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This is a weird semester.

For starters, I’m taking my last required applied math class. The idea of last is strange and I don’t think I’m ready to start hitting the rest of the last milestones. Plus, I’m taking a “break” from public health. I wanted to fill my schedule this semester with classes that I wouldn’t usually take to get a breath of fresh air before possibly entering my final year of public health.

My 14 credits are split four ways among different departments across both Krieger and Whiting, and I absolutely love it. I’m covering a wide range of subjects, which entails a whole array of different assignments and class structures, which in turn, entails a whole array of different school supplies. Let’s take a look at the materials I’m using this semester. (For general life-handling and management, I’m using my Moleskine journal quite a bit. I talked about it a bit here!)

Anthropology of Design:

  • Small notebook
  • Pen
  • Highlighter

These small dot-grid notebooks are kind of amazing. Combined with my weapon of choice — the fine point Sharpie pen — I’ve come to really enjoy taking notes in Anthropology of Design. I like scribbling down quotes that stick out to me, and make weird side-comments that are sometimes unrelated but usually inquisitive. I annotate my readings like crazy, and despite it being a 2 1/2 hour class, discussion is always fascinating. Everyone brings their own personal experiences and knowledge to the literal table. We’ve defined art as a sort of “trap”, contemplated the extensive use of glass in airports, and decided that the aspect of delay in design can be found in fans waiting for Frank Ocean’s sophomore album to finally drop.

Intermediate Programming:

  • Laptop (and other technology)

Annotated lectures are posted online so I don’t really take notes (just try to listen!) The class covers C/C++, so a laptop is kind of important. We use Piazza as our sort of online hub, and use Github extensively to track changes and share up-to-date versions of group projects.

Introduction to Statistics:

  • Plain paper
  • Pen
  • Textbook

After 14.5 years of math classes, I’ve finally discovered that plain paper is the key to perfect math notes. Why? Lines are too constraining, my handwriting is kind of small, and I like drawing lots of arrows and small graphs. Judging from the past homeworks and quizzes, this is going to be a challenging class; my notes need to be in tip-top shape. Today’s lecture notes are pictured below. And even if I don’t understand all of them, I am very proud of them.

On School Supplies 3

Urban & Environmental Systems:

  • Notebook
  • Pen

My professor for Urban & Environmental Systems posts extensive notes online so I don’t take too many notes! I do scribble down diagrams and graphs though, because they’re not usually pictured within the notes he posts. I use a basic spiral notebook and my trusty Sharpie pen and I’m good to go. The class is actually a nice kind of extension to my Mathematical Modeling & Consulting class from last semester. We’re covering optimization techniques for urban and environmental planning, and a lot of the types of problems we’re covering I’ve encountered before in my applied math courses!

On School Supplies 5