Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Humid Living

Walking out of the dorm this morning was almost painful; if I were to only learn one thing here at Brown, it would be that humidity and I do not mix. Just kidding, I’ve already learned loads of information in class!

Today we focused on the other half of supply and demand, supply. I won’t give a full description of what we learned exactly, but I will tell you that I’m having an awesome time absorbing what’s going on, and being in an environment in which everyone wants to learn. After 12 years of public school, this is a first for me.

The majority of students at Brown are paying for the full course with their own money. If that doesn’t tell you enough, besides one other student, the only people I know that have gone to public school are Kelly, David, Ying, Tayler, and Nick. So, in class and out, it’s really interesting to hear about their scholarly experiences.

I found it strange that, in terms of sports and athletics, El Cerrito High School has some strange ones. For instance, apparently Mountain Biking just doesn’t exist at some other schools. Of course, this makes sense when the area surrounding their school is flat, but I stand by the platform of “EC has the number one Mountain Biking team of the schools represented at Brown.”

Where I can also see the differences is in academics. In our econ class, Nick and I are the only two who’ve taken BC Calculus. Thanks to our block scheduling, we have a lot more knowledge than we really need for the class, but we still got to show off, just a little bit. However, in basic biology and chemistry, I really feel lacking. Missing a substantial part of my science foundation is an obvious fact when meal conversation switches to the material the science classes are covering. Naturally, I haven’t taken the APs of either of these classes yet, but I honestly feel that I’m missing a lot of core science information.
The basement of the dorms, where the laundry is done, is, in a word, creepy. The exposed pipes, the cement walls, and the random, smelly, frat house equipment all contribute to a place that you spend as little time as possible in. However, for a bunch of people on my floor, this is something they won’t have to worry about. They have all purchased the linen service, where their laundry will get picked up, and dropped off, with no worrying on their part. This procedure sounds nice in theory, but fiscally, doesn’t make any sense. Why would you pay a lot of money, when the laundry machines are only $1.25 each, and you’re only there for three weeks? I don’t mean to criticize the way anyone lives, only to note the differences between their and my ways of life. And, because I work 4 hours a week basically doing laundry, I’m very fast at folding and sorting clothes.

If it were possible to capture humidity on camera, I assure you that this
pretty (but irrelevant) photo of Thayer Street would be covered in it.


  1. Emily,

    One of the questions we ask a lot of our ILC wannabes in their interviews is about intermingling with people from different cultures. Almost all of them think we’re referring to people from different parts of the world but you’re seeing first hand what we’re referring to. You’re attending classes with students who come from a completely different culture from right here in the US. [Aside from a different perspective on things, people from different cultures here in the US also eat and speak differently than what we’re sued. If anyone thinks we’re all the same, they need to spend a little time in Boston, New York City, Kansas, New Orleans and right here in the Bay Area. We’re the same but we’re different at the same time.]

    Just your comments about paying someone else to do their laundry is a good example. While I’d love for someone else to come in and clean, cook and do my laundry, doing it myself teaches me a lot and helps to build character. It helps to keep me humble (yes--you read it right).

    Even the place where you’re doing your laundry tells you something. If those “let someone else do my work for me” people spent a little time down in the dank and smelly basement, don’t you wonder how it might affect them later in life when they are making decisions about which plants to close and how many jobs to outsource? When you work for a living and fend for yourself, don’t you think it gives you a completely different perspective.

    You already knew this but now you’re seeing it first hand.

    And don’t worry that you’re not as well versed as others in your cohort taking the science course. You never signed up for the science course and they didn’t sign up for your course. We all have our specialties and there’s no shame in not being a Nobel laureate in every discipline.

  2. Thank you Don, for giving EM support. May she be the economist who wins the world humanitarian award.