Hello all, I hope that whomever reading this has been well. I too, have been well. I am able to now study a bit more and try not cram everything in with always over thinking. As of now, I am taking Bio 102, the continuation of Bio 101, which is interesting but contains much context. We are learning about protists, which are tiny organisms that eat bacteria. Ever since I have left football, I am able to allot more of my time to study and get a little more sleep, which is much needed. Sad to say, it was fun while it lasted, but I have greater priorities which is my grades, and if I want to go into PT school, I will have to endure college just a little more. Also, now that I think of it, school is flying by fairly fast, for it felt like I had just recently started college and left high school, yet I am already more than half way through my freshmen year at Gustavus Adolphus College. Time really does fly by fast, I wonder just how fast it will fly when I am out of school and into the workforce with my career. I fear what the old timers say, “time really does fly by fast.” There is so much to do in life, college, family, and friends that just cannot be accomplished so easily with the amount of time given. Heck, I remember when I was a child, aspiring to go to college and get a good paying job, yet here I am already. Time is the most precious thing one has, and nothing can be traded for that.
Though Study Buddies has ended, they are starting again for spring semester soon. I hope they assign me to the same teacher I had last semester. I enjoyed working with the children and getting to know them. I still have not been able to get to know each and every one of them, but they seemed like the enjoyed my company and my help. They all had different personalities, and getting to meet new people and learn about them, even if they are only children is interesting. They are so young yet already have dreams, goals, and been through so much in their lifetime already. The teacher I was assigned to said to the class that I probably was not going back due to how tired I was of them, but I do not know if she was being honest in her thinking or not, because that was not the case. I wonder if she was only joking around. I would love to volunteer there again though.
Hope you all stay well… Endure the long monotonous work and look forward to the fun times everyone!
After coming back from winter break, I started my J-Term class. I am currently taking “Contemporary Chinese Film”. I am glad that it is not a pass or fail class, and is graded, for I can help push my GPA up. In class, I analyze Chinese film and write reviews. Towards the end of the class, we give a presentation on a film we decided to analyze, either being one we covered or another Chinese film. I was put into a group of three, and we decided to analyze and present on a movie made in the 90’s called, “Comrades: Almost a Love Story”. Throughout the class, I have learned a lot about Chinese culture, for we watch diverse films. We went from watching martial arts movies, to melodramas. We also read readings that related to movies we watched, further enhancing our knowledge on Chinese culture. Also during J-Term, I have been working more hours than I did fall semester, for I had more free time. I did not volunteer though during J-Term, but plan to fit it in Spring semester. I truly enjoyed helping fourth graders at North Elementary. I am nervous, yet anxious for Spring semester to start, for I want to get it over with. I also want to do well, which I am most defiantly determined to do better. I hope anyone reading this has had a great holiday, and a great start to the new year of 2019. I am never ready for anything, but there was a quote from Jackie Chan I believe, but it went something like this, “You do not go when you are ready, you go when you are ready enough.” Despite the nervousness and anxiousness for this upcoming semester, I feel like I am ready enough to tackle it.
Best, Alexander Vang
A Wrap, and a Fresh Start
After midterms, I was eager to do better, especially in biology. I have developed better study skills, those that suit me. I also decided to stop playing football, for I felt that I had a higher priority in school, especially if I am to pursue Physical Therapy. Preparing for finals was more easy going since football had came to an end. I was able to use more spare time to study and rest a bit more. Though I left football, I am still involved with HACO. I might consider running for board member. It will in total be much less of a time commitment than football. Leaving football was a bitter sweet moment. I truly miss it, but I feel like I made the best decision for myself. I also feel comfortable with my performance during my exams, though I have yet to see my final semester grades, because the website I use to check my grades stated that grades were due on the 7th of January. I am not able to see my grades, but I am anxious to see if I improved on my exam scores. December did not have much, for winter break took up about a third of it. I definitely felt less stressed in studying for finals though. I am really looking forward to J-Term (January Term), for I am taking a Chinese Film class. I also know a few people who are taking it. That is the only class I will be taking for J-Term. It will definitely be a smooth month, even though the class is everyday. Following my J-Term class, I plan to work more to achieve my maximum amount of money I can make from student employment. I am excited that I will be able to work more and stress less about class. I plan to have a way better semester during the second semester, for I am always looking to improve. I am also shocked, for I am already done with one eighth of my college career. It has flown by fast. Winter break was a real stress reliver for myself, which I believe was much needed.
Happy New Years – Alex
With the end of November coming near, I finally feel like I am getting used to college life, being able to handle to workload better. I have came to a decision to pursue Exercise Physiology as a major, and also complete prerequisites for Physical Therapy. I have also decided to minor in Japanese. I also made the tough decision to not participate in football anymore, for it was tough for me to balance school with it. I am still volunteering, and also plan to pick up more hours for my work study so I can get the entire amount I was given. I also plan to participate in Club Tennis more, for it requires less time commitment than football. I truly will miss football, but I feel like this is the best choice for my personal well-being. As always, it is still Biology which is the most challenging class. All of the other classes has been smooth for me. Next semester, I will be taking the next semester of Japanese and Biology. I will also be taking a class called Kinesiology, and General Phycology. All of these courses are required for my Exercise Physiology Major, excluding Japanese, which is a requirement credit for graduation; I must complete an intermediate level of any language to be able to graduate. With all of the days off for the holidays, school has also been way more easygoing and relaxing.
I have came to enjoy spending time with the children at North Elementary, aiding them with their studies. Even though I did it for the Page Scholarship, I plan to participate in the volunteering program (Study Buddies) even if I do not receive the scholarship next year. The students I study with have came to enjoy my company as well, always wanting to read to me. They race to see who can get to me first, and this motivates me to aid them even more. Every student is different, and I learn to aid them in different ways, trying to make learning more fun and engaging for them.
My academics has had ups and downs. There are some classes I do better than others. I perform well in Japanese. Biology has been rough. It is also the one I study most for. I have a love-hate relationship with this subject. I do in fact also find it fascinating. I also take a genetics class too, if I have not mentioned in my September blog. All we do in class is read, talk, and write about genetic testing.
I also am considering changing my intended major from Biochemistry to Exercise Physiology or Athletic Training. I have thought that Physical Therapy would be a good career for me if I intended to further my studies. I love working with people and also applying my interest to aid people, I think this may be a good decision. I would also like to possibly coach after for a bit.
My life with extracurricular has been well. Football has been challenging, but I love it. Football season is closing, and hopefully this means I can have more time to focus on academics. The club HACO has also been well. I am creating more, and stronger bonds with many people. We have a few upcoming events that are going to involve food, and performances to help immerse people in our culture (Hmong people). We want people to know who we are, which is why we hold events such as one called “Hmong New Year” at Gustavus. There are a lot of schools who have Hmong populations who also do these kind of activities. Coming to Gustavus, not many of my colleagues knew who the Hmong were. I think this is an opportunity for them to also learn.
Work & Volunteer
Work has been tedious and boring, but I manage, since I work so little. All I do is enter data in, but sometimes I go out to do field work, still entering data in though. Volunteering has been great on the other hand. I love working with the fourth graders at North Elementary in Saint Peters. I help them with all subjects, like math, reading, science, and social studies.
Life at College
Life at college has been great for me. It is brand new beginning for me. I have met so many new people already, and have made friends. I am not yet too close to those friends, but I hope my friendships can carry on in the future. I also like my professors. I really needed to get away from home, and I feel like this is far enough, for I know only a couple of people. Football has also aided me in building a social life at college. I was never close to my previous football teams, but I almost always eat with them whenever I do eat. They treated me with open arms, in which I really appreciate. I feel like I can actually call them a “family”. In high school, we would always talk about family in football, but I was never close to them, only socializing on the field, and exchanging rare greetings in the hallways. I love the comradery with the football team. My teammates have given me the nickname “A-Town”. Why? I don’t know why. The one who started it just said it sounded “Bada**”. I also joined tennis club and HACO (Hmong American Community Outreach). My schedule has been intensively busy. I also recently started my work study job in “Facilities”. For now I just enter data in, like what I did the past couple years at my internships. I plan to also volunteer for another scholarship I received. I might have to put the clubs aside soon though, because I also need time to study. I also dropped Chemistry, and enrolled in Cultural Anthropology. Biology and Chemistry was going to be too much for me, considering all the activities I am doing. My academic advisor also said it was too much, for it would add up to a total of 96 hours if I were to keep football, and chemistry. Though at that time I did not add in the hours of the clubs. I did add my work study and volunteer hours. I now contemplate on whether if I want to major in Biology or Chemistry now. I still am looking for career options. I am leaning more towards Biology as a major. I also plan to Study Away next year in Japan. I spoke with my Japanese professor, and she said that we will have to sit down and talk more about it. I am really enjoying college at Gustavus Adolphus. Coach Haugen has also been spectacular. He’s helped me so much already. His house is also massive, and nice, for we had a team barbeque there. I still have thoughts on many different things also. I would say, I have yet to fully settle in on a set schedule and commitment yet, like major, and what I want to do in the future, whether its football, clubs, work study, etc. I appreciate the opportunity Concord gave me, for it made it possible for everything to happen. I am forever grateful.
A-Town checking out. 🙂