Wabash Blogs Daniel King '10
 

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August 30, 2009

One year ago...

One year ago, I was boarding a plane. This flight would take me to Rome, and it would begin one of the best semesters of my college career. I hate to admit this to myself, but I miss it. A part of me wishes that I was about to begin my semester in Perugia again. Even from the very beginning of the semester, I knew it would be special. To reach my apartment, I had to climb this massive hill. At the time, I was furious that the Italians had not designed better streets so that taxis could drop people off in front of their apartments. Once I actually reached the apartment, I loved what I saw. I remember the windows in particular... they were enormous, and they looked out onto one of the busiest streets in Perugia. 

One year ago, Europe was my playground. I was able to plan a trip anywhere. Rome, Florence, Cinque Terra, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Interlaken, Munich, and London. On any given weekend, I was likely to be in any one of those cities. When I was there, I was simply blown away. There is so much to see, and my words cannot even attempt to capture the beauty of Western Europe. I was particularly attracted to cathedrals. I guess its just the aesthetic in me, but religious art captivated me. Because there were cathedrals everywhere, I was able to enjoy it just about every day.
 
But this isn't one year ago. No matter how much I wish I was back in Europe, I have to pull myself back to the present. I have the GRE to take, grad school applications to complete, and senior comps to pass. It's fun to reminisce, but I cant dwell on the past.If I did, I might miss out on my last year at Wabash.

August 28, 2009

Homecoming 2009

Although its still about a month away, I really anticipating this year's homecoming. This homecoming will be particularly special because my entire family is coming. In my three years since I've been here, this will be their first time to campus. My oldest sister, from NYC, will be arriving that Thursday. She's also bringing my favorite nephew with her... he's 17 months. The following day my mom, aunts, and cousins will be arriving. Depending on what time they arrive, I might miss class. I'd like to show them around campus and introduce them to a few of my favorite professors. I'm sure we'll go to Lafayette or Indy for dinner... maybe we'll go bowling or something afterwards. I'm really interested to see how they take to Wabash. By coming on homecoming weekend, they'll definitely get the full experience.

August 27, 2009

Flashback: French 101

A stroll down memory lane:

"So my first couple of days of classes..... 

Well, first there is my freshman tutorial concerning the performing arts. That is actually going fairly well. I fully expect to excel in all areas of that course.

Also other courses I think I will excel in are Public Speaking 101 and Perspective on Friendship. I seem to grasp the concepts fairly easily and the work load hasn't gotten intense...yet. 

But the problem lies when I try study outside the English language. This French 101 class may fairly well be the end of me. In all my years of schooling I have never had trouble retaining information. If the assignment was presented to me, I could study it and make an A on any quiz or test. But I cant figure out how to study this French! I mean sure I have the vocabulary words printed in a book in front of me, but that does not help me when Monsieur Thomas expects me to respond the to his question in class in French. There are no phonetics in the book so I am never sure if I am pronouncing the words correctly, and furthermore, speaking French is opposite from reading it because you have to slur together certain letters. How am I suppose to survive this when I am clueless....

Oh, woe is me..."

Studying French was painful. However, I dont think it hurt as much as economics or calculus though.

 

 

GRE's

I wish it weren't so. When I graduated from high school, I was convinced I was done with standardized tests. How wrong I was! 

If you don't  know, the GRE is a standardized test that graduate schools require of their applicants. I have about one month to prep for them. I've been studying all summer for them, but my scores are not where I want them to be. The highest score on the verbal and math section is 800. I'd like to be somewhere north of 600. I still have a lot of work to do. I'm hoping after a few more practice tests, my scores will rise.

I'm not sure how much my admission depends on my GRE scores... hopefully, not too much.

Pray for me.

August 23, 2009

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Freshmen Orientation has begun. This year, one of the college's goals is to teach freshmen the importance of giving. As always, the freshmen complete some sort of community service project. However, this year, the college wants to communicate that its also important to give back to the place (Wabash) that provides so much for its students. So, this year, the freshmen are learning the history of some of the great benefactors of Wabash College. It's important for them to see that Wabash couldn't operate if it were not for alumni giving. Many of the luxuries that our students enjoy are the result of gracious alumni gifts. If freshmen learn early that their careers at Wabash have been supported by alumni, then they may be more likely to support future students once they graduate.

Even though I'm suppose to be teaching these values to the freshmen, I find myself learning as well. I'm graduating in the spring, but I've never thought about what I could do for Wabash once I'm gone. Soon, it'll be my responsibility to help shape the undergraduate years of new Wabash men. Whether that shaping comes in the form of financial giving or simply the giving of my time, I'm not sure. All I know is, the time is coming.

August 17, 2009

Echoes from Freshmen Year

       It’s funny how our roles as Wallys change. Once upon a time (three autumns ago), I entered my freshmen year at Wabash. Only one word could really capture my excitement as I left my home in Memphis, TN: anxious. From my spring visits in high school, I felt that Wabash had a certain energy; it’s quite intoxicating. Being in Memphis all summer, I felt deprived of that energy.  During the week before Freshmen Saturday, I was so apprehensive. By the time I arrived at campus, I was anxiously trying to ditch my mom so that I could partake in the college experience. So, my first role as a Wally was simply being a wide-eyed freshmen waiting to dive into a new life at Wabash.

        Only a few weeks at Wabash, my role of a wide-eyed freshmen slowly turned into timid-eyed pledged. Oh, the woes of pledgeship! Moving into Beta Theta Pi, I was initially shy around those in my home. I was a little uneasy about making jokes (Mid-Western humor differs from Southern humor.) I felt out of place because I attended a performing arts high school; I played the piano throughout my middle and high school career. Everyone that I met at Beta played at least two sports throughout their middle and high school careers. However, as pledgeship progressed, I found myself having these thoughts:

 “Could you imagine walking into the cold dorm and seeing all these bunks and knowing they were going to be filled with your new best friends? Could you imagine having a friend so close to you who will pull you through your biology homework because you decided to skip class that day? Could you imagine having a friend so close who will clean the vomit off you when you have too much to drink? Could you imagine having a friend giving you a ride and buying you something to eat when you're broke?”

 

This quote was taken from my Wabash blog freshmen year. Even by August 23, 2006, my role was changing yet again to being a committed pledge brother.

 

By senior year, times haven’t changed that much. The themes of friendship and excitement will surely echo throughout my senior year. This year, I’m going to be an Orientation Leader. It’s like coming full circle. Three years ago, there was a senior who started me on my path at Wabash. Now, it’s time for me to do the same. So, one week before I return to campus, I’m anxious. I’m ready to see my friends… my pledge brothers. I saw them only a couple of weeks ago, but when you have been through what we’ve been through together, you really can’t get enough of them.