29 September 2006

Done With My First Midterm

This morning, I had my first midterm for Math 1A. I immersed myself in the sea of limits and derivatives. Even though I have taken AP Calculus in high school, the materials taught at Cal are really from a different perspective, even though the topics are pretty similar. All I learned before was how to plug numbers into formulas and let the TI-89 do all the calculations for me. But now I have to understand the reasoning behind each theorem before I apply any laws into problems. The real intellectual challenge! And here I am, relaxing myself from academics for a while.

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Posted by Yang Cao at 2:03 | Permalink

29 September 2006

Midterm Slaying, Slashing, & Stabbing

I just got killed today by my three midterms. I thought they would be okay. I had plenty of time yesterday and at odd hours this morning, when I decided to take my time reading instead of cramming stuff in my head. I cannot believe how evil that math test was!!! Afterwards I replayed the gory scene/metaphor in my head.. my guts being ripped out and my face drained of all life. I wanted to quit college, throw away dreams of professional school, and curl up in a ball to be a rock. It took so much effort to go on to a committee meeting, Crossroads for dinner, another committee meeting, then ballroom dance practice. Now I've talked to my loving floormates and feel stable, but it was such a life-changing feeling of doom. I hope that tomorrow's Study Abroad Fair (which I've been anticipating for 2 months) will raise my spirits. My roommates are both going home this weekend and I hope I can stay busily relaxed.

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 1:23 | Permalink

27 September 2006

stagnation and toil

So, it’s been quite a while since my last post, eh? Aye, it has been, matey. The seas have been keepin’ me at bay, what with the disappearance of a reliable internet connection at home. But a promising wind blows on the horizon, and so hopefully this period of posting stagnation’ll be resolved shortly, arr! Speaking of internet connections (and dropping the pirate-speak)...

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 0:02 | Permalink

25 September 2006

When Midterms Attack

I take four classes - Plant and Microbiology, Integrative Biology, Chem 1A and Math 1B. I had midterms for Chem 1A and IB last week. Exactly one week from now is the midterm on PMB and then the week after that Math 1B and IB again. Great. Stop the world! I want to get off! Did I tell you what it's like to take a midterm? The word itself denotes fear into college students with the same magnitude with which "alka seltzer" spells to pigeons. You sit in a huge room with very little writing space and then try to bang out this test, this incredibly hard test, with only your wits and a pencil. C'mon, how many times in your real work are you going to find yourself judged only with two such tools? I propose that Berkeley makes its tests more like real world tests ... and allow us to bring in Internet. Did I tell you I live in Foothill? The Fifth floor on Foothill? Goodness squiggly squirrels. I have to climb the essential height of Sather Tower just to get where I live. I am surprised I haven't suffered from the high climate yet. It has become an art - figuring out how long it takes to get to class and timing it just right so that you can make it without having to sit around bored. Don't do this on your midterm. That is my goodwill advice of the day. My conscience is satiated. Chem has devastated my social skills, especially with girls. After one unforunate encounter I asked my friend why my latest potential turned me down. My friend replied, "The scientific community has proven, with reasonable evidence and confidence, that pick up lines that include the phrases 'electron' 'ionic bonds' and 'effective charge' bear little impact on a lady's conception of you." I then sophiscatedly told my friend to shove it. My laundry is done. I'd be worried someone would steal something but for the fact it is worth nothing.

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 5:57 | Permalink

25 September 2006

Busy Bee!!

Ok, so I've had my log in and password for a good 1-2 weeks now, and yet this is my first entry. The reason for that is Berkeley is no piece of cake. I've already slaved away two all nighters and forgot to eat breakfast for the past 2 weeks. So let me back up a minute and introduce myself. My name is Rola and I am a freshmen at UC Berkeley. I am majoring in Nutritional Sciences and Middle Eastern Studies.

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 3:18 | Permalink

25 September 2006

Super Geek


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Posted by Christina at 2:37 | Permalink

24 September 2006

First Paper

Tomorrow I will turn in my first paper at UC Berkeley. It's only 4 pages, 7 references. This is the kind of paper that I wouldn't have batted my eye at three years ago at my old school, but since it's my FIRST paper due at BERKELEY, it somehow turned into an anxiety-ridden event.

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Posted by Christina at 7:54 | Permalink

19 September 2006

the past couple of weeks....

I cant believe its almost going to be a month since classes started. Some some reason the week goes by so quickly and i have so much to do. I dont know how many people feel the same way but i sure do. With my crazy schedule, i sometimes forget to the most important thing which is take care of myself. For that reason, i have decided to give myself some time everyday just to relax. Going to the gym has helped me a lot. With membership only being ten dollars, i knew i had to take advantage of it. I really like the classes that i am in and i am learning so much so far. I do realize that midterms are just around the corner and that can be a scary thought but i figure as long as i dedicate the time to study and go to my professors and/or gsi's office hours i will be fine. After three years of midterms i shouldnt be that worried. During midterm time, i like going to the library or to different cafes because it helps me in being more productive and focused. Today should be a long day but im excited because i get to spend time with my friends/sorority sisters before hitting the books.

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Posted by Mayra Ceja at 9:41 | Permalink

17 September 2006

Berkeley After a Football Game

Apparently, Cal students like to go to football games. And they are very supportive of their football team. Who knew? Yesterday was a game day but I didn't go. There are many reasons for this. I can make up a few right now. Hold on. Umm, well I had to return a blanket yesterday in San Francisco. I also don't want to stand up for so long. Yeah those are good reasons. I think I'll eventually go to a game ... the Stanford game.

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 0:09 | Permalink

17 September 2006

I am a URSEC now!

I have decided to be a Unit Residential Sustainability Education Coordinator for Unit 3! Whew, it's a long name for a job, but it's much more fun than the name. If you have time, check out: http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~recycle/ssec/aboutus/index.html Today I went to a day-long training retreat for being part of the RSEC program at Cal. There were about 15 people and we played name games, ate great homemade food, and learned sooo much about sustainability. Sustainability? What is it, you wonder? Well, you probably know, but many people in my hall don't. I explain it as a goal in life (in universities, houses, businesses, and everywhere) of not harming the earth and its atmosphere. It is lessening energy and water use, reusing as much as possible, and always recycling as much as you can. I wish I could live a life of no impact on earth- haha, no I don't mean I want to be ignored- but I do mean that my waste and consumption of resources doesn't destroy more beautiful nature and harm the health and resource wealth of future earthlings. My new role in my unit will be to update the sustainability boards, keep in touch with the facilities manager and RSECs, publicize sustainability extensively, and personally talk to people one-on-one and encourage them to have a earth-friendly lifestyle.

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 1:01 | Permalink

15 September 2006

Nothing better than a weekend with your professor in her pajamas

For a Conservation and Resources Studies major, one of the most interdisciplinary majors offered at Cal, there are few hoops you must jump through, but ESPM 100: Environmental Problem Solving is one of them. You want to be in CRS, you take ESPM 100. Non-negotiable. Hopland 163 small.jpg It’s funny how required things never seem like they’ll be much fun. Before I had even walked into 141 Gianinni for the first time, I had already made up my mind: just because the College of Natural Resources mandated that I learn how to environmental problem solve didn’t mean I had to enjoy myself. I secretly prayed I was too far down on the wait-list to get in the course, and not-so-secretly groaned when I discovered that one third of the class was to go on a compulsory field trip – counting for twenty percent of our grade – that weekend. Of course, fate was such that not only did I get into the class (even with a phenomenally large waitlist), but I was also selected for the field trip. I anticipated lots of dry lectures and awkward campfire silence.

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 5:53 | Permalink

11 September 2006

Art Project

I'm taking Art 14 this semester, which is an intro to scuplture course. This weekend's assignment was to come up with directions for a sky-writer. After a great deal of conversation with a pilot friend, here are some directions for a sky-written heart directly above the Campanile.

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Posted by Christina at 2:05 | Permalink

11 September 2006


I just figured out how to get this thing to work. Sorry for the lateness. One thing I learned especially well during my senior year in HS is how to procrastinate. I hope I'm not the last kid to post something. I am going to introduce myself now. My name is Jonathan Stanford Yu. My friends back home call me Jon. The ones here call me Stanford. This never pleases me. No I did not apply to Stanford. I don't want to get a rejected letter from my academic namesake. And no, nobody has beaten me up yet. I don't expect you to find me either so I feel free to divest myself of my middle name. I am currently an undecided major here at Berkeley. My classes are Chem 1A, Math 1B, Integrative Biology, and umm I think it was Plant and Microbiology. All are fun and challenging classes. Yes. Very much so.

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 8:21 | Permalink

05 September 2006

Meetings, Socials, Dinners... and sometimes Classes

So far it's been two weeks at Cal and I'm surprised by how much time I spend talking to floormates, going to club meetings, and eating out at Crossroads or at an amazing reknown Berkeley restaurant. I keep thinking to myself that classes will always be going on, but now is the time to make friends and join organizations that will connect me with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. This may or not be true, but it's my philosophy for now. Tonight I went to a Circle K meeting in VLSB and was reminded of the extreme enthusiasm of all KIWANIS-related activities. In high school I was VP for my school's Key Club, and I searched out over a dozen service projects and recruited students to join in. I loved being in the excited frame of mind, shouting, cheering, and being dedicated to community service. Now, in college, I'm glad I can return to that through this club. Meetings are going to take an hour out of my homework time each week, but I have to admit I love Key Club (therefore, Circle K as well). Classes are starting to smooth out... I attended Math 53's late afternoon lecture today and LOVED Professor Rezakhanlou's vector lesson! He's 10x better than my original Math 1B professor, and almost as good as my high school teacher :) I'm switching to that class, and solving my horrible "Friday morning chem lab" issue- which, by the way, totally destroys all opportunities to take MWF classes in the morning. Advice to incoming frosh: SIGN UP FOR CHEM 1A early in the summer and for the CORRECT lab that you want in your schedule. But life goes on with a Friday lab... I now have 4 days a week with my first class at noon.

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 2:18 | Permalink

01 September 2006

Yuca Root

Nope, it's not Yucca! Nope, not at all. I just want to make this very clear, because if you try looking for Yucca root when you want Yuca root, you'll be terribly disappointed. This is the plant you're looking for: Yuca root is what they make tapioca out of! Have you seen Boba Tapioca pearls? Those are made from Yuca Root, too. Other great uses include anything you could use potatoes for, like Yuca Root gnocchi. Also, its flour can be used to make a wheat-alternative bread.

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Posted by Christina at 7:44 | Permalink