Monthly Archives: November 2011

The happiest place on Earth

Sorry Disneyland, but I’m pretty sure Whistler is stealing the rights to your tagline.
I bought my Whistler season pass weeks ago (for a third of the regular price, oh how I love being a student), and started to count down the days until the start of the ski season. Unfortunately, thanks to schoolwork, I wasn’t able to get up there on opening weekend. I waited impatiently, watching as everyone else posted “Whistler baby!” statuses and mobile uploaded pictures of themselves smiling at the top of the mountain. It was pure torture. But then, on Sunday, the day finally came. Erin and I woke up bright and early, got on the 6:15 Snowbus at Broadway and Maple, and headed up to the place where dreams come true. In spite of my 5:30 am wakeup call, a crazy long bus ride, torrential rain in the village, insane winds at the top of the mountain and getting stuck in snow up to my knees at one point, it was one of the most amazing days of skiing I can ever remember. As I headed down the mountain for the first time with my scarf covering my face, you wouldn’t have known it, but I was wearing the biggest grin you could possibly imagine.

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This will be me tomorrow

…although I’ll probably be going a little slower and stick to the actual trails.
Look out Whistler. I’m coming for ya.

Edit: Three months after posting this video, I realized that the skier is my friend from my building. Craaaazy.

Keep your head up

I have a lot of reasons to be happy right now. My midterms are done, I finished my lab test with minimal mistakes today (shout out to Bret from my chem lab, who never laughs at me when I screw up), and my floor now has a Christmas tree. Life is good. Even the semi-constant rain and scary wind we’ve been experiencing for the last couple of days can’t get me down.

Another thing that makes me happy is that KU house council had our first big event of the year tonight: the Concrete Jungle Mocktail Party. I was held up and only got there near the end, but it was a really good time, with jazz music, semi-formal attire, and all our proceeds going to United Way. Plus, we had sparkling apple juice. Nothing screams class like sparkling apple juice.

KU house council looking spiffy
I know final exams are right around the corner, and my happiness will probably waning soon, but I need to make sure to remember the things about university that make me smile while I’m poring over my CHIRP next week. Just in case you’re also dreading finals and are in need of a little pick-me-up, here’s the happiest song/music video I could think of. It’s the first track on my “happy” playlist on my iPod and never fails to put me in a good mood.

SLC 2012: What’s Stopping You?

We promise your SLC breakthrough moment won’t be quite this messy…

Registration for the 2012 Student Leadership Conference is now open. Get hit with your breakthrough on January 14th.

The SLC is a day-long conference dedicated to helping students reach their leadership goals. With amazing keynotes, fantastic workshops, incredible community initiatives and innovative case studies, anyone can find the tools they need to reach their own breakthrough. There’s only one question to ask: What’s stopping you? That’s right, nothing.

PS: I think this video gets better and better every time I watch it, although I still cringe every time I watch the paint splatter in my face. Shout out to Erica and her editing skills for the awesome promo video.

Let it snow…

This is a day late, but here’s what the view from my window looked like yesterday morning:

As strange as it is to see snow in Vancouver, this made my inner Ontarian very, very happy. I also took it as a cue to begin my annual holiday music downloading spree. My iPod is about to get exponentially more Christmassy…

UBC Votes: November 19th

As (hopefully) many of you know, there’s a Vancouver municipal election happening tomorrow. However, since UBC isn’t a part of the city of Vancouver, we don’t vote for mayor and city council. What you might not know is that the UBC Endowment Lands make up an area known as Electoral Area A, and we have one elected representative who sits on the board of Metro Vancouver.

Only 31% of Electoral Area A residents voted in the last election, and only 8% of those voters were UBC students. This is an insanely low turnout, but it also means that your vote has a lot of pull. Municipal elections are important since the issues at hand will directly affect you and your everyday life, arguably on a larger scale than provincial and federal politics. Rapid transit at UBC in particular is one issue for which the Metro Vancouver board is responsible. Sick of your hour and a half commute every morning? This might be the way to make sure your voice is heard.

You are eligible to vote if you are:

1. 18 years of age or older on election day

2. A Canadian citizen

3. A resident of British Columbia for at least 6 months

4. A resident in your municipality for at least 30 days

How to vote:

Vote tomorrow, Saturday November 19th, between 8 am and 8 pm.

If you live on campus, you can go vote in the SUB. If you live in Vancouver, find your voting location here. Bring 2 pieces of government-issued ID and proof of address.

Want more information on how to vote? Get the facts at Apathy is Boring. To read a Ubyssey article on the candidates and their platforms, click here.

Since I’m from Ontario and haven’t lived in BC for more than six months, I’m not eligible to vote, so I’m going to live vicariously through you, blog readers. In case you need a little more incentive, here’s a video of the UBC Vote Mob in April to get you inspired. Now get out there and rock the vote!

What I do in chemistry

“There ain’t no party like a s-block party!”

They’re electrons that are getting excited…get it? I also may or may not have made up an accompanying parody song about the s-block elements to the tune of “S Club Party”. Sometimes I swear, I’m too nerdy to function. Don’t worry though, I get real studying done, too.

Random pun of the day: What do you call a cat who raps? Whiska Lifa. (Shout out to my friend Sarah from Toronto who tweeted this last week and caused me to collapse into hysterical laughter in the middle of one of my lectures.)

Album(s) of the day: Take Care by Drake and the slightly less hyped but equally awesome Camp by Childish Gambino (aka Troy from Community), which both came out today. I’ve been listening to these two albums non-stop in the floor lounge today in an attempt to convince people that I’m way more gangsta than I actually am.

Sightseeing Sunday

The display in Cupcakes on W Broadway. I’m a sucker for red velvet with cream cheese frosting.

I got to be a tourist in my own city today. My friend Ella from home was in Vancouver for a ballroom competition this weekend, so I met up with her and showed her around. Here’s a rundown of our stops:

We started our day off at Granville Island. Although it’s pretty touristy, Granville Island will always be one of my favourite places in Vancouver. It has such a unique, artsy vibe that reminds me of Kensington, St. Lawrence Market and the Harbourfront in Toronto, all rolled into one man-made island. I picked up some fruit from the public market today to deter myself from heading to Hubbard’s, and showed my friend the houseboats sitting by the docks. I’d say it was a pretty successful trip.

Next stop: The Eatery on West Broadway. Hands down the coolest sushi place I’ve ever been to, complete with neon signs, lava lamps, and puns in their menus. It can get a little pricey, but I really like the atmosphere…and their Pacifica rolls (cream cheese, BBQ salmon and avocado. Absolutely amazing, take my word for it).

After lunch we went consignment shopping on West Broadway. Confession: I have an addiction to buying ugly, oversized knit sweaters. The one I found today is blue with waves and various sea creatures printed on it. It’s pretty awesome.

Our last stop was Cupcakes. I think the name is pretty self-explanatory. A store on Broadway with the prettiest cupcakes I’ve ever seen. It also gets bonus points for playing Taylor Swift the entire time we were there.

Other awesome things that happened today:

  • I bought a 10 class pass to Semperviva Yoga for 65% off (thanks, Groupon!)
  • I listened to two whole episodes of Radiolab while bussing around the city
  • I went to the library when I got back and finished all my readings for this week (high five for being on top of my academics!)

Not-so-awesome thing that happened today:

I got my psych midterm mark back. Apparently, multiple choice and I are not friends. On the plus side, only one midterm to go, and the ski season is about to begin (only 10 more days until Whistler opens!). Things are looking up.

Vancouver vocabulary

“Live the Language: Vancouver” by Gustav Johansson. Just in case you needed more proof that Vancouver is amazing, beautiful, awesome, and just about every other positive adjective you can come up with. This video is what happens when I do random “Vancouver” YouTube searches in the Forestry building while I should be studying for my chem midterm on Wednesday. Procrastination win.

UBC Vancouver or Okanagan?

It’s November, which means that all you grade 12s are getting ready to apply for university. It’s hard to believe that a year ago, I was in the same position, narrowing down my university choices and trying to figure out which schools would receive an application.For those of you who are applying to UBC, you’re faced with an extra challenge: which campus do you apply to? Well, luckily Cam, your amazing guide to all things UBC, is here to save the day by telling you a little bit about the differences between UBC’s two campuses. Note: I am by no means an expert on UBCO, as I only spent a day there. These are just a few things that I noticed over the course of my visit.

Location: UBCO is located just outside Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, about a 5 hour drive from Vancouver. Kelowna is a much smaller city than Vancouver, with a population of around 100,000. Coming from Vancouver, it was really strange being in a valley. I kept looking around for the ocean and mountains, trying to orient myself. The climate is a little bit colder in the interior as well (read: they actually get snow on a regular basis and react like normal people instead of shutting down the whole city).

Size: With a student population of only 5000, UBCO is tiny compared to UBCV, both in terms of students and square footage. I managed to walk from one end of the campus to the other in ten minutes. Here, that would barely get me to Totem. The buildings are also a lot more spread out, and it feels more open and less city-like than UBCV.

Buildings: As a newer school, all of the buildings at UBCO are really modern. No ancient stone chemistry buildings or Harry Potter rooms here, although their library had a really cool glass staircase.

Community: The one thing that caught me the most off-guard while visiting UBCO was how everyone seemed to know each other. That just doesn’t happen at UBCV; I don’t even know everyone in my residence building yet. Don’t get me wrong, UBCV has a great community as well, just in a different way. UBCO has more of a high school vibe than Vancouver, in my opinion. The majority of people I spoke with came from small towns, and felt as though going to a huge school would have been too overwhelming for them. Also, apparently their sports games have better turnout than ours.

So, prospective students, if you’re looking for a UBC education but a small-campus experience, UBCO might be worth checking out. But if you love the city life and energy of a big university, Vancouver is probably the way to go. Check out the UBC prospective students site, youbc, for more information on both of the campuses.

Cascades residence at UBCO

Staircase in the UBCO Library

Inside the Engineering building

Sunset over the Okanagan Valley

Also check out the UBCO Lipdub: