11 Things I’m Thankful For!

Hello all! It’s Mason again! This month is November, the month of Thanksgiving, so on this 11th day of the 11th month, here’s 11 things I’m thankful for!

Cartoon Graphic with the phrase "Thank you!" in the middle, surrounded by various thanksgiving-themed items.

Photo credit: https://www.designwizard.com

My parents

I have a loving and supportive family. Both my parents have always pushed me to figure out what I want out of life and to do what I want to do, which I am immensely grateful for. They both put so much time and effort into raising me, and I love them a lot for it. 

My professors/the Mudd community!

I wrote this blog post when I first arrived about how supportive and helpful the Mudd community was. I still feel that way today! I’m so happy to be attending a school where there’s an abundance of formal and informal support for the students. 

Learning STEM

My only real “career goal” is “do more STEM,” so I’m very thankful that we live in a world in which we have formalized/institutionalized the study of STEM! I think it’s super cool that society has collectively placed enough value in the study of math and science that you can decide to go and study it for four years and learn from people whose jobs it is to know this stuff.

Taking an Intro to Drawing Class

I got very lucky with this class! Towards the end of the summer, I picked up a sudden interest in learning to draw, but didn’t know how to get started. Luckily, as registration for this semester approached, the HMC newsletter went out with an advertisement that read “Want to learn to draw? Here’s your chance! Take art 105!” So, I signed up for the class and I’m learning to draw! It’s certainly been challenging, but I’ve learned to draw things I definitely couldn’t have before. 

My friends/living with friends

I love my friends! I wrote an entire blog post about living with some of them in a “pod” this semester! I enjoy spending time with them, and I can lean on them when I go through difficult times. I’m so grateful for their presence in my life. 

Modern Technologies

Modern technologies make so many cool things possible! Being able to have a live conversation with somebody across the world is amazing and especially useful in quarantine. Having access to much of the world’s knowledge at our fingertips is also amazing! I literally cannot conceive of a pre-internet world! On an unrelated note, trains, cars, planes??? Being able to travel from New York to LA in six hours is incredible! Technology is a superpower and is wizardry.

Food!

I like both eating and making food! I find it satisfying to be able to make something with my own two hands. I also enjoy that I can share things that I’ve made with other people who can also enjoy it. This semester, I’ve learned to make cheesecake and risotto, so I guess I’ve picked up cooking as a hobby of sorts?

Being taught to cook

This may seem similar to the last thing, but in my head it feels different, so it gets its own item. I’ve wanted to learn to cook for a long time. It’s a useful skill that I’ve used a lot recently, and I will have to use much more in the future. In the “pod” i’ve been living in, my housemates have been very patient and helpful with teaching me how to cook! I’ve learned some very good recipes from them that I’ll eventually have in my cooking rotation, and I’ve also learned little things like using a serrated knife to cut tomato.  

Summer Research Experiences

I’m thankful that I got paid to be a part of science! The part of STEM that I love most is exploration and discovery of new ideas, and coming into college, I wasn’t aware that undergrads could participate in it! I really enjoyed being able to contribute, in some tiny way, to humanity’s body of knowledge.  

Breaks in the school year

While I do enjoy school, there is an expectation that you work hard and study lots. So, having breaks in the semester are really nice! For example, having a week for spring break is great—the multiple consecutive days are really necessary for recharging and relaxing before jumping back into the grind.

Taking a Modern & Contemporary Art class

This is one of my favorite classes! I’ve very much enjoyed getting exposure to bizarre and unconventional forms of art. Furthermore, we’ve had the opportunity to make our own pieces of art, which are not graded on ‘quality,’ but on effort/completion. That grading system allows for a freedom/exploration that I’m not used to in a more traditional class, where you’re graded for mastery of material. I’ve definitely produced my most creative work (of any kind) in this class!