Appreciating the Incredible Moment that I'm Living in

A bit of braggadocio mixed with much appreciation

Posted by Aaron Fox on Tue Jan 30 2018

This was a stream of appreciative consciousness written in a few minutes. Maybe I'll edit it later (-:

I don’t think life can get much better than it currently feels as of today, that is, January 30th 2018.

There, I admitted it. I feel so giddy about life that I just can’t reasonably foresee myself getting much happier. Okay, maybe if I ever find a proper girlfriend, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Right now, I am in the Spring 2018 Semester at the University of Louisville during my Sophomore year. I am currently the co-captain of one of the university’s up-and-rising organizations, Redbird Robotics, and we’re doing incredible things with autonomous drones right now and competing in an international competition, IARC, down at Georgia Tech. The opportunity to foresee the operation over this difficult yet rewarding process has been so humbling and incredible.

I’m currently a REACH Ambassador at the university, meaning that I mentor around seventy other Computer Engineering and Computer Science majors and help ease their way into college. I am thoroughly enjoying keeping in contact and helping all these students consistently, and I hope they are benefiting from the guidance I am giving them as much as I am benefiting from being more and more involved with campus and the students that make the campus so great.

Being a Brown Fellow has been what has really opened so many opportunities here at UofL, and I’m forever grateful for the unending generosity and kindness that the Brown Foundation continues to give me and the other Brown Fellows currently on campus. I’m currently in the works of receiving a $6000 enrichment project grant, and I plan to use that to go to Ghana to volunteer with this fantastically progressive and good-humored company called Global Mamas. Global Mamas works with local artisanal Ghanaian women who create handmade goods and sells them to enrich the lives of those women. Of course, a proper business needs some technology and software development to help facilitate the company, and that’s how I plan to assist them over the summer: I hope to help build up some of their technological infrastructure and hopefully embrace some local Ghanaian culture while I’m at it.

Before I go to Ghana, though, I’ve been lucky enough to have gotten a co-op opportunity with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland this summer. I’m not sure how much I can reveal about what I’m going to do, but I’m very excited at the prospect of doing research and opening my eyes to some of the most advanced technologies and practices in my field.

My academics are also going surprisingly well. I graduated valedictorian of my high school class of around 400, sure, but I didn't really expect to still have a 4.0 in Computer Engineering and Computer Science after four semesters of college simply because Speed School is notorious for its difficulty. I really doubt that I'll maintain this 4.0 simply because the amount of time required to do so would imply that I couldn't physically sleep, so I'd be fine with dropping the GPA eventually if it meant I had an overall more engaging and meaningful collegiate career.

I'm also lucky enough to somehow still be in my peak physical shape. I dead-lifted five plates for the first time last week, and 495 pounds was not something I ever thought I could lift as a casual lifter even last year. I'm still able to do great calisthenics such as the human flag, skin the cat, and muscle-ups with ease. I love doing weighted pull-ups with over 100 pounds hanging from my belt, and I doubt I'l ever be able to sport this 190 pound frame so well ever again. I'm still able to consistently eat eggs, chicken, sweet potatoes, and quinoa all day every day, and I'm very fortunate to be in such a position to afford those healthy luxuries. My total of three compound lifts is 355 (squatting) + 285 (bench press) + 495 (deadlifting) for a total weight of 1140 pounds. This means a lot to me as a "casual" fitness lover. My favorite part about all of this is that I've still been able to maintain my physique without giving in to the inevitable bulkiness that some heavy weightlifters get. But then again, they can probably lift a lot more than I can.

To cap it all off, I’ve had the amazing enjoyment of rushing Phi Delta Theta as a Phikeia this semester. I’ve met some of the most intelligent and well-natured young men in this fraternity. I have had amazing late-night conversations ranging from bidets to Kazakhstan, and I’m ecstatic at the continuing development of these relationships. Life has certainly taken a turn for the fortunate in my life, and I hope that I can appreciate and enjoy this moment as much as I can, for I know these opportunities are rare and I am incredibly lucky to be experiencing this.