Chem 123 Experiment 12A

Be warned! The pre-lab for this experiment is EXTREMELY LONG. By long, I mean the longest I’ve ever spent on a pre-lab. You only get one attempt on the quiz which consisted of five questions out of 20 marks. However, the lab itself was really easy. All you’re doing is plotting pH multiple times and getting data. The only annoying this our drop counter setup, which wasn’t secured properly and kept wobbling.

Some tips to do well: Work on the quiz as you do the Virtual Lab, as the questions from the quiz are covered in the Virtual Lab. Working with friends help as well, as they will often catch mistakes that you miss.

Good luck!

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Just another Commuter Day

Hey everyone! I’d just like this little picture that made me laugh a bit, but I’m sure made everyone else pretty angry (It was during rush hour, around 3:30pm-ish). As you can see, the buses decided to ignore the big UBC Bus Loop and park OUTSIDE of it instead. April Fools! No, I’m just kidding. What really happened was that a “25” bus broke down JUST as it was about to turn into the loop, blocking every other bus in its way. It was literally a bus graveyard for about 10 minutes, until some bus drivers drove around and entered through the backdoor (where the buses usually exit). Sorry for the blurry photo, I took this while I was on the bus 😀

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Student Leadership Conference 2013!

This conference was simply amazing! From start to finish, it was very well organized and I could tell that countless hours have been spent planning this event. Thank you SLC 2013 team, this is one conference I will never forget!

The day began with UBC A Capella performing while the delegates walked to their seats. Two big screens were up; one with a live twitter feed and the other with the SLC 2013 poster. The delegates had quite a bit of fun with the live twitter feed, with the most memorable being “Hey, people in the bleachers, do we look like ants?”. That definitely brought a smile onto everyone’s faces and set a good tone for the day. Among other things, I was surprised when I met a UBCO delegate (it took her 8 hours to get here!). 8 hours! That’s ridiculous because I’m sure many of us would cringe at the thought of sitting on a bus for more than 1 (commuter problems).

Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli, you are the man. For those of you who don’t know, Luca was born with Arthrogryposis, which affects muscle growth in his lower body and joint movement in his legs and shoulders. Despite having 16 surgeries in his life, Luca never let Arthrogryposis get in the way of his breakdancing. He uses his upper body strength and crutches to create his own style to his dancing. His energetic personality and unique dance style captured the attention of the crowd. He would yell “No Excuses!” and we would respond “No Limits!”

For the closing keynote, Frank Warren spoke about his PostSecret website and what it means to be “one of the most trusted people in the world.” The way he described it, the benefit was for the senders to face their secrets and to let their secrets go. The best part was at the end, when delegates were given the opportunity to speak in front of a mic. This was an excellent ending to SLC 2013 as all delegates and presenters were emotionally tied to the speakers. We respect their secret and I’m sure many of us could have related to their secrets.

One thing to note: The crowd was mostly upper-level students, which I find is quite surprising. If not for BlogSquad and my friends from high school telling me to go to this event, I would never have known about it!


More to come about workshops 🙂

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A Guide To Relaxing

So I know it’s been quite a long time since I’ve last posted, and I feel really bad. But I hope this post makes up for it during these tough times (final exams! AHHH!).

1. When you’re on your break, try to let your brain just relax. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and just relax wherever you are. Take a break. Let your mind wander. Breathe slowly and deeply. I find that this method of using your break is much more useful than spending time surfing the internet or gaming (it tires you out).

2. Youtube! This is awesome for relaxing, except that you have to have self control and not let a 15 minute break turn into a 2h one.

3. My new favourite: So funny, so relatable, and props to you for maintaining it! Keep it up!

4. 9gag: Do I need to say more?


Or if you feel like you’ve done so much work and need a change of environment, then go for a walk or just stare out of your window. Staring and zoning out always works!

Something to cheer you up:


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Bus Manners

Since the beginning of September, I’ve bussed to and from campus, taking up about 1.25h of my time everyday. This is not much compared to most, and I am in no way complaining about our transit system. I saw something amazing today, and that is why I’m taking the time to let you know!

I was one of the many people standing on the bus. A mother with a 3 to 4 year old child comes onto the bus, and keep in mind this is during the university rush when we are all packed like sardines in a can. As the “standing line” progressed further and further towards the back of the bus, several university students took the time to ask the mother if she wanted to sit! Props to you if you do this! To make it even more amazing, many of the university students weren’t even the “priority seating” area. They took the time to stop whatever they were doing (music, texting, daydreaming, reading, etc.) and asked the mother kindly if she wanted a seat. In the end, she declined all of them because she was getting off soon, but the feeling she must have gotten :’)

Another thing I notice is that many students DO try to “move as far back as possible”, a phrase many of us commuters know by heart. Many do say thank you to the driver. These little things that one does truly do make someone’s day. So try to make it a habit to do nice things because it makes you and the people around you feel better (especially during Midterm season, when all hell breaks loose)!

Give yourself a pat on the back if you’re reading this and you do this! You deserve it.




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How to approach Midterms

Wow it’s been a long time. I feel so bad, but then again I had 3 midterms this week, 1 in-class essay, 2 online assignments, and one lab this week. But after going through a hell of a week, I’ve reflected on some of my study habits and you might want to know what I came up with.

  1. Spend 1h of your day going over any trouble spots in any of your courses. Midterms test EVERY concept learnt, so chances are if you have something you don’t understand, it’ll be tested.
  2. Sleep! If you’re the type of student who likes to cram, then you have to find the balance between cramming and sleeping. Not enough sleep will hinder your performance, and if you study when you’re tired, you’ll end up blanking out and forgetting everything you’ve looked over.
  3. Don’t fall behind on your work. If you have a Chemistry lecture and a Physics lecture on the same day, go home and do a couple problems and review the notes. This way, you’re learning as you go instead of a day or two before the exam.
  4. Reflect! After every exam, try to think about how to improve on your study habits and what went wrong/what didn’t go wrong. There’s always room for improvement!
  5. Pre-read with focus! If you pre-read by flipping pages, you are wasting time. Really think about what big idea they are trying to convey, and try to come up with a question or two. You don’t need to memorize anything, just have the material in your head. As a side note, profs do expect you to pre-read before class, so if you always feel lost during classes (because of the tough examples or because profs don’t spend much time explaining) that’s probably why.

Well, my first round of midterms are over! Time to start on my work early, and prepare for the second set (after a solid 10h sleep though!).


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Catching the hard work “flu”

This past week has been pretty awesome! I went to a Pharmacy Info Session, signed up for some clubs, met my fellow BlogSquadders, and managed to survive my first 3 hour CHEM lab (although my back can’t say the same).

The info sessions that various societies offer are amazing! I got to know so much more about Pharmacy and what it’s about. Everyone comes into Science thinking about Med School, and that’s fine. Heck, I’m thinking about it too, but that doesn’t mean I can’t consider other options right? If you have the chance, go go go to info sessions and you might see me there!

Clubs Day! No wonder they’re building a new SUB, this one is packed! 300+ clubs spread out in a single building, with about 20-30 being on the main floor. That’s right, if you didn’t go UPSTAIRS, you missed about 270 clubs! Luckily, they had a map of where everything was so that made it a little easier. I ended up joining two clubs, but might drop out of one because I didn’t want to focus on too many things at once.

Blog Squad breakfast was amazing! You guys are all so cool. Can’t wait to see those pictures up on the website haha =P

I can’t believe how long 3 hours are. Did I also mention that labs FEEL like another course on their own because of the amount of prep work needed? It’s not that bad, just don’t work on it the night before. You will suffer and stress out. So far, CHEM labs seem like a typical high school style lab except you have fancier equipment. You’re also working alone and might not have a stool to sit on. That means you’ll be leaning over while you do your quiz and leaning over while you write on your pink sheets.

The title of this post is a sort of joke to those who know me. Apparently, my hard work is contagious and gets those around me to work harder. Hard work is a must because midterms are coming in less than 2 weeks, at least for me. My first set of university midterms…hmmm.




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For all you Grade 12s out there

Ok, so in the school I went to, Grade 12 meant that you were the seniors of the school and that you will be applying to post-secondary this year. I don’t know how it works in other provinces/countries, so I just wanted to clear up any confusion.

I’m sure a lot of you have post-secondary on your mind right now. In the past 2 weeks, I have been asked many questions about grades and extracurriculars, but it boils down to something like: What will I need to do to get into post-secondary (UBC of course!)? If I had someone telling me this last year, it would have saved hours of stress!

  1. Start early! Have an application due in a month? Well, you better get started because you want to give yourself a 2 week buffer in case anything goes wrong. And trust me, many many things can go wrong. For UBC, begin the process of thinking about how to answer your personal profile questions ASAP! Think about them, jot down some ideas, then formulate them into elegant sentences. Leave it be for a couple of days before you start editing. This allows your brain some time to process the question. When you come back to do your editing, you will find that you might HATE your answer and decide to change it completely, or you might have  a sentence that is useless and tells the marker nothing about you (there’s a word limit to your answers). Remember, if you are not 100% satisfied with your answers, redo them until you are!
  2. MARKS DO MATTER! They tell you that the minimum to get in is XY%, but let’s say you DO get in. Now what? You have to SELECT courses and guess how they decide on the order…you guessed it, by grades! This year, registration began on a Tuesday (I think) and ended on Friday with Wednesday being the most “crowded”. If your average was close to the minimum average, I’m sorry but you will be registering on Friday. This is BAD because you will have a horrible schedule and the stress of being on the waitlist is not fun (I’ve seen it, people freak). If you want a specific time for your classes (ie. if you’re a morning person,  or the exact opposite) then work hard this year. Create reasonable goals and stick to them!
  3. Have fun! Remember this is your last year of high school! Join some teams or clubs and try to make the most of your last year! Work hard and play just as hard.
  4. Trust. I don’t know if this will be true for you guys, but it definitely was for me! When I submitted my UBC application and my PSI selections (for those in BC), a couple of thoughts popped up in my mind. Is this the right one? Will it work? How do I know? Do I just click a button and submit? If you’re unsure, discuss with your friends. However, most of the time, you’ll just have to trust in the system.

If you have any other questions, feel free to comment! I’ll try to respond as quickly as possible.


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First Week Summary

Is that really correct? It’s only been A WEEK? Like I’ve been saying to many of my new friends, it’s felt like a month has gone by. This feeling does not originate from lectures or labs, but from the sheer amount of information that university students need to process in a short amount of time.

Apart from that, I’m loving university! There are so many people from all over the world that have come to one place to study. University is truly the place for learning. The atmosphere inside libraries is one that is not felt anywhere else; all students, calm and focused, are processing information and digesting material that has been or will be covered. To put the speed of things into perspective, Calculus 12 (a high school intro course into calculus) in its entirety will be covered in roughly 4 weeks.


You guys don’t want to hear me go on and on about how TOUGH university is, so let me highlight some key points that I found extremely helpful:

  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Do it right after you learn the material, that way it sticks in your mind better. Although there isn’t actually homework assigned, you need to do the homework in order to finish weekly quizzes. If you don’t understand a question, spend 5 extra minutes on it, and if still nothing, then leave it. Come back after you’re done your other work and attempt it. If you still don’t understand the material, then go to Office Hours. Which brings me to my second point.
  • OFFICE HOURS! They are extremely extremely useful. The profs are very kind and understanding and can usually see where you are going wrong in a couple of seconds. Be warned, however, if you are going to ask how to do a question, please do spend some time trying the question. It will not be like high school where they spood feed you your answers. Explain your process to them, write out your work, and they will correct you where necessary.
  • LIVE ON RES (if you can)! I’m quite jealous of my friends on this one. You really get the full university experience if you live away from home. Libraries are a couple steps away and you get to meet people living in the same building as you! This is a plus especially in 200-300 people lectures where it becomes quite difficult to meet new people (because you usually sit with different people each lecture).
  • SHAKE HANDS! Don’t be afraid to shake someone’s hand. This is the best way to introduce yourself to someone sitting beside you in a lecture. Just casually turn your head, make eye contact, say your name, and that’s it! Although you may not remember the person’s name after a couple of hours, you will definitely remember their face and that’s an excellent start!
  • GET OFF FACEBOOK/9GAG/REDDIT/YOUTUBE! They’re ok…when you’re on your break. Don’t open these when you work because they’ll distract you! Don’t go on Facebook to stalk that new friend that you’ve just added because their most recent status update won’t be a question on an exam! If you really want to get know someone, make an effort to find them before/after a lecture to talk. Find balance between academics and these, and you will be one happy student!
  • CHECK OUT YOUR BUILDING BEFOREHAND! It’s ok to get lost, it happens to everyone. But don’t be late for a lecture. Ever. Especially if your class is only 30-40 students big. It’s quite distracting when you’re walking around, trying to find a seat, and unzipping a million zippers before you finally manage to take your notebook and pen out. Come on, get your act together, you are PAYING for university. As an analogy, try thinking about going to a movie. Would you be late, would you sit at the very back, would you sit at the very front where you have to look up until your neck gets sore, and would you want to miss that million-dollar action scene in a movie you’re paying hundreds of dollars for? NO! Hell no!
  • PREREAD LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT! This one is B.I.G. What you’re doing is absorbing the material into your brain before the prof does his/her lecture. You don’t necessarily have to understand 100% of it (50-80% would be good) before the lecture, but make sure you understand the concepts. This will remove TONS of stress from your life. Analogy: Imagine going to…let’s say France. Yes, you could probably get by with some fancy French-accented English, but you would be STRUGGLING to ask for whatever you need (say, directions, washroom, food). But let’s say you took a BEGINNER’S COURSE in FRENCH. At least you have some background knowledge in French so you can understand the structure of the language enough to decipher half of a sentence. You could even throw in a couple excuse me’s and thank you’s!
  • GO EARLY TO YOUR FIRST CLASS/FIRST WEEK OF CLASSES! Get used to the movie-theatre like style rooms and the small surfaces on which to write. Experiment on where you like to sit. Sure, the front row is good SOMETIMES (you actually get to see the prof but who said the back was bad? At the back, you are eye level with the screen, so that may save you a lot of neck pain. The best seats in the theatre are always front and centre right (not first row but maybe 1/4 up and centre, just a suggestion)?

Let’s end this with quote that sums up this post!


“Never put off till tomorrow what can be done today.”

-Thomas Jefferson


My next post will be about applying to UBC and what a Grade 12 student (or any equivalent; any student that will be applying to post-secondary this year) should prepare for and tips on how to succeed!


Hope you enjoyed my post! =]

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Imagine Day 2012 and Science Pride!

It was awesome. So, you’re probably wondering if such a simple word can be used to describe such a momentous event? Of course! What I am referring to is not the overused teenage definition of the word awesome, but rather its dictionary definition: “extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration.”

Of course, you don’t want me to go on about dictionary definitions of words, so here I go.

I’d have to say, whipping out my UPass instead of digging around my pocket for loose change or my brown FareSaver was definitely a good start to my day. I’m sure my day began in a typical commuter student manner: waking up at 6:45am, running to catch the bus, and sitting with strangers (though I know they won’t be strangers for long haha).

So, the day began with a speech by the Dean of Science inside Doug Mitchell Stadium. After that, all the Science students went outside to find their MUG leaders. Props to the MUG leaders for coming up with fun and slightly awkward icebreakers which included the typical name and where you’re from, Mingle Mingle Mingle, group arm lock untangle thing, Entourage, this pass-the-squeeze game, and Ninja!

For the next 2-3 hours, we were given a warm welcome to UBC. The 168 CSP students met with Bill and Iyad and at the end, we even got to know an interesting fact about each of our CSP MUG leaders 😛 (thanks Iyad). Then, we trekked around campus to see various buildings, most notably the Buchanan buildings (Is this Buchanan A?), the Chem building, the Biol Building, the Phys Building, and Irving K.

The Pep Rally was all about FACULTY PRIDE. The seemingly eternal rivalry between Science and Engineers was prevalent as soon as we entered the building. To secure our spot as the LOUDEST, we had to beat the Faculty of Arts which is the biggest faculty. As my MUG group soon discovered, I have an extremely loud voice that may result in a temporary loss of hearing (sorry guys haha) to those around me. Because I was sitting on the floor, I was surrounded by all the other faculties which made me cheer until my voice got hoarse. Something I’ve learned today: SCIENCE IS THE BEST FACULTY EVER. YOU CAN’T HANDLE OUR DEGREES.

Oh, and if you’re a Canucks fan, you might enjoy this small fact. Mark Donolley sang O Canada to us! Jealous? Yeah, you better be. But it gets better. This is skinny Mark Donolley weighing in at less than 200lbs.

Now that Imagine Day is over, I’m here writing and waiting for my first university classes to begin at 12pm today. And as a tip for all of you, Majoring in Facebook is not a good idea.

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