Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

11 April 2007

Extracurricular Burnout

Senior year. There is no time for senioritus. Instead of keeping up with reading assignments, I'm attending meetings, running meetings, staying up late and waking up late, day after day. Agh! I need another spring break! But I wouldn't have it any other way. Academics is simply one part of college life. Although it is the core reason we are here, there's so much else we can do. Coming and going to school and that's it--how boring that would be. I've experienced so much and learned so much from so many people and situations through extracurriculars. If it weren't for extracurriculars, I wouldn't have much to look back on. Although participating in so many things takes a lot of my time and energy, it fills up my otherwise unproductive and unstructured time. Some extracurriculars are just fun. Others are to serve and they're fun. I recommend becoming a CNR peer advisor or joining the CNR student council. Serving your community and future CNR students is a rewarding experience, and I'll be proud when I look back at my time doing these activities, which are too many to list here ;P. (I would like to mention the Cal Forestry Club, however. I've been involved in various clubs and organizations over the years, but Forestry Club has been my anchor, my consistency in an fluxuating life.) It's like a duty to me to serve CNR. Duty and honor--fiat lux.

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 9:38 | Permalink

04 April 2007

Why I Came

I applied to Cal because it was easy. There was a box on the (paper) application, and I checked it. After looking at all the options each school I applied to had to offer, Berkeley became my top choice for a number of reasons. I heard that Berkeley was really prestigious--sounded good to me. I knew nothing about academia, except that I was going to jump into it and come out prepared to save the world. Cal has a whole college that prepares people to save the world through the environment. That really impressed me. I had visited Cal through a UC outreach program for high school students. I was impressed by the Campanile, the view of the Bay, the pedistrians and bicyclists everywhere instead of driving around in cars like drones, the green open space on campus, and most of all: the school spirit. GO BEARS! To all you new Cal students, welcome. Now I'm interested in hearing your stories. Send me an e-mail at pal@berkeley.edu.

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 0:24 | Permalink

14 March 2007

Midterm Mayhem

Are you feeling apprehensive about your upcoming midterm exams? Well settle down, my friends. I have a suggestion. You are going to fail. So why study? Ah, freedom, relief from stress. Seeing that this might not fly with you, I have an alternative.

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 0:35 | Permalink

12 March 2007

Favorite Pastimes

Music: I like singing and dancing with my friends. Just this past Sunday, some of my friends and a few of their friends gathered at the WWI Memorial Oak Grove on campus and sang devotional songs. The trees give off such high energy, which energized our voices and our drum-playing. I also like to watch my buddies sing at open mic nights around Berkeley. Movies: I rarely watch t.v. or go to the movies. The last movie I saw in the theater was Blood Diamonds with Leonardo DiCaprio. I like movies that have a socio-environmental message, make you think about things you hadn't thought about, or demonstrate the ingenuity of people (i.e. Catch Me if You Can, coincidentally also with DiCaprio). My favorite movies are Back to the Future, Pleasantville, and The Wizard of Oz. I enjoy watching any black and white film, especially slap-stick comedies. The Pacific Film Archive (PFA) is a great cultural campus resource. I've seen great films there, including The Beatles' Hard Day's Night and Ich moechte kein Mann sein (a silent film).

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 9:43 | Permalink

28 February 2007

Learn from Others

The people I look up to have been the people who have left a real impression on me. Sometimes these people are challenging. By their example or by what they’ve told me, I have re-examined myself, what I believe, why I believe it, and how I behave. I looked deeper into how I see the world and how I interact with others. Not everyone is perfect. Even the people I look up to have some characteristics that are not positive. But one must look beyond these particulars to see the good in the person. If we can see the good in each person we encounter, each person should be example for us. Granted, what one finds “good” or “bad” is a judgment, and who are we to judge?

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 0:05 | Permalink

14 February 2007

Favorite Classes at Cal

This topic is way too hard! At least I can pick more than one class. If I had to pick only one class, it would be an agonizingly difficult decision to make. Anyhow, my favorite class outside of CNR is easily German 157, which was on how Luther, Kant, and Hegel (German philosophers) thought out the concept of freedom. My favorite ESPM courses are silviculture (185), tree taxonomy (108A), forest ecology (102A), and forest operations (182). These all involve exciting, adventurous field trips. Tree Tax had the best field trip. It was taught by Ralph Boniello, an ESPM grad student. We took a field trip through the Sierra Nevada and looked at tree species and their ecosystems, from oak woodlands to

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 0:37 | Permalink

31 January 2007

I resolve to...

be disciplined in my study habits! This semester might be my last semester on campus if I go abroad in the fall. I'm taking so many units, I don't want to mention how many. So, I really have to be disciplined! I'm staying up later to study. I'm being more thoughtful and critical when I read so I can make connections and remember all the facts and concepts from class and the readings. It's all about time management and being serious about my classes. Like this class on fascism and Nazi propaganda: it's a history class, pretty different from forestry classes. But all I have to do is retain what the professor says, incorporate the readings into that, write a clear and concise term paper. All this will prepare me for the final. I have to tell myself that I can do this and I will do this. This process of doing well in class, I have learned and developed throughout my time at Cal. But this process should always be improved.

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 0:46 | Permalink

07 December 2006

Winter Break Bum

I’m not even sure which day I’ll fly home, but I’ll buy my flight ticket online sometime soon. Home is Los Angeles. It is a different world from Berkeley—where isn’t? The best thing about going home is being with Mom, and I’ll have time to paint and do things I don’t have time to get involved with during the swirl of the semester. Nonetheless home can be a distraction of bad influences. I will get into the old bumming-around-because-I-don’t-have-to-study routines and pick up old habits, like watching television. I worked hard all semester, after all. My brain needs to chill. I will watch “M.A.S.H.” and “I Love Lucy” re-runs.

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 4:17 | Permalink

17 November 2006

The Real Value of Friendship

Friends are important to our well-being. If we are fortunate we will have a true friend to whom we can spill our guts; to whom we can express who we really are; to whom we can relieve stresses we didn’t even know we had. We can depend on a true friend. With no one to depend on or rely on for help, wouldn’t the world be a lonely place? Most friends are really acquaintances. They are people who we might hang out with during lab or at Bear’s Lair. These people are important too. Socializing helps us build character. We should always be conscious of the lessons that we can learn from friends and acquaintances. It might not seem like certain people can teach us anything. But be observant and reflective and you will realize something from them that will help you see things or yourself differently. Isn’t that what friends really are for?

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 6:55 | Permalink

31 October 2006

Mulford Hall is the Best Hall of them All!

My favorite place on campus is Walter Mulford Hall. Through these halls walked forestry students before me. And in these classrooms they did learn. Legendary professors inspired students to shape the world. Now here I am, preparing to shape the world with all of you. I can smell the pastimes as I walk down the exotic wood-paneled hallways. The layers of dust caked upon each stair in the stairways have probably been collecting there since the building's completion in 1948. Why is our beloved home of CNR so neglected? Some interesting facts about your home away from home: Formerly known as "The Forestry Building" from 1948-1956. 70,600 square feet Funded by state appropriation Resource Center formerly the forestry library Named after Walter Mulford, first professor of forestry at Cal (1914-1948), who was the first dean of the School of Forestry (1947-1948).

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 2:42 | Permalink

26 September 2006

Time Management Falls into Place

Suddenly, midterms are approaching. Quick! What to do? Study, of course. But do you ever feel like all your studying efforts are not helping you for the exams? If so, ask yourself, “How do I study?” Do you study alone, with friends or classmates, in your room, in cafes, in libraries? At what times do you study? I recommend studying in different locations at different times with different people or solo. This will help you figure out where, when, and how you study most effectively. For me, I like to study certain subjects in certain libraries, and I like to be near windows. I like to study where I get a good vibe, man. I can relax and let myself become immersed in intellectual paradise. By finding a place where and a time when you can focus your energy on studying, you are managing your time effectively.

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 2:44 | Permalink

19 September 2006

CNR: The Small College Community

If you're in Letters and Science, I bet you can't tell me that you've seen the dean of your college and one of your college's most respected and renowned professors outside of academia, during their normal lives, on the same day. I’m in CNR, and I can tell you the very thing happened to me last weekend. I had come out of the laundromat on Shattuck, and as I was unlocking my bike, Dean Ludden came up to me and said hi. We chatted for a bit, and he continued on to take care of his errands. Then I went to the Farmers Market downtown on Center Street. As I was strolling along, getting my fill on samples of juicy peaches and plums, I saw Professor Joe McBride and his wife. We greeted each other and talked about going to the upcoming Forestry Welcome Barbeque. And that is why CNR is known as the small college community of the Berkeley campus. Do the professors and deans of the other schools know your name and say hi to you while you're all out taking care of errands downtown? If you haven’t seen your professors or your dean off campus yet, it’s highly likely that you will--if you’re in CNR! Go bears!

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 2:38 | Permalink

20 April 2006

Chancellor Birgeneau with the Peer Advisors

100_0132.jpg Last week the Peer Advisors welcomed newly admitted students to Cal at the Chancellor's Reception at the University House. At our information table, we shared information with students and parents about the college. We also chit-chatted with Mrs. Birgeneau. She is really nice to talk to. She told me that she's heard wonderful things about Forestry Camp from Dean Ludden, and that she'd like to visit sometime. Chancellor Birgeneau gave a warm and charismatic welcome speech, giving Cal enthusiastic accolades. Go Bears!

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 6:08 | Permalink

06 April 2006

Cal is your home. Make it great!

We are college students; not just any college students. We are University of California, Berkeley students. I admire the student who completes all assignments on time and reads every page of the reader and aces every test without even trying. Sometimes I wish I could do that. But to be honest, that would mean I would have to study every waking hour and pull many all-nighters and sacrifice what I do beyond the books. I'm more about extra-curriculars.

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 5:15 | Permalink

23 February 2006

CNR ist ausgezeichnet! (CNR is great!)

Liebe CNR Studenten, Learning a different language has many benefits. It is fun and looks good on your resume. Knowing a foreign language is good for you and for international relations.... It can also help you improve your English grammar. It's even helped me read better for other classes. For some majors at Cal, learning a foreign language may be required or highly recommended. Chemistry students often take German, for example. I am now in my fourth semester of German. (If anybody wants to practice, I'm in 139 Mulford.) I started studying German so that I could study forestry in Germany (where forestry originated) for a semester. But later I decided to minor in it, because after taking a couple of classes in Germany, I would only need to take a couple more here in order to get a minor. For more information on minors or foreign languages at Cal, see me in the Resource Center Thursdays from 3-4:30. ~Gina

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 5:44 | Permalink

16 February 2006

Ready to Assist

Cal Students: Your peer advisors have new office hours. We are located in the CNR Resource Center in Mulford Hall. My office hours are 3-4:30 every Thursday. Come by if you need advise or somebody to talk to. :) Gina

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Posted by Gina Lopez at 6:37 | Permalink

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