Eng 112 – Strategies for University Writing

You’ll learn:

  • critical reading of academic texts
  • how to write to communicate effectively

Class structure

  • mandatory regular attendance
  • participation in class activities and discussions.
  • In-class essays
  • Take-home essay(s)
  • 3-hour final examination at the end of the course where you’ll be asked to write essays

Lots of

  • Implementing “They Say I Say” into your writing style. You’ll find out what They Say I Say means every soon.
  • Pointing out what established academics have done wrong in their writing

How to get a good grade:

  • Actually do the assigned reading before class
  • Bring the book or print out the reading to bring to class so you can refer to it during discussion.
  • You can bring a digital version.
  • IMPORTANT: Speak in class!! 1) you get participation marks. 2) you force yourself to organize and vocalize your thoughts. 3) your professor will learn that you’re alive.
  • Your professor will often not write or present any notes but you should take notes on what is being discussed.
  • Take notes on good points that your classmates bring up.
  • Start working on your final paper early
  • Choose a final paper topic that you’re personally interested. Do not choose a topic solely because you think your professor will like it. If you find your own topic boring, you will write a boring paper and your professor will cry while drinking coffee trying to read your paper.
  • Go get at least two physical books when you’re conducting background research.
  • The UBC Libraries are great resources.
  • Spend time working on a good thesis.
  • Talk to your professor at office hours if you have questions

Suggested professor: Dr Lorcan Fox (he’s hilarious!)


First year classes for UBC Life Science majors

First year schedule at top,

Click “Continue Reading” for asnwers to Frequently asked questions about First year course scheduling below

You should choose your first year classes based on what majors you’re interested in. You only have to take certain classes if you’re interested in a particular major, e.g. two semesters of physics if you’re interested in the Physiology (CAPS) major. That said, most first years in the Faculty of Science have roughly the same schedule to meet the Lower Level requirements set by the Faculty of science.  I knew I was interested in a life science major such as Pharmacology, Microbiology, Biology, Physiology etc so I choose my first year classes so that I fulfilled the course requirements to apply for these majors. If you’re interested in more about choosing a major particularly a life science major, I intend to write a post on Choosing a Major in the future.

Click on the name of the course to read tips to do well in that specific course

First Year First term:

First Year Second Term


Frequently asked questions:

Should I take BIOL 112 or BIOL 121 first?

BIOL 112 in my personal opinion. Absolutely BIOL 112 if you’re claiming AP Bio credit and want to take a second year biology class term 2. If you’re not claiming bio credit, it doesn’t matter but I personally think the content of biol 112 (cell biology, metabolism etc) is a good foundation to build on for further studies in biology.

Continue reading “First year classes for UBC Life Science majors”

I don’t want to but I’m going to anyway

8:30 AM meeting that involved making my brain think hard – wheels in my mind are still turning. Time to make big changes to this project

I don’t normally drink coffee but I’ve drank a Vanilla Frappucino in a bottle given to me by my Big (thanks SiSi!). Class reunion of my Mini School yesterday evening involving the horror movie Hush, catching up with how everyone’s first year of post-secondary has been, and realizing that all of us are the same at the core. Shouldn’t have stayed up late writing that blog post last night but it was an important message that needed to be told especially as we are all tying up projects and jobs before going back to school soon. Despite this coffee and sugar, I feel like running away from this desk. I’m not meant for the desk life but this is necessary.

I don’t want to edit stimuli and reprogram the experiment but I’m going to anyway. I’ll take this one step at a time. Let’s do this.

My play Canadian Beer premieres Monday!!

When I wrote this play, I dug deep inside my soul and found issues that I believe really needs to be talked about: racism and cultural identity. CanadianBeer1

This is what I wrote for the program:  “Many youth struggle with identity at some point in their lives and get stereotyped based on something superficial such as ethnicity. Through the lens of the current generation of youth, Canadian Beer discusses the awkwardness of shaping your own identity when you’re caught between cultures, and explores the complexity of prejudice. The main characters, Yusuke and Mina, face conflict, confess truths and learn more each other and themselves. Their feelings are relatable, and their bickering friendship realistic, funny and adorable. ” CanadianBeer_2

I hope that audience members can take away a message that discrimination, particularly racism, is complex and the way you interact with others is influenced by who you are and your own experiences. I hope that ‘Canadian Beer’ makes people think about racism and cultural identity in a new light.

My play will be part of Eternal Theatre Collective’s very first new play festival. Square 1 will be taking place August 15th and 16th, 2016 at Studio 1398 on Granville Island! Square 1 includes four international debut productions by youth playwrights and will boast a cast, crew, design and creative time entirely made up of people between the ages of 13 and 25. Come and check out the immeasurable talents of the Lower Mainland’s youth theatre community!


Cedar processing and weaving

What I learned about myself today: I really like working with my hands to do fine detailed book.

Today, the other girls and I worked with Don to process cedar bark to weave cedar braids. I love working with the knife to strive towards long smooth strokes, deep but not too deep, finding the balance between putting down enough pressure but not so much that you’ll split the inner bark prematurely, finding that perfect angle. I liked being really cautious to the fine detailed work of cutting off the last bit of outer bark. I also enjoy weaving the cedars strips into braids. So overall, I loved all the work (more fun than work) we did with our hands today.

So as I’ve thinking about possible future careers lately,  I’m applying what I’m learning about what I like and don’t like to think about what I’d like my future career to involve. I do enjoy talking to people but I’d like my job to involve at least some procedures.  I definitely like to take an active role rather than just watch.

Don complimented my patience working with the knife and said that I would do well tanning hides. I’ve never tanned hides before but I would love to try! Maybe next week.

This morning, we hiked up to and around Hicks Lake. We ate different varieties of wild berries and Don taught about us about plants that can used medicinally or eaten.

  • SPPH 408

When an exam leaves you frazzled and sad

You may have studied well in advance, hiding out in your room/the library/etc, foregoing the temptations of the beautiful weather outside, turning down invites from friends and family, for the sake of this exam that is worth 85% of your mark. 85% someone asked you. Are there really final exams worth 85% of your mark? Well you just wrote that 85% of your mark final 15 minutes ago. The massive cramp in your right forearm tells you that you haven’t been dreaming.   I heard a quote that was something like “You try really hard. Do the best you can. And still fail” because that’s life. Ok, sit down. You’re not going to fail. You knew how to answer the questions. You just feel frazzled because you were writing non-stop for 3 hours straight. You felt rushed for time AGAIN. Note to self: Go seek help from SPAC or PAC for advice on how to be efficient with time when writing written answer/long essay style exams. These written answer exams are clearly not your forte since you love to write on and on and never know when to stop until you run out of time. You live and learn.

You’re in an awful mood still. Hey, don’t get yourself down because you’re able to be happy and cheery all the time as you would like to be . At least, you realize how lucky you are to have great friends that are there for you in the midst of your mood storm when you text your despair and they reply with encouragement. At least, at the peak of this, you run into one of your best buds who demonstrated strength and perseverance. Rach is about to write her third exam in a row. She is a superstar. 🙂

In the big picture, exams are absolutely NOTHING compared to the challenges that some people face in their everyday lives. But hey, if you feel down, it’s okay. It’s okay to feel weak sometimes.

Go take a break. Yes, take a break even though you have another massive 60% of your mark exam tomorrow. You deserve a little reward. Spend that food giftcard you can’t remember which volunteering/work gig you got it from and buy yourself something warm to eat instead of the cold salad you’ve been having for the last few weeks. Go something you enjoy. I’m writing this blog post but do whatever interests you and makes you happy: cook, go for a run, go see your boyfriend/girlfriend, play tennis as long as you like it and it’s relatively short. Sorry it has to be short because you’re going to return back to working hard. You chose this life because you wanted an education. You have a destination to get to so start hustling.

Good luck with your exams!



After last day of classes of first year


  • Spend half a hour chilling out with Kevin, Veena and Kelsey soaking in the realization that we’ve finished our last class of first year!
  • Kickstart studying for finals. Spent a couple hours with Kevin coming up with analysis ideas on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. We mostly hovered around ideas related to the fear of deviation from conventional gender roles/expectations of Victorian society, fear of reverse colonization.
  • Wait for Valerie at the Nest. Kevin and I spend half a hour talking about retroviruses, antiviral drugs. Towards the end, Kevin had a lot of thoughts and began a though-provoking conversation.
  • This provoking conversation continued on the bus after Valerie meets us.
  • Alyssa’s birthday party at her house:
    • play games: basketball, fooseball, mini billiards. Feel like a kid in a toy store thanks to all the games that Alyssa has
    • “How well do you know Alyssa” quiz
    • Karaoke. Kevin and Kelsey made a deal that they would rap if Veena and I sang. Veena and I sang. It was worth it to see those two rap, well rap for 10 seconds before bursting into laughter.


  • Late start to the day and I took a long time to get going today.
  • Pomodoro technique has helped me this morning. Pomodoro was recommended to me by both Jeffrey and Susanna and I thought it would fun to try something new this exam season.
  • Successfully did an overview of ALL the virology topics in the course notes before completing the quiz. Honestly, I could have done more but hey, I feel accomplished!
  • Had a lot of fun catching up with Laura, Shanae, Louise, Jamie and Chanon at Laura’s birthday dinner at Heart Stock, a trendy pho place on 2nd and Fir Street. Walked down to Granville Island. It’s so nice to do something as simple as talk when you’re spending time with some of the girls that were an integral part of your time in high school.
    • Underrated tip: I think it’s important to have friends in other faculties. It’s fun to talk to someone about classes that you have not taken and likely never will, and learn about the interesting things that they’ve learned. It broadens your range of your knowledge. For example, most of the other girls are in Arts except Laura and I. Louise and Shanae took a visual arts courses that taught how to use Photoshop and other technology to create art. Shanae and Jamie talked about learning about using political correct language. Laura, who is in the faculty of business, studied some interesting HR stuff. Louise and I talked about leptin and ghrelin. You get to have such a diverse conversation if you have friends with different interests and fields of study.
  • Write blog post.
  • Now I’m going to review Bacterial Diseases.  Don’t worry. I am good at refraining myself from talking about what I’ve learned about food-borne diseases when my friends are enjoying their meals 😉

Have a good rest of the weekend everyone!

Allow your old glasses to improve the sight of others! April 5-8

glasses_donationWhat: Own glasses that you’ve outgrown or no longer match your prescription? Drop off your old glasses to save another’s sight! Collected eyeglasses will be donated to people in need. Accepting prescription glasses, reading glasses, and sunglasses. Children’s glasses are especially needed so feel free to contribute your glasses from way back or your younger sibling or child’s glasses. Thank you for contributing to this mission of saving the sight of others!!

When: Tuesday April 5 – Friday April 8 Collection bin will be there all day. Club representatives to answer your questions Tues/Thurs 11 am – 2 pm . MWF 11am – 1pm and 2-4 pm.

Where: Our booth in the Nest.  Anyone interested in donating that doesn’t attend UBC: feel free to pass your glasses donations through someone else who goes to UBC or email me at shannyeung@gmail.com and I can try to arrange a pick-up from you. Thank you for contributing to this mission of saving the sight of others!!

Who: Vision Health Volunteers!   Come hang out and ask any questions about where the glasses are going to, about our club or about the volunteer opportunities.

What else: While you stop by, pick up Vision Health Volunteer’s pamphlet containing a compilation of available summer volunteer opportunities. When you have a lot of free time, give back to your community through LOTS of other meaningful and fun volunteer opportunities!!! Some examples:
– APRIL Foundation Fighting Bliness Comic Vision
– JUNE Foundation Fighting Bliness Cycle for Sight
– JULY Blind Beginnings summer camp for children with visual impairments, fundraising committee, newsletter design, and social media
– JUNE/JULY Assisting with VocalEye at the Celebrations of light, Bard on the Beach, the Pride Parade and more.
– SUMMER/NEXT FALL many opportunities with the Canadian National Institute of Blindness

For details, pick up our pamphlet for what each role involves and how to volunteer with us.

Your pamphlet will be made by the fabulous Alyssa. Poster made by the fabulous Misaki.

Our research conference prize!

2016 awardsMy partner Michelle and I won the 3rd place Poster presentation competition at UBC 2016 Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference. We didn’t expect to win anything so our prize was a surprise bonus.  Personally, the best part of the conference was getting insightful questions that led us consider interesting other things we tweak with our project, the great suggestions on how to improve our project and learning about the research that other people do. Oh, and even one of the judges gave us his contact information because he wanted to refer us to the group that he does research with (cool!).

I’m so  grateful to our mentor, Dr. Matthias Gorges, for all  his guidance and for inspiring Michelle and I to get really interested in this! proud.  I’m glad we made him proud. He said “This is a great accomplishment (think of it being in the top 1.5% of MURC posters) – well done!”.  I’m  really really thankful to my partner Michelle. We worked really well together because we supported each other where the other was weaker. While we were presenting, we also filled in any bits of information that the other left out. Overall, my experience working with Matthias and Michelle involved a lot of learning, and enjoying research as both fun and collaborative! I definitely recommend trying out the Research Experience mentorship to learn about a field of research that you’re unfamilar with, meet a great mentor, and have fun making friends with other students interested in research.

This week, I been more focused on my extracurriculars: preparing for the research conference this week, working with a very friendly and insightful theatre group representative on my play from last year, and just today: reaching out to different blindness and vision impairment related charities, planning and booking a philanthropy event for next week for the club I’ve recently started with my friends called Vision Health Volunteers, as well as spending the evening at our event at Dark Table today! Even though yesterday was hectic, I just become more efficient when there are more demands on my time. As long as you strongly believe in what you’re doing it and you can find enjoyment in doing it, keep doing what you’re doing!

To be honest, our event tonight had some unforeseen mishaps. Though I definitely felt a flare of “Oh no!!” when each time a new problem was added, I surprised myself by how I  was able to force myself to detach emotions/fear/anxiety in order to think through solutions carefully and stay humorous! We’re stronger and better at handling problems than we may think!  Thank you to Valerie, Veena and Winston today.  After the club event, it was fun to go de-stress with these three afterwards on an little adventure. You all know how much I’m glad to have Veen as a friends so today new friend feature: Valerie says the funniest things so she instantly lifts the mood of people around her. Always a pleasure to be around.

I want to shape this blog to incorporate more content that you readers want to hear about. Let me know in the comments or email me at shannayeung@gmail.com what you want to hear about: general topics such as UBC, university, dealing with school/stress/whatever (if I don’t know, I’ll try to find someone more qualified to answer your question), living in Vancouver or specific topics personal to my experience that I’ve mentioned on this blog. Please indicate whether you’d like to be credited for your questions/suggestions or if you would rather remain anonymous.

Enjoy the beautiful weather everyone!



Messing up an interview

I was estatic to receive an interview invite from a program I think is such an amazing learning opportunitiy and cultural experience. The program allows you to live and learn in an Aboriginal community in BC for a month to be fully immersed in that community and work in an interprofessional team on health promotion projects and job shadow and participate in cultural activities. The combination of healthcare and cultural learning sounds to me like a dream experience.

Alas I was so nervous that I think I gave some rambling answers and likely gave off an impression that I wasn’t calm, cool and collected enough to do a good job. (Really, I said some dumb things) I am disappointed at myself  but upon honest analysis, I don’t believe I’m qualified enough yet and other applicants would be much better at serving these communities. Good luck to everyone else 🙂

I’m still super interested in Aboriginal Health so I’ll apply again in future!


Any tips on how to succeed at interviews?


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