I've been fortunate enough to take classes that have field trips to some of the UC reserves. They are an amazing opportunity to learn about other professors research projects. The Angelo reserve has the Blake's meadow climate change study, which I have a picture of. This reserve is my favorite of hastings and hopland because it is so secluded and the forest cover is amazing. Plus there is an amazing forest with native bunch grasses growing underneath the forest, which is a rare sight in our Ca "golden hills". I won't ramble on too much about the pictures instead read on to see the pictures yourself. These field trips are another thing I love about CNR!
So here am I in Seoul, Korea. I arrived here last night around 6 after a 12 hour flight. I was so exhausted, because I slept very little on the plane (I'm not good at sleeing on planes). I finally got to see The Golden Compass, 27 Dresses, and I Am Legend. I sat next to this wonderful Indian-American woman from Irvine. She was going to Bombay to see her mother, who is unfortunately very sick. We talked about movies, career paths, and her two sons.
Aren't airplanes just amazing? Here I was, taking a trip in 12 hours that 500 years ago would have taken several months. Even now, traveling to Korea by boat would take a long time, weeks even. It's not just the airplane itself, but the infrastructure surrounding it. The airports, the airlines, the systems put into place to ensure people get from one point to another as quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly as possible. Amazing.
On another note: Korean Air has really gotten a lot better over the years. The service is wonderful, and the food is pretty decent. It must be tough to be a flight attendant, though. You're constantly on your feet, you are always traveling, and you have to be calm and in control at all times, even with screaming children or sick passengers.
So I will be leaving tomorrow (or technically later today) for Korea at 12:30 PM. I'm both pretty excited and pretty nervous. This is my first time making a trip back by myself. My parents and my brother will be joining me in the middle of June.
While I am nervous about getting lost or getting screwed or both, I am excited at the opportunity to explore more of Korea on my own initiative. Luckily, my extended family is there to help take care of me, and I have a couple friends that I plan on visiting. Hopefully I'll have a chance to update this blog, to keep you all up to speed on what's going on.
Summer break!!! I'm not taking summer school or anything, so I'm trying to get some clinical experience down here in SoCal. ...not as easy as it sounds....I sent in volunteer applications in February or March to a number of hospitals, but none of them got back to me. So far, I've dropped by two hospitals to ask them in person about the volunteer opportunities. One of them gave me a phone number that no one answers and the other one gave me an application.
belongs to David Archuleta, runner up for American Idol season 7. I first heard this guy one or two weeks ago on a link to american idol, and i fell in love with his voice instantly. The first song I heard was "and so it goes" by billy joel: http://youtube.com/watch?v=bVh2_Na3Oz4&feature=related
I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend listening. This season ranked in the highest number of viewers for the finale, so chances are you've at least heard of the fierce competition. The winner ended up being David Cook, a bartender from kansas city. No doubt he he's a talented singer, but to me, david archuleta still more captivating voice. check out angels:
Last Sunday was the CNR's commencement ceremony!
Laura Lagomarsino celebrating the big day.
Commencement is that special day when you show up in your cap and gown, congratulate all of your fellow graduates, sit with your friends in the hot sun baking under a black robe, and walk across the stage in front of a big, cheering crowd to receive a rolled up piece of paper.
It's a big day. Family and friends drive hundreds or fly thousands of miles to also bake in the sun and watch you walk, hop, and wave your way across a roasting stage.
But it's not the end! No matter how big and exciting that special day was, most of the graduates had the delightful experience of completing the last of their finals several days after commencement. If a crowd member looked carefully, they could find graduates hastily studying review notes and flash cards as they baked in the sun. Many spent that evening, not celebrating with family and friends, but rather attending review sessions, meeting with study groups, filling the study rooms of the library, and pulling all-nighters for their exams the following day.
Graduation only comes after you meet with your adviser, and turn in that last final - when grades are posted and the paperwork goes through.
I walked, but I'm still looking forward to the day my grades are posted and I know I really did make it through.
So my last final is tomorrow morning at 8. To think, that in less than 12 hours, I will be officially done with my third year at Berkeley...Astounding.
This semester's final schedule was less daunting than last semester's. I remember studying in Dwinelle last December, spending the whole day going over my notes for class or working on papers. This semester, studying has been much more chill.
I had dinner with my friend Albert yesterday, even though I have one more final tomorrow. This is one of the few nights that we are both free, and I figured that spending time with him was more important than getting that extra hour or two of studying done. We talked, laughed, shared stories and praises, and dreamed for the future. How the time really has passed...
Living in the dorms is quite an experience! I'll definitely miss my floormates and my roomies! Although dorms are quite pricey, it is worth the experience! For new students coming next year, I suggest living in one for at least a semester.
My first year at Cal was full of both good and bad experiences. For the most part, most of my bad experiences (academics) were avoidable. But for now, I have to recall what I have done wrong this school year and learn from it.
This is one of the busiest times of the year, and not just because of finals, moving, and summer plans. This is the time to say goodbye. All the seniors who have just graduated and are moving on with their lives, all the people going back home or to work or to grad school or to adventure...This is the time to say goodbye. We can't all just stay college students forever, after all.
Yesterday, my friend Nanna flew back to New York, after finishing up her optometry externship this semester. Tomorrow, Virginia is going to fly to Kenya for her mission trip. This weekend, Crystal will be flying back to Hong Kong, and then to USC next year. Irene will be going off to Ohio...
It just feels weird to see all these people leave, without knowing if I will ever see them again. Before, it would make me sad that they were leaving Berkeley. I really wished that they could stay and be with me, but this is unrealistic (not to mention possessive). I can only wish them the best, try my darndest to stay in touch, and hope to see them again in the future.
To everyone leaving Berkeley, possibly for the last time, I say goodbye, and thanks for everything.
After studying for 8 months, now time has come to take a break! Or do something else studying, but in case you insist on studying then yes, you can do summer school. But for those who has no clue what to do this summer, here's a list of some things you can do.
I went to the CNR graduation last Sunday at the Hearst Greek Theater. It was pretty amazing to see all those graduates, lined up in their black robes and mortarboards. Some had leis around their necks, gifts of family or friends; others proudly showed off their stoles and cords, indications of high honors or fraternity membership. Some wore no such adornment, but simply walked on stage, the knowledge of a degree from UC Berkeley honor enough. I knew nearly all the forestry majors who graduated (there were only 15 of them), and cheered loudly for my friend Big Dave (Molecular Toxicology).
So last week I pulled the first all-nighter in my career here at Berkeley. It's amazing to think that in my three years at this prestigious university, I've only had to stay up all night for schoolwork once. It's certainly not an experience I want to repeat again. I was working on my Natural Resource Management paper that was due on Friday at noon.
I had only started research the Monday before. Luckily, I was using a paper for my silviculture class from last semester as a base, and I didn't actually need to do too much research (thank goodness for Refworks!) I stayed up all of Thursday night to write the paper. I had told everyone that it would not be a big deal, that I should be okay. Around evening, I started to write. Time started to warp, and I spent half the time reading/writing, and half the time surfing the internet.
Well I’ve done it. I’ve made it halfway through my Cal experience. It’s been a long year filled with studying, laughing, lots of coffee, Ici ice cream, research, friends and more studying. Up until this past year I’ve never worked and studied so hard, yet as stressful as it can be at times, it is so rewarding. There’s something about that week during finals that only Cal students understand. Yes it probably has to do with lots of caffeine and not a lot of sleep but I like to think it’s something more, whatever that thing is that got us here. I’ve grown a lot in the year I’ve been here, and I am proud of myself for toughing it out during the hard times. I lost a close friend this past fall and keeping up with school seemed unbearable without the help of other students. Overall this year has really been fulfilling and I am glad I chose Cal for undergrad. I’m so grateful to all of the amazing people I’ve met here so far and look forward to another amazing year! year has really been worthwhile and I am glad I chose Cal for undergrad. Good luck to the graduating class of 2008!
I just discovered a great class taught by the cutest professor, a French man who loves to talk about sex, public health issues, and the top reasons why EVERYONE should use a condom (while wearing his happy condom tie). After taking this 2 unit course you will be eligible to apply to the Health and Medical Apprentenship Program (HMAP) where after going through an extensive application and interview process, can shadow a doctor of your choice for an entire semester while attending a discussion session to assist every student in the program. What's great is that HMAP is student run and every person involved in the program becomes more than classmates but more like a small family. I just enrolled in PH 116 and I am looking forward to applying to the HMAP program soon after!
If you're interested, check out the website.
Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 3:01 | Permalink
18 May 2008
We're almost there! Well, for some people, finals are already over. I still have one more final on Tuesday morning.
Advice: Know the location of your final before you get there. Always head out to the location of your final about half an hour before it begins.
My first final was on Thursday at 12:30. Instead of going to Haas Pavilion for the final, I actually went to the classroom. Luckily I headed out early around noon...about 12:15 I walked into Dwinelle and realized that that wasn't the location of the final! I ended up semi-sprinting to Haas. It was really stuffy in there! Hot day + sweating people + people without tissues + final = complete annoyance. Let's just say I tried to get out of there as soon as possible.
Finals weeks are hectic. For once, when you wake up at 8 am and head to the library, you'll see a whole crowd of students at Doe and Moffit. This semester, I decided to find another place to study besides my dorm room. Here are a few places I find that help me study and concentrate better( and from other students' opinions too):
1. East Asian Library( i heard it's really quiet)
2. study rooms in moffit- you get to study with a bunch of people
3. FSM- great area to eat and drink and study
4. Music Library
5. 3rd floor of Moffit- nobody really goes there- it's well lit and quiet
6. Memorial Glade- get a tan and relaxing
That's it so far. If I find any more, or you have any to add, feel free to! Good luck on finals!
thursday may 15th: max temp 99 degrees
friday may 16th: max temp 92 degrees
i don't know bout yall, but i've been burning up! i don't think it's been this warm in berkeley this year so far! Unfortunately, it also happens to be finals week...which makes the heat even more bothersome. Thursday morning, i walk out of my dorm to my bio final (which i bombed, by the way), and i felt like someone turned on the humidity switch in the atmosphere. my testing room was in lewis, and it was even hotter in there!! to make matters worse, i think the temperature change triggered my body to go into allergy-overdrive, because i was sniffling, sneezing, and itchy eyed throughout my final =[
Yep...I managed to completely forgot that I worked today...How you ask?? Well the answer is simple: Finals. I have been so wrapped up in studying and typing that all I can think about is finals. It was yesterday when I was talking to my boyfriend about studying together this morning when he said, Don't you have work? I work the same hour every week for the past semester yet political ecology and environmental science has managed to consume my every thought the past few days. On another note regarding finals...make sure you talk and see people. When Rachel called and suggested we take a break and go get ice cream at Ici, I realized that I've spent 20 hours the past two days typing. It definately recharged my brain and gave me the much needed break...which brings me to my point (finals study trick): Take a break and eat ice cream!! Good luck on finals everyone
Looking back over this past semester, I realize that I've blogged here an average of once a month. That's not very good frequency, especially for a blog. I don't know why it's been so hard for me to write stuff here. I mean, I certainly have a lot I would like to say, but every time I come to blog something, I blank out.
I guess the thing is that a blog is supposed to be focused on my life, my thoughts, my words, and I can't see why anyone would be interested in what I have to say. Not that I have nothing of worth to say, but with so many other pressures and burdens and obligations, I'm not sure why anyone would want to spend time reading this. In other words, I am afraid that if I write something up here, no one will pay attention.
I've come to realize though that this is not the best way to approach the situation. This space has been given for me to write what I think, to journal my thoughts in a way that invites scrutiny, discussion, and even critique. Instead of shying away from this opportunity, I should embrace it.
I can't promise too many more updates before the end of the semester, but I will do my best. I hope that reading this and all the other blogs on this page has been helpful and illuminating.
Permanently for seniors not going to grad school. Three months for people not doing summer school. And two weeks for me.
Also, Congratulations to the Class of 2008!
Now the school year is almost over (well for some people it is already over, lucky for those with no finals), It is time to plan out for summer! Actually let’s talk about that later. Let’s ace our finals first :)
It's amazing how much English I have lost. I haven't written a critical thinking essay since I left Berkeley. Writing one recently wasn't easy. Trying to recall words and spelling was like... whoooohhhhh. You know.. that word...that you want to use...but you can't recall. It's so frustrating. >< Hopefully with more practice, I'll be able to remember soon. :")
Aside from that, I was able to do a homestay with a family in Takahagi, Ibaraki-ken, Japan. Seeing how they lived, even though it was only one night, was quite interesting. Maybe more on this later.
You've probably heard about the budget cuts over in the East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) Department -- maybe you read Angela's post. I heard from a few people, but I didn't know Berkeley has a site that lets me sign in with my CalNet ID to vote on the matter. Check it out: http://petition.berkeley.edu/
The last day to petition is tomorrow, Wed May 14th.
Everyone's probably studying for finals, but summer's just around the corner!!! Even though I'm supposed to be concentrating on studying for finals, I keep daydreaming about what I'm going to do this summer. I know I should try to be productive and volunteer or work somewhere doing something that's related to the medical field, but...staying at home and getting a fun summer job sounds so much more appealing.
A few months ago, I applied for volunteer positions at some hospitals near home, but I haven't heard from any of them, yet. Even though you probably think you have to do something productive every summer of your college career, some experts say you should just take it easy summer of freshman year. You still have a few more summers to show those graduate schools how productive you can be. Why not take a well-deserved vacation? Or get a fun summer job?
If I don't hear back from any of the places I submitted applications to, I'll probably just get a fun summer job and hang out with my friends and family all summer long.
By far one of the most hectic/crazy/exhausting/boring/overwhelming/ridiculous/competitive processes of my entire life....FINDING A SUMMER SUBLET. As if it wasn't bad enough trying to find a good/safe apartment for next year (because I am living out of my sorority), finding a sublet is even harder. The reason why I have to find a sublet is because every nice apartment we looked at has a lease that starts in June but my roommates and I won't be there for the summer so we are forced to find subleases which means we also have to furnitue our house with new furniture and have someone else use them before us for the first two months. So how am I doing it? Well, I have been doing the following to track down some decent tenenats:
1. Write a note on facebook and tag EVERYONE I KNOW (even those in Spain, because they must know someone right?)
2. Post an ad on craigslist
3. change my facebook status
4. tell every single person I know on sproul
Result? I found a sublease...yay. Good luck finding yours if you must!
Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 1:15 | Permalink
13 May 2008
Yes, as I should be studying for finals now, I am thinking about summer. I find that taking intermittent breaks like now help me concentrate better. Anyway, as I ask many what they are doing in the summer, as I still don't have an actual plan, most of course, are going back home. Others are taking classes, and others, are getting summer jobs and volunteering activities to fill up their summer. Wow, for most, we're actually going to be back in our parents' homes for 3 whole months!! It's going to take a while to adapt back to my old life.haha. Well, for my summer, I plan to learn how to cook since I am going to live in an apartment next semester! yay! Other than that, I plan to relax, have fun, get a tan, exercise, and spend time with my family! Nothing like a homecooked meal and my OWN ROOM!!!! What are your plans? Get ahead and think about making your summer productive and worthwhile!
I decided to take a break from studying, and post a little entry. a while back i wrote a post about ligers, and my friend john showed me this link about the tsavo maneaters. I don't know if you have heard about them, but to sum it up in a nutshell:
"The Tsavo maneaters were a pair of maneless lions responsible for the deaths of a number of construction workers on the Kenya-Uganda Railway, from March through December 1898."
sounds like something from a horror movie, doesn't it?!
Behold...it's finals week, better yet...it's hell week. So what's in store for me do you ask? LOTS OF FUN! I have my two biggest finals on the very first day of finals back to back. Why would one of the hardest finals on campus (bio 1 freaking a) be the very first final (8 am) on the very first day (thursday)???? Yeah...well berkeley doesn't vare so what does that mean? I will be camped out at the stacks every night sneaking in my sugar free red bulls from under the table just so I can stay up....
honestly...all nighters should be for comedy clubs and late night parties...not finals!!!
Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 9:11 | Permalink
08 May 2008
i'm sure you've probably heard by now
of what happened this past weekend on south side. there has already been a memorial on sproul plaza, and i'm sure a lot of news stations have picked up on it already. but in case you haven't heard, here's some scary news for you:
BERKELEY, Calif. -- A 20-year-old college student is due in court Tuesday after being arrested in connection with a fatal stabbing at a party at UC Berkeley over the weekend.
May 2008: Berkeley Man Accused Of Fatal Stabbing Of Student
Letter from EALC Chair
To All Students Wanting to Enroll in Fall:
Due to the budget situation, EALC is having to cut Chinese, Japanese, and Korean courses by over 50%. This means that not everyone currently enrolled will be able to enroll in the Fall semester. We will not be able to accommodate students from other Colleges and Schools (outside of Letters and Sciences) in our courses. We recognize that many of you need our courses to complete minor or major requirements, and we sincerely apologize to those of you who will need to change your plans.
We will continue to accept students from all colleges in our summer courses on a first-come, first-served basis. This coming summer we are offering Chinese 1, Chinese 10, Japanese 1, Japanese 10, Japanese 100, Korean 1, and Korean 10. We are also offering 4 literature courses: Chinese 7A and Japanese 7A in Session A; and Chinese 7A and Japanese 7B in Session D.
That sad message above was taken verbatim from the East Asian Languages and Cultures department website :http://ealc.berkeley.edu/message.htm
Pretty sad, isn't it?
Pyrotechnics, robots, explosions, lasers, tesla coils, solar powered Arnold Schwarzenegger chariot.
I spent this past Saturday at the Maker Faire in San Mateo. The Maker Faire is a huge overwhelming spectacle of the most creative people in the bay area. I spent 10 hours there and still did not see everything it had to offer. I will try to recap some of the highlights:
This nightmarish thing:
An armada of cupcake people:
Some hotdogs cooked using lightning coming off a 25' tall tesla coil. Sorry, no video for this one just imagine lightning striking a hotdog and jumping from hotdog to hotdog down a 20' pole. As it got more intense the lightning began vaporizing the hotdog - this vaporization pulled hotdog bits into the arc and the color changed from brilliant purple to a vivid orange!