1st yr as a Wolverine:
On the 1st day of arrival in my dorm room, i wrote on a piece of paper these following words;
"1. Learn about the american culture
2. Learn to be independent
3. Learn to be disciplined
4. Learn to be open-minded
5. Live life to the max"
this piece of paper has been in front of my desk for all 3 yrs in michigan. thou i hardly really notice it, i'm always recharged when i happen to glance thro it as it reminded me why i'm here.
Roommate from Kansas:
The most impt thing that i'd say i've gained in my first year is possibly my roommate, Luke Meinzen, this tall, opinionated yet extremely smart dude i lived with in a refugee-like room with a 3rd roommate who was, well, still exploring his sexual inclination. Anyway, i've learnt a ton of things from luke, like basic rules of Football, downing beer in 2 seconds and all the basic activities (go figure~) associated with a freshman year. I even stayed with his folks over christmas thou i was utterly disappointed with the fact that it doesn't snow in Kansas in December. But besides all the weekend partying and late-night farting, we've had some insightful exchange of ideas abt things east and west. And i'm glad both of us were open-minded enough to hear each other out. That laid a good basis for our work together when we both started the new student organization next yr.
the 3 musketeers:
there're 2 other dudes living on the same floor that i've kept in close contact after freshman yr. Henry and Ryan...we shared the same immense passion of music and movies...we've attended a few shows together (including watching White Stripes at Detroit's Masonic Temple) and crashed a few parties...between beers and late-night movies, i've come to know them well and they provide me with another window into what it is to be an american...and to be frank, there're so many different kinds of americans. I'm always lost for words when ppl back home ask me what americans are really like. Fact is there's such a wide spectrum of them who even varies in some very fundamental ideologies that it's unfair to talk of them as a whole. Personally, i was shocked to find so many non-whites when i arrive in ann arbor...i was definitely ignorant but i wonder how many who like me conjure up an image of america based on hollywood movies and sitcoms, which are of course dominated by the fairer skins...
Another interesting character i met durin my first y is Lauren Nielsen. She's a nursing student whom i was working with as the co-site leader on a 10 days community service to McAllen, Texas. The trip itself wasn't all that fulfilling but i was glad to know Lauren, for she'd turn out to be my 2nd camaraderie when we started the new student organization next yr
qualitative & quantitative thinking:
Besides meeting new friends, i was thriving in the american education system. Its flexibility and breadth had given me the opportunity to dwelve into matters that does not evolve around numbers. I was developing a strong interest in psychology, economics and political science and thro these arts classes, i was finally able to improve my qualitative skills, which frankly speaking is really lacking after being ignored for my first 21 years. And soon I decided that i wanna do a double degree in electrical engineering and organizational studies (basically a collection of social sciences with an organizational focus). I thought this'd equip me with the qualitative and quantitative skills i'd need in my future. Althou i didn't hold out to this plan eventually, my fling with the double degree program means that i ended up graduating with many additional credits in the arts. Thou they don't contribute to my eventual degree in EE, they've laid a solid foundation in arousing my interest in the social sciences...
the 1st 8 months flew past and i decided to spend another 2 months in ann arbor to do spring classes. Tammy joined me during these 2 months and we had the most amazing time living together in a perfect estate named "Willowtree". It was really like honeymoon since i really have no other commitment besides sch work, and she has none besides cooking and watching sitcoms. It was really a great relaxing and romantic 2 months and we both treasured it alot since this sort of days with no worries are a luxury in this fast-paced modern world. During this time, i also really gotta know beng hoe and william very well, who prove to be my weekend PS2 khakis and occasional personal driver (i call them the Lexus Brothers since both of them drive Lexus). They're 2 really impressive minds with loads of ambition to match, i think they'd go far in life.