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La Sagrada Familia (de estudios) May 30, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Barcelona!.
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I’ve reached the conclusion that the least-used phrase in Spain must be “I’m exhausted”.

Yesterday I got up 20 minutes before the start of an optional architecture mini-fieldtrip.  After some groggy rushing, I wound up in the lobby feeding myself spoonfuls of yogurt and mentally thanking my mother for convincing me to pack sun lotion as I took a peek at the sun-sprawled streets of Barcelona we were about to explore.

We walked the busy streets around our apartment complex into neighboring parks built into the backyards of many apartment buildings, analyzing the motives and expected outcomes of the way certain buildings had been constructed and placed in various parts of town.  Some further blocks down our journey we ran into a theatrical performance taking place in the middle of the street.

This also gives me the chance to practice CS4475 skills 😀

We had barely gone through a couple more blocks before we ended up at a street fair populated with various clothes vendors, food stands, promotion kiosks, and headlined by an impromptu bounce house playground and a stage from which Queen’s “We Are the Champions” blared.

Postres arabes (Arabic desserts)

Afterward we made our way to the Mercado Santa Caterina, where some of us had previously made another fieldtrip to for CS4793.  Shortly after we were dismissed and had freedom to wander about the city.  A group of us opted to take advantage of our location and go through Las Ramblas and visit a store with some very funky bags.

On the way to Las Ramblas, a very busy and touristy section of BCN

We arrived back at our dorms a bit after 4:30PM, meaning we walked around for roughly 5 and a half hours.

But the day wasn’t over!

I found out I was done with my third job, and thought I would celebrate by walking to La Sagrada Familia.  I attempted to find a companion for my short trip, but a few unanswered knocks and the quietness of the halls encouraged me to venture alone.

A couple of blocks away from our dorms my luck changed quite a bit when I ran into Kiran M., a fellow member of our study abroad program, who decided to join me for the rest of my small adventure despite being sick(!).

Finally: La Sagrada Familia

I’m still attempting to find an adjective (in English or Spanish) that adequately describes how humbling and mesmerizing it really is.

I will actually return and go in sometime in the near future, but for now I’ll delve back to my books.

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Adaptations May 24, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Barcelona!.
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If this week has taught me anything, it is that I need to improve my schedule-making skills.

So far I’ve explored a bit of the very wonderful city that is Barcelona by walking to a few nearby parks and getting lost and wandering around for a couple of hours in my first attempt to return to my dorm by foot.

Between reading assignments, adapting to the several discrepancies between life in Barcelona and my regular life, and catching up on work I postponed in favor of schoolwork, I’ve barely had any opportunities to visit any sort of attraction in the city (such as La Sagrada Familia!).

After this week, I expect to be more settled in/organized.  Also, I should have more regular updates that will be transferred over from a joint blog Joy B. and I will have for this experience.

‘Til then!

I like the way Triompf sounds

In front of Arc de Triompf

Barcelona so far (after 14 hours) May 18, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Barcelona!.
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We landed at 9AM and started the luggage-dragging frenzy of getting from the airport to our residences.

Barcelona leaves me in awe.  We were able to witness some of it on the bus ride to our dorms, and a little bit after we had checked in and dropped off some of our belongings in our rooms.  We walked around for almost 3 hours, and at this time we had not had anything to eat for about 9 hours, so a group of friends and I ran to the nearest market to stock up on food.

Afterwards, the group decided to try and get phones with me as a translator, and we ran into another group of people attempting to get phones as well.  We ended up getting phones for 11 people and then headed to a tapas place, since it had now been over 11 hours since any food had been in our system.

I tried jamon de bellota, which allows me to cross out two things off my BCN To-Do List: that, and tapas.

Now for some randomly stellar quotes throughout the day:

“Hi, they want cellphones” me upon entering a Vorafone store flanked by 12 fellow BCN students.

Tech Effects May Last Beyond the End of the Semester May 15, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Barcelona!.
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My second year reached its conclusion!

A week ago.

It’s almost as if it hadn’t ended at all, though.  The past week has whiled away simply catching up with all the things in my life I could postpone in favor of grades, such as getting ready for Barcelona and tasks from what is (officially) my third job.  For now, I’ll recount the last week:

Luckily, I only had three finals this semester.  After a marathon of going from review sessions to tests, I was done with my second year!  Naturally, I went back to the College of Computing and relaxed/worked, then proceeded to pass out for 12 hours.

After that came some adventure time with the two baddest gentlemen I happen to know 8)

Tacos!

Tacos!

After a couple of days spent shopping for Barcelona supplies (i.e. luggage) I was interviewed by my boss for the article for which I had the photoshoot I mentioned in a previous post.  Since then, I’ve been packing, filling out forms, and comparing floor samples…

… with a teeny bit of Portal.

Things to do:

  • (Finally!) Write letter to my mentees 😀
  • Finish packing
  • Continue working
  • Send form to my boss
  • Send form to my counselor
  • Make copies
  • Hope the ridiculous rash I got on my arms 5 hours ago goes away
  • Sleep, since it’s 3AM

I think I’ll cross out the last one first 🙂

Incoming Class of 2010 May 5, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Class Madness, Personal.
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For college kids it’s finals week, but for high schoolers it’s AP exams week.

This is also the week when official accepted student yield numbers come out.  All I can say is that a couple hundred of those current high school seniors who are taking AP exams will be in the College of Computing next year.

Some good news are that the total percentages of women, blacks, and Hispanics went up! 😀  Also, this means that mentee lists are even closer to being finalized and disclosed.

I can’t wait for this semester to end – if only because there are so many events to look forward to in the next couple of semesters 🙂

Of course, I’ll provide explanations for those events in a post-finals post!

Open Mics, Cameras, and Braincells May 2, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Class Madness.
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Back in December, the CoC’s Undergraduate Council had a Desert Night in which they gave out superlatives to various involved students of the CoCommunity.  Last Thursday they had what the former UC president described as the “more serious” awards for MVPs of each club, and in recognition of outstanding students in the College of Computing.

It was fun and slightly bittersweet due to all the graduating seniors who were at the event.  I also had homework to work on, but that only contributed to stress.

The following day I had a professional photo shoot for an article that will be posted on the CoC website in the near future since they have yet to interview me.  The rest of the day (and night) was spent  trying to convert a linked list into a snake made out of sprites for the GBA for my last 2110 homework – which is also bittersweet.

Of course, this all means it’s

FINALS WEEK!!!

AKA I-really-shouldn’t-be-writing-blog-posts-but-I’m-kinda-burnt-out-from-studying-9-hours-today-but-that’s-the-excuse-I-used-to-take-a-break-3-hours-ago

AKA I’ll go review calculus now.  ‘Til then.