Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Marshall Brief Lectures and Work Time

Hello everyone! I am sorry I did not have a chance to blog yesterday. It was a busy day full of lectures (besides our food "breaks") and had assignments afterward. On the other hand, today was much more relaxed than I thought it would be. My day started at 6:30 am, which I extended from waking up at 6:00 am. My group mates and I met at 7:45 and walked to breakfast. By 9:00 am, we were at the lecture hall (Rosenfeld Hall) to listen to Edward "Ted" Wittenstein speak. (Due to his high status, I would recommend reading his biography online). It was definitely a pleasure having him take the time to speak to us and I learned a lot not only about him, but about what I should be thinking about for the future.

For lunch, Stephanie and I went with a few friends to a deli place called Gourmet Heaven. There, we bought sushi to go and went back to our dorm (Timothy Dwight) and ate. It was very fun because we found out that Ryan, the student whom first commented on our blog from another state, had never had sushi before. The hilarious part came when my friend dipped the sushi into soy sauce mixed with wasabi. (In my opinion, that was not a great way to try sushi for the first time!) After we finished eating, we went to the library to research more on for our Marshall Brief Policy project. It was semi-successful, and yet the day just kept getting better.

We had two lectures, after lunch, that were very important for our presentation. The first was spoken by Rick Brundage on Policy Brief Writing. His lecture is pretty self-explanatory: he gave us a step by step procedure on how to write our policy brief. These tips were very helpful; not only were we told to know our topics and resources, but I also learned that we should be very simple and organized (hence the word "brief" in the name of the project).

The second lecture was a discussion held by Professor Minh Luong about skills to help us during the presentation. These included tips about preparation, practicing, and speaking. I am actually glad that I had experience with PowerPoint at El Cerrito High, for our group decided to make one. I must say that I am much more confident with my technical skills than I would have imagined.

After the lectures, Yohanna, Stephanie and I planned on going out to dinner; however, plans changed after we ran into Ms. Larson. When we began walking to find a restaurant, it was only me, Ms. Larson, Matt, and Stephanie. Though we tried contacting Yohanna, we could not get a hold of her. This was when the video came into play that Ms. Larson posted. I found it very entertaining indeed. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to take any pictures of us; but I do have pictures of more friends that I will post at the end of the blog!

The best part I enjoyed was the 3 hours we got to spend working on our Marshall Brief Project. It is really disappointing that we are missing a member, but I hope that Huong will be able to join us soon. Other than that, we accomplished much more than we have before tonight. Stephanie, Sydney, Angie, and I were very focused and tried to get our policy straight. By 9:30 pm, we were well on our way. Though a lot of the other groups are "ahead", I am sure that ours will be creative and interesting. (Our topic relates to creating a curriculum to interrelate math with science subjects. I will definitely go more into depth as we research more).

Well, I have lots of reading to do but I wanted to blog just in case I am busy tomorrow. Here are some pictures from today:

This picture to the left is Stephanie and our new friend, Cason Crane. He is from New Jersey and really fun to hang around. He goes to a boarding school here in Connecticut and will be a Junior in the fall.

To the right is Stephanie again with one of our group members: Angie Cho. Angie goes to school in New York and will be a Senior this year like us! Behind them is Cason again and John Grammer from NYC.

This picture is my favorite. It was actually taken with Stephanie's camera, by our other group member, Sydney. We were meeting for our Marshall Brief Policy presentation and were enjoying the night together. Something happened to be funny, and the four of us spent a while laughing until our stomachs hurt. We had a great time tonight even though we have a lot of reading to do now...

Everyday, I have met more and more students and staff. It is truly amazing.

Though I wish we would have more breaks available, I am glad that I have plenty of friends to support me here and that I can relate to. This course is definitely a challenge, but by building relationships, I am making my way once again towards a world full of companions and a path to success!

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Jessica,

    Here I was impressed with Ryan from Evanston, IN and now I learn that he’s never had sushi? How provincial. I’m sure that between you and Steph you set him straight. [There’s a great scene from the Ted Danson/Whoopi Goldberg movie Made in America where she takes him to a sushi bar for the first time and he takes the whole wasabi ball and eats it in one gulp. It’s only funny if you’ve scrambled yourself for a pitcher of water after doing something similarly stupid.]
    I never understood why they were called “briefs” when so many of them could be published as books.
    We realize just how busy you all are and we’re so thankful you have Ms. Larson to help fill in some of the gaps with things like the video clips and some photos.
    Thanks for the photos—I’m sure you may have guessed by now that I have a weakness for photos.