Category: Living

Living at UIC: res halls (dorms), food, getting around campus.

Podcasts: When You’re Too Tired to Study and Your Music Just Won’t Do

With a daily commute that takes 1 hour door-to-door, I find myself on the train a lot these days, which adds up to a lot of free time.  And while reading or studying would pretty much always be the ideal use of my time, at 4:30 in the morning, usually on about 5 hours of sleep, my attention span really isn’t addequate for processing detailed information.  So, this begs the question: how do I fill this time?

Sleeping may seem a logical conclusion given the generally fatigued state that I currently exist in.  But remember, I’m on the El, and from a common sense point of view, sleeping on public transit is never quite a good idea.  Rather, the answer, for me at least, has proven to be podcasts.

To be completely honest, it took me a while to come around to the idea of the podcast; I don’t know exactly why, but I never felt totally comfortable with the medium.  At least part of my initial gripe sprung from the fact that I am a PC user and didn’t like feeling trapped in a system in which there was no good way to bypass iTunes.  The program was slow on my computer and was just plain inefficient when it came to updating podcasts that renewed their content daily.  And this paired with the fact that I seldom actually plugged my phone in to update it, led me to believe that podcasts just weren’t for me… that is until recently.

Enter: Stitcher Smart Radio

This little app for the iPhone and Android platforms transformed the way I consume news and other media, and completely changed the way I felt about podcasts.  This free app allows users to search for their favorite podcasts — as well as live radio stations — and organize them into separate playlists that update free of any physical computer connection, all the while streaming the content so that it stays off of your hard drive.  What is more, the interface is incredibly user-friendly and saves where you left off, and allows you to go back to archived episodes, both tasks that are much more complicated if done through iTunes.

But enough about the technicalities, and on to the content itself.  If I had to ascribe an overriding theme to the podcasts that comrpise my “Favorites” playlist, it would be programs that force me to think or question what I think I know.  The following is a short blurb about a few of my favorites:
The Moth: A favorite from NPR, “The Moth” is a podcast of live story-telling performances (think a poetry slam, but with narratives instead of poems), each revolving around a different theme each week.  Sometimes the stories are laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes more somber, and often some combination of the two.  Regardless, they never fail to give you a glimpse into someone else’s unique experiences and the bits of wisdom they gleaned in the process.

In Our Time With Melvin Bragg: Recommended to be by a friend who spent a good deal of time in England, this podcast comes from a radio show that airs on the BBC4.  Apparently, the numbering system for the various BBC stations indicates how mainstream their programming is, with 4, as you may guess, being the most esoteric of the bunch.  And the podcast is no different.  Each week the host, Melvin Bragg, chooses a random topic (and I do mean random: everything from dark matter to Nietzche, to Chinese trade during the Ming Dynsasty) and invites experts in the field from some of the premier English and American universities to contribute to the discussion.  For someone who enjoys knowing a little bit about everything, this podcast is a must.
This American Life: Another NPR favorite, “This American Life” takes on a different theme each week, and develops anywhere from one to three stories around it, often incorporating original pieces by authors such as David Sedaris and others in the process.  It’s another one of those shows that never fails to make me think about the uniqueness of our experiences in shpaing who we are and how we view the world.

RadioLab: The only bad thing I can say about this podcast is that it doesn’t update nearly enough.  “RadioLab” takes seemingly random topics in various fields, be it science, or literature, or general interest, and over the course of the show, weaves an incredible storyline centered around a given idea.  If that sounds confusing, it is.  But it’s also pretty amazing when all is said and done, and always leaves me with my wheels turning.

If any of these sound intriguing, or you sound like something you might want to give a try, then by all means, download the app.  And if that’s not a possibility, google some of these shows and visit their respective websites.  Often you can stream or download the podcasts for free, and if not, the various NPR syndicates around the country air these shows, and offer free streaming themselves, (Chicago’s local iteration of this can be found at www.wbez.org).

So give it a try!  Happy listening!

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!

November!!!

“True leaders will let you fail, but they would never let you be a failure” – Former Army General Stanley McChrystal

Something I learned in the military– from taking caring of staff to learning in classes, this quote follows me everywhere. In addition to being a supervisor, I learned how to balance my social, work, and academic life. Three circles which consume me as a student and I will present to you my life below:

Sunday: Suprise birthday party for one of my friends. We can never take a picture where we all look at the same camera.

Monday-Thursday: Managing meetings and supporting staff events

 

Thursday: Krome Radio

Everyday: Attend Lectures and Study

Anyway, one of the greatest skills i learned before entering college is time management. I discovered that using a calendar and planning my schedule helps a lot in overseeing the 3 circles of academic, social, and work life.

Sorry this article is short but I’m studying for exams. That’s all I got this week! Look for next week’s Top 3: Things I learned about Chicago Traffic

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TOPIC NEXT WEEK: Top 3 Things I learned about Chicago Traffic

ANSWER FROM LAST WEEK: I would tell the world that I love Oreos. Anything involving Oreos is automatic magic.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What’s the best couples costumes you’ve this past Halloween?

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.

Doing What You Love: Not So Easy After All

So here’s the scenario: you’ve worked yourself to the bone during undergrad, dedicated hours to studying for the MCAT, made it through the application process, and got into med school.  For discussion sake we can even throw in the fact that you’ve made it through the first 2 years, and have passed the USMLE Step 1 exam with flying colors.  So the uncertainty is over, right?

WRONG.

Now begins one of the most stressful periods of all: the one where you decide what you actually want to do for the rest of your life.

As far as I’m concerned, one of the biggest draws of pursuing a career in medicine is the flexibility.  Within the various fields and sub-specialties of the profession is a whole spectrum of lifestyles, pay scales, and types of work.  And while this is wonderful in terms of the seemingly limitless possibilities, it is equally stress-inducing when you start to consider the gravity of actually making this decision.  Standing at a similar crux right now, it’s clear that this is no easy feat.  Starting to look at possible trajectories for the rest of my life has forced me to be more honest with myself than ever before, and has made me address some of the “big” questions that I’d long pushed to the back burner: What do I want out of life?  What kind of lifestyle do I want?  Where, geographically, do I want to end up?  Do I value prestige over community service?

In terms of beginning to tackle some of these questions,  it seems to comes down to – the principle which translates to any life-determining decision – is a good deal of introspection (i.e. knowing yourself well), admitting the ego-traps that exist (do you want to be a surgeon because of the social cache/what you’ve seen on Grey’s Anatomy or does the field truly fascinate you?), and recognizing that there’s a good chance that nothing will fit 100%.

And so, during this all-important, insecurity-exacerbating 3rd year of medical school I’ve been going through my core clinical rotations with the intention of sorting things out.  Each rotation lets me sample a given field and gives me a snapshot of what life might be like were that my ultimate choice.  And this has allowed me to keep a running tab in my mind of what I’ve loved/been fascinated by as well as those fields that weren’t such a good match.

Unfortunately, a series of snapshots also means that the perceptions I’ve gotten aren’t completely representative of the field as a whole.  After all, the people on a given rotation, along with other factors like the institution-specific experience (e.g. maybe pediatrics at UIC is a more fun experience than at Cook County), can affect the overall perception as much as the actual workday or the field itself.  And though imperfect, it’s the best metric I’ve got.

That, paired with specific areas of interest (for example in the first 2 years of med school I loved learning all about the kidneys and reproductive endocrinology whereas GI and cardiac physiology/pathophys were more taxing to study) will hopefully start to narrow down the field.  In my case, I just keep telling myself not to succumb to the temptation of pursuing a career in something that pays well or is prestigious (dermatology, radiology or anesthesiology) at the expense of hating waking up for work for the rest of my life.  And while this hasn’t quite gotten me to a final decision yet, it certainly has cut down the number of possibilities.

So what’s the conclusion to the beginning scenario? Unfortunately, that uncertainty is a fact of life, and not just in medicine, but in any field.  All you can do is remain honest about your options and where you want to end up, and maintain the flexibility to consider new options when they present themselves, even if this means reassessing things you thought you had figured out.

The Real Turkish Delight

For some time now I’ve had a real thing for Turkish coffee.

turkish coffee up close

YUM! Turkish coffee is Turkish coffee because two things. One, because of the Arabica beans used, but more importantly because of the technique to make it. You can really use any beans, as long as they are ground to a very thin powder- thinner than espresso! The reason you have to grind it to a powder is because there is no filter involved in the process (which you realize when you take the last sip from your cup and you get a mouthful of grinds.)

To make it, the powerdery coffee grinds are spooned into a turkish coffee pot filled with water, and the stove is turned on.

turkish coffee pot!
finely ground turkish coffee- set grinder to VERY fine.

The ratio is about two tablespoons of coffee for every cup- it might be less but I like a strong cup of coffee! The internet say two heaping teaspoons for every “demitasse,” (which I just learned is a tiny espresso cup.)  The grinds just sit on top of the water as it is boiled- don’t stir them in. When the water begins to boil, you turn off the stove, and it’s done! The heating of the water from below causes a turbulence in the pot which mixes the coffee into the water and makes the coffee.

Alternatively, you can use an espresso coffee pot. My roommate and I have been using this one ever since she brought it home from her study abroad trip in Europe:

You can really use any pot, but it should preferably be small so the grinds don’t spread out too far on top of the water. And voila!

turkish coffee in a demitasse

And while I usually take cream with my coffee, I have to drink this black, with a little sugar. It’s how they DO.

I was introduced to turkish coffee when I traveled to the West Balkans–Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Croatia. It wasn’t Turkey, but this was the kind of coffee that everyone drank.  At the end of every cup I drank there, some elderly lady would take my cup, flip it over and tell my fortune with the pattern of the grinds. That was pretty fun, mostly because I couldn’t ever understand what she was saying, so I could just pretend that she was talking about my lavish life with my extremely successful career and beautiful family, horse farm, private beach and personal staff. ha.

Strangely, according to each of these countries (and other countries in the Balkans, and Greece too), Turkish coffee originated from their country, respectively.

In Serbia, it’s “Serbian coffee.”

In Macedonia, it’s “Macedonian coffee.”

In Greece, it’s “Greek coffee.”

In Turkey, it’s “Turkish coffee.” And I guess since they’re the biggest country, they win. Or perhaps because they thought of this delicious thing first.

So next time your buying coffee, grind those beans a little more than usual and go get yourself a Turkish coffee pot, sold in European markets all over Chicago or in Greek town. You won’t be let down by the power of Turkish coffee. It’s fantastic!!!

Time Management When You Have No Control Over the Clock

Whenever I’ve gone to talk to my advisor the topic of balance comes up.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s a good reason; it’d be wonderful if I could efficiently fit everything and everyone that matters into the time allotted in a given week.  But let’s be real… finding balance is always easier said than done.  With a demanding schedule, impending exams, and obligations to friends and family, I’m lucky if I can make it to Friday without a laundry list of things I’ve put off due to lack of time.

I’m constantly reprioritizing in my head, playing the role of triage nurse, in a never-ending effort to determine what  things need to be done acutely and what things can (and will) wait.  And while, at times, this habit has the potential for disaster (everyone’s had that test that they’ve procrastinated studying for just a little too much), I’ve found that at the end of the day, it tends to be quite effective in terms of helping me keep my head above water and accomplish what I need to.

I think this ability to sort through everything and prioritize, along with a healthy amount of flexibility (i.e. a willingness to move things around) makes for a situation in which I have the maximal amount of control over an often less-than-ideal situation.  Recently, this has meant coming to terms with the fact that, with regards to my schedule, the locus control is completely in someone else’s hands.  This has forced me to roll with the punches of a workweek which is constantly changing, and has made me learn to block off whatever schedule I’m given, and work with what’s left over – regardless of how little it is.

A lot of this has to do with being completely honest about some of my less-desirable habits/mannerisms and streamlining my schedule to compensate for them.  For instance, on any given day I have to be at the hospital too early to go to the gym beforehand, which is what I would do in a perfect world.  Yet, I know that the end-of-the-day fatigue is a strong deterrent from getting me to go afterwards.  So I honestly assessed my behavior patterns, and realized that if I went directly home after work, that’s where I’d stay.  In other words, once comfortable, there was little chance that I would leave my apartment again to go to the gym.  The solution?  Shoving the bare minimum needed for a workout into the bottom of my work bag each morning, such that I have no reason whatsoever not to go on my walk home from the train (it just so happens that my gym is conveniently situated equidistant from my apartment and the L).

And while I am indeed tired at the end of the day, it’s something I forget about the instant I actually walk into the gym.  I’ve found that if I can circumvent a maladaptive behavior that would normally make me put something off, I more often than not overcome the toughest part of the problem.  And once I’m doing things in a more timely manner, there happens to be more time for the more enjoyable things in life.   And even if this isn’t quite the case and you still can’t fit everything in, at the very least, come Friday the to-do list is markedly shorter.

I’ve Caught a Bad Cold

I don’t think I’ve been actually sick with something for about two to three years now, but man I don’t miss it at all! It might have been okay in high school when I got sick because I could stay home and my dad could take care of me, but in college I refuse to not go to class! I need to work hard and study like a monster to keep up with everything that’s going on. Taking 18 credit hours is no joke, and attending club meetings and going to work or research is something I don’t want to miss either!

So I’ve been trucking through this week with some dosages of Dayquil or Nyquil every four hours and constantly popping a cough drop whenever I can to make my throat feel better. It’s not fun sounding nasally or raspy, and it’s not fun being in class when you just downright feel uncomfortable while trying to listen to your professor talk about how cells have all these mechanisms to do a bunch of things and you have to know almost everything about it.

On top of being sick, my skin has been really bad. I mean, I guess it’s always like this now, but these things don’t have to all come at me at once! It’s red, dry, and itchy above my eyes, above and below my lips, and also around my jaw line. Eczema can seriously go jump off a cliff and drown because it deserves to. I might also add to my uncomforted state that TOM came (code word for the girl thing) and that makes me feel very unpleasant.

Even though I feel like crap, I think I am doing quite well handling everything. I know I should be studying for my midterms but a part of me just wants to relax and let my body and brain chill for a few moments without thinking about school. I watched two hours of Bones last night on TNT and I’ve got to say being an anthropologist looks very cool. I don’t think I have the stomach to handle all of the fleshy grossness of the murder victims they find, but it’s cool to watch them do their thing.

My mom came home and apparently she and my dad bought a new car! That’s good because we were missing one and my dad’s car is about to die too…everything seems to break down at one point. Don’t ever buy important things that last a long time at the same time because ten or twenty years later they will all stop working and you will have to muster up some money to get new ones! My birthday is on the 18th but I probably won’t do anything for it. I’m going to be flooded with e-mails from Facebook that day, which will suck because then I have to go and reply to everyone at some point. I am so anti-social sometimes.

Looking on the bright side, it’s half way through the semester! (:

Fantasy Football!

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” – NFL Coach Vince Lombardi

I’ve been hooked on ESPN Fantasy Football these past few weeks. The league I play in has 16 teams, including residents and UIC Campus Housing coworkers. I know I’m going to get alot of criticism from true fanatics but to spark conversation, here’s my fantasy team:

Team: That’s No Moon (–Star Wars)
QB- Drew Brees, NO
RB- LeSean McCoy, Phi
RB- Ryan Mathews, SD
RB/WR- James Starks, GB
WR- Jeremy Maclin, Phi
WR- Mike Wallace, Pit
TE- Jason Witten, Dal
D/ST- Eagles
K- John Kasay, NO

Bench:
QB- Jay Cutler, Chi
RB- Pierre Thomas, NO
RB- Michael Bush, Dal
WR- Victor Cruz, NYG
WR- Preston Parker, TB
TE- Rob Gronkowski, NE
D/ST- Redskins

I recently earned one trophy titled “I Beat My RD” for defeating JST Resident Director and my supervisor Miranda =P

**Top 3: Must Attend Chicago Fall Events** 

3. Hot Chocolate Run (November)
Running never felt so sweet! After the Chicago Marathon, Chicago’s next big one is the Hot Chocolate Run! Thousands upon thousands of people, businesses, and charities will be there sharing the fun. Link to the Hot Chocolate Run: http://www.hotchocolate15k.com/chicago/

2. Chicago’s Navy Fear (October)
Weeks leading up to Halloween, Navy Pier becomes Navy Fear. Overrun with frightful monsters, Haunted Houses, and moving objects, they go all out in this theme park

A monster surprised us while we wait in line for "The Fear" (haunted house)

 1. Magnificent Mile Lights Festival (November)
One of nation’s largest holiday evening events, Chicago celebrates it’s tradition of lighting more than millions of lights down the Mag-Mile. I go every year since I lived in Chicago and get so many free things =)

Next week I’ll talk about the intramural basketball team I’m coaching, Tony’s Tigers. And we just made the playoffs!
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TOPIC NEXT WEEK: Tony’s Tigers

ANSWER LAST WEEK: I’m going to cheat and say I would bring The Harry Potter series.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: If you could spend any night at one store, which would it be?

Organic Chemistry: You’re a Clump Nugget

Graphics Door

Kim (works in the Graphics room with me and a bunch of other people) made new door decs for us! I'm a ghost from packman, haha.

What is a clump nugget? I ask myself that every day, but it’s basically a pronoun to describe someone or something very annoying. I adapted it from my roommate ’cause she always calls her organic chemistry professor a clump nugget.

Anyway, this week was pretty eventful (minus the awful organic chemistry grades I’ve been getting). We had an SFP meeting Monday evening to prepare for our GBM next week. I have to create a t-shirt design for the club this weekend…I hope I have time! X__x

Wednesday I had my nutrition exam, and for once I did not double check my answers. It’s not like I didn’t have time; in fact, I actually had an hour and forty minutes left to spend double or triple or quadruple checking my answers! I guess I wanted to see how well or bad I would do by going with my gut…and if it works then I might just do that for the future exams (then again, we’re moving onto the vitamins and everything that they do…so maybe not).

Work Dino Nutrition

I like to draw on my nutrition note slides. It started out as an apple, but then I stuck a head on it...and then I decided it needed a tail. Isn't it cute? (:

I’ve been going to a small group with some AAIV members for about three weeks now, and it’s been really fun surprisingly. I was never raised in a religious household and I never knew much about Christianity or cared about it. We’ve been looking at chapters on Hosea (a minor prophet who God told to marry a prostitute) and it’s pretty interesting. I ask a crazy amount of questions during discussion because so many things just don’t make sense to me. I’m all for evolution, but I never got to the point to deny a higher being (perhaps because it’s a nice thought, but I’m not totally convinced). I mainly go just to meet nice people who are dedicated to something they’re really passionate about, just like when I attend the UIC Writing Club meetings and meet people who are really into creative writing. It’s just a lot of fun to know a diverse group of people, not necessarily diverse through skin color, but diverse through how we view the world.

I’ve been really sleepy lately. Cell biology and organic chemistry are just so boring right now that I find myself flickering my eyelids from closed to open every so often. I guess it’s because we can’t really have a conversation about those things as much as we can with the humanities (I love the Asian studies, fiction, and music therapy discussions in class). All you can do is sit and listen and take some notes…it’s like you can’t really connect with the information unless you force yourself.

Yawn. Tutoring at the writing center was pretty fun this week because we have to record one of our sessions as part of our training and right now I’m listening to myself talking and creating dialogue with the writer. I sound so Asian American it bothers me, haha! I didn’t realize I say “Yeah!” and “Okay!” so much. This is quite an interesting experience.

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