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The Transition

I was sure that my very first post on this blog should start right from the very beginning, my first experience in the U.S; after all, that is why this blog were created. Luckily, I found a journal I had kept when I was moving from India to the U.S, in 2007. Although, it has many private moments of my life, I have decided to share it with you because if you are reading this, you have probably gone/are going through something similar. I hope this post can help you cope with the transition or at least help you realize that you are not the only one. Also, I am not sure if I could recount my first experience in the U.S with such intimate detail and emotion again. The transition from one completely different culture to another was one of the most challenging phases in my life, but today seven years later, I could not have been in a better place. In the end, it is all worth it. Here is an account of a 17 year old teenager’s experience..

21 June 2007 : The Sun just set in for the day, leaving a violet blanket over the sky. I smell wet mud. Aah! Nothing smells better! Within minutes I hear the pitter-patter of the rain. Almost simultaneously, I hear my mom’s shouts. Unwillingly, I get down the window sill, muttering something to myself. The fact still not sunk in, I begin my packing. I look at the airline tickets for tomorrow. It is an afternoon flight to London and then off to our destination, New Jersey where my dad was already working. I look around my room and I can only see bare walls and my clothes strewn all over the floor. It began with a small tear and in no time I was crying out loud, shuddering. I couldn’t control, nor did I want to. Memories of my time in my house and school began to play like recorded tape. I never realized before this moment how lucky I was to have such great friends; I was certainly going to miss them. The rain and the thunder seemed to grieve with me.

 22nd June 2007: The first image that came to my mind as soon as I woke up was of my boyfriend at the time. I was to leave him and go far away, what would happen of us? This wasn’t feeling right and I felt so helpless, defenseless. Completely dominated by gratifying ideas of running away, I got ready. I somehow found peace when my boyfriend called for a final goodbye. The hour and a half ride to the international airport seemed to have passed off within minutes. Neither of us wanted to keep down the phone but I sensed my mom’s impatience. It was finally time to catch our flight. At that moment I felt so vulnerable. Was I foolish to leave all that I had and enter a world I dreaded? I feared? Something in my head told me “Change is the only constant”. Almost instantly, I replied to myself, “Spare me the cliché”. I was not ready for any consoling words, even from myself.

 21st August 2007: Two months later, here I am sitting in what I now call my room, feeling nostalgic. I can’t say I am not homesick anymore, but life seems to have had a fresh start, everything is new but it is not as bad anymore. I still do not have any friends here, but I at least have my parents with me, I am one of the lucky ones. Today, two months later, I feel a flood of optimism in me. I do not know what the future holds, but I am certain that it will be something new and exciting, and I am ready for it!

After all, change is the only constant.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Last Friday I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I honestly think it’s an inspiring place and everyone that lives or visits New York should see it at least once in their lives (even if your major hasn’t anything to do with arts, like mine!).

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You gain better understanding and appreciation of art through history across many different cultures.If you love art and have an open mind, you will find a room that really mesmerizes you.

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We were very lucky because the weather was on our side. It was a perfect sunny day! One of my favorite pieces that the Metropolitan Museum of Art had to offer was the Rooftop Terrace. The fresh air of rooftop was rivaled only by the stunning view of the trees in Central Park and amazing skyscrapers. This made me fall in love all over again with NY. If you’re reading this it’d be a shame if you didn’t go see it! On the floor of the terrace, what looks like red splatters is actually a piece of art that carries a powerful message. I don’t want to spoil it for you, only because I think is worthy seeing at first hand.

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There’s also a cafe in this roof (Roof Garden Cafe & Minibar). Forget the prices, quality, or variety of the drinks here. It’s all about the view, and enjoying it. I can’t find a better place to be on a Friday evening. So there you have it! Remember that there is so much to see, so make sure when you go to visit you plan everything ahead so you can spend a good amount of time here.

Sunset-From-the-Met

 

INFORMATION: How to get there? From the Penn Station,  take the M4 bus to 83rd Street and Madison Avenue; OR take the C local train to 81st Street and transfer to the M79 crosstown bus (free transfer) across Central Park to Fifth Avenue.

Hours of operation: Open 7 Days a Week

Sunday–Thursday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

* Friday and Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.

* Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, January 1, and the first Monday in May

Tips: The admissions price is just a suggested donation. I showed my MSU ID and told them I was a student, so I donated what I could (which was $5). I know, amazingly cheap compared to the fun time you have. Also, the museum stays open until 9PM on Fridays, which is much appreciated.

Class at The Yogi Berra Museum on Campus:

We recently had a class session conducted at the Yogi Berra Museum on campus this past week and it was amazing to get a glimpse of the baseball sport from the perspective of Yogi Berra, an American former Major League Baseball catcher, outfielder, and manager, who played almost his entire 19-year baseball career for the New York Yankees.

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Sportswriter Robert Creamer once defined baseball as a game that links sons and daughters to fathers and grandfathers, reflecting a host of age old American tensions between workers and owners, scandals and reforms, the individual and the collective (Robert Creamer, American Sportswriter and editor). The Museum is a non-profit organization, which means any money they receive goes to improving their services.

Museum

For our class project, Collaborative Problem Solving, we have to come up with solid manageable and reasonable solutions to propose to the Museum so that it can remain open for the students and the community it helps. We will create outreach plans to schools and celebrities; propose ways to maintain its public professional image(Public Relations) and research its definitive brand.

NJ Hall of Fame at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, YBMLC.

Valentines Day in NYC

This Valentines Day, I decided to go to NYC to celebrate. Ofcourse Paris would be the most romantic spot to go but since I cannot go to Paris and come back the same day, NYC is the second best. First, I went to dinner at this wonderful Gluten-Free restaurant near Washington Square Park in the West Village. The pizza and the bread sticks there were amazing, actually I’m convinced everything on the menu tastes great! The name of the restaurant is Risoterria and the official address is 270 Bleecker Street, NY, NY.

After dinner, I went to Grom, a gelato place near by, the official address for Grom is 233 Bleecker St, NY, NY. Grom’s gelato is incredible and I suggest getting whipped cream with the ice cream because it tastes heavenly. Whenever I go to get ice cream at Grom, I choose flavors without tasting them because every flavor I have gotten so far tastes perfect, it’s also more exciting that way. All in all, it was a perfect Valentines Day in NYC.

 

Risoterria

The pizza was delicious!!!

gelato at Grom, yummy!!!

gelato at Grom, yummy!!!

 

Loving winter!

Since I came from Spain in August 2013, I’ve seen a lot of things and enjoyed every minute of it. Without any doubt, winter is one of them. As we get ready to head into February, buried in snow, and spring being way out of sight, I came to thing about the stuff about winter that’s actually pretty amazing here in the US:

Christmas

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Hot chocolate on cold days

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Snowball fights and snowmen

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Snow tubing!

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Sun’s reflection off the snow

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Beautiful snow scenes

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…and I could give a thousand reasons more. Honestly, I’ve always hated this season. Until now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for our next blogger!

A new semester has started, and we are looking for our next blogger! More to come…

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION from Campus to NYC

I am sure that many MSU students want to go to New York City. But, not everybody has a car. Especially for international students like me, we need to know how to get to NYC by public transportation! There are two ways: NJ transit(train) and Decamp bus.

First, there is NJ Transit station, which is named MSU station, really near the village where the most of international students are living.  So, we usually take the transit to get to NYC on WEEKDAYS!

in the NJ Transit train

The one-way ticket is $7.30 and we will arrive in Penn station which is located in 34 st. 8th ave. in Manhattan.  It takes around 45 minutes from MSU station to Penn Station! Not bad! (Refer to this website to check the schedule -> http://www.njtransit.com)

The option 2 is “Decamp bus.”

Way to Decamp bus stop in Valley Rd.

Because we cannot go directly to NYC by transit on weekend, we walk a bit more than on weekdays to get a Decamp bus!! No.66 bus goes to the city!  There is one bus every hour, and the ticket is $7.40 for one-way. similar with NJ transit.

Crossroad of Nassau Rd. and Valley Rd.

The thing is the location of the bus stop, which is off-campus.  We can get the shuttle to the Red Hawk Deck, and then walk for 10 minutes from there alongside Valley Rd.  You can refer to this website to check the schedule -> http://decamp.com/schedules_routes.asp

 I hope your journey to NYC is cool !!!  :D

Another NYC attraction: “The High Line”

at The Highway of NYC

at The Highway of NYC

Have you ever heard about “The High Line” in the city?

I have never heard about it before my roommate had told me. I asked her to recommend a nice place to go in NYC that isn’t too famous. Then, she recommended me “The High Line” which had opened to trains in 1934 and worked by 1980. After 1980, the railroad was more and more deserted and it revived as an over-ground park in the summer of 2011!!

When I got there, Saturday, the weather was so fabulous that some flowers were blooming :-D

And, there were a lot of people who were watching around and taking photos of the scenery!

 

Railroad track and flowers

Railroad track and flowers

The High Line runs from Gansevoort Street, three blocks below West 14th Street, in the Meatpacking District, up to 30th Street, through the neighborhood of Chelsea to the West Side Yard, near the Javits Convention Center. (Information from Wikipedia)

Anyway, my roommate’s recommendation was perfect! Because I and my friend could take many beautiful pictures and relax ourselves!

So, I also recommend you guys to visit there especially in the SPRING!!!

How Time Flies!

How time flies! It’s so hard to believe that almost two thirds of the semester has gone by. Now thinking back about how worried I was at the beginning of the semester, it’s quite cheerful to realize that I have made it through and right now things seem to be right.

Teaching and learning style is quite different in the US than in China. Master courses are very intense and students have to be very focus and engaged, even from just the beginning. I had to spend a lot of my spare time doing research, papers, presentations, homework. It kept me very busy but I enjoyed the way it worked. I could actually learn how to study more actively and productively, not just accept things from whatever the professor gave me, but also look for the knowledge that I’m interested in knowing by myself.

I guess for most students, the busiest time of the semester has come. I hope everyone can enjoy it as much as they can while working hard for the finals, set up a good schedule for study, work and rest. Good luck!

I feel like still in Spring break..

on the way to club

in a limo

During this 2013 spring break, I and my international friends who live in Village together left Montclair to South beach of Miami.

We have rented a big car and drove to there for 24 hours !!

South beach of Miami

South beach of Miami

It was unforgettable great experience because not only that I have never been to Miami, but also that the whole trip was with my international friends.

The weather was so nice that I felt there as a HEAVEN. In the good conditions, we enjoyed beach, emerald-colored ocean, relaxing of stress and youth! Amazing.

So, although it’s already a week ago, I still feel spring break mood yet.

How was you guys’ spring break?