Winter Break week 1

  • Work. I’ve learned that I really enjoy teaching. Work, however, consists of many other responsibilities that are not teaching but are required to keep everything running.
  • Working on writing with Alyssa to get through my writer’s block.
  • Bought some textbooks with Alyssa and Kevin
  • Kevin and the prank gift packaging
  • Great to see Silvia again. Once we were talking, time passed by so quickly.
  • Spent lots of time with another friend who I missed very much. To me, bliss is spending time with those I care about very much.
  •  I highly recommend the horror movie, “Good night mother”.
  • Dining in the dark at Dark Table was an interesting experience.
  • Made matcha mochiko which my cousin love due to its chewy texture. I think the ingredients were 1 pound mochiko, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/2 cup sugar, 3 eggs, and 3 tablespoons of matcha powder. Relatively healthy compared to pound cakes made with butter.
  • Baked with my mom <3
  • After hours and hours of preparation, Christmas dinner turned out well. So happy to see my older cousins who I missed while they were gone and my cute little cousins. I was also happy to spend time with the rest of my family, especially my adorable grandparents.
  • The limits to my Chinese speaking abilities have really been tested lately.
  • Hockey hosted by Kevin’s family (thanks Auntie Holly and Uncle Peter for hosting such a fun event!).Racing about the ice and chasing the puck again reminded me of how energizing playing hockey is. In the new year, I would like to get on the ice rink more often.
  • Finally started on a project idea. Score.

One more week left:

  • Goal: Finish a draft.
  • Would like to spend time playing Wii with my Minis. Andy has suggested Super Smash Bros.
  • Sleep? Meh. Maybe another time.

You miss all the shots that you don’t take. In 2016, I’m going to push myself to work harder and obtain new experiences.

Hope you all have been having a great Winter break so far!

My friend is now recovering :)


One of my best friends was finally released from the hospital. It’s been rough for her but she’s incredibly resilient. I was torn between studying for an exam that I had Friday and finding how she’s doing. There are times in life where studying comes second in life. When you’ve been concerned if your best friend might DIE, this is definitely a time where you choose the person you care about over everything else.

She is recovering now and doing well!!!!! So happy that she’s fine and glad that everything went alright. Health is number 1!!! If your health goes downhill, nothing else matters. So if you’re concerned about your health, go see a doctor, dentist, pharmacist (depends on your concern) and get help! Taking care of your health should never be something that you put off. THANK YOU AWESOME DOCTORS AND SURGEONS AND NURSES AND TECHS AND OTHER HOSPITAL STAFF who saved my friend.

Speaking of health, UBC Student Health Services is fantastic. I’ve been a couple times and have been referring my friends to seek care there. (One of my friends is actually going. Success in converting at least one other person to seek professional care when he/she is worried about his/her health. Professions know their stuff. Go. Go. Go!!!!)

That said, the people you care about also care about you. As much I would have loved to, I couldn’t spent the entire night talking to her so after the really important part of listening to her talk about all the craziness that has happened to her, I gently let her know that I had a final tomorrow but let’s schedule time to keep talking tomorrow right after my exam.


My friend actually stood me up but later, it turned out that she slept in. I figured that she must have been exhausted so I wasn’t too surprised.  She’s one tough cookie who totally deserved a break so I left a message about rescheduling.

Veena and I treated ourselves to delicious and inexpensive pizza for dinner. Veena ordered cheesy bread, which was (in my opinion) a better version of cheese pizza. Food makes us happy.

We admired the set-up of Nordstrom. It felt like a half-way between the Bay and Holt Renfrew but was closer to Holt Renfrew. I like admiring beautiful places, even if I’ll probably never ever buy anything (haha).

We hunted for Christmas gifts for our friends. One of our friends always paints her nails for good luck before exams so we bought her a set of little polishes in many different colours so she has a colour for every mood and exam. We searched quite the number of places before we found this set so we really hope she’ll like it.

I’ve put together a hilarious prank gift for Kevin. Well, the outside is a prank gift but inside, there’s a gift that I scratched my head a long time to come up with.  It wasn’t expensive but I think it will have a lot of meaning to him.

Veena and other friends have been trying to convince me to pierce my ears for years now so she went with me to Claire’s where I finally got my ears pierced. Susan Tran at Claire’s was very meticulous and cared a lot because she “wanted to make [me] look good” and make my first piercing experience a good memory. If you ever want to get your ears pierced, go find Susan at the Claire’s on Granville.

As usual, Veena is awesome.

A thorough cleaning and reorganization of my room took a long time (I mean a LONG time) but was worth the effort! Having such an organized room makes me happy. I’ve been complaining about my desk so I finally changed it to a smaller, rectangle-shaped desk. Having a smaller desk means that I have to be diligent about keeping the surface clutter free but so far I’m happy.


**Highlights of my day were spending time with my family today!!! I feel like I haven’t spent time with the whole family like this in a long time. Something as simple as taking my little brother to the dentist and going out for lunch might be  something that someone else does often but everyone in my family is so busy that going out for lunch as family is extremely rare.

When I talked to my brother on Friday, I promised him that I would take him to the library because he loves to read. I made him promise that he would finish a piece of writing by the end of his winter break. My brother also got a Raspberry Pi set that would be fun to help him build. As a result, after lunch, dropped my brother off at the library, ran errands, went to library to get him and borrowed some books for myself.

I wrote a couple Christmas cards.

Long awaited lengthy chat with my best friend who had surgery. She is required to walk on the treadmill a lot to reflate part of one of her lungs so to keep her company while she walked, I also walked. Memorable line from our conversation: “You’re one who just had surgery and you’ve not breaking a sweat. I’ve been normal and …”  (points to sweaty red face and panting). We multi-tasked like pros: getting our catch-up and exercise in at the same time. Missed her soooooo much. And she knows that she is obligated to try to visit me soon! I will try to video chat with her again so when Misaki and Rachel are done exams and can join me.

After I publish this blog post, I’m going to work on my literature review on lidocaine and send in hours that I’m available to work for the next two weeks.

Sunday (Tomorrow)

For breakfast, I’m meeting with the smart and kind-hearted Silvia who’s been out at UCLA .

Really really need to get working on my play

Really really need to work on a philanthropy project that I’ve cooking in the back of my mind for some time now

In general: I’ve been crossing off lots of minor to-dos but tomorrow, I need to do deep work.

I also want to work on blemish banishing my brother because his face is very teen boy.

Dinner at Yue Shan Society. Goal: to make my grandfather proud.

My reading list: 

  •  Chi Sweet Home  (French version of volume 11) because I have a strange penchant for Japanese manga translated into French because they help me maintain my French.
  • Dracula  by Bram Stoker
  • Richard III by Shakespeare
  • The Mind’s Eye by Oliver Sacks – I’m so excited about this book. I’ve wanted to read writing by Oliver Sacks for a while.
  • The Mind’s Own Physician. – meditation, the mind, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy.
  • HTML5   –  Haven’t decided if I really want to learn HTML5 yet or not. I like designing but to be honest, I’m reluctant to learn a programming language.

Comparing yourself to others

You were feeling on top of the world after you strutted out of your second to last final examination. You had the right to be happy because you’ve only got one more to go. Happy, your friends grab you and you all felt confident and prepared about the exam you just finished.

Fast forward to night time. You’ve just gotten home after a 14 hour day: at school, at various appointments and commitments, and a huge chunk of time with your blessing/curse public transit. You log onto your calculus class’ discussion board and discover that you may be very very behind your classmates in studying for your last exam.

Perhaps some thoughts that pop up in your head:

  • I am going to fail.
  • I’ll be at the bottom of the curve.
  • I’ll never catch up.

Squash these negative thoughts.

Instead tell yourself:

  • I’ve come really far.
  • I can rock this if I work hard starting now.
  • This is the best that I can give.  – Cut yourself some slack if you’ve writing a whole bunch of exams in a short period of time.  You weren’t able to prepare too much for this last one but hey, you’ve been busy!
  • I don’t need to compare myself to others. Maybe they don’t have an exam until the 21st. You had your first exam two full weeks before they did. Everyone’s situation is different so don’t compare.
  • I’m going to do MY best and my best is different from someone else’s best. My best may be worse than someone else’s best or better.
  • Everything is going to be alright.

Best wishes to you all!

Saving on tuition – Advice from White Coat Investor

FANTASTIC advice from the White Coat Investor on making financial decisions as an undergraduate whose future may include expensive years of additional schooling and training. Honestly, I think this advice will be helpful to all undergraduates because the cost of living is crazy nowadays!

White Coat Investor’s message: Try to finish undergraduate  debt-free by LIMITING YOUR UNDERGRADUATE COSTS.

  1. Save on undergraduate tuition by choosing a school that doesn’t cost so much.
  2. Later on, choose the professional school that costs less. (Though I’m not at the stage of the journey yet, I’m iffy on this one. I think fit is more important there.)
  3. Live frugally.  e.g. If you don’t have to, don’t buy a car.
  4. Work part-time and/or during the summers.

Sidebar: I actually came to UBC to save on tuition because in grade 12, I knew for sure that I want to pursue professional or graduate school after undergraduate and I knew that I would need to save for that! I didn’t always have the goal that I do now so I originally applied to some schools in the States and got into some of my favourite ones. But this is how I made my decision at the end: if you want to be careful about your finances and want to minimize debt upon graduation, choose wisely between the school with a 50, 000/year pricetag vs the 10,000/year price tag. Pricey school might be better but not necessarily better. Don’t think that a more affordable school is not good enough for you because it’s public, it’s close to home, it’s not an Ivy League, etc.

You can be successful at any school. It’s up to YOU to make the resources and people surrounding you.


Working part-time during the school year

I’ve been thinking about getting an additional job (I already work)  since school started. I kept holding myself because I thought that I needed the time to focus on transiting from high school to university, adjusting to the amount of studying, etc. But now, I think it wasn’t so bad that I could handle more but I’m still hesitant to take on too much and have my grades suffer. Sigh… but academics are so important to me.

Any students who work part-time have any advice? I would love to know what you think in the comments or email me at !

3 Finals done, 2 to go

Hope you all are conquering your finals and still eating, sleeping and exercising! 

Andrew P. found a fantastic study spot (sorry it’s a secret!) so Andy, Andrew and I studied there this afternoon after I finished my Physics final.

Today we learned: a little bit about metabolism. Tonight I will teach myself glycolysis, pyruvate processing, and the Citric Acid Cycle.

If anyone knows where to buy Muji pens in Greater Vancouver, please tell me and Andrew. Andrew wants a blue 0.5 mm Muji so I’m thinking of getting him a blue refill for his birthday next month. As always, I love 0.38 mm pens and I would like to try different colours (e.g. magneta) to liven up my notes. Seriously, I’ve searched on Google and I cannot figure out where to buy Muji pens in Vancouver.

For some reason, I always heard horror stories about all-nighters and how finals week is like hell. While you might not have time to spend three hours at the gym, you can still find time to exercise. You can still find time to eat… and — surprise – sleep! I was, and am still, surprised that reality is different from what I’ve heard but I’m glad reality is better than I expected than vice versa.

I cancelled a gym date with Veena this week but I found a quick workout to do at home. This Extreme Abs workout is one of my favourite workout videos. Cassey Ho has produced other videos that give you a quick arm, back, legs, cardio etc.  workout that you can group together with this ab video. Hope this helps some of you that want a quick workout to stay healthy!


Pen Killer

There are six empty pens in my trash can right now. There was a green one, a pink one, an erasable one, and three 0.35/0.38 mm pens. I only have two 0.35/0.38 mm left from now on. I must ration my fine tip pen use.

Alyssa and Kevin gave me a new  four colour pen the other week so I should have enough ink to last me for a while.

Let’s see how many more pens will use up by the end of this month.

Signs Christmas is right around the corner

  • Pictures with Santa happened last evening.
  • Music Outreach is hosting two winter concerts this month!! Alyssa Y and Michelle L are rocking their jobs organizing the volunteers. Thanks SO much you two!
  • Started my piano student on lots of Christmas songs and started her on Pachelbel’s Canon, which I think is one of the most beautiful songs ever. She’s singing a version of the canon in choir. We finished some RCM repertoire songs and started a new level in RCM today. I’m so proud :’)  BUT I believe that if you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to do a better job so we decided that she gets a break and she got Christmas music to take home and enjoy playing for her friends and family.
  • (Must have been subconsciously influenced by the boys singing carols yesterday  to crack out the christmas music when teaching)
  • My lovely student gave me a Christmas present. Thanks <3 It’s instant peppermint mocha!
  • Peppermint mocha
  • Girls’ Generation TaeTiSeo  had released a Christmas Special Album entitled “Dear Santa.” Dear Santa is their title track. There’s an ENGLISH version. I really like the contrast between the beginning where TaeTiSeo are all dressed in formal gowns and the pace of the song is so slow with the end where they’re chilling out in pjs and the song is more cheerful and fast.

Personally, I like TaeTiSeo’s “Merry Christmas” more than “Dear Santa”.

I don’t like “I like that way”. It reminds me of IU’s “Twenty-three”.

Would you like to see a post on my top Christmas music picks?

3rd last day of 1st term re cap

(Note: I don’t write much about class because other things are more fun to write about)

  1. I slept early last night but woke up tired. Oh sleep debt…
  2. I did not have my knowledge together for my Chem quiz in the morning. I don’t want to relive that.
  3. We had a substitute chemistry professor who I loved. Prof MacLachlan. He talked to us about his research which include iridescent material and cellulose nano crystals. Cool! He was super energetic which was nice to watch when all my body wanted to do was return to my bed.
  4. Lunch with Misaki in the Nest – She said she’ll never get chicken noodle soup ever again.
  5. We took pictures at the photo booth. (Oops I can’t remember what cause the photo booth was fundraising for though…)   Made awkward poses. Hope the pictures turned out well.
  6. English – We got our Rhetorical Analyses back today. I realized that I wrote some pretty dumb things. Hindsight is always 20/20.
  7. Andy grabbed me and Alyssa to go see the A&W commercial man filming on campus. That was our celebrity sighting of the day.
  8. As usual, Andy glanced over this blog and wanted to know why he’s not mentioned more often.
  9. Disappointed in myself for not getting much done after class 🙁 We had to get up and move a lot of time. That was really disruptive to my writing flow haha. I’m so easily distracted and unproductive after class nowadays. I got to fix this. 🙁
  10. Surprised to learn something totally awesome about my friend today. Good luck girl!
  11. My Big let me know about this super quiet and comfy and totally awesome study spot that I want to try out! (Hopefully with her) My Big never ceases to be awesome. I got to meet Big’s ‘bae” today.  So that make him my Big in law? I don’t know…
  12. Freshly baked cookie Yay!
  13. I visited my Alpha Omicron Pi girls today at their fundraiser for Kidsafe (an organization that provides after school programming to children, technically “at-risk” children but I don’t agree with the use of the word “at-risk” – which is a story for another day). Lots of hugs with girls. I missed them!!
  14. Photos with Santa
  15. Shinnie ate a cookie that she claimed she will die if she doesn’t learn where to get more of them.
  16. Fraternity boys sang Christmas carols. They were off-tune but we could sense the effort.  Boys, please leave  “You’re Beautiful” to James Blunt.
  17. I love Christmas carols. Shinnie and I sang along. My favourites include: Last Christmas I gave you my heart, All I want for Christmas is You.
  18. Shinnie and Lisa wanted me to pinky-swear that I’ll re-join AOII in the spring. I take my pinky-swears really seriously so I couldn’t pinky swear. I really want to be with them more though.  Missing the sisterly love <3
  19. Had to turn down their invite to go out tonight in order to go home and work on my paper.
  20. Watched an episode of Oh My Venus while eating dinner: strong female lead inspires me
  21. Reading on selection bias, espeically survivorship bias.
  22. Blogging in the middle of the night.
  23. Back to my English paper!

Have a great end of the last week of classes!!

Tough choices

If you seek courage to make a tough choice, think this:

  • Life wasn’t supposed to a straight road from one point to another.
  • Life is full of forks to different paths.
  • When you get to the fork in the road, choose a path and don’t spend your life at the fork. There’s nothing to see or do at the fork in the road.
  • The interesting sights and experiences are always on the sides of the road.
  • Pick a path and move forward.
  • You can’t always have everything. Yes, there are great, totally amazing things along the path that you didn’t take but you know what? There will different amazing things along the path you have chosen to take too!
  • That said, it’s normal to feel sad if you have to leave something you love so allow yourself to feel sad if needed.
  • If you’re leaving behind an activity, you can find a lighter way to get involved e.g. a recreational level sport as opposed to varsity/pre-professional level, or if you leave jazz band, play some jazz on your own once in a while
  • If you’re leaving people behind, keep in touch with the ones you connected with most.
  • Proceed with your adventure in life!

The tough choice I’m making is that I know that de-pledging AOII is the road I must take but it’s still really hard to leave such a great group of girls.  I may cry on Monday when I fill out my de-pledge forms. Watching this video made me sad because the video showed the reasons I wanted to join a sorority – the laughter, love and support of sisterhood. I’m extremely thankful for the experiences being a part of AOII gave me and the girls that AOII allowed to meet (especially my Big Sister Sisi!! and Shinnie and Elaine). Shinnie and I clicked super well, and Elaine and I went through the whole journey of formal recruitment (rush) together.

Shout-out to the talented Michelle Ma for making such an amazing video! Joining a sorority is a worth-while experience if you have both the time and money to commit (neither of which I have). Having been an member of AOII, I highly recommend AOII.  If you’re interested, email or Facebook message someone in AOII and try a casual interview.

Check out AOII UBC’s instagram!

To the beautiful ladies in my pledge class <3: I’m really sorry that I can’t spend more time learning all the layers of each and every one of you. You’re all inspiring!

(Edit: The instagram photo is appearing funnily in the published post so I’ve deleted it from the post.)

Thankful Friday

Lessons learned:

  • Word limits are hard to stay under!
  • Read the 152 page review BEFORE you read papers separately. Once you’ve read the individual papers, you won’t enough energy left. Update: I still haven’t read all of this yet. Sigh.

Thankful Friday:

  • I arrived late to Biology and sat on the floor. Later in the lecture, my professor walked up to me and asked me if I wanted to sit in a chair. #embarrassing
  • In chemistry, Dr. Crane made nylon right in front of our eyes! Chemistry is so cool!!!
  • Alyssa saved my butt by lending me her phone to answer Learning Catalytics questions (Physic 117’s version of iClickers). Thanks girl!!
  • In Physics, we calculated the density of the universe that would cause the universe to collapse in itself – the reverse of the Big Bang known as the “Big Crunch”. If you mess up your calculation, you will feel terrified. If you calculate correctly, you wouldn’t be so terrified.
  • The UBC Math Club sold all of their MATH 102 exam packs before I got there at noon. I hope that the Math Club will produce and sell more next week. I’m el cheapo when it comes to a lot of things but when it comes to exam packs, I tend to spend without my usual hesitation.
  • Fun lunch with Misaki and Sisi in Irving. When Sisi was debating whether to go Black Friday shopping, Misaki was the devil on the shoulder.
  • Dr. Fox made English class funny and enjoyable as usual. Class breezed by quickly.
  • Done for the day! Alyssa was headed for the pharmacy building so I walked with her. A brisk walk on a rain-less afternoon while having an unbeatable conversation with a friend  is a pretty great way to spend time unwinding after classes.
  • Clocked in three hours of biology and chemistry study time at the pharmacy building. I love huge windows so I grabbed an empty table by the window and spread all my papers and notes and pens.
  • Bus ride home was slow.
  • Spent time talking to my grandmother who is awesome and goes out of her way to help other people.
  • Mom and I talked about how proud I was when I gave my first paycheck to my mom and then my second paycheck to my grandfather. She told me about how she saved up her first paychecks to buy a table for her parents. When I was younger, I always had a goal that when I become a grown-up (whenever/if ever that is supposed to be), I want to be able to provide for my parents and grandparents. My parents and grandparents likely won’t need me because they all live frugally and don’t care much for material possessions. But all of them have sacrificed and done so much for me that as a child/grandchild, I want to be able to thank those who once took care of me by taking care of them. 🙂

Have a great weekend!