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Crowd Screening Technologies

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Hi everyone,

I hope you all are doing great. Today Physics Club of Germantown Campus organized a presentation on “Counter-Terrorism: Crowd Screening Technologies” by Mr. Carl V. Nelson, a retired Principal Staff Physicist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Long story short: he gave us a brief explanation on multiple sensor system field experiments, data analysis techniques, oceanographic systems, ocean optical and electromagnetic modeling, sensor physics and instrumentation and computer-based data acquisition systems.

He basically introduced us to a reliable system, which can screen the crowd in an efficient manner. The most common metal detectors require people to walk through a small metal detection area one at a time, and this way it’s not possible to screen each and every spectator in a stadium with a capacity of 80,000. Hence, the system Mr. Nelson introduced uses a Wide-Area Metal Detection (WAMD) technology to screen large numbers of people for metal weapons.  WAMD system embedded in the floor pre-screens everyone entering the stadium and can easily locate suspects in a crowd, which would lead to an immediate investigation.

Check out a few pictures from the program





Aesthetic Force

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Yesterday, I went to an art lecture, at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus, entitled Romare Bearden: The Collage, The Print, The Source, given by Professor Sarah E. Lewis from Yale University. It was the second and final lecture in a series called Questions of Identity: Who, What, Why We Are. This talk, it seems, was organized by Professor Claudia Rousseau and, Director and Associate Dean of the Arts, David Phillips who were both present. I knew of the event after visiting Dr. Rousseau last week. The event was also listed in the spring 2013 Arts catalog that is printed every semester. Art historians, artists, and several more guests were present.

Professor Lewis gave an eloquent talk on Romare Bearden’s work, process, background, and accomplishments. Some of the works she referenced were "Blue is The Smoke of War," "Of The Blues," and “The Block.” The talk was followed by a Q and A session with questions that mostly focused on a particularly captivating section of the lecture concerning aesthetic force. It wasn’t merely about the power of art, rather it was also about art’s ability to captivate you and about the types of statements that can or should be made. This subject was also interesting for me, in that it almost gave this romantic notion of the artist as a hero who could wield great influence over the problems of injustice in the world. In the end, I also mustered the courage to ask a question, on how Bearden’s back and forth between secular and spiritual pursuits evolved and influenced the forms in his art.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunities to meet Professor Lewis and to hear her talk. I feel as though my interest in art history doubled since that lecture. I’ve been looking for articles to read and watching art history lectures on Youtube all day. I encourage you all to visit more of these events. I wish I had seen the room, in which the lecture took place, packed with people because this was such a privilege. If art lectures don’t interest you, perhaps the other events listed in the catalog concerning dance, music, theater, and art exhibitions might. Who knows? You may discover a passion or interest you are currently unaware of. Just give it a try. There are “endless possibilities.”

You can find out about these events on the Arts Institute website:

Professor Lewis’s bio and incredible credentials can be found here:


The Last Leaf

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How's it going, MC?

This week I completed another piece for my Digital Illustration class, and I'm really happy with it. The objective was to choose one of three stories and illustrate an environment from one of that story's scenes. The story I chose was The Last Leaf, which you can read here. And my illustration is below.

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I tried to make it atmospheric, which is a skill I've always sought after. All of my favorite artists know how to create an amazing atmosphere. Class critique went well. You guys wanna tell me what you think?

In other news, I hope everyone has begun registering for next semester. Up until this week, I thought that next semester would be my last, but it appears that two of the classes I need are being taught at the same time. (The other available times are highly inconvenient, like 6pm to 9pm. I take the metro and wouldn't be getting home until 11.) So one of those classes I'll have to take the semester after next, which means I'll possibly be here for another year. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but we'll see how things work out.

Have a great weekend everyone.

~ Jay


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 Note to self: flexibility stretches hurt when one has bruises on one’s knees.

I learned that last night, doing some last-minute homework for one of my PE classes.  I had bruised my knees earlier that day, (unknowingly,) and trying to do Side Bridge and Lunges hurt.

I’m also exhausted.  Today I presented a persuasive speech to my SP108 class, and then had to sprint to my Weight Training class.  I worked on a paper during my free time between Weight Training and Math, (and in between bites of lunch,) and dashed to catch a bus to the corner of Frederick Road and Shady Grove Road so that I could drop off some paperwork.  Then I ran to catch a bus homeward, missed it, and ended up loitering at that bus stop for 30 minutes.

By the time I got home, I was ready to collapse, but no!  Housework beckons!

Don’t get me wrong.  I love to help out around the house, and there is nothing that I find irritating about what I did to help with the cooking.  It’s just that I would have liked to go to sleep a couple hours ago, and am determinedly keeping myself awake until at least 9:30.  If I go to bed before then, I’ll wake up at some ungodly hour and be incapable of returning to my slumbers!

I must say, I’ll be please when finals are over and gone.  Then I can take a breather before summer semester starts.  As for my plans for the summer…

Maybe I should explain my bout of insanity next week.

Struggling to make it through those last few weeks:

Heart, don't fail me now!
Courage, don't desert me!
Don't turn back,

Now that we're here.
People always say
Life is full of choices
No one ever mentions fear!
Or how a road can seem so long?
How the world can seem so vast?
Courage, see me through!
Heart, I'm trusting you!
On this journey.
..”       Journey to the Past, Anastasia, Aaliyah (1997)

Almost There.

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I have already began to plan my fall semester schedule. I find it difficult to wrap my head to the fact spring semester is almost over. I have a lot to do before I officially call it over. For my English course I have to prepare for my portfolio as for Spanish it's much more difficult. I have to study for the final and write two prompts. This means I have to learn to write a paragraph in Spanish. Easier said them done! In addition, I have to prepare for my oral and finish my cultural project! Which I must admit I'm quiet excited about that. My partner and I chose to do research on the country El Salvador!

Me siento muy cansado!

I'm just sleepy thinking about all the things I have to do, but luckily for me I have a few suggestions to the people who are feeling like me!:) 

1. Plan: Plan ahead of time what needs to get done. Write on a calender when you could start a project and estimate as to when you plan to be finished with it! Do the same thing with papers. Also, always start when your professor gives you an outline, no need to wait until the last minute that always leads up to more stress! As we all know, more stress around finals isn't needed!

2. Focus: Do one project/ paper a time. Don't focus on trying to get everything done at once because you'll just end up pushing it aside for another day. Pick which is due first and focus on that by itself!

3. Time: Give yourself time to edit your papers. I suggest to write your papers and put it aside for a day or two and then edit them! This tool is used for writers, it helps to clear your mind and to actually view your writing. 

Any more suggestions please let me know!

Until then hope everyone is doing well!

A "Limerickal" Tribute

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

There was once a beautiful road
People used to walk with smile bestowed
Suddenly someone dropped a bomb
Took her away from her loving mom
Collective insanity had to explode
In a moment of panic and fear
The gateway to safety remained unclear
Amongst chaos and weakeaning immunity
Suddenly evoked human unity
Collective goal helped them persevere
Amidst hard work of cops
Closed shops and dangling hopes
Working together with motive and belief
Suddenly there was a moment of relief
"He's captured" cheer the folks
As intelligence sort out the error
And the state recovers from terror
Hope Watertown turns into a bliss
And departed souls rest in peace
Let humanity blossom for ever and ever.



Going Back To Your Roots

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This week was a nostalgic one for me. I started off Tuesday by visiting my former art history professor, Dr. Claudia Rousseau, here at Montgomery College. She remains one of my favorite professors because my desire to impress her caused to me to work really hard as her student. After taking two classes with her and visiting a few of the shows she curated, I grew to appreciate her and her expertise in the field of art. 

I visited her to ask about what it was like to work as an art historian, professor, critic, and curator. I also asked about her career story. I did this because I still feel the need to explore the possibility of going into either or all of these fields. The interview was extremely informative and it left a lot for me to think about. Before I left, I asked if she could use some help with any of the things she was doing over the summer. She said I could help her with preparing some of her lectures for the fall. I gladly accepted the opportunity and I’m hoping to get some useful knowledge of her teaching process.

Right after our meeting, I went to see my former Philosophy Professor and Ethics Debate Team Coach, Professor Dan Jenkins. We exchanged a few ideas on philosophy and got caught up with what the other was up to. We had an interesting conversation on how the future of art might be influenced by future technologies. He continued to extend his offer to write me a recommendation whenever I needed it.

Thursday, I went to my former high school for the annual art show. I saw my former art teachers and the Principal who still remembers me, my major and even the school(s) I go to. The same evening, I visited the Latin Dance Team I was formerly a part of and helped out the coach with anything for their annual dance concert  performance.

It was a week for returning to dance, to art, and to former teachers and role models. 

I found this refreshing. These people and experiences reminded me of where I came from, what I've accomplished in the past, and how far I've come since then. It served to keep me grounded and it reminded me of the goals and dreams I had in the past. I've been struggling to find my fire and my ambition lately and this week long experience reminded me of a time when that fire was burning wildly. These visits are not only great for potential recommendation letters and opportunities, but they're also good for maintaining the relationships that I value. I have been so fortunate to have such great teachers in my life, and, at the very least, I owe them a visit once in a while. I think these visits also reminds them of their reasons for becoming teachers. I encourage you all to do the same and visit the professors that have made a meaningful impact on your education.

How often do you go back and visit former teachers, friends or familiar places? Do you find that it's beneficial to revisit the past or do you leave it all behind and stay focused on the future?

Snapshots of the Week

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Hello all.

This blog will be very short, because I'll be honest, I have no idea what to write about this week. Usually I have a topic in mind, but I'm drawing a blank on this one. So I'll do something I did last semester when I was in a similar dilemma. One of the readers called it my "snapshots of the week" and I liked that title. Here we go: 

  • I got an A on my second Art History exam. I'm 2 for 2 in that class. Go me.
  • Today was an unexpectedly emotional day for me. I always seem to fall into the same traps that I warn myself against, and a lot of it has to do with letting my guard down for the wrong people. Why can't everyone just not be a jerk?
  • Shout out to Besith Pineda for returning and writing a blog. If you haven't read it yet, you should. It's a very inspirational read.
  • I have two illustrations due next week. The next few days will be work work work.
  • Hopefully I'll be seeing the play, "Big Love" this weekend also. Very excited for that.


I think that's it. And I do apologize to anyone who's thinking, "where are the photos?!" That's not what I meant by snapshots. Anyhow, you guys have a great weekend.

Take Care

~ Jay

Happy New Year 2070

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Hi everyone,

Although late, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston. I was supposed to post my blog on Sunday, but I was too busy celebrating the Nepalese new year. Then I had exams all week !

On Sunday morning, I attended a walkathon organized by There were like 500 people who came together and raised money to help charities across Nepal. Then came the next big event of the day. We had a concert at Yards'Park, Washington D.C, and Phiroj Shyangden and Surendra Man Singh, two of the most famous singers of Nepal were coming. I couldn't miss this event either. Hence, I spent all day in DC. 

Check out a Nepali music video I recorded at the concert ! "Parelima" by Phiroj Shyangden happens to be one of the most famous Nepali songs. It's about a guy requesting a girl to keep him close to her heart.

A Rush (One Step at a Time)

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 I had been planning my last few semesters at MC for a while.  My plans had set themselves up so that I would graduate in the Fall 2013 semester, take a break over the first part of 2014, and start at a four-year institution in the Fall of 2014.

Then I went to a counseling session to make sure that I hadn’t missed any prerequisites.

As it turns out, Summer II will be my last semester at MC!  I can’t believe that I’m leaving so soon!

My parents are so adorable – they both keep bemoaning the fact that I’m going to be moving out (and into a dorm!) and that I’m still their baby.

Me, I’m floating in that place between excited and terrified.  The longest that I have ever stayed away from home without my parents is two weeks, my winter break in France.

There’s tons of chaos – I need to finish up with my graduation application things, and need to talk to a counselor at UMBC.  FAFSA is looking complicated.  (I need it for summer at MC, and then fall at UMBC.)  Plus, my irregular schooling pre-MC is making applications difficult.  I tried doing an online app, but even though they say that someone applying with an AA or more than 30 credits doesn’t need their high school info, it keeping giving me the ERROR face every time I don’t put everything in.  I mean, how to write: first homeschooled, then private school, then GED without graduation, and I entered MC in between leaving private school and getting my GED.

So, yeah, I’m a bit shaken, and whirling between “omigosh I’m going to UMBC,” and “omigosh I’m leaving MC and there’s so much paperwork!”

But, I guess I need to listen to my music.

One step at a time,

There’s no need to rush…

It’s gonna happen when it’s

Supposed to happen

That we find the reasons why,

One step at a time. – One Step at a Time, Jordin Sparks (2011)

Three Callbacks!

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 I would like to start off this blog by saying my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston.  When I came home, I saw on the news what had happen. My heart sank because one of my closest friends took trip there for a few days. I called her phone over ten times just to get the sound of her voicemail. Eventually, she called me to tell me she was safe. So once again my thoughts and prayers are the with families that have been directly affected by this violence.

This week has been hectic. After the job fair that had taken place on campus, about a week ago, I had gotten a call back from three places. A position for a tutor called and would like to interview on Friday. In addition with this interview, another company called and they are in need of a receptionist, and tomorrow I have an interview for an emergency clinic. Which one shall I choose?  Well, that all depends if one of the three companies is flexible for a college student. My point is next time the job fair comes around, give it a try and put your best foot forward. You never know you may get a call back like me! For the most part, it seems most companies looking for college students understand our situation. The importance of school, having hours that suit our daily lives. It's important.

Along with the exciting job interviews, I have three papers I need to prepare for my portfolio. I think this is when the anxiety of finals began to overwhelm my head.  I also have a final project for Spanish I have to prepare. I must say even after all this time, I still struggle with the tongue rolling of the "R." I come across the problem which paper do I write first or should I focus on the project.  I have come to the conclusion going round and round with these thoughts is just another form of procrastination. As Professora Jimenez would say, " tomar el toro por los cuernos!" In other words, take the bull by the horns and just do it already! So today I had time to study, and write a letter to Mrs. Margot Livesliy! Why Margot Livesliy? You may ask! She came to Montgomery college, about a month ago and shared her experience on why she became a novelist! She is a very inspirational speaker, and her passion about writing can be felt sitting in the audience.

Anyhow, if you have any suggestions how to prepare and brace myself for finals please share! I hope everyone is having a great week!



MC: A Love Story

(Besith Pineda) Permanent link

It began with an  “Information Session,” Montgomery College’s Germantown campus, and organizers who had very

thoughtfully set up an alternative meeting place for Spanish speakers, which was the meeting we went to, as my

mother did not then and does not yet speak any English. As we were instructed in intricacies of college life, I looked

over and met my mother’s gaze, her eyes absolutely glazed with happiness and pride. A mix of weariness and

accomplishment. And as I try to write this post on my very long history with MC, if I had to define the moment that

exemplifies all that this school has given me, I’d have to write her eyes with words, somehow. Her wild pride, her

undying faith.

It ended a few months ago, unofficially… when I called her outside of the counseling center of the Rockville campus,

and told her that I was set to graduate by the summer of this year. It was her voice, then, that mark the sounds of these

words: Purely ecstatic, maybe a little surprised, and wondrous of the next step.


It’s always the next step. It’s the grace of movement, singular action addition that equals the synchronization of many

parts, putting one foot in front of the other, the end goal an obscure ideal. But we walk anyway.

The last four years have been a collective exercise in movement. The physical movement that took me to six different

addresses, paired with the emotional action of progress, and the exquisite soul pain that accompanies growth.

Some of you might remember my blogs on this very same page about a year or two ago. Writing for this program was

one of the most rewarding writing I had ever done. I remember seeking this balance between honesty and restraint

during a rough, rough year, when I felt angry a lot of the time and compelled to place the blame on anything in my

proximity. When I conceived the idea for this blog just a couple of months ago, I felt the story close into a circle as I'd

finally acquired the hindsight I lacked then and I finally understood where this had been taking me all along. I wanted

to write one last note about what I think Montgomery College will mean to me for a very long time.

I ended up at this school for many reasons. Because fate would have it so. Because it was close to home and I was

young and home was all that I knew. Because I lacked the support that would have enabled me apply to other schools.

Mostly, I ended up here because my undocumented status prohibited me from receiving federal financial aid and MC

was the only school in Maryland that would recognize me as a resident of the state, a graduate of a Montgomery

County high school, a daughter to a tax paying permanent resident, a person worth giving an affordable tuition rate to.

Montgomery College was the only place in the country that gave me an opportunity.


I have taken classes at all three campuses with exceptional professors and I have met equally exceptional people. I have

made semester-long friends and been here long enough to see the underclassmen of my high school begin the

pilgrimage I’ve been travelling. The thing about MC is that it has been this irrevocable constant in my life during a time

when not much was certain. I took classes with the full knowledge that I was working towards a degree I would not be

able to use because I lacked the legal status to work in this country. Similarly, I knew that once my time at the school

was up, any school in Maryland would classify me an international student, effectively doubling their tuition rate and

keeping me outside their ornate doors. I knew that I could try for a private scholarship at a private school, but the many

uncertain factors in my life never let this particular idea fully develop.


So it has been a journey of faith and some blind luck, propelled forward only by the subtle reaffirming experiences that

have reminded me why I came here, and ended up staying.

There was the freshman year professor who reached out to me and confirmed that there were people out there who still

had the capability to care, thereby keeping me around for just one more semester which then turned into three more.

And the time that, as a student blogger unable to receive payment for blogging because I did not have a social security

number, the coordinators of the Student Blogger program gave me a gift card that meant more to me than its value.

Though I enrolled, in essence, a silenced individual, I have found my voice here. I have had opportunities such as the

online blogging and MC’s spoken word poetry slam, in which I have participated twice, to work with highly talented

people who have helped define my writing, thus helping me develop an acute sense of self. This has been a long,

painful process, and one that I doubt could have been possible without the constant reassurance of this school.


One summer class stand between the completion of this journey and graduation, which took so long to get here but

also seems to arrive fast. I have applied to the UMD (College Park) and UMBC, from whom I await responses and the

permission to begin the next phase of the pursuit of an English degree. But degree-seeking education aside, I continue

this mad chase for something bigger; the completion of a mother’s dream, the future, a new journey. It took four years

to get here, and it might take four more, but I carry with me the immense life lessons Montgomery College has

provided me.

I wanted to write this because it feels so acutely monumental in an existence that tumbles, stops, and then lurches

forward with no remorse for its occupant. Because it is important to take the time to stop and consider and smell some

spring flowers every now and then. This is my life, and I am so infinitely grateful to this school acting as the conduit to

move this erratic journey forward to a place where the opportunities are actually endless opportunities.

Best of luck to everyone as they prepare for finals. Keep going.


MC’s Got Talent 2013

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I just came back from the Montgomery College Rockville Student Senate’s Third Annual MC’s Got Talent. If you’ve been following this blog you know how excited I’ve been about the show. I organized it last spring and I really had to see what the show would be like this year. Here’s my mini review of the event.

The basic structure of the show was as follows: The MC introduced the performer(s), followed by the performance and then they were all critiqued by three judges. The judges were Dr. DeRionne Pollard and Dr. Tony Hawkins who are both from Montgomery College and George Pelham from the University of Maryland. They all have backgrounds in the performing arts. There were twelve acts in total and the top three winners were announced at the end of the show.

The show started off with the band “Better News” with a great burst of energy. Next up was classical music major, Abra Roberts, who sang “Halo” by Beyoncé. She really got the crowd the going.  Who doesn’t like a song by Beyoncé? The third performer was a Zenith player, Danni Huang. Dr. Pollard said she “was absolutely mesmerizing.” I found the performance refreshing and it was certainly unique. I was surprised when she told the judges that she had played the instrument for only four years. She seemed to have such comfort and mastery with the instrument. Pelham exclaimed “I want to steal you!” and continued to describe her comfort with the instrument by saying that she was “dancing with it.” Next up was Kristina Mitchell who sang a glorious opera piece.  Jessica Fuentes also sang “If I Ain’t got You.” The audience was moved by a song that was so familiar to them.

Then, Mileka Grooms and Tierra Baker showed off their Stepping skills. Their rhythm was on point! The last performers, before intermission, were The Bordeaux Brothers who sang and played the guitar to an Irish drinking song. Right before their performance they said that not all Irish drinking songs were about drinking. Some were about death and others about forced marriage and the latter was the one they chose. After a certain lyric, the audience was told to sing another lyric in response and they clapped to the beat. The tempo escalated as the song progressed and by the end, the crowd was so energized and was ready for more!

After intermission (which featured chipotle, and some really good chicken wings), there were only five acts to go. We started off with a really cool performance by the band, Midnight Sun. They were followed by Lujan Massot who gave us another great song. But the performance that stood out the most was that given by Lynsey NKanagnia, who gave a Cameroonian cultural dance. In the three years of MC’s Got Talent, the crowd was never as wild as they were when they saw this guy perform. They were cheering him on like no other. Hawkins said he “transcended a culture just so phenomenally.” After that was my favorite performance of the night by Lyz Nayta aka “Barbie.” She sang a song where she “really did capture the feeling of nostalgia,” said Pelham. I enjoyed her great stage presence and her magnificent voice. The last note she sang sent chills down my spine. The show ended on a happy note with Smokin’ Mangoes, a band that played an upbeat and original song.

The winners? Honorable Mention: Lyz Nayta. Third Place: Smokin’ Mangoes. Second Place: Danni Huang. First Place: Lynsey NKanagnia. Congratulations to the winners and to all the performers. You gave us an entertaining show. Good job Student Senate!! I’m really proud of the work you’ve done!

If you didn’t make it to the event, I hope you regret it! :P Try to catch it next year!

Have a great weekend everyone!

 photo e8a7fbda-ca42-4fd4-8b72-560cbd556052.jpg  photo 36222f53-9476-4e6c-bbff-06956443c0a5.jpg

Lynsey NKanagnia Groovin'(Left) Lyz Nayta Singing (Right)


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Danni Huang plays the Zenith


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Smokin' Mangoes Jammin' It Out

Photo Credits to Marwah Bahanan

Short Sleeves!!!

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You have no idea how grateful I was to not have to wear a jacket or winter coat this week. 

To say I live for warm weather would be an exaggeration, but not that big of an exaggeration. Every spring, I embrace the warmth back into my life like an old friend who's moved back home, because it's so wonderful see it again. To feel it again. To throw on my backpack and go, without adding the extra layer of a coat. That feels good to me. 

Speaking of Spring, this weather solidifies the fact that it IS Spring. Like...actual Spring. Not just "technical" spring because the weatherman said so. Remember that one day last week when it was like 27 degrees? I feel like that was old man Winter shaking his angry fist at us because his time was up. See you next year, buddy.

And I'm starting to see shorts, flip-flops, and tank tops on our students again. That. Is. The. Spirit. You guys and gals look good! Faculty and staff too. I didn't forget about you guys.

It always amazes me each year how my mood lightens dramatically once Winter ends. I was born in Florida, so maybe it's a mental thing. I don't know, but I'm less concerned with trying to figure out why weather affects my mood and more concerned with just enjoying the upside. I feel great. The only thing I have to worry about now is allergies. The battle begins!

I hope everyone is having an amazing week. And shout out to Moses! He's a reader of the blog and took the time to say hi to me in the cafe. It was great meeting you and I'm happy you chatted with me for a bit.

Everyone take care!

~ Jay

Awakening - It's Spring!

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 Well, I’m feeling a little less blue this week.  Lots of homework completed, more to go, and my PE classes are beginning to utterly exhaust me.


I went to the Health Fair today.  Actually, I manned my class booth with some classmates for a little while, so you might have seen me!  (My class is PE173.)

I honestly couldn’t believe how many booths there were.  It was like when all of the four-year-schools came to MC earlier in the semester.  Crowded!

But unlike earlier in the semester, it’s hot.

It broke 90° Fahrenheit, today!  (That’s ≈32° Celsius!)  The gym was stifling.  Thankfully, despite the heat, it wasn’t especially humid.  I dread the days of summer when it is 80-90° Fahrenheit, and humid enough to fill a cup of water by swinging it through the air.

Right now, it’s hot, but walking doesn’t feel like trying to swim through hot water. 

Well, the heat has done one good thing – have any of you seen campus?  (Rockville!)

It’s gorgeous!  The trees are blossoming, the flowers are blooming, and campus smells like mulch – well, that last one isn’t so great, but it’s worth it.  Blue skies and white flowering trees are the perfect picture! Everything is waking up from the icy chill of winter!

There's a great awakening and a new morning

And your spirit's pounding loud and clear…” – If the River Can Bend, The Big Picture (1997), Elton John


Underneath A Tree.(4)

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The weather is finally working out in my favor! For the first time in awhile I was able to do my English homework outside underneath a cherry blossom tree. Last week, I spent a day in D.C right in front of the White House. I needed to get out of the house a find my inspiration for my next short story. I spent the day underneath cherry blossoms a people watching. (I hope that doesn't sound too strange.)

Professor Wake-Lin has given our class a list of things we could do to move our story forward. Her first piece of advice is to find your character. The best way to do this is just to simply people watch and observe their behavior.

 I saw a new family with their new born son sitting and having a picnic. This was clearly her first child because she still had troubles with the stroller and figuring out what made her new born fussy. I also witnessed a couple argue. It seemed the young man was pay close attention to another young women and clearly his girlfriend wasn't fond of that. I also saw something that intrigued me a wood pecker. Although I didn't leave D.C with a story or plot in mind, I left with character traits! Turns out my character is a new mother, that doesn't get along with her spouse and she has a fascination with wood peckers! Awesome right?

Anyways, today there was a job fair! I hope most of you attended. To be honest, I wasn't planning on it, but my curiosity got the best of me. I was interested to see with jobs fit my schedule of course which one complemented my skills. I walked away with information on all the children programs. The British club where the teach babies to swim. Awesome! I a bit nervous, but I'm sure they will provide me for the proper training. In addition, I'm also curious in BB&T, pool companies, etc. Hope you had time out of your busy schedule to check this out!

Physics Club In The Community

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Hi everyone,

I hope you all are doing fine. Yesterday, I, along with other members of the physics club went to the Johns Hopkins University to demonstrate "hands-on science opportunities" to the next generation of scientists. There were about 422 students from 6 elementary schools. Prof. Shoeila Bakhour provided us with a great opportunity to represent Montgomery college in the community. Activities ranged from showing them basic properties of electricity and magnetism to making them pull two books (interleaved page-to-page) apart with human power. 

Young children enjoyed our mini experiments, and asked us variety of questions. Some kids looked certain to be scientists in the future. Some were quick to tell me: "It's kinetic energy" before I even started explaining the demonstration.  Most of them looked more interested in using the device rather than listening to what we were trying to explain. That's how kids are, and that's what makes them special. All in all, it was fun for them and it was fun for us.

Thanks to Cyrus and Prof. Bakhour for the pictures. Check them out !




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Just Not Feeling It

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It’s been one of those days. I’m just not feeling it.  Actually, I’ve been having many of them recently. It’s understandable right? We’re past the semester midpoint.  A lot of my time and energy went into the beginning of the semester and so it’s natural to experience a bit of a burn out. This week I was tempted to skip studying for an exam or skip a class or skip an assignment. I keep telling myself to just show up or to just do something, anything. Even if I do a quarter of an assignment, it’s better than getting a zero.

Showing up to class exposes me to the material. Even if I pay half attention, I’m getting some exposure to the material. The more you expose new material to your brain, the better you’ll be able to retain the information. I think showing up to every class has been especially helpful with my success this semester. I keep reminding myself to do what I can even if it’s just a little bit. If I have a freebee on an assignment I tell myself to save it for an emergency. If no emergency shows up, then I can use it in the end.

I just remind myself of why I’m doing this. Why I’m going through the rigor of engineering. It’s the challenge. It’s to learn. It’s to open up opportunities for me. It’s to influence my art. It’s to prove something to myself. I have this belief that if I can conquer something as challenging as engineering is for me, then I can do anything I put my mind to in the future.

I expected spring break to be rejuvenating, but I spent most of the days either doing work or just lying around. So I decided to really give myself a day off tomorrow. There will be absolutely no work and no lying around. I’ll be doing only the things that would reenergize me. I figure, if CEOs of multibillion dollar companies can find a day in the week to relax, then surely, I can.

The hard work will pay off and summer is almost here.

How do you deal with one of those days? How do you keep yourself going?


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Jeez. Since when do weeks zoom by this fast? I feel like I wrote last week's blog entry yesterday.

A few interesting things happened this week. First I got to see the presentation that one of my illustrations was apart of. As I mentioned a while back, Social Science students collaborated with Illustration/Graphic Designed students in order to create several unique displays that highlighted various social issues. I was paired with a student named Jillian Lake who wrote a very compelling essay regarding the expectations that teachers have for their students. The essay also detailed the ways that such high, or low, expectations might affect the mentality of the students.

I unfortunately didn't get to meet Jillian face to face, but I did see the final display. From what I hear, she was very happy with the illustration I made for her, and that makes me all warm and giddy inside. Anyhow, here's a photo.

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And lastly, today I was leaving the dining area when I heard someone say, "Jay!" So I look to see who it was, and I saw these three.

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They were spreading the word about "MC's Got Talent" which you may remember Miguel blogged about last week. They were also selling raffle tickets for what I believe was a Kindle and headphones. The one in the middle (I think her name is Christina. Sorry if I'm wrong!) was the one who yelled my name. I asked how she knew my name, and she said she reads my blog. That just made me all kinds of happy, so I had no choice but to buy a raffle ticket. They were a really nice group though and I'm glad I could give something to the cause.

Don't forget that MC's Got Talent takes place on Friday, April 12th, from  6pm to 9pm at the Rockville Theater Arts Building.

Tickets are being sold at the Rockville Campus Center, room 005, from 9am to 4:30pm. They will also be sold at the Sales Window across from MC Copies from 11am to 2pm. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door. 

Have a good weekend everyone! Take care.

~ Jay

Missing Class for Pesach, Part 2

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 I am utterly exhausted.  Much as I love Pesach, I am so glad that it’s over.   Missing classes is horrible!  Especially when I try to get in contact with classmates, and they never email me back!

The email system at MC is awesome.  I love being able to get in contact with my teachers when I have the need.  The problem lies with the student access.  Often, when I try to use the email through MC to get in contact with a classmate, I never receive a reply.

Frankly, often when I try to use an email which a fellow student gave to me as their preferred email, I get no reply.

It makes a person wonder.  Is school just lower on people’s priorities?  Do people look at the email, not recognize it, and dump it as spam?  Or is there something wrong with me?

Right now, I feel pretty low, so my answer keeps coming up as #3.  I’m scrambling to catch up with everything that I missed over Pesach, and I haven’t seen some of my teachers since before Spring Break.  My world feels like a fog of effort and failure.

In reference to a question posed on my last blog –


Literally means “young goat,” or “kid.”


אִם אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלָיִם, תִּשְׁכַּח יְמִינִי.
תִּדְבַּק לְשׁוֹנִי לְחִכִּי אִם לֹא אֶזְכְּרֵכִי,
אִם לֹא אַעֲלֶה אֶת יְרוּשָׁלַֽיִם עַל רֹאשׁ שִׂמְחָתִי.


If I forget you, O Jerusalem​​, let my right hand wither;

Let my tongue stick to my palate if I cease to think of you,
if I do not keep Jerusalem
​​ in memory even at my happiest hour.


Psalms 137:5-6


I feel pretty mournful, okay?

John Hopkins: A writers Dream.

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This is for anyone who is interested in sharing their writing with an editor.

On April 12, John Hopkins University in D.C. is having editors, publishers, and writers share their experiences about getting your writing noticed.  What’s interesting about this process they set up a “speed dating” environment where you sit ten minutes with an editor and they look over your work and then when the timer goes off you switch to sit with another editor. This is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up, bring your best poetry, short story, or novel in the making. 

Although in order to participate in this there is a fee of 65 dollars. At first, I was unsure how I would be able to afford it due to my budget, but luckily I know how to save a little here and there. I grabbed every penny out of the couch and out of my coke-cola piggy bank and it just so happens I had enough. I thought to myself missing out on this opportunity would be more of a mistake and something I would regret if I didn’t show up to this event. 

Today, I am spending most of it revising my poems and creating new ones. I’ve been sitting outside in the cold searching for inspiration. Nature as a way of bringing me closer to my passion. Modern day technology just closes it. Nature is clam, quiet, and soothing. Every writer has a way to unleash this passion. Mine is just simple. 

I really am urging anyone to come and to experience this. I’m nervous that my writing won’t be good enough, but in the end I am getting closer and closer to where I want to be. 

Have any questions-ask me 

My 50th College Blog Post

(Shaswat Koirala) Permanent link

Wohooo ! The day has come. Who would have thought I'd be writing the 50th college blog for my college ? Not me. I remember I was already struggling to find new ideas after 4-5 blog posts. Writing a blog for college has always been challenging because of its scope-limited nature. It has been a fun experience writing both on and off the track, trying to include new things. With only 4 or 5 blogs to go, I guess I'm almost a veteran now.

On this auspicious occasion, I've decided to share some great quotes, which I believe would be beneficial in our student life and overall life experience.

"Nearly everybody in their life needs someone to help them. I don't care whether you're the greatest self-made man; the fact is, somebody has helped you along the way." - R. Sargent Shriver

"Do not try to build your life on ethics, morality or values. Bring clarity of perception into your life. Learn to see everything just the way it is." - Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

"I don't believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be." - Ken Venturi

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." - Gautam Buddha

"All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming." - Helen Keller

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary." - Vince Lombardi 

"I live my life based on 2 principles. One, I live as if today was my last day on earth. Two, I live today as if I am going to live forever." - Osho

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." - Albert Einstein

"Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted." - John Lennon



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