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

07 April 2009

Cal What?

Deciding to go to Cal was not a difficult decision for me. The other schools I had on the table were UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Santa Barbara. That’s it. At the time I was only familiar with UC Davis because my sister went there; and Berkeley because I heard it was the number one school in the world next to Harvard. I didn’t get into Harvard, nor did I apply there, but when I found out I got into Berkeley I was like, “Oh s%#!$!”…I was overjoyed. The other schools didn’t matter to me anymore. In fact I didn’t even bother looking into these other schools. IN FACT I didn’t even do any research when it came down to applying to colleges. Cal was IT. To be honest, I did this choosing thing spontaneously, without much thought or expectation. I didn’t even visit Cal before I made my decision. I just FELT that Cal was the school I had to go to- like a calling, if you will. I was in Hawaii for my beloved Grandpa’s funeral at the time I sent in my intent to register at Cal. It felt a little emotional for me. Being with my relatives and family at the time really helped influence my decision to choose Cal- to go to college for that matter. Being among the first in my family to go to college, let alone to go to a prestigious one like Cal, I felt truly privileged. In the back of my mind, I expected Cal to be a whole new environment from my hometown Modesto, CA. That was kind of what I was looking for when making my decision. No offense to Davis and their cows. If you’re a small-town kid like me looking for a new adventure, to break out of a shell, to experience new ideas and perspectives, to find your passion, Berkeley’s definitely a place to be. I will truly miss the experiences I made here come May when I finish my degree in Conservation and Resource Studies.

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Posted by Dale Dualan at 9:27 | Permalink

11 February 2009

Swimming and Botany

Deadlines are definitely starting to wheel in for jobs, internships, and summer programs. Registration for Berkeley summer school classes opened on Feb 2nd for UC Students. (It will open on the 17th for visiting students). More info can be found here. Online schedule of classes for Summer 2009 In Summer of 2007 I took P.E. 1 – Elementary Aquatics and IB 117 – Medical Ethnobotany. Both were really great classes- I learned how to swim (!!!) and learned about the many benefits of plants for our health. It was nice getting a good workout in the afternoon and then going to class in the evening and hearing a lot of interesting stories about plants from Dr. Carlson. Though I checked online and this summer there is a schedule conflict for taking both of those classes. Either way I would highly recommend those two summer courses if anyone is looking to learn how to swim this summer or learn more about botany and human health. Or you can take MCB 102 if you want.

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Posted by Dale Dualan at 9:17 | Permalink

19 November 2008

Why CRS?

Why CRS? - Build Your Own Education The CRS major allows students to think about an environmental issue that they are motivated about and mold together an interdisciplinary style curriculum that tackles it. - Flexibility You pick your classes. You pick your advisors. You make your own upper division curriculum through this major. The CRS major also allows you to branch out to other departments on campus not in the College of Natural Resources including Geography, Public Health, Anthropology, Sociology, and much more. - The People Personally, I’ve met some of the greatest people on Earth (students and faculty) through this major. The CRS major has a diverse and close-knit community. It’s a great major to build friendships and networks. The fact that all our Areas of Interest are interrelated helps to bring people together, to work together, to talk about issues in the world, and to collaborate towards the CRS mission of building a healthy and sustainable future. - Real-World Experiences Some of your classes might take you on a field trip to get a real-world look at environmental issues and projects. You might also get asked to pursue or start a project in the community where you’ll interact with people of different disciplines. This is a great way to gain experience and to start networking for future internships, jobs, volunteering, or research opportunities. ESPM%20100%20Field%20Trip%20-%20Hastings%202%20067.jpg ESPM 100 field trip group at Big Sur.

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Posted by Dale Dualan at 5:15 | Permalink

28 October 2008

Mid-semester Recap and Recoup

Mid-semester recap and recoup Few things I learned or have been reminded of this semester: 10. 13 units can still feel like 18. It depends on what classes you’re taking. 9. The key to getting a bike on Craigslist is to make the search list your homepage and refresh it every so often (try every minute). That and the seller will wonder why you called the minute he/she made their post. First thing they’ll say to you is…Wow. 8. There is a parking lot near the Big C. Don’t ask me how to get there! And don’t even attempt to have food be delivered there either. 7. The Earth best resembles a geoid. And you all thought it was a sphere…. 6. Lucky Charms is an awesome breakfast cereal! Next to Berry Kix and Raisin Bran. 5. I’m through studying up late at night! Mmmm…sleeeeep! -_- 4. Pressure = Force per unit area….undoubtedly so during midterm season. 3. Feeling bummed about midterms and studying? Then make yourself a glass of Ovaltine! 2. If you find yourself working too hard and stressed from all the studying, remind yourself to take a break, get some rest, some fresh air. It helps a great deal. ”Work to live, not live to work.” You know what I’m talking about? 1. We have about 6.5 weeks left of school. Buckle down. Keep your head up. Take charge. =) A reminder that the pass/not pass deadline is this Friday, October 31st. p.s. Go out and vote on November 4th! “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb

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Posted by Dale Dualan at 2:30 | Permalink

17 September 2008

Fall 2004: My First Semester at Cal

My first semester was quite a memorable one. I remember my first day of class started with Chemistry 1A at 9 in the morning. I waited outside Pimentel Hall around 8:45am (yup, I was a noob and didn’t even know the concept of Berkeley time). Class didn’t even start until 9:15 because there was a class in there beforehand and it took a while for everyone to get out. How many people? So I walked in and so did 550 other students! It was a complete anomaly. However, the class size slowly dwindled after the first few lectures. Chem 1A was one of the most challenging classes I’ve ever taken at Cal. My advice for those of you taking Chem 1A is to 1) form study groups (at the Student Learning Center, the residence halls, etc., quiz each other a lot because it helps reinforce concepts in your brain, 2) attend your GSI’s or Professor’s office hours- I know there may be a lot in the class, but you’d be surprise the huge fraction of people who won’t attend office hours and 3) overall, don’t be afraid to ask for help because it is a challenging class and you want to do well (in any class for that matter). In addition to Chem 1A, I also took Sociology 3AC – Intro to Principles in Sociology, Asian American Studies 20A – Intro to History of Asians in U.S., and Math 16A – Calculus. They weren't so bad...; )

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Posted by Dale Dualan at 0:00 | Permalink

07 May 2008

The "Final" Countdown

The fun is just getting started! ; ) The end of the semester and preparing for finals can be a stressful time of the year. Sometimes I find it really hard to stay motivated and I forget about the things I need to get done at the end of the semester. One thing that helps me to stay on track and keep things organized is writing down a list of goals, whether it's setting aside study time or review sessions, completing an assignment or an errand, etc. Unlike writing in my planner, I'll take a separate sheet of paper, write down a whole list of things to accomplish, and decorate it with quotes like “I can go the distance” or “Don’t hate, elevate.” Then I carry it with me or tape it on my wall. =P I know, maybe it sounds corny, but for me it helps to reinforce some motivation and a “can-do” attitude (well for one, everything doesn’t look so bad on paper). At least I can look at my list to re-focus myself of my priorities when school gets overwhelming. The end of the semester may not only be filled with finals, but it might also include job/internship/apartment hunting, graduation, final projects, summer planning, etc. Do whatever you need to do to handle your situation because in the end you want to do well on your finals and finish the semester on a good note. “In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we know. We will know only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum

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Posted by Dale Dualan at 2:08 | Permalink

06 April 2008

The Big "C": Choosing

My older sister, Isah, has been one of my biggest role models in life. I practically did almost everything she did in school. She graduated from UC Davis and now it was my turn to go to college and it came down to two choices: Cal or UC Davis. I had followed her footsteps since day 1 and when I asked her for advice on making a decision, she said to me, “You pick.” To me that was a scary thought, but it made me realize that I had to start making decisions on my own (and also to be a little more open-minded). I am also a first-generation college student, so when I asked my parents for advice they said, “Just go to Davis like your sister” …surprisingly enough. I wanted to do something different this time. I wanted to be a little more adventurous and so I chose Cal simply for the opportunity to experience something new for myself and for my family, to experience a new environment at the same time, to be a part of Cal’s widely acclaimed reputation, history, culture, and academic excellence. “Bigger name, bigger reputation, and bigger prestige” was the impression I got from Cal so I had no doubt that I was going to get a top-notch education here. I came from Modesto, CA, an agricultural suburban city and so coming to Berkeley was all new and exciting for me- the campus, the food, the people, everything. And since I am a momma’s boy, staying close to my family was another reason I chose Cal. All in all, if I had the opportunity to change my decision to go to Cal, I wouldn’t. So if you got into Cal, congratulations! Come to Cal Day on Sunday, April 12th to find out more about campus life and the Cal community. Remember, you are choosing your home for the next four years. Making the decision may not be an easy one, but make it your own. This is your turn, this is your education, and this is your future.

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Posted by Dale Dualan at 5:25 | Permalink

05 March 2008

Stressing Communication

There are probably a million ways to deal with stress. One way that has helped me the most is communicating with others (friends, family, loved ones, advisors, faculty, etc.). Sometimes I fail to recognize that there are problems that I cannot solve on my own and might need others to help me that find that guiding light. Personally I am a natural introvert and I find it hard sometimes to talk to others about what I feel inside, especially when I get stressed out about life, school, family, etc. but keeping all that stress inside won’t really help either, so venting and talking about it with someone might help because it might provide you with useful feedback and ideas that you may not have thought about yourself. It might not always be easy to find someone to talk to either, so it’s important to try to connect with those you trust and are comfortable with. Other stress management tips: 1. Get sleep. Back in the day I used to do the whole energy drinks thing, try to study all night kinda stuff, but realized all that was bad news- I couldn’t focus and it made me more stressed out. Get a good amount of sleep (whatever works best for you) and you’ll be able to process things better later. 2. Stay positive. This might be hard to do, but keep your head up high and tell yourself that no matter what, you’ll make the best out of your situation and not let your situation get the best of you. 3. Exercise. Physical and mental stress go hand in hand. It’s important to stay active so your body and mind doesn’t fall back, get lazy and start cluttering with stress. I find that a jog or a walk outside helps. 4. Clean your room! Chances are your room is a mess. I bet if you clean it up you’ll feel a lot better. Trust me. When your things are organized, life is a lot better. In the end, find what works best for you. I stress communication as an essential way of coping with stress, so don't ever be afraid to ask for help. If you ever need someone to talk to the Peer Advisors, CNR faculty and staff are here to help you. “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” - Buddha

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Posted by Dale Dualan at 0:35 | Permalink

05 February 2008

Welcome back!!!

Welcome back CNR students and a special welcome to the new freshman and transfer students to a new Spring semester! We hope that you all had a nice winter break and are well-refreshed and energized to work hard and have fun this semester! CNR will be having new and exciting events! So check back with us on our web page, come visit us at our office hours, or check out the Student Resource Center in 260 Mulford for more information on the college and the CNR community. You can email us at and if you're really daring, you can find us on Facebook or Myspace. =) The PALs (Peer Advising Leaders) are here to help. Good luck this semester! "There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after the night and spring after the winter." - Rachel Carson

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Posted by Dale Dualan at 3:40 | Permalink

19 September 2007

Setting The Tone

Adjusting to college was not an easy transition for me and it really put some pressure on my academics. I took Chem 1A, Math 16A, Sociology 3AC, and Asian American Studies 20A my fall semester and Chem 3A/3AL, Spanish 3, and Math 16B my spring semester. Overall I didn’t do as well as I wanted to in those classes. I wasn’t taking school seriously thinking that I already knew most of this stuff from high school. So things started to build in: lack of motivation, having too much independence, slacking off. I guess it came down to having some sort of an identity crisis my first year and I started to become confused, intimidated, asking myself questions like “Why? Or What am I doing with my life?” (lol) I just needed to find that balance between school and personal life. … to find that direction to help point the way. (It actually took me about 2 years to finally reach a sense of catharsis). Besides taking classes, I wanted to get involved in extracurricular activities my first semester and one activity I was interested in was singing. I was pretty shy about singing (still am), but I thought that it was a good opportunity to try something new in college so I looked at various a cappella groups and ended up joining the UC Men’s Chorale, the oldest college a cappella group on the west coast (started back in 1885). Turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences I had at here at Cal. Singing helped to get my mind off of school and personal life. It was fun and I was able to improve my singing technique and build confidence by performing in front of large audiences. Most of all, it was where I met some of my greatest friends here at Cal, who’ve been supportive over the years. Overall my first year was great in that I was able to make a lot of new friends, but I guess time-management and prioritizing my responsibilities were things I really had to work on. In my opinion, you should allow yourself some time once in a while to re-evaluate your goals and to find that passion, meaning that you should do what you love. Your first semester/year will really set the tone so do whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes to find a comfortable and healthy position for yourself because it will truly make a difference in the long run.

Continue reading "Setting The Tone" »

Posted by Dale Dualan at 2:13 | Permalink



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Mid-semester Recap and Recoup

Fall 2004: My First Semester at Cal

The "Final" Countdown

The Big "C": Choosing

Stressing Communication

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