Sunday, June 26, 2011

New York State of Mind

When I think of New York - one of my favorite cities - I think of bustle, activity, importance, business, excitement, urban sprawl, and general cosmopolitanism. Today, while taking a walk in Central Park, it dawned on me that something I never have fully appreciated about the city before is its beauty. I think that this realization has been creeping up on me for the past month that I've lived here, but today, walking around the Central Park reservoir, it really hit me.

I've really enjoyed living here. I'm learning a lot through my internship and gaining great experience - even though the company I'm working for is absolutely crazy. As I've already described, the city itself is fantastic. It's full of energy, opportunity, and diversity. My only regret about my time here is the little time I have to get to know the wonderful people I'm meeting.

I still have about three more weeks though and I'm determined to make the most of it. Besides, when I do say goodbye to the Big Apple, I have a feeling that it'll be more of a "see you soon" than a "farewell forever."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Writing Seminar Blogs Part 5: April 18 to April 21

This is my final of the writing seminar blogs! It's a bit shorter than the rest (I guess I didn't evenly divide them) but nevertheless, it's here. I realize that it ends somewhat abruptly and doesn't have quite the nostalgic, reflective, and conclusive nature that one would expect from an end-of-school-year post. I'll write a proper conclusion in the near future now that I have over a month's perspective on the year. Indeed, though I have neglected (yes, I've used this word in many a blog post) my blog, there is much to be discussed! Right now, I'm living in New York City for an internship. There is definitely more on that to come - already I've had several very unique experiences to relate. Until then, feel free to read my anti-climactic end of the writing seminar blog series!

Post on April 18 2011
Created on Monday, 04/18/2011 5:16 PM by Blake Ellison

Tonight, I'm going to the suburbs for a Passover dinner with one of my hallmates. I'm looking forward to getting a glimpse into Jewish culture, not to mention the homemade food and some time outside the city. Though I love Philadelphia, I do miss the relative silence and space of suburbia. As the end of the year approaches, I catch myself imagining my summer. I get intense pulses of excitement for the familiar warmth of Utah in the summer as well as the mystery of living in New York for severl weeks. It'll be a busy summer. Part of me wishes I was spending more time at home while another part of me wants to be away more. There are so many exciting things to do in this world - I'm worried I won't have the time to do them all!

Post on April 20 2011
Created on Wednesday, 04/20/2011 5:31 PM by Blake Ellison

I'm blogging again today because I forgot to blog yesterday. My friends and I back home are planning an awesome roadtrip for this May. Right now, it's looking like we'll take a week in May and go down to Austin, Texas for a week. We're thinking about hanging out around the lakes and enjoying the wonders of the state of Texas. I'm not so sure that it's entirely feasible, but it's making me stoked for the summer!

Post on April 20 2011
Created on Wednesday, 04/20/2011 3:49 PM by Blake Ellison

Today has been a good and productive day thus far. I went for a run, met with Dr. Paletta, and met with my Math professor all before classes this afternoon. Hoepfully the productivity continues because I have a lot of work due within the next week and my mom is visiting this weekend. I'm looking forward to good food and spending time with my mom this weekend. It'll serve as a nice break before finals.

Post on April 21 2011
Created on Thursday, 04/21/2011 6:42 PM by Blake Ellison

I went on a really great run this afternoon. I ran down Walnut all the way to Independence Hall and then ran back to campus along Market. It was a good length for a run and definitely made me appreciate the great weather. In other news, my Mom is coming into town tonight. I'm not entirely sure that it's good timing, but it will be good to get some good food and whatnot. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writing Seminar Blogs Part 4: March 28 to April 14

Summer is finally here. Thus far it's meant lots of nights with friends, football games, and great food. The flip side is the lack of time I've had. Luckily these writing seminar blogs are relatively time effective to post. Hope you enjoy!

Post on March 28 2011
Created on Monday, 03/28/2011 11:27 AM by Blake Ellison

It seems only fitting that a week of fun and relatively no homework would end with a mountain of homework and a midterm to be conquered. Last week, I made an effort to have all of my homework done before my friend came to town. When he did get in, I did little to no homework and had a blast. Unfortunately, that makes this Monday even harder than usual. We have quite a bit of work to do this week! Good luck everyone!

Post on March 29 2011

Created on Tuesday, 03/29/2011 7:23 PM by Blake Ellison

It's been one of those non-stop days where you go from meeting to meeting and class to class. I've barely had time to catch my breath! Anyways, my friend is having a birthday dinner downtown which should be fun. It'll be a nice break from studying for my math midterm. I've spent way too much time doing math today - I can't wait until I'm done with Calculus.

Post on March 30 2011
Created on Wednesday, 03/30/2011 11:15 PM by Blake Ellison

After hours and hours of studying for my calculus midterm tomorrow, I feel that the only thing left for me to do is relax my brain a little and sleep. In that spirit, I'm going to watch some Law and Order: UK. I won't lie, UK Law and Order is way better than the American version. They have British accents, a different legal system, and wigs. Yeah, wigs. Britain knows how to do things right. We took a wrong, wrong turn in our legal history when some guy decided we wouldn't have wigs.

Post on March 31 2011
Created on Thursday, 03/31/2011 10:48 PM by Blake Ellison

I'm writing my peer review after a long day. I had a math midterm today that went less than well unfortunately. I'm glad to say that I think I'm done for the most part until finals. I'll have work, sure, but no more midterms to study for. I'm looking forward to really enjoying my last few weeks here at Penn before the summer.

Post on April 4 2011
Created on Monday, 04/04/2011 2:04 PM by Blake Ellison

Hey, I participated in the interfaith weekend of service too! Some friends from church and I helped the Muslim Student Association set up a family fair on 40th and Locust on Saturday. It was a lot of fun - it makes me want to do more service! It is unfortunate that it's Monday again though. The weather partially makes up for it. I'm going on an amazing run after class and I'm stoked.

Post on April 5 2011
Created on Tuesday, 04/05/2011 12:40 PM by Blake Ellison

After yesterday and looking at the forecast for today, I thought it would be only cloudy and mid-60s. In this spirit, I began the day with short sleeves which was fine at first, but has since turned into a bad decision. Grudgingly, I had to trek back to my dorm after lunch and grab a sweatshirt. Oh summer, why must you be so fickle?

Post on April 6 2011
Created on Wednesday, 04/06/2011 3:21 PM by Blake Ellison

I'm typing this furiously before heading off to class because I have a few mintues and nothing else to fill them with. Tonight, after class I'm going to head to the gym before dinner. I love going to the gym. The last couple of weeks, I hadn't had the chance but this week has been a really great reunion. Anyway, I had better head off to see you guys in 10 minutes!

Post on April 7 2011
Created on Thursday, 04/07/2011 12:28 PM by Blake Ellison

It is one of those days. I'm so tired. I had to get up early today to help register visitors for Penn Previews. It's interesting to see the new class of 2015 as they first see Penn. I remember being so excited during Penn Previews. It's a reminder of how lucky we are to be here!

Post on April 11 2011
Created on Monday, 04/11/2011 1:48 PM by Blake Ellison

This last weekend was one of the best I've had in a long time. Some kids from a Georgetown chapter of a club I'm involved in came up to Philly. They were really cool people and we got along really well. I hope to be able to visit them down in DC sometime, though it'll be hard with the school year wrapping up and everything. The weather is absolutely phenomenal. I sincerely hope that Dr. Paletta lets us have class outside today. It would be wonderful. Right now, I'm just hanging out underneath a cherry blossom, enjoying the warmth and beauty. It's funny how much weather can affect mood! Everyone seems so happy - college green is more full than I've seen in a long time. Life is good.

Post on April 12 2011
Created on Tuesday, 04/12/2011 5:50 PM by Blake Ellison

It's a super busy day. I have to finish the first draft of our final writing paper, my roommates and I are hosting a prospective student, and I have a mandatory meeting for the SFCU. I'm rushing from one thing to another. I'm looking forward to meeting and helping out the prospective student. One of my roommates was hosted by some guys last year and he loved it. Just today in fact, my roommate and I ate lunch with the guy that hosted him - they're good friends still. Anyway, I have to start working. Have a good night everyone!

Post on April 13 2011
Created on Wednesday, 04/13/2011 1:50 PM by Blake Ellison

I've wrapped up my paper as well as the rest of my homework due this week and it is most certainly a relief. The prospective students staying with my friends and I are really cool kids from all over. It was a lot of fun hanging out with them last night, but unfortuantely it meant that we stayed up faily late, so I'm running on a bit of a deficit of sleep. Tonight, we're going to take the kids into center city and show them Philly, which will be a lot of fun. I am so looking forward to relaxing after all the work we've had to do. For all intents and purposes, the weekend has begun!

Post on April 14 2011
Created on Thursday, 04/14/2011 8:49 AM by Blake Ellison

I am absolutely exhausted. I've stayed up late the last couple of nights with our prospective students and it's starting to hit me. They're gone now, but it was a lot of fun having them. Both of them have decided to come to Penn and it was cool to be a little part of that decision. Still, I didn't get nearly enough sleep this week and there's stuff to be done. Who said Fling week was easy?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Writing Seminar Blogs Part 3: March 1 to March 24

I know the formatting of this blog is a little off. I copy and paste it from the class blog and it doesn't always translate well. I'm sure you guys will forgive me.

Post on March 1 2011
Created on Tuesday, 03/01/2011 12:27 AM by Blake Ellison

Today I took my OPIM midterm. I felt pretty good about it, but it's the type of class that even the easy questions can be tricky. I'm sure there's at least one question that I'm sure I got that will come back marked incorrect. Oh well, it's over now. Since, it's been a cram session of BPUB. Is anyone else completely terrified of this test? I sure hope so. The only thing we have going for us is the curve :(. Good luck everyone! I hope your last week before spring break started well!

Post on March 2 2011
Created on Wednesday, 03/02/2011 12:37 PM by Blake Ellison

To everyone talking about Pandora, I couldn't agree more! I actually used all of my 40 free hours last month so I coudn't use it for a couple days. I listen to it all the time while I'm doing homework or even just hanging out around my dorm. My favorite station is a personal country station. It plays great song after great song. I love it. I love Pandora.

Post on March 4 2011
Created on Friday, 03/04/2011 12:31 AM by Blake Ellison

Right now I'm packing to go home tomorrow and watching the Jazz game on TV. Life is good after midterms. In the midst of the last two weeks of ridiculous amounts of work and studying, I forgot that it's actually awesome that we attend Penn and live in Philly. I love the campus here! It's beautiful, really. Still, I'm really looking forward to going home. I've missed my friends and feel as though I've earned a break.

Post on March 4 2011
Created on Friday, 03/04/2011 12:34 AM by Blake Ellison

I need to post again because I forgot to once this week. I think the reason I've reinvigorated my happiness to be here at Penn is because I'm training to be a Kite and Key tour guide. It's really fun to help high school kids in their college decision process. Especially because it hasn't been that long since I was going through it! Well, I'm off to finish my preparations to head out. Have a good break everyone!

Post on March 14 2011
Created on Monday, 03/14/2011 11:13 AM by Blake Ellison

I know I'm sort of jumping on the bandwagon, but wasn't spring break amazing? It was a much-needed recess from the two weeks prior. I miss home already, especially in the face of piles of homework and other chores that need to be done. There are things to look forward to, however. Warm weather is definitely one of them. March Madness is another (you should all sign up for the bracket challenge!). It is unbelieveable that we onlly have two more months left in our freshman year here. It seems like it went by so quickly! Oh, summer is going to be wonderful. See you guys in a few hours!

Post on March 15 2011
Created on Tuesday, 03/15/2011 12:27 PM by Blake Ellison

I know what you mean Gil, there's an atmosphere of stress around here that it hard to take some times. We've only been back a day, but we already have so much to do! For whatever reason, I'm extremely tired. I'm not sure how that's possible because I've gotten 18 hours of sleep over the past two nights! Still, I'm having a hard time focusing today. Yawn!

Post on March 18 2011
Created on Friday, 03/18/2011 12:13 AM by Blake Ellison

I'm really tired. I forgot to blog. I am currently blogging. I love March Madness. I want sleep. It's been real. Have a good weekend everyone.

Post on March 21 2011
Created on Monday, 03/21/2011 1:02 PM by Blake Ellison

I just submitted the Synthesis Paper and I feel like it was kind of a weird assignment. I'm not exactly sure why, but I had a harder time with it. Maybe I just didn't understand it or something. In other news, my bracket has been absolutely destroyed by the losses of Pitt and Texas, among others. Finally, my best friend is coming to visit for the week tomorrow. I'm really hoping we don't get much work for this class today. *cough cough hint hint Dr. Paletta!* See you guys soon!

Post on March 22 2011
Created on Tuesday, 03/22/2011 9:18 PM by Blake Ellison

My friend from back home arrived here in Philly today. It's really awesome that he's here and kind of crazy! There's a bit of a mixture of both spheres of my life. I hope you all have a good night!

Post on March 23 2011
Created on Wednesday, 03/23/2011 2:54 PM by Blake Ellison

The rain is getting be down a bit. After last Friday, I was looking forward to the following weeks to be full of sun, warmth, and shorts. Alas, instead we have raincoats, sweatshirts, and rushed walking from class to class. It's ok though. I'm more ahead on homework than I have been all semester! That means I get to relax a bit. See you guys in a half hour!

Post on March 24 2011

Created on Thursday, 03/24/2011 12:58 PM by Blake Ellison

It's hard to believe that it's already Thursday! Doesn't it seem like the week is going by really quickly? My roommates and I are going to watch basketball at Chili's - I can't wait. Anyway, I hope you're all doing well. Have a good weekend!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Writing Seminar Blogs Part 2: February 7 to February 25

Post on February 7 2011
Created on Monday, 02/07/2011 10:38 AM by Blake Ellison

Well, here's the beginning of a new week! It seems like the weeks are flying by. One moment I'm waking up on Monday and next moment I'm checking the clock every 5 minutes in BPUB recitation on Friday. Each day in between is so busy and packed that the time just flies out of the window! That's what makes weekends so enjoyable. The last couple of days were great. I hung out with friends, visited DC on Saturday, and had a great day at church on Sunday. I couldn't ask for more except that the next weekend come quickly. Please?

Post on February 8 2011
Created on Tuesday, 02/08/2011 12:58 PM by Blake Ellison

So yesterday, I made a vow to Kenny that I would rewrite a sentence from the plagiarism exercise several times to spite him. I don't want to spend too much time writing it, but here are a few:

Original sentence: One thing that I was surprised to find out about plagiarism is that students are not the only guilty parties.

- Surprisingly, students are not the only ones guilty of plagiarism.

- I was shocked to discover that students are not the sole users of plagiarism.

- Students, however, are not unique in their use of plagiarism.

- Blame for plagiarism rests not only upon students, but others as well.

- Those accountable for plagiarism include more than students alone.

Post on February 10 2011
Created on Thursday, 02/10/2011 12:23 AM by Blake Ellison

Whoa, I almost forgot to blog for the day! Well, as we took notice of in class, today was my birthday! Thank you all for the comments on the blog (this counts as a response I think), the singing, and thank you Dr. Paletta for the cupcakes! Other than Writing Seminar, I enjoyed a good surprise party in my room by my friends. I was actually surprised! It was a lot of fun and the cake was good too! Well, unfortunately I have a lot of work so I'm off, but thanks again everyone!

Post on February 15 2011
Created on Tuesday, 02/15/2011 10:50 AM by Blake Ellison

I tried to blog but apparently Blackboard wasn't a fan. This last weekend, I was in Texas for a cousin's wedding. Honestly, Texas is one of my favorite places in the world. There's just no place like it. I love the atmosphere and the accents, not to mention the weather! I already miss the Lone Star State.

Post on February 15 2011
Created on Tuesday, 02/15/2011 12:32 PM by Blake Ellison

I wish I could go to Texas for spring break, Kristin. I'm going back home though, which will be good. Penn's spring break is really weirdly timed though. All of my friends are going to be in school over the week that I'm there so I'll awkwardly bother them at college, I guess. Some good news, my best friend is coming out for their Spring Break, the week after ours. I'm stoked to show him around Philly and Penn.

Post on February 16 2011
Created on Wednesday, 02/16/2011 1:06 PM by Blake Ellison

I think I might be losing my mind. Between homework, extracurriculars, and the gym, I really don't have time to sit and think, or organize for that matter. I feel like I need a super organizing session to sort out when I'm working, when I need to shadow admissions tours, when I have class, etc. There's a lot to do and not enough time to do it. I think I might have mentioned this before. Sorry for being repetitive!

Post on February 17 2011
Created on Thursday, 02/17/2011 1:06 PM by Blake Ellison

Justin, I totally agree, days with no BPUB are pretty much the best thing ever. I have math in 20 minutes and then I'm done with my day! No follow-up whirlwind of microeconomic confusion today! I'll take that quality time to knock out some homework and, if all goes well, relax a little bit. I'm not setting my hopes that high though.

Post on February 21 2011
Created on Monday, 02/21/2011 11:40 PM by Blake Ellison

I nearly forgot to blog today! I'm really busy with homework tonight. I think I will be for the next week straight. Life is good though! I'm sitting in my room listening to some awesome country and doing work. That's Penn, right? Well, it's good to be here really. We're lucky! Obviously my thoughts aren't too coherent right now. BPUB has scrambled my brain.

Post on February 22 2011
Created on Tuesday, 02/22/2011 11:12 PM by Blake Ellison

So, a bit of a confession... For my birthday last week, one of my friends bought me a huge Taylor Swift poster. I have the hugest celebrity crush on her. I would do crazy things to go on a date with her. Seriously. Who doesn't love a talented, virtuous, and beautiful country singer? Now her poster is hanging by my desk along with pictures of friends and calendars. All is right in the world.

Post on February 23 2011
Created on Wednesday, 02/23/2011 3:12 PM by Blake Ellison

Right now I have one of those awkward amounts of times between classes. My Spanish class let out early (at 3:00) and we have Writing at 3:30. It's not long enough to go to my dorm, get things done, or run errands. All I can do is sit in the study center, take a couple minutes to write this blog, and then waste precious time because there's not enough time to warrant actually getting work done. Oh well. See you guys in a few!

Post on February 25 2011

Created on Friday, 02/25/2011 12:58 AM by Blake Ellison

It's 1:00 in the morning, but since I haven't gotten to sleep it still counts as Thursday right? I get the idea Dr. Paletta isn't too much of a stickler about the timing. This time next week, I'll be packing to go home. I can't wait. College has definitely made me more appreciative of my home, family, and friends. It's kind of annoying how our break doesn't line up with any other school's though. I'll have to visit my friends at their universities!