27 June 2009


June 25th, 2009 marked a surreal and numb day for the young and old who were touched by the brilliance of the King of Pop. With no indication from his family or friends that Michael was suffering from any health issues, news of Michael Jackson's abrupt death stunned the world. Although with pictures and videos of our legend plastered on newspapers, websites, fan blogs, and youtube, many still experienced a difficult time processing that Michael was... gone. People claim that life is fragile. It is so cruel to witness how a person can be alive and enjoying the sunshine one minute, and then locked up in a cold refrigerator the next, waiting for his/her funeral. This issue became personal when I lost my best friend on Tuesday, June 16th, at 5:30pm. Especially devastating when this unpleasant surprise came right after two grueling back to back IB 117 lab and lecture midterms on top of my research lab projects. With an average of four hours of sleep each night for the past three weeks, I thought I could finally relax for a couple hours after I handed Professor Carlson my red scantron. But this blissful thought slipped through my fingers like sand in a tightly clenched fist as I strained to comprehend what my sobbing mom was trying to tell me over the phone. Although she did not mean to, she exponentially alarmed and scared me as she kept on stalling the inevitable news by asking me, "where are you, are you far from your apartment, is there a place you can sit down, etc." I immediately thought that my baby Australian cattledog experienced complications during her 4th knee surgery. Never would I come to the conclusion that Max, my bubba, my very first dog, the big St. Bernard mixed with a Bull Terrier, who was my shadow just died 5 minutes before my mother’s phone call. To say the least, this curve ball really caught me off guard. My heart cried as I processed the information my mother was forcing me to hear. I wanted to scream, but all I could muster were these useless questions:
"How could he have an unknown tumor in his spleen? Why would it even rupture? He cannot just leave! I need him, please don’t take him away from me. He was still playing with the water hose on Sunday…. Why would he be “dead” on Tuesday? He doesn’t belong in that refrigerator mmmooommm!"
Although more than a week has passed, I still silently cry at night. I need my buddy so much. No matter how much I beg God to please do not take him away from me, I must now accept the fact that he can no longer guard the bathroom door to protect me now. Or snuggle with me as I read before bed. Or wag his tail when I enter the room. Or stick his wet nose up to my face to kiss me... My parents cremated him three days ago. My only solace is that he is finally home, safe and sound. I really did love him.

Continue reading "RIP" »

Posted by Amelia Nguyen at 8:06 | Permalink

27 June 2009

Best place for the first date... and it's FREE!

Looking for a spontaneous adventure around Berkeley that does not consist of grabbing boba and chilling at the Asian Ghetto? Are you limited on funds and time? If so, check out the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden!!! With aromatic flowers in full bloom this summer, our botanical garden is the place to explore with a few buddies or that good looking lab partner. The 30 minute hike up the hill to the garden is a fabulous way to bond and warm up before touring our:
"...worldwide collection [that] features plants of documented wild origin from nearly every continent, with an emphasis on plants from Mediterranean climates (California, Mediterranean Basin, Australia, South Africa, and Chile). The arrangement of the outdoor collections is primarily geographic by continent of origin or by region including Asia, Australasia, California, Eastern North America, Mediterranean, Mexico/Central America, New World Desert, South America, and Southern Africa. The Garden holds one of the largest and most diverse collections in the United States."
Admission : $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $2 for children ages 3 through 12. The Garden is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM year round, Tropical House closes at 4:00. However, UC Berkeley students, professors, and staffs get in for free :) For more information, please visit: http://botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu/mission.shtml

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Posted by Amelia Nguyen at 7:29 | Permalink

24 June 2009

MCAT classes

It's been about a week since my MCAT classes started. Before I tell you about the classes themselves, here's some info about the MCAT. The test is organized into four sections: -Physical Sciences -Verbal -Writing (2 essays) -Biological Sciences The four sections basically cover all the premed reqs. The test takes about 5 hours to complete, with 10 minute breaks between each section. Notice that half the test isn't even science! You get 30 minutes to write each essay. I think that's where I have the most trouble on. I've always despised in-class essays because I can never come up with the correct word or how to phrase it the way I want in that short period of time. In college, when I write papers, I take at least a week to organize everything and write a million drafts.

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 9:16 | Permalink

23 June 2009

Stumbling and Bumbling

Hi CNR readers, brand new shiny junior transfer here, class of 2011 *crossing fingers*. To be honest, I have no idea how I got here. Cal was a dream in high school that I discarded when I went to junior college at DVC. Originally, I was set to go to UC Davis, I already had an apartment and roommate, I even bought a cheap bike to get around. Heck, even during the hours leading up to decision time, I was teasing all my classmates who kept reloading their myBerkeleyApplication every few minutes (even during organic chemistry!) because I was so sure I was going somewhere else. You know what happened when I finally loaded my page and saw my admissions letter?

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Posted by Josephine Wong at 3:48 | Permalink

10 June 2009

Summer and Scheduling

For better or for worse, in college we are faced with the opportunity to plan our days, months, and years however we want. This means that if we so choose, we may not get a summer at all. In fact, I know very few people who have no summer plans other than hanging out with friends and having fun. Most are either working or taking summer classes. I am doing the latter. This summer, I am taking Anthropology 1, French 4, French 35, Public Health 162A, and PE 1 with a total of 15.5 units, a load equivalent to a fall or spring semester. A part of the reason is that I receive tuition from Stanford University due to my mother's benefits, but another part is that I am genuinely interested in these classes and they are useful at least to some part of my academic plans (the useful part is how I explain things to my mother), which I will reveal later.

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Posted by Jade Liu at 3:09 | Permalink

10 June 2009

summer, summer, SUMMER TIME!

For the first time ever in life, I'm blogging! I'm excited but also a little nervous, so bear with me; if I'm not good the first few times don't worry, I'll get better. promise. Let's jump right into it... Briefly, I'm an incoming senior this year and ofcourse I'm really excited to graduate! However, that's not what I'm writing about today. I wanna chat with you all about summer sessions. grrr. Although I am a senior this year, this is my first summer here in Berkeley and it's a little stressful. As someone who is a native of Los Angeles, used to clamor and crowds the serene environment here on campus was definitely alarming at first. Never did I think I would walk down Sproul and see virtually no one! I'm taking on eleven units this summer, and although it is below the campus minimum of 13 during the regular fall and spring semesters, it is no cakewalk. Classes are two hours minimum and for the most part, pretty small. I don't know about the rest of you, but I live for large lecture halls filled with people (it seems to make each lecture a little more special), quirky professors that encourage attendance just because they fill each day with a laugh. Also, I have the unfortunate opportunity of class everyday which makes me feel like I'm stuck in a language course; another thing that does not sit well with me is the gravity of the courses, missing a day in summer session is like missing a week and a half. However, I will say, you get the almost impossible luxury of experiencing the one-on-one attention from most classes aaaaaaaaaand you get to meet new students. For those of you who have not given up on your college romance, summer sessions lends the possibility to meet incoming freshman before they are consumed by the larger population in the fall, you also get to meet guest students who are taking classes at Cal for the summer only. I'm running late for class so I'll leave you all with this, summer sessions, from my viewpoint, SUCK! lol BUT THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!!

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Posted by Jante' Pruitt at 3:49 | Permalink

04 June 2009


Today, about a week after I have received my logon info, I have finally decided to create my first post. First, I would like to introduce myself. I'm Jade, and I am currently about to be a second year student majoring in nutritional sciences. My first year in college was filled with experiences that I shall hold dear, perhaps for the rest of my life. As I post more entries onto Fresh Faces, I will seek to share much of my experiences and intakes. I am sure that they will be very unique. Now, I would like to give a heads up on my life in Berkeley for the past year. During the fall semester, I was primarily occupied with the marching band, which took up more time than I had anticipated. Through interactions with college students such as those in band as well as my floormates, I came to know what life may be like outside of my childhood as the only child of a widowed Chinese immigrant. I did not like what I found, and I became disillusioned at the importance so many people placed on social life and the differences between their values and my traditional ones, but as the spring semester approached, I began to find my niche. I found it in academics. That's the semester I decided to take on 23 units, plus University Chorus, which I wasn't doing for credit. I found that my place is wherever there is structure, wherever someone definite is in charge, wherever I can talk to others without socializing in its strictest sense. I know this is different for most people, but I do not regret anything. That's it about my school life for now. I may go into more detail later, but now is not the time. This summer, what I'm doing, besides taking quite a few summer classes, is learning to drive. I've been postponing it long enough. So long, in fact, that the only reason I'm learning at all is because of parental pressure. Sigh...I've always denounced automobiles (it used to be televisions and computers too, but I've grown out of that). Automobiles give off too much stinky fumes. It's almost as bad as cigarette smoke, though not quite. Well, it's very late now. I try to be conscious about my sleep schedule, but it doesn't always work. This has been quite a lengthy introduction. And now, I bid farewell.

Continue reading "Introduction" »

Posted by Jade Liu at 2:55 | Permalink

03 June 2009

A Whirlwind of Travel

I'm now in Taiwan after four day of being in Japan which was after 12 days at home. I'm here on an internship. I went to my future workplace, The National Museum of Science and Technology in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Three mosquito bites so far. Not too bad. While in Japan, I visited my old dormmates and church friends. Our dorm of 50 years is closing down this summer to make room for a larger complex. There was a great big reunion where over 100 of the old dorm women came back. Some came with their kids and others were 80 some years. It was great fun and just an amazing legacy. I helped guide the women through the dorm and explain things. The rooms that we used as doubles used to be quads! And, one woman asked us why there weren't any phones in the rooms anymore. We all have cellphones now. ;) Amazing.

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Posted by K. Lee at 3:51 | Permalink

01 June 2009

Summer's here

Hello! It's been a long time since I've written on the blogs. Summer once again, has arrived and every time, I take time to reflect on my past semester and find improvements or positives that I found. For spring of 09, I took NST 159-human diet, NST 114-pesticide and toxicology, Bio, and physics. It was a heavy load but altogether, I have no regrets, except for maybe trying to change my study strategies. So I always start with one goal that I want to achieve every summer- i call it-the improvement goals- so last semester, I realized that I was spending hours studying for physics and bio but all the hard work didn't pay off in terms of the grades that I got. They were all interesting courses and I learned many new, interesting facts, but at times it was frustrating to see the dismal results. So, here's my plan: the old saying, study smart not hard? Yea, trying to figure out thatmystery still and that's what I plan to do, along with my pharmacy job and mcb 102( so excited for this class! NOT kidding- since you get to combine bio and chemistry into real life applications that seem relevant to what I want to do in the future) this summer( and housing). So some tips that i wish i knew before coming to berkeley: effective study strategies, like i wish there was a class for this in high school. By the way, there is a class in cal- it's one of the Education 98 pass/no pass classes( yes, I was curious). Onto the postiives- I loved all my classes, but more of the human diet and pesticide classes. Pesticide class was challenging since the tests were all fill in the blank and was very science( chemistry ) oriented- i recommend taking that in upper div. But, it was fun learning about the pesticides, things that are often overlooked but make a great impact on agriculture, science,and the environement. Professor Milton for the human diet course was very funny( adorable really). There's lots of reading but it's fun reading and very much so a useful class. Both of these were great since it allowed me to learn new outside information that I never knew before- I definitily feel those IQ points adding up. Yup, I'm also still debating on which major to choose between: toxicology or nutrisci, so my next schedule will be combo of nst 103, 110, physics 8b and maybe a decal/PAL and work. Well, enjoy the summer! Don't forget to go to the gym( making up for the 5 months that I neglected- haha... chips and desserts were good though), relax, have fun with friends, and family!

Continue reading "Summer's here" »

Posted by Casey Wang at 0:26 | Permalink