- Name: Tasha Thong
- Major: Biochemistry
- Year at Calvin: Junior
- Country or countries you grew up in: Hong Kong for 7 years and China for 9
- Nationality: Singaporean
- High school: Kunming International Academy
What’s the best class or the best professor you’ve had?
This is really hard because there are just so many great classes and professors. Within my major I have really enjoyed Anatomy and Physiology with Professor Bebej. I enjoyed his class so much that I applied to be a TA in his anatomy lab next semester! I am really excited to get to work with him further. He is an excellent and well organized professor, goes out of his way to help you, and is engaging and entertaining in class. Outside of my major, I enjoyed Philosophy 153 with Professor Halteman. He really challenged us to think and develop aspects of our worldview that I had never really invested much time or thought in before, and he's brilliant and hilarious!
How are the academics at Calvin?
I would say the level of academic expectation at Calvin is pretty high, but definitely not unreasonably so, especially with all the resources Calvin has to help students with learning. It was definitely a little challenging transitioning from the high school standard of academics to that of the college level, but professors are extremely understanding and getting together to study with other students was very helpful to me. As long as you're serious about knowing when it is important to study, invest the appropriate (not too much or little) amount of time, and are not afraid to ask for help, then you're set!
What’s the funniest prank that someone did to you, or that you pulled on someone else?
This isn't exactly a prank, but on my birthday last year some of my friends filled my room with helium balloons which had lots of goofy pictures of me that they had taken throughout the year, many of which I had no idea existed. They also made cupcakes with little pictures of me on toothpicks stuck in each one. I thought it was creative, funny, and super meaningful! I loved it!
Do you work on campus?
I work at Calvin's Phonathon. Basically we call alumni and friends of Calvin to maintain relationships we've built over the years as well as form new ones, and ask for financial support for students through the Calvin Annual Fund. I really enjoy the people I work with as well as all the interesting people I get to meet and talk to on the phone. It's always encouraging to hear how many people genuinely care about Calvin and its students and the support they are willing to give, regardless of whether their gifts are large or small.
What puts the “Grand” in Grand Rapids? Or, what do you like most about GR?
Grand Rapids has some pretty great small restaurants and cafes to explore. Some of my friends and I used to go “cafe hopping” every Saturday and spend some time studying off campus. A couple of my favorite coffee shops are Lantern Coffee and The Bitterend in downtown GR and Kava house and Sparrows in Eastown. As an Asian, food is a huge priority in my life, and I've enjoyed the food scene that Eastown has to offer: Chez Olga, Electric Cheetah, Erb Thai, Gojo's, Marie Catribs, and more. I think it's really fun trying different kinds of food, and it also can be a refreshing break from the dining hall.
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