Embracing Green

by Xiaomin Chen -- January 15th, 2014

Doudou and mom

Doudou and mom

Dear readers,

Happy New Year! I didn’t blog for quite a while. Sorry for letting you worry about me. Although I went through a tough transition, I survived. Calculus almost killed me. Each week, I had to take four classes on east campus. Fortunately I got a B minus – a grade that meets the requirement of my program. That’s the present I wanted most for my first Christmas in the US.

It is hard to believe but my son is eight months old now. And we’ve been here in Duke for five months. Thanks to Durham’s sunshine, he has eight teeth and has grown to a pretty strong boy. My mom has been doing well. She made lots of friends here. She has a gift of making friends and spotting Chinese everywhere we go. You are right! She greeted every Chinese-looking person she saw.

This semester is going to be a lot of fun. There are a lot of courses that I wanted to take. But I cannot take them all due to time constraints. After talking to my adviser, my classmates and my husband, I figured out what I really want. On one hand, I will have to take required courses for my concentration (Energy and Environment). On the other hand, I am curious about courses in other areas but I don’t want to bite more than I could chew. Besides, I should allocate some time to exercise and to my son. So finally I have 14.5 credits on my schedule: Energy Technology and its Impact on the Environment, Environmental LCA, Modeling for Sustainability, Water Quality Health and Finance.

Besides the above regular courses, I also registered one credit course Clean Energy Trip. I am thrilled to spend four days in San Francisco, visiting clean energy companies. I cannot believe I even interviewed one back in China in 2010. The rest sounds familiar as well thanks to Lincoln Pratson’s course Energy and Environment.

I missed a lot fun activities and events in Durham last semester due to tight schedule and a lack of car. Since my schedule on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays are quite open over the coming four months, I will spend some time in gym, attend modules and go to energy trips. Over the weekends, I will take my son to museums, local farmlands and other places. International House have some really good parties. So 300 Alexander Ave will be a frequent-visit place as well.

This semester, this month to be specific, I will have to start working on my MP. Before I came to Nicholas, I have a million ideas that I believed can be turned into master’s projects. However, after one semester, I realized there are few I can choose. Time is one thing. Place is another obstacle. It seems impractical to do a China-related project in the US. Anyways, I will figure out a way soon.

Now you have a general idea of my life in the coming semester. I will blog about them later. I hope you will enjoy reading them.


1 Comment

  1. Kevin Chang
    Jan 17, 2014

    Cool! Enjoy your more colorful coming semester!

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