This year was just the first year of many great experiences.  In recap, April was full of exciting events like E-Days (engineering days), a trip to Garden of the Gods, a SOJA concert, and lots of snowboarding. 

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E-days is a campus wide event with a variety of activities throughout the weekend. There was the ore-cart pull, the carnival on the IM fields, the cardboard boat race, and many other fun things to do. Although my team and I didn’t win the cardboard boat race, we managed to get down the creek once.  When the second run came around and I was getting into the boat, the back section fell apart and water poured through the opening.  I was glad that we got to do it because seeing all the people along Clear Creek was spectacular.

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Along with the awesome concerts at night, on one of the mornings we did the ore cart pull.  This is where Mines students walk about 7 miles and pull the ore cart to the capitol.  When we got to the capitol the president of Mines gave a speech and also announced the new student body government.

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My trip down to the Garden of the Gods was a good change of scenery from Golden.  The various rock formations there were similar to Red Rocks.  What was nice about Garden of the Gods was that there was a long circular path that went around about all the landscape there.  In the picture above, I was climbing into a crevice to see how far back I could go into the formation.image

This SOJA concert was played at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.  I have heard this group in Hawaii and thought they were great, so I convinced a few of my friends to get tickets with me.  The opening act was Air Dubai, and they played some pretty sick music.  In general, I thought that this concert was really worth it.  I hope to eventually get to go to a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre because many people have said this is a great experience.image

Snowboarding this month was extremely fun like usual, but what made it probably one of the best months was the amount of snow we got.  It was definitely the most snow we got compared to this past winter.  I finished the season off by going to both of the closing days for Winter Park and Copper Mountain.  Next year I hope to go to different slopes, maybe Vail and Breckinridge.

On a sad note, I feel pretty bittersweet about moving out of the dorms.  With completing my first year of college, I have to pack up all my things and move out while saying goodbye to the friends I have made.  I am planning to live with a few of my friends on my floor in an apartment right off of campus. 

In recap over this whole freshman year, I would have to summarize it as life changing.  It was a great year making the friends I have now from my dorm and classes.

These are the things that I have thought about Mines over the span of this year:

-It is a small campus where you are able to see familiar faces everyday.

-The campus is near the mountains, which is perfect for snowboarding, running, hiking, or any outdoor activities.

-There are accessible teachers who are willing to talk to you on a one on one basis about homework and tests. I have gotten this idea since I have had to ask two teachers for letters of recommendations for my study abroad program during the spring semester.

-The ORC (Outdoor Recreational Center) is an awesome place to rent equipment for any outdoor recreational activities.

-The OIP (Office of International Programs) is a great resource that is willing to help you make your study abroad possible.  They also are open to any questions and give advice about going abroad.

-Finally, the prestige of this engineering college challenges you mentally and prepares you for interviews, internships, and jobs with companies

As a prospective student, if these are some of the qualities you are looking for in a college, Mines is the right fit for you.

I would like to thank you guys for keeping up with my blog!  I had a great time blogging my personal experiences each month for the past year.  I hope for those of you considering Mines, this helped you get a feel for the things offered at Mines and around it.  Also for those just reading my blog to hear stories about my personal experiences, I hope you enjoyed the variety of things I talked about.  My plan for this summer is to go back home to Hawaii.  I am hoping to receive an internship to get a feel for what type of engineer I want to become and see if Environmental Engineering is the fit for me.  Besides that I will probably be surfing and hanging out with my friends.  If you have any questions you can email me at lyamamot@mymail.mines.edu.  I hope you have a great summer and thank you again!

Aloha,

Logan Yamamoto

March was a great month!  We had Spring Break the second week of the month.  My parents came to visit Colorado and I got to do a lot of things with them.  We went to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver Zoo, 16th Street Mall, White Fence Farms, Coors Brewery, South Table Mountain.  Colorado Mills, and Castle Rock Outlets.  Some of these things were things I haven’t got to do in Colorado yet, this includes going to Red Rocks and White Fence Farms.

            My parents and I made our way through the whole Denver Zoo.  I thought all of the animals at the zoo were going to be the same in Hawaii, but I was proven wrong.  Not only did they have the animals we had back home, but they had much more and I was able to get much closer to the animals.  If you plan to visit the Denver Zoo and want to see everything there, you better plan to spend at least 2 hours there, since the zoo is huge.

Red Rocks is probably the most scenic view I have seen.  The huge rocks there are angled and the amphitheatre was awesome to see.  Being my first time there, I didn’t know what to expect.  When I got to the amphitheatre, the infrastructure and all the people doing crossfit workouts amazed me.  I was so curious how they maintain this huge design, protecting it from weathering and erosion.  At the top of the amphitheatre there is a gift shop that also contains historical things about Red Rocks and the amphitheatre.  On the walls, they have all of the people who have performed in concerts at the amphitheatre.

            Another highlight of my Spring Break is visiting White Fence Farms.  White Fence Farms is restaurant surrounded by a petting zoo, a stream with ducks, gift shop, and a funny chicken car.  But the main reason we came was to have fried chicken at the restaurant.  It was by far the best fried chicken I have had in my life, it is a must visit!

            In this last week of March in Earth Science during the lab section of the class we got to take samples down at Clear Creek.  The main objective of the lab was to see if the creek’s conditions were suitable for trout and from our conclusions we would have to write a proposal to the mayor about what he should do to make it suitable for trout, if it isn’t already.  We got to take samples of insects in the lower half of the river to see if there has been pollution.  If there were pollution many of the insects would not be there.  Also we took measurements like the velocity of different parts of the creek, the pH, the dissolved minerals, and much more.  I thought by far this was the most fun lab we did all year in this class!

            E-days is this coming week! We have Awolnation coming to perform.  I’m really looking forward to the E-day cardboard boat race since I’ll be racing in it.  But, you just have to wait till next month’s blog to find out how my team’s boat turns out.   Overall, March was pretty relaxing with spring break, but I had lots of great experiences too.

This month has been quite a blast both in school and outside of school.  We received our first grades for exams for our classes.  Besides doing schoolwork, I had time to go snowboarding at Copper Mountain and Winter Park and began to learn how to take small jumps on the snowboard.  In the middle of the month one of my friends had his birthday, so a couple of my friends and I decided to take him out to dinner.  We all had a craving for sushi so we went to an all you can eat sushi about 5 minutes from campus.  With the four of us, we ate an incredible amount of delicious sushi.  My most notable event of this month was going to San Diego, California for a conference with the Society of Asian Scientist and Engineers. The conference took place at the University of California San Diego.  Besides the weather being great in California, the conference went really well and I made a lot of new friends.  The conference objective was to go to workshops to help us become more presentable to companies and begin our networking.  Many of the people that I went with from CSM were amazed by the size of the college of UCSD.  When I saw the college, I recalled the largeness of the UC schools, which was a reason why I didn’t choose to go to those colleges.  And also being at Mines for almost a year, I appreciate and love the small campus and tight knit community on campus.  We got to stop by In-N-Out Burger, right when we flew in to California.  Unfortunately after the conference, we didn’t get too much time to wander in San Diego because we had to fly out early the next morning after the conference.  When we got to the airport we were notified that our flight would be delayed for two hours since Colorado was receiving quite a bit of snow.  When, I got off the plane, I saw the most snow I have ever seen.  There was about a foot of snow when I got back to campus.  As of now there is still some snow still on the streets and sidewalks.  But overall, this month was a success since I managed schoolwork and got to do some pretty exciting things.  I can’t wait for Spring Break!

In January, classes have started up with new classes and new teachers.  The classes I have scheduled are Earth Science, Differential Equations, Physics 200, Nature and Human Values, and Physical Activity.  This final week of January is our first rounds of exams.  Since I came back to Colorado, I went snowboarding once with people on my floor.  We headed to Copper and snowboarded for the day.  I was really excited to go since that was the first time in my life that I went skiing and snowboarding.  When we got to the mountain after the one-hour drive from Mines, I realized it was extremely cold.  I think at one point while we were up there, the temperature was -7 degrees.  Regardless, I enjoyed my first time going to the slopes.  Being on a snowboard felt a bit different from surfing and skateboarding.  My friends and I got on to the lift with no problems.During the ride, my friends explained to me how to get off the lift. As we approached the mound of snow where we were supposed to exit the lift, I began putting down my leg and adjusting my body to get off.  I hopped off the lift and placed my back leg on another part of the board and began to go down the small incline.  Then I realized I was veering into one of my friends and began to lean back to turn left.  But when I felt like I was about to fall backwards I leaned forward hard to compensate and instinctively pushing over my friend to the right of me.  I guess I began to cause a domino effect, once he began to fall he pushed the person right next to him.  At the end of this funny moment we sat down for a couple seconds on the snow laughing at each other and scrambling back to our feet to move out of the way for the next people.  At first, I did a couple beginner hills in order to get adjusted to the board and the rails of it.  But once I got the hang of it, I loved it.  We did 8 runs that day with all greens and one blue.  After all that snowboarding I was really exhausted, on the way back to Mines I passed out so fast.

            Also, toward the end of the month I got to do an intramural wrestling tournament.  It was really fun since there were both experienced and inexperienced wrestlers who were from fraternities.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get an intramural champion shirt, since I got second place.  I’m probably going to participate in a lot more sports before this semester ends.  I am glad to be back at college and hanging out with fun floor mates in my dorm.

November has flown by at Colorado School of Mines.  I registered for classes this month for next semester.  Before registration took place, I was really stressed out thinking that I wouldn’t get the classes I wanted, but when it came around it literally took me one minute to sign up for all my classes.  Also this month, we had a homecoming game timed with parents weekend.  Parents weekend went by really fast.  I liked it since I got to see my mom for the first time since August.  Even though there were a lot of parents on campus, it was pretty neat seeing the students show their parents around.  My mom and I went to the parent’s weekend dinner and also went to this improvisation show.  I wasn’t really excited for the show, but I was glad that I went because it was funny and similar to “Whose line is it anyway?” from ABC family.  Also this month there was thanksgiving, followed by Black Friday.  On Black Friday some of my friends and I went to Castle Rock Outlets and Park Meadows Mall.  I bought a few presents for when I go back home.  I went to Denver’s 16th Street Mall a couple times this month where I got to see the Coors Field where the Colorado Rockies play.

 

At the end of this month many of the course for the semester are wrapping up.  For EPICS, the engineering design class, my group had to complete our final project that consisted of a poster board, graphics portfolio, and final project report.  For this semester our project was to design a solar and heating system that consisted of a grid tie interface for the Everson Ranch Complex.  I learned a lot about solar panels when researching for this class to get information and choose which solar panel was the best for the project.  The part I enjoyed the most was making a model for the project.  On the model there are solar panels, a storage house for the batteries, a wind turbine mounted to the top of the storage house, and wiring that connects all the solar panels to the storage house.  As for many of the other classes there are going to be final exams coming up in the next month. This semester has flown by so fast, but also I am excited to be finished with my first semester at CSM and take higher-level courses when I return in January.

This past month went by so fast.  During this month I had my second round of exams and I adjusted into the school’s flow.  These are a few highlights of October for me:

1. First snowfall, snowman, snowball fight of the season

2. Hiking up to South Table

3. Carving Pumpkins and making Halloween costumes

When I saw the snow falling outside of Maple Hall through my window, I thought to myself just wait a couple more hours and there will be about an inch of snow.  So I continued doing my homework assignment and finally completed it.  I went outside, with few of my floor mates, dressed in gloves, hat, shorts, and jacket.  I played in the courtyard and built a snowman about 3 feet tall.  Right as I completed the head of the snowman, my friend hurled a snowball at me and that’s when the fight began.  Having so much fun I stayed outside for about an hour, throwing snow right and left.  The first snowfall of the season was a blast.

Another instant after it snowed, I ran up South Table to get a view of Golden and the whole landscape.  As I jogged up the trail, parts of the path were muddy and slushy from the melted snow.  But once I made it to the top, I was stunned by the view.  I thought it was one of those postcard pictures with the snowcapped mountains in the background.

As Halloween approached, my friends and I created our own costumes after we picked up some clothes at the mall and supplies at the craft store.  We also got into the spirit by carving two really big pumpkins.  But my friends and I soon came to realize that big pumpkins aren’t the best idea to carve since it is so thick.  In the end, we managed to do it and it came out pretty good.  Happy Halloween!

Overall, these past 2 months at Mines have been pretty filled with activities and things to do.  The fun activities with my floor and sporting events balances the schoolwork at Mines.  The college experience so far has been great, can’t wait to register for classes next semester.

Home away from home

 

Colorado School of Mines has become my home away from home.  I arrived here after a 7-hour flight from Honolulu, Hawaii.  The whole moving experience and orientation was a time that I will always remember.  As I hauled all my bedding, clothing, and personal belongings, I just wondered what my dorm was going to look like when I opened my door.  At first glance, I opened the door and thought I opened the door to a hotel.  I live in Maple Hall and have a single suite, where my roommate and I share a shower and sink. 

Everyone feels awkward at orientation, but soon everyone realizes that they are in the same shoes.  I lacked a network when I got to Mines knowing only one other from the same state that I played soccer with for a few years.  Seeing so many new faces and memorizing their names was difficult, but once you see them a few times and ask them their name a few times it finally sinks in. 

My advice to incoming freshman is to keep a big smile on this long weekend of fun activities because you never know how many people that you meet, will be in your classes or coincidently be on your dorm floor.  Living in a dorm at Mines, is really fun and there are lot of things to do as a floor.  As a floor we have done things like eat dinner in Golden, play basketball, play volleyball, play Frisbee, buy winter clothes, tie-dye t-shirts, watch movies, and take trips to Safeway to buy lots of snacks.  I enjoy my whole floor and feel that we have known each other for a couple years instead of the four weeks we have spent here.  I am excited to take advantage of all the activities, clubs, and educational opportunities Mines has to offer.

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