Beat the Winter Blues

“January sick and tired you’ve been hanging on me” Pilot

To anyone who is now about to start midterms and is feeling the cold wet spell of January completely draining their soul, this post is for you!!! Vancouver in this last stretch of Winter sucks. My friends and I have reached a general consensus that any Vancouverite is affected by various degrees of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) with the amount of rainy, cold and grey weather we get . So here are some (not clinically proven) ways to get that smile back on your face and a swing back into your step.

Listen to the January song by Pilot: Sing along with a friend out of tune

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Read Hyperbole and a Half: This post is especially relevant to January, but get carried away and read the entire blog if you like. You will laugh out loud… whether you like it or not.

 Eat citrus fruits! The oranges in are amazing right now, so are grapefruits and, if you are feeling especially …. try a tangelo. Basically they taste like a tangerine just more aromatic.

Drink some tea. I am slowly converting our entire floor into drinking tea. It is calming and warms you up from the inside out and is the best social

Go for a run or walk, probably if you are like me, you have found yourself hit with assignments and due dates and have spent most nights up until ungodly hours. If you feel like you can’t run, walk. If you feel like you can’t go for a long run, just do a short run. Anything is better than nothing, stick with that mentality!

Do something new. Go out of your way to stop somewhere that you have never been to for lunch. Take some time to enjoy what there is around you. I would recommend going to the Pendulum restaurant on campus. There food is healthy and their pancakes look delicious!!! The atmosphere in there will lift your spirits far beyond anything you could have imagined exists in the SUB.

 Go out and hang out with people. Sitting in your room alone is …. lonely. Each floor in residence has a floor lounge for a reason… if it is not is use you could study there, other people will join you soon after. Or go to one of the study rooms in the commons blocks. Or if you are not on campus go to the library, a coffee shop, you name it. Somewhere where other people are around!

 Listen to happy music:

Finally: Grab a friend, or a whole bunch and watch hilariously stupid youtube videos, here are some of the cutest videos ever! Just for Laughs/ AFV videos are work too! Knut the baby polar bear. Baby pandas!!! Falling around. Cotton ball puppy! Funny dogs. Turtle attacks fluffy cat. Enough said! Shaving cream song, (kindof gross but funny… you won’t stop listening) The Duck Song Schnappi the little crocodile (German- I think you can find it in English but it isn’t as cute) Pingloo Papa Pinguin (French) Hippo singing “The Lion Sleeps tonight”

=) Aight that it is it! Have a good day! Smile and be happy =)

p.s. What are your best ways to beat the winter blues?

Studying + 8Tracks

Sitting in the library of IKBLC before my second physics tutorial of the day I overheard some panicked student talking about Acids and Bases. “We have to get this done, we only have two horus to complete it”. They were staring at their computer screens intently, deciding on which questions to tackle first “All of our heads are better than one”. Vaguely something clicked in my head…. Were they doing the Chem 123 Acid/Base Online Assessment? I was pretty sure it wasn’t due for another week, so I opened up VISTA….
Nope, due tomorrow at 11:59 PM. Fantastic! Anyways, got home late after helping choreograph for the Totem Park Musical and I am now looking forward to a long night of staring at acids and bases and trying to remember how to do an ICE table. Woohoo!

P.s. If you also happen to be doing the same thing as me right now I would reccommend listening to 8Tracks, gets me through every late night!

One of my favorite things.

One of my favorite things about UBC is the hill that runs from Computer Science down into Totem Park. At the end of each day I gleefully get on my bike and start pedaling madly. Once I get going, I coast the whole way, wind whipping through my hair. I gain speed and don’t brake. I love the feeling, exhilarating, free. Flying towards the bottom of the hill I breathe in the fresh, fast air and smile. I love the faint rush. A quick glance left and right, then a low curving turn. Back to where the day began.

My Morning

Today I woke up late, lazy, “9:00!!!!”, I scrambled out of bed. Washed my hair, brushed my teeth, hopped all around my room looking for socks, clothes, contact lenses, you name it. Hurriedly packed all my assignments into my bag, ran out the door and jumped onto my bike. 5 minutes to get to class. I zoomed up the hill, raced past the E and right as I turned right onto the lane that goes past IKB road I heard the bells from the clock tower ringing. 10:00, I was almost there. I locked my bike, ran up the stairs into Hennings, was about to burst into the door… when I realised that the room was full, and that perhaps it wasn’t my class.
I took a few steps back, looked around and timidly asked a guy working on his computer if he knew what time the Physics tutorial wwas at.
“Eleven o’clock” He replied.

And that was my morning.

21 Credits? Gulp.

Hello again!

Well as the year gets off to a roll I am here typing away at my computer organizing my life and taking some time to blog.

So far second term has started with a whole lot of shuffling around courses. Originally I planned to do the dual degree program in Art (Cogs) and Engineering, but it turns out I could actually just transfer into second year Engineering if I fulfill various other credits…. so I went back and forth and back and forth between advising offices like a crazy person getting everything sorted out and taadaa, finally it looks like things will be ok although I will have to take linear algebra (Math 221) during the summer. Which is too bad, I went to one class and the prof, Dr. Pfeiffer was awesome, the material was interesting , but getting into that course when you are not an APSC student is difficult.

Anyways I am not entirely sure how I feel about my course schedule yet, it looks pretty intense! But I like the courses! I am taking Math 101, Physics 108/109, Physics 170, APSC 160, CPSC 121… ohh and then there is CHEM 123. Which totals to 21 credits this term….eek! The good thing is that everything is kind of related (we are even doing physical chemistry in Chem!!!) and even better thing is that my profs this term are all absolutely amazing!!! My timetable is gross, 9:00-5:00 on Wednesdays without a proper lunch break -my back is already hurting from sitting down so much- and labs e.t.c Tuesday and Thurs.  And then the problem sets and lab preps and readings are literally going to pile up faster than anything. *The one thing I dislike about the online testing tool things are that the teachers can pile a huge amount of work on you… and not have to actually mark it. Sooo, that will be fun!!!

However I am actually I am super enthusiastic about this term and so far I have been finishing every day with a happy face =D. Both of my morning lecturers are extremely passionate about their subjects which I love. Physics 108 is super interesting and we go at a really exciting pace! Math is just like magic, which I like <3 and the other Physics I have covered a lot of in Physics 107 so hopefully I will do well in that course. Later on, in CPSC 121 the prof really makes us think (or really makes me think- sometimes I feel like I am bad at all this logic stuff). I love the class and the people so much that I don’t want to drop it. I do not need it for my degree… but it is so interesting! Then comes Chemistry which I usually hate, but Chris Addison is great, and very funny too! Finally I have APSC 160 which I transferred into today.  I was pretty lost, I don’t know any of the syntax for C…I am quite certain that I got every clicker question wrong! Oh well, hopefully once I learn the syntax most of the actual programming will come quite easily.

That’s it for me, I won’t deny that I am kind of going crazy with all these numbers and all this new information being bounced off and around my head, but it is a good kind of crazy. And well… if it makes me happy, that is a good thing right?

** also SLC is on Saturday, be there or be square =) ***



Women in Physics

Today I attended the Welcome Orientation for Women in Physics and AstronomyDepartment It is an orientation aimed at students who are in Highschool or University and are interested in Physics. Although (like many events that I have gone to around campus) turnout was fairly small, it was an awesome way to learn more about the Physics department and what it is like to be a physicist.

One of the highlights of the day was the first workshop which was a hands on, learn how to make a robot workshop!!! It was so cool! We were provided with instructions and a little kit with all the components and worked in pairs to make them.  I have NEVER made a robot before, so I was quite anxious going into the lab, but it was so much fun! It was tedious poking the right wires into the right position of the bread board and my partner and I had numerous issues trying to bend paper clips without breaking them. As I looked around I realized a couple of the other groups were way further ahead than we were, being a little bit competitive this bugged me a little. But ours managed to be the first one up and running! First try too! I guess sometimes being a bit of a perfectionist pays off. =P Here is a video of our cute little robot! It is adorable, and insanely cool.

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The orientation had a lot of guest speakers from the various physics departments who explained their work and how they got into physics. I found that really interesting, but the most interesting part was seeing the labs. I would have gone on all of the lab tours if I could have! I could go look at labs everyday! Anyways the two labs that I visited were Dr. Jeff Young’s and Dr. Sarah Burke’s who both work with nanostructures (really, really tiny things). I really liked both of the labs, it is always surprising what is tucked away inside the building at UBC. I mean if you are living in residence you are  living so close to some really amazing machines (which I imagine are quite expensive too)!!! I really liked how we could ask the researchers questions, and I liked seeing the inside of the labs. =)

If you are a girl and thinking about going into Physics, or would like to know more about what sort of things the physics department does, I would definitely recommend going to the orientation as it was very informative and inspiring.





First Day Back… Bam!

Well here I am, first day back a la UBC. Yikes, I can’t believe Term 2 has started already! I am going into this term with confidence and determination… but we shall see how long that lasts!

Today was a long day (I seriously cannot remember my days feeling this long last term) and as each course went by it seemed to me like my workload just kept piling up and up. Way more courses have in class weekly quizzes in a couple of class, as well a weekly online pre-reading tests for 4/5 classes, nine midterms once again ( I have a horrible looking weekend where I have 4 midterms in just as many days). On a more positive note I like most of my profs and I guess the many quizzes e.t.c will force me to stay on top of my course load. How wonderful…

Also the most embarrassing thing that I have done in class happened to me today (far more embarrassing than face planting off my seat in ASTU, if that is possible):

In CPSC 121 my prof was talking about swapping people and calculating the maximum number of swaps required to put something in order… Anyways, somehow Physics was still in my mind, and all I could think of was factorials. I felt like I knew this stuff and was  weirdly excited that I knew something for once. We figured out that it would require 5 4 3 2 and 1 swaps… So when the instructor asked the entire class for the total number of swaps required I was at the ready (thinking 120… and then for some reason dividing by two). Sitting right in the front of the class I enthusiastically shouted out: “60!”. The instructor looked at me and said, “The answer is 10, 5+4+3+2+1” and I started to laugh. I couldn’t stop myself… It was hilarious. I am pretty sure everyone in that class got the impression that I cannot add at all. Pretty soon the whole class was laughing and I just wouldn’t stop! I am not the worst person at Math, which made things even funnier!  I think will be labeled as the dumb blonde in that class for the rest of the time… not exactly what I was going for.
To make matters even more awkward, after class I was unlocking my bike when someone I recognized came up to me. I couldn’t quite place his face although I did remember who he was.
“So, how did Math 100 end up working out for you” he asked.
My mind was racing, he must have been in my Math class, but I didn’t think so.
“I was your Math TA for that course”, aha, how embarrassing, I finally placed his face!
Blushing I told him that it actually worked out ok, but by the look on his face I’m not certain I convinced him. =P Sometimes we make mistakes too bad mine had to be in a lecture theatre of two hundred people on the first day back!

All in all, a pretty funny way to end the day. Hope your everyone else is having a good start to the new year!