The academic composition of these over-saturating weeks has been a careful blend of Foundations of Science 1 and 2, The Human Voice, Calculus and Engineering Foundations 1. The first has been a combination of Physics and Chemistry packed into 75-minute, 5-days-a-week classes, 3 to 6 hour lab sessions and weekly problem sets that currently hold the record for longest time continuously working on the same goddamn piece of paper (14 hours). Needless to say: for someone with no knowledge of physics, complete and utter lack of study habits, and a tendency to ask needlessly complicated questions, Foundations of Science proved to be an enormous challenge and willpower-tester. The pure unbridled genius miraculously contained in my classmates' heads did not make me feel any less inadequate.
The second class, The Human Voice, was a journey into the heart of this so-called "liberal-arts experience". Professor Martin Daughtry is brilliant at what he does, and I doubt anyone who's ever met him would say otherwise. Under his tutelage I learned the basics of Tuvan Throat-Singing, participated in a telemetric concert with NYU New York for the ResoNations UN Initiative, sung a Russian Kozak song in front of the new NYUAD candidates and renewed my interest for the intricacies and mysteries of sound. Would I take this course again? Yes, please.
I will skip a description of my calculus class, for it is not particularly different from Calculus anywhere else. Engineering Foundations however, has been so.
This last class has worked relentlessly to make sure we don't feel like there is a barrier between inventors and students as ourselves. Through inspirational speeches and readings, a one week crash-course on prototype building and notable flexibility on the direction we take our course-long final assignment, this course has earned a very special place in my memory.
Coming out on the other side of the semester I have changed the majors I applied for. Instead of a double major in brain and cognitive science with engineering, I've decided to pursue brain and cognitive science with computer science, leaving engineering for graduate school. Due to my partiality to the Engineering Foundations courses, however, I've decided to keep taking this series of courses as my general electives.
Surprisingly, these academic blocks have not completely consumed my free time. Through extracurricular clubs and groups (which we've had to start from scratch) I've been able to participate in the Corniche Beach Customs competition (One pedal car, 1000 dirham, one race), took part in a short film for the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, sat down to chat with Michael Gazzaniga and managed to secure a significant other (go Girlfriend!).
Overall, its been a hectic, stressful, exhausting, thrilling, adjectiveful semester. After my one week break (I KNOW), I will be returning for more. Hopefully at this point I've gotten the hang of NYUAD. Hopefully NYUAD will not let me get a hang of it till the end.