Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Shia Labeouf Watch

Oh hey, Shia. Photo taken by Geoff Lister of The Ubyssey. More photos here.

They don’t call Vancouver Hollywood North for nothing. Robert Redford’s movie, The Company You Keep, is currently filming on UBC campus, and my social networks have been running wild with mobile uploads, tweets and status updates regarding Shia Labeouf spottings.

Thanks to being bedridden with strep throat for the past couple of days, I haven’t actually gotten a chance to have a casual run-in with Shia, although if I do, I’ll refuse to call him anything other than Louis Stevens and ask him if he’s seen Beans lately.

Beautiful British Columbia, indeed.

Braving the rocks to get down to the ocean for a photo op.
Whenever there’s a sunny day in Vancouver, I feel so guilty when I stay indoors. So, this morning, I decided to take advantage of this amazing weather by going hiking at Lighthouse Park in West Van. I’m usually not very outdoorsy at all, but thanks to my seasoned hiker of an aunt, I managed to get through the 3 hour trek with only minor scrapes and a large bruise from when I fell off a particularly slippery log. I consider this to be a great accomplishment. Next stop, the Grouse Grind? (Maybe I’ll wait for my bruise to heal, first…)

More pictures from Lighthouse Park:

There was actually a lighthouse at Lighthouse Park. I was impressed.
What my aunt suspected to be Paul Allen of Microsoft’s boat, hanging out off the coast of one of Vancouver’s surrounding islands

Say hi to UBC, that tiny little peninsula of land poking out from across the water.

There Will Be Socks

Look out, Target #2. I’m coming for ya.
This weekend, a change has fallen over KU. Friends have become pitted against each other, the hallways have been turned into war zones, and everywhere you look people are carrying around socks and clutching stuffed animals to their chests. That’s right: KU Sock Wars has officially begun.

What is Sock Wars? It’s a game of stealth and strategy in which every person in the building is assigned a target, and you need to hit your target with a (clean) sock before someone else hits you. To win the mystery prize, you need to be the last one standing, plain and simple. Each week there’s a different safety item (hence the stuffed animals), and if you’re carrying it, no one can harm you. There are also safe zones, such as bathrooms and the stairways, where you aren’t allowed to hit anyone, so you need to be clever in order to hit your mark. So far, I’ve seen people pretend that a RA is looking for their target in order to lure them out of their rooms, as well as lurking in the shadows outside floor lounges, waiting for their target to come out. People have also been changing their Facebook profile pictures, even their Facebook names so they can hide from their killers. Needless to say, Sock Wars is intense.

This morning I experienced my first sock kill, ambushing my floormate on her way back from the bathroom. She had no idea it was coming. She ended up taking my betrayal pretty well though, and we ended up going to breakfast together shortly afterwards. Now, thanks to Sock Wars, I’m sitting in the library with a folded up Spongebob slipper next to me. Yes, I know that it’s not technically a stuffed animal, but it’s going to have to do until I can get a UBC teddy bear from the bookstore on Monday. I knew leaving my childhood Beanie Baby collection in Richmond Hill was a bad idea. And what library am I in? That one’s a secret, just in case my sock assassin happens to read my blog. (Message to my killer: you’ll never catch me. I’m a sock ninja.)

So many sock-related threats on my whiteboard. I’d be a little intimidated if I wasn’t 99% positive that they were all written by my friends on my floor who do not have me as a target. Extra points for you if you can spot the Summer Heights High reference.
PS goal for next Saturday: do not sleep through Vanier Learns to Run and Ultimate. Although it will be Halloween weekend so I’m not sure if this goal is in any way realistic.

PPS, Today I got splattered in the face with red paint for a SLC promo video and was forced to walk back to Vanier looking like I’d just brutally murdered someone. It was awesome.

Go to CLASS!

October 24th-28th is UBC’s Conference for Learning and Academic Student Success, also known as CLASS.

All through high school, I was told that the leap from high school to university is huge, and my first round of midterms have made me realize just how true that really is. There are two huge differences I’ve noticed from high school. The first is that university isn’t about memorizing facts and regurgitating them onto a piece of paper. It’s about learning, understanding, and applying your knowledge to new situations. The second difference is that you need to be self-motivated in your learning. No one is going to hold your hand and make sure that you understand everything. If you need help, it’s up to you to seek out the resources you need to do well. And that’s where CLASS comes in.

CLASS is a five-day conference for first years, filled with workshops and resources (and upper year volunteers!) designed to help you improve your study habits and reach your academic goals. The calendar of events can be found here. Personally, I’m planning on hitting up the Chemistry and Math Subject-Specific Seminars and the Time Management Workshop. If you’re struggling, CLASS is a great place to figure out how to adjust your study habits so you can be more successful. Even if you’re not struggling, I still think it’s worth attending and seeing what they have to say. There’s always room for improvement, after all!

Registration is open (and free!), so register now and stay CLASSy, UBC.

Home sweet home

When I was looking into schools last year, one of my biggest concerns was where I was going to live. I had this horrible image of being like Will Ferrell in Elf, when he’s in the North Pole and unable to stand up straight since everything is so tiny.

Then I got here and realized that this wasn’t at all the case. The rooms can be a little bland at first glance, but with a little bit of creativity, you can easily make your little cube your own. So without further ado, lovely blog readers, here is a virtual tour of my room in Vanier. Usually I don’t invite strangers into my room, but I had sushi for breakfast today. I’m in the mood to break all the rules.

Welcome to Casa Cam! Notice my lovely door decorations, designed so that people know who to come to with questions, ideas for floor events and/or requests to go to Hubbard’s. A whiteboard is a university must, especially if you want to come back from class with funny pictures, quotes and messages from your floormies (or if you want to tell your floor about Sock Wars, which is epic and starting soon. I’ll save that one for another blog post, though).

And now, ladies and gentlemen, my room. It’s an actual miracle how clean it is today. Now you see the extremely elevated bed I keep talking about. The heights of the beds in Totem and Vanier are adjustable, and I chose to put mine as high as it can possibly go. The bottom of it is about hip height, and thanks to the extra inches added by my memory foam mattress topper, I need to take a running leap to climb onto it. At least I get a little bit of exercise.

My drawers, mini-fridge and printer are all tucked under my bed, which gives me a ton of extra space in my room and makes things feel a little less cluttered. The bedside table is a bookshelf I got at the Firstweek IKEA trip and put together myself. Not too shabby. I also enjoy my cactus named Bertha, who is sitting on the windowsill.

My desk. This is where all the magic happens. And by “magic”, I mean late-night cramming sessions and lots of Netflix-watching. The desk chair is surprisingly comfy, and even rocks back a little bit, so you don’t have that almost-fall-backwards-to-your-death moment when you lean back in your chair just a little too far.

Other things to note: my skis just chilling, waiting for the snow to arrive, my over-cluttered bulletin board with mainly expired coupons and notices attached to it, and the large pile of homework on the corner of my desk that I am currently neglecting.

Storage space. I’m beginning to notice I have far too much stuff. Check out the yoga mat, essential for any Vancouverite. I’ve been putting it to good use since I got here, and I’m planning on heading out to a $2 drop-in class later today courtesy of my UBC Yoga Club membership. Other key items include my Snuggie, large collection of sweatpants, Brita water filter and 16 pairs of shoes. And say hi to my friends Bret and Jermaine, who are hiding in the corner.

This is why I love Vancouver


Hey Ocean, nature, and Vancouver. These are a few of my favourite things. This song discovery comes to you courtesy of 100.5 The Peak, which is hands down the best radio station in the city, if I do say so myself (and I think fellow blog squadder Erica will back me up on this one). All my Vancouver born-and-raised friends in rez swear by The Peak, and I promise that if you walk around KU 2nd, you’re guaranteed to find it streaming from someone’s laptop. Check out the Peak Performance Project for more emerging BC artists.

Fueling my caffeine addiction

My latest Vancouver discovery? Blenz Coffee. We don’t have them in Ontario, but if the whole science thing doesn’t work out I might consider buying a franchise and moving it down the street from my house. Their coffee is just that good. Plus, they make their hot chocolate with real melted chocolate chips. What more could you ask for? Between Blenz and Booster Juice, it looks like I’m going to be making a lot more midday trips to the village from now on…

Also, just to give you an idea of how heart-stoppingly beautiful UBC is on a regular basis, here’s a picture I took while walking to class today:

Prettiest campus in Canada, no contest.

Sunday Funday

A very fun-filled, and even more unproductive (as far as school is concerned), Sunday in the life of a UBC student:

9 am – Wake up to the sunshine streaming through my window. Marvel for a couple seconds at the fact that it’s the second sunny day we’ve had in a row. Then roll over and go back to sleep.

11 am – Wake up for real this time. Have a wholesome breakfast of Fruit Loops, bananas and peanut butter. Well, at least it’s better than the 3 pieces of French toast I had yesterday…

12:30 pm – Go to study in the floor lounge with Melinda, Snuggie in hand.

12:50 pm – Abandon studying to go to the UBC Apple Festival with Melinda and Nic. I got a pocket apple pie (think McDonald’s apple pies, but unprocessed and delicious) and Nic got a jumbo bag of kettle corn, so I consider it a success. There was also a badass guy playing the recorder. If that’s not an incentive to go, then I don’t know what is.

2:20 pm – Leave Apple Festival. Ride bike frantically to Brock Hall to avoid being late to my SLC Active Promotions Leader orientation.

2:25 pm – Make it to Brock Hall, huffing and sweaty. I really hate biking from Lower to Main Mall.

2:30 pm – Super secret SLC shtuff.

Shameless SLC promotion time: UBC Student Leadership Conference. Super awesome event happening on January 14th. Great workshops and fantastic speakers (last year MTV’s The Buried Life were the keynote speakers!). Our theme this year: Breakthrough. We all have a goal, something that we’ll stop at nothing to accomplish. Figure out how to go after your goal and become a better leader in the process at the 2012 SLC. Get inspired, leaders of UBC. More info on the SLC website, here.

3:30 pm – The APLs were taken aboard the 99 B-Line to a top-secret location. I won’t reveal much of the inner working of the SLC Planning Committee, but I will say that I realized I completely destroy at bowling when I’m forced to lie down on the ground and push the ball towards the pins. It’s those pesky oversized bowling shoes that were holding back my talent, I guess.

5:30 pm – Dinner with the SLC committee at BC sushi. Ate my weight in salmon sushi. I regret nothing.

6:30 pm – Head back to campus, then bike over to the Point Grill for my second dinner of the night with my floor. They had great yam fries, but no chipotle mayo, so it’s a mixed review as far as I’m concerned.

8 pm – Walk back to KU. Have a lounge decorating party, complete with free hot chocolate. Procrastinate with floormies for the next 4 hours.

now – Write new blog post. Debate between actually getting started on the work I’ve been avoiding all weekend or falling asleep on my super comfy memory foam-topped rez bed.

Oh, UBC. Never a dull moment.

PS – Missed out on the Apple Festival? Trying to find out more about what’s going on at UBC? Check out the UBC YouTube channel for weekly videos of events happening on campus, or if you’re a tweetaholic like me, follow @UBCevents on Twitter. This week’s video:


Bedridden in BC

After an amazing long Thanksgiving weekend filled with way too much food, I’m finally back in beautiful British Columbia! How did I celebrate my triumphant return? By going down to Wreck Beach and breathing in the salty ocean air? By jumping excitedly on the bouncy bushes? By buying myself a Blue Chip cookie? Nope. Sadly, the answer is: by writing a chem midterm while feeling violently ill.

The upside of living in rez: you spend all of your time around your friends. The downside: you spend all of your time around your friends. AKA, when one of them gets sick, you all get sick. Don’t worry though, everyone is super nice and shares their cold meds.

I’m currently lying in my way-too-high bed in my Snuggie and listening to Noah and the Whale. I swear this music is comfort food for my ears. Here’s hoping I’ll be better in time for tomorrow night, I need to seriously celebrate the completion of my midterms. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Killing time at YYZ

Just chilling at Pearson with my massive coffee. It’s so big that it needs two cups. Well, that and they were out of cup sleeves. 

I’m currently loitering at the Toronto airport, about to board my flight back to Vancity. This comically large cafe mocha is my best friend for the flight since I have 5 long hours to cram for my Chem 121 midterm tomorrow. Its quality is inferior to the ones from Ike’s but for now, I’ll have to make do. See you in a few hours, UBC. Can’t wait to be back.