’20
Tracy
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Computer Science
Mathematics

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Soccer, Painting, Muay Thai, The Big Bang Theory show, Gym, Volunteering, Tutoring

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A day in Washington DC

April 16, 2017

One of the perks of being in WIMS (Women in Math and Science Living-learning Community) is that we would have a cool trip to visit the museums in Washington DC! This trip was supposed to be in the fall semester at first, but because of schedule conflicts it got rescheduled to the spring semester. This only increased my anticipation  — I have been looking forward to it for quite a while now. And the trip did not disappoint me! 

As an international student, being in the capital of the United States certainly brought a unique sense of excitement. When I was a kid, the U.S seemed like a faraway land with a lot of KFC places (totally the reason my young self wanted to move to America), mean girls in high school (too many rom-coms) and really humorous, fun-loving people in general. And now, whoops, I’m in the heart of America! Another Vietnamese friend of mine who studies political science on the West Coast was totally jealous of this experience, but I did bribe him with a lot of pictures of Washington DC. 

We visited the National Museum of Natural History first, and I wish I could have spent a full weekend there! I bet I learned many more trivia about animals through that visit than in my high school biology class.

Look at these foxes. Aren’t they adorable?

fox

Posing like a boss. 

beaar

“Ssshh… Don’t tell anyone I’m here.”

above

My favorite exhibition was probably that of human evolutionary history! I got to see how skulls, height and facial structures developed through time to adapt to changes in environment. The head reconstruction based on forensic techniques and fossil discoveries was really realistic, as evidenced by this picture on the website of the National Museum of Natural History: 

(Link: http://humanorigins.si.edu/exhibit/reconstructions-early-humans)

faces

After lunch, my friends and I toured around the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This museum was especially fascinating to me, since my last FYS covered the Slave Trade extensively, while my current FYS focuses on the Civil Rights Movement. Although I sometimes whined about the amount of reading and writing in my FYS, I then realized that those lectures and reading assignments had helped expand my knowledge so much! I could walk around the museum, recognizing the terms, the phases, the people or movement I would not have otherwise known about! Here are some more pictures:

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There are so many other museums in Washington DC to explore, but unfortunately we only spent a day there. Since Richmond is so conveniently close to Washington DC, I would definitely visit them more often! 

About me

Hi guys, I'm Tracy, a newbie Spider at Richmond! My majors are probably Computer Science and Math, and I'm so in love with my current Math/CS classes. They're all amazing! A little more about my background: I'm from Vietnam, but I went to high school in Nebraska. It feels so weird to be a freshman again, when you practically know nobody at school, keep getting lost while finding your classes, always look up to your upperclassmen (no actually, with my height of 5ft2'',  I technically look up to everyone); and struggle with all the new changes.

Yet, it's also exciting! If you haven't already known, University of Richmond offers a wealth of choices in academics, research opportunities, extracurricular activites and - most importantly - desserts. So my goal is to get out of my comfort zone, jump at different opportunities (or desserts) that intrigue me, and make the most out of my college experience. I love soccer, so my friends and I just formed an intramural team named Kiss My Pass. I'm also interested in martial arts, learning ballroom dancing, painting, learning guitar, baking, making new friends,  tutoring and volunteering. Yup, that's quite a lot! But I have 4 years here to follow my passions and become who I aspire to be. As a Spider Diarist, I will also make sure to keep you updated on my journey at Richmond!


Why UR?

I actually applied to UR on a whim without researching carefully about it. At that time, all those tedious Why X and "What's your plans bla bla bla" prompts have exhausted my meager creative juices, and writing college essays quickly rose to the top of my most dreaded chores. "Tell us about Spiders" was a fresh air. It revived the truly poetic, hopelessly romantic, exasperatingly dramatic and possibly neurotic side of me. In short, I loved the prompt; and with the waived application fee as a plus, I decided to apply to UR. It was not until I got accepted that I started visiting the school and seriously considering what it has to offer. During my first visit, as cliched as that might sound, I fell in love with Richmond. What's not to love about such helpful and outstanding professors, the wonderful opportunities to engage in research or study abroad, the vibrant, inclusive and diverse community, and again - most importantly - the irresistable desserts? I went to the admission office to pay my deposit right during that visit. And voilà, here I am as an excited baby Spider!