Monday, November 29, 2010

Study Buddy

Until now, I've never realized how efficient having a study buddy was. I honestly believed that I was going to pull an all-nighter tonight studying for the molecular biology lab final and finishing my final Chinese history paper (both due tomorrow). However, my study buddy and I finished reviewing for the molecular biology lab final at the Seaver Science Library in less than 2 hours. Win!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Don't Know What I Want, So Don't Ask Me, Cause I'm Still Trying to Figure It Out

I spent the whole summer debating between a career in dentistry and a career in medicine. I thought I had made a decision until Thanksgiving vacation when my aunt arrived in California and turned my world topsy-turvy again. Now, I'm flirting with the idea of becoming a physician's assistant...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Paranormal Entity

To ring in Thanksgiving vacation on Wednesday, Chris & Co infiltrated a classroom auditorium at Harvey Mudd to watch a pirated version of Paranormal Activity 2. Except the file that was labeled "Paranormal Activity 2" was actually "Paranormal Entity", a knock-off of the critically acclaimed horror film. The movie was amateur. It was pretty bad (though nothing is as bad as the horror movie Jennifer's Body starring Megan Fox).

We collectively agreed that we could have filmed a better horror movie by ourselves, which is saying something since our first home-made horror movie for our Spanish III class drew scathing reviews on YouTube.

(although I'm still confounded that people on YouTube actually took the time to watch our novice horror film... what's more, they informed a group of Asian American kids taking high school Spanish III that we had "un español con acento inglés, deberían mejorarlo tratando de eliminar el acento inglés". No shit, Sherlock.)

Despite the horrible movie, I was glad to spend quality time with Chris & Co. making fun of every scene in the movie. This movie might have been a drag if I were watching it with another group of people.

I appreciate the comfort level that we have with one another. We've all known each other since middle school and the boys have known each other since elementary school. We can confide in each other about wanting to score a girlfriend, wanting to get a boyfriend, douchebags, cock blockers, bad boyfriends, etc. and know that the members of Chris & Co are on your side (and not judging your actions and intents).

And I'm eternally thankful for that. Though college might feel like a transitory phase where I meet few quality, long-lasting friends, I know that I'll always have Chris & Co.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Do You Hear What I Hear - Martina McBride

I went shopping at Kohls today to experience the confusion and commotion associated with Black Friday. While the Boy decides to line up in front of Macy's at 3am last night, I find Black Friday quite overrated. What would possess me to wake up at 4am and wait in line for 2 hours?

Anyhow, I succumbed to the spirit of consumerism and bought a waffle maker for the Boy as a gift for our one year anniversary as well as Raving Rabids 2 for his Christmas present. It was a $27 well spent.

On the drive back, I heard Christmas music on the radio. The end of Black Friday signaled the beginning of Christmas season, may favorite time of the year!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Harry Potter and Supplemental Instruction

Last night, my roomie and I went on a double date with our boyfriends. We dragged the boys kicking and screaming to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with us. The scene with Bathilda Bagshot scared the bejeezus out of me! And I used to think that Lord Voldemort was creepy. Nevertheless, the movie simply felt incomplete. The producers separated Deathly Hallows into two parts (the second part is out in July 2011). Had it been any other movie, I would have offered my sincerest "forget you" - why would I watch a movie that leaves me hanging and forces me to pay extra money to watch part 2? But Harry Potter is different - out of respect for the books, I feel obligated to watch the movies no matter what.

Today was the last supplemental instruction (SI) session for molecular biology before Thanksgiving vacation. I sauntered into the room 5 minutes late, expecting to find the room near empty. I mean, it's almost Thanksgiving vacation. Normal (business) students wouldn't hesitate to take the entire week off. I severely underestimated the gung-ho nature of pre-meds. I walked through the doors to find the classroom filled past capacity, forcing me to sit in the corner on the floor.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Taking a Break

This has been one of the most relaxing weekends of the semester. Since my motivation has already checked out a week in advance of Thanksgiving Vacation, I spent most of the weekend sleeping, eating, and watching movies. I received a ton of clothes in the mail (from my online shopping spree), ate at Urth Cafe in downtown LA (amazing panini caprese and cafe latte), drank Smirnoff Ice and Peach Andres, and watched Nightmare on Elm Street (after which I was too scared to go to sleep), Mean Girls, Pride and Prejudice, Glee, Chicago, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

It's been a while since I had the opportunity to spend so much time with The Boy. He keeps asking me what my definition of a relationship is. At the moment, I'm simply looking for companionship. I'm not looking for longevity, physical intimacy, or thoughts of marriage. But whether or not this relationship is serious, I want to know that we had fun times and good memories together.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I can't wait to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 in theaters! While everyone else has already seen this on opening night, I'm dutifully waiting for my roomie to finish her organic chemistry midterm before watching it in theaters together.

The opening of Deathly Hallows in theater is both exciting and bittersweet. Harry Potter defined our generation and our childhood. We grew up along with Harry and his pals. We stood on our tiptoes year after year awaiting the release of the next chapter in the Harry Potter saga.  To see the imminent end of the Harry Potter series is bittersweet. The release of Deathly Hallows, Part 2 in theaters in July 2011 will put a definitive close on a part of our generation's childhood.

Why I Don't Cook Anymore

This semester, I've been cooking and baking a lot less. Take out food from Panda Express, California Pizza Kitchen, Togos, and frozen dinners have become my best friends. It's a far cry from sophomore year when I would wake up at 7am to make freshly baked raisin scones for my roommates. I can think of a plethora of reasons as to why I rarely cook and bake anymore.
  1. I don't live near a convenient supermarket anymore.
  2. I don't have the time the cook or bake.
  3. I live in an apartment with seven other girls. Aside from the fact that the kitchen is so crammed that I don't have room to store all my baking supplies, the kitchen is perpetually grimy. Our squalid kitchen is so unsanitary that I'm afraid to even set foot in it. Nobody bothers to take out the trash, the floors are never swiffered, the counters are grimy, the stovetop is splattered, food is left out for days, and dirty dishes are always in the sink.
  4. The fourth reason is summed up perfectly by The Oatmeal:

Spring 2011 Courses

My course list for next semester. Let's pray that next semester is a load better than this semester.
  • Physiology of Exercise (EXSC 300L): my advisor said that this class is all about muscle anatomy and how they function in exercise. The whole class is centered on muscles - muscle development, muscle structure, muscle organization, muscle fibers, muscle endurance, muscle strength, muscle damage, etc. There is the standard 3-hour lab section but I'm not stuck with Bara or Dr. Kolb (both of whom are known to grade hard).

  • Human Anatomy (EXSC 301L): memorizing all the different parts of the body. Before I forget, we will be learning more information about muscles...

  • Introduction to Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HP 200): introduction to strategies promoting health and wellness. This class is supposed to be somewhat of a joke.

  • Cultural Competence in Medicine (HP 401): systematic development of specific professional skills for providing effective, culturally sensitive health services to diverse populations.

  • Introduction to Dentistry (DEN 221): getting some hands on experience with dental procedures.

  • Volleyball (PHED 139a)

Friday, November 19, 2010

My First Pair of Cleats

I purchased my first pair of cleats this afternoon at a dinky little soccer shop on Figueroa. I find this exciting because it's the first time that I've purchased gear for a sport. I'm not generally the super athletic type and I've never really played an organized competitive sport before.

I wanted to get a pair of the Puma cleats but the smallest size they had was size 8. In the end, I had to settle for these size 7 Nike cleats (which are actually not a bad deal). I can't wait until next Tuesday's practice when I can test them out and break them in. I'm hoping that they make cutting a whole lot easier.

It's All About Office Hour

Here's my third exam for EXSC 405L: Applied Systems Physiology. This class has been the bane of my existence this semester, the perpetual thorn in my side. It's not even hard material - the tests are simply tricky. When compounded with the professor's adamant refusal to curve the test, this class is like a living hell. But I've made marked improvement compared to my first test:

That was a sad, sad grade.

I despised this class because the exams were near impossible. No matter how much you studied or how much of the lecture notes you memorized, there were constant tricks and potholes in the test.

So I went to office hour. I went to a lot of office hours. I spent two hours every week in office hour. And I ended up getting a 127/150 on the last exam, a grade that is leaps and bounds above my first exam grade.

I think the factor behind my success was office hours. I spent two hours in Dr. Kolb's office picking his brain about potential exam questions. On the last exam, he had already gone over many of the trickier questions with us in office hours which made his test a lot easier.

Moral of the story: go to office hours.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Heritage 1981 Jeggings

Just received these in the mail today. They are definitely the most well spent $14.90 of my life! They are absolutely PERFECT. I regret not buying more pairs of these while I had the chance.

Ultimate Unleashed

Some thoughts after my second ultimate frisbee practice with the Hellions:
  • Strangely, i'm starting to like the forehand throw a lot better than the backhand throw. It feels a lot more intuitive to me. I still have to learn how to snap my wrist more when I throw though.

  • One of the Hellions - Gilly - is the nicest person ever. She actively tries to make me feel like a part of the team!

  • Now that I've gotten the hang of forehands and backhands, they are trying to teach me OI (outside-in) throws and IO (inside-out) throws. In the OI throw, the outside of the disc is pointed up - the disc will fly outside and then inside towards the catcher. The IO throw (which I can't do) starts with the outside of the disc facing the ground. You throw it across your body and it will go out and to your catcher.

  • I've learned zone offense/defense and man defense.

  • I've also learned the apple and banana play. The apple play is initiated by the handler. One of the handlers will cut diagonally across the field to get the frisbee and initiate play. In banana, cutter #2 will run diagonally across to clear the zone. Cutter #3 will run deep and then hook back. Cutter #4 will run very deep and if needed, hook back. Cutter #1 will stay out of the way and if there is room, run all the way to the endzone to make a catch.

  • Role of the offense - stay to the side, run deep, and then cut towards the handler. If you don't get the frisbee, go back towards the sideline.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Syrups for Dessert

After dining in Little Tokyo last night, a few of us decided to get dessert at Syrups in Downtown LA. Their waffles and blackberry jasmine ice cream are amazing!

It was a good night - waffles, ice cream, and a rousing game of Jenga.

And playing Battle of the Sexes. Here's the line of the night:

Question: Who killed George Custer in Custer's Last Stand?

S.Leung: it was an Native American... what was his name? wasn't it like Squinto?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dental Research

After a semester of mass emailing professors and waiting for a response, I have finally secured a research position in Dr. Chen's lab. In summary, I'm going to be studying oral pathogens and piecing together oral bacteria genome using PCR. I have until next Wednesday to become a pro at PCR. Dr. Aparicio should be proud of me!

It was kind of reassuring when Dr. Chen told me that with or without research, I was going to get into dental school with my stats and resume. "So why do you want to do research?", he asked. Going into dental school, there seems to be two tracks - clinical and research based. You can't say that you want to rule out the research option unless you've tried it, right?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Harassing Our Management Company

Lovely. I'm blogging from the study lounge in Parkside Arts and Humanities because at the moment, the internet in my apartment has been disconnected.

Thank you, STUHO.

Our apartment has been having internet issues all semester, thanks in part to our management company (STUHO - yes, I'm calling you out). At the beginning of the year, we had one unsecured internet modem for the entire apartment complex. That meant that 6 apartment units were sharing one wireless router. Each apartment unit contained approximately 6 - 8 residents. That adds up to approximately 36 -48 residents using the same wireless router. At the time, our wireless was essentially nonfunctional - it would take 30 minutes to stream a 3 minute Youtube clip. This spanned approximately one month.

After much harassing (through phone, email, and in-person visits) for a month, STUHO finally conceded and gave each apartment unit its own internet modem. But they adamantly refused to provide us with a wireless router. Once again, we were internet-less for about a week trying to settle this wireless router situation.

And STUHO was doing so well up to this point. For the past two months, I didn't need to harass them about any contractual obligations that they were failing to carry out.

Until now.

Time Warner cut off our internet because STUHO failed to pay the internet bill. It's the ONLY utility that they are contractually obligated to pay for and they still FAIL...

I guess its time for more harassment by phone, email, and in-person visits until they pay our internet bill and get Time Warner to reinstate our internet service.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Clinique Fresh Face Tour 2010

The Clinique Fresh Face Tour took a pitstop at McCarty Quad on Monday and Tuesday, inciting a long line of girls who couldn't wait to get a makeover session (including me).

I love the Clinique 3-step skin care system face wash and moisturizer. After dabbing on the cleaning solution, my face felt softer and smoother than before. I would buy the face wash and moisturizer if they didn't cost freakin' $50. They also had a decent concealer/foundation although it smelled awful afterwards. Their eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara are pretty standard while their lip gloss was awful - it was too sticky for my taste.

The actual makeover was average. My makeup artist didn't really know how to do makeup for Asians. She essentially smeared green cream eyeshadow all over my eye in a matter of two seconds. That was my "makeover". The best part of the makeover process was getting the opportunity to talk to the professional photographers at the scene. I learned a thing or two about portrait lighting, was reminded of how expensive photography equipment is, and received some advice about breaking into the photography business. I have to say, being a photojournalist or a fashion photographer is not a bad job!

The end product:

I also snagged a ton of free stuff: 3 lip glosses, 2 mascaras, a sample of Clinique acne treatment solution, Clinique moisture cream, and an issue of Teen Vogue.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Now I Know What Hell Must Feel Like...

Only in a kinesiology lab will you be required to exercise in a sauna for over 30 minutes. It was 47C and 45% humidity in the sauna. I know we do a lot of crazy labs in this department (dunking myself into a tank of water at 8am, maxing out on the treadmill, getting my own blood samples for a blood lipid/glucose test), but this one was the craziest of all. Direct quote from one of the girls in my lab group – “now I know what hell must feel like“.
But the hotness in the sauna was somewhat soothing since the weather here in southern California just took a dive. Whereas it was over 90F just last week, it’s now 60F (16C) outside with wind chill reminiscent of Chicago.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New Blog, Once Again

Despite the fact that I am the author of more blogs than I can dare to keep track of, I have taken the liberty to create a new blog. I missed the anonymity of blogging – the art of pouring your heart and soul out. My blogging on Tumblr felt too guarded because of the massive amounts of people that I knew personally who were reading my blog.

So here’s to a fresh start. Here’s to a newfound anonymity.