26 December 2008

Leaving the dorms and Break

Even though I have been done with school since last Wednesday, I did not leave for home until Saturday morning in order for my parent’s pick-up of me to be more convenient. Well I don’t regret leaving late because I had an awesome time with my friends who had their Math 1A final on Friday night. After they finished their final we all immediately went around Berkeley and hit up at least seven shops and feasted upon ice cream, burritos, frozen yogurt and plenty of doughnuts. Later that night we watched plenty of youtube until 3 am and it was all a blast. Early the next morning I packed and having a couple of hours went to the street fair on Telegraph and bought a fossil for my little brother and just toured around the place. Back at my dorm, I had to defrost the fridge and unplug all the appliances and just stared outside my window and glared at downtown Oakland and the Bay and felt an uneasy sadness about leaving behind Cal even though it was for only a month. My farewell was pretty somber since I was the last to leave my hall so I just left my dorm with the only noise being that of my ipod.

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Posted by Fabian Collazo at 0:28 | Permalink

25 December 2008

Merry Christmas and Have a Happy New Year!!

Read the title.

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Posted by K. Lee at 3:37 | Permalink

25 December 2008

Happy Holidays!!!

Merry Christmas! Have you guys opened presents, yet? :) I hope everyone's having a great time over the break. I'm home in SoCal right now with my family. Spending holidays with family just make them that much more special for me. Anyways, I'm the only one up in my house right now. We stayed up pretty late last night just chatting away. I wish I was still asleep. I'm not sleepy, but I feel like I should make use of the holidays to sleep as much as possible. For some odd reason, I haven't been able to sleep past 7 or 8 am, even when I go to bed at 3 am. Anyways, enough about my sleeping patterns.

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 8:28 | Permalink

23 December 2008

Awesome grades!

Oh man! Coming from a community college, I've worried about how I would do in Berkeley classes, something with a reputation of being so difficult! And although I did enjoy these classes which definitely helped in my understanding of the material, I was still concerned at times with my standing. After all these months of ups and downs, the verdict is that I've got all A's and a B! I haven't had an A in 2 years! And the class I was expecting to get a C in, I got a B! I've gotten so used to being happy with just getting a C that doing better than a C is almost unbelievable! Hope you all did well in your classes! And Happy Holidays!

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Posted by Maria at 0:39 | Permalink

21 December 2008

spreading the generosity

So this rainy Sunday, my roommate and I went to volunteer for Karma Kitchen. It was a wonderful experience- everyone was kind, patient and appreciative of the love and generosity. It was a great feeling! There was so much delicious naan,yummy apple crisp and refreshing rice pudding and mango lasse. These foods were all served and shared by volunteers( including me), given to the guests. The special outcome is in hopes that everyone will pay it forward and do something kind in return for someone else. For instance, we had a karma patch in the corner where farmers gave out free organic foods and fruit. We in return, spread their kindness by continuing this cycle. It really takes one act of kindness and slowly, everyone feels good- the receiver and the giver. It was definitely a great atmosphere- no expectations, no grudges, no rudeness, just appreciation, love, and generosity. If you would like to experience this or volunteer, go ahead onto their website at karmakitchen.org. They are located at Taste of the Himalayas and every Sunday for lunch, this is where it all starts and continues.

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Posted by Casey Wang at 9:38 | Permalink

21 December 2008

Winter break plans

Few things I want to fix before Spring 09 semester starts. 1) Sleeping schedule from 11pm-7am. I was able to do this when I lived in the dorms last year, but when I started commuting everything has been shifted 2 hours later. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with me feeling sleepy and needing more naps this semester. 2) Eating schedule. No more 11-2pm classes, so now I can eat lunch at noon. Now for my winter break plans.. nothing that much since it has been raining a lot recently. I might probably just stay at home and 1) Play World of Warcraft (sigh... why am I playing this game again.. anyways I am on Dunemaul (A) and Frostmane (H) ) 2) Watch Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X 3) Be a driver for my mom when she visits from my home country 4) Tennis.. but the rain!!!

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Posted by John Cortez at 8:44 | Permalink

19 December 2008

winter break plans

Now that finals are almost over, here's what I plan to do over the break- besides of course, sleeping tons and eating lots of food, I really want to be productive as well. Here's what I set out to accomplish: 1. make teramisou cake 2. make pad Thai ( cus I love thai food!)- including the yummy sauce( which I heard is pretty hard to produce), and the peanut sauce 3. think of new foods I can eat over the school semester( since I lived off pasta, frozen veggies, and toast this whole 4 months here). 4. watch movies 5. volunteer 6. family These are not numbered in terms of priority just a list of random things I want to do before we have to get back to school again. What are yours? Any traveling? Vacation? There should be tons of snow now, given the horrible, cold, windy, weather we've been having- surprised I am not sick yet( knock on wood....) Well enjoy your break ! I plan to volunteer for karma kitchen organization( taste of the Himalayas place) this Sunday so look for a post on that!!!

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Posted by Casey Wang at 2:13 | Permalink

19 December 2008

Summer plans

Ever since Telebears 2, I have had to reorganize my schedule. So, according to my new plan, I would have to take IB 132L over the summer. However, I might also take either MCB 102 or econ/speech at a community college. I heard that MCB 102 is super hard during the Fall/ Spring but it depends on whom you ask. From what I gather, it's hard in the fall because it's more memorization involved; in the summer, the course seems to be more conceptual and the final is open book! For me, though, I am more of a memorizer so fall year would be technically, "easier." Anyway, if you plan to take summer classes, enroll early and note that it's 254 dollars per unit!!! and a 92 one time campus fee. Note also the session you are in. Anyway, plan early because summer session tends to fill quickly. If you are taking classes at a community college, make sure that the units are transferrable to uc berkeley- if you want credit! just got to assist.org and you can see which courses are co-listed with our school. Happy studying!!!

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Posted by Casey Wang at 1:57 | Permalink

18 December 2008

A Treat

Ever since my girlfriend and I volunteered at an event for The Organic Center at Clif Bar in Berkeley back in September, we've been a bit endeared to the latter's famous--at least in our world--products. (The former, by the way, has lots of good information on, duh, organic food on their website.)...

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Posted by Juan at 0:11 | Permalink

18 December 2008

A revelation worth sharing

This is something I’d like to share with you, partially because of the holiday season and potentially for your own reflection. Some of you I’ve already told, others I haven’t. Hopefully you will gain something from this. Otherwise, I just wish you happy holidays. One of my sisters died on the day after Thanksgiving. On her death bed, I was telling her about my plans for the future and she told me “Don’t forget to live.” I wasn’t sure what that meant at first but I started thinking about how I had lived my life thus far and how I was planning to live it in the future. I realized that I live my life very goal-oriented. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s great to have aspirations and to work for them. But sometimes, especially as college students, we forget to appreciate things in the moment. With every minute that we spend studying for an exam or writing our notes in lecture, we tend to think in terms of the goal we are trying to reach whether that’s simply the degree, a well-paying job or future stability. For the longest time, I maintained a mentality of “I need to know this stuff so I can pass the exam so I can get my degree” and I would immediately forget the material as soon as the exam was over. I was wasting time, effort, and money for an education that I would never retain.

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Posted by Maria at 2:32 | Permalink

17 December 2008

I'm Done.....

So at exactly 1:30 pm on Dec. 17, 2008 I was officially done with finals and fall 2008!!!!! Yah and all I had to do was turn in my final paper for English. However, the Chem 1A final did screw things over and make me hope for that the curve is lowered...nut oh well If not I will gladly take my grade in stride.

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Posted by Fabian Collazo at 8:22 | Permalink

17 December 2008


HOWDY. its finals week, meaning one thing. i'm procrastinating! well class, the topic of today's note will be "beverage experimentation!" yesterday, Angela had a chemistry review session to attend, being the good girl she is, she went a few hours early to the chemistry library to study her brains out as she has been trained to do since her years as a young'en in high school. after completing professor pederson's problem set 17, she realized she was very very cold. so, in order to fend off (is that the right word? fend off? i dont think so but i dont care either) her coldness, she left the chemistry library and ran all the way up to the tenth floor of latimer hall, hoping that by the time she came back she would be nice and toasty.

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Posted by Angela Hsu at 8:04 | Permalink

17 December 2008

Food in the house

Sigh, everytime my brother or I cook my room starts smelling like food. My room is directly next door to the stove, about 2 feet away... yes, that close! My room doesn't even have a door either since it is actually meant to be a "den" as they call it (or just lounge). So whatever is cooking in the kitchen goes to my room =/ .Food does smell good, but it gets annoying after a while.

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Posted by John Cortez at 4:03 | Permalink

14 December 2008

rain rain go away.... some advice....

sigh. one thing to note: when the library becomes a permanent home because your apartment always feels like an iceberg, you know you have a problem! Hint for people looking for apartments: get one that DOESN'T say "heater is provided!" in the contract nor the one on the first floor with lots of windows. The problem with that is since the landlord controls the heating system, depending on I guess, the kind of people they are, they may/may not turn on the heater! In my case, the heater is most of the time, never on! So, that is when communication with the manager comes in. So if they are nice, they'll fix the problem, in which they did, since I think one could technically sue them for not providing heat.... i don't know. But the main problem now is that even though the heater is on ( for an hour a day :( boo) , the heating system that comes with the apartment doesn't permeate/dissipate the heat into the room so that it's warm! Okay, reality, just take into consideration how worth it you think the apartment is. For instance, when you meet with you landlord and manager of the building, make sure you get to know them better and also your neighbors( to get the inside scoop, if they are nice ;) ) Furthermore, if you are on the first floor with lots of windows, it might get cold! So consider getting a portable heater from home. Most apartments in Berkeley are old houses and will tend to have the old , 60's looking heater so when apartment hunting, make sure to note how old the house is and what accommodation you are willing to put up with! Anyway, I guess going to the library these few days aren't so bad since it is finals time!

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Posted by Casey Wang at 8:33 | Permalink

13 December 2008

telebears 2

Yes, it's weird. My telebears was unusually late this semester! I mean, don't we upperclassmen have priority? But, fortunately, I got into my classes! Here's what I'm taking: - Bio 1A/ 1AL -Physic 8a/ AL - NST 114 - NST 104 Hmm.. though, I wonder if it's manageable. I heard Bio 1A is super hard and 1 AL is even more crazy- there's this lab midterm which requires you to go around for 30 or 15 seconds looking at each station of specimen under the microscope! Physics 8a, is okay depending on your background. For me, I took general phsyics so it might be challenging. So, yes, I'm going to be brushing up on my physics- haha, maybe i'll even have my sister, who's taking physics right now to teach me! ;) Furthermore, there's two professors teaching physics, one of whom is new, so that'll be interesting to see how this course plays out. But, the lab isn't bad. Then, the two upper div classes I intend to take are electives so they should be interesting and fun! From experience, if you have two "hard" courses, try to balance it out with electives/decal/ clubs/seminars so you a) meet the minimum requirements for your college, and b) aren't going to be stressing the first day back from winter break! Good luck on finals!

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Posted by Casey Wang at 8:06 | Permalink

13 December 2008

EEP 100 + Commuting

EnvEcon 100 is over (except my final on Tuesday), so I thought I'd give it an evaluation. This class has been one of the most difficult I've taken so far. It had more math than I anticipated. Also I noticed that my math skill has been getting rusty each semester. I would have preferred essays, but I'm not expecting it from any econ class. 50% of the grade comes from 10 problem sets, a 20% midterm, and a 30% final. Midterms and finals are curved, but not the problem sets. Problem sets can give good grade boost since we usually had at least a week to work on it. However, commuting has finally took a toll on my academic performance. Most study groups happen at night and I have to leave campus by 8pm most of the time; I tried doing some problems sets on my own, but they were too hard and failed.

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Posted by John Cortez at 4:35 | Permalink

13 December 2008

Hit the ground running

This entire semester I've been worried about being able to figure out what's going to happen after I graduate in 2 years. And in the rush of madness between keeping up with classwork, papers, and exams, I've been searching for ways to get my feet wet in my areas of interest. Luckily, I can say I've succeeded in finding such opportunities. Remembering that my interests are environmental education, restoration work, and native plants, I've got an internship at the Richmond Field Station which encompasses the latter two, I will be volunteering at the Jepson Herbarium to learn more about native plants, and I will be working with a local non-profit on educating high school students about restoration and then actually taking them out into the field to apply what we taught them in the classroom. Check on all three!

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Posted by Maria at 2:05 | Permalink

11 December 2008

Finals Crunch

I'm starting to feel the debilitating effects of procrastination. I start checking digg, facebook, and g-mail rabidly; and then I progress to casual game sites, daily webcomics, and the Psychology Today website. ALL BAD. I have Chemistry and Math 16A finals on Saturday. I know I can pull both of them off with an A as long as I study, but I am having a VERY, VERY hard time with that right now. My book is right in front of me. Why can't I do this? Fear of failure? I guess I have to crunch through everything one problem at a time, one page a time. Even if I can only accomplish one problem or one page every 20 minutes, it's a lot more progress than the quick skim I'd have to do late, late Friday night if this procrastination keeps up.

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Posted by Katarina Makmuri at 2:59 | Permalink

10 December 2008

Ways to Stay Awake

Falling asleep on your textbook? I've done that a few times. I just wanted to rest my eyes for a few minutes, but I ended up taking a short nap and waking up with my face stuck to the textbook page. The short nap did revive me a bit, but what if that short nap had lasted longer? Like, a couple of hours? I know some people who study on couches and end up falling asleep for several hours. That's quite a bit of study time. So, here's my list of things you can do to stay awake while crunching for finals: 1) Drink something caffeinated -For a while, I drank hot coffee every morning to stay awake and keep warm. After about a week or two of this, the effect of the coffee kind of wears off. Also, coffee tends to make you crash a few hours after you finish drinking it. I drank some green tea with honey today and that seemed to work quite well. I didn't crash at all and the tea made me feel completely refreshed.

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 2:39 | Permalink

10 December 2008

Last Day

This morning I was in the bathroom chatting with one of my floormates. "Today's our last day!" I exclaimed. "Yeah, I know, finally," she'd said. "Yeah..." But I didn't really mean it. Finally? More like, "What?! Already?! Noooo!" First of all, I just realized that I am not at all prepared to take my finals. Secondly, I'm unlikely to see any of my lovely professors again (my last class is coming up in 13 minutes!). Finally, the end of the semester means that I'm getting... old! (Unfresh! :( )

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Posted by Katarina Makmuri at 2:55 | Permalink

06 December 2008

The Term Paper

I had to write a ~30 page term paper for ESPM 100. I had the entire semester to do my research, conduct my interviews, and compile all of my data into a single document. It seems like this is nothing new for a lot of people, maybe particularly here at Berkeley. But for me, I had never done anything this extensive, let alone write more than 10 pages on a single subject. What's worse is that I have had a horrible history with papers. It would usually take me a couple month just to write a 5 page paper. I've always had difficulty with starting it, continuing it, and finishing it. It was a dreadful experience the entire time.

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Posted by Maria at 2:24 | Permalink

06 December 2008

yummy thanksgiving

Now that break is over, I keep sitting here in my apartment forlornly wishing I could go back home again =( Thanksgiving break was very refreshing- seeing old friends and family was much needed. In fact, the most wonderful thing besides the huge ochem report (grrrr) was thanksgiving dinner, we didn't have turkey, which is fine, Then, thanksgiving day got me thinking: the origin of thanksgiving dates back to the pilgrims and Native Americans "rejoicing and embracing eachother" (yet of course, that story as we all should know, is very much far awaaaay from the truth.) So, for me, thanksgiving is the mere appreciation of all that has been, still is, and will be. Anyway, back to the story: My family had a homecooked meal with ham and cranberry sauce, yummy potatoes with a cinammon-yam sauce to top it off ( though we put to much cinnamon..oops :) ). and of course, pumpkin pie!!! pumpkin pie thogh is actually better cold for some reason, cus when I at it right when it came out of the oven, it was all moisty and tasteless, but if you drink honey water with the pumpkin pie, it's better. random, i know, i was just experimenting. besides the splendid food, this was a great break and now two more weeks and telebears phase 2 until home once again! study hard and remember to take frequent breaks in between so you don't burn out!

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Posted by Casey Wang at 3:32 | Permalink

05 December 2008

Chem...that is all I have to say

Well today I just had my in-class midterm for Chemistry 1A and to tell you the truth it went pretty okay. Currently I have a “B” in the class and I plan on staying at a “B”…hope for nothing lower and probably not going to get higher. It seems kind of ridiculous however that the final is in one week and on top of that it is on a Saturday night…ahhhh. But oh well it will soon be over and break will begin. Just relaxing until reality slaps me back into craziness in the form of o-chem. Right now I am just worried about telebears, which I have on Monday.

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Posted by Fabian Collazo at 8:07 | Permalink

05 December 2008

Christmas Tree Sale

The Forestry Club will be selling Christmas Trees this next week! From Sunday, 12/7, to Friday, 12/12, we'll be selling trees on the south side of Mulford Hall. The sale will be from 9-5 every day. We'll be selling white firs and Douglas-firs at $6 a foot. We'll also be selling handmade wreathes and Forestry Club merchandise.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 0:16 | Permalink

04 December 2008


One of the terrible realities of college is that sometimes (or a lot of the time) you fall behind. You don't take care of all the different responsibilities and obligations you had, and things start sliding off your table. Sooner or later you get to the point where you know you won't get to sleep that night because you have something due the next day. This is what happened to me Tuesday night.

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Posted by Joel Kim at 1:13 | Permalink

03 December 2008

Toxicology blog

This http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/toxicology/ Is a toxicology blog called In the pipeline. I love everything toxicology related... this is quite awesome as it makes tox more relevant. Now.. back to studying. ahhahahahha....

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Posted by K. Lee at 2:02 | Permalink

01 December 2008

R.I.P Minnie Broas 11.28.08

My terminally ill sister has finally passed. And as expected, my family is severely emotionally impacted. You think you can prepare for these things but when it happens you realize just how much of a false endeavor that is. The family counselor gave us a pamphlet that attempted to explain death with a list of things that are often observed at certain stages (i.e. 1 month, 2 weeks, 1 hour). The very first thing it mentioned was that the details in the pamphlet were not to be expected as true for everyone because even death is unique to each person. Well, it definitely was for her, and for my family. She has had a long fight with GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor). She was married for almost 25 years (10 months short) and has a son of 16. The love that emanated from their family was unlike any other. She's always been a healthy person, ran in several marathons, had the heart of an athlete. Her son reflects her athletic abilities with amazing soccer skills. He's even training now for the next Olympics and has had several offers for a professional career. Minnie is such a beautiful person. She has one of those personalities that radiate and make you feel like you've known her forever. In her final months, her husband stayed home and did his work at her side. Each moment was too precious to let go. The remainder of the family, myself included, rotated taking care of her as she had already reached a point where she could not do so herself. This included bathing, eating, moving, defecating and all the simple things that most people take for granted. She continued to intake food and drink although it was taken up by the tumors leaving her nothing to absorb. Overall, those months were like a rollercoaster ride. Some days she would seem practically normal and have regular conversations with you, laughing along at jokes, as if she were healthy again. Other days, she would have seizures which were scary in themselves because she had a request for no resuscitation. She so longed to go but was often unable to. About 2 weeks ago, she requested for some key people in her life to be at her side. That included my other brothers and sister, and her parents. Then on Tuesday, everyone returned back to take care of work and other things expecting to return on Sunday. At the time, Minnie seemed normal and said she would be fine until they returned. Even on Thanksgiving, she was still eating despite having some breathing problems. Finally on Friday, she mumbled some words which made no sense in the order they came out and faded away. There was no pain in her passing and she was in the presence of her husband and son, her two beloved boys. Naturally, everyone feels a degree of guilt, wishing that they had stayed for her last breath, wishing they didn't miss that phone call, wishing they didn't have other responsibilities at the time. But it's good to know that she is finally free of pain and that she is finally where she wants to be. This is what I try to keep in mind and all I can do is be there for the rest of my family. She decided to donate her body to research so that others may benefit from whatever knowledge science learns of her case. Rest in peace, sister.

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Posted by Maria at 3:49 | Permalink

01 December 2008

Gift Ideas

Happy December! It's pretty incredible that there's only about 10 days left of actual classes before Finals. Most of us have a lot to think about: school, family, friends, and the holidays. I was thinking about this last point today--more directly, about gift ideas. Many of us, though, being students, are short on cash. Given this, I started to think about what gifts have meant the most to me and what gifts I would most like to give this season. Sure, there are books, electronics, and video games that I really enjoy. In addition to these, however, there are gifts that I've enjoyed even more because they were meaningful to me. Look into adopting an endangered animal, a plot of land, or tree, for example, in the name of someone you care about who cares about these issues. Some organizations include: Defenders of Wildlife (I adopted a Dolphin for my girlfriend here a couple of years ago and had someone adopt a Panther in my name last year!), the World Wildlife Fund (we adopted a Polar Bear for my girlfriend's sister), and Adopt a Tree. Being socially conscious individuals at Berkeley (for the most part), another great idea is to gift in someone's name to a non-profit that works for a personally--from the perspective of the recipient--salient issue. One local non-profit I found is Seva. They're located in Berkeley and have programs in 10 countries and Tibet that range from sight restoration to women's empowerment. They also focus on healthcare and education--two particularly important areas in development. Check out Seva's Gifts of Service page. So this holiday season, give a meaningful gift if you can! Your recipients will enjoy them. I know I did! If you have any other gift ideas, post them up. I'm always looking for useful, relevant, and purposeful ones.

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Posted by Juan at 3:29 | Permalink