Author Archives: Milie Fang, Biological Sciences / Pre-medicine

About Milie Fang, Biological Sciences / Pre-medicine

I am a senior and an acclaimed workaholic. While I like to keep busy academically, I really enjoy the simple pleasures of hanging out with friends and family, playing video games, or listening to music. When life seems to go well, allergies and eczema like to butt in and make me miserable. I hope to go into medicine so that I can have a better understanding of skin and the immune system to help myself, and to also help others facing the same problems I have faced since I was three.

Dirty Diana

My brother has been listening to The Weeknd’s (yes, there is no E) cover of Michael Jackson’s song Dirty Diana lately and it’s been stuck in my head! It’s a pretty good cover, and all of Michael Jackson’s songs are wonderful.

Break has been really awesome! I had Christmas with my family (grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts all together) and we (cousins mainly) played Mafia, Telephone Pictionary, White Elephant, and Xbox (Dance Central 2 FTW). I need to clear my phone up because I don’t have enough memory to take pictures! I’m hoping to have another cousins hang out soon.

I went to Shedd Aquarium last week to see the Jellies exhibit and it was so pretty! I absolutely LOVE aquatic life. If medicine doesn’t work out, I think I’ll probably go on to graduate school and do marine biology. If I can’t save humans, I will save the fish! I asked my friends to take pictures for me since my phone camera was filled already. Good thing he also has 8MP on his phone for good quality! After going to the Shedd, we went to Portillo’s for dinner and then saw Mission Impossible III. The movie had amazing ratings and I can see why! There’s tons of action, humor and as always Tom Cruise. xD

The Jellies exhibit was so cute and beautiful.

The Jellies exhibit was so cute and beautiful.

This guy is pretty tricky to see when you overlook him as coral.

This guy is pretty tricky to see when you overlook him as coral.

This pufferfish was like ten times the size of mine, and mine is pretty big...but nothing compared to this guy! He was probably over 12 inches.

This pufferfish was like ten times the size of mine, and mine is pretty big...but nothing compared to this guy! He was probably over 12 inches.

This was like the stonefish from earlier, but smaller and pink!

This was like the stonefish from earlier, but smaller and pink!

I'm definitely going to have something like this installed in my house one day.

Giant fish tanks are mesmerizing.

It’s kind of scary to know that 2012 is around the corner. I feel like I still need to accomplish more things before then! School is going to start back up in two weeks, which means I better start ordering books and get my schedule together so I know what I’m doing and what I have time for. Eek too much to do. Maybe I should get a New Year’s Resolution going…eh. That never really gets realized at the end of the year. Hehe, but they are fun to make!

Does anyone have a new year’s resolution made yet?

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

In the context of my house, the correct phrase is probably more along the lines of “baby, it’s cold inside.” I’m freezing in my house, but at the same time I’m not sure if I’d enjoy the crazy blowing heat in my room at MRH. I don’t really know why they want the heater on while we are gone for winter break because it seems like a waste of resources to me. Then again, I think my RA said the pipes will freeze if we don’t. That wouldn’t be good.

Advertisement FTW

I've been taking the Metra to Chicago for allergy shots, research, writing center and other club meetings so far. I take the 157 bus to send me back to Union Station when I want to go home, and one of those days I decided to plant my sticker in the glass waiting area. I saw a SWAG sticker on the other side, so I figured it'd be okay to put mine on the inside. I wonder how many people have seen it!

Winter break has been pretty good. Our final grades were out by six days after my organic chemistry final, and miraculously I managed to get a B in that class! I got A’s in everything else, and a sad C in cell biology (you probably inferred that from my previous post). My cumulative GPA didn’t plummet as much as I thought it would, but my science GPA is a bit unhealthy. Next semester I’m only going to take sciences so I can bring that up!

I like it when the sushi moves like a train

Sushi Station = <3

Sushi Station is soooo good!

I hung out with one of my friends from junior high who I haven't seen in about a year and we went to Sushi Station! It was so delicious as sushi always is. It was my first time going, which comes to be a surprise to some people. Haha.

Winter Break Accomplishments:

  • Hung out with five people, each on separate days
  • Saw my grandparents and made a date to learn how to make food because I lack cooking and baking skills
  • Started conducting qPCR in research for my second experiment
  • Watched three movies in the theater: The Sitter, The Muppets, and Happy Feet 2!
  • Finished Gears of War 3 on my Xbox…I still need to sign up for Xbox Live
  • Finalized Synapro logo for my past WISE mentor’s husband and currently working on business cards and the website
  • Got a credit card and debit card (TCF isn’t doing much for me, and I need to really start building up credit)

I’m hoping to finish two books this winter break that I bought over the summer (One Day and The Bluest Eye). I’m also going to try and get ahead with Polish so when I take it junior year I won’t freak out as much. I think I’ll look into Spanish too since that can be a vital asset in the medical profession. Hm, I guess I’ll also be moving the clothing company to our own webhost to get more controls.

SO CUTE

I went to the mall near my house (Stratford Square) and went to check out the store called "Furry Babies." My brother and I really want baby huskies and I literally squealed when I saw these two in their crib! Too bad my house is crazy messy to own a dog. T-T It also probably doesn't help that I have an allergy towards dogs and cats. Stupid immune system!

Speaking of immune system, my eczema has been crazy on my face lately. I read something on LiveStrong’s website that if you have eczema you should avoid red meats like beef, steak, and pork (high in saturated fats). Apparently they can cause inflammation, and I am NOT a fan of inflammation! I’m scared I’ll get cancer on my face one day. :( I’m going to try and avoid those meats this winter break and focus on just chicken and fish for my “meats.” I hope that helps! I also hope the allergy shots start kicking.

Woo! There’s actually snow outside now. I can’t wait for Christmas!

The Biology Blues

Final grades usually come out a week or two after the semester ends, but sometimes you’re lucky to get your grade earlier…and at other times you’re lucky to not receive your grade earlier. Well, if you ever take a biology course at UIC, you’ll be getting your grades early before they land on your transcript for real–but mine weren’t pleasant. I guess I’m just happy to pass, but our biology professor gave us a Blackboard announcement saying if you didn’t get a good grade in the class, then you have to step it up because this class resembled the MCAT/GRE type of exams (a lot of biology or other science-major students are pre-medicine). I think it’s good because we get exposed to it and all, but man do I have a lot of work ahead of me in terms of preparing for the MCAT! Apparently my class scored the highest out of all the classes previously, which means I was surrounded by a lot of smart people! I consider myself the average type of smart, the smart that can get by for some things but in general depends on a lot of studying. I have a feeling everyone else was the talented-smart…the type who can just get things almost by instinct. I don’t know how they do it! Those kind of people perplex me because I probably have to study five times harder than they do to get the same or a similar grade.

I had organic chemistry Friday and I think it went all right. I haven’t gotten the final exam grade and final grade for that class, but I’m okay not knowing for a bit.

Studying for my organic chemistry exam at my desk in MRH

I have actually not used my desk in my room at MRH since the beginning of the year. The light is really bright and served to be a wonderful place to do homework! I'm going to be doing this more often next semester.

As for my other classes, I know nutrition went well because she uploaded the exam right away and it’s by points so it’s easier to pass in my opinion. I haven’t gotten a grade back yet for my Asian studies paper, nor my short stories in English.

I finished writing my paper at the UIC Library around 1am!

The weekend before finals week I went to the UIC library to write my Asian studies paper. I stayed there until 1am and finished it!

It’s funny. After we had Thanksgiving break, I had no motivation whatsoever to do work. I think that effect of being at home just really relaxed me, and having to go from that back to school was a bummer. My roommate and I stayed up until 5am this one night because we just felt angry all of the sudden, and we are pretty collected people if you ever meet us. I was triggered into a venting state when I went on Facebook and saw something that I really disapproved of. I don’t understand why people have to say things that other people would either say “aww” or barf from reading. I guess there’s only a few eyes that you want to read your status updates, even though everyone can see them! It was just another reason why I do not go on Facebook very often. Does anyone else feel a negative type of nostalgia when they decide to go on that website? I definitely don’t like that I have to figure out how to navigate on Facebook because they always change their layouts. Yeesh.

Some idiot(s) wasted a good bag of potatoes to pull a prank.

If there's something I really don't like about college, it has to be the immaturity of the population here. I'm not talking UIC specifically because I think it happens at any college campus, especially in the dorms. When my roommate and I were having this heart-to-heart talk, we heard some voices near our door...giggling sounds. We didn't think much of it besides they were clearly up to no good, but the next day we opened our door to go outside and a giant stack of potatoes just rolled in our room! We were outraged, especially ever since we realized how many things we were upset about the night before socially. My roommate went crazy and picked up all of the potatoes and kicked them and threw them across the hallway. I don't see how people have fun hurting others, even if 'it's just a joke.' I definitely wasn't laughing.

In addition to that incident, the MRH Resident Director sent an e-mail to everyone about damages. I remember experiencing this when I lived at JST last year and it’s almost always split among everyone who lives on your floor, not the whole building. Well, I live on the third floor and each person has to pay $6.38 for damages. First floor pays nothing, second floor pays $2.73, and fourth floor pays $1.09. I mean, seriously? What if it was someone from first floor who went to the third floor and did that damage? How do they account for this…and is it really my responsibility to go to someone on my floor and tell them not to be stupid? I know some people choose to live on campus for the parties and social events, but I personally just want to live in a nice quiet place where I can study and sleep peacefully! MRH is closer to that type of living environment I’m looking for as opposed to JST, but it could be better.

Well, I guess this is enough ranting. I’m at home right now and it’s been really great so far. I recently watched The Sitter and it was surprisingly really good! I thought it would be bad because I don’t like the other movies the main actor is in (e.g. Super Bad), but everything about it was hilarious and contained some kind of moral-ness to it. I ran into a couple people today from high school and junior high so looks like I’ll be catching up with them this winter break!

I still don’t have any ideas for what to do during my winter break besides getting my allergy shots and doing research, but I guess I’ll wing it. I’m also going to go to the writing center a few times because one of the main journals in the writing center field is looking for submissions from undergraduate students and so the writing center director is asking anyone who is interested to attend a workshop. It should be a lot fun!

Student Center West

This is outside of Student Center West. I'm here a lot because of my two jobs. It snowed, but I guess you can't see here too well. Chicago winter is brewing.

The sky was getting pink at 6am.

I had to get up at 6am to go to west side for research. I didn't get much sleep, but the mornings are very beautiful. The sky actually made UIC's SES building pretty for once.

I promise my next post will be a lot less mundane! Hope everyone had a better week than I did.

Science Finals Kill

So I got that third organic chemistry exam back and it definitely did not go as planned. I did way worse than my other two exams, which significantly puts me back into the unsafe zone of an extremely low B/middle to high C range for that class. The final is worth a lot, but will I have the wonderful brain to do it? I sure hope so.

I’m not sure if I have the ability to get an A in cell biology, but a girl can hope. I’ll have to calculate in each of those classes to figure out what I need to get in order to get a high grade so that my GPA doesn’t go through a debacle, but at the end of the day the message is: study hard and do your best…and if you don’t, just do better next time.

As for my other classes, I did not realize that my Asian paper was due on the Monday of finals week so that is my first priority. The second thing would be my portfolio for English 212 (Introduction to the Writing of Fiction) and I have not yet started those revisions on my stories. I hope it won’t take too long but with those kinds of things you want to make them good for the benefit of yourself because writing is a very personal thing. Nutrition and music therapy are awesome and are put in a different corner of my brain because I need to really focus on doing well in my science classes!

With all of that junk floating in my mind, I’m starting a new experiment with my PI at research and so recently I did a bone marrow isolation (poor mouse T-T). It went a lot better than it did the last time we did it (my first time) and so hopefully next time I do it again I can do it by myself! These things take practice and confidence, and making a few mistakes here and there are all a part of the process. I’m pretty excited to conduct qPCR, ELISA, and Western Blot for my macrophages! I have not learned how to do ELISA or the Western blot so that will be an exciting experience.

Ack. There’s also this scholarship I am hoping to apply for that is due December 9th. It’s specifically aimed for Asian Americans, which kind of sucks for those who are not Asian American but luckily UIC offers a lot of different scholarships that everyone can apply for! Each entry box has a limit of 1000 words, which is ridiculous! That’s like two or three pages with no double spaces. What am I supposed to ramble on for so long? Here comes my life story, haha!

Speaking of which, the research grant application for the Sarah Madonna Kabbes Award for Undergraduate Research I turned in two months ago finally released the people who got the award and one of them was me! This is great, especially since I’m starting new experiments and everything you do in research is expensive.

Plans for winter break? I have none…except for maybe research, teaching myself Polish, maybe some art projects I have on my own, and allergy shots! :D ’til then, toodles.

No Turkey For Thanksgiving? No Problem.

I actually didn’t miss the usual eating turkey ritual for Thanksgiving. Just being around family was something I’m sure most of us can be thankful for.

So SFP has been running out on lecture events for our members and I decided to chip in and invite my cousin to come out and talk about his residency as a Family Medicine doctor at Christ Medical. The crowd was kind of dead but I think he was pretty cool with it. Most of the students at UIC get pretty tired around this time of the semester since finals are coming up and academics are definitely more important than those extra-curriculars…but we all try our best to do what we can. After the SFP lecture, my brother and my other cousin who goes to UIC met with us at Kohan (my brother is lucky enough to go to U of I and get a whole week off for Thanksgiving…but whatever. I get out of school earlier at least)! I think we all got Korean dishes except for my doctor cousin, who got this awesome Ninja Turtle Roll.

Kohan, located on Maxwell Street and conveniently next to my dorm (MRH), has an awesome roll called the Ninja Turtle.

Kohan, located on Maxwell Street and conveniently next to my dorm (MRH), has an awesome roll called the Ninja Turtle.

Awesome? Yes, I think so too. Hmm, it wasn’t too eventful at school this past week (well, I guess having an organic exam and biology quiz could count for being eventful…but let’s put those behind us). I’ve been pretty active with SFP because I started making meetings for HAC (Health Activism Committee) and we’ve been having some great discussions for what we want to do next semester. I’m pretty excited!

I’m not sure how my organic chemistry exam went yet, but I’m happy not knowing until I go back to school to study for finals. I actually did well on that biology quiz, and the one before so I am hoping to do well on the final! As for my other classes, I should really get started on continuing that Asian Studies paper.

Let’s move away from school for a bit though and talk about my recent Black Friday purchase, as well as my recent quick return to the world of Facebook. So before midnight hit, my brother and I looked up some deals that were going on at electronic stores. We came across a beautiful one:

Xbox FTW!

This deal is TOO amazing.

At 11pm we went straight to Fry’s Electronics on Downer’s Grove. To my surprise, there were probably only 50-100 people waiting in line. My brother and I stood in the cold listening to my Zune until midnight hit. The doors did not open. We let it slide for a good twenty minutes before we felt like something was wrong. We asked the people next to us (by this time, there were at least 100+ behind us in line) and of course they would say that the store opened at 5am. It was no wonder that people had tents set up and everything! There was definitely no way I was going to wait in the cold for another five or six hours until the doors opened, so we drove to an Hhgregg nearby.

Hhgregg sold the bundle for $199 so we were really excited, until we found out they only had six bundles and you had to have a ticket to get it. To our dismay, we walked to the Best Buy next door. Of course, Best Buy never has any good deals when it comes to systems…so we just decided we should just buy it online.

When we came out, we stared at the place that we literally have not stepped into in decades: Toys R Us.

“Want to try there?”
“I swear to God. If we get one there, I am never shopping anywhere else for Black Friday.”

We walked in, and almost by fate this girl worker there saw us and asked, “Hi! Are you looking for the Xbox bundle with Kinect? It’s $199!” My brother and I looked at each other, and then back at her: “Yes, actually. We’ll take one!” I think that was the moment I decided Toys R Us is the best place ever. It is probably one of the most overlooked places for items that we’d normally go for an electronics specialty store for. I mean, they even gave us a $10 gift card! The games were buy one get one for five dollars, and an Xbox controller was $30!

Did I mention how awesome the system is? Kinect is so responsive it is seriously incredible. I am so happy right now with it and I am definitely bringing it back to school with me for the two weeks that I’m there (and then FREEDOM!). I got Dance Central 2, Kinect Adventure (free game with bundle), and Gears of War 3. Game on.

Two weeks – Six Classes

While the smart thing to do right now would be to study for my third upcoming organic chemistry exam, I thought I’d give a little update on things are going school-wise before I hardcore rock out memorizing reagents and how to do synthesis problems into my brain.

My roommate and I played badminton at the UIC Recreation Center!

My friend on the badminton club at the UIC Recreation Center invited me to come out last Friday to hit around some birdies. It was really fun and a wonderful way to exercise! (: I went with my roommate and her boyfriend. I would have taken a picture of myself if I didn't have such bad eczema plaguing my face! xD

I’ll go from hardest/scariest to least:

Organic Chemistry I (CHEM 232) – I’ve got one quiz and two exams left to make up my grade. It is totally doable, given that I study like a monster, which I plan to do. I think right now I’m at a B/C range, but there is still a lot of points to get that could put me much higher. I am hoping for a B since getting an A seems out of reach (stupid quizzes). Wish me luck!

Cell Biology (BIOS 222) – I’ve only got one quiz and one more exam left, which kind of sucks because this class goes by percentages instead of points. My past exam grades kind of slumped, and I think it’s due to my laziness and also due to my attitude towards school; but perhaps I was too confident that I’d do well in this class because “biology is my thing.” It’s bad to assume classes are easy! I think I’m at a B/C range too for this class. Any hope for that A? Man that would be wonderful, but not likely.

Human Nutrition (HN 196) – Best class ever. I don’t think I have to worry at all about being A/B borderline. Her quizzes and exams are so straight-forward, not like biology where you have to read a huge paragraph of text and then look at the answers in the multiple choice section to read MORE confusing text. Her presentations are so wonderful too because she gives you the information that will basically be tested on the exams and the facts she brings in the enhance the information on the slides are so interesting.

Asian Studies (ASST 270) – I think this class is going well. My professor hasn’t updated the grades lately but the bulk of the grade for this class is a final 6-8 page paper. I like writing so this shouldn’t be too big of a problem. I made an appointment at the UIC Writing Center so that should help a lot (btw, I might help redesign their website because they are in need of an awesome one for the amazing things they do!).

I never like waiting for this bus. I prefer it over the CTA but it only comes every 20 minutes to take me to west side where I work and do research!

I never like waiting for this bus. I prefer it over the CTA but it only comes every 20 minutes to take me to west side where I work and do research!

On a quick tangent (and speaking about the Writing Center), I went to my regular tutoring hour and the person I tutored last week was there getting tutored by someone else and she saw me and was like “Oh Milie! I have to give you something later!” I had no idea what it could be because it’s not normal for tutees to give gifts to tutors, and there is probably something against some kind of ethic code to receive it, IF I am an employee…but I’m a volunteer so maybe there’s a leeway? After my session and her session she came by my desk and handed me the aloe gel that I mentioned in my previous two posts (she wrote it in Chinese). Apparently her friend from China came to give it to her but she said her skin was doing well and thought I could use it for mine (since it was clearly conspicuously bad and scratched up from my eczema problem). It was so sweet of her, especially since we only met once! I initially declined, though. I guess it’s a natural instinct of mine to decline gifts because it’s more humble in my culture. But if they persist, then I tend to give in (because the thought was so nice!). Ah you really meet wonderful people at the writing center.

Introduction to Fiction (ENGL 212) – This class is too hilarious. Words can’t describe, literally. Grades? Eh they don’t matter as much when it comes to this kind of stuff in my opinion, but I think I don’t have to worry too much. (:

Music Therapy (HON 201) – It’s a pass or fail seminar…so I’ll be fine! Too bad it doesn’t count towards my GPA but that’s okay.

Independent Research (KN 396) – I know I said six classes, but I have to kind of include this since I am taking 1 credit hour in it, and it will count towards my GPA apparently because we get graded with an A, B, C, etc. I didn’t discuss with my PI about it, but I hope he remembers to grade me (and hopefully give me that A!).

As you can tell, taking 18 credit hours is severely inhibiting my science grades…but you know what I’m not going to give up! Hopefully medical schools are understanding of my other interests (of course, after this semester I am never taking any more electives again unless they relate to science). Other than that…I’m really excited for Thanksgiving! :D

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

He's a rockstar.

This past weekend we celebrated my grandpa’s 90th birthday! It’s weird because I thought we celebrated that last year…but I guess not! My grandparents follow the lunar calendar so I tend to get confused when his actual birthday is. Anyway, we took up like three giant round tables at the Red Lantern restaurant with my family (and we still needed more chairs to fit everyone who could come). If it were my actual whole family, we’d probably take up the whole restaurant! Haha. Anyway it was a real blast and I can’t wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas to come around so I can see them more.

Now, going back to school…ehhhh. I think taking 18 credit hours was really stupid (and I might be taking 17 credit hours next semester because I don’t think I learned my lesson quite yet). My science classes are not going so hot, especially biology. I thought organic chemistry was going bad and that biology was my forte, but after our third exam I don’t even know what to do. I think it’s my fault for not studying harder, but at the same time I couldn’t concentrate on anything specific with everything that has been going on. Balancing everything is seriously the most useful skill anyone can contain. I think I had it going pretty well throughout most of the semester, but right now there’s only three weeks of school and that means three weeks to get my act together! Cross your fingers that I’ll make it alive and with an okay GPA.

Cześć! Jak się masz?

I went with my roommate and her boyfriend to watch the third Harold and Kumar holiday movie Friday evening.

I went with my roommate and her boyfriend to watch the third Harold and Kumar holiday movie Friday evening. We came a bit early so we were in the arcade area. Angry bird plushies galore!

So I have been contemplating whether or not I want to take a foreign language for my junior and senior year. Somehow during my junior high and high school years I got by without taking one, and here at UIC I just took Chinese 104 to get my language requirement done. Everyone that I know of has either taken Spanish or French in high school, so they are fine with taking it in college. As for me, I don’t know if those languages will satisfy my thirst for discovering a new culture. As I looked through the languages that UIC offers, I think I want to take Polish.

Why Polish? I agree it is quite random, especially since I am Asian and no one would ever think someone like me could have interest in it. But alas, the more I think about it I have every reason to challenge myself and learn a very widely spoken language in the Chicagoland area! I never noticed it before but Chicago has a huge Polish population and most of them prefer to speak in Polish than English. Anyway, I have been looking up basic Polish phrases and cartoons to help me prepare for the future when I actually take the course. I remember going to the UIC Bookstore and peeking into the Polish 101 book and there is absolutely NO English whatsoever. Even my Chinese 104 book had some English to explain grammar or something. I imagine if I do take it, it will be crazy hard as a non-native!

I tutored a business graduate student and later we had a chat about what we were at UIC for.

The UIC Writing Center is such a great place to meet other people. I tutored an international business graduate student and later we had a chat about what we were at UIC for. I told her about my eczema and so she wrote on my tutor slip what helps her (aloe vera) and she also told me to check out Vitamin E oil.

Anyway, nothing too exciting going on with me. There’s only four more weeks of school left before winter break, and I am doing my best to hang in there and get good grades! I had a nutrition exam Wednesday that was all right, although I probably should have studied a little bit harder. Organic chemistry is the same, not so great. I have to start writing a paper for my Asian studies class and I don’t have a clue how to start! Besides that, fiction and biology are all right. I have to write a short paper as a biology quiz grade, and fiction is about the same although the class has been a bit unorganized lately. It just seems like people stopped caring or forgot about their responsibilities as a student to be prepared, and it’s a little disheartening as a peer but I don’t think I have much voice since I’m the youngest in almost all my classes.

I started volunteering at Rush Medical Center in the Geriatric unit on Mondays from 1:15pm-2:00pm. I play the piano and violin for the seniors who are normally unresponsive but when I went last week, they were very active! My music therapy teacher (Honors 201 Seminar) was there to help me get adjusted and we played some old tunes that would be familiar to the seniors. It’s too bad UIC doesn’t have a music therapy program because I would totally want to be a part of it! =) I’m hoping to continue this type of volunteering next semester and junior and senior year because I think it’s much more meaningful than the general volunteering of most hospitals. I have yet to do any general volunteering but the more I talk to people about it, the more I don’t want to do it. I don’t think it would be a wise use of my time to be a receptionist or push wheelchairs around, but playing music for the patients really brings their mood up and makes me happy too! This opportunity has given me great motivation to practice the violin and piano, and possibly the erhu–although I’m not sure how the seniors would like that sound.

To end, please check out the new t-shirt designs for iiClothing! My brother is currently at FACT (Filipino Americans Coming Together) at Urbana-Champaign as a speaker for fundraising, and he is also getting the word out about the clothing company. The hoodies look really nice and I can’t wait to get one next week! I designed new stickers to be passed out which you can see on the main website.

Speaking of which, I added images to the UIC Campus Housing website recently because I don’t think maybe people read the announcements in the front (no one likes looking at a bunch of text, so sorry if my previous blog posts have been boring and filled with nothing but words!). I also redesigned the RHA website (Residence Hall Association) and the committee really likes it! Right now I am actually trying to design a logo for my past WISE mentor’s husband’s business website. I am pretty excited and hope I can get something to him soon!

Phones, MP3s, and Tablets

When I wait to go to my nutrition class, I tend to do what most people do: pull out the phone, pull out the mp3, and pretend to look busy. I think it’s weird that we have grown to almost do that instinctively. Most of us students, I suppose, just want to be left alone and want to get through the day. There seems to be no incentive to make friends in classes because “I’ll only see them this semester and probably never again.” I think the other reason is that most students at UIC are commuters, which is really sad because I think living on-campus has such valuable resources and convenience. Even though UIC has a lot of commuter resources, I wonder if people actually use them. Well, anyway, the point of this is that technology has, in my opinion, made us all much more isolated with ourselves and those who we choose to be familiar with.

I mean, imagine if we didn’t have cell phones or mp3 players; we’d actually want to talk to the people in our class and make friends, or at least have a good chat with someone who clearly has the same interests as us. I guess it was actually nice that we weren’t allowed to use our phones and mp3 players in high school because it forced us to pay attention more in class and interact with students beside us. I remember when I was a mentee in AAMP (Asian American Mentor Program), the other fellow mentees were all commuters and we’d share our experiences of UIC and how it felt so hard to fit in or make friends due to the circumstances of college life. We were all generally conservative people so it was nice to be with people who were pretty similar, especially culturally.

I wonder how many people get involved in clubs on campus. I mean, it’s good for applying for professional or graduate school in the future if people are interested in pursuing a higher degree, but what about those who just want to stop at a Bachelor’s? My dad always says that people have such hard times finding jobs beyond college because no one is hiring. If anything, companies need to cut costs by laying off people. My brother is going to graduate from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by the end of the academic year with a CPA so hopefully that will help him get a good career.

So, curious question: what’s the point of having a tablet?

In my organic chemistry lecture (by the way, we had our second exam and I did a ton better from the first exam! I am going to study a lot more to do even better on the third exam), I always see this one guy in the front using his iPad. I don’t know what you could possibly use that for because you can’t exactly take your notes on Microsoft Word with that, and even if there is some type of word processor, most of the time we’re drawing organic chemistry structures! Our organic chemistry professor uses his iPad in class too to draw out the structures, but it’s not too efficient because he can’t have an infinite canvas. If I had a tablet, I don’t know what I would do with it besides play games honestly–same with a smartphone. I don’t have one, and even though I’d like to get one, I know for a fact I’ll be so in love with my phone that I’ll completely zone out in my own world and shoot zombies with it or something.

I’m also not too fond of typing on a touchscreen. I love drawing so I think that would be a good tool to have; however, I’d have to angle my hand to float above the tablet because I can’t exactly lay the side of my hand like I usually do when I write something down on a piece of paper. Tablets aren’t exactly portable either. You would think they are, but they really just can’t be stuffed in your backpack like a paper notebook. You have to buy a fancy cover and nicely place it in whatever you carry it with normally, but don’t people already do that with their laptops? I think having a keyboard is more efficient, and yeah you could get one of those bluetooth keyboards but you don’t want to carry around two separates parts with you everywhere…that’s a bit of a hassle.

I digress. My brother is officially 22 today! I guess there’s nothing exciting about it, and there’s nothing exciting about turning 19. I finished watching the trilogy over again of the Lord of the Rings. I think I’ve seen them all at least seven times. It just proves that a good movie does not need to have nudity or stupid sexual scenes or promiscuous people.

I have a nutrition exam Wednesday, and then a biology exam after that. It seriously feels like I just took those exams a few days ago. There’s only a few weeks left (about a month) and then the fall semester will be over! Unbelievable. My time ticket to sign up for spring semester classes is November 4th. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll take and how many credit hours, but for sure less than 18!

So I need to include my recent doctor(s) visits…I went to the UIC allergist, dermatologist, and the family medicine offices all in one day on the twenty-fifth of October. It was a crazy medical day for me! I got a food allergy test on my back (it hurt quite a bit because the nurse had to stab me nine times with ten pricks per stab…so technically that was like 90 sharp pokes to my back) and it turns out I’m allergic to shrimp and oyster. How depressing.

I went to the dermatologist right after and I wasn’t too fond of the resident and medical student who came to me. Are doctors supposed to shake your hand? I know at the writing center we don’t shake people’s hands because the majority of the world actually doesn’t greet by shaking hands, and some people can be very offended if you do shake their hand. For doctors, I think it’s the same…but also with the whole germ thing. Oh man, the medical student was just standing there in the room staring at me! He didn’t even introduce himself and just stood quietly and awkwardly. I usually don’t mind the medical student who is doing his or her rotation with the resident dermatologist, but this was just weird. When the actual dermatologist came she was sweet as she always is, but the other two were just kind of still and didn’t do anything to make the patient (me) comfortable. Anyway, I had to get a referral for the next time I go in and so I went to family medicine to make an appointment with my family doctor on campus. The secretary immediately shut me down: “Oh her? She doesn’t work here anymore.”

My doctor isn’t employed anymore? How was I supposed to know that unless someone tells me? Yeesh. I made an appointment with the person who will now be my family doctor. I was kind of sad because the one I had before was so nice. She would actually call me out of the blue to ask how I was doing with my skin and to say that the referrals to the dermatologist and allergist were going through as soon as possible. I hope my new doctor will be nice too.

If I Only Was a Fish

Lion Fish Peering

I was just chillin' by the couch when I noticed the lionfish was being funny and just stuck his head out while he was being upside down. What a weirdo.

Poisonous fish happen to be one of the cutest ones in the tank in my opinion! xD

Chompy Loves the Sun

While still on the same couch, I noticed to my left that Chompy was being cute and stuck his head out of the water when the sun came out.

I miss Chompy a lot. I hope my dad is taking good care of him while I’m at school!

Hmmm, okay now I digress back. I am still sick with this awful disgusting phlegmmy throat and it’s not fun at all. This past week continued to be miserable because of it, especially on my birthday! I had an incredibly ugly sounding cough on my birthday and I had to take a biology exam, which was just bad because I didn’t feel well and it’s hard to concentrate when you’re sick. The worst part was later that evening because I suddenly got a high fever and it felt like the feeling when you have the flu, oscillating from being hot and cold. Ugh I had constant Nyquil and Dayquil for that week…which caused a minor problem when I went to the allergist on Wednesday.

I went to the UIC outpatient center to see the allergist to get what I thought would be a check-up or something but apparently we were going to do a food allergy test. I walked in and the allergist immediately asked if I took any antihistamines and I didn’t treat it as a problem question so I just said “Yes! Zyrtec.” He stopped and looked at me and asked “when?!” and from there I was just unsure and said “uh…yesterday night?” The response I got from that was “well….what are we going to do today Milie?!” Yeah, my bad. I definitely forgot you have to be off of Zyrtec for at least a week before your appointment with an allergist. Luckily I’m going to come back next week instead of waiting like two more months, but what a waste of time for me and him!

Blah I have an organic chemistry test in a few days. Have I been studying? Nope. Being sick doesn’t stop me from going to classes or lectures, but it does make me become less motivated to do actual work or studying. For my biology exam I forced myself to stay up and study and I ended up doing better than the average but not enough that I am particularly proud of. School sure is stressful when you’re sick.

Kohan's Mochi Dessert

The weekend before my birthday, I went to Kohan with my roommate to celebrate and we absolutely love mochi ice cream!

Is anyone else bothered that October will be over soon? I felt like it just started, but when I look at the calendar and all of the things I have to do…it feels like it will pass so quickly. I have to sign up for classes soon! I haven’t even thought about it thoroughly, but for sure I’m never ever taking 18 credit hours again! X___x

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