31 May 2007

para sa kasambayan ko, ang asawa ko si Jane. (my CrAzY! roommate)

Just a warning: this post will probably be all over the place and When Choosing a roommate, do you choose someone you know or go with the random roommate? When I was a senior high school I had the daunting task of choosing a roommate that would live with me for a whole year at UC Berkeley. I mean it is one thing go to class or even be friends with someone, living with someone is a different story. By some strange twist of fate I asked a girl who went to my high school who just so happened to be valedictorian and a neighbor! We actually did not know each other very well and a mutual friend rationalized that we would help balance each other out, i mean we had the same ideals and she would keep me on track. We ended up taking a trip to Hawaii together the summer after we graduated, it was a little awkward at first. We tried to keep the conversation simple- didn't probe too deeply into each other's lives, past, personalities, etc, I guess we were still feeling each other out, still both regretting/questioning the decision of living with someone who was basically a stranger. Actually, we admitted to each other later that we were both intimidated of each other and always asked our mutual friends to reassure us that we made the right decision. Having a roommate you get along with is important. and that is an understatement. They are the person you come home to at night and they are your support system throughout all that Berkeley throws at you. Hawaii was the first step, we bonded over a lot of things, even our quirky hotel roommate. When it came to the dorms, we definitely grew closer and experienced a lot together. Berkeley's a place you have to get used to - and it is even better when you have someone who goes through all the crazy experiences you go through.We have experienced a lot together. We lived on the 8th floor of Cunningham in Unit 2, survived a year of Co-ed bathrooms/showers, walked through People's park at night clutching on to each other's arms, brushed our teeth together, stayed up chatting about anything and everything, threw up together in adjacent bathroom stalls after eating some bad food, discovered shows like sex and the city and desperate housewives together, going to parties, going through the bunkbed "experience" - bruises and all, studied for finals together, mastered the internet realm everything from calmail to facebook, myspace to ImDb, perfecting our ghettofabulous slang, piercing our ears, flew home together carrying gigantic suitcases weighing more than both of us combined, crazy caffeine/coffee rampage nights of fun, discovering a shared love for hummus, pita bread, and smoothies, and oh so much more.

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 3:23 | Permalink

31 May 2007

fulfilling a service...

I am proud to say that as of today, I accomplished my first feat of summer! Score! So a couple of months ago my parent called me to tell me that I had to show up to jury duty or go to jail, because apparently I had "ignored" my other notices. When I contacted the guy I tried to explain that I was a student in Berkeley and could not give up a week to fly to Los Angeles and how I was living in a different city at the time, and of course - because I'm sure he's heard many of the same "excuses" to get out of jury duty, he told me that I had to honor my obligation and serve. This guy definitely was not messing around. So he rescheduled me for this week and I had to come home right after finals so that I could fulfill my summons. So I am officially done with jury duty. ...Granted, all I did was call the the juror hotline the every weekday night (this week) to find out that "you do not have to report for jury duty..." I guess I just lucked out this time. I'll just have to store those "excuses" for the next time i have jury duty. haha just kidding.

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 3:10 | Permalink

31 May 2007

People to See, Places to go, Things to do

So what exactly is there to do and see in Berkeley? Academics and extracurricular activities often leaves many students exhausted and in desperate need for a break, so why not explore what else Berkeley (and surrounding areas) has to offer? One of the things that I have found was that UC Berkeley has speakers such as Jimmy Carter and John Edwards and performers come to the campus and students get of course a royal discount!! We have had such performers as Norah Jones, John Legend, Yo-Yo Ma, and Peter Cincotti (one of my personal favorites). Incubus will be performing at UC Berkeley this summer. There are also some performers that perform around Berkeley at the local high school or throughout the Bay Area such as Michael Buble, Blackalicious, and Mos Def. I went to a Peter Cincotti )who just so happens to be one of my favorite jazz singers) performance in Zellerbach Hall and bought my front row tickets for about $20! Score! haha and after the show, I followed these giddy girls and actually met him, got his autograph, and took pictures with him. Now how many people can say that about one of their favorite artists? You can also explore the street vendors, shops, and food in Berkeley and along Telegraph. The people are always eclectic and you are always guaranteed an interesting adventure. In one day you can do everything from shopping for music, books, and clothes to getting a tattoo or piercing. That's just the kind of place that Berkeley is. about.com has some lovely pictures in their Berkeley Telegraph Avenue photo album: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 1:38 | Permalink

31 May 2007

fly to Berkeley

Every year since I was a freshman, I have participated with the Fly to Berkeley program. Once a year, Berkeley flies up high school students who are also newly accepted Berkeley students from Southern California to stay with host Cal students. This is done in hopes that bringing these students to Berkeley will give them that tiny little push or the reassurance they need to know that this is the place for them to be. SO, as a fly to Berkeley greeter, I have found myself at Oakland Airport for three years, holding "Welcome to Berkeley" signs and flags, sporting the Cal gear, and greeting everyone with "Congratulations" and friendly smiles and hellos.This program has been especially fun because I have been able to host some of the students. Actually, some of the students that have stayed with me are now current Cal students and friends! The program headed by Annie Donato, OHP, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and the bridges and the multicultural recruitment and retention centers has been quite successful and one of the programs I look forward to volunteering/working for yearly. Wondering how I get home? Well, I fly as well; Southwest Airlines to be exact. In fact, my frequent flying has earned me over 3 roundtrip flights. UC Berkeley is great because its location is just right, i mean not too close to home (in Los Angeles) but not too far away that it is a hassle to get home if i want to get there. Driving down is about a six hour trip but flying takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes from gate to gate- it's wonderful! I remember my freshman year, I was always homesick. Everything in Berkeley was such a change from being at home, PLUS i did not care much for the dorm food, which my floormates loved so much. But this place has definitely grown on me, it's very....well Berkeleyesque. It's just one of those places you have to experience i guess. It's nice to know, though, that home is just a hop, skip...well more like a bart, airbart, and plane flight away.

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 0:57 | Permalink

31 May 2007

finals

from an earlier blog that I never posted... After three (well almost three) years, you'd think that finals are now a breeze, that I am now an expert at them. Definitely not. Finals are still as stressful, annoying, and sleep-depriving as ever. But I have learned a few things: 1.) Set at least 3 alarms before your test 2.) the libraries are JAM-PACKED during finals season, get ready to fight(literally) for a seat 3.)I am a way better procrastinating studier than is better for my own good 4.) Showers become a luxury many cant afford during finals 5.) Take deep breaths and breaks 6.)Stay/sleep at the library if you have an 8:00am final 7.) Find your study spot....that will become your home 8.) Beware of STREAKERS!!!! 9.) Energy drinks, coffee, energy gum, etc. are a must 10.) The end of finals will come :)

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 0:10 | Permalink

30 May 2007

Apartment Hunting in Berkeley

This makes one full year that I’ve been living on my own here in Berkeley and recent circumstances have made me inclined to share my knowledge on the topic of finding apartments here in Berkeley. Timing is everything; the end of the spring semester marks the best time for finding apartments in Berkeley. My roommate Jason and I found our place with about two weeks of craigslist assisted searching in mid-June last year. So if you’re going to be a student in Berkeley late April to early July is when you really ought to be signing leases, unless of course you’d rather be subletting part of a cardboard box on Telegraph from a degenerate hobo/street preacher. Here are some quick guidelines for a happy apartment in Berkeley: 1. Look early. 2. Avoid Everest Properties – very shady stuff going on behind the scenes here. (Check Yelp) These are the folks you talk to if you’re into the cardboard box duplexes and abhorrent treatment. 3. Don’t get attached to any one place. The competition is fierce and things go off the market quickly. 4. Roommates can help make rent more manageable but be very careful who you sign a lease with; the rent control laws are so beefy that many renters are frightened to get involved with any tenant disputes. Goodluck! E

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Posted by Eric Thurston at 1:04 | Permalink

29 May 2007

summertime!

Classes are over and so are finals (thank God!)! And now summertime. Actually, some people do not even have a break, because the first round of summer school at Berkeley started last week, the Monday after finals were over (eeks!). I am definitely on of those people that needs the summer to recuperate from the semester and academic year. The summer of my freshman year I coached three basketball teams at a local park with my best friend (well he was pretty much forced into it..we were returning coaches from previous seasons). The summer my sophomore year, I stayed in Berkeley and was a summer camp counselor - now that was interesting! The best part was getting to go to all the fun places I would have wanted to go if I were a kid growing up in the Bay Area -while getting paid for it. This year I wanted to do something different... again. I thought about signing up for scholarships/internships and different other programs including Forestry Camp through UC Berkeley (which I would still love to do), but I got so wrapped up in the school year and the academic and extra-curricular commitments that I had that I missed many of the application deadlines. So instead, I am going to Spain for a Berkeley Summer Sessions class in Tarragona! haha What a jump! I'm super excited! So while others are taking summer classes in UC Berkeley classrooms this summer, I will be doing the same here: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 1:20 | Permalink

29 May 2007

(re)discovering my culture

many people say that college is the place where you "find yourself." There is some truth to this but I mean it is all just a learning experience. Cal is different from where I grew up because of the diversity (though many *including me* would say that this is not enough) that Cal has to offer. Actually, I never grew up around too many Filipinos. At my high school I was always considered one of the token "brown students." My college counselor even called me in to her office to tell me "You are one of my top Mexican students, have you thought about applying to the Claremont Colleges?" When I explained to her that I was Filipino, she kept insisting that I was Mexican and said "I think I would know if you were Mexican or not, it also says so in my computer!" Actually, one of my classmates even asked me where in Mexico the Philippines was (maybe that little faux pas could be contributed to a geography/history teacher or the lack thereof). I never really thought about how big the cultural differences were until college, when I discovered so many other Pilipino students. I learned a lot about my cultural identity and history. I even joined one of the Pilipino organizations on campus. I watched a culture show a few weeks ago and was delighted to see so many dances, costumes, and languages many would just consider to be "ethnic," and am proud to be able to call them my own. http://pass.berkeley.edu

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 0:15 | Permalink

29 May 2007

Favorite Classes

I remember my first day on the UC Berkeley campus, it was coincidentally CalSo and the first time I had ever seen the campus. I loved m orientation because I felt like the counselors really cared (which of course they do) and I felt like I belonged at Berkeley. One of the hardest things was I found was choosing between all the classes. There are so many! So here are a few of my favorites (in no particular order) and if you're lucky even an explanation why:

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 9:20 | Permalink

27 May 2007

A Day in SB with the family

My family went to Santa Barbara today. We took the Amtrak train this morning from the Chatsworth station to SB, which took a good hour and a half. It's been a while since I've ridden the train, so it was pretty cool. I had only gotten about 5 hours of sleep the night before (since I stayed up to 3:30AM reading Sherlock Holmes stories). So I spent most of the train ride either asleep, reading my collection of stories, or bugging my younger brother. When we arrived, it was much colder than we had anticipated. The sky was overcast, and there was a light breeze. Both of my parents and I were adequately dressed for the cold, but my brother was only wearing a T-shirt and jeans. We wandered around the Stearns pier for a bit, and had lunch at a delightful seafood restaurant. I had the Pasta Primavera in Marinara sauce.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 1:12 | Permalink

27 May 2007

Residence Hall Reviews

After staying in one of the dorms for my first year at Cal, I would like to share my impression on all the residence halls. Unit 1 is commonly considered the best of the units. It seems to be in the middle of social/academic priorities, such that you can study when needed, and the place isn’t like a giant fraternity 24/7. It is close to Crossroads (one of the dining commons) and is also pretty clean. Unit 2 was renovated recently, and is only a ten minute walk from campus. Since it is a little bit farther away from campus, it is a bit louder and social. Unit 3 is conveniently located as it is literally two blocks away from the Sather Gate. There’s the Bear Market, Cafe 3, and some other eating places. It is kind of loud and has a pretty diverse spread of class years. Foothill is expensive, mostly unsocial, and far from the Recreational Sports Facility (gym). But if you’re a chemistry/mathematics/engineering/physics major, then Foothill is about 5 minutes away from most of your classes. If you’re humanity major, then you’re likely to whining about climbing up the hill in front of Pimentel Hall or the stairs behind Hearst Mining. Clark Kerr Campus has really nice rooms, but it is very far away from campus. Another problem is that its DC only opens from 6-8 PM for dinner, and there is no late night service or restaurants around. So if you accidentally missed dinner, you pretty much have to stay hungry (snack is always another option) till the next day. Bowles hall, though all male, probably gives you the biggest living area, with large closets, bedrooms, and an adjacent study/common room. It also sports a terrific view of Berkeley, if you get an outward facing room. Stern Hall…not too sure… Anyone has other things to add?

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Posted by Yang Cao at 0:22 | Permalink

26 May 2007

If I were a Cal freshman again, I would...

If I were a Cal freshman again, I would... 1. Check out a few clubs, join a club and actually get involved with it a little bit. 2. Go out to explore the place. Don’t just stay in the room 24/7. Go out to Shattuck on weekends even though it’s a bit of a walk. Go to SF once in a while. 3. Go to office hours, both professor office hours and GSI office hours. You hear this from me, from the staff at orientation, from other students, and chances are you still won’t go to them. But you really should. 4. Avoid getting behind in class. Once you fall behind, it is almost impossible to catch up. This also means to start papers and projects early. Just do it!!! 5. Make friends in classes just in case you miss something and particularly if you like to work in groups. 6. Set up a pattern of studying and keep it up. Go to the library or the academic centers often if you study well there. 7. Try to get decent-good grades, but don’t ONLY do schoolwork. 8. Take personal inventories. Try to think about what you want out of each day, of each week, of each semester, and of college in general. Try to complete these goals. … Basically, any advices that could be passed on to prospective students are welcomed and will be greatly appreciated!!!

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Posted by Yang Cao at 3:51 | Permalink

25 May 2007

UCLA Friends

So right now I am in a dorm room in UCLA. Since Berkeley finished a week or so ago, I decided to come to UCLA to visit a couple high school friends. I spent the night on the floor of my friends' crowded dorm room. Seeing old friends is an interesting experience. To come back together after such a long separation can be a bit awkward. Sometimes, if you've been separated long enough, you don't know what to say; the common foundation for conversation that was there is gone. Still, it is good to catch up with friends. I mean, we may not be as close now as we were before, but that's alright. Just knowing that they're doing well, that they're thriving, is good. I know people who bemoan this change, who try to hold onto relationships as they knew them. But sometimes, you just have to let things go. So I basically spent last night watching The Office for the first time (such a wickedly funny show!), and watching people play Smash Bros. Typical college fare. We talked about future careers, about global warming, about changing our world. Again, typical college conversation. Ah, idealism~ Ah, youth~

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Posted by Joel Kim at 4:03 | Permalink

23 May 2007

Back home

It's pretty strange to be back home in sunny Southern California. Actually, it hasn't been all that sunny since I came back. In fact, it was overcast these past couple days. Still, it's good to be back home. Today I went to see my younger brother Dale compete in the City Finals in high school swimming. I was a swimmer in high school too (butterfly was my stroke), and I remember my City final meets. The tension, the nervousness, the excitement. To see this from a spectator's point of view, rather than from a participant's was rather odd. Still, it was exciting to see members of my high school swim team go the distance. Varsity boys got first, while varsity girls got 4th. My brother's medley relay team did really well (except for the fact that they were disqualified for a false start). All in all, it was a fun meet. Go Cleveland High School!

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Posted by Joel Kim at 1:14 | Permalink

22 May 2007

My first look at CNR

More than two years ago, I was a h.s. senior eagerly looking at Berkeley. I was visiting Cal a week before Cal Day. I'd looked up the Toxicology building, Giannini, on the website. Walking up those beautiful marble steps, I was wowed. The elaborate details and elegance stood out. As my parents and I walked down the hallowed halls, a professor came out. She asked, " Can I help you?" That in itself was amazing. I'd expected Berkeley to be this enormous and impersonal place. Instead, there was an engaging, friendly, professor. She took the time to answer my questions. There was an enthusiasm I'd never seen before. Before we parted ways, she offered me her e-mail address so that I could ask any questions I had later. That day was the day I decided to go to Berkeley. My worries of being lost in the crowd dissipated. Now, I'm not sure about the rest of Berkeley, but its hard to be lost at the College of Natural Resources because the people there care.

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Posted by K. Lee at 3:27 | Permalink

21 May 2007

Summer Fun!

Hello Everyone! I'm getting to the serious business of enjoying summer; so far I've collected sand dollars at Ocean Beach, rowed a boat around Stow Lake, and gone disco bowling in San Mateo. Also, I’ve made a photo journal on Flickr to chronicle my summer adventures; pictures coming soon! Eric's Flickr Photo Journal E

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Posted by Eric Thurston at 3:26 | Permalink

21 May 2007

Yes It Has Been a While...

But none of y'all really missed me did you? So what have I been up to lately? I had my last final on Tuesday and went back from Berkeley on Wednesday. Since then I have been enjoying the absolutely finely mild weather in So Cal. Am I happy? God yes. The problem with blogging during days of relaxation: relaxing is boring. People don't really want to hear from a blog that keeps on saying stuff like, "Yeah my name is Jonathan and all I did today was play video games and meet with friends or watch korean dramas." What can I say? I'm a quiet type of guy. I don't go to Puerto Rico for vacation and I don't have parties. But alas, the window on the horizon! Hope holds much for the blog! I am returning to Berkeley in June to resume summer studies ... because you can only relax so much before it turns into work and you need to do real work for once. I will be studying Chinese and Math. Plug your excitement and bear with me!

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:39 | Permalink

21 May 2007

The changes at home

I had my last final on the 14th and I returned home on the 15th. There's been many changes since last year. 1) The mailperson is now different. The lady that was there ever since I was a weee lil tot is gone. Postage is up to 41 cents. 2) The Los Altos Garbage Company has new trucks. They have this claw that can go in all 8 directions. It comes forward, reaches out, angles for your garbage bin, clamps down around the sides, moves it up and over the top, and replaces it. How's that for really nifty? The guy doesn't even need to get out of the truck...unless he accidentally tips over the bin. Be careful to not put your bins too close to each other, or he'll have a hard time.

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Posted by K. Lee at 0:07 | Permalink

19 May 2007

Microtechnique!

I'll be taking an exciting crash course on plant microtechnique this summer. ie: learning to make microscope slides of plant tissues. Pretty slides, like this grouping from last year, source metioned later: In order from top to bottom: a pollen grain sticking to the stigmatic surface of a Passiflora, Thistle stem cross-section, Iris petals in bud, Melilotus Ovule. I'm looking forward to this course! Here's the description of the course: The Biological Imaging Facility at UC Berkeley offers during the first week of June a one-week workshop in Plant and Animal Microtechnique. The course covers paraffin sectioning and associated techniques using microwave techniques. This class is designed to familiarize the student with up-to-date methods in making microscope slides from specimen material for anatomical and molecular investigations. The more traditional techniques of paraffin embedding and histological staining are also covered. Alternating with laboratory exercises, lectures are presented covering the theoretical aspects of fixation and slide preparation, immunolocalization, and in situ hybridization. Here's a website that tells you a little more about the course, the photos I mentioned, and general information on the state-of-the-art Biological Imaging Facility here on campus: http://microscopy.berkeley.edu/courses/microtech/index.html

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Posted by Christina at 1:15 | Permalink

19 May 2007

Whirlwind over, new storm on its way

Finals are done! Whew! To celebrate the end of the semester, I went with the Specht lab to the UC Botanical Garden, where we took a new lab photo and individual photos of each lab member with their plant of interest. It was very fun! Click on this link to see more of the new photos! http://pmb.berkeley.edu/~specht/labmembers.html With each semester that I pass all of my courses, I feel a little more worthy of a Berkeley education. The tradition of excellence here at UC Berkeley has messed with my mind since I've arrived on campus, and has made me feel like I'm not intelligent enough to be here. With each passing grade I say, "See, you can do this." With each A grade: "Ha! You can cut it in the scientific world!" My friend Benta and I speak often on our feelings of insignificance in the face of such greatness. One difference, though, she belongs here, and I don't! Just kidding. Well, not really... Tomorrow I leave for Paris, France. I'll be in the Paris Herbarium for a week with Dr. Specht. (image from www.myparisnet.com/wp-content/images/JardinDesPlantes000.jpg)

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Posted by Christina at 9:16 | Permalink

19 May 2007

International Travel

Struggling to remember if you can put your 4oz. container of face cream in your carry-on? Didn't realize that your gel shoe insoles will be confiscated at the security desk? Getting your luggage together for the airport can be tricky when you're flying internationally - or even from state to state these days. Here's a webiste that helps make sense of the regulations regarding tricky and commonplace items. It includes an easy-to-scan chart, and links to other helpful travel tips: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm#1

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Posted by Christina at 9:02 | Permalink

16 May 2007

My Favorite Online Gardening Resources

As the garden manager for the Ridge House Cooperative, I find every now and again that I need a little inspiration when it comes to figuring out what to do around the garden. Here are some websites and magazines that I have turned to throughout the course of this semester, to make my life a little easier: Organic Gardening. Here's a page on their website that gives you links to articles on growing techniques: http://organicgardening.com/subchannel/1,7513,s1-5-19,00.html Sunset Magazine. Every gardener has a copy of the Sunset Garden Book, but their magazine has a checklist each month with what to do in your garden. Here's a link to their advice for May: http://www.sunset.com/sunset/garden/article/0,20633,1181031,00.html Better Homes & Gardens. Now here's a good source for landscaping ideas. It won't help you so much with the day-to-day care of the garden, but it'll help you make heads or tails of what you want your garden to look like overall. With so many beautiful photos of gardens on their website, it's enough to inspire you to build your own breathtaking garden. http://www.bhg.com/bhg/gardening/

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Posted by Christina at 9:54 | Permalink

15 May 2007

Finals...

So my last final exam of this academic year is tomorrow night. In approximately 20 hours, I will be finished with my sophomore year in college. As I wrote that sentence just now, a chill went down my spine. One test is all the remains between me and the end. This final in itself is not a big deal; it's for my Fire, Insects, and Disease course, which is not too difficult. Rather, it's the idea that when I turn in that test, I will no longer be a sophomore, that is a bit daunting. Perhaps that is why I am neglecting my studying. Instead of poring over my notes like I should, I am spending time on Facebook, Youtube, and this blog. Certainly, I am confident in my ability to do well on this exam. Nonetheless, some studying can't hurt. In any case, good luck to everyone still studying for exams (especially all you physics people). Don't worry, for after this week, everything will be a lot clearer.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 3:37 | Permalink

14 May 2007

Green Waste Recycle Yard

Wonder where the trees end up that fall down in a storm? Well, wonder no longer. These folks find it a new home: http://www.greenwasterecycleyard.com/index.htm Not only do they have mulch and lumber, but they also have flooring, bio woodfuel, landscaping retaining walls, step blocks, and furniture!

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Posted by Christina at 2:22 | Permalink

14 May 2007

Finals Week - A-swingin', I must go; I must go.

Finals are here again and everything is just flying along! I dispensed some justice on my Philosophy 114 final. I’ve gotten through two of them and have still two more to go. After finals I’m taking my friend Jessica to explore golden gate park before she has to fly back to Colorado. I’m going to take off to Monterey for the weekend for a weekend of aquariums and adventure! For my DeCal final project I decided to make a zombie movie. We shot it in one day and it was pretty chintzy but the class loved it anyway! Check it out on youtube: The Baking of the Dead. Also, I learned something interesting about Berkeley. Every semester at the end of classes the campanile plays a ballad based on the Rudyard Kipling poem called “Danny Deever.” Then the tower goes silent until the end of finals. It’s been this way since 1930. The song is about the execution of a solider. What do you all make of it? “What’s that so black agin’ the sun?” said Files-on-Parade. “It’s Danny fightin’ ’ard for life”, the Colour-Sergeant said. “What’s that that whimpers over’ead?” said Files-on-Parade. “It’s Danny’s soul that’s passin’ now”, the Colour-Sergeant said. Read and Listen: Danny Deever Goodluck everyone!

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Posted by Eric Thurston at 9:34 | Permalink

12 May 2007

Sympetalae

Also known as Asterids by APG II (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group). This is the grouping of plant families that spans a huge number of Eudicots. Here's how the main groups and families break down: Cornales - Cornaceae Ericales - Polemoniaceae, Primulaceae, Theaceae, Ericaceae. Asterales - Asteraceae (Compositae), Campanulaceae. Apiales - Apiaceae Dipsacales - Adoxaceae, Caprifoliaceae (opposite leaves). Solanales - Convolvulaceae, Solanaceae (both of these have a plicate corolla). Gentianales - Rubiaceae, Apocynaceae, Gentianaceae. Lamiales - Oleaceae, Plantaginaceae, Acanthaceae, Lamiaceae.

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Posted by Christina at 1:27 | Permalink

12 May 2007

Study Abroad Q&A I

Q: I'm thinking of going my sophomore year, what do you think? A: The problem with Japan is that the deadline is early compared to most other countries. I'm glad that you're thinking early.There's a great program in Japan that is only for people in their sophomore year, so you may want to look at that. The deadline is in early November compared to Jan for countries like England. I had wanted to study abroad off in my sophomore year, but I missed the application deadline. Also, I just wasn't too sure I was mature enough to take care of myself. Also, if you're a science major, you'll have a difficult time taking your science classes in Japan. Nothing is going to transfer into my major for me because there just isn't suitable equivalents that I can take with my basic Japanese. Q: How hard was it for you to apply? A: Quite easy, slightly tedious. Writing the essay was the hard part. It's not difficult, but get someone to proofread it. Also, you need a recommendation. Since the deadline is early for the Japan program, you may not be able to get a recommendation from a professor to submit. Thus, if you're thinking of it while you're still a H.S. senior, go online, print out the recc. form, and ask your teacher to write one for you. When I actually did apply, I got a recc. from my academic advisor/past prof. I had done well in his class, so that was helpful too.

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Posted by K. Lee at 1:48 | Permalink

11 May 2007

Study Abroad Progress

Today, I recieved in the mail several documents: -Letter of Acceptance to International Christian University Summer Courses in Japan. App No UC009. -Good Conduct Surety: I promise to do my best, not disturb the social order in Japan, and stand personally responsible for payment should I go in debt. Hum...that doesn't seem to hard. The guarantor is the International Educational Exchange Office of International Christian University at 10-2, Osawa 3-chome, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181. I'm officially an exchange/Invitee student. -Housing Status Form: I'll also be staying in the Global House, which is the only co-ed, undergraduate dorm at ICU. It's more of a suite format than the rest. Interestingly enough, residents are not allowed on floors designated for the opposite sex. So does that mean that you would be unable to visit a different gendered friend? Probably. Well, I've agreed to not disturb the social order in Japan, so I guess sneaking into the other floor would be a "no-no."

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Posted by K. Lee at 4:13 | Permalink

09 May 2007

Wow, in a few days I won't be a 1st year anymore!

Instruction was officially over yesturday. I can't believe I'll be a 2nd year in a few days. I mean no longer will I be able to make mistakes and say "oh, it's only my first year!"...Dang it! I have a final I am studying for Monday and that's my last one. Organic chemistry..not a peice of cake. Of course I've already started studying for it. I want to be prepared for this test...but at least I'll get to go home Monday and just RELAX. Then I am coming back Friday for a few graduations I have to attend for my senior friends. And I am going to pack out of my dorm room then. We have to be completely out with keys turned in Saturday at 10 am and I have A LOT to pack. I am storing stuff I dont need to take back home in Berkeley like books, printer, comforter..etc. If you are still looking for storage call 1-800-586-3020 and they'll even pick up your stuff! Good luck with finals!

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 9:42 | Permalink

09 May 2007

Happy Birthday

So it was my birthday today. Well, I am writing this at 2:30 AM on May 9th, so technically my birthday was yesterday, but that's splitting hairs, really. Happy birthday. My day was not really a birthday to end all days. I woke up late to class (missed my final judo class of the semester), took a final for Korean, and sat through an hour and a half of presentations. I had only gotten 4 hours of sleep the night before, since I was working on a paper that was due. As you can probably guess, I was pretty tired the whole day. After my final class of the semester, I went to get some gelato (which is free on your birthday), and went to my friend's apartment to take a nap. At 5 I went to the Bean Feed, which is a Forestry Club social event with good food and good people. At 6 I went to a Bio 1B review session, after which a couple of my friends took me out to dinner. After dinner, I trekked up to Bowles (the all-guys dorm across campus) to work on a video for a banquet tomorrow night. We finished just now. The video is not done; two guys are still working on it. This birthday was not the most spectacular or exciting. I remember last year, when a bunch of my floormates surprised me with cake and ice cream, and a group of guys from my church surprised me with cake. This day was filled more with little things, little gifts; people saying happy birthday as they passed, friends giving me little gifts. It's definitely been a good day. Oh! So, as I was walking home, three of my friends called me up and gave me a cake. As they were driving me home, we got pulled over by the police. Evidently my friend's brake light was broken. While we were waiting, one of the cops asked what the cake was about. When we told him that it was my birthday, he said "Happy birthday!" Yeah.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 2:35 | Permalink

08 May 2007

SHIP - Student Health Insurance Plan

http://www.uhs.berkeley.edu/Students/insurance/ At Cal, students are automatically enrolled into SHIP. It's about ~$600 a semester for undergraduates. In order waive out of SHIP, you need to submit the waiver online before mid-August. The decision of whether to waive or not waive comes down to how you like to gamble. You're young, relatively healthly, and have other insurance, then you may want to waive it. If you're active, you may not want to waive. Personally, I waived out of SHIP. I'm covered under my father's health insurance (not a very good plan...that makes me pay out of pocket for nearly everything) which covers less than what SHIP covers. Yet, I think that I won't use ~$1200/year in benefits. This year, I realized what a pain it is to not have ship. I was diagnosed with microscopic hematuria during my physical for my study abroad program. I had to do tests...after tests...for three months. It added up. Yet, when I finally got cleared to go (it seems like I'm one of those ppl that just have microscopic hematuria) I'd racked up ~$600 in medical bills at the Tang Center. So I'm still in the clear. But not by much if ship was on a semester basis. However, if I had gotten seriously sick and needed treatment, you can bet that I would have wished that I was covered by SHIP. The good thing is, you can always opt back into SHIP any time of year. Since the only requirement is that you need to be a student, if you get seriously sick, just waive back in and use the benefits. About 1/2 of the people I know who are covered by parental insurance are also covered by SHIP. SHIP covers alot and is very convenient to use with the Tang center. Don't forget, even without SHIP, you can still use the Tang Center. So its up to you. How well do you think you gamble?

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Posted by K. Lee at 1:57 | Permalink

07 May 2007

Tour of Gump Station, Moorea

Here's a link to a virtual tour of the research center: http://moorea.berkeley.edu/stationguide/ Wondering what to do while you're in Moorea? Here's a guide to hiking, and other great things to do while on the island. http://moorea.berkeley.edu/islandguide/hiking/

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Posted by Christina at 0:54 | Permalink

07 May 2007

Families that just confuse me

Thank you to Bianca Knoll and Bruce Baldwin for these wonderful descriptions. Myricaceae - Bayberry Family. Trees or shrubs, aromatic, commonly with peltate yellow glands; leaves alternate and simple, oblanceolate; stipules present or absent; flowers unisexual, generally monoecious, flowers generally aggregated into spikes, axillary; perianth extremely reduced to subtending bractlets; stamens typically 4; superior ovary composed of two fused carpels, style present with two branches; fruit a drupe. Moraceae- Fig or Mulberry family. Mostly tropical, but found worldwide. Trees and shrubs, milky sap or latex present in all tissue; leaves simple, may be alternate or opposite; stipules present, leaving a circular scar on twig, many with conical stipules covering apical bud; inflorescence axillary, flowers densely packed on thickened axis; flowers tiny, unisexual, monoecious, radial; perianth composed of 4-5 tepals; stamens 1-5, opposite tepals, with explosive pollen release; overay superior or inferior; 2 carpels, one ovule, 2 styles; fruit usually fleshy, drupelike achenes (often aggregated into multiple fruits). Polygalaceae- termperate and tropical. Herbs, shrubs, trees or vines, leaves alternate, simple, entire. Venation pinnate; stipules lacking or spines present; inflorescence a panicle or raceme; flowers bisexual and bilateral; sepals 5, often with 2 fused, and two larger and petal-like, petals usually 3 (5), adnate to staminal tube; stamens typically 8, anthers usually opening by apical pores; style often with one fertile and one sterile branch, the sterile one ending in a tuft of hairs; fruit various. Images from these sites: http://biotech.tipo.gov.tw/plantjpg/Myrica%20rubra-3.jpg http://www.forestryimages.org/images/192x128/1367013.jpg http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/paramo/images/75Monn_cras_small.jpg

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Posted by Christina at 8:36 | Permalink

07 May 2007

Liliales vs. Asparagales

These two give me a headache! Mainly because there have been huge changes in the taxonomy of petaloid monocots over the past 30+ years, and my first plant identification course went by an outdated system. So here's a few pointers: 3-merous? Could be either. Inferior ovary? Always Asparagales. Spotted, not an Orchid or Iris? Liliales. Fruit blackened & crusty (Phytomelan crust) ? Asparagales. Fruit not with Phytomelan? Liliales unless Orchidaceae. Extrorse dehiscence of anthers? Could be either. Introrse dehiscence of anthers? Definitely Asparagales. Nectaries at the base of the tepals or stamens? Liliales Nectaries on septae of ovary? Asparagales. Orchid (Asparagales) Narcissus (Asparagales) Allium (Asparagales) Lilium (Liliales) Phytomelan crust (present in Asparagales, except Orchidaceae) NOTE THAT THE CAPTION ON THIS IMAGE IS INCORRECT!! Allium is no longer in the Liliaceae, within the Liliales. Recent genetic data has moved it to the Asparagales, Alliaceae or Asparagaceae. Photos from these websites: http://www.botanique.org/IMG/arton24565.jpg http://www.theflowerexpert.com/media/images/mostpopularflowers/narcissus/narcissus-jonquilla.jpg http://www.touchofnature.com/Fall%20Pictures/allium_gladiator.jpg http://www.hillkeep.ca/images/Lilium_speciosum_2004-08-14_019xx.jpg http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/seedid/images/Allium_porrum_2.jpg

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Posted by Christina at 7:28 | Permalink

05 May 2007

Special Dinner

The cooperative that I live in, Ridge House, is throwing a big, fancy dinner. It's Rainforest/Cinco De Mayo themed. We're looking forward to all sorts of deliciousness - and the exciting decorations. The one draw back - I have to work tonight. Even so, I'm making dishes. Yummy. Flowers & Greens Salad - including Nasturtiums, rose petals, fennel, red bell pepper, baby spinach, and mixed baby greens. Peach, Banana & Coconut Cobbler - it's delicious. Made it up a couple of weeks ago, and it was a hit. Can't wait to make it again. This time, it's going to be Vegan since I'm making the only desert option that our house's two vegans might eat. Other items on the menu (not made by me): Carnitas Fajitas Somosas killer fruit salad some other stuff, just can't think of them.

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Posted by Christina at 0:44 | Permalink

04 May 2007

Researchers in Paradise

Here's an article that peaked my interest from Berkeley's Spring 2007 edition of the Berkeley Science Review: It's about the Gump Research Station on Moorea Island, French Polynesia. Since I'm going there this Fall, I figure it's a great time to learn about it! Link to the article, which includes all posted images: http://sciencereview.berkeley.edu/articles.php?issue=12&article=moorea Researchers in Paradise A tour of UC Polynesia by Erica Spotswood On the island of Moorea, a mere ten miles from Tahiti in the South Pacific, lies the Gump Research Station, UC Berkeley’s best kept secret. Known more for its attractiveness as a honeymoon destination than for its value to science, Moorea has nevertheless proved itself over the last twenty years to be a place where certain kinds of biological and anthropological research questions can be particularly well addressed.

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Posted by Christina at 5:09 | Permalink

03 May 2007

99 Ranch!

Today I went to 99 Ranch, in Richmond, where I purchased some delicious tea-type stuff.

"Honeysuckle Flower Beverage" The majority of the packaging is in Chinese characters, which of course looks beautiful but... well... I only took one semester of beginning Mandarin.


I love 99 Ranch.  Incredibly inexpensive deliciousness.  A Chinese grocery store - easy to get to on BART, or from campus just hop onto AC Trainsit bus #43/El Cerrito Bart and get off at Pierce St. & Pacific East Mall.



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Posted by Christina at 1:30 | Permalink

01 May 2007

Buying and Selling Textbooks

One great site to always keep in mind is comegetused.com . You can sell your books to other students and cut out the middlemen. ^^ If you don't want to deal with that, go to Ned's or the student store to sell back. Remember to do it early. If they have too many of a book, they won't buy yours. If your book won't be used next semester, they won't buy it back (despite the advertisement on Ned's that says "we buy back every book!"

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Posted by K. Lee at 9:51 | Permalink