Year 1: Semester 1 Week 2

Hey everyone,

This week was busy but otherwise good! I really love it here and it's starting to feel like home.

I switched my multivariable calculus class to spring semester (see last post for reasons why), and instead decided to take a colloquium course called "Faith in Science, Reason in Revelation." It's such an interesting topic, especially coming from a religious background and being able to study religion in a secular setting for the first time. It also counts for the Islamic Studies requirement here. We started by reading some excerpts from Aristotle, and we've covered some of the history of early Christianity and Islam and how religious scholars reacted to the scientific thought/natural philosophy of their time. There's a lot of writing, but the discussions are so interesting and profound- we really get to explore things like the nature of the universe, the development of key world religions, and the extent to which God causes things to occur (i.e. comparing Aristotle's concept of divinity with that of early Christian scholars). It's interesting to hear the version of Old Testament stories told in the Quran. 
3D-printed Totodile Pokemon + Rambutan fruit = instant happiness

Foundations of Science is going to be difficult, but I'm going to do my best. The physics portion is stressing me out, but our professors are really great and I will definitely get my questions answered. Also, our professor brought a crossbow and a cardboard monkey to class to demonstrate projectile motion, so that was pretty great. 

Encouraging cruelty to cardboard-cutout animals in the name of science, haha

I'm also doing vocal ensemble! We had a really informal audition that was probably 5 minutes long, but I was happy to get in. I'm really excited to get back to singing.

We have three days of school off next week for Eid al-Adha, so I'm pretty excited to catch up on sleep, study, and have more adventures.

Some highlights of the week:

Meeting with the Faculty in Residence
Every residential building here has a professor living on the same floor as students, I guess to make us feel more connected to the community. The faculty had a meetup in their apartment, which basically turned into an impromptu jam session with guitars, bongos, and a roomful of singing people crammed onto the floor and couches (couldn't all fit into a picture).
The RealAD Show
Some upperclassmen put together a comedic musical show for the freshmen addressing issues that freshman typically face and welcoming us to life in Abu Dhabi. It was performed at this beautiful theater.

Fitness Classes
My roommates and I are trying to motivate each other to work out, so we tried two of the fitness classes at the gym: HIIT (basically crossfit) and indoor cycling (spin). I was so sore afterward but it felt really nice to exercise and I had a lot of fun. We'll see if we stick with it. 

Dinner in the city
The "shawarma squad" went out again and got some fantastic Lebanese food! 

Central Souq (market)
After dinner, we walked around the Central Souq, the World Trade Center Mall, and the Al Wahda Mall. There were so many beautiful items in the souq, especially the carpets, abayas, and artwork. (I sense an Aladdin theme, haha)

Friday Dinner
One of my Foundations of Science classmates is an amazing cook, and she volunteered to make roasted lemon chicken, potatoes, vegetables, and beetroot hummus for dinner one night. It was so delicious! (Can you tell I love food too much? Haha) 

Paddleboarding in the mangroves
I got to finish out the weekend with a paddleboarding trip to the nearby Eastern Mangroves National Park with two friends who are from Norway and Mexico. It was so relaxing, and we watched the sunset from the water. We found some little crabs on the shore! We parked the boards in the mangrove forest and floated in the warm water for a while. So beautiful.

Goodnight all, and Eid Mubarak to those who are celebrating! 
Eid lights on the Al Wahda Mall


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