A Stanford Winter

Kyle, me, and Lauren on top of a mountain

Lantana Snow Trip: Hitting up the slopes at Squaw Valley

Maybe it was the 2 weeks of mono-induced torpor and swollen lymph nodes that I barely survived early in the quarter. Maybe it was the countless hours I spent preparing for my big research presentation. Or maybe it was the endless February rain that had Stanford’s entire bike-riding population––i.e., the entire Stanford population––praying for spring to come early.

I don’t know why, but I can’t help but wonder: Where did winter go?

I woke up early––read: 8AM––this morning to go for a run and realized that spring’s already here, at least in California. It’s kind of like when you lay down on the couch for a quick afternoon nap and open your eyes to find the sun sinking below the horizon and another day gone. Except this time, it’s an entire quarter, gone. Almost. We’ve still got one more week of classes, a not-so-dead Dead Week, and finally finals, but at the rate we’ve been going, we might as well be done.

But I’m not at all stressed out. It helps that I’m taking a relatively light courseload this quarter: EE41 (Physics of EE), EE108B (Digital Systems II), EE216 (Principles and Models of Semiconductor Devices), and EE191 (Special Studies in EE). At a time in the quarter when most students feel the weight of an ambitious Week 1 course selection, I’m staying even-keeled, with the constant workload of research tempering the inevitable ups and downs of an academic term at Stanford.

And with winter’s demise comes the advent of China: I’ll be leaving for Beijing on March 25 and studying abroad at Peking University for all of spring quarter. At the end of the program, I’ll be going to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai with my mom and brother, then possibly visiting Seoul or Taiwan or both. The visa application process turned out to be quite a pain, but the light at the end of the Chinese government’s proverbial tunnel is getting brighter.

Much more about China to come… It’s super exciting and I can’t wait, but winter quarter’s definitely not over till it’s over.

-Joel

Shanghai Skyline: It looks like something out of Star Wars... (Click on the picture and look closely)

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