Greetings all and welcome to Week 3-Superbowl edition!
The weeks leading up to the Superbowl, I thought home sickness was going to hit me. But I was completely wrong. My New England neighbor Mike Georgi, third year law student at Roger Williams Law School, and a fellow 433 brother came up to visit on Superbowl Sunday. As much as we both missed being with our larger family at home, we had a great time at Fire and Ice in Harvard Square.
Fire and Ice provides you with an endless array of fresh food combinations. It was mind-boggling. “The magic performed by the chefs around the world’s largest Mongolian grill DID delight and excite our senses.” Surpsingly, Fire and Ice was not packed at all. Mike and I made a couple of new friends throughout the night. The first gentleman provided live, derogatory, provocative commentary through the third quarter of the game. The other gentleman was more of a referee that pretended to know every rule in the book. Overall, it was a great night, with great food, and most importantly, great company. As far as the game was concerned, I couldn’t careless who won or lost. The Giants weren’t in it, so didn’t really care much. Glad the Baltimore Ravens won though because of its closeness to Washington DC, my second home.
As far as school is concerned, I’ve been trying to get a lot busier with non-academic activities, and I think it’s taken me a while to realize that I really love doing my extracurricular…more than my academics. Therefore I will be dropping out. Just kidding! I love being in such a vibrant community and mostly have to strike a better balance during semester.
I am totally done with organizing my exams and papers and projects for the rest of the semester! The good news about it is- I HAVE NO EXAMS! Only term papers! I much rather write papers than being under the pressure of exams. Even though my term papers are nothing less than 30-40 pages. I still haven’t figured out the best studying techniques, as undergrad was a breeze, but I’m getting closer to the best method, and will certainly publish it once I’ve discovered it.
Overall, its been a good couple of weeks. As most of you know, I started researching my first paper before the semester started, due to the overwhelming amount of reading and prep that I needed to begin prior to the semester starting.
I am happy to blog that I earned my first A on my first Harvard paper this week along with my three term paper proposals APPROVED! YEAAAA. From the onset of things, I hadn’t understood what a thesis argument was (a graduate level), or that it should shape your whole paper. I tended to think of my writing as something magical that happened unintentionally; I had never learned to consciously shape argument and fit evidence to it. THANKFULLY the start of the process went smoothly. I started going to my professors’ office hours ahead of time. They all helped me develop an interesting question, and together we crafted a well-worded argument to answer that question (the thesis!). I learned to make each part of the paper relate to that central thesis.
The difference between undergrad and grad, for me, was that undergrad is about critical thinking, not just description and memorization. You demonstrate critical thinking through argument. Each paper needs to have a central argument, and everything in the paper should help you make, explain, and prove that thesis. It’s the same process I use now, as an academic-in-training; learning what a thesis was, and how to argue well, set me on my eventual career path.
As Harvard students, our obsession with perfection drives us; it can also prevent us from approaching learning with humility and grace. One wise professor once said “If all of my students were perfect when they entered my class, why would they need to take it? A good class is not actually about the substance of the material; it’s about teaching you how to think and write well.”
I’m beginning to write a 30 page paper/thesis proposal on Social movements in Egypt and how the Egyptian Revolution has failed. My second paper’s topic is whether or not the War in Afghanistan is considered a “just war.” None of that was particularly fun, although I didn’t mind writing while listening to Abouna Bishoy’s liturgies from back in the day! February officially marks the beginning of HegBD month! Credits to Andrew Lotfalla to coming up with it. Follow @Lotfallaandrew for weekly facts on Fr. Bishoy Demetrious!
- Coming home tomorrow, Thursday for Abouna Bishoy’s Fourth year commemoration
- Possibly going to Art in Heaven this week to support St. George and St. Shenouda church building
- State of the Union address in Washington DC on Tuesday 2/12 9PM eastern time
- Coming home again on Thursday 2/14 for President’s Day weekend.