17 April 2007

Storms and Shootings

A sad and tragic news confronted students today: a gunman kills 32 people in Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. See the news here.

Now the question pops up: Is my campus safe?

I don't know. But then again, is there a place in this current world that is completely safe? I don't think so. One must just muster up the courage to get out of one's house and live the day to the next.

I do have to say that Amherst, NY, which is a town next to Buffalo, and where the campus is located, is one of the top-ten safest cities and towns in the United States.

In other news, a nor'easter is currently pummeling the area of rains. Upstate New York (where I am) is not that bad, but it seems that there are severe flooding in the East Coast, and massive delays in the airports. One of my professors, who commutes from Dusseldorf and Buffalo, was forced to take the bus from New York City to Buffalo, because the planes were cancelled. Hopefully, when I travel this summer, I do not encounter bad weather.

Speaking of travelling, I went to the International Students Office of this university and had my I-20 updated. I need it to be updated to be able to re-enter this country. Each update is valid for one year.

I noticed that I am gaining weight. Maybe this is because of the lack of exercise due to the cold winter months. So I opted not to use the elevator for the time being. And my office is at the sixth floor. I need more cardio.

Two more weeks. Two more weeks and then I can finish this semester. I need a break. Especially if I am frustrated at a class that I TA for. I simply do not like the style the professor is conducting it. She is not able to connect to the students. And I am at the weird position that I have to support the professor.

To exemplify, usually, it is the case that students will see the professor, and rarely the TA. The TA seldom has students asking for help. Indeed, when I was teaching last semester, and I had a TA for myself, the TA held office hours, but only one student came for the whole semester. Students seem to prefer seeing the professor than the TA. But for this class, it is different. I am always the person that the students see. It seems that the professor simply is inaccessible. The students do not get her lectures unless I explain it again. I guess the professor has a hard time damping the topics down to an introductory level.

Oh well, two more weeks, that is. Two more weeks. And I will be free.

So, here is another picture from the Niagara Falls in the Winter Series. Enjoy the view.

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