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Author Topic: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT  (Read 11672 times)

JHU_Kevin

  • Hopkins Student
Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« on: October 02, 2011, 11:48 PM »
I am
Kevin Cryan, from Southport, Connecticut. I'm a History major focusing in America and I might also be pursuing a minor in French Cultural studies just for fun! You know how it goes. But I applied as an international studies major and entered as a political scientist, so I can answer any and all questions about those as well.

Seriously, ask me questions!! It makes me feel all important and stuff when you ask me things, and in return I promise to answer your questions with all the love and detailed explanations I can muster.
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I chose Hopkins because
It's the school for me! Hopkins to me felt like the school I fell in love with first and then discovered the reasons why later. I took a tour at the end of my Junior year of high school, and I remember the precise moment when I knew I would apply here: It was right as we passed Levering hall, underneath a cherry tree. The tour guide stopped to explain something or another but I was looking down the quad, saw some student groups selling food and T-shirts at tables, and someone blasting "Poker face" behind them (This was back when Lady Gaga was all the rage.) I just remembered thinking, "This is exactly how I always thought college would feel."

I agonized over whether I would apply here Early Decision. There were a few schools that I was mulling over and even up through September they all seemed relatively equal in my eyes. What happened, though, was that the more and more I turned over the choices in my mind and compared schools, the more and more I started using Hopkins as the metric to judge other schools against. I looked at College X and immediately thought that their academics weren't as strong as Hopkins; I looked at College Y and considered how I liked the idea of living in the City of Baltimore more than the middle of nowhere. It got to a point where I tried to compensate by being more critical of Hopkins than the others, trying to find where I thought Hopkins was weakest and compare that to Colleges X and Y, but even then Hopkins still came out looking good. Finally I took a step back and realized - when you get to that point in the decision making process, when you make one school the standard to judge, when you start tearing an option down in the name of impartiality - that's when you know you have your Early Decision school.

I was recently asked while giving a tour if, knowing what I know now after 2 years living here, I would still have applied Early Decision. The reasoning has shifted a little, but my answer is still, unequivocally, YES.
The reasoning, 2 years in, is now that I love all of the opportunities I have been given at Hopkins, and I think I would be miserable at a school where I didn't have all the options in front of me. To clarify:

I love, and take advantage of, having full control over my schedule. I like that from the moment I got on campus I've been able to choose 5 classes a semester all by myself. I think I would go mad at a school where my first 2 years were full of Gen Ed requirements that I had to get out of the way. I mean, half my college years spent sleeping in the back of Chem 101 because some old guy who wrote policy a bunch of years ago thought it was important for my education? No thanks. I know what I like, and more importantly I know what it don't like... and that's calculus. The amount of trust that the administration places in me to determine what's important for my education astounds me, and I'm so happy for that opportunity.
I also love the corollary to that idea, which is that you know that every single person in your classes is there because they specifically chose to be there. At any other college, the Intro Chem class would be terrible - when you're forced into it as a Gen Ed, half the students don't even show up, and half the students who do show up sleep through it anyways. At Hopkins, you only take Chemistry if you like it or consider it important to your education. That means classroom dynamics are really strong here, with great debates and discussions and interest. For example, this corollary gave way to probably my favorite academic experience at Hopkins. It was for a  small seminar class called Abraham Lincoln and His America and we had just finished reading a biography of Mary Todd Lincoln. When we gathered for class, one guy raised his hand and said, "Okay. Mary Todd was mean, ugly, and crazy! Why in the world did Lincoln marry so far down?" to which I combatively responded, "Are you kidding me?! She was fancy, she taught him how to wear a suit, and he could never have survived a cotillion without her! He married way up, she made him President!" The class divided up quickly into "Married uppers" and "Married Downers" and we debated the point for a solid half hour! That's the kind of thing that could only happen when everyone around you is an equally big American History nerd.

I also love the whole idea of research, and how easy it is to get it. As a high schooler, I had no idea what research was. I didn't even know that I didn't know what research was. It was just never on the radar. When I got to Hopkins freshman year, however, the word was everywhere. Upperclassmen would compare what they were researching, underclassmen would talk about the research they were trying to get, and Professors spoke about the research they were involved in all the time. It took me a while to start asking questions about what it actually was, and when I found out it was like a light had turned on and illuminated a whole corner of academia that I never knew existed. Basically, research is how you find out new stuff. All the professors conduct research - publish or perish, right? - and as I learned, 70% of Hopkins undergraduates do research too! A lot of the times it's as easy to get as finding out that a professor here is working on something you think is interesting, and emailing them with your resume. Or talking to your advisor about opportunities available, or getting a grant from the school, like the Woodrow Wilson fellowship. At Hopkins, it's basically like picking fruit off a tree, and it exists in every academic discipline. If you're interested in the Natural Sciences, it could mean breeding those superviruses that will one day kill us all (maybe.) If you want to be a doctor, it can mean following around doctors and helping out at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. If you're interested in Engineering, it can mean building super-robots that will one day rule out society once the human race is decimated by those aforementioned superviruses! Or as a History major, I do tons of Historical research: For example, this summer I am researching for our Graduate school of Education, looking into the history of an old public school that (long story short) they are renovating into their new private school.

Finally, I really enjoy living in Baltimore. This is going to sound like an insult but really it's a compliment - When a city sort of nosedives for a really long time, as Baltimore arguably has done, it gets to a point where, and this is a sociological fact, the hipsters swarm in. I guess it must be the cross section of low property values, a long held kitsch tradition, and its convenient urban location on the eastern seaboard, but Baltimore is totally undergoing some kind of urban revival. There is a big push here for urban gardens and farm-to-table restaurants, and just great food in general. I've had better dinners from the back of a Food Truck in Baltimore than I ever had home in Connecticut. And that's just the trucks. The restaurants are even better! I love walking through new neighborhoods, and seeing just how up-and-coming they really are. I love stumbling across a hive of culture that I never knew existed - for example, in early August my friend and I were walking to Fells Point just for fun one afternoon and came across a huge outdoor market with tons of vendors peddling their wares and antiques for rock-bottom prices! I cleaned UP, let me tell you. Then we got these snow cones with a layer of marshmallow fluff inside, called Snowballs. It was divine. On the walk back we saw an unusually large amount of people with neon wigs and pokemon costumes, until we figured out we were at the edge of an Anime convention! We wanted to stroll around the harbor and got hit smack in the face by culture, and I love that I live in a city where that's basically par-for-the-course. Exploring Baltimore is a little like going through all your Halloween candy: the city may never lose its The Wire reputation, and your parents may always fear that the snickers you bite into has a hidden razor blade, but then you'll come across that King-Size Crunch bar and joyously declare it the best Halloween ever. I'm so happy I've had the opportunity to explore this cool city.
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If you'd like to know about my classes, here they are! I've written a bunch of blogs about my classes for Hopkins Interactive as well, so links to each blog will be placed within their relevant sections.

Freshman Fall semester I took
  • Advanced Writing and Speaking in French
  • International Politics
  • A Freshman Seminar on the Nobels in Medicine and Chemistry
  • Great Books at Hopkins
  • Introduction to Environmental Engineering

And you can read about my reviews of these classes HERE: http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/2015/2011/11/occupy-my-free-time/

Freshman Spring Semester, I took
  • Advanced Writing and Speaking in French II
  • Abraham Lincoln in His America
  • Beginner Persian
  • Contemporary African Political Economies in Historical Perspectives
  • Hot Topics in Education

Review blog here: http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/kevin/2012/03/those-pesky-little-things/

Sophomore Fall!!
  • Parties and Elections in America
  • Undergraduate Research Seminar in History
  • Great American Constitutional Issues
  • La France Contemporaine
  • American Politics and its Discontents

review blog here: http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/kevin/2012/09/merica/

Sophomore Spring O-vester I took
  • Undergraduate Research Seminar in History
  • [Making America: American History Since the Great Depression
  • La France Contemporaine II
  • AFRO Newspapers Research Seminar
  • Oral Presentations

I actually wrote review blogs for individual classes for 3 of these courses!

Junior Fall!
  • Subversive Humor in the US and Europe
  • Organizing War: Military Organizations, Culture and Bureaucracy in the Modern Age
  • La France Contemporaine - I actually dropped this course halfway through last fall for personal reasons and I picked it up again in the spring. Time to take another crack at it!
  • A class at the Graduate School of Education, most likely one called School Law. Once you enter Junior year you can start taking classes at the different grad schools
  • Course assistant for Oral Presentations. I loved the class so much when I took it in the Spring that I'm going to come back and work with the professor in the Fall!
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I participate in many activities, such as
  • The Johns Hopkins Tutorial Project: This organization pairs up Hopkins tutors with kids in Baltimore schools. Currently I'm tutoring a 5th grader who I work with on math, Language arts, and coloring (although for that one he's actually my tutor). I've found the experience incredibly rewarding and I'm so happy that I've joined. We read the Magic Treehouse, go out to the brick outside with chalk to do multiplication and division problems, I make big scavenger hunts with math problems he needs to solve, and he's teaching me all abou the Ravens!
  • Chinese Lion Dancing: I saw this group at the Activities fair here at Hopkins and thought, why not? It's a ton of fun and actually much more complex than I imagined, but I like the challenge. I consider it one of my coolest little discoveries here at Hopkins! Update: I no longer Chinese Lion Dance. Yes, the things you join Freshman Fall aren't always the things you stick with throughout college. Shocker. But I still love the team and support them whenever they perform on campus!
  • Mock Trial: I'm a character witness for the JHU Mock Trial this year! I got started in High school and really loved it, so taking that to college is really great. If you're at all wondering, 2 years ago I played a creative recluse named London Bennett (the inspiration for my Forums profile picture), a grieving friend, insane lightweight, and eyewitness to the entire night, Taylor Hopson, and a cab driver named Sam Lyons. Last year I played an Evil CEO named Hayden Hathaway, a scuba-diving sea dog named Frankie Fernandez, and a physical oceanographer named Jordan Nelson. If you're wondering, I only play one at a time. Mock trial is like one big family, and the people I've met through the program are some of my best friends on campus! Also I'm going to be Captain of a team this year!
  • SAAB: This is the group through which I write to you! They run these forums, the blogs, the twitter accounts... it's really incredible and I'm so happy to be a part of it. If you made it to this obscure little forums page already, then I'm sure you're aware of all the work we do to connect with perspective students like you.
  • Blue Key Society: Yes, I'm a tour guide! I love talking about Hopkins, if you haven't been able to tell yet. With blue key, I get a captive audience for all my Hopkins love while walking through our gorgeous campus. ALSO I happen to be the highest tipped tour guide at Hopkins, because nobody ever gets tipped except one time a mom gave me $20 which was awesome and one time a dad bought me a smoothie at one of the on campus coffee shops (market price $5) so... $25!
  • HOPS A Hopkins admissions group specifically tailored for our humanities-interested prospective students, I sit down for an hour of coffee a week with those prospective students and just chat about what it's like for us here at Hopkins.
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I live in
Well Freshman year I lived in AMR I, in a nice double just two doors away from JHU_Jacqueline. Sophomore year, however, I lived in a 'dingle' in McCoy hall! It's the coolest and I totally wrote a blog all about it because I loved it so much, here: http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/kevin/2012/12/the-dingle/ For Junior year, I have a swanky off-campus apartment on 31st street, 2 blocks from campus!
Kevin C.
Class of 2015
History and French Cultural Studies (minor)

Make sure that you check out my blog here!
Ask me a question!

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

msamadi

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 07:22 AM »
Hello, my name is Madiha and I am a senior at the International School of Kabul. Because of our setting, our school only offers two SAT subject tests (Biology and Mathematics 1). i understand that Johns Hopkins University recommends up to 3 subject tests and i was wondering if this would decrease my chances of getting accepted to this school. In addition, as an international student, my SAT scores are not up to Johns Hopkins University's standards but i have a 4.0 GPA and i have taken all the required classes. I am very interested in this university, and believe that this university is the best fit for me. Should I be stressing about my SAT scores?

Thank you in advance,
Madiha Samadi


JHU_Kevin

  • Hopkins Student
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 10:35 AM »
Hi Madiha!
As I'm not an admissions counselor, I really can't talk about the kind of scores that will get you into our university - i just don't know! I can, however, tell you that I personally was accepted after having only submitted two SAT II tests. I'm not comfortable talking about my scores and such, but I just wanted to let you know that it is possible.
Kevin C.
Class of 2015
History and French Cultural Studies (minor)

Make sure that you check out my blog here!
Ask me a question!

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

Jared Mayer

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 08:16 PM »
Hi Kevin,

I apologize if I am replying to something while trying to ask a question; technology isn't my thing. Anyway, I was wondering if the main essay on the Common App (the one that is NOT part of the Hopkins supplement) is kept to a strict 500 words, or if the admissions counselors are more lenient about the length.

Thanks!

JHU_Kevin

  • Hopkins Student
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 11:08 PM »
Hi Jared,
His is actually the perfect place to ask questions! Now on to your question.
From what I see on this thread, http://www.hopkins-interactive.com/forums/ask-admissions/2010-11-application-essay-policy-explained/msg6590/#msg6590 it appears that the 500 word limit is a common app policy, and not one adhered to by JHU. Therefore, a main essay above 500 words should be okay. Good luck applying!
Kevin C.
Class of 2015
History and French Cultural Studies (minor)

Make sure that you check out my blog here!
Ask me a question!

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

Jared Mayer

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2012, 10:04 PM »
Hi Kevin,

I was wondering whether Hopkins will send out an email with the info on how/when we will be able to view my admissions status. Do you anything about an email like this?

Thanks,

Jared I. Mayer

JHU_Kevin

  • Hopkins Student
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2012, 10:38 PM »
The next time you hear from Hopkins should be in an email on December 15th! You can always check out the Hopkins Insider blogs while you wait, they're written by admissions officers, and in the past they've done a fair amount of unofficial handholding as you wait.

I know a lot of other schools have newfangled technology where you have accounts and logins and portals and stuff like that, but Hopkins just has an email that says, "Congratulations!"
Kevin C.
Class of 2015
History and French Cultural Studies (minor)

Make sure that you check out my blog here!
Ask me a question!

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

Cedric WYX

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 04:55 AM »
Hi Kevin,

I'm Cedric from China. I saw ur complain, so here am I asking you something :)
I saw you took some introduction course on environmental engineering. I'm going to do chemical engineering which can be applied to environmental protection too. I know it makes more sense to do environmental engineering if I'm an environmentalist, but I love chemistry too much. But what does the introduction course bring to you? Does the course list environmental problems? Or does the course provide you some ideas about the solutions to those problems? Would you like to tell me more?

Thanks
Cedric

JHU_Kevin

  • Hopkins Student
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2012, 01:37 PM »
Hi Cedric! First of all thank you :)
Environmental engineering has a lot to do with managing water systems, waste treatment, and understanding pollution. They correspond well into environmental problems by measuring pollution levels and understanding how to clean stuff up. Having taken AP chemistry I found the two subjects to overlap a lot. If you are looking for the scienc-y side of environmentalism, the intro course is a good bet! Otherwise, you may want to look into our major in Global Environmental Change and Sustainability major. JHU_Alyssa can help you out there for more information.
Kevin C.
Class of 2015
History and French Cultural Studies (minor)

Make sure that you check out my blog here!
Ask me a question!

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

Cedric WYX

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2012, 12:04 AM »
Hi Kevin

Thank you for your brief introduction. I'm planning to double major in chemical engineering and applied maths, but taking an intro-course on Environmental engineering is definitely awesome. Btw, I like Kurt in Glee too, he's kinda cute. I'm interested in French culture too :)

Thanks again
Cedric

JHU_Kevin

  • Hopkins Student
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 01:20 PM »
Anything I can do to help!
ps. I'm half-dying over the breakup of Klaine and half the happiest kurt's now single so... I'll fight you for him ;)
Kevin C.
Class of 2015
History and French Cultural Studies (minor)

Make sure that you check out my blog here!
Ask me a question!

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

Cedric WYX

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2012, 12:49 AM »
Hmm, did u mean Blaine? When did that happen? I can't watch season 3 onwards, no available source here, sh*t!
I like Blaine too, he's so sweet!

AnesMoral2014

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 04:22 PM »
Hey! I am planning on attending Johns Hopkins in the fall of 2014. I am currently a junior in my high school in Nacogdoches, Texas. I am so excited about going to this school. I am planning on major in Nursing and minor either in spanish or french, not sure yet. I make good grades. Im scared that when I APPLY in the fall of 2014, THAT I am not going to be accepted.
What do you recommend me, what advice could you give me? so I COULD  be admitted to this AWESOME school that offers a lot OF cool things.
Thanks,
Andres M.

JHU_Kevin

  • Hopkins Student
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2013, 12:47 AM »
Okay first of all Cedric I am sorry as all hell! Pretend I didn't say anything. Just um...watch. Sorry!
AnesMoral2014 - Unfortunately your question is a little above my pay grade. Technically everything is because I don't actually get paid, but that's beside the point. What I mean is that the nursing program is distinct from the rest of the Homewood programs, and I don't actually have any experience with it. What I would suggest is for you to go to their website and read up as much as you can. There might be someone with more authority who can actually answer your questions there. Here's the link! http://nursing.jhu.edu/academics/programs/bachelors/index.html
Kevin C.
Class of 2015
History and French Cultural Studies (minor)

Make sure that you check out my blog here!
Ask me a question!

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

AnesMoral2014

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2013, 10:44 PM »
okay thank you :)
And I am sorry that I asked you about the nursing program.
Have an awesome 2013! Wish you the best!

s10brina

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2013, 06:13 PM »
Hey Kevin,

I just finished my last trial for high school Mock Trial, and I'm really interested in joining the team at Hopkins. Can you tell me more about your experience on the team? Any tips for tryouts? :)

JHU_Kevin

  • Hopkins Student
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2013, 02:42 PM »
Hi S10brina! (Sabrina?)
You've come to the right place! I did Mock Trial in high school too and I know the feeling of not wanting to give it up! I'd be happy to tell you about my experiences.
Mock trial has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me - you want to know what all my best friends have in common? They're all on Mock Trial with me. The teamwork and competitive aspect really draws us together as well as the weekends we all spend at tournaments! We even have fun unofficial big/little families. So that's one part, the team bonding.
In terms of competition, we have invitational tournaments the fall semester and official, AMTA competitions the spring semester. To break down those terms, invitational tournaments are when a bunch of colleges from the area meet at a host college for a weekend of Mock Trial (2 trials a day.) Usually these invitationals have around 30 teams, and they're a great way to get some practice in, try out new case strategies, and just flex your muscles in front of the competition. Then, in the spring semester AMTA (the American Mock Trial Association, the official guys) host 3 levels of competitive tournaments, structured similarly to invitationals (A weekend, with 2 rounds per day). In early February there's regionals, and about the top 1/3 of teams move on to round 2, ORCs in mid March. Then the crème de la crème move forward to Nationals, held in mid-April.

Hopkins teams generally go to between 3-4 Invitationals, all go to regionals, and generally one (of our 3) teams ends up qualifying for ORCs. Our team was rebooted about 5 years ago so in its current form it's still very new, and the levels of growth we've seen in membership paired with a corresponding selectivity increase means our teams grow more and more successful each year. As a relatively new program we're still working on getting adequate support from the administration (they'll pay all tournament fees except lodging, and some discretionary funds for demonstratives and things of that nature.We're still working on finding a coach and a new faculty advisor.)

I mentioned increasing selectivity, and saw that you were looking for tips for tryouts! Since a major concern is how you're going to hold up in court, we have all people trying out do practice crosses. Using case materials from the prior year, if you're a lawyer you'll be given a description of the case and one witness affidavit a few days ahead of time. You'll be asked to prepare a cross-examination of that witness and perform that cross on one of our team members. If you're trying out for a witness, you'll be given the same materials (a case description and affidavit) and one of our lawyers will cross you. I know that might sound intimidating (as a witness tryout, I know it was for me!) but when I look back and think of how I was crossed by someone who is now my best friend, the idea that I was scared is ridiculous! Just go in and have fun.

That last bit is actually the most important, because the second biggest question we ask, after "will they be good in court?" is "Is this the kind of person we want to go to tournaments with?" Be relaxed, be friendly, be the kind of person you would want to go on a 6-hour road trip to Carnegie Mellon with! (It's supposed to be a 4 hour drive, but we get lost A LOT. The ability to read an iphone map and give concise directions off one may become a component of tryouts given how much trouble we had this year!)

As a prospective student asking questions this early with previous experience under her belt, I'd say you're in a good position to keep competing in College =) If you'd like to read much more personal accounts of Mock Trial, JHU_Miranda just wrote a very nice entry about her experience coaching one of our development teams here! http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/miranda/?p=1927 Also, last year JHU_Jacqueline live blogged a tournament weekend to give you a pretty great look at what a weekend away as a team looks like! That link is here: http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/2015/2011/11/a-weekend-as-the-law-microblogging-a-mock-trial-tournament/

Jacqueline also made a fun little video on one tournament weekend that may or may not be my favorite thing ever, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=diNhakLbtA4

This is also just a general search on Hopkins Interactive of all posts containing the words "Mock Trial" http://www.hopkins-interactive.com/search/?cx=007601496769176620057%3Agpragcrfi64&cof=FORID%3A11&ie=UTF-8&q=mock+trial

That should be more than enough information to hold you over until you get here! There will be a Student Activities fair in early September where our team will have a booth, and that's where you can join our email list and sign up to try out!

Thanks for asking about Mock Trial (I kind of love it, if you can't tell), I hope you come to Hopkins, and I hope you compete with us!

Kevin C.
Class of 2015
History and French Cultural Studies (minor)

Make sure that you check out my blog here!
Ask me a question!

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

s10brina

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2013, 05:05 PM »
That all sounds sooo sooo sooo awesome! I really can't wait till I try out now, I was a bit nervous but not that much anymore. Thanks a bunch Kevin :D        and it's actually Sapreen, there is a long boring story behind the origin of S10brina that I wont get into. But thanks again I'm so excited now.

young_na97

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2013, 10:20 PM »
Hi Kevin! I am a current freshman in high school and JHU is my dream college! :)
Do YOU think class rank was a big deciding factor for the overall acceptance of many students? I know JHU has a holistic app process! Were you near the top of your class?

JHU_Kevin

  • Hopkins Student
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2013, 11:45 PM »
Hello!
First let me answer your questions - you're right that Hopkins is holistic in their approach. Our counselors want to know the whole you! But class rank is of course a factor, although I'm wary of saying it's a "big" one. I don't read applications so I don't know what kind of weight they put on it other than they take it into consideration. If you think this is an unsatisfactory answer, you can always try the "Ask Admissions" part of our forum.
As for myself, my school didn't rank students, but placed them into percentage ranges. All I know is that I was in the top 10%. But if I had to guess, I would say I was closer to the 10% cut off than the valedictorian spot.
Finally just because you're still a freshman in high school I'd like to give you a piece of advice - relax! You have a lot of time and a lot of your life to live before you let worrying about college weigh you down. Explore your passions, get into some trouble, and find what makes you happy. And if you still need to justify it as working to get you into Hopkins, think of every cool new thing you do as fodder for an awesome college essay!
Kevin C.
Class of 2015
History and French Cultural Studies (minor)

Make sure that you check out my blog here!
Ask me a question!

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

Kippertheskipper

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2013, 03:53 PM »
Hey,
You toured me and a small group today and I couldn't help but notice how openly gay and sassy you were-not that there's anything wrong with that. I just wanted to know a little more about the gay scene around Hopkins and in Baltimore, if you know anything about it. What are the frats perspectives? Are there clubs? How hard is it to meet and find other gay people? I basically know nothing about the gay college scene except that it gets crazy and might suck you in, but I could totally see myself out and proud at Hopkins.
Let me know what's good. You can email me if there's anything too explicit for the forums. Thanks for the awesome tour! Hope to see you my freshman year.
-Abe kipnis, lakeville, ct

JHU_Kevin

  • Hopkins Student
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2013, 04:35 PM »
*Gasp* How did you know?!??!

...just kidding!

I've found Hopkins to be an incredibly accepting campus in general, and I've never experienced anything resembling homophobia in any way, so that's a good starting off point for this post.
Now let me go through your questions as best I can:
 - Frats are very inclusive by and large. I actually have a number of gay friends in fraternities, and they love their brothers and organizations. I also had no trouble getting in to frat parties as an "openly gay and sassy" guy (thanks for that, you made my day!) but I decided they're really not my scene personally, so I just don't go to them as a matter of personal preference. Also there's just the vibe that they're intended more for straight people - I guess the analogy I would use is that it's a little like being a baseball fan at a football game. It's not that you can't have a good time, but it's just plain not your sport.
- There are a few gay clubs in Baltimore and the 2 most popular are on the same block in Mount Vernon, Grand Central and Club Hippo. They're fun, and have a bunch of 18+ nights interspersed with 21+ so that's good. A lot of gay college students from all the colleges in Baltimore go there so that's a definite option as well to meet people from around the city! Also in the last year both Latrice Royale and Sharon Needles performed at Grand Central AND I'M SO MAD I WASN'T IN THE CITY WHEN EACH OF THOSE HAPPENED UGH <3
- Meeting and finding other gay people is not that hard. If you're interested, we have a gay-straight alliance called DSAGA (Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance, pronounced duh-saw-guh) which a lot of the openly gay students join. And once you're friends with people from that club, you can use them to meet even more gay people! I'm not in that club, mostly because for some god-unknown reason they chose to hold their meetings on Monday nights and that's RuPaul's drag race time! Mama likes her stories, and won't miss them for nobody. But I'm still friends with a lot of people in the club, I go to some of their events, and they decorate the campus and put rainbow flags around and make the campus feel a lot more inclusive.
- I'll have you know I was going to make a really funny joke about the gay college scene sucking people in but I refrained because I'm a mature adult.
- I don't know what you had in mind in terms of information too explicit for the forums, but if there's anything you personally want to know about gay college life, the 2 important facts to keep in mind is that 1) you have total anonymity so why do you care if your question is embarrassing, and 2) I have very, very little shame and my life is the most open of books so outside of like the very smutty or the specifics of my personal sexual history I'll answer whatever.

Finally, and this is the ABSOLUTE most important thing,
I like that you can see yourself as out and proud at Hopkins, but wherever you end up, be out and proud. Even if the atmosphere isn't as inclusive as Hopkins, don't tone down who you are to try and gain more acceptance. Take the advice of Raven: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7mop9yrRD1qlvwnco1_400.gif
Kevin C.
Class of 2015
History and French Cultural Studies (minor)

Make sure that you check out my blog here!
Ask me a question!

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

marionggrahek

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2013, 05:41 AM »
Hello Kevin!
I was in your 2 p.m. Tour group yesterday (Aug 16th) and kept asking somewhat random questions and stayed at the front of the group :p
Well I thought of a few more! If you don't have the time, no worries, but otherwise I would love to know the answers to the following questions:
1) Describe Hopkins in three words on a Tuesday night.
2) describe Hopkins in three words on a Saturday night. (Further explanation of the three chosen words would be welcome:) )
3) what were you most disappointed about when coming to Hopkins?(if anything)
4) And what were you most surprised about?
5) besides the classes being great and interesting, do find them legitimately academically challenging?
Thanks for the tour!
-Gabriella g.

JHU_Kevin

  • Hopkins Student
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2013, 10:18 AM »
Such cool questions! I would be happy to answer them :)

1- "Brody" "Clubs" "Wicked-sing-alongs" Brody because usually I have work to get done most weeknights, and that's my favorite place to go. Clubs because a lot of student groups have their meetings in the evening after everyone is done with classes. For example, the Chinese Lion Dance troupe has practice on tuesdays from 8-10. Wicked-sing-alongs is technically one word because hyphens, and that situation arises for me more often than one might think.

2- "Going out" "studying" "hercules" I would say my typical saturday night i'm about equally as likely to do one of these things. Going out means go to frat parties, or a fun night in Baltimore, or some campus bar - that kind of thing. Studying is exactly what it sounds like, sometimes a week will be really tough and I need to work to stay ahead of the game. Hercules means that I also really enjoy my nights in with friends, where we break out some wine, throw on pajamas, and watch disney movies or whatever! Hey, don't judge.

3- This is a really good question and I found myself (especially 2 years later) disappointed by the perception of Baltimore by a lot of the students. When you study the history of the city, you realize that Hopkins has always had a "city on a hill" reputation for being not part of the real community or the city, but rather an elitist paradise separated from the riff-raff. Baltimore is a really cool city and my friends and I love exploring its different neighborhoods and culture it has to offer, but there is a sizeable community that definitely plays into that stereotype. I know a lot of people who think that "exploring Baltimore" means walking to the far-away frat house and won't walk with me the like 10 blocks to Penn station on a nice day for fear of getting stabbed (you won't.) I actually wrote a blog about how I've definitely been "that guy" here, (http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/kevin/2013/05/bmore-aware/) so I'm not blameless either. Luckily the administration has definitely picked up on this point and through their 2020 goals (a set of ambitious goals for the school) and a massive fund infusion to our Center for Social Concern. They've definitely helped me and a lot of my friends connect with the city, so that's a good start!

4- I was really surprised at what research was, and how easy it is to get. I swear I never knew what research was before I came to Hopkins, but now that I'm here it's like I'm swimming in it and getting the opportunities is really just like picking fruit off a tree! For example I wanted to just learn more about this school that our School of Education was starting, Henderson Hopkins, so I emailed a Sociology professor/Education policy bigwig of mine to see what he knew. He told me he was friends with the woman in charge of the project at the SOE, and set up a meeting between us. A week later, we met and she told me all about it and that the library committee wanted someone to go through old archives and pull out information related to the school through the 20th century and put together a real history for the school. I looked at her and was like, "I would LOVE to do that!" Walking out of that meeting I remember thinking to myself, "Wait...did I just get research?" Yep, it's that easy.

5- Yes. Hopkins really isn't the kind of school you go to if you never want to do work again. I've enjoyed all (but one) of my classes immensely and by and large when you find the topic interesting the work goes by more quickly, but it's still a lot. I've cried over how much I've had to get done before, and I've pulled a good number of allnighters, which I actually wrote a blog about here: http://blogs.hopkins-interactive.com/kevin/2012/10/how-to-allnighter-like-a-boss/ Yet every class that I took I found intellectually rewarding, and the one class responsible for the most tears - an undergraduate research seminar in history - resulted in me writing a 50-page research paper on the Commitee on Public Information, which is definitely the pride of my academic career thus far. I think a lot of people at Hopkins were the nerds of their high school - I was definitely the history nerd, no shame - and at the core of nerd-dom is really just a flair for learning, and the ability to get excited about your work. Whether that's building a robot or creating genetically superior bacteria or sifting through an archive or writing short stories or reading books, that's up to you. But that kind of enthusiasm is what's going to make all the work worth it.

Thanks for asking such insightful questions!
Kevin C.
Class of 2015
History and French Cultural Studies (minor)

Make sure that you check out my blog here!
Ask me a question!

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others."

marionggrahek

  • Newbie
Re: Meet JHU_Kevin - Southport, CT
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2013, 12:19 PM »
Thank you so much for such great answers Kevin! This is REALLY helpful:) Enjoy the last few weeks of summer:)