Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Carpe-ing the Diem

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Mark Twain knows what's up.

“Never let schooling get in the way of your education.”  – Mark Twain

You came to Stanford because you realize that there is significantly more to an education than merely the classes you take, the books you read, and the problem sets you solve.  There’s no doubt that Stanford has top notch academics.  But we have so much more.

And yet, during the supposed “sophomore slump” of my Stanford career, I’ve sadly seen too many of my peers take way too many core classes and, to a certain extent, forget the initial Stanford magic that brought us here.

This is my two cents on rekindling that passion and “doing it right.”  I’ll readily admit that at the ripe old age of 20, I don’t claim to have it all figured out.  (I also don’t claim to speak Latin, as you can probably tell.)  But when the things that made you happy become the things that drive you crazy, it’s time for a quick reset.

It’s not about the schooling; it’s about the education.

Making the Grade

In Soviet Russia, sleep gets you!

Too often, I see students so focused on the end result, getting that right answer or passing that midterm, that they ignore the lesson.  Write numbers without comprehension.  Miss the learning process.  I’ve sat in too many lectures with students frantically scribbling last minute answers.  “Wait, why is that right?”  “Heck if I know.  The TA said so.”  Didn’t we all have to write an essay about intellectual vitality to get in here?  What’s going on?

If you’re writing down answers you don’t understand, you’re doing it wrong.  If you’re busting your butt on hour 22 of that problem set for the incremental difference between an A and an A+, you’re doing it wrong.


How Much is Too Much?

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Since its inception spring quarter has been synonymous with the re-emergence of the sun, warm weather, and most importantly, the time to make up for the lack of fun had during winter quarter.  Yet for some incomprehensible reason, the Stanford University administration still deems it necessary that classes take place during this festive time of year.  Often during the dreary months of winter quarter, all students have to hold too is the dream of having a spring quarter with 12, maybe 13 units max.  One filled with hours spent lying lazily in the sun on Wilbur field, or sleeping until 2 pm on class-less Fridays.  Thirsty Tuesday becomes the new Thirsty Thursday and weekends are spent in the off-campus beyond the bubble since no real work would be due the following Monday.  In theory, spring quarter is supposed to be one of stress-free bliss, a relaxing end to a very demanding year.

Ask any student how many units one should take during spring quarter and they automatically respond 12.  However, when you ask the same student how many units they have, most mumble something about having 17, 18, sometimes 20 units.  Having experienced this firsthand, I’m still left wondering how does this happen? Is the fault of an overachieving student? Are professors trying to make students suffer by only teaching that one awesome course at not other point in the year but spring (Happiness for example)? Or is Stanford to blame for demanding students to take such inane courses as PWR or anything that’s considered a GER?