Well, first semester has come and gone with a level of emotional drama somewhere between a bad boyfriend and the stampede scene in Disney's The Lion King. But it finished well, as things usually do. Here's a recap of the most important points learned, according to subject.

APPLIED MATH: You technically can't know if a situation is "past the tipping point" unless you determine the coefficient of static friction and analyze the forces. It could also be past the slipping point, or not past a point at all. You just. don't. know.
CALCULUS: Newton probably needed a girlfriend. 
CHEMISTRY: You can either do things the fun way, which involves dangerous chemicals, explosions and complicated equations, or you can mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water and get exactly the same thing. 
ENGINEERING DRAWING: To find the buried treasure, draw six lines on a piece of paper and become one with your set square. Pay attention to scale. 
PHYSICS: 1. Bananas are radioactive. 2. Throwing a bucket of paint at an incoming asteroid might save Earth from impending doom.  
PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION: You can't avoid talking to humans just because you're a smarty pants. And when you do talk, be brief and to the point because we don't want to listen to you either.  
CAD: Week One: "Ooh, look, I drew a line." Week Two: "I'd like a red rocket blaster assembly with fully-dimensioned drawing files and a sectioned left view in twenty minutes. Go." A lesson better known as: keep quiet and learn to work under pressure.
And that about sums it up, I think. Overall, the biggest takeaway I found is discovering the difference between "learning" and "perfecting" knowledge. When you switch subjects (and countries) as drastically as I did, you can't just perfect what you already know and be applauded with As.

Learning, unlike perfecting, is messy and socially awkward. You have to be comfortable with looking like an idiot from time to time, with getting frustrated and having things just not go as smoothly as you'd like. But in the end, like most things, it seems to work out.

And it's pretty rewarding, I must say, especially when you're as curious a person as I am. There's nothing quite like being ballsy in the pursuit of knowledge, which, like a new relationship, is far more exciting when you don't have a lot of knowledge to start with. Such mystery...

But I digress. It's time to rest and ready for round two. Huzzah.