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Sweet Indulgence

(President Barack Obama, U.S.A.)

The thought of indulging myself in a rewarding cigarette has crossed my mind probably a dozen times a day since I quit smoking on Feb. 5. Despite tempting thoughts - even though it’s not as difficult as others claim it to be - giving up the one thing I have loved since nearly six years is a good thing. I can’t wait for my lungs to repair, skin to flourish and say goodbye to stinking odors.

I was ambivalent about withdrawal symptoms. Going cold turkey as a heavy smoker raised the expectations (and probability!) of long and dreadful weeks to come. But in the end, I knew it was better for my asthma. Here’s a reminder for all my fellow asthmatics out there: smoking and asthma is a DEADLY combination. But whether you suffer from respiratory problems or not, quitting will give you the miracles of reduced coughing (better described as the sound of death) and increased activeness.

The wackiest thing I’ve experienced was a dream as vivid as the sky on a sunny day. I woke up completely distraught as I rarely remember my dreams ever and couldn’t distinguish reality from reverie. My dream went as follows:

The Education Process from a College Student

On A Card's Worth of Words

I was in the middle of class today when I started to get really annoyed by my professor. She's a really sweet lady and she definitely knows what she's talking about; it's just that the way she tries to teach her students is not something I am too happy with.

Coming from a very open-ended and independent background of learning (I suppose that is a positive way to consider IB), I've come to realize that not all teachers allow their students to think in their classes. I mean, they do in a certain way, but not really. They lead your thoughts through their own thought process and questions asking you only to fill in the blanks in their sentences. So, instead of teaching you the subject at hand, they are teaching you their own mentality, including their own opinions rather than allowing the student to formulate his/her own.

Don't get me wrong. Students need to be guided sometimes, especially in subjects such as math and science. And yes, most of the liberal art classes do need guidance in order to see a different perspective on a subject. For example, if I am reading Shakespeare, I definitely need someone to help me understand the words, the subplots and the different allusions that he uses (I don't know how Shakespeare did it. It's so dense).

However, I am going to college, not only to learn what I need to for my major, but also learn how to think. Coming from a high school that makes you formulate your own thoughts in all subjects, as well as questioning the information given to you, this whole educational system that is being given to me at college just doesn't seem right.

I'd like to look at learning as a feedback process. The teacher helps me understand the material. I analyze it and create some kind of understanding from it and the teacher helps me polish my thoughts. If I'm reading Shakespeare, I will need help understanding it, but that doesn't mean the professor can fill the entire class time with just his/her own thoughts. The professor needs to ask questions for the student analyze and not questions with straightforward answers. Instead of asking me guiding questions, why not ask me something that would require more effort.

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