Three Weeks in Philly

What’s this? A series update? Why yes it is. Due to the backlog, it might not be a single week in Philly, but these past three weeks haven’t had much of note anyway to have a separate post for each one. So, I’ve decided to combine them in to one long post instead.

Week 1 (April 1st) – It’s good to be back

The first week of April was also my first full week back in Philly and at Drexel. As much as I enjoyed my co-op, I really couldn’t wait to get back into Philly. It’s nice having something to do on the weekend again. But jumping to the weekend already would leave out the entire first week of class. As expected, the first week was the easiest so far, mainly the “OK so welcome to <class name here>. I’m your professor, <professor name here>. Here’s the syllabus for class.” That’s not to say that it was an unproductive week. With only ten weeks of classes, you tend to get right down to business at Drexel, especially when you’re on what would be your last term for the year as a Freshman (I am a second year at Drexel now). For me, this term is a busy one, fully loaded with 20 credits. I knew, of course, fully well what I was getting myself into when I did my scheduling, it was just a matter of would I get the class I was wait-listed on – which I did. So far, I’d say my hardest class this term is Japanese 101 – not because it’s learning a new language, but the fact it’s learning a new language in just ten weeks (not the whole language of course, but it is a lot to remember).

As for my other classes, they’ve been pretty easy so far. Critical Reasoning reminds me a lot of my AP Comp class in high school and learning how to structure an argument well, Techniques of Speaking is all about public speaking, which I’ve been doing for a few years already, Server Technology 1 so far would be better called Introduction to Linux, which again I’ve already worked with, Applied Data Management is more working with PHP and XML, Japanese 101 as I mentioned perviously is the toughest of the bunch, and Systems Analysis has just been a review of what I learned in a higher-level class last year. But, as it has only been three weeks, I think it is a little unfair to be judging my classes in too much of detail.

I suppose that brings me to the weekend now. As I started off saying, it’s really nice having something to do on the weekend again, and the first weekend was a great start. April 7th was International Pillow Fight Day and Philly was one of the cities participating. It was both a very fun and very tiring day, which you can read more about in this post.

Week 2 (April 8th) – So where are the cherry blossoms this year?

My second week in Philly was a week of firsts and returns. It was also the week I learned if your iPad breaks you just get a new one. Not a bad “repair” I’d say. In regards to firsts, Wednesday the 11th was a day of three firsts. I may have already lived in Philly for a year, but until the 11th, I had never gotten food from a lunch truck. So why did I finally? Two reasons: LevelUp and a meeting right in the middle of my normal dinner time. For those of you unfamiliar with LevelUp, it’s a fantastic new mobile payment app. The way it works is you add a credit/debit card to your account and the mobile app generates a QR code that participating merchants scan to accept your payment. So is it just another mobile payment app? Not quite. Every participating merchant also has a loyalty program through LevelUp. The first time you pay with LevelUp at a place, you get a credit towards your purchase, complements of LevelUp. Every time you come back and use with LevelUp, you progress towards getting another credit. The first time I used LevelUp, I had a $10 global credit as an incentive to use it for the first time. Needless to say, I used it on dinner at Vernalicious, who had gotten a nod from LevelUp the day before. After the grilled cheese and pulled pork sandwich I had, I could taste why. The food from Vernalicious is amazing. I think I’ll be eating from there moderately often.

If memory serves me right, I think it was Thursday when I discovered Rival Bros Coffee. Closer than Starbucks? Check. Small business? Check. Fantastic coffee without sugar added? Check. Accepts LevelUp and Pay With Square? Hard choice, but check. I like the loyalty perks LevelUp has, but I also like that Pay With Square allows me to tap one button in the app, walk down the street to Rival Bros, order my latte, and simply say “Put it on Stephen”. That’s right, I just paid for a coffee with my name. A damn good coffee too. Good enough that Starbucks is no longer my morning coffee fix. Coffee junkie or not, Rival Bros Coffee is definitely one to try.

In regards to returns, Thursday the 12th I finally returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra as a subscriber. The orchestra easily was what I missed the most. Walking into the Kimmel Center, I felt right at home. The evening’s performance was my favorite, but I do have to say, good to hear you again Philadelphia Orchestra.

Sunday the 15th was the annual Philadelphia Cherry Blossom Festival. This year I decided to go as a visitor with my mom rather than a volunteer like last year. If you could ignore the lack of cherry blossoms this year, the festival was just as good as last year’s. The weather was just about the same as well, cloudy morning to start, beautiful by the afternoon. For pictures, head on over to Google+.

Week 3 (April 15th) – Thank you.

Week three had only two highlights to it: Drexel’s Facebook Cover Photo Contest and family at home for the weekend. The first was I contest I entered for the fun of it since I had a couple of photos of Drexel I liked. Never did I expect to win. To everyone who made that awesome surprise possible, thank you.

To wrap up, the reason I’m actually able to finally to do a series entry is I’m actually home for the weekend in NJ. We had some family over yesterday so I took the train over Friday evening. I must say, it’s very nice having WiFi on the Northeast Regional now. I’ll be returning to Philly tonight. Week four already? Bring it on.

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