Reflection on 2nd to Last Week

Hey everyone!

Can you believe it? We’re almost at the end of my REU program, and this week has been a rollercoaster of emotions.

So, the week started off pretty well – just working on the final poster. It’s been like solving a giant puzzle, but luckily, my team was totally in sync. High-fives all around!

On Wednesday, I went to see the Barbie movie. It was surprisingly good! It was a much-needed escape from all the research stuff, and the movie had some deep messages.

As the week started winding down, it hit me hard that we’ve only got one more week left. I’m gonna miss this program.

But you know what? We still have one more week. Let’s give it our all, make these last few days count, and leave a mark that we’ll all remember.

Reflection on Last Week

Hey everyone!

I thought I’d share my eventful week with all of you. It had its ups and downs, but honestly, it was a pretty cool experience overall.

So, at the beginning of the week, I had to gear up for a CUNY presentation. Let me tell you, it was good practice, but boy, was it nerve-wracking! Public speaking isn’t my forte, and I found myself wishing I could be one of those confident speakers who effortlessly captivate the audience. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll consider taking a class on public speaking in college. But you know what? Despite the nerves, it was nice to get some feedback on areas I could improve on. So, I’m determined to work on my speaking skills and get better over time.

The CUNY presentations were really intriguing, and there was this one project that absolutely captured my attention – “VR as a Learning Tool for Students with Disabilities.” Specifically, they focused on creating a driving simulation to assist student drivers who have ADHD. I mean, seriously, how cool is that idea? It’s such an innovative and thoughtful application of VR technology.

What made it even more fascinating for me was that my own research group is currently exploring how VR can be used to enhance teaching research writing. So, seeing how VR can be utilized to teach other subjects, especially in a way that accommodates different learning styles, was truly eye-opening. For some people, traditional methods of learning might not be the easiest to absorb, but VR opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.

Overall, I was genuinely impressed by the impactful research projects taking place at CUNY and the incredible presentations that showcased these groundbreaking ideas.

Once the presentations were over, I went back to working on my research project. This meant conducting interviews and finalizing some A/B testing. I have to admit, it’s been a pretty good experience so far, but Unity, oh Unity, you can be a real pain sometimes! It has taken me over a week just trying to get NPCs to walk around using splines and nav mesh, and I’ve tried various methods. But alas, I keep facing failures. I guess it’s time to take a break, clear my mind, and come back to it with a fresh perspective.

Now, let me share a little anecdote from the weekend. Saturday was a good day, Rebekah managed to convince me to go to the pool, and you know what? I’m really glad I agreed. The feeling of the sun and the fresh air was just what I needed after a hectic week of presentations and project work. After, we got mouthwatering burgers at B-Bops. It was the perfect timing – burgers after swimming! And let me tell you, their fries were surprisingly up to par with McDonald’s.

So, here’s to a week filled with growth, learning, and a fair share of fun. I can’t wait to see what the upcoming days have in store for me. Until then, take care!

Reflection 12

Hey everyone!

It’s been quite a week for me, filled with endless work on my project. Trust me when I say, my brain feels like a fried egg at this point. But hey, I’m not complaining! I’ll give you a rundown of what’s been going on in my life lately.

So, this project of mine has been taking up most of my waking hours. I’ve been putting in the effort to make sure everything is done just right. One of the challenges I’ve faced is working with Unity. Let me tell you, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster ride. The thing is, there aren’t many tutorials out there that cover the specific tasks I need to accomplish. It can get frustrating at times, but I’ve learned to be patient and take the time to practice using Unity on my own. Trial and error, my friends!

In the midst of all this project chaos, I’ve managed to find some time to dive back into the magical world of books. It’s been ages since I’ve lost myself in the pages of a good novel, but I’m happy to say I’m back on the reading bandwagon. Currently, I’ve been engrossed in the Dune series.

I am only on the first book but so far so good. One of the aspects I find fascinating about the Dune series is the underlying messages it conveys. Herbert explores themes like environmentalism, religion, and the consequences of human actions. It really makes you reflect on the choices we make in our everyday lives and the impact they can have on the world around us. It’s quite thought-provoking, to say the least.

Well, that’s pretty much what’s been going on in my life lately. Lots of hard work on my project, with a side of Unity headaches, and a newfound love for reading again. It’s been a week of ups and downs, but hey, that’s life.

Reflection 11

Hey there! Can you believe it? We’ve hit week 7 already, time has flown super fast. It feels like just yesterday I set foot in Ames, Iowa, a mix of nerves and excitement pulsing through my veins. But now, as I sit here reflecting on the past weeks, I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness knowing it’s all coming to an end soon.

Let me take you back to my arrival in this unknown territory. I won’t lie, I was scared out of my wits. I mean, moving to a new city where I didn’t know a soul? Talk about intimidating! But hey, stepping out of our comfort zones is where the magic happens, right? And boy, have I had a blast and made memories that’ll stick with me.

Now, one of the things that have made my time here truly special has been the luncheon lectures. You wouldn’t believe the diverse range of people I’ve met and the brilliant minds I’ve had the privilege of listening to on this campus. Just today, we had the incredible Dr. Bentil enlightening us on mind-boggling topics like soft tissue biomechanics, biomaterials, traumatic brain injuries, blast impact injury mechanisms, high-speed imaging, brain-machine interfaces, and blunt impact injury mechanisms.

I won’t sugarcoat it; these subjects can seem intimidating at first glance. But trust me, they’re like puzzles waiting to be solved. Soft tissue biomechanics and traumatic brain injuries give us a sneak peek into the intricate mechanisms of our bodies, helping us understand how external forces mess with our internal structures. And hey, who would’ve thought that blast impact injury mechanisms and blunt impact injury mechanisms could unravel the secrets of physics, revealing the dance between different forces and our bodies?

Then we have the mind-blowing field of high-speed imaging. It’s like having superpowers to capture moments that zip by in the blink of an eye. We get to witness things the naked eye can’t even fathom, gaining insights into phenomena we wouldn’t otherwise comprehend. And don’t even get me started on brain-machine interfaces. It’s like science fiction meeting reality, where the line between our minds and machines becomes beautifully blurry. Who knows, we might be on the brink of a technological revolution in how we interact with our devices!

Now, you might wonder why I ended up choosing computer science over my initial infatuation with the brain during the college application process. Well, as much as I was drawn to the mysteries of the human brain and the enigma of consciousness, I couldn’t resist the siren call of computer science. It’s a field bursting with potential to make a real impact on the world. I get to channel my love for problem-solving and combine it with innovative technology to create solutions that can change lives.

As I venture further into my journey, I find myself knee-deep in my virtual reality community projects. The crunch time is here, and I can practically taste the excitement in the air. Soon, I’ll be diving headfirst into piles of data, exploring uncharted possibilities, and crafting mind-blowing virtual experiences that will leave people in awe. The thrill of it all is hard to put into words!

So yes, as the days slip away faster than an Olympic sprinter, I’m reminded of the ephemeral nature of time. But instead of dwelling on the sadness of it all, I choose to hold onto the memories, the incredible people I’ve met, and the knowledge I’ve gained along the way. Ames, Iowa, you’ve been one heck of an adventure, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Reflection 9( Last Week)

Hey everyone!

I can’t believe it’s already the end of the week! Time really flies when you’re busy, huh? Last week was all about our XR project, and we’ve been putting in some serious effort to make it happen. We’ve had to make some tough decisions and cut down on a few extra parts to keep it manageable. After all, we only have a week to get it all done.

But you know what? I’ve actually been enjoying the process so far. Working with Unity and Blender has been a great opportunity to practice and improve my skills. It’s been a bit challenging at times, but it’s also rewarding to see our project taking shape. I do wish we had more time, though. With some extra days, we could have really polished it and made it even better. But hey, we’ll make the most of the time we have and create something good.

On a happier note, I’m heading home this weekend, and I’m super excited about it. It’ll be great to catch up with my family and share everything that’s been going on with the project. I can’t wait to tell them all about the things I’ve learned and the progress we’ve made. It’s always nice to have their support and see their proud faces.

Oh, and guess what? I’ve been taking some leisurely walks around campus lately. It’s been a fantastic way to relax and unwind, well, except when the sun decides to shine extra brightly. There’s something so refreshing about strolling through the campus, taking in the sights and sounds, and getting a little break from the project madness. It’s like a mini escape from the daily hustle and bustle.

Alright, folks, that’s a wrap for this week. I’m looking forward to some quality family time, and maybe even a little more sunshine (if I’m lucky!). Take care, enjoy your weekend, and let’s tackle the upcoming week with renewed energy

Reflection 8( Last week)

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had an alright week! I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what went down last week. It was a pretty busy one for me, especially with our XR project that’s been keeping me on my toes.

So, the idea we’ve been working on is to create a historical reenactment of the gold rush. And you know what? I think historical reenactments are a pretty cool way to learn about history. They make it way more interesting and engaging than just reading from a textbook or listening to a lecture. With reenactments, you get to see and experience what it was like back in the day. It’s like stepping into a time machine!

Now, the tricky part has been getting all the technical stuff right. We’re using Blender and Unity for this project since it’s going to be in VR. Let me tell you, learning these new tools has been a rollercoaster ride. There have been moments of frustration and confusion, but also those “aha!” moments when things start to come together. It’s definitely been a learning curve, but I’m excited about the possibilities that VR offers. It’s a whole new way of storytelling and immersing ourselves in different worlds.

Moving on to Tuesday, we had a lunchtime lecture with Dr. Zarecor. She told us about her focus on architecture and urbanism, and she shared some fascinating stuff with us. Her research focuses on the cultural and technological history of architecture in the former Czechoslovakia. It’s pretty mind-blowing to think about how architecture can reflect the values and ideas of a society.

But wait, it gets even cooler! Dr. Zarecor’s latest project is all about the quality of life in small and shrinking rural communities in Iowa. She’s investigating how these communities can thrive and improve with the help of research and technology. And get this, her project is funded by the National Science Foundation through the Smart & Connected Communities Program. It’s inspiring to see how research can have a real impact on people’s lives and make a difference in our own backyard.

All in all, last week was a whirlwind of challenges and eye-opening moments. Working on our XR project has pushed me to learn new skills and explore the exciting world of virtual reality. And Dr. Zarecor’s lecture shed light on the incredible ways architecture and research can shape our lives and communities.

Alright, that’s enough reflection for now. Let’s gear up for another week of learning, growing, and embracing new opportunities!

Reflection 7(End of Week Reflection)

Hey there! Time to reflect on the end of my week and share all the exciting things that went down.

So, my research group has been fully immersed in exploring the incredible potential of VR for learning. We kicked things off by delving into articles of our choice that discussed using VR for educational purposes. I stumbled upon this fascinating article called “Signaling in Virtual Reality Influences Learning Outcome and Cognitive Load.” The researchers conducted a thorough analysis of cognitive processes and made some intriguing discoveries.

According to the study, annotations in VR environments have a positive impact on learning outcomes, specifically in recall tasks. It turns out that annotations assist learners in selecting and integrating information at a surface level. Moreover, the study highlighted that learners invested more mental effort when using annotations, which suggests that additional factors contribute to this increase beyond cognitive load. They even mentioned that future studies should explore the role of learner motivation. It’s exciting to see how incorporating annotations in our VR environment can enhance both learning outcomes and mental effort, especially for tasks requiring recall. We can consider including textual annotations or prompts that guide learners in understanding the specific rules and values associated with academic research writing. By providing explicit cues and explanations within the VR environment, we can help learners better comprehend and remember the genre-specific aspects of research writing.

Now, let’s talk about the luncheon lecture with Dr. Fleming. It was a fascinating experience learning about his passion for engineering. The way he spoke about the subject was infectious, and it sparked my curiosity even more. It’s these types of interactions that make being part of a research group so rewarding—getting exposed to diverse perspectives and expanding our knowledge in unexpected ways.

On a lighter note, this week we decided to have some fun and watch the movie Coco as an extracurricular activity. Now, I’ve seen that movie like four times already, but let me tell you, it still manages to tug at my heartstrings every single time. It’s a beautiful reminder of the importance of family, dreams, and remembering our loved ones.

And also on Saturday, we took a trip to the library, and boy, did I stumble upon a treasure trove of cool Marvel comics. I couldn’t find these gems at my local library back home, so it was a pleasant surprise. I managed to grab one of them and spent some quality time getting lost in the pages.

That wraps up the end of my week, it was really fun!

Reflection 6(Mid-week reflection)

Hey everyone! It’s time for a reflection on my eventful week. Let’s dive right into the exciting experiences I had with Unity, Blender, birthdays, bird encounters, cooking, and my deeper dive group.

At the beginning of the week, I embarked on a journey with Unity. Working with Unity was a mix of good times and challenging moments. I focused on creating a sphere-shaped character using C++ and enabling its movement. It was fascinating to see my character come to life and interact with the virtual environment. Although there were some difficulties along the way, the satisfaction of overcoming them made it all worthwhile.

Speaking of environments, I also dived into Blender and crafted my very own virtual world. It was mind-blowing to realize how much creative freedom Blender offers. I experimented with various elements and even made it snow in my environment! I cannot stress enough how cool and interesting it was to utilize Blender’s features. I can’t wait to leverage this knowledge for future projects and create even more immersive experiences.

Also on Monday, it was Allison’s birthday. so yay!🥳

As I was walking home from work on Tuesday, something crazy happened. A gigantic bird, almost touching me as it swooped by, caught my attention. It reminded me of a story Imtiajul shared about a similar bird sighting. I believe it might be a hawk, and my guess is that it could be the red-shouldered hawk. These birds are known for their striking appearance and incredible hunting skills.

Now, let’s talk about something completely different: my growing interest in cooking. Lately, I’ve been exploring unique Cajun and Creole recipes. The flavors and spices used in these dishes are incredibly appealing. From mouthwatering jambalaya to delectable gumbo, the culinary world has so much to offer. I can’t wait to try my hand at these recipes and explore the rich cultural heritage they represent.

Tuesday marked a special day for me as well; it was my 19th birthday! Being able to celebrate it in Iowa brought a genuine sense of happiness. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Allison for surprising me with a cake. Her thoughtful gesture made the day even more special, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

Lastly, I’m thrilled to be part of my deeper dive group, where we’re diving into the exciting realm of XR (Extended Reality). I am eagerly looking forward to expanding my knowledge and skills in this field. The possibilities of creating games and simulations using XR are endless. Imagine developing simulations for educational purposes or designing immersive training experiences for various industries. The potential to make a positive impact on everyday life is truly inspiring.

That wraps up my reflection on this eventful week filled with Unity, Blender, birthdays, bird encounters, cooking adventures, and my deeper dive group. Stay tuned for more updates on my journey, as I continue to explore new technologies and embark on exciting creative projects. Until next time!

P.S. Allison, thank you once again for the wonderful birthday surprise.

HCI Homework: Bad Usability Scavenger Hunt

  1. TV Remote Control Interface:
  • User’s Task and Context- The user wants to navigate through channels, adjust volume, and access various features on a TV using the remote control.
  • What’s Working/Not Working: The remote control has a complex layout with numerous buttons, making it challenging for users to locate specific functions. The absence of clear icons or intuitive labeling further adds to the frustration. There hasn’t been a single time that these controllers get me what I want without pressing the wrong button.
  • Improvement Suggestions: Simplifying the remote control layout by removing unnecessary buttons and grouping related functions together would make it more user-friendly. Implementing visual indicators or on-screen instructions to help users understand the button’s purpose would also enhance the experience.

2. Honeywell Thermostat:

User’s Task and Context- The user wants to control the temperature and settings of the thermostat.

What’s Working/Not Working- The Honeywell thermostat interface can be frustrating for users due to several reasons. Firstly, the interface lacks intuitive icons or clear labeling, making it difficult for users to identify and understand the various functions and settings.

Secondly, the menu structure and navigation are confusing. The organization of the menus and submenus does not follow a logical flow, leading to difficulty in locating specific options. Users may need to navigate through multiple layers of menus, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.

Additionally, the feedback provided by the interface is non-existent. For example, when adjusting the temperature, there is no clear indication of whether I can use the heater or AC. This lack of real-time feedback can make it challenging for users to determine if their changes are having the desired effect.

Improvement Suggestions: To make the Honeywell AC controller interface more user-friendly, several improvements can be implemented.

Clear Icons and Labeling: Incorporate intuitive icons and labels that represent different functions and settings on the controller. This would make it easier for users to identify and understand the purpose of each button or option without relying heavily on the user manual. Streamlined Menu Structure: Redesign the menu structure to follow a logical flow, ensuring that commonly used options are easily accessible. Minimize the number of submenus and simplify the navigation process to reduce user frustration. Real-time Feedback: Provide users with real-time feedback on the current temperature and the mode (heating or cooling) the thermostat is operating in. Clear visual indicators or text on the thermostat’s display can inform users of the current mode and the impact of their temperature adjustments. This feedback would allow users to make informed decisions and understand whether their changes are aligning with their heating or cooling preferences.

Reflection 6

Hey, everyone! This week has been pretty awesome, filled with all sorts of new things I got to try out. One of the highlights was diving headfirst into the world of Blender. Honestly, I was a bit nervous at first because it seemed pretty complicated. But once I started messing around with it, I realized how cool and creative it can be.

For our project we had to create our own virtual world as a little project and let me tell you, it was mind-blowing. I spent time sculpting and designing stuff, crafting landscapes, and basically bringing my ideas to life. Seeing my creations come to life was like pure magic. Blender totally opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me. It was like being the director of my own mini-movie, and I couldn’t get enough.

On the topic of cool experiences, this week I also dived deeper into the whole idea of using virtual reality for learning a second language. In my research group that’s all about the VR community, we’ve been reading up on some interesting stuff. One thing we looked into was the feeling of being totally immersed in a virtual environment, which they call “sense of presence.” It’s like being completely sucked into a computer-generated world, where everything feels way more exciting than the real world.

We also explored this thing called interactive virtual reality (iVR), which lets you create learning situations where you can easily change up the surroundings. It’s like having a customizable platform for learning languages, which is pretty awesome. From what we learned, using iVR helps our brains make connections between what we see, hear, and experience in a way that makes learning super engaging and interactive.

Oh, and get this: we found out that mixing real-world stuff with the virtual world (they call it mixed reality or MR) actually helps us learn languages even better than traditional classrooms. It’s like a total game-changer. Imagine having interactive conversations, exploring different cultures, and practicing language skills in a virtual world that feels so real. It goes way beyond anything we can do in a regular class.

Now, moving on to some other stuff that happened this week. I decided to go on a mini adventure and explore more of my campus. On my quest for some mouthwatering Thai fried rice, I stumbled upon a hidden gem—a boba shop with loads of tasty Asian snacks. Plus, I found out there’s a Subway and an Insomnia nearby, and you bet I’m gonna check them out soon. It’s been super cool to get more familiar with the campus, even though I still get lost sometimes. But hey, I’m slowly but surely getting the hang of it.

And to cap off this eventful week, I treated myself to a hiking trip at Ledges State Park over the weekend. Let me tell you, it was one heck of an adventure. The hills were crazy steep, and I could feel my muscles working with every step. But that’s what made it so exhilarating. It was like going on a mini-expedition, and I totally embraced the thrill.

The park had this peaceful little lake that was just perfect for chilling and taking in the breathtaking surroundings. And guess what? There were butterflies fluttering around everywhere, especially these cool red admirals. They caught my eye, and I couldn’t resist doing some research on them. Turns out, people interpret them in different ways. Some see them as a negative symbol connected to anger or even something spooky, while others think they’re messages from loved ones who passed away.

The whole idea that a butterfly could be a wake-up call or a hidden message fascinated me. It reminded me to pay attention to the signs and messages that life presents us with. Whether positive or negative, these encounters can often serve as reminders to reflect and make necessary changes.

Reflection 5

Hey there! So far, my time in Iowa has been nice. I got to go the farmers market in Des Moines. It was kind of my second time ever going to a farmers’ market, but I had a blast. It felt good to get out and walk around even though it was hot, I think getting to look at all the foods the vendors had helped make it more enjoyable. And let me tell you the food was just what I needed. There was this Carribean and west African stall that had the most mouthwatering jerk chicken and jollof rice. It tasted like a slice of home. I hope within my time, I can take advantage of time a maybe even try to learn how to cook jerk chicken by myself.

Speaking of Des Moines, I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of Iowa life. it’s pretty cool, you know. I actually took the bus to Walmart, which is a big deal to me because I usually have a terrible sense of direction and end up getting lost . But hey, the more I explore, the more places are starting to look familiar, and that’s a huge help.

Now, here’s something interesting about what I have been learning: I had no clue about SolidWorks until pretty recently. It’s fascinating how I can see its potential in relation to my aspirations of possibly becoming a hardware engineer.

Oh, and for my research group we were given a task to test out a bunch of VR headsets for our research project. It was so fun to get to play games while using the headsets. I am really starting to see how VR can open up many possibilities. I feel like the future of it is going to be really good, and I can’t wait to see how it can progress and become better.

Another thing that has been on my mind lately is Blender. I am so excited to use it. I was looking at all the cool projects people have built using it from animations to VFX. I am so curious to see how all the cool projects were made using it, I actually just downloaded it on my laptop so I am going to start practicing and learning how to use it with the time I have this summer but so far it has been one thing I am really trying to learn.

So yeah, that’s how my weekend and my week has been thus far, but I can’t wait to get deeper into research and learn the new applications we will use.

Reflection Day 4

Alright, it has now been almost a week since I have been Iowa, and I must say it’s very hot here. I learned that the hottest it has been in this place was 118 degrees, this was a shocking discovery as I thought that because Iowa isn’t too far from Wisconsin the climate should be kind of similar.

But, let me get to the main point of this blog post. So, when I first arrived in Iowa, I had no idea how much it would challenge my perspectives and open doors to new possibilities, and it has only been a week. My time here thus far has given me the opportunity to reflect on my future in computer science and consider the path of graduate school.

To be honest, I hadn’t really given much thought to pursuing a graduate degree. Most people I know who studied computer science in undergrad immediately joined the industry workforce. It seemed like the natural progression, and I assumed I would follow suit. However, after the luncheon today, I am starting to reconsider my choice. After having the privilege of hearing about Dr.Oliver’s experiences in graduate school and the valuable insights he shared. It became clear that if I was going to try and pursue a master’s degree it would require a significant commitment on my part financially, (which I was expecting but it was one of the reasons that kind of made me not want to pursue a master’s degree.) It would demand research and an even deeper dive into the realms of computer science. But here’s the thing-I also realized that it could be an incredible opportunity to enhance my knowledge and broaden my horizons.

Like, if I pursue a masters right after undergrad I would get to delve into the intricacies of comp and it would enable me to specialize in a specific area of interest. And though I would have to do advance coursework and research and it undoubtably won’t be easy it would deepen my technical knowledge. And it would open doors to wider range of career opportunities. Now grad school is no longer an abstract concept to me, it is a tangible opportunity worth exploring.

Reflection 3

Hey there! Let me tell you about my day so far. It’s been quite a ride, filled with coding adventures, animal sightings, cool evening vibes, research excitement, and valuable life lessons.

First things first, I dove into the world of C++ today. Yup, it was my first crack at coding in this language, and let me tell you why it’s a big deal to me. I’ve always been super stoked about the video gaming aspect of computer science. So, learning C++ opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for me to dive into game development. It’s like leveling up my skills and getting closer to my gaming dreams.

Now, let’s talk about the amazing walks I’ve been having around campus. Morning or afternoon, it doesn’t matter. I’ve been strolling around, taking in the sights, and guess what? I’ve been spotting some awesome animals along the way! Horses majestically trotting around, and oh my gosh, I even stumbled upon a bunch of adorable baby rabbits near the Freddy apartments. Cutest thing ever!

Speaking of evenings, let me tell you, Iowa nights can get pretty cool. But you know what? It makes going out at night even more awesome! The refreshing breeze, the peaceful ambiance—it’s the perfect time to explore and unwind after a long day.

Now, onto the research front. I’ve been diving headfirst into some serious work. Got a bunch of articles to read, and one in particular caught my eye—discourse communities. Now, let me geek out for a sec. Discourse communities are super interesting because they shed light on how different groups connect and communicate. That knowledge could come in handy for our virtual reality communities research.

Living in an apartment has taught me some valuable life lessons too. Like, hey, be extra careful with appliances because once you break ’em, you gotta fix ’em. These lessons might seem small, but they’re the building blocks for adulting. They’re gonna prepare me for when I spread my wings and live on my own someday.

Reflection 2

So far I would say I am really enjoying my time in Iowa. But something that seriously made my day was trying on VR glasses for the very first time on Friday.

Let me tell you about this mind-blowing experience I had trying VR glasses for the first time. It was like stepping into a whole new universe. I mean, I put those goggles on, and bam! My reality transformed right in front of my eyes. It was so crazy.

Everything around me faded away as I found myself in this totally immersive digital world. It was like I was really there. I’m telling you, it was like living out all those epic adventures from movies and video games.

And the graphics, they were off the charts. It was so realistic, it messed with my mind. The colors were vibrant, the textures were so detailed, and everything moved like it was alive. I couldn’t believe my eyes, man. It was like I had been transported to this parallel dimension where anything was possible.

But it wasn’t just about what I saw. The whole experience was a total sensory overload. The surround sound audio made it feel like I was right in the middle of it all. It was like my senses were on high alert, soaking up every little detail.

The best part was being able to interact with the virtual world. I could actually grab objects. It was like I had superpowers.

Now, I won’t lie, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The headset was a bit heavy, and sometimes I had to adjust it to find the perfect fit. And there were times when I felt a little queasy, like motion sickness was trying to ruin my fun. But hey, those minor setbacks were totally worth it for the mind-blowing experiences I had.

When I finally took off those VR glasses and came back to reality, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder. It was like I had glimpsed into the future. Virtual reality is no joke—it’s a whole new level of technology that can transport us to unimaginable places.

I’m stoked about the possibilities, man. Who knows where this VR journey will take us? But one thing’s for sure: I’ll never forget that first time I tried those glasses and had my mind blown. It was like diving headfirst into a wild adventure, and I can’t wait to see what other mind-bending experiences await me in the virtual world.

Reflection 1

Over the past 2 days, I had a wonderful time exploring Iowa State University. Yesterday when doing the scavenger hunt around campus I got to see how big it is as well as how pretty it is. It was truly inspiring to witness the academic energy that permeated the campus. I also had the pleasure of indulging in delicious culinary experiences. Like the first day I got here, I got to go to a Thai restaurant which had by far the best fried rice I have had in a long time. Oh, I also got to try sticky rice for the first time and let me just say I was totally missing out before. :-(. I also got to go to a Mexican restaurant close by with my research group and it was also really delicious. I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks entail and what other culinary experiences I’ll get to have.

Another thing, is that now that I am going to living in an apartment for the 10 weeks we are here, I going to have to attempt to cook. Living in a dorm often meant relying on dining halls or takeout for sustenance. But in the apartment, I finally had a kitchen all to myself. Gone were the days of microwaving ramen noodles for dinner. I can finally embrace my inner chef and experimented with recipes from Pinterest, YouTube, and family cookbooks. Some attempts have resulted in mouthwatering masterpieces, while others were more like culinary catastrophes. But hey, even burnt cookies have a certain charm, right?