Monthly Archives: September 2011

Breakfast: Doing It Right


Just sayin.





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Reception and Re: Winter Harp

Today was the reception for Major Entrance Scholars (ie. people who won Major Entrance Scholarships), and uh, yeah, I won one… Anyway, there were a lot of amazing people!  I got to meet the chancellor and president of UBC and the director of the school of music (all of whom are really really nice people).  I also met other students, and I think I can really connect with them. I also got the first hug I’ve had since I got here, which is AWESOME because I am a very huggy person.  There was also really good food, so, you know, that’s a plus too… :P


Also in regards to the Winter Harp, it turns out that the harpist they wanted in the first place could make the shows, so I won’t be needed.  Still, I’m really happy – the fact that they contacted me at all is awesome, and I think with the extra rehearsals and stuff I’d get really stressed out.


That’s all for today :)  -Samantha

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Winter Harp

I’ve told this story about a million times now, but I’ll try not to be boring while telling it again.

Last week, I got an email from my FAVOURITE group of harp performers, the Winter Harp (seriously, check them out –  The person who sent me the email, the creator of Winter Harp, is friends with my harp teacher (who gave her my name) and said that they are looking for a second harpist for a few shows later this year, and along with a few other people, would like to know if I was interested in playing with them.  Well of course, these people being my favourite people EVER, I immediately said yes and was jumping around in my dorm room practically crying because I was so happy.

On Sunday, I took transit all the way to New Westminster (I am very proud of myself for that), and played for them. I think I did pretty well, but I think I may not get it because there are other people trying for it who have more experience than me, and I’m actually perfectly okay with that.  Getting to do the Winter Harp gigs would be an amazing experience, but it would also be really stressful, and either way I’m just really honoured to be able to meet some of my favourite performers.

Also on the way back I went to Metrotown, and if you’re craving some shopping you should go check it out :P

Later – Samantha

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Okay, I think I’ve finally got ensembles figured out.

In terms of large ensemble, ie. symphony orchestra, the four harpists will share parts, but the other first year will get probably the majority of parts and the hardest ones, since she’s actually been playing the longest.  The orchestra won’t be having any harp in it until October, so I get a few weeks with free nights, which is nice.

For small ensemble, I’ll be doing harp duets with a third year harpist who has the same teacher as me.  (And in case I haven’t mentioned this, my harp teacher is SO NICE.)  This will work nicely, since we have group lessons every other week, so I won’t have to fit another rehearsal into my schedule somewhere.  I had kind of hoped to be in a string quartet sort of thing so I could meet some more people, but this is good too.


P.S. I discovered The Honor Roll – a great sushi place in the basement of the SUB.  You can get a California Roll for $3.50, and they take UBCCard, too!  Made my day.

Peace – Samantha.


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Finally, the weekend!  Hoorayyyyy! *does happy dance*

Well, as of today, I’ve gotten through two weeks of classes.  I’m really enjoying all of them, and I don’t get too much homework, but I’m looking forward to getting some time to just chillax in my dorm room and just veg out.  I actually love just sitting around not doing much, but homework doesn’t really agree with that behaviour… haha.  It can wait til tomorrow.

I’m starting to watch myself in terms of how much money I spend; I’ve already been to the ATM twice this week.  I spent some money on breakfast foods so I don’t have to go to the dining hall every morning (which I think is justifiable), and I bought a house t-shirt, and then I went thrift shopping with some people from my house to get more of my house colour (orange isn’t a plentiful colour in my wardrobe), and then I ate supper at Fresh Slice yesterday (which by the way is really really yummy pizza for pretty cheap – the only thing is they don’t take the UBCCard), and then today I went and got the marbelous cookie again… oh my guilty pleasure…

So I haven’t spent TOO much as of yet, I just need to watch myself to make sure it doesn’t become a habit.  After all, I need that money to pay for my residence.  I’ll let myself eat out now and then, as long as most nights I do eat in the cafeteria.  And there’s this tuque at the Outpost I really want… well.. maybe next week, if I’m a good girl. :P

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Out and About

Hey everyone!  Just for the record, I’m feeling much better, and as I expected the loneliness of moving here has indeed faded with time.  The thing that bothered me most was just the unfamiliarness of EVERYTHING, people, places, food, routine, just everything.  However, now that I’m getting used to things, I’m very much enjoying my time here :)

In particular, now that I’m not focused on how UBC isn’t my home, I can appreciate what a freaking amazing campus we have here.  Seriously.  Everything is beautifully landscaped, built, and designed.  Flowers line the sidewalks and sculptures are plentiful.  I’ve done a little exploring, and so far these are my favourite places on campus:

1. The rose garden.  If you haven’t been there yet, what are you waiting for?!  The roses won’t be blooming for long, and they are gorgeous.

2. The Chapman Learning Commons (aka the Harry Potter Room).  It’s inside the Irving K Barber Learning Centre, third floor.  It seriously makes me feel like I’m in the great hall in Hogwarts – and the hushed atmosphere and comfy armchairs make it a great place for studying.

3. The Aquatic Centre.  FYI, UBC students get in for free with their student card.  Ridiculous, I know.  Also the pool is shaped like a thunderbird head.  Whoa.

4. The hill outside the SUB.  It’s a great place to just hang out and soak up the sun :)  For that matter, pretty much anywhere on campus is a great place to just sit around and enjoy the scenery, providing the weather is nice like it has been these last few weeks.

5. Inside the SUB. It’s cool in there!  I don’t know why, I just like it. Also, the Blue Chip Cookie is definitely something you need to try.  I got this ‘Marble Cookie’ from there, and it was this warm, moist, chocolate cookie with a giant slab of melty white chocolate on top. Mmmmmmm.

I’m not nearly done exploring yet, but my poor feet can only do so much walking in a day!  Post your favourite places in the comments :)

XO – Samantha.


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The Truth

Okay, so I’ve read some of the other blog posts on the blog squad page, and from what I’ve been reading, most people’s attitudes are generally OMG EVERYTHING IS SO AWESOME and WONDERFUL and INSPIRING and PERFECT and I maybe had one moment of doubt BUT THEN IT WAS GONE and now EVERYTHING IS PERFECT!!!!!

Okay, so I exaggerate a little.  But generally I’m finding that people are all talking about all the good things, and pretending that there is nothing bad.

That’s typically what I’m finding is the case with most of the people I’ve met from my first year class; everyone is intensely lonely but at the same time pretends they’re very happy and have no doubt about coming to UBC and are SOOOO glad to move out of home.  Well, pretending is not my job.  No sir.  So here is what I’m going through, and I expect that many of you out there are having a similar time.

I am very homesick.  My home, my friends, my family, my boyfriend, are all more than a thousand kilometres away.  The food here is decent, but it’s nothing like a home-cooked meal.  It’s pretty terrifying to have to constantly looking out for myself, because I miss things and make mistakes, which I’ve already done.  Giving my harp teacher my home number and not my cell was a really nice touch to that one.  I don’t know anyone here, and I get really lonely.  I don’t know many people in my classes, and the ones I do have very different schedules from me, so I often just end up eating lunch by myself.  I start to wonder if coming here and doing a music degree is really what I want anymore.  I wind up with a lot of time and nothing to do with it, and the homesickness is always the worst then.

I’m sure I’m not the only one, and it amazes me how everyone goes on about how they couldn’t wait for their parents to leave and all of that.  For those of you right now who are very concerned, I am getting better.  Honestly, I am sure it’s a matter of getting used to everything, and making good friends DOES take a long time, especially for someone shy like me.  And ones classes get going (and get more interesting) I’ll have homework and studying to fill up my time.

Basically, what I want to say is, if you, like me, are lonely, you aren’t the only one.  I know it doesn’t make it go away, but just know everyone around isn’t nearly as self-assured as they appear to be.


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Audition Adventures

Today I had my audition for ensembles, and it was a bit of a gong show.

My audition was at 1:15, so I started packing up the harp to go down to the basement around 1:10, and just as I was going out the door, my harp teacher phoned saying we’re supposed to start in two minutes. I kind of panicked a little, but I wheeled the harp over to the elevator, which took about TEN FREAKING MINUTES to get there! Seriously! And then when it finally came, I was so relieved that I got off on the first floor it stopped at, and by the time I realized it was only the third floor, the doors had already closed. Then I had to wait some MORE. When I finally reached the basement, it was 1:25. Sigh. But I played, and it went as good as I really expected it to, and I’ll get the results at some point.

I don’t expect to get into the orchestra this year, as there are a few harpists at a higher year lever than me, but that’s okay.  A small ensemble will be assigned to me and that will be fine for now :)

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Hi there!  My name is Samantha, and I will be part of your first year blog squad this year.  I am from Winnipeg, MB and I study music.  (I play the harp, and no, I didn’t have to bring my own.)

I drove all the way from Winnipeg to get here, so after three days of driving it’s nice to not be sitting in a car all day.  The drive out was tons of fun too, though.  We stopped off in Moose Jaw and stayed in an adorable bed & breakfast – the building was 103 years old!  There was a thunderstorm that night too, and I love a good prairie thunderstorm.  We made a detour to Lake Louise too, and at this time of year the water is just gorgeous.  If you’re an international student, I definitely recommend visiting Lake Louise at some point during your stay in Canada.  Driving into Vancouver was ridiculous!  It took three hours to get from Langley to downtown, and where I come from, that is FOREVER.  But, we finally made it and took a walk along the beach.  The sun was setting on the water, and there were buskers and hot dog stands and even a fire dancer… This is what Vancouver is to me.  Gorgeous.

Actually moving into residence the next day was really easy!  My parents and I got here early, so the lines just zipped along and I was unpacked within an hour or two.  I can’t believe some of my neighbours, their rooms are already a total mess and they still aren’t unpacked.. and it’s only day one!  My room is nice and organized, and I intend to keep it that way.  Of course, around exam time that could change…

In the evening I met a ton of new people (who are all really nice, by the way) and had tons of fun doing a photo scavenger hunt.  When I went to bed, I won’t lie, I felt pretty lonely.  But the next morning, as soon as I stepped out of my room, someone asked me to go to breakfast with them and soon enough the loneliness disappeared.  If you feel lonely, don’t worry, you aren’t alone – and there are tons of people around you who would love to just talk with you.

So far first year is looking FANTASTIC, and I can’t wait to go through it and share it with all of you!

Peace out – Samantha.


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