24 September 2009

Walk dammit!

It's my first protest! Check out the activism:

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Posted by Josephine Wong at 5:59 | Permalink

23 September 2009

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Washing hair and academic semesters are similar. Semesters always go through the same set of stages, always in the same order. Washing your hair always goes in the same order, just like the academic year. There's the beginning stage (or as I like to call it, the "I-can't-believe-that-90-minute-lecture-just-flew-by" stage) where class is exciting (because it's new) and since it's the beginning of the year there aren't many assignments. The lax atmosphere of this portion of the semester often causes student to ignore homework and studying because they're too busy catching up with friends or getting back into the academic swing of things. I think that it's probably easier to slack off at this point of the year because as far as students are concerned, exams are a whole month away at this point.

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Posted by Leighna Baxter at 6:53 | Permalink

21 September 2009

Sleeping Over

For my birthday weekend, I decided to sleep over for 4 nights straight (Sept 19-22). I eventually got tired of wasting at least 1.5hrs commuting everyday. Not only I waste time, BART also costs me $6.10 which I can spend for dinner. Today, after my 4-5:30pm PS157 lecture, I went back straight to my friends' apartment. It feels refreshing to be able to relax after a long day instead of waiting one more hour to get back home. For these reasons, I miss living around campus.

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Posted by John Cortez at 8:24 | Permalink

20 September 2009


So, what's the story behind the faculty/student/staff walkout happening on Thursday? It's really a culmination, a build up of seemingly little changes in the university system. At first, there was the increase in tuition, then the class sizes getting bigger( having two sections for the same class becoming squeezed into one big class with max entry), less discussion classes held per week. These increases are affecting students. But, also, professors- the layoffs, furloughs, and, learning more about furloughs- I found out that professor's unpaid time off work is required to be on days off their research days- this, while seems like a "day off" actually hurts them instead of helps. Since, professor's side job is research, cutting into that is not fair. Now, an interesting thing to take note is that professors are walking out. But, what about the lecturers? Lecturerers, get paid less than professors, but nonetheless, do a great job at teaching. They just don't have research. Like a teacher, a lecture-er may be part of a union and as part of their contract, they are not allowed to protest. As much as some have voiced their solidarity to support the walkout, they may choose to remain teaching on that day for fear of losing their job due to breach of contract. That may be why some teachers are staying to teach on Thursday. Another interesting fact is that 25% of allocated resources from university is funding, funding for research. The rest is tuition for education. Due to the cuts, less funding has resulted and now, students who aren't on financial aid or scholarships or workstudy, are in a way, paying for those research funding which basically means that what used to be a benefit to be living in California ( certain privileges since Californians pay tax), those students are basically PAYING for their education now....and more. That is why it is crucial to join the walkout on Thursday. If not, at least support in some other way. I found this facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=138689602704 Whatever your position may be, being aware of how changes are affecting you is important in critiquing and questioning what public education has become and what will happen in the future.

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Posted by Casey Wang at 3:46 | Permalink

20 September 2009

Mushroom Hunting

For PMB 113, California Mushrooms, we have to sign up to collect mushrooms for the lab section. On Saturday, my friend and I went to the Berkeley Marina to collect mushrooms. We went quite early in the morning, around 8 or 9 am, and stayed until 11 am. At first we didn't find anything, but once we found the first little brown mushroom, we started seeing them everywhere! I'm pretty sure we collected at least five different types of LBMs (little brown mushrooms, not all of them brown), two types of shelf fungi, an inky cap, an earthstar, puffballs, some slimy mushrooms, and some Agaricus mushrooms. They're all sitting in my fridge right now. Hopefully they're still intact for lab tomorrow. Some type of Agaricus, I think... Agaricus.jpg

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 0:40 | Permalink

12 September 2009

Berkeley Farmers' Market

Are you tired of finding moldy strawberries at Safeway? I am. Yes, I know I sound slightly like a commercial. So, in an attempt to find fresher produce, my sister and I went to one of Berkeley's Farmers' Market today. There are actually three Farmers' Markets in Berkeley: one each on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. If you guys are interested, visit this website for locations and other information: http://www.ecologycenter.org/bfm/ So the one that my sister and I went to today is located about a block down Center from the Downtown Berkeley Bart Station. We went around 10 am, but there were already quite a few people there. There were a variety of vendors, offering fresh produce, fruit, fresh baked bread, and even beeswax candles! We wandered through the entire farmers' market once to see everything and then turned around to make some purchases. Since most of the fruit and vegetables are certified organic and locally grown, they were a bit on the expensive side. Even thought the produce is extremely fresh, I wasn't sure I'd be able to taste the difference between a $2.00/lb tomato and a $0.67/lb tomato. So instead of buying all our groceries there, we tried to buy stuff that we wouldn't be able to find at Safeway.

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 2:45 | Permalink

11 September 2009

A Sock

Just 5 minutes ago I finished knitting my first sock! I’d probably have to say this is my main accomplishment this week. After all, I have been working on it on and off for a few months. I know, it took me a few months to knit just ONE sock, but it’s my sock and I made it. The best part is that the sock actually looks like a sock AND IT FITS on MY foot (I’m wearing it right now)!

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Posted by Leighna Baxter at 0:04 | Permalink

09 September 2009

Now things are picking up

Panda Tie My dad has the best taste in ties. So it's what, the second and a half-week at Cal-things are starting to shift a bit faster. I think those Calso people were wrong when they said we'd hit the ground running. It was more of a brisk jog. I most certainly wasn't scrambling to get lectures and sorts together. True I was a bit panicky on getting one last class to fulfill my minimum number of units, which reminds me, I got into the Harry Potter decal class. We're supposed to be sorted into our houses by next week, here's hopin for Slytherin! My classes are going really well. Actually, a bit too well. That English professor I mentioned last time said in front of the class how smart he thought I was. Quite embarrassing really because he has no proof. All I did was ask lots of questions, mostly because I am at average intelligence. I hope I do well on the first exam and don't make myself look like a fool. Medical Ethnobotany lab at the Botanical Gardens yesterday was exhausting. Lots of squatting, bad sketching and light sunburns. Since we are at the max of people in this lab, the garden can actually be a bit crowded. I wasn't in a terribly great mood yesterday so I wasn't afraid to be a bit pushy and I may have scared some of the more timid students. Oh dear. Absinthe Today in PMB 150 lab, I was talking with another student about dating on campus. Being that my parents are more on the traditional side-I am officially not allowed to date because quote, "You go to school to learn, not to meet boys." Which really hasn't stopped me. I figured once I got away, dating would be MUCH easier and truth is...not so much so far. While I am constantly (and I mean CONSTANTLY) meeting new people-I'm not really finding anyone special. Yes there are some cute guys in my classes, but they are also complete strangers and probably have girlfriends. While I spend a majority of my time studying, it would be kind of nice to have a more dynamic social life. Where (other than my classes) do I meet people? I'm not much of a drinker so I think I'd do more pooping than partying at pubs/clubs. I'm having a hard time finding clubs I actually like and most of my friends are science majors-which means all of us are always busy. Maybe I should be more patient. A friend took me round to her coop a few hours ago. Cloyne Court is actually kind of nice and clean. I like the private courtyard they have. We saw a bus where a bunch of people had used to attend Burning Man. Plus, they fed me. Except I had to earn my food in a one vs fifty scrambling match. They placed bowls of food outside and everybody dived to grab something before it was gone. People were very nice and one spooned me a bit of spaghetti-but I felt like we were little piglets trying to find a free teat.

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Posted by Josephine Wong at 0:45 | Permalink

09 September 2009

Taking the Long Way Around

Greetings internet world! This is my first post... and quite appropriately so since I've only recently become a Molecular Toxicology major. So about that... it's a long story. I started at Cal in 2006 as a Chemical Engineering major. After about a year in that major, I decided it wasn't a good fit (I couldn't pass Math 1B even after a few tries) and I really wasn't happy. I searched for another major that would improve my mood and settled on Molecular Toxicology. It took both my sophomore and junior years (summer school included) to work towards meeting the minimum requirements to be eligible for filing a petition to change major. Those two years of college were nuts! At one point I was taking a full course load at Cal, working part time and taking a 5 unit class at night at Laney City College in Oakland! All the hard work was worth it... after 2 years of working to meet the requirements I finally received notification of my acceptance into the College of Natural Resources as a Molecular Toxicology major! YAY!!! I have a major!!! I can graduate next spring!!! HOORAY!! What? Graduate in spring 2010? You've only been there 4 years... and you changed your major your senior year?? These are questions probably running through your mind about now... Thanks to the guidance from advisors in both College of Natural Resources and College of Chemistry, and due to endless hours of planning my schedule... and due to my advisors' support, I enrolled in classes for Molecular Toxicology while I was still a Chemical Engineering major on paper. It sounds like a great plan initially and it looks like it's going to work out just fine for me... but it could all horribly backfire. Here's how: by taking classes for molecular toxicology for two years but not actually having that major, if my petition to change major wasn't accepted I would have effectively had lots of course credit that wasn't applicable for any degree and my time at Cal would not have resulted in earning a Bachelor's degree. No pressure, right? So now enough about that... and a little bit about who I am. I'm a first generation college student raised in a small town in the high desert of Southern California. My mother and I were born in the same hospital, and we both graduated from the same middle school AND the same high school (we even had some of the same teachers). I love the Bay Area, and hopefully will never leave. I'm a campus ambassador for the university which means that I give campus tours out of the Public Affairs office. I have been an active member of UC Rally Committee since my freshman year. That's about me in a nutshell. On Friday I'm participating in a Strawberry Creek clean up project to help remove invasive species. I'm really looking forward to splashing around in the creek for a few hours. My class schedule this semester is as follows: PH 162 (Public Health Microbiology), PH 162L (the microbiology lab), MCB 104 (Genetics), IB 117 (Medical Ethnobotany), and two PE classes, Introductory Taekwondo and low intermediate swimming. There will be additional, fancier blog entries to follow. :)

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Posted by Leighna Baxter at 2:30 | Permalink

05 September 2009

Edible Fungi

I'm taking PMB 113, California Mushrooms, this semester. I've been wanting to take this class since my fall semester Freshman year. It sounds pretty intense, but extremely interesting at the same time. The class is mainly focused on how to identify and collect different types of mushrooms. The professor is extremely enthusiastic, and I love how the class is really hands-on. The class includes lab every week and occasional field trips over the weekend. The only bad thing about it is that I really don't like the smell of mushrooms, so being in lab for three hours with mushrooms makes me a bit noxious. On another note, I also detest eating mushrooms. Luckily, we don't have to eat mushrooms in this class. Anyways, I'm always raving about how amazing Cheeseboard Pizza is, so I asked my sister when she wanted to go. She chose yesterday to go to Cheeseboard because they were serving Cremini Mushroom Pizza. Unlike me, my sister loves mushrooms and usually takes all the mushrooms I don't want. I was going to be brave and trust that everything at Cheeseboard is good, including mushroom pizza, but in the end, I opted to eat a load of Kudos bars, instead. Oops.

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 5:39 | Permalink

04 September 2009

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

I can't believe that I've been in medical school for more than a month now. Here at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Kansas City, Missouri, I've been learning everything from anatomy, biochemistry, embryology, histology, immunology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology. With my Molecular Toxicology background, most of the subjects come to me quite easily. The hardest ones for me are Immunology and Anatomy. I've never been good at blatant memorization (Anatomy/Microbio). The end part of immunology is great for me because we learned alot about apoptosis and necrosis (yay death domains!) with NST 110. For anyone with a MolTox major, take an extra upper div class in Immuno. Microbio in medical school takes a semi-different perspective from the Microbio I had (the PH one~one of the two microbio major req fullfilling classes that we have as a MolTox) since that one was more about etiology and currently in med school we're going from the lab test perspective. I did my first Gram stain two days ago. The hardest part about being well prepared for med school is... LAZINESS. I had my buddy change my facebook account pswd because I was getting ... sidetracked. We have a final on Tuesday (and another on Thursday). ^^ hahah. yay..... ::cries in the corner:: I'm sure y'all at Berkeley don't have any exams until the end of this month right? Have fun meeting people still while I suffer here. Miss y'all. Pray for me!

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Posted by K. Lee at 3:03 | Permalink

03 September 2009

I am a BEAST!

Who am I? I just fixed the toilet, nyah nyah nyah! That's right-girls can do plumbery stuff and not have an epileptic fit! If you saw a girl walking randomly around with a plunger-that was me, all women should walk with (a clean) one over their shoulder-taking pride in our unclogging skills! Classes are going well so far, right now I'm under the limit of minimum amount of units due to me really not wanting to take two classes of Taekwondo-I have nothing against it-I just like sleeping in more. I was rejected by the Chemistry of Cooking decal and am waiting for my e-owl for the Harry Potter decal. If I don't get that-I'll be taking Education 198 which is a class to help out transfers access resources on campus. PMB 135 is going well, I read over the lab and their pre-lab questions, I am surprised at how easy this one was-my o-chem pre-labs could bench press these. Then again, my o-chem teacher is actually a professor at large from Cal (or so my memory serves) and has a mailbox on campus. PMB 150 is well...fast. It's being taught by five(?) different teachers-which is a fairly unique experience so far. I hope this schizophrenic way of learning doesn't work against me. Currently we're being lectured by this English professor who talks at the speed of light and has a propensity for hitting projectors. IB 117 is as huge as ever. I had to dash like a madmen from one of my other labs in order to land a decent seat up front. The class feels a lot more like an anthropology class than a botany one at the moment-but the labs are crazy cool! We have to go up to the botanical gardens once a week to study and memorize specimens. The thing that I find most disconcerting is how labs and lectures here aren't really connected. In my junior college, labs and lectures were written and done by one person-so what we learned in lecture-we applied in lab and vice versa. Here-to a lesser degree. Even more disturbing is how some people don't even TAKE the lab portion (in some other cases, the lecture). That's like saying I'm going to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and then leave the bread out!! You crazy Cal kids.

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Posted by Josephine Wong at 1:37 | Permalink