every stage of the problem. For time, I would usually leave out the limit part of solving the problem but in doing so that makes the solution technically incorrect.


As someone who had never studied before for any of my classes because of laziness or that classes have always come easy to me, having an easily accessible tutoring area that doubles as a quiet studying area will definitely make my odds of studying increase as my classes get harder and harder, I cannot wait to use this resource in the future as I need to in order to better my skills or perhaps even becoming a tutor myself to help others ensure their own academic success.