Skip to Main Content

Student Bloggers

The Beautiful DC

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Hey guys, how're you all doing? I hope you guys are having a fun weekend. First of all, I am really sorry for not being able to put a post up on time. Today I went to DC (as promised) and took some pictures to give you guys a feel of what it looks like around this time of the year. 




I was told that today would be a rain-dominated day, but when I got there I was very happy as the nature had decided to settle for a cloudy day. Since it is a Saturday, you can see in the picture that a large number of people showed up to celebrate the season. 



Despite the cloudy weather, kites dominated the sky. Some people were flying kites, while others were enjoying watching the kites battle. What beautiful scenery!



While cherries might have decided to stop blooming, there is no end to the blooming of romanticism !



Although I couldn't find the Cherry blossoms, this picture tells you there are plenty of other beautiful flowers that made my visit worthwhile.


Before I leave, here is a wide-angle shot of the monument. I urge you to visit DC on the weekend, and enjoy the cosmos between man and nature.



Take care and see you guys next week 


That BIG feeling ambition gives to such a small person.

 Permanent link

Last spring I thought about participating in the poetry slam. Every decision I make I remind myself of Hamlet's “to be or not to be.” In this case, I was torn between the fear of public speaking and at the same time, I wanted to surprise myself by doing something outside my comfort zone while making a statement to the audience: “to be or not to be is the question”.  I became anxious and these questions were overwhelming, so I signed my name on the dotted line. I’d rather be someone who is forever changing! And what better way to do it than something I never imagined doing.

I prepared my poem. I knew what I needed to say. It’s time to let all these insecurities go and to let people in or maybe let them walk away. 

Montgomery College is so rich with opportunity in every corner. This poetry slam was not only a step of courage for me, it was a step of something much BIGGER! This poem has allowed me to reach out and touch people. That to me is the most frightening idea. Why you may ask? Simply because people out there believe in what I say.  That’s humbling, and I am scared I could say the wrong thing.

I would like to share my poem in this blog. It’s called SCARS! I will warn that this is not a blissful poem, but a poem that shows pain.

You think you know me? You think I'm an attention dweller?

No! I'm a cutter with a secret. Yea, that’s what I am.

My urges to cut are strong, like the nicotine in your cigarettes.

Long sleeves in the summer time to keep warm from the icy glares.

Walk with my head down...ashamed of the story written all over my arm.

I can't stop! It's the same way you drowned sorrows away with liquor.

An alcoholic who won't put down the bottle. I'm NOT an alcoholic, but I understand the lonely nights you sat up awake.

Wanting to be someone else! Wanting another life!

Afraid of death, yet a coward who hides away in that broken forsaken home, surrounded by fears of life.

Memories so vivid, memories that haunt and consume my mind, memories that destroy my light;

Piercing pain in my chest with every lifeless breath.

Tears of blood roll down my arm eyes stay dry.

GOD, do you see this? I bleed black; the color of my soul.

More dark than the shadows of the night.

Pagan creatures praise the illuminating moon as I enjoy the loneliness of night.

Isolated, trapped by my repeating thoughts. racing, lapping around my insane mind.

STOP! I shout!

My wounds become bigger, the sharp blade digs deeper. "Down the street" I go.

Flesh rips down my wrist, pools of crimson blood overflow and stain my pale, delicate skin.

My soft lips quiver. My body grows weak, my head feels heavy.

I feel anxious with the idea I might cut too deep.

Gambling with my life with a stroke of a knife.

Like an adrenalin junkie, I feel more alive with the risk of losing it all!

I'll shut my eyes with hopes of being buried 6 feet under.

I'll shut my eyes with hopes of never waking up.

But...God, seems to have a purpose for me. I have more lives than a cat.

The reaper refuses to take my hand, for it's not my time.

Sounds of birds sing once again.

Lets have a toast, for the sun peaks over the horizon.

Another night survived. I'll put down the knife. 

My pores breathe in the warmth of the sun even on an early December morning.

I'll put down the knife, walk away into the world.

I'll forget this night ever happened.

But my scars leave a mark...they leave a story upon my flesh.

Vulnerable to the words of man kind.

You call me weak!

You call me damned!

But...that's not what I am.

You think you know me?

Yea, I'm a cutter with a secret.

My pain is more than skin deep.

I wanted to share this poem because it’s now a published poem. I am very proud and very happy that MC has given me a chance to speak my mind. This experience has taught me to fight and push hard toward my goals in life. If you are a poet or you have something inside that you need to release. Sign up for the poetry slam!


MC Colors and Mascot

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link

 In case you haven't notice, Montgomery College has new colors and a new mascot that will represent the three campuses from now on... They are announced in the homepage of the college website (Right above that pretty picture of Amanda, Shas, and me hahaha. Thanks MC for making us famous ;))

My favorite color is purple, so among all the colors combination, the one with purple got my attention.... and my vote! I'm really happy that the combination I liked the most won. I cannot say the same about the mascot though. I guess it was a hard decision because students had to vote twice to choose the mascot. I voted for The Guardians, but I guess more people liked The Raptors. 

So now, Montgomery College new colors are Silver, Purple, White, and Black, while our new mascot is The Raptors. This is the first step to unify the three campuses. I think is great that now we have a college wide mascot and colors that will represent all of the students in MC, no matter their home campus. 

Also guys, if you are good artist (as I’m sure you are); there is the chance for you to show your art and design the logo representing the new mascot and colors. If you are interested, go to this website, and who knows, you might be the one who designs the logo that will stay for posterity representing the college!

I'm going to leave with you this video where Dr. Pollard announced the new colors at the beginning of March. Hope you like it… and see you next week :)

The Hunger Games

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

Sorry for not blogging earlier. I had it all typed out but forgot to actually post it here.

The movie version of The Hunger Games came out and is all by accounts a resounding success. I'm not surprised because the book is pretty engrossing. I think it's the first fiction book after the Harry Potter series I just couldn't put down. My connection to the book actually directly relates to Montgomery College. 

It wasn't until I took Dr. Pollard's seminar course, Conversations of Consequence, this year that I actually read the book. I heard about the book from friends who raved about it, but I added it to the increasingly growing list of books I need to read. The seminar course is focused around the The Hunger Games trilogy. Aside from geeking out about the books, in the class, we also explore themes of totalitarianism, war, hunger, and other themes prevalent in the book. We also look at the real world connections, the references to greek myths, and the various motifs. In fact, right now we're planning an event on the Rockville campus to raise awareness about many of the issues raised by the books.

The class is a great experience because it combines the intellectual rigor of your typical literature class while adopting a more relaxed environment to discuss relevant issues. Nearly everyone in the class has read the books before taking the class, so everyone is really engaged and participates a lot in discussions. It's also very interesting to see how a first time reader, like me, views a certain scene or a character compared to someone who's read the book multiple times and has the knowledge of the whole trilogy to reflect on the characters.

Dr. Pollard is another reason this class is so wonderful. As a former English professor, her insight and her questions that really make you think and refine your insight are incredible. One of the things that makes Dr. Pollard really remarkable is her accessibility to students and student life on campus. I can say this both as a member of the Rockville Student Senate and as a student who's taking her class. She invited all the students in the class to her house, so we can have more time planning the event I mentioned earlier.

Where else can you say you've taken a class with the college's President and were invited over to her house to discuss more about the class?

A Villanelle

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

I forgot to blog until tonight

         My mind is busy other places

         And I don’t know what to write.

         Today at NASM I learned about flight

         And went so far to outer spaces

         I forgot to blog until tonight.

         I feel bad for posting this so late at night

         But my mind’s knotted up like shoelaces

         And I don’t know what to write.

         This weekend, my friends were a winning sight

         I love so much to see their faces

         That I forgot to blog until tonight

         While thinking, I decided a poem might

         Be the way to my creative oasis

         But I still don’t know what to write

         I apologize that the writing’s not tight

         For I wish to be in my readers’ good graces.

         But I forgot to blog until tonight

         (And I still don’t know what to write).



Can I have another cup of coffee please?

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link

As many fellow students will agree with me, coffee is an important part of the diet of a college student... not a healthy one, but a very important one...

It is not surprising to see me drinking a cup of coffee while walking to class or when I'm sitting working at my desk. My addiction to coffee it's getting so bad that every time I go to MC Munchies to get my regular large flavored coffee, the guys working over there already know what I will order and prepare for me without me asking for it.... kind of funny, I know.

The problem is that my addiction is getting so bad that I start to present physical reactions when I don't have my cup of coffee in the morning..... I know. It's bad!

So lately, I have tried to decrease the quantity of cups of coffee I have daily, and I'm planning on completely quit coffee soon. Not an easy task if you ask me, but something I want to do to improve my health. I’ve researching how to quit coffee without getting crazy in the process, and the two most important things that keep popping up in the websites I’ve reading are exercise and hydration besides a good attitude towards the idea.

I must acknowledge that I’m not a person very interested in health because I’m pretty healthy overall, but I guess a little of exercise and drinking more water always help, right? I’m just hoping that some of the information I’ve found is accurate enough, and my levels of concentration increase as I get more active because one of the reasons I drink coffee  is to stay awake while I'm studying. We’ll see how it goes… I really need to get my focus again now that we are almost done with the semester.

I doubt that I’ll stop drinking coffee totally, but at least I will try to limit the cups of coffee I have at day.

I’ll let you guys how my little experiment goes, and if you see me around campus with a cup of coffee, ask me if it’s the first one of the day…. I might get embarrassed and stop drinking it if is not haha..

Any other advise to quit my addiction?


21st Blog: Why I Chose A Career In Pharmacy ?

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

I'm surprised. It's already been 21 blogs ! After covering various topics in the last 20 posts, I finally feel like I have started to run out of blog ideas -- probably because it's 3 a.m right now.

I have been planning to visit D.C. to take pictures of the National Cherry Blossom Festival since last two weeks. But unfortunately, due to exams and other commitments, I haven't been able to get there yet. However, I will try to go there next week, and hope I will get the chance to check out the beauty of the cherry blossom trees. I might also do a video if the situation permits. 

Now let me talk a little bit about my major today. If you have read my blogger bio before, you might already know that I am a pre-pharmacy student. A question most people ask me is: "Why did you decide to pursue a career in pharmacy? "

There are several reasons behind this decision, some of which I want to share with you guys today.

I want to become a pharmacist because I am passionate about everything it has to offer. I worked in retail stores as a clerk for almost two years. I really enjoyed dealing with customers, and helping people out. The more I worked in a variety of customer service settings, the more I realized that I really loved this kind of job. Moreover, I have been interested in medicine since childhood.

In my first semester at MC, I met a friend named Dagem. I had not declared a major at that time. I was exploring my options, and he was the one who introduced me to the pharmacy profession. The more I learnt about the program, the more I was leaning towards it. Right after the end of the first semester, I made up my mind that my career goal was to become a pharmacist. This career perfectly fits my two desires: to work in a customer service setting + a medicine related field.

It is a long program. Pharmacist schooling generally involves at least 6-7 years of education after high school. Undergraduate coursework generally requires 2 to 3 years. Most pharmacy schools do not require bachelors degree. 75 college credits at Montgomery College should fulfill pre-pharmacy course requirements at most schools. Then comes the 4 years of Pharm D (Doctor of Pharmacy), which I aim to start next fall.

As mentioned in the "Bureau of Labor Statistics", the median annual salary of pharmacists as of May 2008 was $106,410. Satisfaction aside, the income looks very steady and attractive. I consider myself to be a giver. I am not a luxurious person and I believe in decent living. So, after repaying my student loans, I believe I can give a lot back to my community. I have never dreamt of buying a big house and expensive cars. I instead dream of serving humanity with the knowledge, skills, and the money I may make in the future. Things are easier said than done. I take one step at a time. While I always try to live fully-focused in the present moment, I think it's sometimes good to have little dreams of future.

Before I leave, I want to share an excerpt from the website of University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.

"Why Pharmacy?

Today’s pharmacists do much more than dispensing medications. They are front line healthcare professionals involved in multiple aspects of a patient’s health trained in medication dispensing, while providing services such as immunizations, medication therapy management, chronic disease management and more.Most importantly, pharmacists make a real impact on the lives of the patients for which they care."

Take care and see you guys next week.


History pushes us Forward for A Reason.

 Permanent link

Today it feels like spring or should I say summer?

Regardless, it is about time I am able to get out and read beneath the weeping willow tree in my complex.  The flimsy branches provided perfect protection from the sun. I enjoy sitting in the center of the tree with my head rested on the trunk. The whispering of the wind while it breezes through the leaves and my hair; gives me peace of mind.

I sat for a few hours reading a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman called “The Yellow Wallpaper.” This eerie story has crept into my head because, as a woman, I could never imagine being forced to sit in a room watching spring or summer pass by. 

If you haven’t read, this piece here’s a summary: 

A woman recently gave birth and a few days later, her husband, John, diagnoses her with hysteria. For three months, she is forced to stay in this room. An old room that appears to be worn down with yellow wallpaper. Her husband, who happens to be a physician, gives her the “rest cure”. She is isolated away from intellectual pursuits because it was thought that intellectual activities of any sort could cause women to have a mental breakdown or develop a mental illness. In order to cure this illness, it was thought, to be necessary not to allow woman do things nor enjoy hobbies such as reading, writing, board games, etc. This woman sat in loneliness for nearly three months only to see herself trapped inside that forsaken room. Her mind slowly went mad and the yellow wallpaper seems to speak to her…it seemed too familiar. 

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so if you want to know more you’ll have to read it for yourself. In addition, this story written in the late eighteen hundreds provides evidence that women weren’t always heard and since it is women’s history month, we (as in women) should appreciate our rights and being independent can be the most empowering characteristic we can have.   

It is inspiring to know we fought for equal opportunities and going to college is one of those opportunities. If you find time to read “The Yellow Wallpaper”, it will shine light on how we were once treated and perceived. Sometimes, a simple reminder can be that extra kick of motivation that is needed to get out of bed in the mornings. 

-Happy weekend everyone! Be safe and take care! 


Internet and School...

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link


What would be of us without the internet?

Yes, unfortunately, I am addicted to the internet. I can't even remember when was the last time that I spent at least 24 hours without access to the internet, and I don't want to even think what would happen if I lose access for any reason :/ However, I've been thinking about limiting the time that I spend navigating the net and trying to use it mainly for school related purposes (Not going to happen.... but I want to try haha)

Lately, I have noticed that social networking takes a lot of my time. Along with the fact that I have a Smartphone, a netbook, and an e-reader with me most days at school, I spent almost all day checking my profiles (Facebook and Tumblr mainly.) It is like an obsession, and I keep refreshing the pages over and over again even though I know the content will be the same because I don't have that many friends on Facebook nor I follow that many people on Tumblr :/ I know... it's bad!

On the other hand, I don't think I would survive school without Internet access. It is amazing how many great things you can find if you know what to look for and where. I will say that I wouldn't have the GPA I have nor I would be an honor's student without all of the free resources around the net.

Montgomery College has a great database, and almost any topic for any major can be found in the Library's website. Along with the resources offered by the college, I have tons and tons of websites that I have found very useful for school purposes. 

For example, Purdue OWL is a great website for those non-native speakers like me who want to improve their academic writing. The website is very well organized, and it provides information for almost any question related with academic writing. Catalysis is also great to improve academic writing, and it provides links to quizzes and tests to see how you’re doing with English grammar.  

The Gutenberg Project is a great website that offers thousands of ebooks (mostly classic books) that you can download to your computer or e-reader.  Bartleby is a similar website with many other e-texts.

Refdesk is kind of an online fact check library. Very useful when you are trying to find out if the statistics of that article that you’re using for your research paper are right or wrong.

For those writers, Wridea is a great site for brainstorming and ideas development. I love this website!

I have many many more, but those are the ones that I’m using more this semester because of the classes I’m taking.

So guys, even when it is really fun to see your friends’ pictures or update your status frequently, let’s take advantage of the other tools scattered in the Internet. Let me tell you… it will make your student life easier!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to stick to my plan of only check my social networking profiles once a day (… kind of hard, but I can try ;))

Do you recommend any other site?




Fleeting Beauty

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

“I am so small I can barely be seen.

            How can this great love be inside me?

            Look at your eyes. They are small,

            but they see enormous things.




I decided to celebrate the first day of spring by seeing the Washington, DC cherry blossoms (which, I admit with shame, I had not seen before.) I arrived at the Tidal Basin early this morning before most of the tourists were out. The air was cool, but humid from the earlier thunderstorms. The newly risen sun had hidden behind a smear of clouds, giving the pool and the swaying cherry trees dull, twilit overtones. 

            I was proud of myself for having remembered to bring my camera, especially when I found the perfect vantage of the Jefferson Memorial through strands of low hanging flowers.

            But my camera wouldn’t turn on.

            In my moment of disappointment, I thought about the Japanese aesthetic, wabi-sabi. By wabi-sabi values, the cherry blossoms are not at their peak when they are in full bloom, but rather when the flowers begin to die and the petals fall in a steady pink rain.

            As I stood with a broken camera, gazing at the Jefferson Memorial through the branches, I had a revelation about wabi-sabi. The cherry blossoms are beautiful as they fade because it is a reminder that the blooms are fleeting. Like Tibetan sand paintings, bird song or rainstorms, flowers are meant to be temporary. None of these things can be captured or preserved for eternity. Even though the cherry trees on the Tidal Basin have been blooming for a hundred years, no two seasons are the same.

            This made me wonder about the fixation with photographs and documentation we have in our culture. Not that photos aren’t wonderful, but I sometimes feel that in an obsessive attempt to capture a moment in picture, we take the actual experience for granted.

            I took my camera’s dead battery as a gift. I feasted my senses on the bounty around me.

            I felt my feet slide in sandy mud. I felt raindrops fall delicately from the blooms and onto my outstretched fingers. I saw the flowers cuff the branches like the ruffled sleeves of a flamenco costume. I smelled the fish in the Tidal Basin, the gasoline in the weed whackers, the perfume and cologne of my fellow observers. I heard the clicking of bicycle gears, the singing of soggy brakes and car horns. I watched reflections of the trees and the memorial dance in the water and marveled as airplanes took flight over Jefferson’s dome. I spied a spider who’d snared a flower petal in her web, suspending it in its languorous trip to earth.

            A picture tells a thousand words: a thousand words would never be enough to describe those moments, yet a thousand words would be a thousand words too many.

            I left the Tidal Basin and headed for my cubicle with my soul fat and happy. 

Back to the routine.... :) so exciting!!!

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link


Hello all!!

I hope you enjoyed your Spring Break as much as I did.

After the first part of the semester full of so many things I needed to do, I was in great need of relaxing, have fun and stop thinking about homework or other things related with school for that matter.

Don't get me wrong. I love school. In fact, I miss school when we are on break, but I was pretty stressed over so many things happening to me the week before Spring Break that I definitely needed to stay away from my textbooks, classes, and some other things for a while. 

I know that most of you reading feel the same. It is a fact that students love breaks from school, and even though I'm an honors student, I'm not the exception.  I did accomplish some homework, but my leisure time was dedicated to other things that I never do during the semester.

One of the things I miss the most during the semester is my bed. I love to sleep!!!! That was the main thing I did during this past week. 

I was so lazy during this break! I'm not proud of it, but I spent most of the week wearing my pajamas and watching movies and TV series (Thanks to my speech class, I had a marathon of classic movies starting with A Streetcar Named Desire and finishing with Casablanca.) Too bad Spring Break only lasts one week because I have 6 other movies waiting for me back home :/... I guess they will have to wait until summer comes haha. Anyhow, I enjoyed my break as much as I expected :) 

Now, we are back to school, and I'm sure that the rest of the semester will be more difficult and stressful than the first 6 weeks because most of my major assignments are scheduled for this upcoming weeks. However, after this needed break, I'm ready for the other half of the semester :) and I hope that so are you dear fellow student :)



Internship at the Library of Congress

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

Last Friday, I put my suit on and hopped on the metro. I had an interview at the Library of Congress. I was trying to recall the library's mission statement.

"…support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity…"

It is nearly unheard of for a second year student at a community college to apply for an internship at a place like the Library of Congress, but Montgomery College's Paul Peck Humanities Institute allows students the opportunity to apply to the Smithsonian, Holocaust Museum, or the Library of Congress. I applied to the library because it marries two of my interests together - greater intellectual pursuits and politics. Fortunately, my application made it through Montgomery College's screening committee and later forwarded to the Library of the Congress.

Though I knew I was going to hear back from the LoC at some point, I never anticipated it would be this early. Taking this as a good sign, I made my way past the security. I was almost 30 minutes early because of my paranoia regarding public transportation (though to Metro's credit, they've never failed me on weekdays). I could have just waited outside but I decided it might be a bad idea to loiter at a building that was literally a few feet from the US Capitol.

So as I waited to be called in for an interview, I was met with a surprise. Apparently I had gotten the job even prior to the interview. So this was more like an orientation of what kind of duties I would be tasked with. As far as interview surprises go, knowing you already got the job is not a bad one to have. I was probably slightly overdressed but oh well.

Montgomery College Cricket

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Hi friends! How are you? I think all of us are done with our mid-terms exams, and we're ready to enjoy a week-long spring break. Today I'm gonna tell you something you may not have heard of before. It's Cricket.

You: "What? Don't think you are the only smart guy around. It's a bug." 

Me: "Ok. But that's not the cricket I'm talking about."

You: "Hahaha..Then Cricket wireless?”

Me: ""

You: "So, what's Cricket?!"

Cricket is known as the gentleman's game. Although It's not so famous in the United States, it's considered as the 2nd most popular sport in the world with over 2-3 billion fans. The first is the football you play with your feet (Soccer in the US). 

Now some of you might be thinking "Why are you talking about this? How is it relevant to Montgomery College?”

This aspect of Montgomery College has always been under shadows, and last week I decided to uncover Montgomery College's achievements in inter-college cricket. I contacted my friend Ashik Tamang, who provided me with the information, and some photos to include in this blog.

Montgomery College was 2009 National Champions .We won the inaugural ''American College Cricket Spring Break Championship'' by defeating the University of South Florida by 55 runs. Now I am sure you didn't get what that "55 runs" means? Cricket is not an easy game to understand. There are bunch of rules, which, unfortunately I can't explain everything here. But, i can sum it up for ya. 

Basically, cricket is a bat-and-ball game played by two teams with 11 players in each team. When one team bats, the other team bowls. The batting team is supposed to score as many runs as possible and set a target for the bowling team to chase. Then the teams switch their position at the end of an innings.

The bowling team comes to bat and tries to achieve the target. If they achieve it, they win. If they don't, they lose. It's as simple as that, NOT! If you want to learn more, you can wiki it.

This is the fourth season in ACC (American College Cricket) Championship, which is going to be held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL from March 14th-18th, 2012. Our college squad has erased memories of last year's heartbreaking defeat in the final against George Mason University. This year we have built a younger squad full of confidence and dedication. Our team will be missing past stars like Ankit Sehgal, Adil Bhatti, Mohmmad Kamran, Wali Syed, but we have new promising youngsters whose only objective is to bring the cup home. 

My objective of this blog was to reveal the hidden treasure of Montgomery College Cricket. I wish them all the best for the tournament. Make us proud! 

Below are the teams taking part in this year's ACC Championship:

Montgomery College – Knights

Boston University – Terriers

Arkansas State – Red Wolves

Carnegie Mellon – Tartans

Cleveland State – Vikings

Texas A & M – Aggies

Ohio State – Buckeyes

University of Florida – Gators

Ryerson – Rams

Rutgers – Scarlet Knights

Auburn – Tigers

George Mason – Patriots

University of Pennsylvania – Quakers

York University – Lions

University of Houston – Cougars

Texas Tech – Red Raiders

University of South Florida – Bulls

York College – Cardinals

NYU-Polytechnic – Fighting Blue Jays

University of Maryland-Baltimore County – Retrievers

Iowa State – Cyclones

Virginia Tech – Hokies

Penn State – Nittany Lions

University of Houston Clearlake – Blue Herons

George Washington – Colonials

Embry-Riddle – Eagles

College of Wooster – Fighting Scots

McGilll – Redmen

Here are few photos of our college team I have uploaded after acquiring permission from Ashik Tamang and " ."

MC Blogger program week 20

MC Blogger program week 20

MC Blogger program week 20

 I hope you liked my blog post. Enjoy your spring break, and keep the feedback coming. 


Spring Break: time for fun or more school work? *sigh*

 Permanent link

  Midterm week is probably the most dreaded time of the semester, well second most dreaded; the first is always finals. I spent a couple a weeks going over notes (which sometimes I get frustrated because I can’t understand my notes or what I had written down.) That’s due to my sloppy handwriting. I think it’s time to get in the habit of bringing my laptop to class, so I don’t have to fuss over hand cramps or trying to translate my poor handwriting. Nevertheless, tomorrow is my last midterm, then a nice relaxing week off from school. Next week should be the perfect week to go rock-climbing (fingers crossed, this weather has been great one day, then snow the next.)

Spring break is exciting, but the truth is that doesn’t mean us college students get a break. I have a 10 page paper due right after spring break. This means I have serious work that needs to be done. Writing a paper can be a tedious chore, but I have a few suggestions that can make this task easier and help avoid writers block.


A. Pick A Topic: Sometimes we are given a topic and other times we are responsible for our topic. Personally, I find it difficult when I have to decide for myself what my topic will be. First things first, NEVER PROCRASTINATE! Give yourself time because you’ll be able to work at your own pace without worrying about the due date. If you have two weeks to write a paper, spend two days deciding what will be your topic. Pick something that matters to you, so you can write strongly about it and this task will not be so hard to focus on. For instance, my professor said I could write anything-controversial (wow that really breaks it down.) I spent a day paying attention to what issue affected me. Commercials, movies, books, magazines, etc, have controversial issues, for me, visually commercials reach out more effectively and when I saw the animal cruelty video, I knew that’s what I wanted to write because I felt strongly against animal abuse.


B. Research: Regardless, if it’s a topic you know very well, still do research. This is essential to providing sources and finding new facts or different points of views on your topic. Spend the day at the library, relax, and get this out the way, so you can start writing.

C. Write: Some student’s spend an hour a day on their papers; however, I work on one paragraph a day because an hour for me isn’t enough time. Know your limits because you do not want to force ideas out of your head. When I get started on my paper, I focus on the introduction paragraph and this may take an hour or more, it depends on the paper. After, you’re done with a paragraph, at least, state your topic sentence for the next paragraph. This allows you to not forgot your idea, also the flow of your paper will stay consistent and on point.


D. Revise: If you can look over your paper before peer review that can give, you more time to fix the major errors instead of the minor corrections such as grammar, spelling, etc. In addition, it would be helpful if your paper was completed by peer review.

E. You are your best Critic: If something doesn’t sound right, then it probably isn’t. Also, make sure you give yourself a day break before re-reading your paper because sometimes we read what SHOULD be on the paper, but is not. It’s like we’re reading from our mind and not reading what’s on the PAPER.

In addition, if none of this really works for you. MC does have a writing center. I’ve been a couple of times and they’re very helpful!



MC New Governance Structure and Students place in it

(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link

So this year, MC Governance Structure is going to change, and for the first time students will have the opportunity to be part of the councils that make suggestions regarding student life to the college’s president.

I believe it is a great idea that students will have the chance to sit among faculty, staff, and administrators and have the opportunity to express their opinions and ideas regarding the policies implemented in the college and that directly influence our education. I would love to have the time to be among the students that will be chosen to be part of this structure, but I’ll have to see how full my schedule is for the next semester.

Seriously guys, get involved! This is a one in a lifetime opportunity, and I’m sure that the outcomes of this experience will serve you for the rest of your life. This is the chance to let the administrators know our thoughts, so take it!

Currently, computers have been set up in the three campuses and from March 5th to the 23rd, all of the members of the college will be able to nominate people to be part of the structure. If you have someone in your mind that might be interested in participate in this structure, you can nominate this person. There are people helping the college population to use the software, so go ahead and nominate now!

Elections will be held during the first weeks of April. I really encourage you to get involved in this process.

See you next week and Happy Spring Break!!!!! 

Member of the Pack

(Sam Cameron) Permanent link

College is a time of exposure. Exposure to new people, places, topics, ways of thinking, and let’s not forget, exposure to the weather. College is a unique time of self-discovery, when young men and women dig deeply into their souls and go forth into the world imbibing the nectar of life. College is a time of erudition, when the fermenting juices of a young person’s brain are at last ready to be decanted into a fancy type of snifter that Winston Churchill would nurse while writing his speeches. One never knows what one will find on this mystical journey.

            I found Indian food. At the end of my first semester at MC I became a vegetarian, and a few months later my friends took me to an Indian restaurant for the first time. It is delicious, and a perfect compromise if you travel in a pack (as I do) that is both herbivorous and carnivorous. Going out for Indian food has become something that my friends, or, as I like to call them, my pack, does every few months.

            Saturday night, part of my pack descended on the India Grill in Rockville for some omnivorous fare, before migrating to our den (MC Rockville) to rendezvous with more members of our pack. The reasons?

            Reason number one: Montgomery Scholars travel in packs. A pack of Montgomery Scholars is easily recognizable by their loud vocalizations and blockage of the nearest fire exit. Reason number two: a much loved member of our pack was performing in a leading role in MC’s musical Curtains. We had come (with our loud vocalizations) to show our support.

            Although I still haven’t auditioned for an MC show (for shame), I do not regret the privilege of being an audience member for Curtains. The show is a hilarious murder mystery musical that pokes fun at how theatre people behave. The cast was excellent (especially the two scholars Bear and Mili – but I’m not biased…) as was the dancing, the music, the lighting, the set, the costumes and the audience enthusiasm. I would highly recommend going out to Rockville to see this show, except that by the time you read this, the run will be over. (Sorry!)

            After the show, when our beloved Bear arrived, the Scholars Pack members undulated a piercing, sustained cry of her name, and dog-piled into a group hug… blocking the other actors from getting out of the door.

            Indian food is far from the only thing I’ve discovered thus far in my college experience, but the taste of Indian food always makes me think of the most beautiful and valuable thing I have ever discovered:

            My pack. 


(Keren Nathalie Urrutia) Permanent link

You can tell is midterm week because I'm sooooo late posting!

Sorry about that!

I was supposed to post yesterday, but I was freaking out over one of my midterms today.

It is insane how fast time is passing by and next week we have Spring Break. I already had two midterms and have two more during the rest of the week. Besides that, I have three papers due this week, one outline and introduction, and some surveys and evaluations.

I don't how I will get through the rest of the week. I just know that right now I'm drowning in homework and some extracurricular things I need to finish.

In addition to my already complicated academic schedule, I am working in several things for the Student Senate, the Excalibur, and the Writing Club. What can I say? I’m an overachiever!

The thought of next week vacation is what relaxes me although I’m worried about the rest of my midterms.

I really need to get back to study, so this will be a very short post. I know... I know... but school comes first and I have to get a good grade for my test tomorrow, so I can relax a little bit for the rest of the semester.

Hope you guys have a great midterms’ week, and I’ll come back tomorrow with another post. I’ll be more relaxed by then.


The Portz Award

(Sairam Nagulapalli) Permanent link

On Friday, I attended the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council's conference at Frederick Community College. I was there mainly because I was Montgomery College's nominee for the Portz Award for the Outstanding Honors Student in Maryland, and because academic conferences are fun. The theme of the night was crossroads. The crossroads at which the town of Frederick found itself after a flood threatened to nearly wipe it out, and the crossroads at which we all find ourselves in life were explored. After a spirited speech by Dr. Michael Taber, the president of MCHC, about the importance of crossroads in life, and the Wizard of Oz, we separated into groups and went off into panel discussion sessions.

Each session has a theme, such as race relations or the human condition, and is comprised of panel discussions. A panel discussion is essentially a presentation by 2-year and 4-year honors students from Maryland colleges. After everyone in the session presents, there is a discussion between the audience and the presenters. I really enjoyed these discussions because, after the Capstone Colloquium, it was nice to be on the other end of the podium and be engaged in rich intellectual discussion. As interesting as the presentations were, in my opinion the discussions were even better because of how engaged the audience were.

After breaks at regular intervals, we went into the poster session of the conference. Students displayed original research and answered questions posed by the audience. Topics ranged from phages (apparently they are historic predators of bacteria) to how nanotechnology can contribute to making cheaper printers. Very, very interesting. It's moments like these that make me feel bad for not knowing more about the natural sciences!

The winner of the Portz award though wasn't unveiled until much later in the night - at the end really. I always considered it an honor just to be Montgomery College's nominee - considering how many impressive people we have here. And it became clear when the other nominees' accomplishments were being listed that I was truly in great company. My fellow nominees were involved in everything from planning new honors scholarships to working as a substitute teacher while attending community college. One fellow nominee was described by her teachers as "the reason we get into higher education". Dr. Taber talked about how much of an honor it is to win the award - after the award is only given to one 2-year college student in Maryland (and one to a 4-year college student in Maryland).

The criteria apparently was:

  • Quality and breadth of academic achievement
  • Quality and breadth of engagement beyond the classroom
  • Academic work of high quality that indicates the ability to synthesize disparate materials
  • Independence and originality in critical or creative thinking
In other words, to be even considered for this award was an enormous honor (Edit: Not sure why this sentence is in tiny font. If anything, it should be in huge font)

But after enough suspense, Dr. Taber declared the winner. "Sairam Nagulapalli". It was probably the best pronunciation of my name. And not just because I won but because no syllables in my last name were skipped! If I don't sound enthusiastic about winning the award, it's probably because the feeling hasn't entirely sunk it just yet. I really wouldn't have gotten this far if it weren't for amazing professors, supportive friends, and most of all Montgomery college.

My Meme

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

The internet has been exploding with these memes lately. So, I decided to make one of my own. Let me know what you think of my meme.








Take Women's Self Defense!

 Permanent link


When I realized I hadn’t taken a PE course I cringed.  I am not coordinated, and you will never find me running to class (even if I am late.) I knew I couldn’t avoid this because one way or another I was going to end up taking a PE class. Luckily, this semester I decided to get it out the way now rather then later.

I am taking PE 173, which is women’s self defense. At first, I was being lazy and thought it would be an easy A. I thought women’s self defense was all common sense. I wasn’t wrong with thinking that, but it’s so much more than that.

For instance, it’s common sense to leave your porch light on when it’s dark.  Yet it’s also wise (if you have bushes in your yard) to keep bushes trimmed, so you’ll notice if someone is hiding behind them. Also, take time between classes to know where most of the emergency phones are around the campus. You can never be too safe.

Also, ladies next semester if you are interested please sign up! Professor Wasilko, is very passionate about this class and takes time to explain every motion. I feel this is a class that can be useful throughout life. As a mother, it can be useful to not only protect yourself, but your children too. I am a short girl and I feel it’s necessary for me to understand and know these defensive movements.

If you need a PE credit and you’ve been ignoring it, this class just might be for you! If you are not coordinated or any other reason, this class prepares your body for every form of exercise.

Need confidence? Need to take a PE course? Need to feel strong? Need a better sense of security?

This class might be what you're looking for! Think about it!

Have any experience with Professor Wasilko please share. Also if you have any questions, please ask!




Ren Pedroza small


Current Blogger


Katelynn Snyder Display Image


Current Blogger


Lauren Alford Display Image


Current Blogger


Matt Hounsell Profile Pic


Current Blogger


Will Campbell Profile Pic


Current Blogger


Anthony Lloyd Profile Pic


Current Blogger

Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD


©2015, Montgomery College