Category Archives: Residence Life

Excess Meal Dollars

I checked the amount of money left on my meal card today. (To do this, simply ask the person processing your card at the register to check for you.)

I have just under $800 left. If I hadn’t bought my $3-something lunch, it would be just over $800. Unfortunately, I can’t get my money back in cash. I can, however, get it transferred to a UBC Food Services gift card as long as I submit a request in writing by the end of term. I guess I won’t be making lunch next year.

A sign on the door of the office in the Vanier caf told me to go to the UBC Food Services website. There is supposedly a form available for students with excess meal points. Unfortunately, I’m having one of those days when I just can’t find what they’re talking about. Anyone else having any luck?

9th April: One of my friends helped me find it. Here it is, for anyone who is as lost as me: form for transfer of meal points (.pdf file).

A UBC Legend

This is UBC’s finest and only ghost story. That is — it would be, if it involved any ghosts. So let me adjust that.

This is UBC’s finest and only mythical creature story. That is — it would be, if the creatures were mythical. Many people believe that they are, but in truth, these creatures are very much living, breathing entities.

This is the story of UBC’s little-known, legendary lint bobbles.

Lint bobbles?

Yes, I should have warned you about them earlier. You won’t be needing this knowledge for much longer with only three weeks of rez life left. But mark my word: You’ll be glad you heard about them come September when you move back in.

So. Lint bobbles. Look fairly harmless. Grey balls of dust, that’s what they look like. Occasionally come in dirty red colours too. Strands of grey dust and dirt hanging from their sides sometimes. Easily collapsible. Can be found breeding in laundry rooms — specifically, in dryers — but can also be found everywhere.

Here is how they work.

After breeding about for so-and-so many tumble dries, they decide they’re ready to leave the warmth of their tumble drier. A batch of wet clothes come in. Occasionally a lint sheet. The person does not clean their breeding site (i.e. the lint catcher thingymabob at the front or back of the drier). Lint bobbles happily attach themselves to the clothes. Of course they don’t cling to clothes in great big lumps — that would be too obvious. No, lint bobbles are smarter than that. They send off little strands of themselves. Fairly unnoticeable. The unwitting victim removes clothes — also without cleaning the breeding site — and then leaves with baby lint bobbles stuck to their clothes.

At night, they strike. The lint bobbles get up and walk all over the room, hanging in places you would never see them in unless you were looking. Inside your lampshade. Between your keyboard keys. Of course, they’re fairly harmless to human beings. At most, they’ll give you a constant sneeze. Unless they decide to destroy you and you inhale a whole army of them in your sleep, but I haven’t heard of any such cases happening here at UBC.

Then again, not many people know about lint bobbles…

But you do. You know about them now. And now that you know about them, you must learn how to defend yourself against the possibility of inhaling a giant grey dustball that resembles tumbleweed in shape and size. (And against little bits of grey dropping off your sleeves every time you move around in class.)

It’s all really very simple. Just clean out the lint box in the front of tumble driers after you’re done drying (and before, in case the person before you didn’t think of it). Throw the lint bobbles into the bin. Save your fellow unwitting human beings from these little creatures. Be a superhero.

If everyone did this, then we’d only have our own little lint bobbles to dispose of and the world would be a happier place.

Favourite Food Outlets

Now, I don’t consider myself an expert on food by any means. However, today I learned that not everyone is aware of what is available at UBC, so I thought I’d name a whole bunch of places. This is completely biased, of course.

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Now I know what you meant when you said

One of my most subtle pleasures this year has been watching the tree outside my room.

I have watched it deepen, crimson and yellow, and followed the withered leaves float to the ground. I saw what autumn colours mean; I’d only known leaves to be there or not to be there, and very rarely a colour in between green and brown. I took countless pictures of squirrels scampering about the branches before I got used to the sight and discovered how vicious they can be.

The tree was what told me there’d been a snowfall overnight: the snow covered its branches so thickly, I could discern a vision of white between the gaps in my blinds. There were no squirrels then. But there were lots of snowball and snow angels and writing with my bare fingers or boot-covered toes, and an igloo in the middle of the Vanier field.

Overnight — or at least, that’s how it feels — the tree has sprouted new, red buds, that I can’t remember seeing yesterday. I spent my morning working through my to-do list with birds flocking and twittering after each other in one endless courtship. And the surest sign that spring is arriving is the sudden presence of fat squirrels all over the campus again.

There is something lovely about this passing of seasons. I’d only read, but never known, of the crunching sound of walking on crisp leaves, or the frozen earth, or the urge for spring-cleaning. Hong Kong is too wonderfully different to have the same kind of seasons; its climate is sub-tropical and very much focussed around the rain and typhoons (monsoons). I laugh when people say what a lot of rain we have here, because I often wish there were bigger downpours rather than mini-drizzles. I’ve even learned to enjoy walking with my head uncovered in a light rain, and what better excuse than grey skies to turn up the volume of your favourite music?

The Post that Lost Its Point

You know, I actually had a point when I switched on my laptop and decided to blog. My backlog of emails distracted me and I have now forgotten what that point was.

The bright side of my fish-like memory is that I can flatter myself into thinking it was a most inspiring, intelligent and witty topic, and what a pity I can’t share it with you!

A few people have come up to me to console me on my lack of housing next year. Thank you to those of you who did. It’s nice to be thought of! I’m quite cheered up now, though; I woke up yesterday morning with happy thoughts of being able to invite people over for special events. I’ll have more space to put all my belongings and finally get to experience the commuter student’s side of the story.


In the meantime, we’re hitting the crazy season of school again. While all my midterms are after Reading Week (most likely all on the same day; one is not confirmed yet), I have a paper due per week. This doesn’t include the postings I’m meant to do for two classes, one of which I’m severely behind on. Apart from feeling concerned about having a lot to catch up on, I’m actually really glad that school is keeping me busy in ways that I like. I had way too much free time last term. Point: I kept a running tally of how many squirrels I saw each day on my way to and from classes. Being behind means that I am hitting that point when I stop trying to be an absolute perfectionist and simply try to be the best I can be within reason. That means getting my much-desired adequate amounts of sleep. Life’s not perfect.

I guess this post found a point after all, though I assure you it is still not as inspiring, intelligent or witty as the one it lost.

P.S. Is anyone else loving the lengthening days with later sunsets?