dazed and confused in vancouver

The joys of residence life

January 17th, 2009 · No Comments

This is a post specifically for those of you living in res, but it’s a good lesson for everyone.  Everything I write here is true because it just happened last night.

Last night, I invited some friends over for a party because it’s Friday night of the second week of the second term of my second year, so that’s what we do, you know?  So anyways, people were going in and out all night and I was trying my best to make sure that the door stayed locked, but of course, at some points, it wound up being unlocked.

At one point around 11 p.m., I went to the upstairs washroom to get a roll of toilet paper and use the washroom.  On my way up the stairs, I noticed that one of my roommate’s doors was open and I could see the flashing VAIO sign on her laptop which was on her bed.  In my house, most of our doors are left unlocked when we’re in the house, as she had just gone downstairs to say goodnight to one of my other roommates and had wound up staying to chat for a while.  When I left the washroom, I didn’t notice whether or not the laptop was still there, as I didn’t think anything of it.

About 30 minutes later, my roommates came downstairs, one of them in tears, because the laptop had disappeared.

Yeah, total shock and disbelief.

My two roommates and I went upstairs to look for it, but it was most definitely gone.  A laptop worth around a grand with dozens of papers, assignments, photographs, memories was gone.  My roommates were quick to assure me that they didn’t think it was any of my friends who had taken it, but I went downstairs to compile a list of the names and phone numbers of everyone who was there so I could call and see if anyone had seen anyone they didn’t recognize.

My roommates said that they had been sitting in the downstairs bedroom (the laptop was stolen out of the other one) and heard someone knock on the door.  They called for the person to come in, but the door didn’t open and no-one answered.  They figured that it was one of my slightly intoxicated friends, and didn’t think anything of it, but later, one of my roommates said that last year, a friend of her’s in Totem Park had their laptop stolen in a similar way.  The thief knocked on all the doors and tried the handles of the rooms that didn’t answer.

After about half an hour of calling the police and the Fairview Crescent front desk, one of my roommates found the laptop stuffed into a box near the top of the stairs.  There’s no way that my roommate put it there, so all we can figure is that someone tried to steal it but got interrupted, decided to ditch it and left.  With the heavy traffic going in and out of my house last night, someone probably just let themselves in knowing that no-one would question the door opening and closing.

I’m so glad that it turned up in the end, but god, can you say scary?

Today, I will be installing my laptop lock and watching to make sure all the doors are locked all the time.  Let this be a word of warning to you all who live in res, there are thieves around and they will let themselves into your houses.  Please be careful, everyone.

→ No CommentsTags: ResidenceLife

I feel like the worst blogger, honestly.

January 1st, 2009 · 3 Comments

I need to work on this time management thing, it is obviously not working out for me.

So what has happened since I last wrote?  Well, I wrote all my papers, turned 21 the day before my last final (yay me!), sat all my finals, passed all my classes, got 4 grades of 80% (!!!) and one 60% for a final average of 76% (YAY!), came home for Christmas, ate more turkey than my tummy had room for, saw some family, listened to a lot of good music, watched a lot of movies (Doubt and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are wonderful, by the way) and am now lying in bed feeling fat and happy.  I love the holidays for nothing else if not for the fact that there are no classes to worry about.  While my best friend is stressing about her University of Toronto full-year courses during the holidays, I am sitting back with my feet up, watching Burn After Reading (freakin’ weird film).

I hope that everyone else had an equally wonderful break?  I can’t believe it’s almost time to go back already.  I’m not flying back until the 5th, Westjet’s seat sale begins that day, so I get to miss the first day back!  I’m oddly excited to be getting back to my little res box on my cute little res street and see my friends again.  Not to say that I haven’t enjoyed being with my family, I really have.  But, there is something to be said for sitting on a friend’s bed and laughing about the dumbest things into the wee hours of the morning, really.

Next semester, I’m signed up for ASIA200 (Cultural Foundations of East Asia), ASIA 356 (Korean Cinema), ASIA 454 (Japanese Poetry in Translation), ARTH 365 (Sacred Art of Japan: Twelfth to Nineteenth Centuries) and JAPN 103 (Beginning Japanese II B).  Notice a trend?  Ahh, the life of an Asian Area Studies Honors undergrad.  Now there’s a long title.  I’m quite relieved to not be taking any economics courses, though I’m sure it’ll come back to bite me in the ass later when I have to take an entire semester of the damn stuff.  I just finished a semester with two econ courses, so I’m glad to be rid of them.  I’m pretty excited about this semester, it looks like some pretty interesting subject matter, though we’ll see how many papers it entails.  :/

Ahhhh, I am feeling entirely too sleepy.  I love Christmas break.  Happy New Year, everyone, and take care.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Academic · Recreation · ResidenceLife · the rest of my life · Wellness

Into the home stretch!

November 30th, 2008 · 1 Comment

After my week of complete death (term paper, midterm and assignment all due this past Thursday), I’ve been trying to take it a little bit easier before finals start, but it hasn’t really worked.  I’m into push-ahead mode now where I really want to do well and finish school so I can go home to the land of ice and snow (Ontario).

I have a lot to be excited for!  If I can pull of a 70% average this semester, I’m one step closer to doing Go Global next year!  If I don’t qualify for this program, I am seriously going to cry.

Excited to go home too, my parents are putting off their Christmas decorating until my brother, our friend Miyuki and I get home on the 17th so Miyuki can really get a good Canadian Christmas experience.  🙂 Last year, that was one of the big things that I missed, since it’s always been a tradition in my family.

Alright, time to run off for a pre-birthday dinner!  My birthday’s on December 15, ie. right in the middle of finals, so we all agreed that earlier was better.  Good luck to everyone!!

→ 1 CommentTags: Academic · the rest of my life · Wellness

A small stroke of genius

November 21st, 2008 · 3 Comments

Today in ENGL 110 (that’s the only class I ever seem to write about,
how strange!), we were discussing our novels and somehow got on the
topic of how people often betray their own identities in order to fit
in with a certain group of people.  You know, we’ve all been their,
done that.

So, in my effort to contribute positively to the discussion, I
referenced the film Mean Girls, which has very little resemblance to our Native Canadian literature.  Half the class chuckled nervously, and my
TA burst out laughing since he’d never seen the movie, but thought it
was great that someone brought pop culture into our serious literary discussion.  At the time, I wasn’t too sure if my point was valid or not until after the discussion, he approached me and praised me on making good points throughout the discussion.

Just goes to show!  Your random observation may be worth throwing out there, no matter how strange it may seem.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Academic · ENGL 110

The unknown Holocaust

November 17th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Doing a research paper is a really great way to educate yourself.  It seems like a truism, but most of the time, we have a vague idea about the stuff that we’re researching on.

I thought so too when I started my English paper on Native residential schools in Canada.  I’d heard of them before, I knew that bad stuff happened at them.  A lot of people came out of them with long lasting problems.  Fairly straight forward.

I did not know that the United Church (which I was raised in) was an instrumental part of the mental, physical and sexual abuse against thousands of Native children.  I did not know that thousands of Natives were made involuntarily made sterile and that this practice is still on going.  I did not know that about 50 000 Native children were murdered, most of whom’s parents were either not informed or lied to about the circumstances under which they died.  I did not know people have died mysteriously either before or during their testimony against the government and the churches involved.  There’s a lot of stuff I didn’t know about this subject.

And the more I talk to friends, the more I find out that they also don’t know about it.  Everyone I tell about my research is shocked.  Sure, we’ve all seen a few articles about lawsuits for abuse against Natives, but the sheer brutality of it is mind boggling.

Ugh.  I really want to write more about this, but I don’t know if I can bring myself to.  Back of research.  I seriously want to cry.

→ 1 CommentTags: Academic · ENGL 110 · I don't understand

So much love

October 30th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I love the Pit Pub

I love Buchanan D

I love the Village

I love Suga Sushi

I love Canada

But mostly UBC!

Boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada…

I love the Chan Centre

I love my crazy friends

I love my residence

I love when lecture ends

I love Canada

But mostly UBC!

Boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada, boom-de-yada…

Please continue with this song!

For reference:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5BxymuiAxQ[/youtube]

→ 1 CommentTags: the rest of my life · Wellness

Shooting for the moon and landing among the stars

October 4th, 2008 · 4 Comments

All of last year, I struggled with being a subpar student.  I have a long list of excuses as to why I was subpar, whether it was my lack of IB education (only one school in Ottawa had it and it wasn’t mine), the fact that I’d been out of the school system for 2 years, the fact that I was homeschooled for 3-odd years.  I grew accustomed to the fact that getting a C+ was normal for me and anything above that was a blessing from above.  I do not think I that I am stupid, I just found that I had a hard time getting into the university mindset.

Going into second year, only being able to register on the second-last day of registration due to a low GPA, I really wasn’t expecting much better from this second year.  I’ve set myself some goals, like no C’s, getting a 70%+ average so I can apply for Go Global and getting a 74%+ average so I can apply for the Asian Studies Honors program.  Did I realistically expect to achieve these goals?  Perhaps not.

So far this year, I have not received anything less than a 90% in Japanese and I was just returned an in-class essay with a mark of B+/A.  For anyone who has ever heard me complain about it, I am the worst in-class essay writer as I tend to have problems developing a thesis and supporting it within the time allotted.  In high school, my teacher would call my mother because I would write really good essays that had absolutely nothing to do with the question asked.

Maybe my goals aren’t so far out of reach after all!  This year, I’m making concentrated efforts to sit down and do my readings, prepare for all quizzes, be comfortable with the material enough to get through essays and such.   It is possible!  For all you slackers and academic misfits, it IS possible!

Now, back to work researching for a paper that is worth 50% of my final grade, ack!

→ 4 CommentsTags: Academic · ENGL 110 · International · JAPN 102 · Wellness

September 18th, 2008 · 2 Comments

There is something intrinsically beautiful about having a canceled lecture on Thursdays.  On a day where I have 5.5 hours of class, it’s like having Christmas come early!  I do believe that this shall be classified under “wellness”.  🙂

ENGL 110 has taught me a meaningless jumble of repeated monosyllabic words can be considered poetry.  I mean, hell, I can be a poet too, if that’s the case!

Bird.  Hour.  Wait.  Tire.  Pray.  Death.  Bird.
See, I’m a flipping genius.  It took me all of 5 seconds to come up with brilliance.

Sorry, I’m somewhat disdainful of poetry, especially the type that makes no apparent sense.  Hopefully ENGL 110 will give me an appreciation for it?

→ 2 CommentsTags: Academic · ENGL 110 · Wellness

New blog, new year, new residence, new me?

September 17th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Feels like forever since I’ve written for the Blog Squad! And, believe me, I’m happy to be back!

Second year! I feel like I’m one step closer to graduating, one step closer to being mature, one step closer to the rest of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I adore UBC, and being in second year almost makes me sad. It means my time here is slowly dwindling! I’m going to have to make sure to make the best of it while I have it here.

So what am I up to this year? Taking 5 classes in each semester, first semester being Japanese, English (yeah, 110!), German Representations of the Holocaust, Economics of the Environment and Economic History of Europe. 🙂 I’m really excited about all these classes, I find that once you’re out of the 100-level courses, the classes get a lot more specific and more interesting. I’m trying to wrangle getting into the Asian Studies Honours program for my major and a minor in Economics. Next year is looking like doing Go Global (check it out if you haven’t already! Workshops in September and October are open for registration now), but hopefully being back in time for the Olympics as well! How awful would it be to miss those?

This summer was a really great one for me, I was glad to have the time off school. In June, I went back to Japan for 1 month (for new readers of my blog, I lived in Japan for 10 months in 2005-2006 as a post-graduation exchange program) which was AMAZING, it made me realize just how much I missed the country and its people. My mum came with me and we picked up my brother, who was also there for an exchange, and we toured around the country (Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Oita, and Tokyo!). I met some old friends and relive one of the best experiences of my life, so all in all, it was a fantastic experience.

In July, I started to look for a summer job. After being turned down from a variety of places for not being able to stay in Ottawa past the end of the summer, I finally landed a lifeguarding job at a summer camp called Camp Misquah. Camp Misquah is a camp in Quebec for adults and children with various mental disorders, and while I had worked at a camp before (YMCA’s Camp Davern), this camp was unlike any other experience I’ve ever had. I worked with people with a wide array of disorders, some that neither I nor my parents had ever heard of. Downs Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, autism, Pica Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, there were all sorts. Even though I only worked as a lifeguard and not a counselor, I was able to interact and bond with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. In my month and a half there, I saw a boy who had been labeled non-verbal (his medic alert bracelet even said so) count to 10 out loud. I just about cried. I did cry a lot, some of the time because I wasn’t sure how to deal with the disabilities I was seeing, and sometimes because I was so overwhelmed by the strength I saw in some of the people I met.

Since I’ve gotten back, I’ve done my first year as an Imagine UBC MUG leader, which was a really amazing time. I really enjoyed meeting people who were in my shoes only 1 short year ago. I really look forward to doing it again next year and hopefully getting more involved in orientations as well.

The weather here has been spectacular, so I think I’m going to finish up my readings quickly so I can go outside and enjoy it before winter hits! 🙁 This sun just can’t stay long enough.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Academic · International · Involvement / Leadership · the rest of my life