Opportunity Knocks

There isn’t a word that carries more hope in my opinion than opportunity. I had always thought the concept silly. I’ve always had the misconception that there’s so much help out there for people to succeed that there’s no reason for them not to, besides their own personal limitations. My eyes are being opened to a newer reality. To some degree, we are slaves to our circumstances. In others, we decide our future. There are, however, far too many who go without opportunity. As much as I disagree with how the guy runs our country, Obama’s “change” and “hope” campaign really resonates with us as humans on some subconscious level.

I actually feel greatly blessed for this opportunity to aspire to a higher education. Good gosh is it difficult. I’m taking 20 credits! Here’s the breakdown:

Currently, I have a double-major listed in Mechanical Engineering and German, a double-minor in Japanese and Military Science, and a certificate in Technical Communication. Who needs free-time anyway? I met with my advisor this week, and she said I might graduate in five years if I take summer courses haha. But one of the things Dad told me is that college is about broadening my palette. I doubt I’ll keep the Japanese minor, but it’s fun to explore my first year.

My classes are as follows:

  • German 303: Easy. I understand basically everything the professor says. The course is conducted in German. My professor, Frau Henderson :D, is also one of my advisors, since I’ve got a double-major in German listed. So I’m in good with her. She said I can be a tutor (paid) and a teacher’s assistant (paid with credits) next semester.
  • Japanese 101: This class is killer. The teacher’s assistants are exchange students from Japan, and they’re chill. They help me out a bunch, but it’s still super difficult for me. It’s not individual concepts that are what trip me up, it’s the double-translating of character to sound to English equivalent. I’m not sure I’ll take 102 next semester. We’ll see what grade I get in 101 haha…I’m taking it because I’ve always had an interest in the language and culture, plus Japan, along with Germany and Switzerland (got ’em covered!), are the top countries for precision engineering. But if I’m not totally committed, I’m not going to let Jap 102 tank my GPA
  • Military Science 101 (lecture): Super cool. We learn about fitness, squad tactics, how to read a map, etc. It’s easy, there’s no homework, and our exam is going to be pretty straight-forward.
  • Military Science 101 (lab): We meet up every week for two hours in Julie Davis Park right behind campus and practice things like marching, crawling, squad tactics, etc. It’s the practical side to the Army
  • Military Science 104 -Physical Training (PT): It’s at 6:30am MWF, so I wake up at 5am…It’s killer. The first Friday of every month, we have a PT Test. The minimums to pass are 50-something sit-ups, 40-something push-ups, and a 2-mile run in under 15:30. 
  • Kinesiology 140 – Personal Health: I love this class. I got into healthy eating on my mission, and it’s been a blast to figure out the why’s of everything I was doing. It’s one of my general ed’s, so I’m not “wasting” a credit on some whim, which is a bonus. I’m pretty passionate about health/fitness, but it’s not something I want to pursue from a career standpoint.
  • Math 108 – Intermediate Algebra / Math 143 – College Algebra: Well. This is two college classes condensed and crammed into one semester. We use an online program called ALEKS to master each topic at our own pace to build a solid foundation. But instead of the typical 6 hours per week, we have to log 12 hours, since we’re doing a full course in half the time. So I do 12 hours of math homework every week, with two midterms and two final exams. I haven’t done math in 4 years! It’s been a tough, but fun refresher. I scored 100% on my midterm.
  • Music Ensemble 122 – Concert Band: Dang. I haven’t played clarinet in 3 years, but, like German, I figured there was no point in learning if I don’t keep it up. I’m only really keeping it up so I can play in a village orchestra in Germany 😉
So there ya have it! School is keeping me busy, so I think I’ll switch to short, frequent posts. I’ll be up in Idaho City for a Field Training Exercise (FTX) with ROTC on land navigation. It’ll be a blast. So I won’t post Sunday, but expect stuff the following week!
~Jonny
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