Summer

As summer quickly approaches it is becoming evident that there is so much more to do during summer in university than there was in highschool. So far I have summer class, work, a short vacation, and getting back into a healthy mindset lined up.

I’m taking 2 summer classes, 1 during the first summer term (6 weeks) and a distance education class that spans the entire summer. I’m going to be living back at home so this will actually be my first time commuting to class. I’m wondering if the buses to UBC during the summer are decent? Or are they like the buses on the weekend – unpredictable and infrequent. There is the chance that I might just drive. Twice a week means I can get away with a per use parking pass (11 uses, $80) and I’ll just bus once or find free parking on campus.

Work is going to be busy over the summer. The restaurant I cook at is located in a tourist destination and the crowds will come with warmer summery days and longer nights. The patio will be opening adding 25 seats that will need attention. With the size of the kitchen a full restaurant is already quite the handful. As I’m learning my way in the kitchen I know I’m getting faster and hopefully by the summer I’ll be ready enough to contribute and make the kitchen run well.

With my friends turning 19 its easier to get away and rent hotels on our own. I’m going to go to Harrison hot springs for 4 days in June and that’ll be a nice break (granted time off work). After a year of living at UBC I’ve le so much of the healthy habits I used to practice go. This summer I’ll be able to get back into them. Eating right, exercising, and generally feeling better.

Past, Present, and Future

What a whirlwind of weeks it has been!  But we must keep up to date with the important dates and events!

SUMMER REGISTRATION: Registration for summer courses happened this past week!  Did you choose to continue studying while the sun is out or did you opt for other fruitful activities (travelling, work, volunteer, etc.)?  Summer courses both have their benefits and their downsides.  On the plus side, summer courses are easier because you are only studying 1 or 2 courses at a time (and you could therefore score a higher grade than if you did the course during the year).  A disadvantage though, is that the material is very condensed, and the classes are long hours.  Has this little blurb made you reconsider registering for summer courses, but now you’re worried that you won’t get in?  Don’t worry!  If the course is full, keep checking, even up to the day that the course starts.  Many people drop out after the first couple of lectures, or they drop out because they only registered for the Upass benefits (ahem!).  I hope things work out the way you want them to!

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS: Time change happened this morning at 2 a.m.!  This is the sleep (and study) unfriendly time change, because you lose 1 hour of precious time.  Let me guess…we’re all going to be on Facebook and Twitter writing about how our schedule is messed up…a very good way to make up the lost time indeed! ;)

JOB FAIR: Looking for a job for the summer?  Check out the Job Fair in the SUB concourse on March 13 & 14th (this Tuesday and Wednesday!!!).  Make sure to keep a couple of copies of your resume handy; you don’t know when you might need it.

VOLUNTEER FAIR: Sometimes the best thing to do is to give back to your own community.  Following the job fair this week, there will be a host of volunteer opportunities advertised in, again, the SUB concourse.  Make sure to check out the booths on March 15 &16th!

Got the job!

In reference to my last post where I had a working interview – I got the job! So now I’m a line cook at a restaurant in Richmond. I’ll post about my learning experiences because all of this is new to me and I’m being trained as I work.

I’m also going to be applying for Tourism Richmond’s 365 days of dining (http://365daysofdining.com/)! Its the opportunity of a lifetime and I think almost everyone who has ever even considered a food blog is looking at the job description and deciding to fill an application. So thats something else for me to do on my breaks in the aquatic centre (which is loud and full of kids today because of the teacher strike).

Oh and midterms, I need to study for those. I have 2 this week, 2 the next week, and 1 the week after.

My posts are somewhat limited

This semester I have an extra hour break (class, break, class, break, class) three days a week. I thought that would mean I would find more time to sit down and write some posts. Guess not. Having a 9:30 am lab every other day has forced my sleeping schedule to become regulated, no more 4am-11am sleeps for me. I’ve also developed the habit of having very long Tuesdays and Thursdays. Out the door at 8:30 am to grab breakfast and I won’t be back into my room until 11:00pm because I stay out to study. I’m really benefiting from the results of these very productive days.

I’m deep into my second round of midterms and I think I’m doing better this term than I did last term. We’ll have to see how my marks end up though.

I’ve began to plan for the summer and next year. Ideally I’ll get registered for two 200 level courses in the summer in order to lighten my workload. I find there really isn’t much offered in the second summer semester but my elective is there so I’m really lucky about that!  Moving back home for the summer so I’m going to need to pick up a parking pass. I actually figured out if I buy the per-use parking passes, and take the bus 3 times this summer, I save around $80! I’m currently searching for a summer job, hopefully something where I cook, and I have an interview tomorrow. Its a work interview and it involves going into a kitchen and working under a chef for four hours (unpaid, I think) to prove that I’m capable and will work well with them. The process sounds kind of scary actually. I have one shot to make it in this restaurant and I don’t even know what I’m going to be doing. I’ve heard two different things about what I should do in the kitchen tomorrow – ask a lot of questions to show I want to learn or shut up and go about working as hard as I can. I’ll even blog to tell everyone how it goes. I didn’t get through the residence lottery  so I need to figure out if I’m driving or taking the bus next year. Luckily I’m a local, so the lack of a place for me on campus isn’t a huge concern.

Food! I have to talk about food in every post, its my thing. Lately I’ve found the Totem dining hall fairly uninspired. I’ve been getting the vegetarian entree almost every day just for something different. They love to make vegetarian lasagna out of everything; polenta, sweet potatos, actual pasta, anything! And the Tim Hortons on campus are playing Roll Up The Rim to Win! RTR is a Canadian tradition where every cup at Tim Horton’s has a chance of winning 1 in a few million prizes. The prizes range from free drinks and donuts to TVs and cars. I love the idea but I never ever win. I’m currently 0/15 this year. Last year I went 3/32.

I’ll post tomorrow about how the interview goes! Also check out my Twitter! Its my main form of social media now (@kielylandrian)

It’s that time of year again…

Sorry for being MIA for the last little while!  I’ve been meaning to write, but the task was always shoved to the bottom of the pile.

My midterms start tomorrow!  I’m sure some of you have already suffered the banes of university life.  Luckily, my schedule is treating me well…1 tomorrow, 1 on Tuesday, 2 the following Wednesday, and then the last one of Thursday!

I know I’m lucky, because I’ve heard of some pretty harsh exam pile ups.  Which begs the question, why can’t we apply for hardship during midterms, and only during finals?

I could write a whole persuasive essay on the practicality of why midterms can’t be moved, but I think Dr. Shelley Reid, my CLST 301 prof, sums it up really nicely:

“Your bachelor’s degree is worth much more than the sum total of your knowledge of biochemistry, organic chemistry, or even the meaning of the root term for the belly-button*.  It is instead evidence to society at large (including those who decide whom to admit to medical/dental/nursing school, if that is your goal) that you have developed particular skills, such as the ability to cope with the stress of competing—and possibly even conflicting—demands, and to cope with grace and finesse.  Partly it is a matter of time management, but it is also a mental activity: we all know that the weeks around midterms and final exams are stressful, and by surviving them you show your ability to handle both your time and the stress of competing demands.”

* [Editor Note: in CLST 301, we learn the Greek and Latin roots of medical and biological terms]

To me, this is a really inspiring way to look at our stressful situations.  I’m constantly reflecting back on the instances when I was so fixated on achieving something, a detail which now seems irrelevant and almost pathetic.  We need to look at the bigger picture, and not get rooted in that one stressful day, that one hectic week, or that once-in-a-lifetime horrendous exam schedule.  Even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time, there is always a small skill to be learnt out of every experience.

Good luck with your exams!

A month of planning, a committee of 8, 2 advisors, $700 worth of food, 34 profs, and over 250 students

Tomorrow’s finally it. The moment where all the work that has been prepared will all squeeze into a two hour event. A mere two hours. But worth every second. I only hope that everything goes as planned. It rarely does, but I have the best people to help think on the spot!

There were just so many tasks done for Meet Your Profs 2011; it’s involvement like this that makes me want to keep striving, working hard, and thinking constantly about what’s ahead.

These thank you gifts for profs took an hour and a half to make with 2 other people helping out. Was an interesting experience.

Two years ago I attended this event as a first year and it’s such a crazy thing that now I’m co-chairing this event with a friend. Envisioning how we wanted the event to go, to help plan and make things happen… I never expected to be here, but then again it’s UBC; lots of random things can happen in such short time frames. Planning this was no easy feat but it was fun every step of the way.

If there’s one thing I like about getting involved, it’s the fact that I meet new people! I’m probably going to see 300 people tomorrow and hopefully this kick-off event for SCI Team for the academic term will leave a great impression among first-years in that there will be more helpful events to come!

quick updates: Cooking in Rez, TEDx Terry Talks, Work Study

Cooking:

I’m sitting in my room with an ancient-looking can opener and a can of tuna.  I can’t open it.  I could tell you all about Kant’s ethics or Rawlsian justice, but I’m hungry and I want some tuna!

Welcome to Suite style residence.  In my case, Ritsumeikan Residence.  The last two years at Totem and Vanier, I had purchased the compulsory meal plan so all my food was made by other people.

So far, I’ve managed a vegetarian sandwich loaded with garlic (excuse my breath this year, I intend on including garlic in every recipe), freshly squeezed lemon juice, fruit (yes, I can manage to rinse things…), and I anticipate some basic pasta and potatoes in the near future.  In the middle of back-to-school errands, a new academic term, and an upcoming Work Study, I’ve got to learn how to cook and everything that comes with it—shopping for food, balancing nutrition, cleaning up messes, wielding knives! Time to research.

P.S. If you want to cook for someone or have extras, you know who to call.

(This was written a few days ago.  I did manage to open to the can—with force, not technique.)

TEDx Terry Talks:

This was the event, a month into first year, that made me realize university was the best place for me to be; a showcase of splendid ideas and stories not from professors but from our fellow, brilliant students.  My blogpost covering the 2009 event is here.

This is the year you go to it.  I’ll meet you there, and If I don’t know you, make sure to say hello!

Register here.

TEDx Terry Talks Website with more information.

Work Study:

For those of you who have never heard of Work Study/Work Learn, you should.

After applying to 12 jobs for this school year (8 of them Work Studies), I got 2 interview/job offers.  OK, I know that looking back on those numbers now, 1:6 ratio is a pretty good deal during these times but I swear it felt like I was applying for 100 and only getting 1 interview back.  This is probably because I adjust my cover letter/resume for each job so it’s a pain.

I won’t be starting til late September but I’m excited to be a  research assistant to a Political Science Professor. I’m so grateful that UBC has a program like Work Study for students to experience working alongside/for professors, librarians, staff, etc.

Finally,

Miriam Sabzevari = most awesome Arts student?

I like this glitch.

(It’s a link to the article on my trip to the ABCDE Conference, written by Mary).

UBC Orientations Leaders

So I went online to check my email like any other day. Except today there was an email entitled “UBC Orientations Leader Position”.

Now before I tell you what was in that email, let me give you a brief timeline of events.

Sometime in Winter Break: Application for UBC Orientation Leader positions due.

February 6th – Group interviews for UBC Orientations.

March 5th – received an email, saying that the selection process is delayed. They also said “If you have not yet heard from Orientations, it does NOT mean that you have not been assigned a position.” I knew deep inside that they actually meant “you ‘probably’ didn’t make it if you didn’t hear from us yet”.

March 12th – email regarding the final decision

So it turns out I got the MUG Leader position! I’m kinda excited for this because I actually had alot of fun during Imagine Day.

It was really quite a shock for me because of the group interviews. During the lego session, our team literally had nothing (Mark, if you’re reading this, I think it was your group that totally owned us). I pretty much gave up after that setback.

But what an unexpected turnout! I’m definitely looking forward to the training session.

Interested in the Faculty of Law? Read this!

(Sorry I was apparently misinformed from this. This is actually a summer intern job interview session, so I guess this wasn’t for admissions. Sorry for any sort of inconvenience. Also I don’t want to edit this all over again so I’ll leave it as it is. Thanks to Anon for the comment.)

A week ago, on the way to work, I saw this in the Life Sciences Centre:

Scary!

People are trapped in there!

You might as well guess it. The UBC Faculty of Law is having their annual interview sessions for their JD (Juris Doctor) Program, which is also equivalent to the Bachelor of Law. This degree enables a person to practice law in… almost everywhere… I think. This actually sparked some interest in the field to many people including myself. Working as a lawyer seems like an interesting idea.

Admission

But it’s not easy to get into this program. The JD Program is like… Med school I guess… Yes, science people look forward to Med while arts people look forward to Law (This is in a very very very broad view of each faculty, I am aware not everyone is looking towards their respective interests according to this trend).

The average GPA for people admitted was 82% (Which I realize is an insane average for UBC) and the average LSAT score was 164 (I don’t really know what this means).

Like Med school, admissions don’t require you to have a specific degree. Anyone from any faculty can apply to JD, and there’s no preference over another.

You can start applying in third year, but it’s REALLY recommended that you apply in your fourth year. Why?

Admissions calculate your GPA to the amount of credits you have. If you apply in third year, you get to have 6 of your worst credits taken out of the calculation. If you apply in fourth year, you get to have 12 (!!!) of your worst credits taken out (Start taking those easy electives!).

Naturally the admission to the JD program is extremely competitive. Last year they accepted 180 students from an applicant pool of 1727 students which is slightly higher than 10%. And not all of them are third and fourth year students. You will be competing against people who have completed their Bachelor’s or even their Master’s Degree! Ever since Maclean’s stated that UBC is one of the best law schools in Canada, competition has been close (if not already) to cutthroat.

Academics

There is some good in going to law. UBC Faculty of Law offers a diverse choice of courses and even electives related to law. There’s criminal law, business law (for those commerce people), Chinese law, Korean law, Japanese law, and of course, the traditional Trial Advocacy.

Ahem… now going back to the interviews.

I saw these  interview boxes, but I needed to take a closer look. Curiosity was literally murdering me. So here’s another picture.

DSC00117

Sorry I realize it was a bad picture, but as soon as the interviewers saw me they kicked me out. I should have been more discreet.

All I remember seeing was that there were two seasoned lawyers (or people with respectable degrees) and the undoubtedly keen, anxious, dead nervous, overdressed, prospective applicant. Seriously, they seemed sweaty… or maybe it was because they wore 2 dress shirts and a tux.

Work (for UBC to pay off your student loans while at the same time)-study

So after sending about 20-30 cover letters/resumes/course schedules/transcripts (I stopped counting after 20), I finally got a Work-Study job!

I’m going to start working as a lab assistant for Dr. Redfield (I believe she’s one of the profs for BIOL 121) and her associates in the Deparment of Zoology. Even though most of the job is cleaning, setting up lab benches, and helping the researches, I get to know their research and learn how a lab works.

Their current research involves a very interesting field. They research natural competence in bacteria. In simple terms, competence is where bacteria, under the stress of survival (hunger or danger), uptake DNA from their surroundings to replenish/repair themselves or recombine their genetic code to adapt to their surroundings.  It’s also a controversial topic because competence may actually be a cornerstone in the evolution of sex.

To people who are still searching for a work-study position: Don’t give up!!! There are (and will be) positions from here till the end of the Winter Session. Just keep sending those resumes and cover letters everywhere until you finally get that interview! Keep checking http://www.careers.ubc.ca/opportunities.cfm?page=students&view=postings for new postings and apply as early as possible! Some employers will take the first 50 applicants and take them for an interview, regardless of the cover letter (they will probably look at your resume).

When you get to that interview, remember to be as honest as you can, and if it’s a position involving laboratories, learn what they’re researching! It’s well worth researching to both your employer and yourself. You get to learn really fascinating things that are yet to be discovered! Just remember: you get to help MAKE history.