Category Archives: First Year

Tales of first year with mama ebakes

Hello first years, it’s mama ebakes, your wise upper year student who blogs, with tales from her first year of university.

Here’s a good story about my first day of classes.

Things were going well. I had successfully found all of my classes throughout the day without any prep beforehand. Hebb was a little bit difficult of a building to track down, but I did it all on time and with big smiles. That was until my last class of the day, Poli Sci 101, came along.

I couldn’t find Poli Sci 101 and I only had the ten minutes in between French in Buchanan and Poli Sci somewhere in the Chemistry building to find it. I started to ask random students walking by if they knew where my class was. I chose to ask guys that were in flannel (trustworthy survival skills at work) or had nice orange haired beards. None of them could help me find my class and just giggled. I didn’t mind, they looked cool as always.

It was now a half hour into my class. All I wanted to do was learn about the Canadian government and I couldn’t even find the classroom to do so. I couldn’t argue with anyone about policy or Harper, at minimum to say it was very depressing. I stood on the corner of University and East Mall, across from the Bookstore, and called my mother back in Ontario weeping that I’d never learn about the Canadian Government and that I was a major fail. It was actually a very hilarious event now that I look back on it.

I eventually found the class a few minutes after it ended. Turns out, I was looking for a classroom number that didn’t exist but I had the right building. I just had to double check my schedule (good one, Erica). I found the class as it was being let out and found this really cool prof in shiny silver Nike sneakers talking to students as they left. I tried not to show that I had been crying but when I approached the prof he just smiled and handed me the syllabus as he understood that I was a first year distraught with fear of failure. Turns out that Poli Sci 101 was my favorite class of first year and I had my highest mark (and first A) in Professor Baier’s class.

So first years, the lesson of this story is not to freak out and call your mother in Ontario and think that the world is going to end because you will fail out of UBC when you can’t find a classroom. And you can always, ALWAYS, trust big bearded men in flannel on campus. Remember those survival techniques. You will do fine.

Until next time,
mama ebakes loves you all. have a good rest of your first week.

ebakes is gone

Hello world,

I have taken off to Guatemala until the beginning of May to do some volunteer work. I’ll be back with more posts, Music Monday, and stories from my trip when I come home. Currently, I’m in YVR waiting for the shuttle bus to take me to Seattle to catch my midnight flight. It’s my first time traveling internationally by myself- crazy stuff. I’ve been given my tasks to complete while I’m gone (nudge nudge James) and I have promised numerous impossible gifts to many friends (M(a)egans, Scotty D) and I cannot wait to come home with an armful of mangos instead.

A huge thanks to everyone who helped me move out of Totem Park today. Maegan, Megan, Alyssa, Kevin (you gave me a box that in the end became Alyssa’s), Lauren, Lindsey, and Mychel. I most likely couldn’t of done it without you and I would of ended up living at Totem Park for the rest of my life just trying to clean out my room. But then again, that would of allowed me to be around you guys just a little bit longer.

Horray for being done first year & enjoy the end of exams, everyone!

ebakes. That girl who blogs.

Muzic Monday

Exams. Freak Out.
YouTube Preview Image
Ben Gibbard & Feist- Train Song

“He’s not sure who he sympathizes with anymore. It’s a very romantic idea- this particular vision of what it means to live inside the enemy camp. How you lose your barrings and you forget how to fight because some other impulse inside you takes over.” – Ira Glass, This American Life, Episode #404 Enemy Camp

I lead a Mob. New today, check out my really random bio (all the way at the bottom) and explore our new website, here.

Dear Erica,

My friends: Lauren, Megan, Katie and myself in the UBC Rose Garden last weekend. This is a shot I took after we finished up a photo shoot. They were nice enough to take time out of their day to be my models for a VISA 183 project. That’s why I’m in TOMS and they are in heels. What lovely folk they are.

Last summer, I was asked to write a letter to myself for me to receive in the mail one year later. This happened before I started university. Last Friday was a little less than a year, but it came. Somehow, for once, I didn’t recognize my own handwriting that spelt out my name and address on the front of the envelope. I opened it, unsure of what was inside, until I saw 5 main goals written on the outside of the folded sheet of paper.

It read,
BFA Honours -> MFA
Learn French
Starry Night
Be physically fit
Be happy with yourself”

These were the things I cared about the most. I wrote this just a week before I was leaving for UBC last August. I can say that most of those goals are being met. If you are wondering what Starry Night means, that’s a story for another day that I will share with you soon.

There is also what I wrote inside.

“Dear Erica,
I hope that you have found a great love, your passion and all the inspiration in the world. I hope you reach your Top 20 Under 20 goals. I hope you are sleeping about 8 hours a night and physically fit. I wonder what your relationship is like with Trevor. I think I just ended it with him but it’s usually never over. I hope Starry Night took off and the Mob is a huge success. I hope your grades are around 85. I hope AE in Vancouver is great. I hope you found your life long friends. I hope your acne has cleared up. I hope you still listen to Viva Radio & This America Life.

Be honest.
Use your ethical compass.
Focus on your grades.
Live your life.
Be honest some more.
Share everything with Loran.
Go to Disney World.”

Then there are little things I wrote at the bottom of the letter,

“I’m just trying to be me, whoever that is.” – Bob Dylan

“Make someone’s day special. If you aren’t happy -> figure out why and change it.

Love, Erica Baker.”

Under that, it says “Read reverse.” I flip over the paper. I’ve included a five dollar bill and a note.
“Okay so I’m making a little investment. I’m putting it in this envelope  hoping it makes it to the new me in a year. Use it on something you really need. Use it on something that will make you happier. Use it to benefit yourself. You need to be happy. You need to take care of yourself. Love.”

What a perfect time for me to receive this. I only have two more days of class and I’m currently reflecting on my first year of university. Overall, I have achieved what I wanted.

This semester, I finally convinced myself 8 hours of sleep is good. I am now more comfortable with my body and I even have gone to the gym a few times. To add to that, I took pole dancing classes, joined a UBC REC soccer team and played on my floor’s football team. Hannah even took me for a few early morning runs along old NW Marine Drive & took me swimming in the pool.

Trevor. I wanted to go home this summer to be able to be around him. Those plans didn’t work out. We had a good few months of contact in the winter. Christmas break was a lot of fun, it felt like I had never left my hometown and that we hadn’t stopped dating. 5 years is a long time. Now, we don’t talk. We were living a half-relationship half-not sort of thing for a while that was just too stressful on my system. I’ve really grown in five years, and he hasn’t changed, we’re just not the same mix anymore. It’s hard to find things in common besides the past, but he’ll always be someone I want to call “baby.”

I’ve found my lifelong friends. They know who they are. I have 23 photos of one of them on my wall in my dorm room. We counted. I remember laying down on my longboard last October, looking at the night sky, on the roof of the Marine Drive Parkade. I told Alex, who was sitting on his board next to me, that the most important thing for me this year was my friends. In high school, I was so focused in everything that was American Eagle, volunteering, and politics. I’m glad that I’m coming out of this year with the closest friends a girl could ask for. They even read my blog without me forcing them. Guys, thank you.

I’m keeping true to most of the things I mentioned. I listened to some This American Life today, my acne isn’t as bad as it has been in the past, I am very happy with myself, I’ve shown lots of love, and I’ll always remember that if I’m not happy I will figure out why and I will change it.

Thank you Erica from the past, you rock. I’ll save that five dollars for something special.

Music Monday

YouTube Preview Image

M.I.A. vs Vampire Weekend Giving Up The Sunshowers (The Hood Internet Remix)

We just got through Totem Park’s Final Epic Weekend. How epic was it? Girls shaving their heads for BC Children’s Hospital, WTFL Finals, Casino Night, Totem Formal, Bass Love Dance Party, Totem & Vanier Pool Party and a multi-level fort in Maegan & Megan’s room.

Casino Night rocked, not because of the creepy guy walking around who was supposed to be a magician, but because of the free photo booth. We took advantage.

Only 15 Days Left of First Year

Our floor lounge in Totem Park

Myself, Katie, Megan & Maegan hanging out in our floor lounge.

The hardest thing about concluding first year is not getting to live with my best friends next year and I won’t be able to see them during the summer either. I’m going to be a RA in Totem Park, Megan and Maegan will be living in a house (hopefully) in the Village and Katie is taking the year off to travel and work in Toronto. It sounds crazy, but it’s like I have to say goodbye to my family all over again. No more running into Megan & Maegan’s room whenever I want to use their fridge and tell them a funny store. No more visiting Katie while she’s watching one of her many followed TV series on her computer. No more 6pm group dinner dates in the dining hall with our floor. No more Magdas trips. This is it.

I don’t want to have to leave my floor. I don’t want to be separated from my family. I leave Totem Park in two weeks and then first year is finished. It’s a strange feeling to be done an entire year of university. It’s strange not to have my friends living next door to me anymore. I’m just going to have to find a way to get them to eat dinner with me in Totem Park next year. Anna’s sandwiches for the win.

How To Get To Know UBC Without Visiting Campus

Eating some soup from Pacific Spirit Place in the SUB

Just chilln’. But really, I’m enjoying some soup from Pacific Spirit Place in the SUB (Student Union Building).

Have you ever checked out my super cool links in the right column next to this post? Are you thinking about coming here next year? This is an incredible resource for you to use.

I chose UBC without visiting Vancouver, Campus or having any relatives attend post secondary before. I’m from Ontario, the wonderful land of dozens of universities and Marineland. So how did I make that choice?

Here is your guide of things to look at to get to know campus on a personal level.

AMS Confidential– A UBC political blog run by three UBC students named Kai, Taylor and “Gossip Guy.” It’s regularly updated with lots of juicy goodness.

Blog Squad– It’s a collection of blog posts from all the lovely students at UBC who blog about their experiences on campus. It also includes links to their blogs as well!

Portraits of UBC– Portraits of students that Rabi Sun meets during a regular day on campus. The blog is updated very frequently (I’d say every week if not very close to that) which gives you a good perspective on what campus looks like throughout the year and Rabi even includes a weekly question that his subjects answer!

The UBC Admin Blog– A unique persepctive on UBC life from the view of Pierre Ouillet, Vice-President, Finance, Resources, and Operations and Brian Sullivan, Vice-President, Students. Brian Sullivan is the coolest guy ever because he has the greatest collection of bow ties a man could ever obtain.

The Ubyssey– Our campus newspaper filled with current stories of things happening on campus. You can even browse through the events section to see just how many things happen on campus at once or check out the menu bar at the top of the website to get a taste of campus.

UBC Insiders– Another great UBC political blog worth checking out. Maintained currently by Neal, Alex and Andrew. Their team & past editors have had high levels of UBC involvement including AMS President/AMS Exec members and being Photo Editor for the Ubyssey.

I Play Tourist in Vancouver.. 7 Months After My Arrival.

Vancouver Aquarium

I listened to at least three episodes of This American Life as I sat at the front of a Canada Line train, riding it back and forth, waiting for my friend to arrive from Victoria on a delayed ferry. I went to the Oakridge mall, sometime during the second episode, and watched families buying chocolate for Easter and window shopped my heart out.

This was the halfway point in one of the most exciting days of this past weekend. Earlier, I went to the Vancouver Aquarium for the first time with two of my friends from my residence floor. Did I mention that at that point, I hadn’t even seen Stanley Park yet? I pictured Stanley Park to look like one of Ontario’s Provincial Parks but it far succeeded those little expectations that I had set for it.

Stanley Park seemed like an adventure. A world to explore. With many features gently built in by mankind, like bridges, streams, walkways and little food outlets, my heart fell in love with this place. What made it even better was the aquarium.

The Vancouver Aquarium is epic. The 1pm dolphin show. Sea otters wrestling each other. Planet Eart 4-D Experience. It was awesome. Above, is a photo of Maegan and I dressing up in costumes we found in the children’s area. Yes, we probably didn’t belong there, but we were way too hyped after the 4-D Theatre. (It included bubbles. Twice.)

Prime example of what it looks like to be from the future, or to be in attendance at a 4-D theatre.

It was hard to pull ourselves away from the aquarium on one of the nicest days Vancouver has seen in a while but we eventually did it. We ended up downtown. The day concluded with sushi at a great japanese place on Granville called Shuraku. I keep going back to this place time and time again. Yam tempura rolls, all the way. The entire staff yells thank you to you when you leave, how awesome is that? Also, did you know H&M has included organic and recycled materials in their newest line? We went there too, in the H&M in Pacific Centre, and it’s actually wonderful. I recommend you take a look, and if you get me anything for my birthday (which is more than half a year away) I’d love a white tunic dress.

After that, I ended up on the Canada Line, where my story began. My friend eventually made it to dry land, and that weekend I got to play tourist even more. They were shocked that I still haven’t seen Stanley Park or the aquarium and I’ve been here since September. We decided it was only right I spent some more time on Granville Island. We bought Longans from the Granville Island Public Market, which are basically like lychees that come on branches and in a tough brown shell with a pit in the centre, and ate them by the water. Being in the sun and playing silly games like who could bounce the pit and hit the target the most was just what I needed out of a 4 day weekend.

We ate at the Sandbar, a great restaurant because they have a dining room that is like a covered patio a few floors above the boardwalks on the island. Each chair comes with a cozy blanket to wrap around yourself if you are cold. My hostess was also very informed about the world of Lomography and had a great conversation with me when she noticed that I had placed my fisheye camera on the table. I’m impressed by her. I approve even more. Eat there.

I played tourist even more. This time, I was showing my friend from Victoria some of the hidden gems of Vancouver. If you are a prospective student who wants some culture, eat at East Is East. There’s a location on Main Street and Broadway (which is close to campus). We went to the Main Street location, and man their drinks are amazing. Mango lassies, fruit smoothies, and Indian Shakes. They have the best Naan, live music, and unique dining experience. You sit on little wooden stools that each have their own personality and you eat at an even more extraordinary table that is low to the ground.

The entire place is covered in carpets, embellished pillows, and has the kindest staff. When you are unsure of what to order, they bring you a sample of what you would like to try. Also, they bring you complimentary spicy chai tea at the beginning of your meal. This will always be one of my favorite places in Vancouver to go to. I’ll snag a photo of the restaurant the next time I’m there, just for you guys.

Now, it’s Tuesday. My 4 day weekend is over and the aquarium asked for me to return 3-D glasses, so I couldn’t even keep those. Now I have exams, term papers, final visual arts assignments and one more French test. What I’d like to do is post some images of my art onto my blog once I start receiving most of them back from my professors. Also, you should go visit the INITIALS art show in Koerner Gallery! I have a piece that is being shown there, I know you want to go!

Music Monday

YouTube Preview Image

Tegan and Sara’s Alligator. La Blogotheque/Live acoustic version.

I’ve always felt like I have had all these ideas floating around in my head that would make really good books. My mother has tried convincing me to go into English but I’ve always thought she was crazy when she said that. I finally think I should start writing. I’ve got an idea and inspiration but, can I actually write something worth reading?