Tag Archives: blog

First Impression of Hopkins and a look into my everyday mornings

In the future, I can imagine myself back at Montgomery Blair High School, meeting up with old friends and old teachers, describing all of the exotic experiences we have had living it up in our colleges. I can imagine Jason Ma rambling on for hours about the crazy atmosphere in MIT, where seems oddly intense academically, but at the same time, a huge f**king party school. Henok seems like he’s doing great, and I can imagine him describing his lavish dorm life, how he has one of the coolest suites ever with a huge T.V. installed to play FIFA and Project M. As we go in a circle, everyone becomes excited talking about their colleges, bubbling with fervor as they share some crazy anecdotes, and that’s good. College life should sound energetic, fun, adventurous, and everything that was made out to be in Van Wilder (to a certain extent). Yes, college will be academically rigorous, but the ecosystem built around college campuses is one of the most unique settings to ever be surrounded in. It lets you thrive as a teenager but slowly mature into an adult, gaining both academic and social experiences in the real world.

As it finally comes for me to speak, I cannot quite pitch Hopkins to my friends the same way they have pitched their schools to me. Hopkins is certainly a fantastic school, but it is a school not meant for everyone. In a way, I understand why their admission rate is dropping to the 12% and maybe lower than the 10% this year. You truly have to be a very unique character to not only get in, but also perform well here.

Most graduate students would say “treasure these four years, you’ll never get that experience back.” At Hopkins, their mantra is “treasure that freshman fall semester, it’s the only semester where your grades are covered.” Oh boy. Even as I am writing right now, I am experiencing the torrent of midterms, the onslaught of the difficulty curve in homework, and the emptiness of any school spirit or cheer, since everyone is studying (Lacrosse season doesn’t start until the Spring).  At the same time, however, I am enjoying the breadth of their incredible research opportunities and resources, the possibilities in Biomedical Engineering as they let you become more hands-on with science than any other college, the lovely walks around the Homewood Campus and Inner Harbor, and some of the most interesting group of people i will ever meet. Such polarizing feelings of Hopkins. For some reason, the negative aspects gets blurred out as the positive aspects are just so rich. Weird, isn’t it? Ultimately, I imagine all secondary schools to be somewhat fallible, but the student body tries to ignore some of the faults when advertising their school to you. I can’t bring myself to do that in this blog, even though I want people to apply here.

A Morning in Hopkins

Here we go again.

Alright Richard, it’s 8:30 AM, the alarm is blaring, so that means it’s time to fire up those neurons and get the blood flowing, we got a long Thursday ahead of us. Let me catalog today’s cycle as #051, and pull up the schedule and assignments due for Thursday’s classes. There we go…hmm…let’s see…

                10:30 AM – 11:45 AM  – Physics

                12:00 PM – 12:50 PM – Biomedical Engineering Modeling and Design

                1:30 PM – 2:20 PM – Calculus III Section

                3:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Biomedical Engineering Modeling and Design

That’s not too bad I guess. Physics is a breeze, as long as you show up Richard, you’ll get your points. Biomedical Engineering is a tough cookie, but we’ll cross that road when we get there. You know…haha…this might feel like a pretty good Thur-….

wait a second…

is that alarm still blaring? Holy cheese on rye Richard you are one lazy motherf**ker. Get the f**k up, class starts 10:30 AM and it is…




10:25 AM. Richard. As your conscience, I say this with all due respect that you are the most LAZIEST MOTHERF**KER I HAVE EVER KNOWN. HOOOLY F**K. LISTEN TO YOUR DAMN ALARM, AND WAKE THE F**K UP.


“Yo…Kyoung-A, I just had the most crazy dream ever. maybe I shouldn’t have stayed up until 4 AM finishing my Calculus III homework.”

Kyoung-A, ignoring my incredible hindsight, shakes me, pushing me into free-fall in my dream, and awakening me in reality. Thank you #basedkyounga. Kyoung-A is my short but stout friend that is also majoring in BME. We belong in the same clan in BME Modeling & Design, and since we overlap on many of our classes, she will often crash in our living quarters. She has become a permanent resident of Room 307, and she pays her tribute by vacuuming our carpet every month. Plus she wakes my dumbass up.

Such a godsend.

“Yo Rich, if you don’t get up in 10 seconds, I’m ditching you.”

Scratch the last thing i said about her.


“K, C YA.”

In my struggle to wake up, I am now alone, desolate and barren, as my blankets have fallen to the floor. Why thous has forsaken me?

Everyday,  I am also met with some initial regret of ever coming here. Dawg, why am I even an engineer doh? Those feelings quickly evaporate, as there is little time to reflect; I must weave through the lethargic march of late people to physics.

10:35 AM. I’m 5 minutes late, but the professor always dedicated the first 5 minutes of explaining where office hours are. It seems my body has calibrated my circadian rhythm to waking up just in the nick in time for actual Physics to begin.

It’s 11:50 AM already? Time to trek to BME Modeling and Design. I exit out of Physics awake and fresh, now able-bodied to appreciate the beauty the Homewood Campus has to offer. Yesterday it was Summer. Today, its as if all the trees sprouted glorious autumn leaves. As the sun shines, its rays refract around the multicolored trees across the quad, transforming the landscape into a phantasmagoria that I wish was perpetually stuck in Autumn. Magnanimous.

OH CRAP 11:55 AM WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF, I WILL ADMIRE THE TREES SOMETIME LATER. If other colleges were a mile run or a 5K run in terms of how easy-going/chill you can allow yourself to be, Hopkins would be a sprint. In my case it is quite literal.

I sprint to Modeling & Design faster, as I posit that one day these BME classes will break me into thinking like an engineer. That day could be this day.

Next post will be a more serious post on BME, and it will encompass everything I have seen so far. This post was just half serious, half fun. Needed to let out some steam from some bad midterms QQ.



Filed under Personal

To introduce yourself, you must know thy self first. Let me begin.

I’m kind of a shy person.

For those that know me, I usually seem pretty charismatic, happy-go-lucky, and sometimes, just downright silly. However, that’s only a small part of what I’m able to express. The part of me that I don’t express…well…if I could explain it to you, I wouldn’t have a problem expressing it in the first place lol.

That’s my problem, but it’s not like I put on a facade to mask my emotions or anything. When I’m at a party and the mood is festive, I can loosen up pretty well and keep the party going with some jokes or crazy stories. However, when it’s crunch time and people are arguing over politics, philosophical notions, academia, or even emotions, I get a mental writer’s block on my thoughts. Even if it’s an idea I’ve done some heavy thinking beforehand, when it’s my turn to step up to the plate and contribute, my mind freezes and I’ll strike out by saying something shallow and unimpressive.

But like Future Sight, I’ll figure out the words I want to say after it’s my turn (two turns actually), and then proceed to mentally hit myself over the forehead for missing an opportunity. Such is how I have felt the past four years in high school. Especially on debate team. Especially in the random fights that break out between Pulkit vs. Henok vs. Jason vs The World (I love them but they can get crazy). People look and treat you better if you project yourself as smart, well-spoken, and serious (some combination of those traits and some others that I’m forgetting). None of which I exhibit when I stand their quietly doing nothing, figuring out what to say and then waiting for the tension in the air to cool down so I can say something lighthearted.

As a result, I want to get better at expressing myself, and I think I can do that through writing on WordPress. Though it takes an equal amount of time for me to organize my thoughts when I’m writing than when I’m speaking, I’ll get out what I want to say eventually; to see my invisible thoughts in the form of actual words. Seeing my writing makes me a bit happier :D, and raises my self esteem as I’ll prove to myself I am not totally dysfunctional.

I plan on writing on my WordPress through college, jotting down my experiences and my difficult thoughts that I have turmoil figuring about. Also, I want to review anime, movies, and T.V. shows when I can, just so my critique is always sharpened :D! (Haven’t done any of that since my days on Silver Chips Online. I miss it :C )

However, my major is pretty difficult and time consuming (Biomedical Engineering), so I’m not sure how much time I can dedicate to writing on WordPress. In addition, I have a bad habit of flaking out on promises I make to myself (and other people) because like my ideas, my priorities/responsibilities are mess and incredibly disorganized. But hey, I want to change that. House from “House M.D.” says that people never change, and to an extent, that is kind of true. However, I can’t let myself take a step back now, because the only worse thing than failing is giving up without having ever tried at all. Wayne Gretsky said something similar: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” I have disappointed myself and at times other people, but I know when I’m committed to something and I follow through I can do some pretty amazing things. Only time will tell if I can hold my resolve and keep up my responsibilities.

Alright that was a bit over-dramatic and tense to read l0lz, but I’ve always wanted to say that. Everyone is their own harshest critic, and recently I’ve been slacking on my self.

Oh yeah, forgot what I wanted to say in the first place. College will provide me with lots of exotic experiences, but not the bountiful time I need to constantly write on WordPress. I’ll write what I can, and I know will every now and then because of how therapeutic writing feels. Writing all of this and then reading feels…amazing. I love it. It’s a good step forward. yays :3!

Got an essay to write for Hopkins, on the book “The Others,” by Wes Moore. Heck, I think I might put my college writing on WordPress (after I turn it in). I wouldn’t turn in any college essay if I didn’t think I had good ideas, and if I have good ideas, I should organize em!

Boring first post, but expect more out of me in the future! I’ll be looking at movies, anime, and any T.V. shows. I’ll be documenting my college experiences just so I never forget them, and writing down my emotions and thoughts just so I can figure myself out.

OH YEAH, AND ONE IMPORTANT THING I SHOULD MENTION! My name is Richard Chen, but just call me richarizardd :D! Someone already took “richarizard” :/, and I don’t blame him, it’s a wicked name.


Filed under Personal