Category: Living

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

Hello Inflammation

I stayed up with my brother last night until 4am, reading the first chapter of my cell biology textbook. I figured since I’m taking so many classes that will require intensive reading, I might as well be a week ahead of everything! I have no clue how organic chemistry will turn out so I want to make sure I have everything else down. My brother, on the other hand, was obviously not studying anything because he’s not crazy like me. Instead, he was sewing up a stuffed plushie panda, very similar to one of our t-shirt designs. As for why he was sewing (extremely rare activity for him), his friend’s birthday is coming up and he just decided to conjure up his old life skills home-ed type knowledge to make something oddly cute.

Unfortunately I did not get much sleep since I had to wake up this morning around 9am to see my previous boss since she wanted to take me out for lunch at noon, and to also help out the new girl who needed to upload a .exe file on the website (took a long time but FTP program saved us). Either it is my lack or sleep, or perhaps something I ate, that has made my face and body become really red all over. It is eczema, and lots of inflammation. I really hate flare-ups. I seriously don’t understand why it happens and I am pretty sure I have been staying away from things that cause allergies for me. I take a Zyrtec each night to help, but maybe I should switch brands. I’m a feeling a little down, even though school is starting and I should be excited, but I’m scared I will have trouble coping with so many classes.

I wonder when the Chicago weather will change again. Summers are nice but short, and winters are long and crazy cold. Spring and fall are perfect, but not if you’re like me and dying from the allergy season! :(

I haven’t been up to much this week besides promoting iiClothing and going to the research lab. I finished collecting my cells, although I made another mistake which made me slap my forehead again—however, mistakes are necessary to learn. Ever since that other mistake I made (not clicking a button), I always make sure to click it, and so when I do another bone marrow isolation, I’ll be sure to not the same mistake twice.

“It’s not a dorm, it’s a residence hall!” -Campus Housing

Hey UIC!

Freshman Move-in Day is in T-minus 5 Days!– RAs and PMs all over campus are scrambling all of their creativity to place door-decs, bulletin boards, welcome letters, and room goodies!

The RA/PM staff training is near the end. Below is the picture of the JST Staff at a lunch meeting with the FIR (Faculty in Residence) and doing door-decs and bulletin boards in the C Tower Lounge.

JST: Resident Director, Senior Staff, RA/PM Staff

JST Staff creating bulletin boards and door-decs while watching a movie

This is my first year being on Senior Staff for Campus Housing. The supervisor role is definitely a fun learning experience. Since RA/PM Training is nearing to an end. Here’s my:

Top 3: “Things I Learned From RA/PM Training” (Resident Assistant/Peer Mentor)

3. Policies and Procedures
There are many policies outlined in the Resident Handbook and RA/PMs have to know and be able to identify them. If in any situation arises, the RA/PM has to familiarize themselves on how to resolve each policy on a case-by-case basis.

Policy and Procedure Review Game By Resident Director Amanda

2. Safety on Campus
We were introduced to the UIC have a Campus Advocacy Network, Crisis Hotline, Wellness Center, and UIC Police. A former Chicago Police Officer also presented on how to react if shots were fired on campus, a reality that every campus must be prepared for in case it does happen.

1. Behind Closed Doors
Signifying the true test of every RA/PM is what we call “Behind Closed Doors.” For nearly 5 hours, we exercise the abilities of an RA/PM to resolve any given situation. This can range from common to extreme scenarios– roommate conflict, party/drug situations, to an active shooter in residence halls.

Boundaries Training

That is all I have this week! See you next week!

TOPIC NEXT WEEK: Freshman Move-in

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What is your favorite color?



Say What?

Currently rocking out to I’m On One – Drake
Currently singing to Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence – Utada

Chompy is a cutie pie.

My baby turtle Chompy is getting a lot bigger!

So my lab partner texted me today about final grades in chemistry because she doesn’t know how to use the student self-service thing, which is cool because she just transferred from Elgin Community College and I’m happy to help her ease into a successful year! Anyway, I checked online and swore that I was going to get a B, but to my surprise I got an A! I am seriously and ridiculously happy. My lab partner got an A too so we are both texting each other how happy we are, haha!

And of course, grades aren’t everything, but seeing your GPA go a few points higher really boosts self-esteem!

Today I took the Metra by myself for the second time ever and it was really nice. I was a little angry in the morning because I woke up at 6am and got to the Bartlett station at 6:27am—then the train left! It was supposed to arrive at 6:30…actually, 6:32! I had to wait for the 7:00am train, and then guess what happens next: the train is LATE. Unbelievable. I had to call my P.I. numerous times because I was supposed to meet him at 8am in the lab to do bone marrow isolation. I got to Union station around 8:00 and tried to locate the 157 bus. After circling around the whole Union station, I just gave up and called my P.I. and asked for directions because I was totally lost. I wonder how the commuters who go to UIC do it, but man I had no clue of anything.

It’s kind of fun getting lost though and being on your own. I went to Taiwan a few years ago to volunteer for the Taiwanese Red Cross to give supplies to the less fortunate and keep elderly company and active, and it was the first I ever went out of the country by myself. I remember landing at LAX in California and didn’t know I had to go from domestic to international, which meant I had to physically leave the building to go to another one since they weren’t connected. Finding the certain airline was hard too. I saw Korean Air, Japan Air, but where was China Air? You know how I found China Airlines? I followed the sound of Mandarin Chinese. China Airlines basically had its own giant section and you wouldn’t believe the amount of Asians crowded there.

Taiwan 2009

We went to a Buddhist temple during our volunteer service.Apparently it has 1000 rooms!

Ah, it was so much fun though. I am hoping to go to Taiwan or China next summer either for study abroad or just for vacation…or maybe even volunteering again! Europe would be nice to go to for study abroad since I will probably never go there, but my parents only approve of England…and that’s basically America but more proper, I think.

I guess not much going on, although last Friday I got to hang out with some people from AAMP (Asian American Mentor Program) at a bakery in Greektown, which is a part of AARCC’s programs at UIC. I was a mentee last year and applied to be a mentor for this year, but unfortunately I didn’t get accepted. I was pretty bummed because I felt like that was the only way I felt connected to the Asian community at UIC. Weird, huh? I’m happy for my peer mentees who got into the program as mentors though! Totally jealous of them because they get to help cute, innocent freshmen! I plan on applying again next year, so cross your fingers! =)

Greektown - Cake

Eating At the Bakery in Greektown

Did I mention I had to kill a mouse today? Well, I didn’t do it personally, but down the road I’m going to have to learn how to do it. For the bone marrow isolation, you have to get the mouse’s bones (obviously) and so you paralyze them, shave them, and then pull their head and tail apart to disconnect the spine. Messed up? Well, to researchers it is necessary. I think, for me at least, it’s one of the worst parts of research and medicine.

Things always have to be tested until approved for human use. I get sad when I see the diabetic mice because they are bred to be fat and in a sense diseased so that we can test on them to make sure things go well and transfer the same method to humans. It seems kind of silly to make animals “sick” when we should be focusing on alleviating humans with sickness already. I guess the only way to be healthy is with preventative medicine.

Lately my family and I have been indulging in green smoothies. My aunt from New Jersey gave me a book called “Green for Life” by Victoria Boutenko and it was really amazing what this woman has done. Seriously, it’s like she’s found the cure for everything just by drinking green smoothies. I sure hope my eczema gets cured by this soon because I’ve seriously done just about everything to fix it!

School begins basically next week. I’m going to be hardcore pre-studying so that I can get ahead with some classes. I’m sure organic chemistry will kill me so I better get my cell biology straight. I’ve been spending most of my free time working on the clothing company I started with my brother, which by the way we are going to have a photo-shoot so that will make the website look ten times better! I’ve also been learning Spanish on my Nintendo DS (My Spanish Coach) and I am officially a second grader! Yay! :D

My Lionfish

For some reason, my lionfish likes to chill upside down in the tank.

Darn. School starts so soon. My summer flew by way too fast!

Preparing for UIC’s “The Big Move-in ” Day


Campus Housing is counting down the days before “The Big Move-in.” More than 3,500 Residents will be pouring into our residence halls.

I’ve been in intense Senior Staff and Assistant Director training for the past two days. The picture below is of our first kickoff meeting for training with a speech by Associate Director William Washington, followed by Director of Housing Susan Teggatz.

Associate Director of Housing, William Washington

The picture below is during one of our Supervisory Lectures of the ‘Sociogram’ in which visualizes resident’s interest, classes, and more to help cater to the student’s needs.

To the left, Area Coordinator Priscilla Velarde and Joe Timson.

During training, they emphasize on the benefits of living in Campus Housing. So I decided to write a quick Top 3: Reasons to Live in Campus Housing article.

3. Great Price
I’ve heard residents complain about the price for housing. It’s truly about what you make of the program. If students put in the effort to utilize housing then it really is definitely a place worth residing.

Free laundry, printing, wireless internet, study areas, facilities repair– don’t have to worry about electricity, water, or gas bills– discounted tickets to theater shows, sports tickets, and movies; also leadership, job, and career opportunities.

Taking residents to Lincoln Park Zoo

2. Home Away From Home
Our staff truly puts in the effort to make Campus Housing your home away from home. Your RA will invite you to floor dinners, programs, and outings while your PM helps with tutoring, classes, and UIC. Both of them are there to also offer support and act as a resource for UIC.

TBH residents hanging out at Grant Park

1. Educational Advantage
Plenty of leadership opportunities as well as networking with faculty, students, jobs, Chicago Businesses and more. Don’t have to commute far and invest more time into studying with other floor-mates in similar classes.

So that’s it for this week. Darren out!

TOPIC FOR NEXT WEEK: Behind the scenes of leading RAs 

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Where was UIC before it moved to it’s current location today?

ANSWER LAST WEEK: Captain America’s shield before the circle was actually a triangle. 

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