Monday/Tuesday – Day 155/156

January 4, 2013

Monday! NYE! My plans for today mostly involved catching up with friends and then seeing what it lead to. First step was to meet Ariel for lunch and then a walk around Times Square. By this point the area was already packed. Security guards and police stood around slowly closing off streets for the purposes of crowd control, allowing only people already in the areas to stay inside.

At some point in the afternoon, the main zone around 42nd street was closed off, just as Ariel and I were trying to get in. In our attempts to subvert the security we bought tickets to see ‘Jack Reacher’ at a theatre inside the closed off zone and were let through.

The movie was terrible. Particularly after reading the book. Recommend against seeing it. However, it was nice to be in the area after and at least get a look at the madness happening.

After that we attempted to meet up with Rigel, Paul M and a friend of Ariel’s (Anna). After much difficulty and around half an hour of walking we managed to find each other on the west side of Times Square. From there we realized we were all starving and started walking aimlessly in search of food. Being reasonably late on NYE, nothing was open and so we ended up tracing circles. After no further progress was made, we decided to head to Paul’s place in Manhattan, around which he knew a number of places to eat. On our way we did see the famous NYE ball that was too be lowered to usher in 2013 and were all shocked at quite how small it was!

Arriving at 86th Street, we decided to go into a diner that Paul knew would be open, where I had a bagel with cream cheese and lox, coupled with a vanilla milkshake. A good NYC speciality. After hanging out there for a while and tipping generously we went to Paul’s apartment to finish off the celebrations with a good bottle of single malt scotch and a visit from Nikki, Rigel’s girlfriend.

The New Year was certainly spent well in such good company and it was one of the most enjoyable I have in memory.

Tuesday, the next day, was something of a recovery day. All my plans fell through due to circumstances outside my control so I ended up staying in most of the day and reading a few more books. Not a bad way to spend the last proper day of my holiday. I was however, eagerly looking forward to resuming my time at Penn where I felt comfortable and more in control of my circumstances. Besides, there were friends I had been missing and of course, rehearsals by the day-load.

Classes – Wednesday – Day 48

September 10, 2012

Class began today at 10AM and after grabbing today’s issue of the Daily Pennsylvanian (the student run newspaper) I ambled off to the engineering building.

My first class was CIS-121, basic algorithms and data structures using the Sedgewick textbook. Most of the hour was spent on administrative affairs with the lecturer going briefly into a history of algorithms for finding ‘highest common divisors’, from the simple and slow methods all the way to the recursive algorithm found by the Greek mathematician Euclid.

That finished all my officially enrolled classes for the day but, after checking out what was available, I found another two to keep me occupied in the afternoon. After a quick lunch at the Hillel (where I met plenty more people again), it was off to ‘Ruby on Rails’, a class worth half credit, covering the design and implementation of web applications. The class had a maximum allowed size of twenty people, however more than thirty packed into the room. The course got down to business straight away with a ‘Hello Lolcat’ exercise being posted for homework.

My final surprise class for the afternoon was Elementary Russian with a lovely old Russian lady by the name of Ludmilla. The class was incredibly unstructured and my classmates weren’t exactly thrilling however, I quite enjoyed it and got started learning the Russian alphabet and pronouncing all the new sounds.

That evening was our first TRAC (The Rodin Arts Collective) Music Floor Meeting. Anil and I met with all the residents from our floor and our RA (Residential Advisor) Will, to discuss the upcoming year in music and, to get to know each other a little. Following that it was up to the glorious Rodin rooftop lounge wherein an unmatched view of the Philly skyline could be seen (photos to come later). There we met the members of the other residential programs and socialized for a time. For those of you who may be a little confused, a residential program is a floor of the dormitory buildings dedicated to helping students engage with an area of interest and fostering community learning about a specific area through house funded events. In my case I’m on the musical engagement floor which features a resident musician, composer and music historian living on our floor, alongside visits to various musical events and institutions. The rooftop meeting was replete with delicious desserts sponsored by Rodin, provided by Penn Hillel and, was mainly an event to introduce us to each other and to the schedule for the next year.

Following the meeting it was back to the room with Anil to watch an episode of Breaking Bad and then to a short nights sleep.

© 2012-2024 Shaanan Cohney