27 September 2008


I am thinking of changing my major to MoTox and minoring in N.S. Pretty much, for undergrad, both majors have overlapping courses, so those who are thinking of which major to do, try taking NST 10 and 11 to get a better feel of the different fields. Anyway, If you are thinking of minoring, your advisor has all these great resources about what requirements are needed. So, it seems, to minor in NS, you need to take NST 10, NST 103, NST 106, NST 160 and NST elective of your choice. Mind you, it may seem like a little amount, but don't forget to sign up for courses for your degree and other classes that you need to get into grad school. And, of course, Mo Tox minoring will require a different set of classes, as well as for other minors in CNR. Anyway, seemed like something informative to share. Hope it helped!

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Posted by Casey Wang at 8:05 | Permalink

27 September 2008


I know everyone's really stressed out about midterms and papers right now, but I just wanted to tell you guys to take a break. You won't fail your midterm just because you didn't study every single possible minute. Trust me, pulling an all-nighter does not work. You end up zoning out a third of the way through the exam. So, when you're feeling overwhelmed and you feel like you can't shove any more information into your brain, take a break and relax for a bit...not too long, but long enough to destress your system so you can study some more! Here are some things you can do to destress:

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 1:13 | Permalink

21 September 2008

University vs. Community College

This comparison is strictly in retrospect to my personal experiences both at Ohlone College and here at UCB. 1. Opportunities This is one of the first things that hit me. There are so many opportunities that UCB has to offer, which quite honestly I find overwhelming. They have everything from independent research to study abroad to classes about pretty much everything there is to have a class on. But as a junior I feel at a slight disadvantage simply because I, ideally, only have 2 years here which doesn't give me enough time to experience everything I would like. So my suggestion to people coming into to Cal as freshmen is to take advantage of as many of the opportunities as you can because you have no idea at how much of an advantage you really are.

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Posted by Maria at 2:27 | Permalink

21 September 2008

Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad in Junior Year

Junior year is a great year to study abroad. After two years at Berkeley, you've gotten the hang of things. Going off in your junior year allows you explore and get to know the students at the other schools. You're mature enough to know how things work. And, the students you're hanging out with aren't those job focused seniors. A year abroad is long enough for you to get settled and long enough to really absorb the culture. A semester has often been said by people that its just long enough to settle...and then you have to leave. So if you're going... just go for a year! However, if you're planning to apply to med school, being gone during Spring semester of your junior year can hurt. It means that you'll need to take your MCAT before you leave for study abroad. You have many study abroad things...physicals...shots... forms.. to get filled out before you leave. Do you really have time to study? Also, your grades don't get back to you until 90 days after the program ends. (I'm still waiting for my Japan program grades to get on my Berkeley transcripts...only a couple more days... hopefully.) Many schools (like the Texas system) require that your spring grades be in before they consider you. You''l need to get letters of recommendation from professors before you leave. Thankfully, the Letter Service is a great way to store the letters. If you're planning to take a gap year after graduation, then it'll work out for sure. But if you want to go straight to med school... you may be risking your top schools a bit. Many med schools work on a rolling admissions basis. Your application may be slightly hurt by the wait in transcripts.

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Posted by K. Lee at 0:57 | Permalink

21 September 2008

Change Starts from Within

It was my last school-year in the Philippines (senior, high school) when my "Values" teacher showed me this quote in response to my paper about my dissatisfaction in politics--the "leaders" and the people specifically back home. Luckily I was able to find it again online and thought I might as well share it. Changing myself into a better person is already a struggle to me, but at least this quote reminds me where to begin. "When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world." -Unknown Author

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Posted by John Cortez at 0:30 | Permalink

19 September 2008

Studying Abroad...

Even though I'm a microbial biology major, I feel like I'm going to be more of a MCB major simply because most of the upper division electives for the MB major are MCB classes! I wish there were more microbiology classes offered at Cal. I've always wanted to take 'Food Microbiology,' but I just found out that it's not offered anymore! The professor retired and no one else wants to teach it. So, I did some online browsing and found that the University of Hong Kong actually offers a Microbiology major with a LOT of interesting microbiology courses. HKU is one of the universities that participate in the UC's EAP program, which is the study abroad program. I think studying abroad would be amazing. Not only will you experience academic life in a different country, but also take courses that may not be offered here at Cal. You can check out the EAP website here:


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Posted by Victoria Eng at 9:39 | Permalink

18 September 2008

Can't sleep... friggin car alarm!!

It's been a few months since this car in front of my apartment keeps alarming 66% of the time a train passes by. My bro and I already complained to the manager and I suppose she told the owner about it. Several more weeks later, nothing happened; car alarm still goes off around 2am and 6am. I've been finding myself very sleepy even with 8hrs of sleep. Yesterday we filed another complaint, but that night the alarm went off again at 2:47am and 6+am. Tonight, 30 minutes ago from the time of this posting, we finally saw the owner. We introduced ourselves nicely and told about his car's sensitive alarm. I think the owner was either drunk or has very bad social skills (possibly both). I'm assuming he just doesn't care at all. It was very disheartening. Usually people are considerate especially when asked nicely for something easy to do yet very beneficial. Tonight was not the case. I'm going to bed now and hope for the best. Worst is I get really frustrated and break something...

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Posted by John Cortez at 2:48 | Permalink

18 September 2008

3 day weekends

More time to study? Or... More time to waste? So as I mentioned in my last blog, I dropped one of my classes. As a result my Mondays are completely blank. 3 day weekends, yay? My friends are quite jealous about it, but I somewhat dread about it. As for a commuter this is great, that's $5.70 right there plus the food I would spend on campus. However, I never find myself doing anything productive during my extra day. It's always been that time management issue I am having difficulties with--probably harder to get over with than any class, but also the most important. I believe so because if we master our time management skills, everything else will get easier. But if we finish a class, it doesn't necessarily mean our future classes are going to be easier. In my personal perspective, the biggest thing we can learn from college is not what's on the lecture slides, but rather personal and social skills; personal skills such as time and stress management and social skills such as networking, group work, etc.

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Posted by John Cortez at 2:25 | Permalink

18 September 2008

Dropped a class...

So last week I decided to drop a 5-unit class. It was a challenge to drop the class because I felt like a coward running away from school work. Worst thing is it says on my Fresh Faces profile "Interests: ... learning Japanese". But deep inside, although I really want to learn the language, I have to face the truth that I can't handle the course load. I was taking 18 units, 6 of which were Japanese1A and a supplementary listening class. I am also taking Env Econ100, History 14, and PoliSci 1. My course load from the other three classes are minimal, but J1A was a little too much for my "fun class"--class that fulfills no requirement. I thought it's quite off to stress over this class than my major requirements--so I decided I will just focus on my three classes this semester. Probably play more tennis and spend more time in ASUC.

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Posted by John Cortez at 1:32 | Permalink

16 September 2008

Emerita Professor P. Timiras of MCB

Last Friday, Prof. Timiras passed away. She had undergone heart surgery in the Spring of this year and was not teaching classes this semester as a result. I met her through a friend and she agreed to allow me to work under her supervision on research in Donner (a LBL building). She was one of the most encouraging professors that I have had the honor of working with. I was planning on working on a friend's neurobiology research project, but Prof. Timiras was encouraging me to start my own project to work with curcumin and the anti-carcinogenic effects of it. She told me that research can go only as far as ones imagination, so one should develop that imagination. I regret that I will be unable to carry on her work, but I'll remember her words and the things she taught me in the short time we knew each other. Thank you Professor Timiras.

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Posted by K. Lee at 8:56 | Permalink

12 September 2008

Midnight Cravings

Like I've said before, college totally changes your eating schedule. You eat when you have time, and in my case, I eat whenever I'm bored. Anyways, right now I'm sitting in my studio and craving vegetable tempura. My roommate and I went to CU Sushi for dinner. I had spicy tuna rolls and vegetable tempura...but yes, I'm still craving vegetable tempura. I'm actually craving the veggie tempura from that one Japanese restaurant in the South Side Asian Ghetto. CU Sushi was ok. They have this 1/2 off menu that's pretty reasonable, but their service isn't the best. My roommate went there for dinner about a week ago with some friends, so she knew that they give you a bowl of edamame as appetizers. Our server didn't give us any, so we asked for some.

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 3:43 | Permalink

12 September 2008

Office Hours

What are they? Every professor and GSI at UC Berkeley has blocks of time each week during which students are welcome to go into their office and ask them questions. I know it might seem daunting to approach your professor with a seemingly stupid question, but you'd be surprised how willing some of the professors are to share their knowledge. This semester I'm taking Bio 1B, which is basically plant biology. I took AP biology in high school, but even then, I never really understood the life cycle of a pine. Megaspore...megosporophyll...megasporocyte...they all sounded the same to me! Back then, I just blankly memorized the steps for the exam and forgot all about it immediately afterwards.

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 2:53 | Permalink

11 September 2008

ES vs. CRS

It wasn't too hard for me to pick a major. I have a very strong passion for the environment so the ES major seemed perfect for me. On top of that, I didn't know what I wanted to go into more specifically (i.e. water, health, forestry, etc.) and a degree in ES gave me the flexibility to go into whichever I decided later on. All in all, ES was perfect and I was quite content with it going in. A couple months after the application deadline, I discovered the CRS major which highly appealed to me simply because it focused on an aspect that I felt I was devoting more of my efforts towards, at the time anyway...

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Posted by Maria at 0:56 | Permalink

11 September 2008

MCB 32/ 32L

In case you were wondering, for motox and nutri -sci majors, MCB 32 is a requirement for a diploma and a prerequisite to some upper division classes. However, for those in motox, MCB 32L is a requirement as well. However, due to the frustrating budget cut, they don't offer MCB 32L this semester and am not sure when they will get a lab portion( it looks likely though, in the next year, as I have heard- rumors though...). Good solution is that you can take an upper div course that's equivalent, either IB 132/132L( that note, has a prerequisite of IB 131/131L but i'm sure you'd be fine without taking that course) or CPMB 112/112L. So, you're wondering, why am I worried about not fulfilling this tiny lab requirement? I would like to get into pharm school and has a prepharm requirement, the physiology section needs to be filled as 32L or IB 132L. As I am taking 32 right now, dropping it to take IB 132/132L next semester( since it's only offered in the spring)would be futile since I'd be short on minimum number of units. But, as always, I find a solution to my troubles- and that is, taking IB 132L in the summer. Hopefully, this works out. So, just a heads up on what's going on.

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Posted by Casey Wang at 7:12 | Permalink

07 September 2008

Molecular Toxicology - A Different Breed

For the first time in my Berkeley Career, I'm taking classes that are dominated by Toxicology majors. One of them, NST 171, Toxicology Lab, is restricted to senior moltox majors. In the class of 30, we have 10 people in each team. I'm in Team C. And, we were encouraged to come up with a team name beginning with C....so after Jason's suggestion, we became the CareBears! Hahaha. We've begun cell culturing, a painstaking process of keeping sterile. Adam and Marisela are pros in this as they're involved in research that has required them to work with these. Next week, we'll begin on real stuff and work on stuff relating to the endocrine system. What is also kinda nifty is that Michael, Gary, Marisela, and Karen are also in my NST 110 or PH 162 courses. I shared a class with Lena in the past...but we're not sure which one it was. ^^ Since we're the carebears, we just HAD to take the CareBear test to see which carebears we are. Interestingly, Lena, Alan, and Karen are all Tenderheart Carebears. The best thing about molecular toxicology is that everyone in the major has a different background and how they came to the major is different. The 10 of us came with different backgrounds, different reasonings, and went through different choices to land together in this class. Some of us went through three different majors before landing here. Others are transfer students. Some began with Toxicology from the start, and others added on Toxicology when they learned how cool it was. ^^ What's also awesome is that my group is exactly 1/2 male and 1/2 female. Most of the classes I've been in have been highly skewed one way or the other. So its nice to have an even distribution. So. To: Jane, Lena, Marisela, Karen, Gary, Jason, Alan, Adam, and Michael, Let's make it a good year Carebears! Best Wishes, Kristin

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Posted by K. Lee at 0:39 | Permalink

04 September 2008

An Introduction

I figured for my first entry I should introduce myself... Hi! My name is Maria, but I am also known as Lou. I don't really care which name you use because they both refer to me. I'm a junior transfer fresh in from Ohlone College in Fremont. If you don't know where that is, it's north of San Jose and south of Oakland, and consequently Berkeley. In essence, still in the Bay Area. The first 9 years of my life was spent in Union City which is a neighbor to Fremont. For the most part, much like everyone else's I imagine, my childhood was pretty carefree. I went to school, played with friends, discovered new things in my surroundings...

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Posted by Maria at 7:18 | Permalink