26 August 2009

Live Blogging IB 117 Lec - 1st Day

Hello readers, I'm going to try something never done on this blog before. Something I've never done either. I am sitting in class right now and with my trusty netbook, I am blogging live what the first day of IB 117 - Medical Ethnobotany is like. Check back every few minutes to see updates!

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Posted by Josephine Wong at 6:14 | Permalink

28 April 2008

super smash brothers!

Well, I don't know about all you readers out there, but I can say that ever since my arrival here at UC Berkeley, I've spent more time playing super smash brothers than I have in the rest of my life combined. If you play smash, you might understand these next few paragraphs, but if you don't then you probably wont get a lot of the terminology I'm going to throw at you. Anyway, here's my take on the subject:
It started out last September, when my RA invited me and a few floormates over to his room for a good ol' game of classic smash on his old-school n64. I used to play every once in a while back home, so I figured "oh hey, this sounds like fun. I can try to play Kirby again!" So i grabbed a controller, sat myself down on his couch with a few friends, and played my first collegiate game of smash. Little did I know that within only a few weeks, the game would take over an unprecedented amount of time in my waking hours.
After that first game of smash, I began to play whenever I was bored in the dorms. I was terrible at first, but as I kept playing, I kept improving, and as I improved, I became determined to play more.
Before I knew it, i was playing smash three times a day; it even took priority over my schoolwork at times! And to make matters worse, my roommate decided to bring over her gamecube, and with a game counsel in our hands, all our studious endeavors were lost.

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Posted by Angela Hsu at 2:51 | Permalink

25 April 2008

Being a Transfer Student and Research

Here's my experience with doing research at Cal as a transfer student. I applied to SPUR to find a faculty project. I got the position but I definitely felt at a disadvantage while being interviewed. The first question: What research projects have you worked on at Cal? I'm thinking, well I've only been here for 4 months and they expect me to have a vast list of skills? Yes they do, fortunate for me I had experience doing a research class at DVC (the jc I went to). The next question: Could we get an email address to ask for a letter of recommendation? I'm thinking, in four months I'm expected to be buddy buddy enough with a professor to be asking him/her to take out of their busy schedule to write me a letter or rec? Yes they do. Fortunately for me again, I spent a lot of time in one of my professor’s office hours. The bottom line: If you're going to do research when you get to Berkeley you better spend that first semester doing all you can to boost your resume. Some things you can do: volunteer in a professor’s research and get to know at least one of your professors so you can ask them for a letter of recommendation.

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Posted by Marissa Ponder at 1:16 | Permalink

23 April 2008

some tips for incoming freshies :)

It's nearing the end of April, which means for me, it's almost time to sign up for classes via telebears -.- It's a pain in the butt for a lot of people, especially those who have no idea what to sign up for when that vital 24 hour period comes around- the one they call "phase 1." I remember people telling me "don't worry about what classes you take your first year. it doesn't really matter as long as you get your prerequisites them done eventually." And to those people, i say BOLOGNA!! Of course there's some breathe room to take some "just for fun" classes, but I recommend by all means to figure out some sort of plan to figure out when to take your prerequisites.
I'm an undeclared student, and for the last 2 telebears appointments I've had (fall 07 and spring 08), I've ripped out a lot of hair when the stressful time comes around to choose what classes to take. After a (almost) a full year here at berkeley, I highly recommend you to check out your college advising center.

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Posted by Angela Hsu at 8:39 | Permalink

12 April 2008

Dealing with Berkeley's Academic Reputation

"Berkeley's reputation as a hard school really intimidates me, so I'm not entirely sure I'm enrolling yet." -Kim, high school senior

Actually during Senior Weekend I was talking to a student and she told me something similar. I faced this problem too when I was admitted to Berkeley. I imagined myself going to class with 4.0GPA, perfect SAT scores, and super bright students that I'm going to get C's and D's. But after my first semester, I realized that was not the case. There's actually more than just being bright to survive Berkeley.

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Posted by John Cortez at 9:59 | Permalink

06 April 2008

Apartments 101

Here's what I learned when it comes to scrounging around for apartments in Berkeley- rumors and facts!!!:
1. begin 4 to 6 weeks in advance of your target move date.
2. if you rent a place in may or early june and then sublet it over the summer, be wary of the following:
a) you need your landlord's permission to sublet
b) if you don't find a subtenant, you might be stuck paying rent over the whole summer
3. if you are planning to live in berkeley during the summer, begin housing search in early mid-april wiht targeted moving day in late may or june.
4. try going on Craig's list or cal rentals to look for apartments
5. when looking at apartment, bring: roomates, safety issues, resume, transcripts, camera ( all explained below).
a) bring resume and transcripts since it will be very competitive when trying to get apartment from other people too. You want to look convincing, responsible, persuasive.
b) questions to ask: when to pay security deposit? utilities? sublet possible? How many people allowed? lease? payments? neighborhood? transportation- is there a bus stop nearby, etc?
c) bring a camera so when you get to the apartment, take pics of all furnishings before move in to check condition. This prevents difficulties when moving out of apartment and having potential extra charges......
d) meet the landlord to see what kind of person he/she is- nice, roud, etc.
e) if decide to get apartment, quickly sign lease to avoid missing your target.

hope this helps because I know as a freshman, apartment hunting can be a huge, unecessary headache !!!

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Posted by Casey Wang at 2:07 | Permalink

02 April 2008

John's Guide to Choosing a College!

So most college admission decisions are out already! Having problems deciding where to go for the next 4 years of your college life? or 5... or 6... but let's not hope for that :) . If you want to learn more of how I dealt with this same problem, the first part my story is found on my first blog "Introduction". Now I am going through some things you may want to consider before deciding for a school.

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Posted by John Cortez at 0:06 | Permalink

18 March 2008

Fall 08 Semester Planning!!!

Telebears Phase I begins in mid-April!!! The online schedule of classes for the fall semester is already up, so start planning your schedule! Remember, during Phase I, sign up for classes that fill up quickly, like organic chemistry and the other general science classes. The labs for these classes fill up really fast. You should schedule your other classes to fit around these lower division science requirements since their labs take up so much time.

I've already started planning my schedule and so far, I know I'm definitely going to Chemistry 3B/3BL (this is the second part of organic chemistry) and Biology 1B. Most students take Biology 1B before they take Biology 1A

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 3:44 | Permalink

14 March 2008

Introduction

HI EVERYONE!

So this is my first blog and before I can start providing advices I will introduce myself first. My name is John Cortez and I'm a freshie studying Environmental Economics and Policy (geez such a long name). I am also planning to double major in Political Science because I am mainly interested in policy making and solving public issues. Actually, I thought I was going to become an engineer, but...

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Posted by John Cortez at 8:46 | Permalink

15 February 2008

Declaring at Berkeley!!

I decided that since I know exactly what I want to do, might as well declare early. In addition, rumor has it that if you declare your major you can have some sort of priority during tele-bears and get other perks over undeclared students. The process would have been a lot easier except I had to declare a simultaneous degree in Microbial Biology in CNR and Arabic in L&S. First I met with my CNR advisor and filled a form with my complete plan for the rest of my semesters at Berkeley. After my advisor signed off on my paper and double checked my schedule I made an appointment with my L&S Arabic advisor so she can sign off on my separate packet that had my plan for the rest of my years at Berkeley. Both advisors had to sign BOTH packets from BOTH colleges. I then made copies of both packets and turned in the CNR packet at Mulford and the L&S packet at Campbell. A week later I got my final approval from CNR and then two weeks later I got my full approval from L&S and now I am officially a declared Microbial Biology and Arabic Major at Berkeley...something feels really satisfying about that.

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 0:44 | Permalink

24 February 2008

Growing Apart

One of the hard things about "going off to school" is growing apart from people that you used to be close to. It's something that I've had to adjust to this year. It's sad because it makes you realize people you were close to were only your friend out of convenience. The effort it takes to call someone once every week or two really isn't that hard. I've done my best to keep up with friends that have moved and gone to other schools. But when someone doesn't reciprocate those actions it can be hurtful. However the silver lining in the cloud is that there are so many amazing people at Cal. I met a girl this semester and became friends based on the fact we had a class together last semester even though we never talked before. ESPM classes are great because even though it's my 2nd semester I recognize 5-15 people in each of my classes.

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Posted by Marissa Ponder at 3:18 | Permalink

12 February 2008

Warm Days...

Today is such a warm, relaxed day. The sun is shining so bright on the green Berkeley campus. A soft breeze blows. Students are walking around in T-shirts and shorts. Yes, it is a perfect summer day...in February.

One of the many things about Berkeley that shock people who come from outside the Bay Area (or indeed, outside of California) is the weather. It is just so warm and so beautiful here. As my friend from Massachusetts put it "You guys don't have seasons out here! Everything is the same!" She said that caroling during Christmas was frustrating, especially during songs like "Winter Wonderland."

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Posted by Joel Kim at 3:36 | Permalink

31 January 2008

The New Semester and Yes I'm Still Alive

Yes I am still alive and I am still blogging on this site. How long has it been? Forever has it? Well as long as they keep letting me sign on I'll still be blogging. I wonder when I'll finally go to the page and find out they changed the password. I can see it now, "Jonathan, give it up. You're not a fresh face anymore. You've been here for two years. What more can you say?! Please stop!"

It keeps my brain young and limber to write like this anyway. I spend so much of my day writing lame stuff like, "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs."

I am taking an economic demography class. Now I've used this punchline a million times before but I'm still refining it for maximum hilarity. This could take years. In this class they really like to talk about demographics of our industrialized nations and how our more industrialized nations have aging populations and that eventually that population will slowly decrease in size because of plunging fertility rates. Now I'm a pretty normal guy (or so the voices in my head always like to insist) but every time I leave lecture I can't help but feel this need to go and reproduce. Like if I'm being compelled to have hundreds and hundreds of Asian babies to replace all the ones in Japan not being born. If it turns out that there are no Asians in Asia anymore, then it's my fault for not popping out 2.1 babies to keep replacing the population. Sigh.

If you are reading this then you are bored. No question about it. Why don't you cheer yourself up by heading over to UC Berkeley's Wikipedia page and feel awesome at going to such an stupefyingly awesome school? I do it all the time.

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:14 | Permalink

31 January 2008

Thanks, Trey & Dana!

If you're in GPB or MB, you're going to meet the awesome Undergraduate Advisors Trey and Dana. If you haven't spent time with them yet, you will be required to meet them soon. Be sure to ask them all the questions you have about course requirements - they can tell you all about creative ways to meet your elective requirements, or let you know that you don't really need that insane MCB class you were planning on taking.

Now, something to know - they're new! And dangit - they know their stuff. But occasionally some paperwork gets lost in transitions like this, so don't be shocked if you need to remind them you've completed a requirement.

For any of you transfer students out there - you're going to want to make super good friends with Trey and Dana. That's because they approve all of your course substitutions. If you've attended another four-year school like me, it can get pretty tricky. Like most upper-division transfer students, I took almost all of my lower-division requirements at another school. That means that Trey and Dana have to work some magic to make each one of those count toward graduation. It can be tricky at times, but worth it to not re-take courses.

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Posted by Christina at 1:57 | Permalink

28 January 2008

Housing Co-ops

About a week ago, my friend told me about housing co-ops. They're an unique living option for Berkeley students. The cost is pretty inexpensive, averaging a little above $3000 for a semester. The cost includes food, internet, and utilities. Another appealing factor about the co-ops is that the laundry is really cheap! The reason why co-ops are so inexpensive is because each person does his or her fair share of chores each week. By contributing to the overall maintance of the co-op, people get an affordable living option and a unique living experience in return.
I've started looking at housing co-ops online, but I'm going to go visit them in person sometime soon. There's an application you have to fill out. I've heard they're some party co-ops, but in general, I think the atmosphere is close to that of a dorm. Right now, I'm considering

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 0:08 | Permalink

07 January 2008

Letters from Winter Vacation

I try hard to monopolize your attention. This time my new tactic is to write during vacation when I assume that nobody else is writing because their lives do not revolve around school like mine does. Yes. Today I am going out to buy lead for my pencils - this day is rife with excitement and pregnant with pungent anticipation. I am very picky about my pencil lead. I only use 0.7 mm 2B lead because it gives me the darkest line and the strength to hold up under my hard pressed hand.

Being on semester schedule is unusual. All my other UC friends are on the quarter schedule so their classes start today. This essentially leaves me with more reading and eating time. I wonder if this semester thing is a plot from Berkeley to deliberately isolate itself and its students from the rest of the system. The chess club in my high school did this too and it lead to two things: 1) Unparalleled chess genius-ry - I mean seriously. They'll win even if they give you their queen and let you continually beat them over the head with it. and 2) They danced with only themselves during the school dances.

My search for peace, purpose and good TV reception on CBS continues. I HAVE to watch the Patriots game on Saturday even if it means me wrapping myself in aluminum and sticking my arms out of a 2nd story window.

Continue reading "Letters from Winter Vacation" »


Posted by Jonathan Yu at 6:18 | Permalink

27 September 2007

hello hello!

hi =] right now it's 10:37 and i am taking a break from studying italian in the academic learning center in unit 3. If you're reading this and you live in unit 3, i strongly suggest you check it out! It's this really awesome study space underneath cafe 3, by the mailboxes, and it's basically study heaven (as nerdy as that may sound). I discovered this place last week when i started studying for my nutrisci midterm which was two days ago. my FIRST midterm ever. wow it feels weird to say that; I'm still getting used to the fact that i'm a college student taking college courses, living in a college dorm.
So today, I went to an informational meeting today about being a calso counselor. For those of

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Posted by Angela Hsu at 2:37 | Permalink

26 September 2007

First Paper Officially Done

Its proof read (thanks to my English major friends) printed, and stapled. Now I'm nervously waiting to turn it in. Normally I'm pretty confident about my writing skills, but now that it's my first paper to turn into Berkeley it seems kind of nerve racking. All those what ifs floating through my head like, what if I citied something incorrectly?, what if my thesis sucks?, what if my paper doesn't support my possibly crappy thesis?, what if my teacher thinks my paper is just plain horrible?. Now I know I'm over exaggerating and probably worrying over nothing. But I feel like this paper is important, it represents where I stand in Berkeley. So all of you reading this send me some good thoughts or go bribe my professor for me :) I'll let you know how I do...Oh and I'm sort of justly paranoid because the first sentence under the grading guide for "A" says: A rarer grade...yah you try to sleep at night with that on your mind.

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Posted by Marissa Ponder at 4:29 | Permalink

20 September 2007

Hmm...it's not Friday?

Well it’s been however many weeks since school started (I’m not keeping track, I’m just enjoying it as it goes) and I’m pretty used to my routine—BART, my classes, readings, etc.
The one thing I’m not used to, though, is Friday classes! I’m a junior transfer so I’m not sure what the “norm” is here at Cal, but for me, at least this semester, it’s having classes (2 of ‘em) MWF. I had been so used to MW and TTH classes; I haven’t had a class on Friday in over 2 years. This semester I have a 5 day week…which is a little too close to a “real life” schedule for my taste.
Oh well, it’s not too bad, I like being on campus. So for all you prospective students from a CCC, Friday is now a “work day” :-P
Anyway, I have a Stats test tomorrow…so I should end this.
Ok there, I’m done.

Continue reading "Hmm...it's not Friday?" »


Posted by Juan at 0:45 | Permalink

08 September 2007

Hey Everyone!

Like everyone else, here's the customary first blog....

I'm Victoria and I'm a freshman at CNR (the best college ever!) with an intended Microbial Biology major. I'm from Southern California, but I'm quickly adjusting to Northern California's weather. It's a bit more chilly up here during the early mornings and evenings, but are those afternoons hot sometimes! Seriously, I'm starting to believe that the "Freshmen 15" is a myth. It's going to be pretty hard to gain 15 pounds while hiking up those hills to class, sweating under that California sun.

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Posted by Victoria Eng at 2:21 | Permalink

05 September 2007

DeCal

So here at Cal we have these things called DeCal classes. DeCal is short for democratic education at Cal and the classes are really a lot of fun. This semester I’m thinking of taking two DeCals: archery and swing dancing. I going to get course credit for swing dancing and practicing archery! I went to the swing class last night and more than a hundred people showed up but the class only seats 50. Wish me luck. I think I’ve got a good shot at it because I’m a lead with 9 months of Ballroom experience. Alas, there are about 5 girls to every boy, seems like I've got a moral imperative to dance with these girls. How very hard my life is... ;{p

Decal classes are nice ways to round out a schedule and take your mind off mind bending academic loads and because decals are only 1-2 units pass fail they can help you meet Cal’s semester minimum of 13 units. Three academic classes and one decal makes for a manageable and non-psycho semester. Learn more at http://www.decal.org/

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Posted by Eric Thurston at 4:16 | Permalink

04 September 2007

My First...

Hey everyone--all the Fresh Faces authors, readers, and stragglers to this site!
I'll begin with the compulsory 'first post' type information.
My name is Juan and I was conceived on...hmm, not one of my best ice breakers lol.
My name IS Juan though and I'm a Junior Transfer to CNR at Berkeley. It's taken me a while to set everything up (it was actually Eva's fault, j/k ;-)) but I'm real glad to be here! A week has gone by already and life at Cal has been fast paced...even now, I should be reading for Stats20 and EEP100, but I'm here instead! ;-) It's been fun and challenging so far and I'm looking forward to the next 15 weeks (I'm sure that tune will change at around week 10 maybe, lol).
Well, I don't have much time to write a whole lot, but will certainly be back to ramble on a bit more! Go BEARS, Go CNR, and definitely...GO EEP!

Continue reading "My First..." »


Posted by Juan at 2:52 | Permalink

04 September 2007

First week is over...15? more to go...

Wow so the first week was everything I did and didn't expect it to be. What I expected prior to starting class: lots of reading, being sooooo excited, enjoying having class at 2:00, finally getting into details of environmental issues that were broadly mentioned in lower division classes, expensive textbooks, and the joy of sitting around between classes on Cal's lawns.
Didn't expect: how nice everyone was, getting my car keyed (very crappy), how truly comfortable the CNR couches are, 25 page term paper, everyone talks in acronyms ( I even almost abbreviated many phrases in typing this), getting into a class being number 56 on the waitlist, CNR really does a "smaller" feel to it, and how much I miss my dog. Now let's recap what I've learned...

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Posted by Marissa Ponder at 2:58 | Permalink

03 September 2007

A new dorm life

I moved into my new dorm on Saturday. I have a huge room shared with a roommate. Nice. Imagine...a room double the size of the average Foothill room. Ahhh. The room was badly designed though. The closets are unmovable and in a sucky location. It's a long room so there is much wasted space since each person is lined up against the side. Wide rooms are preferable for shared rooms. Anyways, they have lots of sockets... YAY! I have 10 sockets just to myself. =) Good design.

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Posted by K. Lee at 6:24 | Permalink

02 September 2007

Welcome Week..delayed

Sooo I'm finally getting around to talking about welcome week. As a transfer student I feel that it was worth going to some of the events but I will say it was mostly geared toward freshman. This is understandable since most new students are freshman. I think Calapoloza and Caltopia were good for everyone. There are so many student clubs which is a great way to get involved. I'm very excited for the cooking club, which is for cooks (me!) and people new to the whole not having mom around to cook. I highly recommend checking it out, their website is http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~cooking/ . There are also some clubs for cleaning up Berkeley (parks etc.) and Habitat for Humanity for volunteering on a bigger scale.

Continue reading "Welcome Week..delayed " »


Posted by Marissa Ponder at 2:46 | Permalink

30 August 2007

Whew, lines!

I stopped by the STA travel office on campus today to pick up my international student ID card. There's place where I didn't need to stand in line.

I also picked up my bus pass for the semester, so I can ride up to the Botanical garden for volunteering on the off chance that I have a day off from class in the few weeks before I leave. That was a line.

Then I picked up the textbook that I needed and returned another textbook that I didn't need. Different lines. Different bookstores.

So many lines at the beginning of the semester. Hopefully I won't need to stand in one for a while. Wait. Tomorrow I'm getting my French Visa in San Francisco. That's probably another line.

Continue reading "Whew, lines!" »


Posted by Christina at 3:37 | Permalink

26 August 2007

HI!

This is my first post ever as a CNR Fresh Faces Blogger. Whoa.
Well, i guess i'll start off by saying hi. Hi!!
I'm assuming that those of you reading this have never heard of me or seen me around before, so I guess i'll do a quick intro about myself. My name is Angela and I am an incoming freshman, class of 2011. I am undeclared in CNR, but i am really interested in nutritional sciences and am going to take nutrition 10 this week (eek! the first day of school starts tomorrow!)
So what have i been doing during my first week as a college student? This past week was welcome week and I got to meet people from all over the country, but mostly from somewhere in california. A few of the events i have been to already were Caltopia, Calapalooza, hall meetings, convocation, UHS opening, and the CNR meeting this past wednesday.

Continue reading "HI!" »


Posted by Angela Hsu at 6:21 | Permalink

25 August 2007

Insights

So, after a week at Berkeley, I'm not sore anymore from all the walking now! The following paragraph will be about what I learned from my week on campus. Trying to buy books for my classes were quite hectic though. Found out that Ned's bookstore was slightly cheaper so went there instead of the cal student store. Cus, my total for all my textbooks came to $400!!! Wow... that would have taken me 3 paychecks just to buy textboooks....alone.Then realized that I don't need to bring a whole bunch of quarters when Cal 1 Debit card works quite nicely for laundry. Crossroads, I admit, is better than most dorm food DC's, but I also heard that the one in Clark Kerr was pretty fantastic as well. Still gotta try out the Bear transit though.. maybe I will be able to get to class on time from the South to the North side of campus!! Caltopia was indeed fun and my friends and I got free drinks, stuff(shirts, hats, pens,) and was bombarded with different companies trying to lure us in to contracts, trips, etc. I do enjoy Berkeley and look forward to the first week of classes!!

Continue reading "Insights" »


Posted by Casey Wang at 3:14 | Permalink

21 August 2007

Welcome Week

Weelll, moving in wasn't as stressful as I thought it would be. Since I'm on the first floor, I didn't have to move heavy luggage up long flights of stairs. Also, since I'm living in a triple and the only one from California, I was very excited to meet new faces and too busy anticipating their arrival than stressing out about moving in. My roommates finally arrived- one is from Belgium and the other from Wisconsin, so it was different getting to know people from out of state/country, since I barely step out of sunny California. Two days into welcome week, and I'm sooo sore.

Continue reading "Welcome Week" »


Posted by Casey Wang at 0:07 | Permalink

20 August 2007

Things to do during Welcome Week

AC Transit Class Pass: Go get your Class Pass, a sticker for your Cal 1 Card that gives you free, unlimited rides on AC Transit, and on BearTransit campus shuttles.

Bike License: Register your bike if you have one. It’s the law in Berkeley!

Cal 1 Card (Cal Photo ID): If you have not gotten your Cal 1 Card from CalSO, go get it from Cal 1 Card Office located in 110 Cesar Chavez Center, M-F, 9am until 5pm.

Calapalooza: This is a resource fair where you you’ll meet representatives from over 300 student organizations and campus services, as well as view performances by student groups on the Doe Library Steps. Thursday, August 23, 11am-2pm, Memorial Glade.

Caltopia 2007: This is a festival of fun, music and Cal Spirit. Friday-Saturday, August 24-25, 10am-5pm (closes at 4pm on Saturday), Recreational Sports Facility, 2301 Bancroft Way.

Chancellor's Receptions for New Undergraduates: This event is a daytime outdoor party at the home of the Chancellor.

Tuesday, August 21 – Thursday, August 23, 4pm-5:30pm, Chancellor’s Garden, University House, attire is business casual.
• Tuesday, August 21: Clark Kerr and Unit 2 residents
• Wednesday, August 22: Unit 4 (Bowles, Foothill, Stern), Channing/Bowdich apartments, International House, and off-campus residents
• Thursday, August 23: Unit 1 and Unit 3 residents

College and Major Orientations: Wednesday, August 22, Various Times. For more info, please visit http://welcomeweek.berkeley.edu/orient.html

Confirmed Class Schedule: If you need a copy of your class schedule, you can view and print a copy via Bear Facts at http://bearfacts.berkeley.edu.

Financial Aid Checks/CARS Refunds: Refunds are issued via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). With EFT, funds are deposited directly into your checking or savings account. Otherwise, a check will be printed and held for you to pick up at the Billing and Payment Services Office, 140 University Hall. To activate or update your EFT authorization, go to http://eftstudent.berkeley.edu.

Continue reading "Things to do during Welcome Week" »


Posted by Yang Cao at 0:08 | Permalink

19 August 2007

Moved in...yay!

I'm so excited to be finally be moved in. I'm way excited for welcome week to start. I'm nervous about my schedule because I am on a waitlist for one class. I don't think being 11 on the list is too bad. I have friends who are 99 for some of their psych classes...so glad I changed majors. Oh so I had breakfast with some friends from Vally Rock gym today and my friend is going to grad school for sustainable international development, which I thought was very interesting. I tried to spend my summer talking with teachers, friends, and whoever else I meet who is in the field of environmental jobs/school. There is such a wide range of fields to pursue with CRS as a major, at least according to my professional expertise.

Continue reading "Moved in...yay!" »


Posted by Marissa Ponder at 3:09 | Permalink

14 August 2007

Response to interest in CRS

So before I drove 8 hours into the less fortunate half of California someone left a comment about CRS as a major. Well now that I'm in civilization I will make my official response. So I'm a transfer student at Berkeley and this fall will be my first year there, so I hope what little knowledge I have helps. I did however take a class through a concurrent enrollment program and loved it. I was so nervous that students would treat me different because I wasn't a "real" Cal student, and I was sooo wrong. Everyone was nice to me. I loved my teacher (Sally Fairfax), and my GSI, and all of the students. I still keep in touch with some of them. It really allowed me to get a feel for the college. The really nice thing about our college, CNR, in general no matter what your major is, is that it defiantly has a small feel to it. Now in regards to the major itself and why I choose it.

Continue reading "Response to interest in CRS" »


Posted by Marissa Ponder at 1:54 | Permalink

04 August 2007

So long summer days!

Yeah I really can't believe it but one week from today I will be back in Berkeley. One week from today...it's ON! Sucky thing is I just finished summer school and now I have to go back to Cal a good 3 weeks before the semester even starts. The first week I am back (the 11-16th) I have healthworker training, then the week following I have polish week (what my sorority calls the hectic week we use to prepare for fall rush), then I have welcome week and actual sorority rush before the semester begins. And of course I haven't forgotten about my new tough classes: chem 3b, calc, upper div arabic, and philisophical arabic text...talk about work. On the bright side, I managed to get fridays off so no classes, labs or section Fridays..wohoooo for three day weekends! I guess I learned some tactics from my freshman year mistakes...wait...omgosh...I am a sophmore...ahhh!!!!

Continue reading "So long summer days!" »


Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 1:17 | Permalink

18 July 2007

How often do you talk to your parents?

I was in a discussion recently about how often parents (moms) expect to hear from their new college students. One friend complained that his mom just had to hear from him every single day, which seemed a bit excessive to me. But maybe with cell phones and free long distance, it’s not excessive? Another friend is just tired that her dad would call her cell phone whenever he felt like it, since he was paying the bill for it. Another friend is comfortable with his mom calling him every day as he walks to morning classes. For me, I have the expectation that I would check in with my family every Sunday afternoon.

I guess it is not easy to strike a balance between having independence while still keeping the lines of communication open. Maybe means of communication like IMs and email are the best bet? What do you all think?

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Posted by Yang Cao at 0:26 | Permalink

14 July 2007

A Little Nostalgia

A little while ago, I went out into the hall to brush my teeth. My room is at one end of the hall and as I went to the bathroom, I notice this little girl sitting at the other end curled up clutching her knees and tucking her head in between them both. A little white phone cord snaked out the door and I realized that she was crying while talking on the phone. I wondered what the deuce was happening but then went in and successfully cleaned up my teeth. As I left the door I realized that she was definitely crying. Was it really my business to go over there and try and help? I've talked to this girl before and she was a Korean international student, her english not the best. If I go over there and help when help wasn't really needed .... awkward turtle!

I went back in and got a box of tissues. Then I walked back down the hallway, put them on the ground and gently pushed them in her direction. She grabbed 5 at a time (God! Be economical!) and then honkily snorted in them while large, thick reams of Korean language peeled into the receiver.

Now I don't know a lick of Korean other than that immortal line from that movie that every Asian girl has ever watched, My Sassy Girl ("Chugule?") and that line wasn't really appropriate to use in that context. (It means do you want to die?") So what could I do? I just let her keep using my tissues and stood there, watching her. It reminded me of the time when I first came out here to Berkeley and I saw my dad drive away at the McDonalds. I couldn't stop crying then too and I walked back through campus in tears.

I had nobody then. I didn't want that girl to go through the same.

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Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:07 | Permalink

06 July 2007

Free Bike

The campus is flat and wide. Well, flat except for these two lumps of hills in the middle of campus called Baka-yama and Aho-yama. (Stupid mountains) People who cut class tend to go there to sleep and hang out when they're cutting. There are lots of large tall trees. They're right outside of my window so its quite nice. My window faces the east which allows me to wake up with the sun on my face at around 8AM naturally! Isn't that amazing? Or maybe that's the jetlag waking me up. hahaha.

Ah, and the free bike. There was a drawing for 4 free bikes and I won one. yay! Now I have a bike to get around and I don't have to buy one. I was planning on buying a bike to get around for the year, but this is much better. Now I can spend the ~$100 on food. Food is expensive. It's not more expensive than UC Berkeley campus food, but eating that everyday adds up. I went grocery shopping a few days ago so I've been cooking for myself mostly. Thus far, I've spent 10152 yen (~$88). That's not too bad as a week in itself, but I've actually only been spending money for 2.3 days. Now it gets scary.

A nice thing I've noticed is that my skin feels nicer. It doesn't feel dry and scaly without lotion anymore. yay.

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Posted by K. Lee at 9:58 | Permalink

07 June 2007

CalSO!!

Wow, so talk about a lot of information in one day. I definately enjoyed the day and all of the counselors and major advisors were nice. Some recommendations for those who haven't gone yet:
1. Don't wear red.
2. LOOK at the classes that sound interesting and write them down, you will have time to look them up but you have to share a computer and it can get busy/stressful.
3. If you're from So Cal, get used to being the minority/pun of jokes, it's all in good fun though.
4. Drink some sort of coffee in the morning...it's a L O N G day with tons of information!
5. I don't think the campus tour they gave you in your spare time was that helpful, it was really short, and time could be spent better like getting your school id.

And of course have an amazing time! It definately made me more nervous and excited about starting in the fall. It helped that everyone was so supportive of the transfer students (thats me!).

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Posted by general at 1:36 | Permalink

01 June 2007

Home at last.

There's something about coming home from Berkeley. There is this feeling of familiarity and safety yet there is also this strange creeping feeling of change. The first time I came home, it was like i was seeing everything for the first time. It was different and weird but it is always good to be home. On my way home last week I stopped by UCLA to stay with my best friend Jalees and my favorite neighbor SteveKim. You know I never thought that I would stay so close with friends from high school but amazingly enough, I think college has brought us closer together. I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder hehe. Jalees especially, because I call the fool all the time and rely on him to keep me stable. While at UCLA, I picked up my mom's transcripts for her new nurse practitioner job and it got me thinking to where I will be in a few years and if I will be coming back to Cal and CNR to pick up my official transcripts when I get a job :) !

I love being home because I get to watch my basketball superstar of a sister do her thing on the court, be humbled by my brother's faith and willingness to give of himself, be spoiled by my parents, see and play with my bulldog, and enjoy the company of my friends, my second family.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
best of all No School!
oh yes, and all quarter system UCs still have finals! ha! take that UCLA! hahaha

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 1:22 | Permalink

31 May 2007

para sa kasambayan ko, ang asawa ko si Jane. (my CrAzY! roommate)

Just a warning: this post will probably be all over the place and
When Choosing a roommate, do you choose someone you know or go with the random roommate?
When I was a senior high school I had the daunting task of choosing a roommate that would live with me for a whole year at UC Berkeley. I mean it is one thing go to class or even be friends with someone, living with someone is a different story. By some strange twist of fate I asked a girl who went to my high school who just so happened to be valedictorian and a neighbor! We actually did not know each other very well and a mutual friend rationalized that we would help balance each other out, i mean we had the same ideals and she would keep me on track. We ended up taking a trip to Hawaii together the summer after we graduated, it was a little awkward at first. We tried to keep the conversation simple- didn't probe too deeply into each other's lives, past, personalities, etc, I guess we were still feeling each other out, still both regretting/questioning the decision of living with someone who was basically a stranger.
Actually, we admitted to each other later that we were both intimidated of each other and always asked our mutual friends to reassure us that we made the right decision.

Having a roommate you get along with is important. and that is an understatement. They are the person you come home to at night and they are your support system throughout all that Berkeley throws at you.

Hawaii was the first step, we bonded over a lot of things, even our quirky hotel roommate. When it came to the dorms, we definitely grew closer and experienced a lot together. Berkeley's a place you have to get used to - and it is even better when you have someone who goes through all the crazy experiences you go through.We have experienced a lot together. We lived on the 8th floor of Cunningham in Unit 2, survived a year of Co-ed bathrooms/showers, walked through People's park at night clutching on to each other's arms, brushed our teeth together, stayed up chatting about anything and everything, threw up together in adjacent bathroom stalls after eating some bad food, discovered shows like sex and the city and desperate housewives together, going to parties, going through the bunkbed "experience" - bruises and all, studied for finals together, mastered the internet realm everything from calmail to facebook, myspace to ImDb, perfecting our ghettofabulous slang, piercing our ears, flew home together carrying gigantic suitcases weighing more than both of us combined, crazy caffeine/coffee rampage nights of fun, discovering a shared love for hummus, pita bread, and smoothies, and oh so much more.

Continue reading "para sa kasambayan ko, ang asawa ko si Jane. (my CrAzY! roommate) " »


Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 3:23 | Permalink

31 May 2007

fly to Berkeley

Every year since I was a freshman, I have participated with the Fly to Berkeley program. Once a year, Berkeley flies up high school students who are also newly accepted Berkeley students from Southern California to stay with host Cal students. This is done in hopes that bringing these students to Berkeley will give them that tiny little push or the reassurance they need to know that this is the place for them to be. SO, as a fly to Berkeley greeter, I have found myself at Oakland Airport for three years, holding "Welcome to Berkeley" signs and flags, sporting the Cal gear, and greeting everyone with "Congratulations" and friendly smiles and hellos.This program has been especially fun because I have been able to host some of the students. Actually, some of the students that have stayed with me are now current Cal students and friends! The program headed by Annie Donato, OHP, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and the bridges and the multicultural recruitment and retention centers has been quite successful and one of the programs I look forward to volunteering/working for yearly.

Wondering how I get home? Well, I fly as well; Southwest Airlines to be exact. In fact, my frequent flying has earned me over 3 roundtrip flights. UC Berkeley is great because its location is just right, i mean not too close to home (in Los Angeles) but not too far away that it is a hassle to get home if i want to get there. Driving down is about a six hour trip but flying takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes from gate to gate- it's wonderful! I remember my freshman year, I was always homesick. Everything in Berkeley was such a change from being at home, PLUS i did not care much for the dorm food, which my floormates loved so much. But this place has definitely grown on me, it's very....well Berkeleyesque. It's just one of those places you have to experience i guess. It's nice to know, though, that home is just a hop, skip...well more like a bart, airbart, and plane flight away.

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 0:57 | Permalink

22 May 2007

My first look at CNR

More than two years ago, I was a h.s. senior eagerly looking at Berkeley. I was visiting Cal a week before Cal Day. I'd looked up the Toxicology building, Giannini, on the website. Walking up those beautiful marble steps, I was wowed. The elaborate details and elegance stood out. As my parents and I walked down the hallowed halls, a professor came out.

She asked, " Can I help you?"

That in itself was amazing. I'd expected Berkeley to be this enormous and impersonal place. Instead, there was an engaging, friendly, professor. She took the time to answer my questions. There was an enthusiasm I'd never seen before. Before we parted ways, she offered me her e-mail address so that I could ask any questions I had later.

That day was the day I decided to go to Berkeley. My worries of being lost in the crowd dissipated. Now, I'm not sure about the rest of Berkeley, but its hard to be lost at the College of Natural Resources because the people there care.

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Posted by K. Lee at 3:27 | Permalink

14 February 2007

learning at CNR....way more than a classroom education

As a new member of fresh faces, I will start with a little introduction. My name is Nicole (nikki) Fernandez and I am currently a third year undergraduate who recently switched from Molecular Environmental Biology to the Conservation and Resource Studies Major. So why do I love CNR? As one of the smaller colleges on campus CNR offers a nurturing, intimate environment where class sizes are smaller and more attention is paid to the individuals. I have loved my professors and have gotten to know many of them on a first name basis. One of the things that CNR offers that not many other offer are chances for field work or field trips. Yesterday, I took a little trip to Ano Nuevo State Reserve with my Wildlife Ecology class with Justin Brashares. So what exactly attracts people to the reserve and keeps people piling in from year to year?
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That's right, it is the elephant seals. Mating season begins around December and lasts until about March. We saw a few pups that did not look too good. Our guide told us that about 60% of yearlings die, which according to my amazing wildlife ecology skills tells me that they probably have a type 3 survivorship curve. We also learned a few things about their feeding patterns, molting, behavioral patterns, mating and gestation, weaners, birth, and development. It was a lovely and welcome escape from the sometimes dreary classrooms of Berkeley.

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Posted by Nikki Fernandez at 2:24 | Permalink

23 October 2006

Home For the First Time

I went home to Sacramento this past weekend and felt much more normail than expected. Many of my college friends say that everything changes once you move out- your room feels odd, there's a feeling of missing Berkeley, and everyone treats you like an outsider- but I didn't feel any of those. I couldn't believe my sister actually missed me! She's 4 years younger and very involved in high school already- as busy as a senior. The rest of my family tried to cater to my wishes.. like getting Halloween decorations out and asking me what I wanted to do.

Being home made me recognize my accomplishments (hahemm..) and experiences of college so far. It's summarizing two months to neighbors using one sentence.

The worst part of going home, though it was really on the 'coming back' part of the journey, was the transportation. My arrival to my dorm room was delayed by an hour and a half!! All because I have no experience on deboarding trains and buses! I stood up with my heavy large three bags on the second floor of the Amtrak train from Sacramento, when it arrived at the Berkeley station (which is beautiful). I moved quickly and a man coming on the train and upstairs let me go past first, but I was too late! the doors were already shut and I couldn't open them. No buttons. No cord. No helpful train conductor or anything! I just yelled and looked everywhere, but resigned myself when I heard, to my luck, that the Emeryville stop was 4 minutes away. I got off there, spoke with a generous ticket man who said I could catch a train at 8pm (it was 7:15 at the time), for free.

I did catch that one, and found the AC transit bus stop easily enough, but couldn't deboard that one on time either because of so many people on it.

Well..now I'm an experienced public transit college student and know better than to wait until a vehicle comes to a complete stop before standing up.

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 1:04 | Permalink

12 October 2006

What is a "jerk"?

What is a "jerk"?

Definition 1:
The third derivative of position, the second derivative of velocity, or the first derivative of acceleration.

Definition 2:
Imagine that your friend was driving and you were in his car. Your friend saw the traffic light turned yellow and believed that he could make it. So he stepped on the gas pedal and you experienced a pull forward. Suddenly, the traffic light turned red and your friend had to stepped on the brake. You felt being pushed back and were like "Shoot, what a jerk..."

This is from my math professor when he was trying to explain higher derivatives and how useful they are in kinematics. So I guess the moral of the story is do not be intimidated by the huge lectures and do approach your professor during their office hours. They are very friendly and willing to help.

Continue reading "What is a "jerk"?" »


Posted by Yang Cao at 1:48 | Permalink

29 September 2006

Done With My First Midterm

This morning, I had my first midterm for Math 1A. I immersed myself in the sea of limits and derivatives. Even though I have taken AP Calculus in high school, the materials taught at Cal are really from a different perspective, even though the topics are pretty similar. All I learned before was how to plug numbers into formulas and let the TI-89 do all the calculations for me. But now I have to understand the reasoning behind each theorem before I apply any laws into problems. The real intellectual challenge!

And here I am, relaxing myself from academics for a while.

Continue reading "Done With My First Midterm" »


Posted by Yang Cao at 2:03 | Permalink

24 September 2006

First Paper

Tomorrow I will turn in my first paper at UC Berkeley. It's only 4 pages, 7 references. This is the kind of paper that I wouldn't have batted my eye at three years ago at my old school, but since it's my FIRST paper due at BERKELEY, it somehow turned into an anxiety-ridden event.

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Posted by Christina at 7:54 | Permalink

05 September 2006

Meetings, Socials, Dinners... and sometimes Classes

So far it's been two weeks at Cal and I'm surprised by how much time I spend talking to floormates, going to club meetings, and eating out at Crossroads or at an amazing reknown Berkeley restaurant. I keep thinking to myself that classes will always be going on, but now is the time to make friends and join organizations that will connect me with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. This may or not be true, but it's my philosophy for now.

Tonight I went to a Circle K meeting in VLSB and was reminded of the extreme enthusiasm of all KIWANIS-related activities. In high school I was VP for my school's Key Club, and I searched out over a dozen service projects and recruited students to join in. I loved being in the excited frame of mind, shouting, cheering, and being dedicated to community service. Now, in college, I'm glad I can return to that through this club. Meetings are going to take an hour out of my homework time each week, but I have to admit I love Key Club (therefore, Circle K as well).

Classes are starting to smooth out... I attended Math 53's late afternoon lecture today and LOVED Professor Rezakhanlou's vector lesson! He's 10x better than my original Math 1B professor, and almost as good as my high school teacher :) I'm switching to that class, and solving my horrible "Friday morning chem lab" issue- which, by the way, totally destroys all opportunities to take MWF classes in the morning. Advice to incoming frosh: SIGN UP FOR CHEM 1A early in the summer and for the CORRECT lab that you want in your schedule. But life goes on with a Friday lab... I now have 4 days a week with my first class at noon.

Continue reading "Meetings, Socials, Dinners... and sometimes Classes" »


Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 2:18 | Permalink

30 August 2006

post one: in which we get some background, and start some classes

Alright! Post numero uno for me. I suppose we should start off with some background info, right? Well, I'm a junior transfer student, very excited to be in the Conservation and Resource Studies major. The major itself is awesome - from the ability to take classes that run the gamut of offerings (due to the fact that you write in your own area of interest into the major) to the superb advisors and support staff, my interactions with all aspects of Cal have left me in a state of quasi-euphoria.


Living off campus some might argue that I'll miss some of the "college experience," but I'm extremely satisfied with my situation. In a quaint little apartment in north Berkeley, not only am I a six minute bike ride away from Cal, but much of what Berkeley has to offer is right outside my door. One thing that I'd recommend to any new Cal student -- explore Berkeley! Yes, the school has more than enough to offer, but there's much more outside its doors as well. From the three farmers markets per week that bring in mostly organic farms, to the fabulous restaurants, and a myriad of earth-friendly events that can be found through the ecology center, there is a true wealth of activities to explore.

Continue reading "post one: in which we get some background, and start some classes" »


Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 1:17 | Permalink

29 August 2006

My First day at Cal

Actually, this was supposed to be posted yesterday. But anyway, here is an account from a procrastinator. Oh, by the way, I am a first-year intended Molecular and Environmental Biology Major (MEB) at College of Natural Resources (CNR).

Yesterday (Monday, August 28, 2006) was my first official day at Cal. What I mean by “official” is because even though I have been living here since last week, it is the day when instructions begin. I woke up pretty early in the morning since I was kind of afraid that I might need extra time for this very first day. But everything turned out to be ok.

My first class started at 10:00 AM but I arrived there (1 Pimentel) around 9:25 AM, so I was able to oversee the last part of Chemistry 1A lecture where the professor did some “explosion” stuff (Hydrogen gas + Oxygen gas + sparkle, I guess). 1 Pimentel was a really huge lecture hall, and its front stage can be rotated so that the settings for each class would not disturb the other. I encouraged you all to check this out!

Then I was commuting between different buildings since I have back-to-back classes…

Even though most of the lectures I am in are huge and intimidating since you are sitting with hundreds of people, the professors were really trying to make class atmosphere as dynamic as possible.

Or by the way, the Freshman Seminar I am taking is really engaging since there are only 20 students there – allowing a more intimate and approachable environment. It is nice to be such a small class within the context of a public research institute, namely Berkeley.

That is about my first day, and I am really looking forward for my first semester of college life. GO BEARS!!!!

Continue reading "My First day at Cal" »


Posted by Yang Cao at 3:13 | Permalink

28 August 2006

Finally, the First Day of Classes!!

August 28, 2006. For some, this day might be the worst day of their lives since it means summer is over and school is starting. For others, like the many freshmen that I know, this day is one of the most exciting days of their lives. Today they start their first day of their college adventure. Meeting new friends, waking up early, going to class or not going to class, are things that we all have to worry about now. You might be wondering why i am so excited for the fall semester to begin.

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Posted by Mayra Ceja at 2:02 | Permalink

18 August 2006

On My Way!

Packing for leaving is hard to do when all high school friends want to say goodbye and celebrate friendships. I began filling boxes today with clothes and items I usually bring when traveling. I appreciate living close to campus (less than 2 hours), and being able to leave scarves, long socks, and all those winter items at home.

I used to think that moving stuff would be easy- just grab stuff and go to a dorm, but no, I must consider each shirt, shoe, and book's worthiness in my tiny (I'm only guessing at this moment) triple dorm room. I have contacted my roommates and so far so good!

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Posted by Rola Abduljabar Rabah at 2:41 | Permalink