Yanni Dahmani (right) and his classmates in the Art of Living seminar enjoy the Bay Area's sunny weather. The seminar was held outside because it was the last day of class, and the weather was beautiful, Dahmani said. (Photo courtesy of Dahmani)

Freshman Focus Q&A: Yanni Dahmani loves Stanford’s computer science, hates its math

Yanni Dahmani, ‘13, attends Stanford University. He is thinking about majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in computer science.


Q: What classes are you taking?

A: This quarter I took one of my required writing classes called Rules of War. I also took economics, organic chemistry and an intro seminar called The Art of Living. It was a philosophy class kind of thing.


Q: What is your favorite class?

A: In the fall quarter it was Introduction to Computer Science. The teacher was the best teacher I have had. Everyone wants him. He throws candy when you answer the question correctly. It is the most popular class. It has 700 people, and classes here are normally not that large.


Q: What class do you hate?

A: Probably econ. I mean I understand the point of it. The teacher is a nice guy and all, but I didn’t like his teaching style. It didn’t vibe well with me.


Q: What are the dorms like?

A: My dorm is awesome. We are like a huge family. We all stick together; it’s like a second home. Imagine Country Day put into dorm form, and that’s my dorm.


Q: How’s the weather?

A: Imagine Sacramento, but everything that’s bad, make it good. In the winter it’s around 65 degrees. It never rains and never gets cold. Right now it’s perfect: 75 degrees. It’s perfect weather every day. It’s literally paradise.


Q: What do you think of the food?

A: Coming here at the beginning, I was like this isn’t so bad. I can live with it. But you become tired of it very quickly. Sometimes I just go and get something somewhere else.


Q: Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?

A: I am just trying to get used to college, and I’m going to go do things later. But in the fall I joined the Axe Committee, which is kind of like a sports appreciation club. I just joined to get free tickets. You go on the fields, and you do these cheer things that get people riled up—like shoot a cannon. I am probably not going to join again.


Q: Are you part of Greek life?

A: We don’t rush until after spring break. I’ll probably do it.


Q: What’s Palo Alto like?

A: It’s a nice city. But the thing is, Stanford is so big that it acts as its own buffer. It’s a hassle to get out. I have to bike 10-15 minutes. I’d rather not.


Q: What disappointed you?

A: It’s kind of hard to meet a bunch of new people even though we are medium sized. The campus is so big, we are really spread out.


Q: What surprised you?

A: The math department here is awful at teaching. Sometimes I didn’t go to lectures and just studied by myself, and that was honestly more helpful to me. College isn’t a place where teachers are going to guide you through everything.


Q: Any advice for the class of  ’15?

A: Actually go and figure out all the campuses that you are interested in.


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