Category Archives: Residence Life


Before I begin my V-talk, Happy Lunar New Year! It’s the Year of the Rat now, for those interested.

So, first off the bat: go to the Vagina Monologues. The final show is tomorrow. Rush tickets are selling at the door at 6:50 in the evening. Stalk it. It’s well worth your time and money.

I went yesterday and was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the show. Throughout the entire one hour and forty-five performing minutes, I think there was only one monologue I completely entranced by. At every other moment, I was giggling away or sat straight up, completely taken up with what was going on in front of me, sometimes with my hand over my mouth from shock. I was delighted with how many different women were represented through the show: it is a show that cuts across age, ethnicity, and even gender itself.

Another performance I just went to is Mr. Vanier, the male beauty pageant. I’m impressed by how many guys went. The talent show was quite enjoyable — there was one particular performance involving story-telling and drumming, which I thought was amazing and extremely well done. My neighbour from across the corridor just told me the results, as I left early. I want to sleep very soon as I have a Reading Week orientation downtown tomorrow, and I’m checking my routes.

Speaking of Vanier, I am Vanier-less next year. Yup, that’s right: housing lottery results are out and I am one of those unlucky multitudes who isn’t getting on-campus housing next year. Fortunately, I do have a brother I can live with so I am not homeless. I am still really so sad — more than I imagined — that I am at position 1132 on the waitlist. (I had priority last year because of my grades!) I didn’t know just how much I appreciate living so close to everything and with friends within walking distance until now, when they say I’m not coming back. I’m not old enough to apply to Marine Drive or Thunderbird, so I’ll deal. Oh well, guess it would have happened sooner or later. This also solves my problem of deciding whether I want to cook for myself next year or not.

I sincerely hope my brother has insurance against fires.

P.S. Out of curiosity, is my lottery number based on when I applied or just whatever I was assigned by the computer system? Because I was given to understand that it didn’t matter when I applied; it was all random anyway. If my waitlist number is indeed based on or influenced by when I applied — I did apply fairly late — then I’d like to know for future reference.

The best of both worlds

Our chairs here in Vanier dorms are these square-shaped half-rocking chairs. I call them half-rocking chairs because they are just that.

So the base of the chair resembles something like this from a bird’s eye view: | | <– each line is a “foot”, what I call the piece of wood that rests on the ground. Clear?

From a side ground view, however, a foot looks like this: __/ <– from front to back. The first part of the foot is the straight, grounded part that rests on the floor, as mentioned before, yes? The second slanted part isn’t as dramatic as that, but it does still slope upwards from the ground. The idea is for the slope to act as a kind of rocking chair. We can push back and lean into the slope so we relax. Someone probably thought it was a good idea to give us the best of both worlds: a steady chair we can use while studying, and a rocking chair that allows us to relax. Except, of course, it’s not really a rocking chair since you fall forward the moment you stop trying to push backwards. There is no rocking to and fro motion. Hence the name of half-rocking chair.

The thought that someone meant to give us the best combination possible helps me tolerate what comes next: the problem — and alas, who can ever see all the problems? — that arises from that same slopey part of the foot that allows us to sort of rock backwards.

The chair is square.
The feet are not rounded.
They have sharp corners and edges.
There are sharp corners hovering in mid-air.

Once a week, a scream (and maybe a rude word) will emerge from my room due to the catching of a foot on one of those sharp corners hovering in mid-air. But no one is too surprised, as I am sure that it occurs every day somewhere in Vanier.

Late night ramblings

(Of the literal, more physical sort: walking.)

So last Saturday night/early Sunday morning, two of my friends and I were walking back from the bus loop past the outdoor swimming pool. We were on our way back to our beds from a birthday party down in Richmond.

As a background aside, the outdoor swimming pool had always struck me as a terrible waste of resources whenever I pass it in winter. If you asked me, it just didn’t seem to be the best evidence of UBC’s sustainability. You can literally see steam coming from the pool; it’s so cold these days. Nor had I seen anyone swim in the pool, even when the sun is at its peak, since November. Maybe I just needed to hang around 24/7 in order to see people swim, but I was still skeptical about just how many people will want to swim outdoors in the winter…

Of course, I was very mistaken about that, as I am about many things. So we’re walking back to Vanier when we hear screaming, and I wonder that the pool is open at night as well, but okay. Obviously people like to go swimming at 2:30 am. There’s a guy and a girl climbing up the diving board — and it’s a really high diving board — so we watch them out of idle curiosity as we continue walking by. The guy stands there — and you know how you tuck some piece of information away in your brain without thinking about it? I don’t notice if he’s wearing swimming trunks because there isn’t an obvious solid colour, but it’s dark and I’m not thinking, so brain clicks off — and he cannonballs into the pool from way up. Cool, brain on idle mode registers.


Woah. We hover, our feet ready to take the next step as we glance around for the siren, and this car that belongs to Campus Security comes rolling down the road. (Oh, so they’re not supposed to be swimming at night after all. And maybe that’s why the fence is bent down and there’s a gaping hole. But wait, that car isn’t stopping. Okay, really do have to stop walking now.) We stand shock still while the car careens, without any hesitation or sign of slowing down, onto the grass and the pavement next to the swimming pool. A guard comes out and greets the stray swimmers with something along the lines of, “Having fun?”, and tells them to get dressed and get out. There are two guys in suits — proper, Men in Black kind of suits — standing beyond the fence watching the proceedings. No idea if they’re with Campus Security and were the ones who called them, or if they’re with the swimmers. Who wears suits at 2:30 am? Meanwhile, I resemble a marshmallow roll in my long winter coat.

But that was a most entertaining way of waking us up on our groggy walk back. Better than if no one ever went diving/skinny-dipping and all that heat for the water is wasted, eh?

The Ideal Hubbards

I am hungry. As in, experiencing hunger pangs type of hungry. Where tummy growls for prolonged periods of time more than once. That kind of hungry.

I’m snacking on biscuits but what I seriously need is a sandwich or something substantial like that. Sadly, Hubbards is not open 24/7. Tear tear. If we were in a heaven that included Hubbards, it would be open any time of the day or night. And while I’m thinking wishfully, it would also have a wider variety of meals that don’t involve a microwave or a stove. Snacks are great, but real food is well-appreciated. And there would be more Asian foods in general. Like shrimp crackers/chips from Malaysia. I have two bags I brought over from HK. One is for my birthday. The other is for a rainy day (metaphorically speaking; literally would never do).

Sample workload of an Arts student

This is what I have done today:

– Volunteered at an elementary school in the morning and read with 5 kids individually.
– Completed my own reading for American literature (still not in the class: praying for 2 people to miraculously drop).
– Answered 4 questions quite well, if I do say so myself, about said reading.
– Went to American lit class for 1 1/2 hours. Enjoyed myself. (Yes this is rather belated work. But I had 5 classes yesterday so I was busy doing work for that on Tuesday.)
– Went to library and made notes on 20-odd pages of a linguistics textbook (possibly the most boring work I have).
– Researched a bunch of books and hunted for suitable material in my quest to choose a language for my language journal for said linguistics course. Very exhausting and overwhelming.
– Read a chapter for anthropology.
– Ate dinner with friends.

What I still have to do tonight:

– Read another chapter for anthropology.
– Write 2 pages for a WebCT post for English by 10 PM, doing a close reading of the text.
– Research the May 4th Movement (I have unfortunately forgotten all the other things I was supposed to research).
– Complete 2 readings for Canadian lit.
– Complete another reading for linguistics.
– Sleep at 9.

If it weren’t for the last bullet point, this would all be doable. Alas, I demand impossible things of myself. Of course, when time is constrained, the unimportant items go out the window… So there we have it: what one particularly Arts student does on a Thursday.