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Poetry Slam

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link

Hello everybody.

What an awful day outside :( I forgot my umbrella this morning and got all wet while walking to school... Not a good way to start the day...

Anyway, after a very nasty weather, the sun is brightening our day finally and hopefully we'll have nice weather the rest of the week.

Now, my blog entry for today :)

On Friday March 2nd at 2:30 pm, the TPSS Writing Club will hold its first event on campus.

We have planned a Poetry Slam which has attracted the attention of many students and people on campus! The event will be held in the second floor of the Student Services building in the cafeteria next to the bookstore and MC Munchies.

So far, we have 8 participants who will read their own poems and 4 judges who will choose the winners. We are planning on giving prizes to the best three poems and participation certificates to the contestants. Another of the purpose of this event is to attract more members to join our club.

Members of the Writing Club have been great helping to organize the event and advertising. During our last two meetings, we have had people who have volunteered to set up everything for the slam and to clean after the event ends.

We are trying to reach as many people as we can, so you guys reading are more than welcomed to come and join us! We will have refreshments J and I assure you that you will have a great time!

We have work really hard in order to have everything ready for Friday and we are expecting to people to show up and being part of this event J

The Truth About Tuesdays

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

I have a confession to make: I seldom write my blogs on Tuesdays. I usually write them before, on Mondays or Sundays and then post them when I get up on Tuesday mornings at 5:30. Since I work at the Smithsonian on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I leave the house pretty early, and get home kind of late. So, if I did in fact write my blogs on Tuesdays, you, my dear readers, would have to wring your hands in anxiety waiting for my posts to finally appear at 8 pm. I hate to do that to you.

            Now, as I sit ergonomically correct at my computer, beside a ravaged carton of chocolate ice cream and the still smoking spoon, I have at last been able to take stock of the situation.

            I’M FREE!!

            As Sairam mentioned on Sunday (far more graciously than I just did) yesterday’s Capstone Colloquium marked the end of my Capstone project and the impending end of my experience as a Montgomery Scholar. I have loved my time as a Montgomery Scholar, and I am saddened that it will soon be over. I am consoling myself by convincing myself that it will never really be over because I will always be a Montgomery Scholar; the experiences I’ve had and the friends I’ve made will always be with me.

            My true depth of feeling aside, I am a college student, and I am therefore overjoyed that my major project of the year is over, and the rest of the semester will be smooth sailing…if sailing on a windy day can be called smooth, that is. (It’s comparatively smooth to what I was doing before, which was more like sailing between Scylla and Charybdis while learning to play the accordion with my feet.)

            For those of you who have been following the blog a while, you know that last night I gave a speech to a large crowd of people in the Theatre Arts Arena. I am proud to report that it went very well. After my butterflies subsided, I had a great time sharing my research with the audience.

            Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Sairam’s speech, so on this particular occasion, I can’t brag about what a genius he is – although I concluded that his suit was quite smart.

            And so, there you have it: as much eloquence as I can muster after a long day of work. Aren’t you glad I usually don’t write my blogs on Tuesdays? 

Hercules in Russia

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link

Hello all :) I hope your weekend was as good as mine!

Although usually I spend most of my weekend finishing homework, this weekend I had the chance to attend a play in the Cultural Art Center building at the TP/SS campus.

The production, "Hercules in Russia," is the story of a young black man, who after being the victim of racism in America right after the Civil War, decides to move to Russia where he lands a job as the guard of the royal family. 

There, he becomes friends with the Grand Duchess Tatiana, a teenager trying to figure the world she lives in and who keeps trying to grow up faster in an already messed up world. The play takes place in St. Petersburg before and during the Russian Revolution, and Hercules find himself listening to what a young revolutionary man named Lev has to say about the Russian government and his beloved royal family. He also has to face the demons of his past, specially the death of his true love Sunday.

It was an amazing production! I enjoyed every second of the 100 minutes the play lasted! 

It's probably one of the best plays I've attended in the last years. (I usually go at least to one play every semester since I started attending MC) The quality of the acting and the script was outstanding, and even though the decor and lighting were simple, they added extra realism to the play. 

The best thing was that MC students pay special prices to attend these events, so I only had to pay 5$ (although I would have paid more if I've had knew the quality of the play!) which is pretty great considering the recession we are in right now.

Attending the play was required for my speech class, but like I said, it was worth it. If you haven't see it yet, I recommend you to go this weekend (last weekend actually.) It's an amazing play :)

The Colloquium

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

The Capstone Colloquium is tonight. As I put my finishing touches on my speech and try to pick out a tie, I cannot help but feel nostalgic and reflect on my experiences at Montgomery College. With college applications due in just a few more days, there's that sense of finality. That growing sense of feeling that my time at Montgomery College is increasingly coming to an end.

I don't think it's just the Colloquium and college applications that's making me come to terms with the fact that it's my last semester here. Participating in the Common Student Experience group got the ball rolling. I was thinking about my experiences - both positive and negative - at Montgomery College. And for the most part, I've had an overwhelmingly positive time here. The negative experiences were mostly superficial and things you would find at nearly any other college.

I think we can measure the worth of any experience by the kind of relationships we cultivate. Though I am very grateful for the intellectual experience I have received at Montgomery College, I also highly value the friendships I've made here.

So in light of this, it might be a little surprising to think that I only reluctantly attended Montgomery College. It was a big decision to attend a community college right after completing a grueling magnet program in my high school. But looking back, I think my fears about attending Montgomery College were largely misguided.

This seems more like something I should have posted in a few months - around the time I graduate from MC - but it seemed more fitting because today marks the "end" of my journey in the Scholars program. Though the program will officially end today, it has left an indelible impact on my life. I shy away from exaggerations and cliches, but this was truly a transforming experience and the program only affirmed my decision to attend Montgomery College. In many ways I will always be a Montgomery Scholar. The insights I've gained into the world will hopefully guide me into understanding our world a little better. The memories of the program, the wonderful friendships will always be very dear to me.

Scavenger Hunt

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Hello everyone !

After a very busy week of schoolwork, I am back on your computer screen with my blog. I went to the National Gallery of Art on Tuesday with my friend Dagem for a project in his art class: AR107 (Art History: Ancient to 1400). I took this class a year ago with Prof. Graham, and we had a similar project. Hence, I decided to utilize my day off by helping him out. His professor gave him a a list of architectural and artistic elements to locate in and around the Washington DC metropolitan area. He had to document them by taking  pictures and turning them in.

I thought we would be able to locate the total of 26 items on the same day, but when I saw the list I was quite surprised. It took us more than 2 hours to locate just 5 items inside the west building of the National Gallery of Art.

Farnese Hercules, bronze
The Emperor Hadrian, Bronze
She-wolf suckling Romus & Remus,
A Byzantine painting
Chalice of Abbot Suger of St. Denis

This was a tough task. After getting done with the building, we headed towards the Lincoln Memorial to take pictures of other items on the list. 5 hours had passed and we were half done. I wanted to go further and finish rest of them the same evening, but we realized we had to go to the National Cathedral for more pictures. That's another 5 miles from the Lincoln memorial.

Hence, we decided to conclude our journey for that day. He completed rest of  it yesterday. It wasn't an easy task...Well, the project is worth 20% of his course grade. So, 2 days of effort was justified.

Here are some of the pictures I took inside the National Gallery of Art. Check'em out !

Student Blogger Program Week 18


Student Blogger Program Week 18


Student Blogger Program Week 18


Student Blogger Program Week 18


Student Blogger Program Week 18


Student Blogger Program Week 18


Student Blogger Program Week 18

And this trophy goes to you for reading my blog happy

Student Blogger Program Week 18

Take care and see you guys next week.


Community Service why it Matters to you.

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College is an important step in every student’s life. As a student here at Montgomery College, it’s our job to discover who we are and what career could possibly compliment our confidence, along with the personality that defines the person that we become as an individual. This is the time in our lives to shape ourselves.

When people ask: What are you studying? Or perhaps a question such as this comes up: Why are you studying that major specifically?

What is your response? Usually my answer is; I am studying English and I minor in sociology. I chose English because I enjoy writing and sociology is a subject out of my comfort zone, but I honestly don’t mind a challenge.

But the real question is: do you ask yourself why? Why is English a major that’s important to me? Why is sociology my minor? Is this knowledge I want to know and will it benefit me? Is the image we have in our heads an accurate one? Sometimes I question myself all the time if I have made the right decision for the major I have chosen for yourself.

An excellent fact about Montgomery College is that this school provides many opportunities for each student. Yesterday between classes I took a few minutes to go to the community volunteer fair. This fair was looking for volunteers in every major, so for everything I was interested in I grabbed papers at every station. (Well almost) I collected papers on the organization called PAWS which works with animals and if you plan to work with animals you might want to consider giving it try. I also chose to consider helping the Potomac River Watershed cleanup because I am a sucker for the outdoors and the environment, so if that sounds interesting give it a go! Another one for all you health majors out there I really encourage you get into the organization TAYA (Teen And Young Adult Health connection) they are looking for people and really do need the help. Lastly, if you are majoring in education you might like the idea of actually working with children. This organization helps Wood Middle School and Tilden Middle School. Don’t worry you don’t do it alone. The people who planned this will train and prepared you that way you’ll feel confident and ready!

I cannot emphasize how essential it is to understand your major more. Trust me you can never learn enough about it. This is your life long decision, please, make sure this is what you want to do for the rest of your life! Take time out of your busy schedule and get involved in the community. Dip your feet in before you make that permanent leap. There is no shame in changing ones mind besides isn’t that what college is about? Isn’t this our time to learn and experience the world around us? Isn’t now the time to change our minds and find our calling?

Just a thought. confused


For more information check out these


Writer's Block

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link

I'm usually pretty good at writing papers and  never complain when I have to write proposals, essays, or research papers for my classes.

This week, however, I've experienced writer's block for the first time in two years :/

I don't know if is the fact that I've been writing a lot lately, or I'm just too stressed to think clearly to write a paper.

I have to write a 8 pages paper for one of my classes, and like I said, usually it is not a problem. I always write more than I'm supposed to, and then just leave out information I don't need or summarize similar ideas into one very well structured sentence.

For this paper, I have written three pages, and I'm already out of ideas. It's not that the topic is difficult or I don't have enough sources or information. I have enough information to write a 5 starts paper. I'm just not in the mood to think and write something right now. I know exactly what I want to say. I wrote an outline and planned every stage and part of the paper, but words don't come to my mind.

Maybe I'm too exhausted or there is something really wrong with me :/ I don't know frankly, and it is freaking me out because writing is my thing. I always excel when it's about writing papers for school...or writing for fun...

I just hope this is temporary, and after a good night of sleep (not today or tomorrow because I have evening classes) this block will pass, and I'll be my usual self.

Thank God I still have a couple of weeks to finish this paper, or I would be more freaked out!

Any advice to unblock this writers' block? (Weird sentence.... I rest my case!)

Ten Thousand Times

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

In order to make me feel better about abysmal parking skills, my dad told me about a Zen teaching.

            “In Zen,” he said, “they say that in order to master something, you have to do it ten-thousand times.” Then he put in numerical terms for me. Say you parked an average of once a day; it would take fifteen years before you had parked 10,000 times. So, I’ve still got a ways to go.

            When I think about it, there are very few things I have done ten thousand times: breathing, tying my shoelaces, spelling the word decision – and even those things I haven’t mastered. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to practice my Capstone Speech ten thousand times.

            Like Sairam, I am experiencing the peculiar existential crisis of having finished my Capstone Paper. (What will I do with all this spare time???) The quandary is premature, however. This is only the calm before the storm. Next Monday, it happens: the big finale. The Colloquium.

            Yours Truly has been chosen as a keynote speaker. I have the dubious honor of giving my speech in front of the entire Colloquium audience before they break up into smaller groups to see the other speeches.

            No pressure.

            In the past, I’ve always found it easier to give a speech in front of a large group of people than to deliver the speech to myself in the mirror. Having a bit of experience performing – mostly improvisational theatre – I generally don’t get that nervous about public speaking. I’ve never had much of a need to stand in front of a mirror and practice a speech ten thousand times.

            Until now. I am genuinely honored and humbled to have been chosen out of all of my peers for this task, but let’s face it, if I wasn’t at least a little bit nervous, people would be checking to see if I still had a pulse. My main problem is figuring out how to practice, since I clam up in front of a mirror, and the more anxious I get about my speech, the more I bumble when I try to present it to my professors.

            Yesterday, I got by with a little help from my friends. Two friends were looking on as I flipped through my power point. Excited by their interest, relaxed by their company, I started to explain…and the speech came tumbling out of my mouth!

             Maybe in this instance, practicing my speech ten thousand times isn’t going to help all that much, since it will just make me more nervous. In a moment of clarity, the three best ways to deliver a speech hit me.

Know your topic inside and out; if you know what you’re talking about, everything else will come naturally.

Breathe. Both of my yoga teachers have told me this. You need oxygen to keep your brain on top of its game. Plus, breathing deeply will help relax you.

Have fun! The audience can tell when you’re having a great time, and chances are, your mood will be infectious.


I hope to see you at the Colloquium!

Common Student Experience

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link


So tomorrow I'll be participating in a forum for MC students in which we will be sharing our experiences at MC and how we first connected with the college.

What can I say? Most of my experiences at MC have been pretty awesome. There is always a "hair in the soup," like we say in my country, but overall my experiences have always been fulfilling and I really appreciate all of them.

I remember my first semester at MC, and the great people and friends I made. Among those people was one of the most amazing professors I've ever met. Her name is Margaret Kirkland, and even though she retired last year and I haven't seen her since then, I really treasure everything I learned from her. She was the one who push me a little extra because she saw my potential and helped me to realize about the things I was capable of.

Although I had already attended college back home, I never put enough interest to get involved in the whole college experience until I started attending MC and took Professor's Kirkland class. Since then, I've met wonderful people who have enriched my life with their knowledge and ways to see and handle life. I would mention all of them, but it wouldn't been fair to the others because there is so many. I'm pretty sure they know who they are though. They have helped me to become a better person and student. I just love MC and its people :)


An Ode to Capstone

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

It is done. More than 20 pages of original research on globalization. I'm not quite sure how I feel now. Accomplished? I guess. But that's because of the sum of my experience at MC, not just one paper. It's (like all things in my life right now) bitter-sweet. My Capstone paper and I had some really good times. For example, for the first time in my life the paper ensured I wasn't alone on Valentine's Day. The paper and I spent a really nice evening together - some black tea, a box of donuts, and some Economics journals. It was so romantic. I know that makes me sound like a total nerd but that's okay. I've come to accept it lately after being in denial for so long :)

All kidding aside, it does feel a little strange to be "done" with the paper. After all, I fell in love with my topic (then out, then in again...with this cycle repeating more than a few times). I don't even think it has sunk in just yet that the paper writing process is out of the way. Though one of friends suggested I take some time off to celebrate, I was still obsessed with re-reading the paper for grammatical errors and incorporating new information I accidentally stumbled upon. I must say I'm very happy with it. So happy that if I were to do a Senior Thesis or pursue research when I transfer to a 4-year institution, I would very much like to continue research on my topic (plans for writing about the effect of zombie apocalypse on the economy be damned!).

I really hope I don't fall into some kind of "second semester Scholar slumber" or "second year Scholaritis" now that "the" assignment of the second year has been completed. In all fairness there's a fat chance of that happening though - the Senate is gearing up to hold two large events (MC's Got Talent and the Executive Cabinet Elections) over the next 2 months, it seems like I have my hands tied up with more than my fair share of challenging classes.

So how does it feel to be done? Honestly, no different than it did a week ago. Maybe I will be doing cart wheels to celebrate after I officially hand the paper in. But nothing for now. Though I must say, now that I've printed the paper, it feels very heavy in my hand. That's either a sign of my frailty or a sign of the work I put into it. I'm going with the latter.

Café MC & More: The Sequel

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Continued from last week.....

So, after having a good lunch at the cafeteria, I started planning about where to go and what pictures to take next. And then suddenly came the thought, "How about exploring some art stuff inside the Art building ?" I headed outside the cafeteria, and took a couple pictures.

Student Blogger Program Week 17

During my interview for the blogger program, Ms. Jane had asked me if I disliked anything at MC. I told her there is not any significant aspect of our college that I disliked. Everything is really good. I love MC. However, we all can have different opinions about teeny-tiny aspects. And I found one thing, which I didn't quite like. There might have been a purpose behind the construction of these fences everywhere (over-exaggerating a bit), but I think it doesn't look good. I like open and wide spaces. I probably disliked this at that moment because because I had to go all the way through "the perpendicular" and "the base" instead of taking the short "hypotenuse path" -- and with a full stomach...Just kidding 


A few more pictures........

Student Blogger Program Week 17

Student Blogger Program Week 17

Student Blogger Program Week 17

Finally, I arrived at the Art building. Remember in my last blog post I said "The other half of my story where the actual photography took place, is quite bitter." It isn't that bitter now because it has already been a week now lol. Just as I was about to enter the building, I was confronted by a campus security officer. He told me that only college employees were allowed to take pictures inside the college, and he noted down my name. I like people who speak in a soft voice. He was a very respectful person. Hence, without arguing, I apologized and literally fled the scene.

Quote of the week: "Never let your persistence and passion turn into stubbornness and ignorance." - Anthony J. D'Angelo


two left feet and a dash of coffee

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I am so pleased that I made it through the day!

I woke up this morning feeling well rested and ready to take on the day.  However, it was one of those days where my mind didn’t seem to be working with my body.

I live in a town house and of course townhouses have many sets of stairs. ( I don’t recommend anyone EVER buying a town house! They’re deadly!) I was running a little late this morning and Thursdays I have my class in Takoma Park, so I usually try to leave by 6:45 to catch the train on time. Anyway, I woke up on time, but it seems I walk with two left feet because I end up tripping and tumbling down the stairs. Thankfully, I am okay, but I ended breaking my phone's screen. I can no longer make calls, but for some reason I can receive them just fine. I laid in the middle of the living floor for about ten minutes laughing, crying, (along with a few choice of words).  After I was able to get myself together, I was able to leave on time.

My day was going normally again.  I forgot about the incident that I had to endure. My main focus was getting to class on time because I had a quiz at the very beginning of my CPR class.  After I arrived on campus, I had time to spare. I felt I could burn time and I got myself a cup of white hot chocolate.  The taste is heavenly. I headed toward the health science center with my warm hot chocolate in my hand. I arrived to the building on time and entered with a smile on face. Apparently, I thought too deeply and distracted myself from a closing door which was held open by my noggin. Ouch! I ended up with coffee all over myself.

What a day! I am happy to finally be sitting on this couch writing this blog. Now that I look back, I’m lucky to have a hard head. Next time I need to  make sure I’m awake mentally as while as physically. Word of advice to non morning persons : Don’t take a class until after 10 AM. 
Have a happy weekend everyone! I’m going to take some time and just rest my head for the weekend. Maybe watching a bunch of Julia Roberts movies will heal me right up.



Renaissance Classes... Making conections

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link

I love my classes this semester. 

I'm having extra fun in my Renaissance classes. For those of you who don't know how these classes work, here is a little explanation. 

Every semester, Renaissance scholars take either a 1 credit class during the Fall or a 6 credits class during the Spring. The 6 credit class is a combination of two classes, a learning community actually, in which two classes in very different disciplines are taught in a way that both classes connect concepts and make relationships between one academic discipline to the other. Then, you write a paper and present it in the Honor’s Colloquium at the end of every semester.

It's pretty cool because who knew that Literature and Psychology had things in common huh?  (Those are the classes I'm taking this semester by the way)

This is why I love my Renaissance classes. They make you think critically about two things that you would have never connected with each other without the extra push the class requires. For example, right now we are studying The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and we are applying Psychology to our literary analysis. It's amazing how the author of the book put together a story that covers so many aspects of psychology in a novel that, besides being short, is very interesting and fun to read.

I'm analyzing the novel in ways that I don't think I would have considered if it wasn't for this class. I'm learning a lot about both disciplines, and I'm having fun! I can’t wait until we have to start writing our final paper. It’s going to be challenging, but I’m sure it will be exciting.

Let me tell you... if you meet the requirements to apply for the Renaissance Scholars Honors Program, do it! You won't regret it.



(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

On Thursday morning, I bought eight cans of compressed air from a Staples Express – on Smithsonian business. It was vitally important that I obtain the compressed air since my task d’jour was to take down all of the lights hanging up in the Discovery Theatre, clean them off (using the compressed air to blow away the roosting dust bunnies), focus them, and then help my boss hang them back up in new positions.

            Lighting instruments (the lights that hang above a stage) are heavy. Taking them down involves getting up on a ladder with a wrench, unbolting the instruments from their hanging positions and then bringing them to the floor. I did quite a bit of work with stage lights in high school, but it hadn’t made me any handier with a wrench (I’m lucky if I correctly differentiate left from right) and I knew that after unbolting a few instruments above my head and carrying them down the ladder, my arms were going to be killer sore.

            Luckily, I wasn’t the one up on the ladder. I was working with a contracted employee of the Discovery Theatre. He unbolted the instruments, unplugged the cables and handed them down to me to organize on the floor.

At first, we worked in silence, but eventually, we started swapping stories of how we had come to the Discovery Theatre.

“Where do you go to school, Sam?”

“Montgomery College,” I replied.

“Oh yeah?” he chuckled up on the ladder. “Which campus?”


“No kidding,” he laughed some more. “That’s where I went to school not so long ago.”

After exploring the topic further, it came to light that we had taken classes with some of the same professors. I found out that he had worked in the MC theatre department with a couple of my high school friends and the older sister of one of my current friends.

My co-worker had also been an intern at the Discovery Theatre about three years ago. Although he did not get his internship through PPHI, he did get it through MC. While working on a play at MC a few years ago, the artistic director of Discovery Theatre realized he had skills in puppetry that would be useful to her and offered him the internship. He has been working for the Discovery Theatre ever since.

Montgomery College has a motto: “Endless Possibilities”.

They aren’t joking

TP/SS Writing club first meeting

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link

Hello everybody!

I hope that you enjoyed your weekend :) It seems that mine got reduced to finishing homework for my classes and clean the house because it gets messy during the week when I'm running around getting ready for school!

So, on Friday we had the first TPSS Writing Club meeting (we tried to come up with a creative name, but so far nothing... you're more than welcome to suggest names!) 

It was a great first meeting! Usually (and I'm talking based on my experience with other clubs,) only two or three people show up for the first meeting. We had, however, 12 people! It was great to see all of the new faces that want to be part of this club and who are very interested in making it work!

We discussed the organization of the club as well as the semester's goal, and we came up with pretty good ideas about what we'll do with this club. We are already planning a poetry slam that will happen in the upcoming weeks, and we will  get involved in service learning as well as college activities in order to fulfill the requirements of a MC recognized club.

I have some pictures, so I hope you enjoy them :)


And if you're interested in joining the club, send me an email :) I'll be more than happy to give you the information you need :)

Perennially Busy

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

I think I've written about how being busy, being sleep deprived, and being stressed are the only themes in my life. I keep telling myself that next semester will be different but so far that hasn't been the case. And this semester is no exception. So I have decided I just like enjoy being busy. Maybe it's the adrenaline rush, or maybe I just enjoy scheduling myself back-to-back, or maybe deep down I'm just some kind of emotional masochist and I haven't come to terms with that just yet. Perhaps it's a combination of all three.

Instead of complaining about how busy I am, I'm going to talk about why I'm busy.

1. Capstone Paper - 20 pages of original research and the topic has to relate to Globalization. One would think it wouldn't be that bad because we've had plenty of time to work on it but in reality the truth is a little different. Between narrowing down my focus to do justice to the topic in 20 pages, coming up with enough original material, and managing to put together a snazzy powerpoint to talk extemporaneously for 15 minutes my time is all tied up.

And oh there's this problem -


2. College Apps - Pretty self-explanatory. Assembling everything form your high school transcripts to parents tax-forms is pretty taxing (unintentional pun!).

3. Work - I've been working part-time at the Office of Student Life. I really like it. Everyone's really awesome and I love assisting visitors and clubs with anything I can but the timing of me working could have been better. With College Apps and Capstone around the corner, anything that detracts from these two (like sleeping, breathing, walking around MC Rockville's fences) contributes to my busy schedule. Anyway, stop by and say Hi!

4. Senate - I don't think I shared this here but I'm the Chief of Staff for MC Rockville's Student Senate. Overseeing the committees, ensuring everyone is doing their work takes a good deal of time out too (not because people don't do their work but because it's a lot to look over).

5. Sleeping - Apparently we spend a third of our lives doing this. What's up with that? Get on it evolution! I'm expecting someone who is not immune to caffeine and can perform on just 1 hour of sleep.

Too add to this Ethics Bowl practice starts tomorrow. Strangely I'm not stressed yet. Check back next week though! My hair will be significantly grayer, my eyes more bloodshot than usual, body significantly more jittery.

Café MC & More

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Hi everyone,

It's 7.50 am in the morning. I just woke up like half an hour ago, and after a quick breakfast, I am back to business. I went to the Rockville Campus on Tuesday, and here I am with few pictures of "Cafe MC." This was my first time eating at the campus cafeteria. I don't usually go there as I have all my classes at the Germantown campus. Even though this is a really large cafeteria, almost all seats had already filled up when I reached there. 

As I was going straight down the hallway, I saw something and I was like "Wow !" I was flabbergasted (PCAT word of the day lol) to see Starbucks in the cafeteria. I knew I had to stop there. Starbucks reminds me of something I just have to tell what it is. Every time I go to MVA, I wish they had Starbucks. Sitting on the bench (sometimes for hours) with my number I always think about this. 

Now back to my story...

I asked the kind lady for "Coconut Mocha Frappe." Unfortunately, they didn't have coconut. I was happy enough to settle for caramel. I met some friends, and we talked for like 10 minutes. As I was exiting from the cafe zone, I realized they also had Jerry's subs and pizzas. 

On the whole, the Rockville campus cafeteria is a really cool place to hang out during your break. They also have tables for you to enjoy your lunch outside. I am pretty sure most of you have already been there. If not, you must ! 

The other half of my story where the actual photography took place, is quite bitter, and I think I will share the rest of it next week. Till then take care and keep reading. 

Student Blogger Program Week 16

Student Blogger Program Week 16

Student Blogger Program Week 16

Student Blogger Program Week 16

Oh! I almost forgot this. As the Valentine's day is approaching, this event might help you find your valentine. The Rockville student senate is organizing an event where you can discover your valentine behind the mask. 


Celebrate Valentine's Day at “THE RED MASQUERADE BALL!” 

When:  Friday, February 10, 2012 

Time:  7pm-10pm 

Where: Small Gym (PE 137A) 

Cost:  $7 in advance and $10 at the door

Purchase your tickets from a Rockville Student Senator or stop by the Office of Student Life (Campus Center 005) Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm. 

Sponsored by the Rockville Student Senate 

Campus Center, Room 008



Student Blogger Program Week 16

Quote of the week: "Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it." - Andre Gide

What! No More Football?

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  Hello again everyone! This week has been very overwhelming. Fortunately, Friday is tomorrow. Yay for the weekend, well kind of because if I’m not in school; I am working (sad face.) Luckily, I do have off Sunday so that does give me a mini break and find away to relieve stress and watching football certainly does relax me! (Most of the time unless if my team losses. Ravens Fan over here!!!)

Wait…but football season is over?!?! Darn, if you’re a football fan like myself then you know what it feels like to have football season end. I’m going to miss Sunday night games, hanging with friends, debating who’s going to the super bowl, eating pizza, weekend after weekend (because who wants to cook while a game is on? Not me!) Football was the only reason why I could catch a break from papers, studies, and projects. The better question is what am I supposed to do?

This week I did a mini soul search for myself. (I must have something to do on my days off, right?) Perhaps, these ideas can influence you to go find their inner self.

1. Maybe similar to me, you might enjoy carpentry? I developed this hobby, building doll houses sometime last year and surprisingly I really enjoyed it. Granted, it does take patience so this is definitely not for everyone. But who knows, maybe art would be a great way to escape?





2. Exercise is great for stress. It’s a great way to release your daily frustrations. There are a verity of ways to exercise. My choice is rock climbing. Instead, of watching football it’s fun and exciting to do something new. My advice to you is: find an adventure!



3. Also, there are weeks where nothing else sounds better then laying in bed all day! (Who can’t agree with that?) So enjoy that day with family, yourself, or your pets. I am more of an animal person, so I like to snuggle with my ferret and watch lifetime all day.



2011-10-16 19.12.39




Any other ideas please feel free to share.



Club Sign-up days :)

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link

Like I have repeated a million times, I am very involved with student life at the TP/SS campus. 

On Monday and Tuesday, we had our Club Sign-up days. 

It was a fun event, and I have the pictures to prove it! I hope you enjoy them :) 

Special thanks to my friend Karina who covered the Writing club and Excalibur tables for me :)... it really helps to have friends like her because I was working all day and wasn't able to be talking to people, so she offered to help :) 

We usually have these type of events at the Student Services Building atrium... 


The display boards that my friend Karina and I made to promote the Writing Club and the Latin Student Union... We had so much fun! :) 


That's my friend Karina :) ...


And finally that's me... :)


Hope you like the pictures and if you haven't signed-up for a club, do it! There are plenty of clubs to choose from :)

Harry Potter and the Honors Colloquium

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

I am sick and tired of looking at pictures of Harry Potter. I spent Friday afternoon and most of the day Saturday panning the internet for graphic gems relating to the spectacled boy wizard to the point that when I shut my eyes, visions of Potter danced in my head. Here’s the catch: my hours of Potter overload were not part of a prolonged procrastination scheme; it was my homework.

            As the centerpiece to what Professor Aram Hessami accurately describes as “intellectual waterboarding”, second year Montgomery Scholars (like Sairam and me) develop Capstone papers about whatever topic tickles our fancy – as long as it is related to Globalization.

            After getting far too stressed about my major research project last year, Mom mandated that I had to pick a fun topic for Capstone. With the help of my advisor, I chose Harry Potter. Yes, for the past four months, I have been researching Harry Potter and developing a paper relating the ink-and-paper phenomenon to globalization.

            It sounds like a dream come true, writing a research paper about a popular series of children books (of which I am admittedly a fan). In many ways, it has been a dream come true, because let’s face it, reading about Harry Potter is just a heck of a lot more fun than traditional research topics. Because I have a topic I actually like, doing the research and writing the paper has been relatively painless – at least, compared to my classmates’ horror stories about their papers.

            More importantly, in the grand scheme of things, my Harry Potter Capstone is a reduced stress dress rehearsal for the senior thesis, masters thesis, and possibly even doctoral thesis looming in my future. It may not be the most erudite piece of scholarship ever, but it’s guiding me through the process.

            That said, as surely as my cat looks forward to a time when my computer no longer occupies the choice piece of real estate on my lap, I look forward to finishing my paper and getting at least a little bit of my life back. I might even have time to labor upon my own works of fiction in the hopes that one day, some grungy undergrad will curse doing a research project about me.

            You’ll notice that although I mentioned my paper is about Harry Potter and globalization, I didn’t tell you how I relate the two. This is entirely intentional; I am, as an advertiser might say “piquing your interest” while “leaving you wanting more”. Here’s the punch line.

            The Montgomery Scholars class of 2012 will be presenting our capstone papers in a Colloquium on February 27 from 6:30 to 9:30 pm in the Theatre Arts Arena at Rockville Campus. If you want to know what becomes of my paper and check out my classmates’ work, I’ll see you there. 

I love student life....

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link



I love being a student at MC....

The opportunities I have taken advantage of are incredible experiences that have helped me to grow as a human being and as a student of course....

This week looks very promising for me...

First of all, we have clubs sign-up days (Photos coming soon...) which is a great opportunity to get students to join the clubs on campus and to learn of the different services and activities that the Office of Student Life has for college students. 

Then, on Thursday, a group of students from the three campuses will have the chance to join the president of the college and some other faculty and administrative staff to advocate for student's right to affordable education. We'll be going to Annapolis and present our point of view to legislators of the county and tell them why education affordable for everyone is so important for our county, state, and country. It will be a great opportunity for those of us who had never attended this annual visit, and I can definitely say that I'm very proud to be one of the students who will be representing the college.

Finally, on Friday, the first meeting of the TP/SS Writing Club will finally be held... The group and I have been trying to find a day that suits everybody schedules, but it has been a little hard. This week though, we agreed that we will have our first meeting to discuss our purpose, goals, and objectives. I'm pretty confident that it will be a great meeting, and we will get things done after that. If you want to join us it is going to be at 12:15 pm in ST214...

It's going to be a long and busy week, but I am very grateful that I have the chance to experience all of this things because, like I said, help me to grow.

I'll have pictures of Club Sign-up days on Wednesday, and maybe some funny story about the things that only happen at Montgomery College.... :)



Filling the PE requirement

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

I have been taking Yoga this semester because I need a PE credit to graduate. Choosing Yoga out of the many PE offerings at Montgomery College was no easy task. I narrowed my choices down to Yoga, Fencing, and Golf. When I put this matter to a vote on my Facebook profile, the comment thread on my status blew up to over 60 comments. People are apparently very passionate about their preferred form of exercise. Ultimately my choice boiled to a few things - I hated waking up at ungodly times like 8am on a Saturday (that too with Winter yet to pass), so Golf was not an option. Fencing clashed with my Spanish II class so Yoga was the last class standing.

Being Indian, Yoga should have been my natural choice as Indians have sworn by Yoga's health benefits for centuries, but I was always a little apprehensive about getting back into Yoga after I moved to the United States. I say "getting back" because I learned Yoga when I was growing up in India (before it became a fad - even in India - as I like to remind). I cannot remember any health benefits but Yoga and Meditation calmed down my unusually hyperactive self. 

Somehow I fell out of the practice and I forgot many of the asanas. I never wanted to "re-learn" Yoga in the United States because I was afraid of how Yoga was taught here. I came across some news articles many years back about how Yoga in the United States was being modified by self-proclaimed gurus with sometimes disastrous consequences. I was scared the name changes of the asanas would deprive me of the spiritual connection Yoga provided me at times. I tell people it's a little like eating Chinese food in China, and being told by everyone to try Chinese food in America because it's amazing! I don't know if that made any sense...

Anyway, my fears were soon put to rest after last week's Yoga class. As I was in the corpse posture (sevasana), I felt my jaw relax for the first time in months. I have been noticing the physical toll that stress has been taking on my body and one of the more noticeable effects is my jaw tightening significantly – even when I am asleep. I have been concerned that my body is not relaxing even as I sleep. So this was a very welcome development for me. Monday night in my Yoga class might be the most relaxed I have been for a very, very long time in my life.

I was mildly annoyed about the 1 credit PE requirement a year ago, not because I dislike physical exercise (quite the contrary) but I wasn't sure how it would fit in my crazy schedule. I'm glad Yoga fits well and I'm glad I haven't been disappointed by it. If you want to take Yoga, please consider taking it with Professor Monica Byrd. She is AMAZING! 

My only regret is not having taken the class sooner and the class being 1 credit - meaning it only meets once a week :(


In somewhat unrelated but equally important news, please watch this video and do your bit to save the only community college themed comedy on air!

How To Study Like A Boss ?

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Hi dear readers,

Today I am going to take you on a little tour of my room. I think the environment of a room plays a vital role in determining the level of success achieved in an indoor activity like studying. Hence, I thought I'd show you some pictures of my room, and explain briefly on why it is the way it is.

Student Blogger Program Week 15

This picture shows you my study desk, chair and other accessories on the desk. Since most of us use laptops all the time, I think it is very important to have a wide desk. Another important thing to keep in mind is that the desk has to be occupied only with the stuffs you need at a particular time. Also, I think it is important to have a comfortable chair that one can't sleep on easily. You can see a paper attached to the wall, which contains the exam dates of all the classes I am taking this semester. This way I can keep track of the dates without relying on the syllabus.

Student Blogger Program Week 15

I also have a tiny desk right beside my chair. On this desk, I keep the stuffs which I may need at some point while I study, but I don't want them to occupy my large desk all the time. Here I keep water, beverages, and in this picture you can see my favorite Pistachios wink

Student Blogger Program Week 15

This picture gives you a wide angle view of my room. I really struggle on concentrating on my book when my room is messy. Hence, I really feel the need to keep my room generally clean and organized. There is a saying: "A healthy mind stays in a healthy body.” I'd like to add a similar one: "A healthy mind stays in a healthy environment." 

And one more thing: It is very important to refrain from using your bed while studying, or you might struggle to fall asleep, and also hurt your back in the long run.  

That's it for today. Rockville photos will be here next week. Take care and keep the feedback coming. 


I did it and you can too!

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happyHello everyone,happy

I wish I could say what a beautiful day it is, but apparently this weather enjoys making it difficult for me to get out of bed.  Usually, on days like this, I enjoy naps or simply embrace the laziness a rainy day brings. Unfortunately, I had CPR class all the way in Takoma Park campus, so I had to wake up at 6:30 am. (Downtown Sliver Spring is unpredictable with traffic and the street lights got a kick out of turning red whenever I was close to passing them.) Ironic, how I leave an hour early and barely made it to class on time. Maybe I should consider taking the metro?

Aside of my mini dilemma, I wanted to inform students who are either new to Montgomery College or students that need some advice to get more involved this semester.

In high school, my GPA wasn’t the highest and I wasn’t involved in school at all. If anything, my attitude toward school really hindered my experience for getting good grades, extracurricular activates, and overall the idea of school taking me anywhere in life was a doubt in my mind. What my point is education is what you make it. Now, I made it on the deans list and continue to raise my GPA which is now a 3.5. Plus, I am a blogger for Montgomery College (which is an amazing opportunity.)

If you have goals and motivations, but you don’t know where to start, here are a  few things that can “put pep in your step” as I would say,wink

1. Stick with your skills and interests: I am a person who enjoys writing. Get involved in a club that shares similar interests with you. It is important because becoming a part of something that matters to you can change your point of view on your education or even your future career.

2.Noone’s SUPERMAN so take it easy: Never take on too much of anything! One reason is because it’s nice to be able to enjoy what you are doing and rushing around can be exhausting. (Some people enjoy the rush, but make sure you're ready to take on a lot.) Things to consider are:  A. Will I have time for family? B. Will I have some leftover time for “me” time? C. Can I juggle this plus homework? It’s essential to know YOUR LIMITS!

3. Get involved: As a student it’s time to start building a nice resume with many (different) experiences. Students are often unsure what their majors are; also, what kind of career they can see themselves in. Take advantage of all the clubs, internships, and activates a student can become actively involved.

(I’ll do some research and give a list of activities that would suit all kinds of interests.)

Have a great rest of the week and weekend!



Better later than never???

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link

Yes... I know I'm super duper late today!!!!! And I don't have pictures yet :( Sorry about that....

Do you ever have a day that starts bad and only gets worse and worse???? That was today for me...

I woke up late first of all, so I didn't have time to have a decent breakfast...

Then, because I thought it was raining and didn't check the weather before I left, I wore boots, heavy clothes, a jacket, and scarf.... by the time I got to the bus stop, I was so hot that I felt my face was burning... and my feet hurt because my boots were new and I didn't knew I needed to wear extra thick socks... It was awful

Then, I got to school and had to run to get to my class on time because I completely forgot that today was Wednesday, and my class was across the bridge :( ...

I kind of had a break during the afternoon because my job is great and my boss is amazing, so I spend the rest of the morning finishing some homework and getting my act together... It didn't last long...

Today, the first part of my first essay was due in my Literature class as well as some interpretative questions. I spent yesterday afternoon putting together the greatest introduction ever, and answering the questions, so they would be the best answers possible. I saved the work in my flash drive, of course. Due to my lack of attentiveness this morning, I forgot my flash drive :(... Guess who spent the afternoon re-writing that same work...It was awful :(

So, I didn't forget about the photos or the blog... I just had the first bad day of the semester...

Won't happen again... I hope so!!!


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