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MC’s Got Talent

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Hey MC!

Just wanted to remind of the great event that's coming up: MC's Got Talent!

I organized the event last year and had so much fun. This year I'm excited to see how the current senators will add their own spin on the event. There's lots of talent at MC and this is your chance to see it. Buy your tickets early! 

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For more info email or look at their facebook page:

In addition to organizing this event, The Rockville Student Senate is currently accepting applications for Executive Board Members. You don't need any previous senate involvement for three of the five positions, so be sure to check that out. You'll make great new friends, have wonderful experiences, work really hard, and have something great to put on a resume. 

The application link is on the left side of the screen:

Have A Great Weekend!

A legion of strangers...

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Ever since I started writing this blog, I've wondered about the anonymous readers who absorb all this info about my life. When I'm walking to class, or leaving to go home, how many of the people that I'm walking by recognize me? Who among them knows of the ups, downs, and other miscelaneous details that I've documented here?

Did this guy smirk at me because he knows who I am? 

Is that girl staring because she's read my entries? (Or do I just have a nice face? Hopefully it's both.)

You could say I spend a tad too much time thinking about what others are thinking. I've always been that way. But in this case, when I'm recording personal thoughts on a public website every week, you can't blame me if some things cross my mind. I'm inviting a legion of strangers into my head, and I have no idea what any of them looks like. Maybe I should be saying "you" since you are reading this after all. I have no idea what any of you look like. No idea if you can relate. No idea if you think I'm being silly sometimes. Your perception of me is a complete mystery, while my perception of the world is a (nearly) open book. 

Now, if I had a huge issue with this, I wouldn't still be writing here. I'm just bringing it up because it's fun to think about, albeit a little daunting. Both my illustration teachers have discovered this blog. I'm not sure how much or how little they've read, but from what I understand, they like it. Actually, "fascinated" was the word one of them used, and that made me happy. At least one student has told me he enjoyed it. Then there's the good people at the Office of Communication who set the blogger program up. Add in my mom, the other bloggers, and Dr. DeRionne Pollard who I know has commented at least once. That's a good little handful of people that I can picture in my head. 

But the rest of you? All I can imagine is a collective of individuals who read these words, and digest my thoughts, safely from behind the veil of anonymity. If you read this and you ever see me in person, say hi. I don't bite. 

Let's get to know each other.

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~ Jay

Missing Class for Pesach

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So everyone is back from spring break, and I’m sitting at my computer banging myself on the head.

The reason is simple.  This week, starting on Monday night, was the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Pesach/Passover.  So I’ve missed two days of classes this week, and have been completely incommunicado for those two days.  Furthermore, it snowed.  It snowed on Monday!  I mean, five full days after the first official day of spring, and it snowed!


So now that I’ve just repowered all of my electronics, I’m here writing my blog that nobody will see until Thursday anyway.  Probably.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love Pesach.  (Pronounced PAY-sah-kh.)  While mostly famous for its Matzo, (18-minute cracker-bread,) I love it for the first two nights.  Exhausting nights that last until the evil hours of the morning.  The Pesach Seder.

The Pesach Seder is, in my opinion, worth missing classes.  It’s a family time, as well as a time when we celebrate our cultural (and religious) heritage.  Whether it’s also worth the madhouse cleaning that eats up the weeks before Pesach…

Look, I’ll get back to you on that one.  At least I finally know where all of my socks are.

The Pesach Seder, at my house, is full of singing, eating, singing, and eating.  And did I mention singing and eating?  Some famous songs include Khad Gadya in Aramaic, (aka “My Father Bought a Goat-Kid,”) and Ekhad Mi Yodaya in Hebrew (aka “Who Knows One?”). 

So today, I’ll post my song quote from Khad Gadya, since I get a total kick out of that song:

Along came the Holy One, Blessed-Is-He (G-d),

And slew the Angel of Death,

Who slew the ritual slaughterer (butcher),

Who slaughtered the ox,

Which drank the water,

Which put out the fire,

Which burnt the stick,

Which hit the dog,

Which bit the cat,

Which ate the kid (goat),

Which Father bought for two zuzim (silver coins) –

One only kid (goat), one only kid.


וְאָתָא הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא

וְשָׁחַט לְמַלְאַךְ הַמָּוֶת

דְּשָׁחַט לְשׁוֹחֵט

דְּשָׁחַט לְתוֹרָא

דְּשָׁתָה לְמַיָּא

דְּכָבָה לְנוּרָא

דְּשָׂרַף לְחוּטְרָא

דְּהִכָּה לְכַלְבָּא

דְּנָשַׁךְ לְשׁוּנְרָא

דְּאָכְלָה לְגַּדְיָא

דְּזַבִּין אַבָּא בִּתְרֵי זוּזֵי

חַד גַּדְיָא, חַד גַּדְיָא

Have a Great Spring!


Dream, Inspire, Most of all Write.

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I am proud and extremely happy to say I finally wrote my first short story. Its so complex to be a writer and to be a good one at that takes a lot of patience, but honestly it's like that for any career path we chose for ourselves. I have learned many things, things about myself through my characters and I have learned the different prospective on how I view life and what it means to me.

After having the honor of meeting Margot Livesly, something inside me clicked! A thought can to mind: I must write! She gave a beautiful, sensational description how she grew up and what lead her to become a writer. There is nothing that is more passionate then to hear her speak about her novel. She say that "A character happens to be so similar to ourselves, but then that character takes a turn that even the writer is surprised with the outcome." I’d figure I'd write my stories out of my short 22 years of life experience and give her something that I wish I had: A louder voice. 

This spring break; instead of having a break, I wrote. This would go on for hours and the only time I would take a break was to eat, watch walking dead of course, shower, and sleep. It is a myth that writers are all filthy and never bathe. I'm living proof, thank goodness.

Professor Wakeman-linn inspires to do well. She found her voice and her confidences through writing I hope I am able to do the same. 

Welcome Back! I hope you have a Professor or a student that inspires you in some way. It always pushes us to greatness. 

Spring Break Incidents

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Hi everyone,

I had a great Spring Break and hope you guys did too. I worked, partied with friends, worked out ---and hurt my back. I couldn't go to school today because of back pain. It's something I had not experienced for a long time, but I'm guessing there must have been something wrong with my body posture.Thankfully, I only missed one class as morning classes were canceled.I am feeling better and I hope to be ready for tomorrow !

There was a huge fire in my neighborhood the day before yesterday. That escalated very quickly. Almost 10 firetrucks and emergency vehicles arrived, and were able to stabalize the situation. Thanks to the the fire fighters for a very quick response. 

I recorded a quick video for you guys to see. Check it out !



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The swimming class I'm taking at MC is going really well. So far in class, we’ve learned techniques to help us get comfortable in the water, for breathing, for kicking the feet and for the front crawl. I think I’m learning things fairly quickly. My dance background really helps in terms of body awareness and technique. I practice for an extra hour and half every week at the Takoma Park campus pool since it's closer to home, though I prefer the Germantown campus pool. A good thing to know is that the pools at all three campuses are open to current students for free. You can see the hours for open swimming here:

I can’t believe I’m actually (sort of) swimming! Ir's really exciting. This week we had our midterm where the professor just judged our technique. After the evaluations, we played water polo which was way cool - mostly because my team won ;). I think swimming might be a sport I’ll come to like.


I had many lengthy assignments this week, but no midterms. My classes give me two or three exams before the Final, instead of one midterm. Earlier today, I wrote a six page paper for a philosophy course in under six hours with about three hours of breaks in total. I used the strategies that I listed in a previous blog post :     I think it’ll be an A or A- paper, a B at the very least. I didn’t put much time into it because I prioritized other assignments.  

I have a good idea of my midterm grades for the semester (at UMD they call them “early warning grades”). Of the 17 credits I’m taking at UMD, three will be a “B” the rest are “A+” “A” or “A-” which is a huge difference from where I was last semester. This semester I’m really only focusing on school with no extracurriculars or jobs and those long hours at the library are really paying off. Engineering is tough. Overall, things are going great, ….but they can always be better.

Spring break this year is about catching up on everything. I may go to the DC art museums a few times, but nothing big.

What about you? What are your spring break plans?

Well, whatever they are, I hope you have a great and relaxing spring break!

Do I deserve a break?

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What's going on, MC?

Today is the last day of classes before spring break for me, and that feels a little odd. I feel like I haven't worked as much as I have in past semesters. Scratch that. I know I haven't worked as hard, because I reluctantly dropped the one class that was giving me problems. So, being a full-time turned part-time student, my course load is a lot lighter. It feels weird taking a break when I haven't really been stressed much. I say much because illustration deadlines are always stressful, as are exams.

Speaking of exams, I ended up getting an A on that Art History midterm. Well, it was an A minus. Nonetheless, I did good. So go me!

Funny story. In the middle of that exam, the professor said, "how many people picked A for number 7?" A few people, including myself, raised their hands. Then she said, "how many people picked the other A." It was at that point everyone started laughing because we then realized there were two A answers put in the multiple choices by accident. How come we hadn't seen that until she pointed it out? At least she was a good sport about her mistake though. Professor Langley is awesome.

In other news, I have purchased my first "smart" device. I'll give you a hint: It's one of those products that has an i in front of it. I know I'm about 7 or 8 years late to the party, but arriving late is better than never arriving at all, right? Now I can finally realize my long-time dream of becoming one of those mindless humanoid drones who never look up from their various hand-helds. Doesn't that sound fantastic?! Can't wait!

Well, I'm off to Art History class. Much love, everyone, and have a fantastic Spring Break. 

Take care.

~ Jay

Midterms and Business (Stay Awake!)

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I’m back on my feet!  Well, semi-back on my feet.  Limping-ish, but no crutches or wheels!  And just in time for midterms, too.

So far, I’ve had my midterms for SP108 (Speech and Communications) and PE178 (Weight Training for Women).  Later today, I’ll be taking my MA110 midterm, (Survey of College Math,) and tomorrow I have my Tuesday-Thursday classes’ midterms. 

Then, next week is spring break.  Which, for me, means Spring Cleaning.  The week after break is Passover, so not only do I have to clean my room the way I should have done months ago, but I have to prepare for the holiday as well.

Yeah… the problem with procrastinating is that the job looks enormous when the time comes.  And the time, unfortunately, is looming.  The black hole of piled books and floating papers needs to be straightened up (and possibly return my socks while I’m at it). 

Looking further ahead, I have a long-term assignment in my SP108 class that is looking to be exciting – it’s an informative presentation.  I have so many possible ideas, and nowhere near enough time to do so many of them!

Well, I’m off to work on a project for FR201 (we have a presentation instead of a midterm).  I need to hurry – it’s due tomorrow, and I have a lot of practicing to do.

Cheers, and good luck on exams! 

Fight the lack-of-sleep syndrome for a little bit longer –

Stay awake, don’t rest your head,

Don’t lie down upon your bed…”  Stay Awake, Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews (1964)

The Caffeine Didn't Hit

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Here comes my green tea bitter-sweet
Kinda lazy to write I must admit
Waiting here for the caffeine to hit
Writing this poem; I'm not gonna quit. 

Got Organics test after two days
Gone are those days when exams had essays
Though I wish there'd be some weather delays
Have to put some hours & hope my effort pays.

I will try to stay focused and not be afraid
But oh dear Xbox has got the power to dissuade
I hope questions won't fire like a grenade
I will, however, be happy regardless of my grade.

The caffeine didn't hit me yet; I fight to stay awake
Already late to post the blog; my job is now at stake
That was this week's story, my friend; thanks for the take
I hope you guys have a great spring break !!!


The Countdown Begins

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Last week the snow was indeed disappointing on my end at least. But on a good note, this gave me an extra day to study and learn the sport tennis. (So that way when I write about it for the schools newspaper, I’ll know the correct terms.)

Another highlight this week is that Professor Wakemen-lynn looked over my story and seemed to be pleased with it! The entire time her eyes scrolled through my paper, my heart raced and my palms were clammy. I sat anxiously waiting for a response or at least a nod (I think I was in a middle of having a panic attack when her eyes met with mine).  “Your plot is on the right track, and you have created a fantastic dramatic scene.” Music to my ears! I have impressed her, and that is something to be extremely proud of.  Now, all I have to do is sit down in front of the screen and this sounds simple enough, just finish writing my story. Sounds like it’s time for a trip to Starbucks and maybe sit outside on the deck if the weather allows me to. I hope I’m able to pull this off! Fingers crossed!

Another highlight, probably for every student, it’s almost spring break. Just one more week! Oh, we can’t forget midterms in which we all have to survive. Time to study, study, study! I’m ready to read these stack of books, and I’m prepared for long sleepless nights. I’m already daydreaming about spring break. 

Here are some suggestion to survive Midterms:

1. Don’t panic: Don’t stress about how many papers you need to write or how many math problems you need to study. Focus on one topic at a time. I usually focus on the midterm that I struggle with the most. (Math is my problem area. I focus on this class the most.

2. Don’t over study: You know when you sit down and begin your midterm and after all the studying your mind seems to go blank? That’s because all the information you have forcefully shoved into your head has overwhelmed your mind. Be calm and don’t study right before midterm, skim through a few things that seem uneasy, but don’t study a few hours before you take your midterm!

3. Sleep well/eat well: Don’t pull an all nighter the night before. C’mon you’ve been working hard mentally. Allow your mind to rest and have a king sized breakfast beforehand. The last worry you need is your stomach disrupting the class. 

I wish everyone the best of luck on their midterms! Good luck y’all! 

Preparing for the Engineering Major

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Don’t fall behind—especially because you’re an engineering major. Things build and build and build. If you don’t have a good understanding of Calculus I and II then you won’t do well in Multivariable and Differential equations. EE majors see Differential Equations when working with circuits, they should also take Linear Algebra (even though it’s not required) because they will very likely see it their other courses This idea applies to any major: make sure you know the material because everything in the 300 level is based on what you learned in 200 level, which is based on the 100 level courses. Don’t rely on the curve-you need to KNOW the material. If you get a teacher that isn’t as thorough as most, then go through the more difficult material on your own.

Expect things to take more time. First year in engineering was easy for me, I barely had to study. The second year the workload almost doubled and really caught me off guard.  This depends on the courses you take, but the higher the level of the course, the more assignments you'll have and the longer they will take.

Be prepared for self study. Study ahead during the summer and winter. That way during fall and spring all you’re doing is review and you have a better chance of getting good grades. Sometimes you don’t get a teacher that works for you and you have to figure out a way to teach yourself. There are several online resources that can help. Prepare yourself for weekly homework assignments that can take anywhere from 3-10 hours to complete. Also figure out what your specific learning style is early on in your education, so you can take advantage of that knowledge.

Plan time to see your Professors. Visit every office hour. Come up with a question even if you understand everything. Go above and beyond to make a good impression on a professor that can write a good recommendation. S/he might also offer you a job, internship, or research opportunity. Make connections.

Find ways to remind yourself of your motivation. The work can get disheartening at times and so you want to make sure that you’re keeping your eyes on the prize.

Of course, none of this will guarantee that you will be prepared, but at least you have an idea of what to expect. These are things I could have done or that I have done to make the best of the situation. Also, my advice has its limits, in that I only know what it feels like to be an Electrical Engineering major. Do what works for you, but make it work. If you’re an engineering major and have your own advice feel free to comment!

The following are notes from a course I’m taking at UMD, that’s also offered at MC. You get to understand things like this ( or rather, you like to tell yourself that you understand it :P ) as a sophomore in Electrical Engineering. How cool is that? 

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More Art? Already?

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Yes. I have another illustration. These assignments have me putting out artwork left and right. This assignment I found particularly interesting because in a way, we had to illustrate the ideas of another student. Let me explain.

Students in the sociology department have written papers on a topic of their choice. In a collaboration between the sociology department and the illustration department, we illustration students have each chosen one of their essays and illustrated a cover piece for it. The paper that I was illustrating for was titled "Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Education" by Jillian Lake.

Jillian's paper was a very interesting read. It highlighted the high (or low) expectations that a teacher might have on a young student, and how those expectations may negatively or positively impact a student's self-esteem and performance. According to Jillian, if a teacher expects a student to be a high performing and well behaved student, then that teacher will subconsciously give off hints and cues which the student picks up on. The student then rises to meet those expectations. However, if the teacher expects the student to be low performing, then the student picks up on that expectation as well. This results in not only bad grades but lower confidence in the long run

In my illustration, I wanted to subtly portray the student-teacher relationships that Jillian Lake explores in the paper.  Critique is welcome.

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Hope you all have a great weekend. I'm hoping I will. For the first time in a long time, I actually have WEEKEND PLANS! YAY! Alrighty then, see you guys next week. 

~ Jay

Still A Wonderful World (Even With Injuries)

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So… last week, Wednesday evening, I sprained my ankle.

There’s really no other way to say it.  I tripped on the air, or my leg just gave out.  However one wants to word it, the result is the same – a sprained ankle.

This was my first time on crutches, (well, I played with them when I was a kid, but that was like a decade ago,) and I soon gained a huge appreciation for people who have to use crutches for long periods of time. 

By the end of each day, my arms hurt, my back hurt, my abs hurt, and the uninjured leg hurt.

What surprised me, however, was the amount of people who stopped me to ask if I needed help.  While it was a struggle with my pride, (it’s surprisingly hard to admit that one needs help,) I eventually accepted the help offered.

Even so, another person holding one’s backpack only does so much, especially for someone unused to crutches.

After two positively exhausting schooldays, I felt positively beaten.  Each day felt like a full week, and I knew I wasn’t getting enough sleep to compensate. 

At the end of my second day on crutches, a woman in my math class was kind enough to offer to call Security to help me to the bus stop.  Even still, I felt crushed.

So, warning me that it would still be hard work, my parents got a wheelchair from an organization in my community.

They were right; it was still hard work, but only on the uphill.  Unlike with the crutches, which were difficult going uphill, downhill, straight, or standing still, the wheelchair was only difficult going uphill.

I positively shock by how many people noticed my struggle.  Again and again, people would stop and ask if I needed help!  I felt bad, putting people out of their way (it wasn’t that bad,) so I often just asked for help getting up whichever hill or ramp with which I was struggling.

Incredibly, people went out of their way to help me!  The first person was a woman who helped me up the ramp past the Campus Center.  While she was helping me, she said that she believed that people were put on this earth to help each other out.  If you’re reading this, ma’am, THANK YOU!  Not only did you help me physically, but you made it that much easier for me to accept the aid of others later on.

The other person I really would like to thank helped me on my way to my last class on Tuesday.  I was struggling in the stretch between the Robert Parilla Performing Arts Center, and the Music Building, when someone (male) offered to help me.  While I only asked that he push me past the next ramp, he pushed me nearly all the way to my next class!  Then, when we came upon a girl who was in the class towards which I was heading, she took over to get me into the building and to the actual class.

In all of this, I never saw the man’s face!  If you’re reading this, sir, I can’t thank you enough.  It is, in my opinion, one of the truest kindnesses, to help someone without even confronting them for their gratitude.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!

So, to all of the marvelous, marvelous people of MC – thank you for all of the incredible kindnesses you have shown me over the past week.  This is why I love MC so much!

Yes, I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.”   - What A Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong (1967)

Healthy Habits

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Hi everyone,

How have you guys been ? I had an exam today, so I am a bit late on this post.It's my 47th college blog already, and I have only a few more left (>.<). Although I have found it a little hard to come up with unique ideas, I am not worried because when you have to write, there is always something to write.

I saw two young men pass away in last 30 days due to cardiopulmonary arrest. They were slightly overweight, and I'm guessing that played a part. Today, I decided to write this blog about making healthy life choices. Although no one knows when we are going to die, we can at least make healthy habits to reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases, which is the number one cause of death in the United States.

The American Heart Association recommends at lease 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise five times a week. The more you exercise, the more flexible and open your blood vessels become, which means  the heart can pump blood with maximum efficiency with very less strain. The heart becomes stronger and healthier as it requires lesser effort to pump the blood. Not only does exercise help in weight loss, it improves fat and cholesterol levels. You also get plenty of opportunity to gain lean muscles. 

 The other thing I want to emphasize about is healthy diet. Besides exercise, what really matters is what you are eating, when you are eating and how much of it you are eating. Make sure your calorie intake is lesser than how much you burn every day, and that calorie comes from nutritious food. That's about it. The rest are variables that depend on your morphology.


MC’s Got Talent Auditions

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For the third year in a row, Montgomery College’ Rockville Student Senate will present MC’s Got Talent! I had the opportunity to organize this event last year and we raised so much money for scholarships. I spoke about my adventures here:

We raised 6,000 to be given as scholarships for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

This year, I’m not organizing it so I don’t know what will be different. But I do know that auditions are next week! They’ve had flyers up throughout campus for a few weeks now, so this blog post only serves as a reminder to get an act together this weekend if you haven’t already.

For more info, see their facebook page or use the contact info at the bottom of the flyer!



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How's it going MC?

I do apologize for being late with my entry this week. Though I don't have much to report, I did want to share the end result of my first Digital Illustration assignment this semester. A few weeks ago I gave a small teaser of it.

And now, the final piece.

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The objective was to "create an illustration using the word 'blue' as a point of departure." It had to be metaphorical also, though I don't like to give my artwork a fixed "meaning." I'd rather the audience interpret it how they'd like.

In other news, I took my first Art History exam yesterday. I thought it would be terribly difficult considering all the material we've covered, but it really wasn't that bad. I was able to remember a good portion of what was asked (significance of certain paintings, artist contributions, various "isms", etc.) And not to toot my own horn, but I am awesome at written response questions. But we'll see how I did when I get the grade next week. I'm pretty confident about it.

With all that said, I hope you all have had an amazing week. Also, I was just reminded that today is the Maryland deadline for filing the Fafsa, so don't forget. Take care.

~ Jay


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