So I've been back at 'the grind' for about a week now and it is looking to be a nice and challenging semester. I can only hope that hard work will pay off come exams. My courses this semester are: Physics 1 (calc based), Physical Chemistry (i.e. p-chem, thermodynamics and kinetics), Calc 2 (lots of integration), and finally Intro to Japanese 1 (a foreign language). Here are some thoughts on the first week of school.<br /><br />My first class (at 0800) was physics, while initially intimidating, I think I'm grasping the various concepts being presented. While I feel that the first week was productive, I am still having some trouble manipulating the various equations to suit my needs (something I'm sure I'll need to do in the future). I think that only practice will solve this. Physics is looking to be a fun class and I'm eager to dive into the more complicated concepts.<br /><br />My p-chem class has been quite dense so far, it almost feels as if we have gone over all of calc 1 and general chemistry in the first week. All in review before we begin the more formal discussion of thermodynamics. Just today we went over the various definitions of systems and states that we will be working with for the next 4 months.<br /><br />My calc class has been, high energy and seemingly quite faste in the presentation of the material. As a 3 unit class that meets 3 times a week, each class session is just an hour, while this makes for frequent reminders of the material we are working with, I sometimes feel that each session is just a bit too short. Perhaps this is just due to me not having had a 3 unit course with such frequent meeting times.<br /><br />And finally, my Japanese class. I have found it quite relaxing, to have a course outside of my major studies. In the previous years this has meant taking a course in psychology, or anthropology. This semester, and hopefully for the next 2 years, I have chosen to study a foreign language. Why Japanese? Several things have influenced this, my freshman year of high school my family housed a woman from Japan who was part of an "exchange teacher" program. Since many americans go to Japan to teach english, it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to think of japanese coming to america to teach their language to us. Having her around was probably the first large influence on my interest in Japan, not counting the film "My Neighbor Totoro" that I watched when I was little. Another large influence is the heavy impact Japanese culture has had on Hawaii. The language is everywhere and arguably the most common "foreigner" here is from Japan. When walking around Waikiki or even riding TheBus, all the signs are first in english, then in Japanese. I chose to take a foreign language because currently I only know one language (english). This condition causes me to feel like a bad, global citizen. While this might take away my time from my intended goal (Oceanography), I feel I will be a better person in the end as a result of these decisions for personal betterment. A few of my fellow bloggers are currently in Japan as part of a study abroad program, I hope I will at some point have the same opportunity for study in Japan, but that is 2 or more years of diligent study away.<br /><br />I can't have a post without photos! Just the other night there was a group of people in my halls common room playing Bananagrams. I mangaged to take some photos of the game in progress while acting as a sort of moderator (is this word legal, etc...). <br /><img src="" height='330px' width='500px' /><br /><img src="" height='330px' width='500px' /><br /><br />-Barna