Screaming Halloween

Although I’m getting older day by day, I’m still like exciting stuff. And roller coasters apparently rank No.1 among things that are exciting, so when my friend asked me to go to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio I had no hesitation!

We arrived Cedar Point around 2:00pm on Saturday after about a two hour drive, and there were a lot of people there already. After waiting for two hours in line (during which we heard much screaming), we sat in the first row of the Raptor! It’s difficult to describe my feelings, but I know all people who ever went on a roller coaster had the  same experience as me. And we all know waiting in line was worthwhile~~

We rode on several roller coasters and went in haunted houses, and it’s a pity that we couldn’t go through all of them – I need to wait until next May to come back since Cedar Point is going to close for the season after next weekend. Anyway, the most exciting one to me was Top Thrill Dragster!!! It ranks No.2 among the most thrilling roller coasters around the world only after Kingda Ka in New Jersey, and actually they are both the same type of roller coaster. I sooooo enjoy the process of accelerating and you never need to worry that you’ll hit something. I kept screaming all the way and my friend said I gave out dolphin vocal sounds … I guess I was just releasing stress that way. I don’t know how many times I’ll go to Cedar Point, but I just know no matter how many times, I’ll definitely find every time fun and exciting!

BBQ @ Alum Creek State Park

Last Sunday, several friends of mine went to grill outdoors at nearby Alum Creek State Park, before it gets too cold. It’s so beautiful there that anything bothering me seems trivial in comparison. This also happens when I think of the universe–our lives are just “flashes” compared with the duration of stars and planets. Everything is like a “floating cloud”–which recently became a very popular Chinese idiom.

I’m always thinking of the purpose of my life. I thought most Americans knew theirs because they have faith, but I learned this week it’s not always the case. Actually, a lot of them are also wondering. Maybe it is just like what my father told me, “you pursue one goal at a time”. So before I came to the US, I applied to study here; before I find a job, I keep on looking for one. After I get a job, I strive for a promotion and advancement … This might be the whole story of our lives. But what can be used to comfort myself is that at least, I can enjoy the process.

Yeah, it’s Obama!

To be honest, I never thought I would see Barack Obama in person, since I haven’t even seen the President of China yet! Anyway, he was at OSU yesterday!

Two of my friends and I left our apartment around 4:30pm and drove to school. We parked on west campus and took the CABS bus to the Ohio Union. Then we followed the line, which was really long. I haven’t seen so many people in US since I’ve arrived here.

While we were waiting, we saw protesters of Obama. Such things would never happen in China — protesters would be arrested as soon as possible … so there is a bit more freedom of expression here.

After getting through security, we found there were more people around the Oval. There was no way we could get closer and we were about 50 meters from the platform. What we could see were just peoples’ heads if we were not on our tiptoes …

The event began at 6:15pm, and it was not until 8:00pm that the President showed up. You can imagine the crowd was losing its patience when the next speaker was still not the President. Yet I have to say the musical act played the piano and sang very well.

Eventually, the President came up and everybody brought their cameras to take pictures as if he was a superstar. Admittedly, the President and the First Lady are excellent advocates. I just hope he can fulfill his promise to the masses of people. Bless Obama’s midterm and mine!

Not ready yet…

Last week drove me crazy– because of the career fair!

Time seems to fly with all the work in each course, but the highlight of this week was the career fair last Wednesday. Although I may not put much expectation on this event to get interviews, it is really frustrating… just arriving here for so short a time, I don’t see any advantage over local undergraduates, though we’re pursuing master degrees. Citizenship and language skills are biggest obstacles, and I cannot tell which one is a more severe issue. Actually, they are mutually related so it makes it more frustrating.

Facing this situation, I decide to modify my job-hunting strategies. Competing with local students is obviously not a wise choice. On the contrary, I think international students should take advantages of our foreign language skills, which cannot be easily substituted by local students. Keep on networking and try to get an internship. I still need more experience to update my resume.

It is really stressful to consider both coursework and job-hunting–too many but necessary things to do. My friend and I have determined to help each other to fulfill these tasks. Time management is really important. This seems to bring me back to those days when I prepared for GRE–simple objectives, specific plans, following them on time, tired but I was really productive. We’re going to live a “scheduled life,” reading before classes, doing homework, researching companies and position openings, and still have time to work out and engage in other leisure activities. The first solution we’ve come up with is to split up our jobs – we’ll try it out next week to see if it works!

Getting Started

The 22nd day after I arrived in U.S., I go back to be a student. Having participated in so many orientations, I’m quite sure what to expect.

At the very beginning of this quarter, the MBLE Association held a session for job-hunting (e.g. advice, etc.). We invited a second-year student in MBLE program who found internship last year and she spoke about her experience. We also asked many questions related to coursework and living in Columbus. The only pity is I just took one piece of pizza, so I should definitely order more next time!

Besides, I want to mention the Dean’s Dinner and Alumni Awards last Friday evening. It was the first “official” dinner I had in U.S. There are some rules to obey, for example, to put forks and knives parallel in the middle of the plate means that you have finished your meal. Well about the alumni awardees – I didn’t expect they would be so humorous! Anyway, it was a good opportunity to network and gain experience. The seating capacity was limited, so if you’re here next year, be sure to sign up early!

Things are starting to get back to normal. I need to preview contents of courses before class, review and do homework after that. How long have I not done that? Whatever, I’m determined to enjoy this (maybe) last period of student life.

Geocaching and rock climbing– A really sweaty day

A short rain in the morning did not keep us MBLE students from participating this fascinating teamwork activity during orientation. On the contrary, the rain helped to leave us cool and comfortable, but I never expected I would make so much physical effort within one day!

The process of geocaching is to use GPS to find boxes distributed on campus, and get the location of the next box with instructions in the previous box. After learning how to use the equipment and taking a group photo, we just set off! Since the first group getting to the destination would be awarded a Fisher T-shirt, every team seemed ambitious. So did our group and we began a small competition with Group One right after starting. Fortunately we got different directions after the first location, otherwise I don’t know how much more we need to run that day.

To be honest, those boxes were well hidden: on or under trees, behind statues and one was even in a trash bin! Well, the first thing I learned from this activity is never to think “habitually.” After quickly finding first two boxes under trees, we took it for granted that the third one should be there as well. We spent several minutes on the hill around Mirror Lake searching carefully the ground,  beneath the brush and trees, only to find the box was between two branches! That’s what I mean.

As we had no idea about the others’ progress, we had to run occasionally either not to fall behind too much or to take the lead little by little. The guy in our group helped the other girl to carry her bag, and we split up work at each location: one to find a card to get directions and help the GPS-holder input those parameters, one to obtain the sticker, pass it to the other member and then put it in the record booklet. It’s really helped to save time – and we can never stress too much teamwork!

Guess the result? Yes, we were the first team! When we arrived to the destination, the instructor didn’t even show up since he never expected for us to get there so soon. He said the time we took was “record-breaking” and you never know how exhausted we looked. Anyway, it was worthwhile and we got T-shirts!

We ate lunch at Varsity Club and had nice chats with David, Kaylin, Samantha, and of course with other fellow MBLE students. Then I went to Adventure Recreation Center with several friends for rock climbing. At first, I just wanted to try new things, and it’s really fabulous to find considerable resources on campus. And when I really engaged in it, I had to say I had sympathy with Sheldon and I knew why he would faint on half way up. However, after trying the easiest one, I just  could not help to try a harder one, and I wanted to know how far I could go, then try to make it further next time.

Well I eventually finished two climbs and was about one meter from the top of the third one. It’s really hard for me and I had no extra strength; I had to go back down with a little disappointment, but I’ll definitely try it again next time I go there.

Besides these physical challenges, I start job hunting even before classes began, and it’s really a huge challenge. The good news is I’ll stay optimistic and enjoy the process. Anyway it’s a part of my life, I cannot change it, so I am just gonna love it~!