Interesting old history about UNT

So I found a UNT faculty member who is listed as having their office in Kendall Hall. I was like “huh?” I’ve never heard of such a hall. So I did some digging. The open space east of the BLB was the site of Kendall Hall before it was demolished to make way for the BLB, or the new home of the College of Business.

Before that, the COB was based in Sage Hall, which was called the Business Administration Building. And before TAMS was in Sage Hall, it was in Marquis Hall. Marquis Hall is now home to UNT’s International Students division, which was previously based in Kendall Hall. Interesting how the BLB displaced all of these departments.

Furthermore, I found out that Mac Park/Mac Field used to be the location of the Health Clinic before the new Chestnut Hall was built. There used to be another, older Chestnut Hall where the Rec Center now stands. Life Sciences Complex B was the former home of Masters Hall, where the Department of Chemistry was based until they got their own Chemistry Building.

Also, the Department of Computer Sciences used to be part of the College of Arts and Sciences and was based in the GAB.

Anyway, there’s a ton of interesting info that might interest history geeks like me. Check it out below!

This information was gathered from this map of UNT in 1997-1998.

Map: http://catalogarchive.unt.edu/97-98/map.pdf

UNT Map 1997-1998

Map guide: http://catalogarchive.unt.edu/97-98/mapguide.html

Pictures: http://cascampus.cas.unt.edu/


 

Buildings and Major Offices Located Within:

Administration Building

  • Board of Regents
  • Chancellor and President
  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Vice President for Administrative Affairs
  • Controller
  • Vice President for External Affairs
  • Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs
  • General Counsel/Attorney
  • Equal Opportunity
  • Prospective Students
  • Research and Academic Grants
  • University Marketing and Communication
  • University Planning and Institutional Research
  • Graduate Dean

Advancement Center

  • Vice President for Development
  • Alumni Association
  • UNT Foundation

Art Building

  • School of Visual Arts
  • University Art Gallery

Astronomy Observatory

  • Former Missile Base
  • North of Denton on FM 2164
  • (Locust Street)

Athletic Office Building

  • Athletic administration
  • Athletic Media Services
  • Athletic Ticket Office

Auditorium Building

  • Department of English
  • Studies in the Novel
  • Student Use of English
  • University Writing Center
  • Multipurpose auditorium

Bain Hall

Named after Dr. Wilfred C. Bain, the first head of the Music Department, 1938, and first dean of the School of Music, 1946. Dr. Bain also organized the institution’s first A Cappella choir.

  • Percussion rehearsals

Biology Building

  • Department of Biological Sciences

Bruce Hall

Completed in 1948 and named after Dr. William Herschel Bruce, who served as president of the North Texas State Normal College from 1906 to 1923.

  • Residence hall

Business Administration Building

  • College of Business Administration
  • Department of Accounting
  • Department of Business Computer Information Systems
  • Center for Information Systems Research
  • Department of Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Law
  • Department of Management
  • Department of Marketing
  • General Access Computer Labs

Chestnut Hall (named for street)

  • Environmental Ethics
  • Survey Research Center
  • UNT Institute for Behavioral and Learning Differences
  • University of North Texas Press

Chilton Hall

Named for Joshua Crittenden Chilton, who negotiated the contract with the City of Denton that established Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute on May 8, 1890. Served as president until 1893.

  • Adaptive Lab
  • Center for Continuing Education and Conference Management
  • Minicourse Office
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Center
  • Center for Instructional Services
  • Cooperative Education
  • School of Community Service
  • Center for Public Service
  • Institute of Anthropology
  • Department of Applied Gerontology
  • Department of Behavior Analysis
  • Department of Criminal Justice
  • Department of Rehabilitation, Social Work and Addictions
  • Department of Sociology
  • School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management
  • Media Library
  • General Access Computer Labs

Clark Hall

Named for Miss Edith L. Clark, the first dean of women, 1916-1944.

  • Residence hall

Coliseum

  • Basketball games
  • Commencements
  • Drivers Education
  • Handball courts
  • Multipurpose facility

College Inn

  • Residence hall
  • The Club at College Inn Restaurant

Crumley Hall

Named for John Jackson Crumley, president from 1893 to 1894. He is known for putting the “North” in North Texas Normal College.

  • Housing and Residence Life
  • Residence hall/Conference Center
  • Director of Business Services
  • Dining Services

Curry Hall

Named for Dr. O.J. Curry, first dean of the College of Business Administration, 1946-1974.

  • Classrooms
  • Team Labs and Tutor Labs (College of Business Administration)

Eagle Student Services Center

Named after the university’s official mascot chosen by the student body in 1922.

  • Admissions
  • Advanced Learning Center (Room 255)
  • ID Systems
  • Information Campus Operator
  • Registrar
  • Class schedules
  • Records
  • Transcripts
  • Bursar
  • Financial Aid
  • Scholarships
  • Undergraduate Admission
  • Toulouse School of Graduate Studies

Edwards Hall (named for street)

  • Emergency Administration and Planning Institute

Engineering Technology Building

  • Department of Engineering Technology

Fouts Field

Named after Theron J. Fouts who served as football coach, dean of men and director of athletics. Became football coach in 1920 and was athletic director at the time of his death in 1954.

  • Football games
  • Track meets
  • Multipurpose outdoor facility

General Academic Building

  • Academic Core Programs
  • Institute of Applied Science
  • Copy Center
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of Computer Sciences
  • Department of Geography
  • Department of Journalism
  • N.T. Daily
  • Department of Mathematics
  • Microcomputer Maintenance Shop
  • University Courses

Golf Course, Radisson Hotel Denton and Eagle Point Golf Club

Health Center

  • Clinic
  • Health Education
  • Pharmacy
  • Risk Management and Environmental Services
  • Telecommunications

Highland Hall (named for street)

  • Center for Development and Grant Support
  • TRIO Center for Student Development
  • Biofeedback Research and Training Lab
  • Center for Investigation of Talented Students

Information Sciences Building

  • Computing Center
  • Academic Computing
  • Administrative Computing
  • School of Library and Information Sciences
  • Science and Technology Library
  • General Access Computer Labs

Kendall Hall

Named for Dr. Joel Sutton Kendall who, in 1901, left the position of state superintendent of public instruction to become the principal [president] of the newly created state college, North Texas State Normal College, serving until his death in 1906.

  • Copy Center
  • Division of Aerospace Studies
  • International Studies and Programs
  • Studies Abroad Center
  • Intensive English Language Institute

Kerr Hall

For S. A. Kerr of Huntsville, vice-chairman of the Board of Regents, 1949-1967.

  • Residence hall

Language Building

  • Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

Library Annex, 901 Precision

  • Technical Services

Lyceum, University Union

  • Multipurpose auditorium/classroom

Maple Hall (named for street)

  • Residence hall

Marquis Hall

Named for Dr. Robert Lincoln Marquis, who served as the president of North Texas State Teachers College, 1923-1934.

  • Human Resources Department
  • Institute of Petroleum Accounting
  • Internal Audit Department
  • Payroll
  • Texas Academic of Math and Science TAMS
  • NT Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts

Masters Hall

Named for W. N. Masters, long-time head of the Chemistry Department for North Texas State Teachers College.

  • Department of Chemistry

Matthews Hall

Named after Dr. James Carl Matthews, who served as the first dean of the School of Education, first vice president of the teachers college, and president of the university, 1951-1968.

  • Academy for Research and Professional Development
  • Child Development Laboratory
  • College of Education
  • Department of Teacher Education and Administration
  • Department of Technology and Cognition
  • Center for Higher Education
  • Center for Parent Education
  • National Center for School-to-Work Transition
  • Center for Study of Educational Reform
  • Texas Center for Educational Technology
  • General Access Computer Labs

Matthews Annex

Named after Dr. James Carl Matthews, who served as the first dean of the School of Education, first vice president of the teachers college, and president of the university, 1951-1968.

  • Child and Family Resource Clinic
  • Maturational Assessment Clinic

McConnell Hall

For Dr. W. Joseph McConnell, president of the teachers college and the state college, 1934-1951.

  • Residence hall/Texas Academy of Math and Science (TAMS)

Men’s Gymnasium

  • Weight room
  • Intramural basketball and volleyball
  • Women’s volleyball
  • Indoor soccer

Missile Base

  • Astronomy Observatory

Music Annex

  • Opera Rehearsal Hall
  • Recording Technology

Music Building

  • College of Music

Music Practice North

Music Practice South

Oak Street Hall (named for street)

  • Stafford Art Gallery
  • School of Visual Arts ceramics and photography program

Opera Hall

  • Faculty/Staff Fitness Program aerobics
  • Print Research Institute of North Texas

Physical Education Building

  • Faculty/Staff Fitness Program
  • Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation
  • Recreational Sports

Physical Plant Complex

  • Main Office
  • Key Control
  • Recycle Services

Physics Building

  • Department of Physics
  • Radiation Safety Office

Power Plant

Quad 2

  • Storage facility

Radisson Hotel Denton and Eagle Point Golf Club

  • Professional Development Institute PDI
  • Conference facility
  • Golf course

Science Research Building

  • Biochemistry
  • Department of Materials Science

Scoular Hall

For Dr. Florence I. Scoular, first dean of the School of Home Economics, 1946.

  • Texas Fashion Collection
  • School of Visual Arts fashion design and fibers programs

Smith Hall

Home of Station KNTU, located in the family home of J. W. Smith, business manager of the normal college and teachers college.

  • KNTU Radio

Speech/Drama Building

  • Department of Dance and Theatre Arts
  • Theatre Arts Office
  • Ticket Box Office
  • Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • Speech and Hearing Clinic
  • Department of Radio, Television and Film
  • NTTV

Sports Medicine/Fitness Facility

  • Varsity sports training
  • Weight training

Stovall Hall

For Dr. Floyd Stovall, who served as director of the English Department and first dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1946.

  • Department of Dance and Theatre Arts
  • Dance Office
  • Department of Counseling, Development and Higher Education
  • Counseling and Human Development Center
  • Faculty/Staff Fitness Program – weight room
  • Center for Play Therapy

Sullivant Visitor Center

For Carroll Sullivant of Gainesville, member of the Board of Regents, 1961-1978. (open 24 hours)

  • General university information
  • Police Department
  • Parking Office

Tennis Courts, East

Tennis Courts, West

Terrill Hall

Named for Menter B. Terrill, president of the private North Texas Normal College from 1894 until it became a state normal college in 1901.

  • Center for Study of Work Teams
  • Department of Communication Studies
  • Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies
  • Department of Psychology
  • Psychology Clinic

University Services Building

  • Central Receiving
  • Claims Accounting
  • Travel
  • Payroll
  • Printing Services
  • Property and Inventory Control
  • Purchasing
  • Office Supply

University Union

  • Center for Cultural Diversity
  • Counseling and Testing
  • Information, tickets, check cashing
  • Lyceum
  • Mail Room (Intercampus mail)
  • Placement
  • Post Office Substation
  • Student Activities and Organizations
  • Student Association
  • Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Dean of Students
  • Disability Accommodation
  • Student Employment
  • Syndicate
  • Union Arts Center/Graphics
  • UNT Bookstore
  • University Program Council

West Hall

  • Residence hall

Willis Library

For A. M. Willis of Longview, member of the Board of Regents, 1965-1983, serving as its chairman from 1969 to 1983.

  • Main Library
  • Music Library
  • Archives
  • Oral History
  • Rare Book Room
  • Government Documents
  • General Access Computer Labs

Wooten Hall

For Benjamin Harrison Wooten of Dallas, chairman of the Board of Regents, 1949-1969.

  • Faculty Senate
  • Department of Political Science
  • Center for Economic Development and Research
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of History
  • Institute of Applied Economics
  • Department of Public Administration

Historical information about building names provided by James L. Rogers, Professor Emeritus of Journalism

School meal shaming

Every day, after a morning of learning, students are eager to relax, eat, and chat with their friends. The last thing that needs to happen is for their warm, comforting plate of food to be tossed in the trash because their accounts were depleted of money—at absolutely no fault of their own. For some students, this experience can be humiliating and traumatizing, especially because this wasn’t their fault and they’re being punished for it.

Once a student receives their meal in the serving line, they expect the food to be theirs after they get done paying for it. And rightfully so; who would expect their food to be thrown away every single day? Nobody. Yet, when one day, money inevitably runs out in an account, the nightmare becomes reality. What was supposed to be theirs is now yanked away and turned into food for swarms of buzzards. In other words, their food is effectively stolen from them in front of others, and there’s nothing kids can do about it. Even though they didn’t pay for their food yet, it was supposed to be theirs. If you snatched the last $50 4K TV at Walmart on Black Friday but then someone else took it before you paid for it, wouldn’t you be pissed? In fact, many people get into fights over this. Search it up on YouTube. Yet kids aren’t going to fight with the lunch servers because they’re weak and powerless to appeal. This leads to them being traumatized after receiving an “alternative meal.”

What a tragedy. Remember that the financial responsibility of a student’s food should be on the parent. Any parents who can’t pay for their child’s meals will usually put their kids on free/reduced cost meals. So, meal “shaming” really only happens for those kids who don’t qualify for free/reduced meals, meaning their parents CAN pay, but they probably forgot to. And it’s not the parents who are shamed for forgetting to pay for their child’s meal; it’s the child.

At the same time, schools try their best to remind the parents to pay. Schools usually handle food through a for-profit corporation, and it is their right to make their money back. If one of their customers can’t pay, the corporation can’t be expected to send them free food. Yet, this is kids who don’t even earn any money we’re talking about. What ends up happening is that the student is caught up between the school and the parent, leading their hot meal to be thrown away and being humiliated instead of their parents being reminded. And I bet if some parents saw their kid’s meal being thrown away, they’d kick the lunch servers’ asses. Clearly, if kids are being treated like crap just because their parents aren’t there, this establishes that humiliation is NOT an acceptable way to “remind” parents to refill their child’s bank account.

Not to mention that if these for-profit corporations are trying to earn as much money as possible, then how on earth is throwing away food economical? I know they can’t serve this food again due to health regulations, but it boggles my mind why they can’t let these kids keep their meals. Say a student doesn’t get their lunch account topped up for many consecutive days. Still more money is lost from throwing away the unbuyable meal and giving a replacement meal than simply allowing a child to keep their meal. Not to mention how environmentally unfriendly and wasteful this practice is. And guess what? Parents still have to back-pay for all the alternative meals. Why not just let them back-pay for a regular meal?

One proposed solution I heard from someone else: Let the kids find out if they’re getting a hot meal or not BEFORE they go into the lunch line, not knowing if they will have enough money or not. That way, their food will not be taken away from them and they will still be reminded to tell their parents to add money to their lunch account. Personally, I still don’t like the fact that an alternative meal is given. This alternative meal is one of the catalysts for shaming. It needs to go. Let the children keep their meal, for goodness sake. They’re children. I hope that’s enough said to end school meal shaming.

Why college isn’t for everyone

Today, college is promoted by high schools as the panacea to the deficiencies of recent high school graduates (or grad-to-be’s). Don’t know what to do? Go to college. However, this fallacious precedent has dangerously misled many students into doing something that does not develop the skills they will need in the workplace. In some cases, several years of one’s life and hundreds of thousands of dollars could be wasted if college does not turn out to be what that person needed to advance their career.

Perhaps two hundred years ago, only very few people—the brightest intellectuals—would attend college. This is the way it was meant to be. College is an academic environment devoted to studying and research. Today, however, this core mission is blurred by frat parties and various students attending college “just because.” This shift of focus from academia to spring break at Panama City Beach has caused students to waste several years of life somewhere they don’t want to be, accumulating large piles of student loans in the meantime.

While the encouragement for more students to pursue what they want to learn and go to college regardless of conditions seem beneficial, and they can be very beneficial to those who are truly interested in the experiences of academia, there are also many students who would be better served at a technical school.

Before I dive in to better serving technical careers, I do want to emphasize that certain people are better suited to a liberal arts education, such as one that includes the humanities, social sciences, natural/pure sciences, and applied sciences, than to a technical careers education.

But does an aspiring carpenter necessarily need to know how to analyze the Iliad? Not really. What they do need to know is how to work with wood, which isn’t something that colleges offer and perhaps something that most high schools don’t allow students to focus the majority of their time working on.

In fact, go into any high school today and try to find posters in the hallways on how to become a welder, or a carpenter, or a mechanic. A policeman, a fireman, a paramedic. You won’t find anything of the sort. Meanwhile, hallways will be plastered with SAT and ACT sign-up dates. This leads to many high school students knowing when the next SAT is and going to a typical local college somewhere, instead of knowing when to apply for culinary school or learning how to sautée a filet mignon perfectly.

In Germany, specialization starts before our high schools would even start. Students are sent to whichever school they are most well suited for. Some people are just going to become great mechanics. But teaching them high school biology isn’t going to help them. In fact, they shouldn’t even be going to college, because you won’t find a single mechanic class, let alone major, in any doctoral-granting four-year university, a place where many undecided adults end up if they decide to go to college. Mechanics need to focus on how to fix cars, and where better to learn that than a specialized technical school? Yet, these undecided adults default to going to college, which doesn’t offer anything relevant for them.

Unfortunately, most of our public high schools only allow for students to dip their feet in the water for these technical jobs. Even then, CTE classes are considered “electives,” meaning want-to-be chefs will have to gruel through The Great Gatsby and using the law of sines to calculate the distance between the top of a cell tower and two people standing next to them before they can concentrate on perfecting their filet mignons. These things are great to know… for other people. But for these people, it’s wrong!

We should start promoting and teaching technical education more prominently to those who want to go into skilled work instead of condemning them to find the area under a curve. In fact, I don’t even think most English majors do that.

And the most important thing that everybody should learn: life skills. Regardless of whether someone should go to college, a technical school, or simply find a job, they all need to learn how to manage money, how to raise a family, how to cook, how to maintain houses and cars, etc. Have I been taught this? Nope, because I didn’t have the time to take a family and consumer science class (formerly known as home economics).

We need to change our priorities in the educational system. Let’s stop sending everyone to college. I know it sounds good to educate everyone, but after high school, there’s no need to educate everyone with the same “core curriculum” anymore. To start, send more people to community college. Better yet, send them to specialty technical schools instead of community college. Let them learn what they need to know. Let college students learn family and consumer sciences so we aren’t stuck with cooking ramen in our dorms. And no, this doesn’t mean supporting Betsy DeVos’s “school choice,” because that’s the wrong kind of school choice that students should be able to make. Lead students to their personal path—let them take the road less travelled.

McKinney ISD Salary Records 2016-2017

Under the Texas Public Information Act, I requested McKinney Independent School District’s salary records of its employees. The data includes hire date, gender, annual salary, location, and job description.

I have uploaded an unmodified version of the file that McKinney ISD sent me, except for the file name. It is available as an Excel spreadsheet. Please let me know if you need it in another format by contacting me through my email address, i@jeffw.xyz.

https://clearcloud.mywikis.net/files/jeffrey//McKinney%20ISD%20Salary%20Records%202016-17.xlsx

How I got a perfect score on my ACT

If you’re looking for my tips for improving or getting a perfect score on the ACT, please scroll below.

My personal story

On Wednesday, after preparing and taking my Microeconomics exam, I went to eat lunch and arrived outside of my next classroom. I browsed through Twitter and saw that ACT scores were out. I didn’t expect this, so I went to check on the website. I was hoping for a 35. Please don’t be a 34. Please be a 35. Or if I’m really lucky, maybe a 36.

I typed in my username and password haphazardly, clicked a few buttons, and saw that my composite was a 36.

But not just my composite was a 36. All of my sections were a 36.

I was overjoyed. I was almost hysterical. The euphoria I experienced was unimaginable. I became forever finished with SATs and ACTs. (Except for maybe the SAT Subject Test, but that’s not really as important as the SAT or the ACT.)


Never did I expect this. In January, I took the new SAT for the first time and I felt terrible afterwards. The new SAT’s format frustrated me and I was sick of it. Just in case, though, I registered for the February ACT. I also took some ACT classes and a practice test at KD College Prep. On that test, I got a 32 composite. Not bad for my first time ever. I bought the Official ACT prep book and took the first practice test, which was apparently the best one in the book. I analyzed my mistakes after getting a 34 composite; I would need to improve on the hardest math questions, my speed of reading, and I needed to reduce mistakes on the science test.

On the night before the test, I took a nice ol’ nap, flipped through my practice book to review where I screwed up, and I was basically done after that.

The next morning, I woke up at 6:20 (which was too early for me but whatever) and ate a good breakfast. I was picked up by my friend and we drove to the test center. We went in, socialized, and I gave a pep talk that would resemble something given by a tiger mom, but deep inside, I was just hoping to get a 35.

So I went in and took the test. It was easy.

After the test, I felt great. It seemed quite easy and I was expecting some hopefully good scores. I was depending on the ACT because I know that I didn’t do so hot on my SAT.


Now that I have received this score, I no longer have to worry about taking the test again. I can concentrate on college applications and use this ACT score to get in. I won’t have a fear of being rejected because my test scores were too low; in fact, even if colleges reject me, I will have some closure as to why. It can’t be my 36; it’d have to be because my essays didn’t demonstrate that I belong in their community, and that’s fine. I just can’t bear the thought of being rejected because my test score was too low.


Update (February 28, 2017): My writing scores are now out; 11/12! Here’s my full score report:


How to improve or perfect your ACT scores

So I’m in no way an ACT guru, but my 36 came as a result of a few strategies I employed. I have a few tips for each section.

  • English – The ACT English section is harder than the SAT Writing section. I like how the ACT has a harder grammar section and an easier reading comprehension section because 1. ain’t nobody got time for BS analysis and 2. grammar just makes sense to me. If you are a grammar Nazi, I highly suggest you take the ACT. If grammar is very hard for you, you may want to consider taking the SAT. There are 75 questions in the ACT English section, done in 45 minutes. The timing is very quick. Be sure you are innately familiar with English grammar.
  • Mathematics – If you can do SAT Math, you’re good with geometry, and you’re good with trigonometry, then the ACT Math section is very straightforward and easy. As you may know, CAS (computer algebra system) calculators like the TI-Nspire CX CAS are unfortunately banned from the ACT. I used somebody’s TI-Nspire CX instead. Honestly, for those who take calculator courses where tests are non-calculator, this shouldn’t be too difficult for you. Also NO GRID INS BLESS. Be sure to work easy problems quickly. If you are finding yourself running out of time in the end, it is better for you to quickly do easy problems than to spend time on them, ensuring they are right, because they probably are. Instead, you should be done with 45 questions within 35 or 40 minutes. Use the remaining 20 to 25 minutes to work on the remaining 15 or even 10 or 5. The last questions are always the hardest and you should spend the most time on each of them relative to the other easier questions.
  • Reading – Unlike SAT Reading, the ACT Reading section actually makes sense. Read the text, find the keywords in the question, circle, and move on. There’s not much thinking to be done. But you do need to understand the passage well. Be sure to keep on your toes! 40 questions in 35 minutes is difficult but doable.
  • Science – Also known as the “logic” test, or to those who think it’s a joke, the “free” section. But no, it’s not really a free section. Basically, you will be analyzing data presented within “experiments” or passages. Sometimes, you can simply look at the question, glance at the data, extract the relevant number, circle the answer, and move on. Other times, you will have to think or deduce based on the information given. The only scientific knowledge you may have to know: how to calculate percentage error or the planets, etc. Personally, I found the Science section to be the most challenging because there was no SAT equivalent.

Some general tips:

  1. If you’re confused about a question, just reread or come back to it later. If you’re feeling like you’re running out of time, then circle the answer choice that makes most sense to you and move on.
  2. Make sure you don’t miss a question by misreading it. Always double check and ensure that your answer choice makes sense by coming back to it a second time and analyzing how it correlates to the passage vs. what’s being asked.
  3. Get faster by cutting down on reading and answering questions faster.
  4. Do practice tests and analyze where you messed up. After my scores came out, I found out that reddit.com/r/ACT has great resources, including links to old released tests.

Feel free to contact me for any more advice. I can add more advice to this page if you ask for it.

My first semester at TAMS

I have now finished my first semester at TAMS! Time goes by quickly 🙂 I felt like it was just yesterday that I was sitting in a lecture hall for the first time, ready to listen to a lecture about chemistry. I was wondering who this cat-loving Dr. Marty Schwartz was and what he looked like. Or even my calculus professor Dr. Kallman (man that was a surprise lol).

This semester, I began an exciting journey as a high school student in college. Living in a dorm has so far been the most momentous change of my life. Getting acclimated to college life was actually surprisingly easy and quite enjoyable.

Academics at TAMS are actually quite rigorous, but this is compensated with less class time and more time to relax and do homework. I believe that I have learned a lot more in my calculus class than if I had stayed at my former high school. The rigor of college classes, even at UNT, is quite appeasing to high schoolers like us TAMSters, and I enjoy the experience in hindsight. My favorite part: there’s no “block” schedule to follow. Next semester, I can wake up on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9:30am, grab a quick bite, and walk about 500m to my 10am Calculus II class. (Unfortunately, my English professor was only able to teach an 8am Tuesday/Thursday section, so I’m sticking with her in exchange for less sleep on Monday and Wednesday nights.)

Because of the, umm, academic reputation of UNT students, the grading system is simply a letter grade, which is super easy. There is no plus/minus system. Coming from McKinney ISD, where each and every single point mattered towards counting my weighted GPA, the letter grade system puts significantly less stress on me. I can get a low A and not feel bad about it. It wouldn’t have made a difference if I got a 90 or a 100 in a class. In fact, I am expecting all A’s, which means a 4.0 GPA. Apparently, that’s not very common at UNT 🙄. (Granted, our unweighted GPA was also on this system, but our weighted GPA was NOT and resulted in lots of stress.)

In terms of student life, I am truly amazed at the sheer enthusiasm of all of the clubs and organizations here. All of the clubs have passionate officers who truly believe in their cause. Additionally, I have had a blast volunteering at all of the amazing opportunities that TAMS offers. Vans drop us off and pick us up at our volunteering locations. There are even opportunities to volunteer within TAMS or UNT. The free time that we have during the day allows for us to use that time for good and I truly do appreciate this. (I’ve racked up a lot of volunteer hours, but I really didn’t do it for hours—I volunteered at each and every venue because I felt it would be fun. Seriously. I’m not BSing this.)

Furthermore, TAMS is full of amazing people that I am so happy to have met and gotten to known better. I’m so happy to know like-minded individuals to go to class together with, to study with, to do activities with, and to be friends with. With the fact that TAMS sets us in a college environment, we get to bond more than just in class. We also get to stay in one dorm, eat at the questionable cafeteria next door, and have fun whenever we want. (I know two people who took showers together at 3am until that was banned a month or two ago. Yes, it goes deep.)

All of this being said, I still miss my friends back at Boyd and my family at home. I am hoping winter break will be a good time to catch up; not to mention I’ll have two extra weeks of winter break!! Omg I’m so happy! Just kidding, I’m going to have to use it for SAT and ACT studying. Hooray?

But seriously though, it was a very difficult decision to leave my friends and family for college. Do I regret it? No. Would I have regretted staying? No. To be honest, I think each path of life would have its benefits and drawbacks. Unfortunately, I can’t have it all. With that being said, I want to focus on my choice and try my best to stay in touch with my former school, because I still care about both sides. Hoping for a great spring semester!