Episódio 19 – Memórias da Geração

Confiram o novo episódio do Entrando Pelo Cano!

Entrando Pelo Cano

Entrando Pelo Cano 19 - Memórias da Geração

Enquanto Wii U, PlayStation 4 e Xbox One se consolidam no mercado, nós não podemos deixar de lembrar da geração que se vai. Embarque numa viagem nostálgica neste Entrando Pelo Cano com Renan Greca (@RenanGreca) e Douglas Novelli, que falam de suas histórias com Wii, PlayStation 3 e Xbox 360, assim como Nintendo DS e PlayStation Portable, sistemas que compuseram a mais longa geração de vídeo games até agora e que trazem muitas memórias — boas e ruins.

Neste episódio: descubra se a geração atual está perdida, saiba a principal diferença de um jogo para um livro, sinta-se idiota sacudindo um controle, decida entre falar a um NPC que sua namorada morreu ou fazê-lo explodir, saiba da incrível promoção de Angry Birds por apenas R$259,90 e conheça a brilhante engenharia de hardware da Microsoft!

(Duração: 105 minutos)

Download: podcast entrando pelo cano
Pauta do Episódio

View original post

Orientation Week

Wow. What an insane week.

There’s so much to talk about, I think I’ll have to add chapters to this post. Seriously.

Aug. 25 – Move-in & Orientation day 1

I woke up early, dressed up and packed everything I could into the suitcase, my backpack and plastic bags. After a quick breakfast, we drove to Pomona, where I signed in and did all the paperwork I needed before moving in. I dropped by the re-coop sale, in which new students have the opportunity to buy stuff left by the ones who left the previous year. I opened the room and left my backpack there, and then we went back to get everything else.

The room is nice. I’m in a single, so no worries about sharing stuff with a roommate. I set up a couple of power strips under the desk to power up all the gadgets and organized everything else that needed so. With clothes hung and bed ready with sheets, it was already time for lunch, which was outdoor.

The campus here at Pomona is beautiful. There’s lots to do and to see, but so far I haven’t had enough free time to just wonder around (plus, it’s too hot; let’s wait for autumn, shall we). Anyway, after lunch we had a talk from the college president and then met with our sponsor groups for some getting-to-know-each-other activities. Some students then proceeded to say goodbye to their parents, but that wasn’t my case, for obvious reasons.

Sponsor groups are somewhat unique to Pomona College. In an attempt to help build communities amongst new students, two or three older students — usually second-years or “sophomores” — are appointed as hallway sponsors, which organize meetings for the residents of the hall to get together and meet each other.

Until the end of the day, we still had the traditional walk through Pomona’s gates, and the first ever freshman class picture. Finally, there was a “Welcome to Pomona” talk from the dean and an ice cream social at the dorm’s courtyard

Aug. 26 — Orientation day 2

Soon after breakfast (which was good, by the way; the dining halls here are great), there was already a speech on community building. That went until nearly noon and soon afterwards I had a meeting for transfer and exchange students.

Soon after lunch, we had our first class meeting, in which many of the campus’ resources were explained to us — this intrigues me, since I had much of the same information at the international student orientation a few days before.

Right after that, theater students performed Drawing the Shades, an yearly performance about sexual harassment, followed by a discussion of the same topic. Matters like sexual harassment, alcohol abuse, homophobia and racism are taken very seriously here and widely discussed. It’s an interesting thing to notice.

We afterwards had another dinner with our sponsors and then went to a meeting about our OAs — Orientation Adventures, which would start the following day. I met my OA leaders and played another few meeting-people games. I ended up getting my arm slashed by a tree, resulting in a shallow but long cut. It was a bit annoying, since I ended up getting my shirt dirty with blood, but I survived well enough.

By then, it was about 9 PM and I was really tired — the following day would be a long one.

Aug. 27 — Orientation Adventure day 1

I woke up at around 4 AM that day. I took a quick shower, got everything I needed to, and headed to the Outdoor Education Center with two other hallmates, who were in the same OA.

There, we had some quick breakfast, packed some sandwiches for lunch and helped put stuff in the bus. It was a long bus ride of about 6 hours. It was early afternoon when we arrived, and soon after most people were dipping themselves in the lake, which is definitely a sight to see.

June LakeDespite all that water (originated from snow that melted during the spring), we were in the middle of the desert. That means the weather was really dry, not to mention hot during the day and cold during the night. Also, we had to hide all of our food from bears. I’m serious.

Meals were always an interesting part of the day, since we’d gather around a few portable stoves and everyone would try (and possibly fail) to help with making the food.

Thanks to some great misunderstanding (or miscount), I almost ended up tentless and had to spend some time finding another tent to sleep in.

Aug. 28 Orientation Adventure day 2

During the morning, we went to a nearby lake called Grant Lake for kayaking. While at first I was somewhat apprehensive, since it had been a long time since I had kayaked, it turned out to be really fun and my favorite part of the OA. I shared a kayak with a girl and we had fun trying to keep sync while rowing. After we got to the other side of the lake, though, we had a problem: the wind didn’t want us to go back. We had to cross the lake once more, but this time against the wind. It required lots of strength and focus and, by the time we got back to shore, we were all tired, wet and laughing.

As we spent more time together and talked more, the people on the OA were becoming good friends. It was definitely an interesting experience, as there’s nothing better to make people close than to make them go through so much stuff together.

During the afternoon, we went for a hike. Or would’ve, if the path to the hike weren’t so long. Some people went all the way, some people ended up giving up. Walking uphill against the wind isn’t easy.

In the evening, we watched a short presentation about what we would do the following day…

Aug. 29 Orientation Adventure day 3

This day, we did community service. Basically, we tried covering up unwanted roads so plants could start growing in those areas again.

Before

Before

After

After

We worked for a few hours, until 1 PM. Thankfully, it wasn’t too hot and there was a nice breeze to cool things down a bit. The sun was scorching nonetheless however, so lots of sunscreen and shade were wanted.

After all that, we went to another nearby lake, Mono Lake, which is the largest one in the region. It’s a salt lake and direct access to it is rather complicated, so we only saw it from viewpoints and didn’t bathe in it.

A panorama of Mono Lake

A panorama of Mono Lake

Although the trip was fun overall, it was also really tiresome and most of us were glad this was our last day there.

The view of the stars was amazing, and all three nights we sat there glancing at the sky talking about the cosmos. That last night, I slept outside a tent, allowing me to look at the stars whenever I wanted to. It got cold, but it was bearable: the most annoying part is how flat everything below you feels.

Aug. 30 — Orientation Adventure finale

I got up rather early that day, and watched as dawn made its way to the sky. Finally, I thought, it was time to return to civilization. After breakfast, we took down tents, gather our belongings and took a few last pictures.

During the bus ride, we all watched Catch Me If You Can, which is really a good movie, and I finished reading The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness (more on that in a bit). I didn’t sleep as much as I thought I would, although I was really tired.

For lunch, at about 3 PM, we stopped at In ‘N’ Out, a famous fastfood place here in California. I thought it was pretty overrated, although it is much better than McDonald’s and whatnot.

Back on campus, we had to help put everything back, including tents and sleeping bags, and clean up the stuff we used. I really wanted to go to my room by then, but I helped out with whatever I could.

Finally, I took a really long showed I hadn’t taken one during the OA and had some well-deserved dinner. There was a party at the campus that night, at Scripps, but I wasn’t in the physicial or mental conditions to go.

Aug. 31 More Orientation

That Saturday was mostly regarding registration. Some other campus resources were explained, but it was mostly about what classes students want to register for and why they should take certain classes that they might not expect. Lots of it wasn’t really interesting to me, since I don’t have as many options regarding what classes to take.

The interesting part was that we were able to meet with our academic advisors, something I had been looking forward to since the previous week. My advisor has been really good and has so far been really helpful as far as she can be. Unfortunately, there were certain problems with my registration ideals that not even she was able to help… I’ll talk about that in a later post.

After dinner, there was one more class meeting (the last one, finally!) and then there was a session of skits by the sponsor groups. Although I was pretty tired by then, many of the skits were fun or entertaining enough to get me through it without getting bored. My group’s skit ended up rather bad… But we didn’t get the worst scores the judges had to offer.

This time it was Pitzer’s turn to host a party, which was the Pitzer Luau, which I also didn’t go to. Some of the more experienced students at the OA said it wouldn’t be too interesting and, according to friend’s reports the following day, it really wasn’t.

Sep. 1 The Campus Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Orientation

Yesterday was the final day of orientation. I didn’t do much during the morning, except maybe starve a bit. The dining halls were in brunch schedule, so they didn’t open until way past my usual breakfast time. I spent the rest of the morning thinking about class enrollments and various other things.

Shortly after noon, I went for a so-called “Target run”, which means I got on a bus and went to Montclair, a nearby city best known for its shopping mall and Target department store. The first thing I did there was go to the mall and pre-order The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD‘s limited edition.

After that, I dropped by The Monstore, which is a TCG/RPG store. It’s a great store and I bought a few accessories for my Magic deck, everything Boros-themed.

Finally, I went to and got lost in Target. It took me a while, but I eventually found almost everything I wanted and went back to Pomona satisfied.

It was interesting to notice that my chosen T-shirt that day, one starring “Doctor Whooves”, was especially popular. Quite a few people during my shopping run mentioned it. I found Pomona students on the bus both on the way there and on the way back.

During the evening, we watched a talk by Elyn Saks, author of the aforementioned The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness. The book is her memoir of her life with schizophrenia, telling the tale of how she was able to overcome all the difficulties and become a respected professor at the University of Southern California. I wasn’t too fond of her speech, since she mostly said what we’d already read on the book, but I guess that’s inevitable after reading a book about her whole life.

After that we had a debate on the book and speech, which turned out pretty interesting.

Finally, there was another party, Pomona’s own Frosh Aid. I decided to go this time, to see what it was about and also to donate some school supplies. I ended up bored and sooner rather than later me and two other hallmates came back to the dorm.

Whoa, that’s a lot! Because of the OA, I couldn’t post more frequently, but I will try to do that from now on!

Days two, three and four

… I’m really not good at this daily business, am I?

So far, the days have gone by without incident. Yesterday, I went for a walk at the campus in the morning – since it’s not too hot – and got to know Pomona College a bit better. I didn’t take any pictures but I’ll be sure to send some soon. It’s a beautiful campus!

After that we had lunch at a pizza place at La Verne – close to the university where my host family works. It was nice American pizza. During the afternoon we went shopping at WalMart and at the Montclair Plaza mall. I bought some supplies for the dorm and for school at WalMart and I also got a few things for the computer at the RadioShack at the mall.

The following day was the first one of new international student orientation. We had breakfast at I-Place (the International Place of the Claremont Colleges) and then we divided in several groups. Some went to open bank accounts (which I already had done), some went to Target and some to Monclair Plaza. I ended up going to the mall again and there I picked up a new phone – Google’s Nexus 4. After lunch there, we returned to I-Place and chilled there for a while.

I met lots of people that day, and I can’t talk about all of them. There were two Brazilians and many Asians, among a few others. All in all, it was really fun.

Later that day we went for a walk at Mount Baldy, which is really close to Claremont. The sights were really nice.

Sight from Mt. Baldy

After that we ended the day in a restaurant on the mountain.

Yesterday, we spent most of the days indoor watching talks about various aspects of the Claremont Colleges life, including campus safety, students affair office, health center, etc. I spent some more time chatting with the other new students and got to visit the campus bookstore. And I got a Pomona College T-Shirt!

At night, we went to Claremont Village, and Friday is live music night in Claremont. Three bands were playing, so we got to enjoy some jazz, country and rock. I also tried Yogurtland, which was really good! Better than most of the froyo I remember having in Brazil.

There’s nothing at the colleges today, so I’m taking the day to go to WalMart again (I bought the wrong sheet size for the dorm bed) and setting up everything I need before moving into the dorm.

I’m here!

Well, after three flights, I’m in Claremont, California. The flights were without incident, and the longest one – almost ten hours between São Paulo and Dallas – was more enjoyable than expected. I rode on a very new Boeing 777-300, with a really decent entertainment service, AC plugs for charging the gadgets and not much vibration throughout the aircraft. It’s still unavoidably noisy, but that was easily made better by a good set of headphones. I read some of The Center Cannot Hold during the smaller flights, but spent most of the larger one sleeping, eating, watching Doctor Who on the entertainment system or playing Mario & Luigi: Dream Team on my 3DS.

I arrived here yesterday, but haven’t had time to post since then. I arrived in the Ontario airport at about 11:30 AM, local time, and then proceded to the Claremont Colleges’ International Place. After that, I was greeted by my host family – a couple of Indians – and went to their home to leave my stuff. It’s a nice family and a nice home, I’m glad to be with them.

My temporary room

My temporary room

For lunch I had some Indian food – spicy! I couldn’t take much of it, too hot for me. Good, but too hot. Speaking of hot, it is HOT here in California. Jumping from winter to summer like this isn’t easy, but it’s still bearable (as long as you have an AC or fan next to you).

On the afternoon I went shopping with the couple’s nephew. I opened up an account at Chase bank (which I will need to receive future CSF scholarships), then went to Best Buy to get a few gadget supplies – a mouse, an external hard drive and a rechargeable batteries set – and then headed to the Apple Store so I could get a computer. Although I was aiming for a MacBook Air, I ended up getting the 13″ MacBook Pro with retina display – the price difference wasn’t too bad, and they only offered 8GB of RAM on the top-of-the-line Air – which would cost about $300 more than the Pro.

By the way, this computer is fantastic.

I also had a little adventure at AT&T, but wasn’t able to do anything there because I don’t have any credit they can check. In the end the best option was to buy a contract-free phone off the Internet and go to them later for a plan. More on that soon.

At night, we dined at an Italian place, which was nice. It was a very long day, and I slept like a rock. Soon enough I’ll post about what happened (and will happen!) today.

Soon.

Well, it’s nearly time. It’s been a busy weekend and I’m already really tired. I still have a few more things to stuff into my backpack – the things I’ll use until the last day. Lots of airplanes and airports await me tomorrow, and I’ve prepared myself with lots of charged batteries – iPod, 3DS, Kindle, tablet… And a book. I’ll talk more about that book soon enough.
Right now… I need to go to bed.

How I Got Here, part 3

 

So after I knew I was going to Pomona, I had to find out more about when or where I had to go. I e-mailed people from the college to get information. A few weeks later, I bought my plane tickets. I already bought the return flight, too, but I’ll have to reschedule that next year.All the meanwhile, the university here was recovering from the strike. The first semester of 2012 only ended in October, and the second one ended in March, with a short break during January. 2013 only started in mid-April and has been haunting me throughout all of July and even early August… I only got peace this week. Due to a combination of a weird semester, some classes that went from boring to terrible, and me registering in more classes than was necessary or comfortable, I ended up having a pretty bad semester in 2012/2. In 2013/1, however, I did much better.

In early July, I had to go to São Paulo to get my US Visa. That was actually a rather fun experience. I took a plane and stayed at a hotel by myself for the first time, and we had a few talks from people from the consulate, CAPES, IIE, and other administrators of the program. The consulate was working specifically for CSF students, so there wasn’t much waiting in line involved.

Finally, this past week I finished up everything I had to. Handed in a few last papers to the university, did whatever I had to do at Pomona’s website, cut my hair, took vaccines, etc. Now I only have to pack up some more stuff and enjoy my last few days in Brazil before I leave.

I also packed some of my “toys” to store them properly while I’m gone.

Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Twilight Sparkle, Princess Luna,
Applejack and Rainbow Dash

Mewtwo, Samus, Pit and Link

 

How I Got Here, part 2

Almost forgot posting today. Gonna take a while before I get used to this…

Continuing from where we left off… I had to take an English proficiency exam. I already had one from 2009 (University of Michigan’s ECPE), but for Ciência Sem Fronteiras I had to have a TOEFL score less than two years old. So I took the TOEFL exam in October. Out of 120 possible points, I scored 114. I only needed 85 or so (don’t quite remember), so that was that. In early November, I received confirmation that I had passed CAPES’s selection (the Brazilian side of things) and had to fill in a few forms for IIE (the American side of things).

When I say a few, I mean enough forms to take me about two weeks to complete. I had to scan documents, fill in forms, print forms, ask professors or university officials to sign forms, fill in more forms, write essays and then fill in another form. Well, it was mostly done by late November and I sent in the last few things in December. What followed was a period which I like to call The Great Wait.

Only in late March, as I was about to leave with my family to spend Easter holiday at the beach, did I finally get appointed to a college. It was Pomona College, which took me by surprise. “What the heck is this Pomona College,” I asked myself. Oh well, I was going to California! Sometime later I would find out that Pomona is a very respected college, and I’m now very glad I was appointed there.

Well, I’m incredibly sleepy now. And my arm hurts. And I still have more stuff to pack. Good night!