Friday, December 19, 2008

revived from the dead!

Aaaaand, I'm back online! Where to begin and tell you what's happened to me in the last two weeks? Let's start with a horror most fresh in my mind, finalssssss! *dundundunnn!*

So, in college, you have finals at the end of every semester. (A very unwelcome shock to me since my high school only had finals at the end of the school year). They're usually three hour written exams, or a research paper. During this time you'll find the libraries absolutely crammed with people, as students try to frantically inhale four months' worth of notes and slides. This usually leads to some pretty bizarre behavior as people try to cope with the stress (as much as 1/2 of your grade for a class could depend on this exam!). There was a Facebook invite to a rave at Clemons (one of our biggest libraries) one night. At a certain time one weekday night, hundreds of students showed up to fourth floor Clemons to dance around. Some arrived with glowsticks, a couple arrived with boomboxes and blasted music. Then there's always free massages (courtesy of the Colonnade club, I think) and late night study hours from some dining halls to look forward to.

There's nothing much to be said about the exams themselves, but I have to mention my final for my comm school classes. Four. day. takehome. Crazy. (Most take home exams are around six hours. Four days is certainly an epic timeframe.) As I also had my accounting final on the first day, I wanted to claw my eyes out somewhere on the second day. What kept me sane? The light at the end of the tunnel, known as winter break. I'm currently overseas, but will try to pop in (I never know when I'll have access to internet) every now and then.

PS. Those of you who haven't downloaded the patch to fix IE's fatal security flaw, please do so ASAP!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

lovably insane.

I just had the pleasure of being serenaded in my room by Alvin and the Chipmunks.



Well, not really. It was two of my very musically talented sisters who decided to do an uncanny imitation of them and go around the house singing. Oh, my lovably and sometimes insane sorority sisters..

So. This week is the last stretch. Home stretch. My final paper for the report was turned in on Tuesday, and I actually had to pull the first all nighter of my life to do so. I know, I know, I don't even really want to think about it. =P Our final presentation is tomorrow, but all other blocks in the comm school have already presented for their sponsors. Ve are ze last!

When Rolls-Royce was here for block 6 today, several members of my group went on stealth missions to scope out the opposition. Response? They had a fleet of people with them. They actually took up the entire back row of our classroom. O_O We definitely got the most number of execs, I think three people came to Macy's blocks, and somewhat more people to the Dell and Dominion blocks. After final presentation tomorrow (at 8:30 am!), I have an accounting final next Monday and a four day take home exam due next Friday. I.. also have a concert on Friday and Saturday, and my sorority's formal on Saturday. *cue head imploding*

Nah, I'm used to it now. Nothing really fazes me. Keep throwing stuff for me to do at me! I'll take it all on!

Alright, so maybe, just maybe I'm slightly batty right now.. let's talk about a more sane topic in my next post.

PS. We asked our mentors to come and watch a run through of our presentation today (apparently I preach how bad one project is. Oops. Must not preach! Must not preach!), and one guy mentioned "Do any of you guys write the UVa blog?" O_O!! I had no idea my fellow students actually read this. Heck, I had no idea anyone within 100 miles of me read this! (Remind me to share with you guys a map of all the visitors I get sometime). That was a very gratifying moment. :D

Sunday, November 30, 2008

crazy friday.

Aw. I was really hoping for a Virginia win. In the first half of the game it really looked like we had the momentum, but we switched Hall out.. still scratching my head over that one.

So.. onto that craziness that was Black Friday. For some reason, the few friends that stayed in Charlottesville and I decided it would be an awesome idea to get up at 2am, drive to DC, and wait for Tyson's to open (biiiiiiig mall in the DC area). So, we did just that, got there when the mall was almost completely empty and wandered the halls, staking out the stores we would hit up. Two girlfriends really went all out and went on a exhausting hunt in all the stores. I was personally a bit too tired to really shop and mostly just wandered around taking a lot of pictures. In fact, I made it all the way to 9am and decided that enough was enough, I needed to take a nap in the car.

Think that was it? Ohhhh no. After prowling the mall, we then drove to Maryland for what my friends said was very authentic Taiwanese food. I'm not really sure how authentic, but it was definitely better than typical Americanized Chinese food. An oyster scrambled eggs type dish and pig intestines stuffed with sticky rice were actually my favorite dishes there. Chinese people eat some of the most interesting food.. and organs. =D

And after that, we went back to Tyson's, the Galleria this time. It was here that I picked up my first and only conquest of the day -- a shearling lined jacket in a wayyy over crowded J Crew store. It was so overcrowded that there were sales associates walking around with platters of water bottles, hoping that customers wouldn't overheat. (That was a really nice gesture though, I really appreciated that).

Before going home, we went to a Virginia shopping center and had some Vietnamese pho -- guess it also turned into Asian food day for me. I wish we had something like this in C'ville, a bowl larger than my head of noodles, bean sprouts, lots and lots of beef meat parts for $7.95. Not bad at all.

Finally, finally we started back home at 6pm, actually got home at 9pm, but managed to stay up until 2am carousing deep into the night. Oh vacation, how I've missed it. Classes start on Monday.. =( Lots of horrifying tales to come of my upcoming week. =S

Saturday, November 29, 2008

reporting live from blacksburg...



*The two pictures aren't for the Tech VS VA game, they were from earlier in the semester against USC. Look at that sea of orange!

Well, not really, I think I'd get mobbed if I went to Virginia Tech dressed in Virginia colors (UVA's usually called Virginia in sports). Rather, I'm sitting in the comfort of a friend's apartment watching the Virginia VS VA Tech game after a crazy Black Friday (more on that later).

At the moment we're in the second half, just after a series of unpopular ref calls in the apartment (aka much screaming and yelling at the scream). We were all in shock when the team started Vic Hall instead of Verica, then decided Groh was crazy for not starting him as QB much, much earlier. 13,000 yards in a high school career? Really? I have to concur today that Groh is probably the most overpaid coach in college football history.

Aw, Glennon just threw the ball deep... into the hands of a Virginia receiver. Poor guy looks frustrated, back to the game.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

twilight. when the stars come out.

..or the new movie that incites either extreme love or hatred from its viewers. It was my last year's roommate's birthday yesterday, so we got together for a little celebration of pizza, Chinese food and the best molten chocolate cake ever (my other second year suitemates were excellent bakers. They would be forever making bread, cupcakes, cake, etcetc.). Somehow it turned into everyone watching rerun of America's Next Top Model finale, which made the lone guy in the midst of eight girls feel very, very awkward. Of course, he would chime in with insightful comments such as "Oh, her hair looks like a nest," or "That's... just.. scary," to which we'd scream in outrage and attack him with cushions.

It was also a Maupin reunion -- everyone there were my first year suitemates, we'd hit it off really well and stuck together second year, and finally parted ways third year. I did have some friends whose roommate situation didn't work out so well first year. There was the poor petite Asian girl who had to deal with seven very tall suitemates who liked to blast music at 3 am and run around screaming at each other (not sure how the height situation happened, haha). There was the Russian guy whose roommate made weird crackling noises in his sleep. No kidding, it sounded like his bones were spontaneously breaking the first time I heard it. There was also the girl down the hall who would watch House so loudly that the RA thought someone was really being hurt the first time she heard a scream. Ahh, fun times as a first year. =P

Now that I've probably thoroughly weirded you out with bad roommate situations, here's a couple good ones. My violin playing guy friend clicked really well with his hallmates, to the point where they would have intense philosophical discussions, referring to Plato, Aristotle and Socrates at 2 am. My Jewish sister suitemate loved her roommate so much she took her home during Thanksgiving break. And then of course there was a bunch of guys in the building next to us who would have LAN parties all weekend, night, and sometimes even all day long. I'm.. still not sure when they slept, ate, and got work done.

Every summer before students arrive on Grounds, I see a lot of posts on message boards and questions thrown around about roommate dynamics and the possibility of a single room. For me, I don't want a single. College is the four best years of my life, and I want to share that with as many people as possible. There's plenty of time to be alone after college, I don't particularly want to start now. But then again, I'm a bit of an extreme case. I live in a sorority house with 20 other girls -- but there as been surprisingly nonexistent drama. With all the real life shows these days, you'd expect us to be at each other's throats about hair dryers, shower time, and who knows what. Heh, go figure. *shrug*

Sunday, November 16, 2008

what's the longest time that you've...

spent in a physical school building? I erected my own record yesterday after spending 13 hours in the comm school building. Yes, a grand 1, 3. Also absolutely insane.

My group and I spent such a long time in the building because it's coming down to the line for our final project (recap: my block sponsor is Rolls Royce, we have to give them a recommendation of choosing between developing a military trainer engine or a civilian turboprop engine). We decided which project yesterday, and spent quite a while debating it. I think we've decided to go in a direction that most groups didn't go in, so we were a bit scared for our grades and really spent a long time debating every single possible angle about the project.

But I've pretty much been talking about my block's project all this time, there are also three other corporate sponsors. Those two blocks with Macy's has to give a (I think) marketing recommendation/financial strategy of a current product line. People with Dell has to build a new computer. And I'm not sure what the Dominion folks are doing. Our group study rooms are all fully booked these days as the majority of the projects are due within two weeks.

But after that horrendously exhausting stint in the comm school (by now I feel that they should paint the walls some other more cheerful color. The endless shades of cream and yellow make me feel tired now), I went to a friend's place and hung out. It started off with just me and another friend, but quickly exploded to 20 other people. Seeing as the torrential downpours of rain had stopped, we decided to walk around Grounds.

Passing by the Rotunda, some of us had the brilliant idea of upholding an age old UVA tradition of streaking the Lawn. I'm sorry to say I wimped out and was one of the many watching people's clothes. =P I'll do it before I graduate! It's on the list of 100 things to do before you graduate from UVA (yes, we even have a list). Perhaps due to the horrible weather during the day, none of my friends were spotlighted by Lawnies.

Spotlighting = a lawn room resident gleefully shining a spotlight on a streaker as the streaker ran up and down the Lawn.

Streaking is actually a lot more tiring than it sounds. Our Lawn is long AND hilly. When you run, you also have to be careful of not flipping over and therefore almost killing yourself over the chains across the grass that go waist high and are almost invisible in the dark. I'm expecting this might be some of the last nights of UVA madness for me this semester. We have Thanksgiving break next week, and are hit with finals right after we come back. Hope I stay alive! =X And good luck on those college apps, if you haven't filled any out yet, best pick up a pen/start typing away at your keyboard. =)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

the tension that you can cut...

with a computer. My fellow classmates were very tense in class today, as this was the day when most of my classmates signed up next semester's classes. Unfortunately, the exact signup time for many people fell right during class, so a lot of people brought their laptops and surreptitiously clicked away. You can always tell if someone got all the classes they wanted by the smiles or grimaces on their faces. Y'see, the bad thing about registering for classes at UVA is that the only way you can really see if a class has space or not, prior to actually trying to sign up, is to go on our Course Directory website. Well, that website only updates twice a day. So when hundreds of people are signing up for classes at the same time, that class that you desperately need for your major had 20 empty spots... well... it's actually full.

*cue screaming fits of rage*

It's actually kind of funny, watching my roommate stride around angrily around the room, muttering and shaking her fist. For all her anger though, she's not serious. At least, I think so. I try to keep harmful objects out of her way when she starts threatening to hurt the person who took the last spot in a prerequisite class.

Alright. I've been watching Made of Honor with a friend and my boyfriend. Being a chick flick, this is kind of going over my boyfriend's head. My friend though, insists on interpreting every romantic thing into cynical sarcasm. Boo! Some little UVA madness. =)

Monday, November 10, 2008

i need to imprint my agenda on my brain...

Because I did something quite silly today. I got up for my 8 am class, showered and went out the door, walked to the comm school, looked in bewildered uncomprehension at the empty classroom, and realized that the first part of class had been cancelled today. Hahaha whoops!

I'd say class cancellation is a.. moderately common thing at UVa. Usually it's because the professor is out of town or it's right before a major holiday (aka Thanksgiving), but don't think you get a break on work, but you're expected to do reading regardless. Pbthhh!

So after that I decided to sit outside (on this chilly, chilly day) and eat my breakfast. It was a rare idyllic moment that I wish I could have captured forever. My view at the Newcomb bus stop was only slightly marred by the sight of the broken gates in front of me.

At UVa we have three gates on McCormick road to cut down on traffic during the day. This always causes a problem when people don't realize the gate will only go up for UVa vehicles, drive up to the gate, and then just sit there glaring at the gate for a while. I had the privilege of witnessing two trucks, three buses and one trolley backed up behind a Honda Accord on the first day of school because the parent in question refused to move. =S Another sight often seen is broken/snapped gates. For some reason, drivers seem to like to ram through the gates and just break them. I also saw this on the first day school -- a tractor (of all vehicles) just kept driving into the gate until a bus driver yelled at him. I personally don't know if I'd ever drive my car through a gate, I'd be worried about damaging my car. *shrug* Moral of the story is? If you come for a campus visit, please don't ram through the gates, and watch out for pedestrians. Drivers here are nice enough to stop for a student even if they're five feet away from the crosswalk that students have just gotten into the habit of crossing the street without even looking. Yeah.. it's a bad habit.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

go vote!

Not to sound like the hordes of people who have been out on the streets the past couple of months urging people to register and vote, but really, do go vote! I just came back from the polls myself, and the feeling of going out and casting your vote has really swept UVa Grounds.

Sidewalks for the past couple of weeks have been covered in chalk, urging students to support one candidate or another. As I've walked down the lawn, stickers and posters decorated the doors of almost all the lawn rooms. There have been quite a number of rallies and even Michelle Obama came to speak at UVa. Our own renowned politics professor Larry Sabato has given his predictions for the outcome of the election, and everyone in general has been gearing up for today.

Today, vans were picking up students from all over Grounds to bring them to their polling stations. There's also a UTS making rounds bringing students to polling stations. Although students didn't get a day off class today, professors have been understanding and encouraged to accommodate students' voting schedules.

Speaking of not getting a day off class, there has been a petition in the last couple of weeks and much discussion of UVa granting a day off classes to allow students to vote. I personally thought it was a great idea. What better way to show that you truly care about the country than by allowing students to take a day off class? However, the thing is not all students who attend UVa are voting in Charlottesville. We have 1/3 out of state and 5% international. Although we have 2/3s instate, most of those students are probably sending in absentee ballots back to their homes. So I guess in the end it wouldn't make that much sense for all students to get one day off class for the benefit of a few who are voting in Charlottesville.

But after all that rambling, for those of you who can, please do go vote! No matter who you support, your vote does count.

Monday, November 3, 2008

and to make up for my absence..

Here's a third post today. I was a little busy last week with some minor projects to complete, homework to hand in, and a midterm to take. This week takes the cake though, with three midterms, one speech, and one group presentation. In college, you definitely learn how to deal with high stress/pressure environments and how to seemingly turn out an unholy amount of work in record time.

The purpose of this post however, isn't to yammer on about how busy I am, but to share with you guys the big event of last week. I went to Washington DC for another office interview, and have to say it has been my most enjoyable one thus far.

I'll try not to give away too many clues who the company was, but it was a very big company. As usual with office visits, you're treated to dinner the night before and meet a lot of the people in a casual setting. Since DC is a big hub of business action, my dinner actually coincided with several other companies' and the maitre d had her hands full directing people in six different directions. Dinner went well, and I really enjoyed my conversation with the person I sat next to. I pretty much just drilled him with questions all night -- in interviews, whether for officer positions, jobs, or college, definitely try to have some quality questions. They don't have to be super meaningful and ask about someone's definition of life, but really try to picture yourself going there and see if you have any possible conflicts with a particular system or anything like that.

The next day however, disaster struck. I checked out of the hotel and got on the shuttle (and met some people who'd interviewed with me at some other companies!). When we came to a big building, I got off with everyone else. As the elevator doors opened though, the name on the wall was definitely not the company I was interviewing with. ..oops. If this ever happens to you, don't panic. The receptionist was really nice and mentioned it happens often and quickly got the shuttle to turn around for me.

The rest of the day was standard presentations and interviews. Once again, the company had high ranking executives come speak to us. I met several partners, managing directors and managers -- companies definitely take the interview process very seriously. I really enjoyed my conversations at this company and was pleasantly challenged on some questions in my third interview. They stuffed us with more good food (for office visits, I'm thinking of recommending not eating at all beforehand. I barely ate anything before the company meals during the two days but still felt like my eyes were going to pop out afterwards. Mmm deliciousness.) and sent us off with some goodie bags.

While the visit was wonderful, getting there wasn't as enjoyable. Those of you considering going to smaller college towns, keep in mind the available transporation there. Charlottesville doesn't lack transportation, but what we have is kind of... rather... inconvenient. There's only one train to DC everyday, so that meant I had to get on a 7 am train for an event that began at 7 pm. (Good thing I chose the morning block for comm school classes, I'm used to getting up this early now. =D )

Whenever you travel anywhere for an interview, make sure you budget plenty, plenty of time. Delays are really common for trains, the kind that will go upward to three hours. =S As I was waiting to go back to Charlottesville, one of the trains going to Pennsylvania was delayed for at least three hours because it had hit a deer. Apparently the deer had caused enough damage that the train couldn't move. O_O Bizarre, I know.

happy trick or treating!

Every year at Halloween, UVa has the tradition of opening up our Lawn for Charlottesville city members to come trick or treating at. Families will usually turn out en masse, and it's really cute to see all the little kids dressed up. Most of the student organizations sponsor a lawn room, which entails collecting lots and lots of candy, and the lawnie in question decorates their room for the trick or treaters. To the left is a picture (credit to UVAToday) of the amount of people in attendance.


The lawn rooms I mentioned earlier really do go all out for this event. (There are some pictures in the "Week in Photos" feature on the UVa website). Most of the lawn room shutter doors had cotton strewn over them to imitate cobwebs, posters of ghosts/monsters/etc on the doors themselves, big spiders/bugs/witches dangling from the mantel, and artistically carved pumpkins on the door steps.

The rest of the UVa community also partook in the celebrations by dressing up on Friday night and having a good time with friends. I have to admit though, it was a bit disturbing to see one of my guy friends cross dress. He's a big, towering Asian guy who works out often, and he had somehow crammed himself into a boob tube, mini skirt, and heels. Complete with dollar bills shoved down his chest. Imaginative? Maybe.. But oh so disturbing. UVa ladies tend towards bumblebees, cats, ladybugs, or those in the uniformed profession. UVa guys tended towards more random things. I saw someone dressed up as a gift box, another as an anime character, someone as fireman, and even someone as Jesus.

oops.

So... I made another laundry mistake. After I got home on Friday night, I took out my hamper and started sorting my clean clothes. I shook out my current favorite dress, held it up, and realized that something was drastically, drastically wrong. It was now the length of a normal top. Oops.

Coming to college, one of the biggest things that I've learned is how to do laundry. I knew how to operate the machine and everything, but when I was at home I just threw in the pre sorted piles and hit the start button. Little did I know...

One of the first mistakes I made as a first year was throwing in colors and whites. Erm, really do separate your colors and your whites out. Take the extra two minutes to do it. If you don't, you'll end up like me and have a light pink labcoat for the rest of the semester. It wasn't noticeable on its own, but when I stood next to my classmates during chemistry lab, I definitely got some weird looks from my TA.

The mistake I made this time was throwing my wool dress in the dryer. Verrrry bad idea. I frantically Googled rescue solutions, and ended up soaking the dress with water, some shampoo, and hand wash detergent overnight. Just this morning I rinsed it out and laid it flat on my towel. It looks like the right length now.. I just pray that it'll stay that length when I come home from class this afternoon to check on it. Ohhh the perils of having the grow up.. hahaha.

Monday, October 27, 2008

family weekend choral showcase.

This past weekend was UVa's Parents' Weekend -- Grounds was flooded with tons of parents, siblings and relatives. I did my usual crazy whirl of schoolwork, studying and hanging out with friends, but also performed in the Choral Showcase on Saturday night with the Virginia Women's Chorus.

I have to say, the showcase was pretty amazing -- and not just because I was one of the performers. Four groups performed that night, and then we all came together at the end as one massed choir. To be able to sing in a wonderfully talented group of around 200, in a breathtaking concert hall, to a captivated audience, that's an experience you don't have often in your life. Women's Chorus also sang a song that was composed by our director, and invited an alum of '86 back as a soloist. What really got to me was the end of the night, when we all linked arms and sang the Good Ole Song. At that moment, I was so happy to go to UVa, where truly, all is bright and gay.

The day before Parents' Weekend started was also the Third Year Ring Ceremony. I was (and still am!) pretty excited to get my class ring. It was also a sobering half hour though, sitting underneath the stage of the Rotunda, looking around and seeing classmates that I had already progressed through half of college with. Hmm, if I'm like this now, there will be plenty of wistful entries next year.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

that's a good way to get out of answering a question..

I'm currently sitting in our stock markets lab waiting for class to start. It's actually quite depressing to be in our computer labs these days. In two of the comm school labs, there are stock tickers on one wall and right below the ceiling. As I look up, every single one of them is red. There's literally not a single green stock (indicating stock prices rose). I read on Tuesday in the Cav Daily that there's some talk of reviving an economic stimulus package, hopefully something like that happens soon.

I personally really like all my professors this semester. One in particular, my finance professor, is quite a funny guy. He has quite a dry sense of humor. I'm finally on the tail end of recovering from my sickness, it's just down to coughing a lung out every five minutes now. So while we were sitting in class yesterday, he asked a question. I had something thought out in my head and answered it, and then proceeded to start coughing. Unfortunately, he had a second part to the question that he asked after my response. As my body started revving up for a good cough, he paused and said "Now that's a good way to get out of answering a question... would anyone like to help her out here?" Just thought I'd share.

And my classmate next to me has just added me on Facebook while we've been waiting for roll call. Hahaha.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

oh that scary therapy..

Today I went into Banana Republic fully intending to return a few items. An hour later I walked out with another bulging bag after a mini retail therapy session.

Why is it that people turn to retail therapy, eating comfort food, or doing things that are bad for us when we're stressed? Once we realize what we've done, we become even more stressed when we berate ourselves. If I was a psych major, this would be a good topic for a paper.

As I'm not a psych major, I'll have to shrug and avoid glancing at my receipt, hehe. But beware of other trap -- eBay (or evilBay as I call it). It seems that a lot of people fall victim to purchasing a lot of random things off eBay or other sites their first year. Again, good topic for psych paper. Relishing freedom from parents and seeking to exercise financial control over our lives? Or for the first time we don't have to explain our purchases to someone so we can go nuts with what we like? Or maybe it's another coping mechanism for being thrown in a new environment? Any thoughts from you guys? Just be careful and don't get too trigger happy with the mouse! Try to shock yourself into some sense by glancing at your online bank statement everyday (that works too well sometimes, especially after I buy textbooks, hahaha).

Monday, October 20, 2008

mmm lots of good food.

Yesterday was the concluding day of my sorority's Parents' Weekend. For Sunday, I planned brunch to take place at my sorority house and a general open house for people to tour through as they wished. What that entailed was getting up at around 8 am to make quiches, mini crab cakes, and bacon wrapped scallops (my personal favorite out of the bunch, get some at the closest Sam's Club). I had the delight of discovering that our oven didn't work, so I commandeered all the microwaves in the house to microwave all food that needed to be cooked. It was quite funny to see people running around with handfuls of quiches. However, 10 minutes before brunch began, the oven decided to work again. Oh electronics.. I had a mini heart attack when Jimmy Johns (my favorite sandwich/sub place) called to say that the sandwiches would be 10 minutes later than planned.

Overall the event went quite well -- and if I have time I'll figure out how to upload a few pictures for the blog. After a quick clean up, I ran off to a group meeting. I mentioned before that my Commerce block is sponsored by Rolls Royce. First semester third year, groups have to work on one massive year end project for their sponsors. Our project this year is to present recommendations for investing in two different types of engines. At the end of the semester, Rolls Royce executives will actually come to school and listen to our presentations. In previous years, they've sent really senior executives. Imagine arguing the finer points of the financial statements with the CFO of a company. Eep! Haha.

And of course, go Hoos for the weekend win! Unfortunately I was busy setting up for another weekend event and didn't catch the end of the game. I would have loved to rush the field. =D

Saturday, October 18, 2008

almost a 'real adult'

Over the past two days, I've felt like almost a 'real adult'. Even though we're legally adults in college, it's still very much a surreal world. Our lives pretty much revolve around school and homework, and we often get caught in the college bubble where everything is fine and dandy (economic crisis? What crisis? Haha.)

However, I've traveled out of the college bubble the last two days to Reston, VA for an office visit/interview. (Hi guys! Maybe I should leave this url off my resume.. haha.) What to expect for an office visit: dinner, an overnight stay, and lots of interviews the next day at the office. Dinner was great, I definitely stuffed myself on my grouper stuffed with crab dish. I found myself intrigued by the mixing happening before we sat down though, it bore similarities to sorority rush (more about that later).

The next day at the office, I met other fellow applicants and learned a lot more about the company. One of the most important part of the day was a series of interviews with various executives in the company. I was really impressed by how seriously companies take office visits. Executive directors, directors, managers, etc were amongst some of the people who were freeing up their schedule for interviews.

Somewhere along the line, perhaps when I was looking out of the car window dozing off, it struck me that this felt like what I would be doing for the rest of my life. Commuting to work, going on recruiting events, forming relationships with coworkers and superiors, thinking about mortgages and such... well, the last one's rather far off in the distance, for now. It was just a 'hmmm' moment. I'm... not sure how I feel about leaving an academic environment, after all, graduating from college at the ripe age of 22 doesn't mean much in terms of world experience. We'll have spent all our lives in school, worrying about tests and if that cute boy will ask me out for the school dance. Hmm. Should be an interesting adventure.

And now, I must dash off to setting up for my sorority's Parents' Formal. This weekend is our designated Parents' Weekend, and as Parents' Club Chair I'm in charge of the festivities for these three days.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

it's a beautiful fall day...

Yet a sad day for me as today marks the end of our long weekend AKA fall break. I had the delight of having all my midterms beforehand, so I was actually able to enjoy fall break, spend time with friends, boyfriend, and go to Busch Gardens for a day.

Trip to Busch Gardens was absolutely fantastic. The park was decked out for Halloween and after dark there were special effects all over the place. Mist, eerie lighting, random screams and monster noises, staff dressed up as witches and werewolves... I didn't know whether to laugh or inch away in horror when a witch materialized next to me and my friends and asked us where we wanted to go when we were peering at the map in the darkness. I did manage to go on alllll the roller coaster rides except the Griffon. I still can't do straight down drops. =( My new favorite thing to do is roller coasters at night, it's surprisingly less scary and a lot more fun.

And I do apologize but I have to jet again, I have an office visit tomorrow and some reading to do before that. Work never stops in the Commerce school... I'm actually slightly ready for this semester to be over just because of the sheer workload, but more of my life later.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

oh ze walking dead am i...

Contrary to how I sound, I'm actually really healthy. Well, I still have ear infections in both ears, capillaries have burst in both eyes so I look scary, and I sound like Frankenstein. I have to go to several interviews this week. I'm.. sure I'll be memorable. ..hahaha.. ><"

But, more on my life later after what is termed 'hell week'. Midterms coming up tomorrow and Thursday! Wish me luck.

Friday, October 3, 2008

*cough hack wheeze* x 1000.

Good thing is I'm no longer lying in bed burning up with fever or tossing and turning because my body is too achey to let me sleep. Bad thing is now I'm hacking and wheezing endlessly. I think I almost prefer the fever. =P

So!! I am vastly looking forward to the end of next week where I will be over three midterms, 10 thousand assignments, and interviews! Fall break is almost here, *reaches out desperately with both hands*. Whoever said that third year comm schoolers have no life wasn't joking. All I can do now is plan out my perfect fourth year (12 credits, lots of short classes for self enrichment and fun, and lots of time for job hunting). I can't believe third year is 1/4 over already. Meeeeeep.

Someone in the comm school had the unholy idea of making all the third year comm schoolers get up and attend a forum at 8:00 am today. Urgh. It was a pretty amazing forum though, titled "Investment Strategies in Turbulent Times". A lot of famous finance authorities, entrepreneurs, and investors came. Almost all of them graduated from the comm school! I was quite in awe that I have the privilege to attend such a great school.

Unnnfortunately, the good that came out of that forum is temporarily wiped away by the six hour take home accounting midterm I just did. As it was take home we had the discretion of breaking it up into chunks or doing it all at one go. However, my professor did describe it as one "painful, awful, soul pulling" session if we tried to it all at once. I'd always love to sit down and get something done, so of course I went that route. The way the take home research exam works for accounting is you get six hours to teach yourself the concepts and apply them on the exam. It started off easy, so easy I thought they were trick questions and actually emailed my professor wondering about them. Near the end though, the questions had me pulling my hair out in frustration. Several of us commented that our professor had an evil grin on his face when he was talking about the exam.

Eh? Take home exam? What's this, you say. Another by product of the honor code at UVa. Those of you just joining my blog now -- UVa has an honor code that means all students do not cheat, lie or steal. If we do these things, there is a single sanction at UVa which means we are expelled. The whole process is very formal, with investigations and trials, and we hire teams of lawyers to make sure our processes are fair. It might seem harsh, but it's definitely source of pride for many students and it has generated wonderful byproducts such as take home exams. Where else would I be able to lie on my bed for six hours, occasionally staring out the window, and write my exam?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

fever has got me good..

I do love this song, and it's also quite an accurate representation of my life right now. I can feel my eyes glazing over and a fever creeping up. =( Never fear! I am almost singlehandedly drinking all the contents of the water cooler in my sorority house so I should beat this pretty soon.

I absolutely adore the weather at UVa right now! Fall is moving in so the days are still hot and sunny, but there's a slightly chilly bite in the air. I'm so excited for the leaves to start turning colors soon, autumn and winter are my absolute favorite seasons at the University.

I had my first employer interview today (hello if you're reading this!) -- it took place at the back of our football stadium, Bryant Hall. This building is mostly used for recruiting, whether sports or on Grounds interviewing. I always get a rush of school spirit whenever I'm in this building because there's walls and walls of our athletic feats, pictures of happy fans, and all the accomplishments and medals our teams have won. Woot UVa!


..but alright, our football team did have a pretty humiliating loss over the weekend. Our men's soccer hasn't lost a single game yet! I was at a meeting with several Korean educators yesterday, they wanted to hear from three or so student leaders on Grounds about our pride at UVa.

I addressed this a bit before in my debunking-the-myth-that-all-UVa-students-are-pretentious post. One of them asked, would we still have still pride if our sports teams aren't that good? I answered yes because our pride isn't just founded on athletics. It's really the whole package. Whether it's our strong academics and renowned graduate schools and hospital, or the feeling of a community here, or our beautiful campus, or the friendly Charlottesville community, or the long history and tradition behind the University, or our wonderful weather, or the great student-faculty interaction, or... etcetc. You get the point. Multiple things make up the students' pride in our school, so even if our football team does keep losing game after game, we're still happy and still have plenty of school pride. (Doesn't hurt when all our other sports are so strong! =P)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

meep!

Over the course of this week, I've received several interview requests from notable companies. I'm elated yet nervous at the same time. I'm deeply honored to be offered an interview request so early in the fall, since most internships are recruited in the spring semester. However, it's my first 'real, live' interview! (I guess my interviews for officer positions were.. not real or live? Haha).

In some ways it almost feels like a first date. What do I wear, what do I say? Do I act cool and suave, or earnest and energetic? Should I say hello first and then shake hands, or wave and put my folder down on the table first? Oh dear, the employers reading the blog must think I'm absolutely insane (I put this URL on my resume). I have been seeking lots and lots of advice from upperclassmen friends and practiced in my room for hours at a time (with the door shut, of course. Don't want people to think I'm nuttier than I already am! Hehe.)

Some of you may be in similar shoes. Although UVa doesn't offer admissions interviews, a lot of other colleges do. I attended a couple for my own college applications as well. At that time, I was continuously muttering all my activities under my breath and trying to perfect the perfect "I just love [college name] so much!" My advice to you? Really, just have a good conversation. In some of my interviews the person didn't bring up any of my activities, GPA or test scores. We just had a great time talking about hobbies, childhood aspirations, and other random things. The interviewer is actually gaining quite a bit of insight into your character, a lot more than you think. Don't feel like you have to yank the conversation back to the fact that you're a National Merit Semi-Finalist if you guys are bonding over your love of rock music. Just let it flow -- wise words that I should be paying attention to myself. G'luck!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

get on the bus.

Read the stamp on my hand earlier this afternoon. Around lunch time today, there was a Google bus parked in the Newcomb Plaza and a huge tent with lots of computers set up underneath it, demonstrating Google apps.

UVa had recently switched to Gmail for hosting school email, so I suppose Google probably saw this as a good opportunity to educate the student population regarding Google and some free publicity. In front of the tent was a table full of gumball machines, and lots of frisbees and whiteboards being handed out. After the lady up front commandeered someone, you were given a comprehensive tour and guide of how to use Google features. It was really interesting, and I learned a thing or two even though I've been using Gmail since high school. After the demonstration, your hand was stamped with "Get on the bus" and that provided entry to the Google bus parked to the side.

The bus was seriously cool. All the seats were taken out, with a row of couches to either side of the bus. There were whiteboards covering all the walls, so students were frantically scribbling stuff on the walls. There was another person handing out t-shirts (college students pretty much get free t-shirts out of the wazoo, it's a pretty sweet perk!) and get this, there was Rock Band for the Wii set up in the very back. I was impressed and hey, Google just rocks. =)

Monday, September 22, 2008

chuggin' never stops.

So I'll spare you details of how busy I was today and just summarize it with, woke up at 7am, got home at 9pm after a day packed full with class, group meetings, chapter meetings and practice. Between 9m and 12am, I've got to read 200 pages and work on two group projects. Choochoo!

But fun thing (well, maybe for you) that I forgot to mention on Friday is that I s'pose I may be somewhat well known in my block now for a dramatic flair. Back to the kickball tournament. I took off running after I kicked once. Unfortunately, my ball didn't go very far before it was caught. It looked to be a tight race between me and the ball. I looked at the field and saw the ball sailing straight towards my head. I was about two feet away from first base, and couldn't really think of any other way to duck it other than throwing myself to the ground and sliding in for first.

Ouch.

Our North Grounds Park is composed of astroturf with tiny specks of rubber in between the grass. Tis a hard surface to slide on, and I'm glad that I didn't end up bleeding on both knees. I did skin my two legs pretty badly -- but I was safe! =D

Friday, September 19, 2008

it's one.. two.. three strikes you're

at the comm school kickball tournament today! The third year comm schoolers livened things up today with a kickball tournament. I'm sorry to report that my block lost two games, then went home. We had a pretty good showing though, I think everyone came out.

The games were pretty funny because we had a chance to do a double play in one inning, but the guy from Norway caught it, didn't step on the plate, and threw it to the catcher. Then we stopped the game for two minutes to explain to our foreign classmates that you needed to step on the plate first to get the person out. =P In our second game, we came up against a block with an exchange student from Germany. ..an exchange student who also played goalie in DII soccer. So.. he caught everything we threw his way and kicked the ball to the stratosphere. Ahhh well, twas a fun afternoon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

barbeque smoke...

...which I missed out on due to work! Blehhh! The Dean of the comm school had a cookout at his Pavilion today, which I unfortunately came late to because I had to work (I work at Banana Republic). In my defense, I only came 50 minutes late! ..but all the food was gone... Pigs! Pigs! All ob dem! *goes on raving* Haha, but I did manage to catch the tail end of the desserts. Picture this, a scoop of vanilla ice cream in between two chocolate chip cookies, spread out nicely on two tables with another drinks table. Blankets and mats were laid out on the garden, so people were eating and talking on the grass. Quite picturesque eh? Gosh I love being at UVA, probably the only place where professors and Deans will open their homes to students. In my three years here, I've been to the comm school Dean's cookout, an admissions dean's cookout, lunch at the President's (Casteen, not the White House haha) house, and inside another professor's Pavilion. It's truly an academical village here. =)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

and the curve is...

widely skewed towards the top. I received my first midterm that I've taken as a comm student back today, and I think I over studied, and definitely know I over freaked out. (As I usually do, I hereby apologize to my sisters, my boyfriend, my stuffed animals, and my forehead. Ah yes, I'm one of those facepalm people.) Most people got above an 80 because this really was a review of what we had taken in prerequisite courses. Or as my professor said, "Alright, real accounting starts... now."

One notable thing today was Michelle Obama's visit to UVA. I walked by Newcomb Plaza when they were setting up the stage and media area, but was stuck in class when she was actually there. I haven't asked around to see what people thought of her, but will do so in chorus practice in an hour. I just thought it was pretty cool that we have so many notable people visiting UVA, in part because of our heritage, but also due to the famous faculty we have in residence here.

Before the Democrat primaries, we had Hillary Clinton (I think she came twice actually) come to one of our economics professor's class and talk to his class. In case you're wondering, this amazing professor is Kenneth Elzinga. Everyone's always trying to get into his classes, even when they're 200-300 people strong in order to accommodate high student demand.

I'm blanking on what other political figures have visited UVA in the past couple years -- I know a couple UVA students read my blog, so anything you guys can add?

With regards to the election in general, I think it's a tossup between the candidates. We have such a wide spectrum of people that no one group really is the majority. Well, maybe one group is. People who have been standing around Grounds asking students if they've registered to vote yet. I've been bombarded with these questions in the past two weeks to the point that I want to have a flaming red sticker to my forehead or something saying yes, I *AM* registered to vote. Yes, I *DO* care about our country. And yes, I *WILL* do my civic duty as an American citizen! *facepalm* But anyways, will you guys be voting?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

career day.

So the big thing that happened over my weekend was the Commerce Career Day! These are quite important as they're well, where you get a job and meet employers. This year we had it in the John Paul Jones Arena, a change that I welcomed because there was just so much more space. In previous years we had it in the Newcomb Hall Ballroom with some spillage into the South Meeting Room. The small area quickly got stifling hot, and people kept bumping into each other in the walkways.

Being our basketball arena, JPJ was very spacious and had four aisles of employers. In the three hours I was there, I managed to visit 10 employers and not spend too much time in line. I also came away with quite an amount of free stuff, ie pens, cups, flash drives, bags, wireless mouse, highlighters etc., so that was a nice perk as well. A career fair is basically a time when lots of employers come, set up booths and have a continuous meet and greet where you can ask tons of questions, drop off your resume, and hopefully make a good enough impression on the employer to be called back for an interview.

With career fairs, on of the most important things is to have a nice spiel about yourself and be able to talk intelligently with the employers. You don't want to spend half an hour waiting in line, only to go up and say "Uh.. hi yeah so.. I'm... Matt. What's your company about?" ...reallll bad impression to make. I was comparing notes with some friends afterwards and they were laughing about how some first years had come (which is fine by the way) and basically walked around, grabbing free stuff and asking the most inane questions (um, not as fine. Definitely not.)

I'd been going to career fairs as a first year (haha yes, I was probably one of those clueless people that upperclassmen laughed about), so I was more or less ready for this one. I did my homework on companies I wanted to visit, printed out a list so I wouldn't forget, and had around 25 copies of my resume printed on nice cardstock. Although standing around and talking for three hours doesn't sound to hard, it was still reallllyyy tiring. I would continue rambling but I must go study for an accounting midterm tomorrow and assignment due on Tuesday. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

chorus practice.

Just came back from chorus practice, thus I'm in a really good mood. Even though I wake up at 7 am and don't get home until 9 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays, the last part of my day is always chorus practice. I love to sing, so this always puts me in a good mood. And what puts me in an even better mood is.. singing lots and lots of high notes. =P I'm first soprano in my choir, so nothing gives me more joy than blasting them high notes. Hehehe alright, I'm a bit odd.

But speaking of my music history, I also play the flute. I played in UVa's Baroque Orchestra as first flute my first semester first year (that's a lot of 'firsts'..), and what was amazing was that I had to play on the baroque version of the flute for the orchestra. The school lent me the baroque flute for the entire semester -- it was a really interesting experience! I didn't continue after my first year though because it actually hurt my hand to play the baroque version because the holes were spaced differently. It was a nice experience to have.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

poobah.

I'm putting off studying yet more for my midterm next Monday... I think I'll go to bed at 11pm tonight, that sounds like a gloriously early time. Sorry for those of you looking for some deep, meaningful insights! Today was a day that I got done at 2pm and have been vegging out ever since. We all need one of these days.. ah. =D

Monday, September 8, 2008

my weekend...

Alright, some of you may think -- just who is this girl that she always claims she's so busy?? So here's a rundown of what I did this weekend.

Technically, my weekends begin on Friday because the comm school doesn't have classes on Friday. Soo... Friday morning, I woke up, did some studying for a midterm in two weeks, went out to a club exec meeting, then shut myself in the comm computer lab for four hours working on an assignment due today. That night I went to an ethnic organization's first general meeting, then promptly went to another org's first general meeting because my friends threatened to hang me if I didn't come out and support them, hehehe. After that, met up with friends from first meeting and went to dinner (Just Curry on the Corner offers excellent food at very excellent prices). And after that I went to one of my friend's house from the club and went to a huge Asian party. It was really interesting to see how young the first years looked (alright, I don't know if that was interesting.. or depressing..), and listen to the myriad of Asian languages. So that was Friday.

Saturday, I woke up and bummed around until 4pm. After that I buckled down and studied until 9 pm (oh yes, I wanted to puke out accounting information by then). After that, I went to a friend's place and watched.. Deep Space 9. =D I personally am a TNG fan, but do see the allure of DS9. Went to bed at 2am.

Sunday. Woke up at 9:30am, studied until 12 pm when I went to work (I work at a retail store during the year). Came back at 4pm, went back out at 5:30 pm to perform at a benefit concert for victims of the Chinese earthquake. Came back at 8:00 pm to work on an assignment that was due today.

And thaaaat was my weekend.

rotunda sing!

Oops, I hadn't realized my previous entry was quite a while ago. Let me make good on my promise to talk about the Rotunda Sing.

Rotunda Sing is an annual UVA tradition that usually takes place on the first weekend. We moved it this year because of an impending storm. It started at 8pm on the Lawn, and all the a capella groups perform two songs for the next two hours or so. The audience sits on the Lawn, and is basically treated a wonderful two hours of good music. We have around.. 30 a capella groups at UVa (?), and they all have a very different character. Some are more flamboyant, some focus on new age music, so there's a little something for everything.

What I remember fondly first year is what a capella groups do when they pick up their new members. I believe it was the.. Virginia Gentlemen that came to my dorm at night, started pounding and hollering on a suite door until it was opened. They quickly pounced on their new guy, took him outside and hoisted him into the air. After slapping him on the back a couple times, the VGs left whilst loudly singing the Good Ole Song. Ahh, good ole memories. =)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

rotunda sing!

Or... oh my goodness. Longest day of my life ever. Woke up at 7 am, got home at 9 pm. About to go to sleep at 1 am. Thus is the life of a comm schooler... or just little overachiever me. =D Let's see, three classes today, about five hours there. Another five hour group meeting for an innocently thin worksheet. Lunch with friends. Virginia Women's Chorus practice (ah yes, one of my music groups). And Rotunda sing! Alright, I promise first thing I blog about tomorrow is Rotunda sing, but now I must, must roll over into my inviting bed. I'll talk about my room sometime too. And pictures, yeah?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

[insert SAT vocabulary]

With the last gasp of Romanticism, the quelling of its florid uprising against the vapid formalism of one strain of the Enlightenment, the dimming of its yearning for the imagined grandeur of the archaic, and the dashing of its too sanguine hopes for a revitalized, fulfilled humanity, the horror of its more lasting, more Gothic legacy has settled in, distributed and diffused enough, to be sure, that lugubriousness is recognizable only as languor, or as a certain sardonic laconicism disguising itself in a new sanctification of the destructive instincts, a new genius for displacing cultural reifications in the interminable shell game of the analysis of the human psyche, where nothing remains sacred.

That's one sentence. A bit scary to look at eh? What's scarier?


I used to write like that in high school.




*shudder*

We were talking in my comm classes today the important and modern prevalence of business writing versus academic writing. Academic writing according to how I used to do it was basically to dump the wordiest sentences on a page. I loved using big words. I used them correctly, but man my papers were so boring to read! Even scarier? I genuinely loved writing in this style and read it with pleasure.

When I came to college, there was a semester in which I was pre med and took courses that didn't require a lot of writing. So when I switched to pre comm then next semester (and that itself is a story for another time), I suddenly had to start writing papers again. I was worried that my writing deproved over a year, so I dug out some of my best high school papers and started analyzing my old style.

I found my attention wandering within three sentences, was annoyed that I used every single word in my vocabulary every time I wrote, and thought that I really sucked at writing now because I was not in the least bit interested in the way I used to write.

I couldn't be further from the truth. Coming to college, I was really exposed to a variety of writing styles, most notably business writing. In business writing, there's often no formal structure. None of that thesis, three supporting paragraphs and then conclusion rule. The goal is to be as direct, conversational (without slang or internet talk of course) and easily legible. I had gotten used to reading like this and really preferred, so had a nasty shock when my illusions of high school essay grandeur were shattered.

My papers look more like how I write on this blog, but still more formal -- can't seem to shake off that formal tone with some of the phrases I use, and perhaps that's a good thing. But I've definitely stopped regurgitating SAT vocab everytime I wrote something, and take no more pride in turning out two page monstrosities. In high school, two pages was the length of one paragraph. Single spaced. *facepalm* I know, I was insane.

first few weeks of school.

I decided to turn a comment on my last entry into another post regarding the first few weeks of school. The first few weeks are definitely overwhelming. All of a sudden I was nobody in a sea of people, struggling to remember building names, campus layout, homework, orientation sessions, and of course, the tens and thousands of names of people who I'd vaguely recognize... but not really.

Homesick? Surprisingly not. At least, I kept myself too busy to be homesick. I dived headfirst into every club that interested me (and somehow split myself into three different people, I swear!). College academics is a whole different ballgame -- this was definitely a big distraction. I might have said this before, but the thing is, professors won't care if you do your reading. They won't care if you do your homework. You'll just flunk the midterm and consequently receive a really bad grade. And when you do, the professor won't be running after you asking you what extra credit they can offer, they'll just put that grade down on your paper. For me, the way they tested was also completely different, it's different unique to each professor's style and took quite a bit of getting used to.

Names. Ah names. I met so many people those first couple weeks that I struggled for months afterwards to get everyone down. There were people in my suite, people in my classes, people in my clubs, random people on the street, friends of people I'd just met.. etcetc.

I will admit that I felt lonely the first month or two of college. I was separated from my long time friends, yet everyone seemed to take instantly to each other. Sometimes I felt I was the biggest loser on earth with no friends. Don't worry if you feel this way, it's natural. Don't panic, take your time. The people you bond to in those first few weeks may not be people you hang out with in later years. When second semester rolled around, I looked at some of my friends and realized we were on completely opposite ends of the personality spectrum. Sometimes your initial friendships are based on mutual fear in this new environment. It's confusing and disheartening, but don't worry. You'll be fine, it'll pass.

Buildings and campus layout? Best way to identify a first year is if they walk up to you and ask where to find something. That's fine, welcome to UVA! However, please pay attention when I tell you. I had a first year start walking away from me when I started talking. (Eh? Did you really want my advice?) I also had someone who made me repeat my instructions seven times. I counted. Seven times. Don't worry if you have to ask someone else on the way there!

Mandatory orientation sessions were a bit annoying. Yes ma'am, I won't play with the fire alarm. Yes sir, I understand that UVa won't tolerate racial discrimination, and that I should report any incident in which I feel uncomfortable in. I felt that UVa made us go to so many sessions because they really wanted us to understand that although we were on our own, it wasn't a dog eat dog world. If we needed help, it was only a phone call or link away. Some sessions though, such as Different Voices: Common Threads really touched me. For those unfamiliar with this, it's when people in the minorities get up stage and share their stories with the new first year class. In my year, there was an Islamic girl who got up stage and shared how she was a victim of hate crimes after 911. People would destroy her homework, throw her lunch away, graffiti on her desk, steal her gym clothes and leave her lovely little hate notes to find in her belongings. (I was amazed at how vicious middle schoolers could be). I'll admit, I had tears in my eyes at the end of her story. At that moment, I was so happy to be a part of a community that was so accepting that this girl was willing to share her background and story to the world. By doing so she risked becoming victim to the same hate crimes again, but she believed in the UVa community so much that she was willing to get on stage and show people that the meaning of minority wasn't limited to skin color, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or cultural background.

That turned into a much longer posting about orientation than I had meant it to be, and I'd actually meant to write about something else as well.. on to the next topic!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

football game!

As I promised, here's an entry on one of the biggest spectacle on Grounds -- football games. I'll skip the actual game itself since it was pretty much a foregone conclusion and talk about everything else associated with it.

Firstly, tailgating. Starting around morning really, tables with food and drink and speakers will appear all over Grounds. Most lawn rooms will have a table outside, all the parking lots are filled with alumni who have a table behind their car. Most of the Greek houses on Rugby Road have a huge to do, so there's lots of people eating, drinking and talking everywhere. Even at 11 am when we had a 3:30 pm kickoff. The thing with parking lots on game days is... don't use them. A) You'd have to buy a permit and B) you'd be squeezing by 10 thousand other drivers but really C) traffic is less than a snail's crawl, so you'll most likely be beating your wheel in frustration instead of getting excited for the game. Some savvy students living near Scott Stadium will rent out parking spaces for the day, easily picking up $200 for an afternoon of almost no work.

I was really surprised at how packed the stadium was. I got there at 20 minutes before kickoff and wow, it was completely and utterly packed. There wasn't a seat to be found, even when I climbed up to the uppermost levels. I don't recall the first game of the year ever being so packed, but it was such an amazing sight seeing everyone turned out, ready to support our school.

This brings me to the age old tradition of 'guys in ties and girls in pearls' -- one that dates back to Jefferson's time when they would dress up nicely for any big event. Seeing as it was the first game of the year I decided to go with the tradition and put on a sundress and a pearl necklace. There is however a more modern tradition being pushed by our current football coach, the 'sea of orange', basically encouraging everyone to dress up in all orange. The stadium was flooded with orange, this might eventually become the sole UVa tradition, who knows?

I'd like to put in a shout out to our marching band as I think they are pretty awesome. Definitely great performances, and they put in so many hours in practice. My big in my sorority is actually a member of the color guard, and another sister is part of the french horn section, props to them!

Another great favorite of mine is our pre game video. UVa's mascot is the Cavalier, whom we affectionately call the CavMan. Prior to each kickoff we have a video of Cavman defeating the opposing team's mascot. It was nice to beat the Trojan on screen if not on the field. =)

Sorry if I sound rather incoherent, I'm writing this with half of my mind on work. You pretty much get loaded with work in the Comm school, and being my delightfully overachiever self, of course I'm trying to get everything for next week done over the weekend. Alright, so that was a slight exaggeration, but I'm looking at the 300 pages of reading and my eight hour shift at work tomorrow and feeling slightly sick. O_O

Saturday, August 30, 2008

scavenger hunt

So speaking of the club event yesterday, it was my peer mentoring organization's first scavenger hunt of the year. We had 15 clues, each pointing to a specific place on Grounds that first years might not know about, but would be very beneficial for them to know about. Some of my favorite clues were a student and a red cross (Elson student health center), free Blockbuster of UVa, and "I cost three dollars". (Any guesses for the last two clues?) Due to my rather small stature, I had to stand on a chair in the middle of Newcomb Plaza to kickstart the festivities. Apparently a lot of my friends and sorority sisters saw me in the middle of the Plaza yelling on a chair. Must have been an amusing sight. =P

We had a pretty good turnout for the event, I was really proud of all the work my exec board put into it. Then of course today is the big game day of us versus USC. By now there must be a lot of tailgating on the lawn, and one of my sisters just left to practice in the marching band. Get excited! Football games are a great spectacle, I'll blog about it tonight.

Friday, August 29, 2008

aaand the first weekend!

Well, for me anyways. In our Comm school we don't have Friday classes, so my weekend begins after my classes finish at 1pm on Thursday. That may sound like we're huge slackers, but really, we need that extra day. It's only been my first four days but I already really appreciate the breathing space. I mentioned all the group work in my last post, most group meetings take place on Fridays. I've had around 100+ pages of reading due everyday, so that's been a time crunch as well.

Alright, I digress. I'd promised myself that I would write a nice long entry today, but I got up, took care of a lot of work, and am now out of time. I need to shower and get ready for a presidents' meeting. And then after that one of my clubs is having its first club wide event, and then after that I'm attending the annual hypnotist's performance. ..and then after that I'll come back to the house and blog some more. A typical day! =D

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

first day of classes!

Wow. It feels kind of weird to be getting up early and going to class again. It's almost as if summer never happened -- time flew by wayyy too fast this year.

I mentioned before that I'm going to be in the McIntire School of Commerce, today was my first day in what essentially was college all over again. I feel very privileged to be using the new building, the facilities are beyond amazing. Yesterday was an all day orientation in which we were introduced to our blocks, faculty, and technology. For those of you unfamiliar with our comm school and wish to know more, read ahead. If not skip my next paragraph.

The comm school is a two year program in which students begin in their third year, so you apply for admission the spring of your second year. The entering class of around 300 students are divided into eight blocks, with around 40 students a block. Each block has their own set of professors and fourth year mentors, and you spend all school year with the block and the professors. The third year experience is called ICE - integrated core experience. All the different areas that professors teach are interrelated, so they all flow into each other. There is a lot of emphasis on teamwork and groupwork. Each block is also sponsored by a corporate partner, and students will work on some projects and presentations for their corporation.

My block is sponsored by Rolls Royce, so during orientation we received an annual report to read and discuss. Right then I could tell that the style of learning would be different in the comm school. For me, it's rather similar to high school. Although there's 40 people in a class, the professors focus very heavily on student interaction. People raise their hands to answer a question or bounce off ideas off each other -- rather different from the lecture style teaching method for larger classes. I had to take a moment and recollect my high school self as it was very tempting to sit back and just scribble notes.

Other highlights of these two days was the technology orientation. The comm school... is awash in resources. For our stock market lab, each station has dual computer screens. There's a stock ticker running around the ceiling of the lab and a board on one wall with real time stock changes. There's LCD screens in the four corners of the room so you can see what the professor is doing based on your orientation, and there is a huge projection screen up front. Students have almost an entirely separate web system compared to the College of Arts and Sciences (where we all applied from). We have our own email servers, shared servers, and everything I've already forgotten.. it's quite amazing really.

Along with the high school theme is homework everyday! Hahaha. Because comm school classes meet everyday for three hours a day, there's quite a lot of reading to do. With that said, I'm going to do some of my reading.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

mia again..

Oh dear. So sorry. This time I got snatched by the evil monster who is... 'Move In Day!' Indeed, these last three days or so have been a whirlwind of moving in, partially unpacking, getting wall decor, and things like that. And the few days before that twas the end of my day job at UVa Admissions (aw, I'm really sad that's over. It was such a large part of second year summer that it really defined it), so that's been another hectic whirlwind itself.

But about my new digs.. I'm really excited about them! I moved into my sorority house -- which by the way, was quite unproductive as I kept getting sidetracked into two hour conversations with my sisters, and have not really unpacked yet. My things are still scattered on my bed, rather helter skelter and boxes everywhere. Why'm I excited about living in the house? Of course I'm close to my sisters and can hang out with them all the time, but I'm also very close to class. I have around a 10 minute walk to class, which is quite a short walk compared to my dorm buildings of the previous two years.

Other exciting things about the house include new carpets (alright, that was a kind of silly thing to be excited about) and proximity to other friends. Some non so exciting things include our unfortunate, or fortunate location, depending on how you view it. My sorority house is close to a lot of fraternity houses, whiiiiiich means blasting music into the wee hours of the morning on weekends. Hmm, I'll update you guys on how that goes. Otherwise, not much else.

I do suppose this is the closest to single gender occupancy I've ever come close to, I'll definitely tell you guys how that goes as well. I did have co-ed housing my first two years - remind me to talk about that later as I definitely need to go to sleep as it's past 2am. G'night, or good morning!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

more Olympics...

YEAH Michael Phelps! I just finished watching the medals ceremony and his NBC interview. Hats off to ya, with an amazing eight gold medals in one Olympics.

Friday, August 15, 2008

gettin' ready...

Are you guys getting pumped up for college/back to school yet? I'm slowly dragging myself out of summer hibernation and setting up meetings, getting some shelving items, etc.

I really use summer as a recharging tool. I'm so hyperactive and all over the place during the school year that I really exhaust myself. Clubs, friends, going out, movies, class, studying, projects, meetings, etc.. you name it, I'm in it. Sometimes I get a little hermit like though, thinking "I'm sick of people! I want to curl up in my bed on a Friday night and catch up on Battlestar Galactica." (teehee, yes I'm a bit of a nerd). I find that happening more and more as the semester goes on. Then during the summertime, I may as well be a turtle, I'm so antisocial. Currently in the process of waking up the beast again (as I like to call it), UVa, watch out! I'm back! Hahaha.

But in other news, I'm moving into my sorority house next Wednesday, I'm going to have to get some shelving materials and stuff like that. Those of you going to college, I'd recommend you start packing at least a week before move in day. Try not to bring too much stuff, you're going to have probably half the space you have right now, so keep that in mind.

wooot!

ALRIGHT gymnastics!! USA 1-2! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time watching Nastia Liukin go through her routines, and an excellent, excellent job to Shawn Johnson! Alrighty, watching the complete finals and then the medals ceremony has kept me up wayyy, tooo late. Work tomorrow calls.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

go USA!!!

(Pardon, those of you visiting from other countries...) but it's hard not to get pumped up about your country during the Olympics! I just watched Michael Phelps beat his own world record in the 200m individual medley, and Lochte get a bronze after winning a personal gold 26 minutes ago! Phelps is up for the 100m fly final in 26 minutes, hope he gets another gold! Also up is women's gymnastics final in 20 minutes, I'm definitely dashing off the to TV at that time as well.

When I was watching the coverage, I suddenly wondered if we have ever had any UVa alums on national teams. Our swimming is pretty darned awesome as well, the men's especially dominating in the last year.

Ah, finals and thus TV call.

PS. What teams are you guys all supporting?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

bedridden...

Eep. I'm sick and in bed with a fever and a sorethroat. My head feels all muggy, oh well. This is a great excuse to stay in and watch a lot of the Olympics! Teehee.

But about getting sick, one thing I had to adjust to in college was the lack of chicken soup appearing miraculously, teachers giving notes on stuff I'd missed, and my mom coming in to check on me. Still have to drag myself out of bed to go to class, cook myself soup, and stay in bed while everyone goes on with their daily schedule. It feels kind of surreal to be sick, especially since I'm involved in so much stuff. All of a sudden you can't go to any meetings, have to stay in bed and sleep while life still goes on. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. Meh. *shrug*

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

back for more!

After that abysmally short update.. here's a real length one. So... Olympics. I'm really excited about them, go USA! I watched one of the boxing matches yesterday, in which the gold and silver medalist from a world competition matched up in the first round, and Lomachev won! Nice going.

I just witnessed a very intense discussion of trading for pens between some of my coworkers. Apprently felt tipped brown pens are very much in demand at the reception desk. *shrug* Ah yes, sheer randomness. =P

The day before I left to go home, I had a four hour long club meeting. I'm president of a prominent peer mentoring group on Grounds so we usually have quite a lot to do before school starts. During this meeting we paired all the incoming first years that signed up with their advisors, and hammered out some more adminstrative stuff. Doing this gets me back in the mood for school, I think I may be a little bit more ready now. =D

i'm alive! i'm alive..

Oops. Goodness. Has it been that long since I've blogged? My humble, humble apologies. I went home for a couple days, so this kind of fell by the wayside.

Did anyone watch the Olympics opening ceremonies? Gosh they were amazing! The drums, the martial arts, and hoisting the last runner on cables -- China does know how to show off her best side. I love watching the Olympic games, they're just so good and a pleasure to watch.

Have to run off to give a tour, but I'll leave you with this parting tidbit. An incoming first year at UVA was one of the Olympic torch runners. How awesome is that?

Monday, August 4, 2008

designer stuff...

Last Friday, there was an interesting apparition at the front desk. My fellow receptionist and two other deans were engaged in a lively discussion of whether designer brand apparel, handbags, shoes and accessories were worth the price. I kind of started it by asking anyone who walked by what kind of wallet they would buy for their mom. Teehee. XD (By the way, what *would* you recommend? I'm kind of stumped. I want to be able to buy her something nice with the $$ I've earned this summer but the zip arounds she likes are just out of my price range.. hmm..*

This got me to thinking, are designer products really better than their much more modestly priced counterparts? What exactly are you paying for? The name stamped into the leather? Or superior craftsmanship, quality, materials and service? Of course, a bit of both, but do these things added together justify a price tag well into the thousands? How about all the odd, sidelong glances you receive when you use one? Does that make anyone uncomfortable? I've always been oblivious to monograms and stamps and such, but my recent research into presents has opened up my eyes a little to common brands.

And that, logically, (to me at least, haha), brought me to the thought of colleges. In a way, the Ivies are the designer brands of the college world. It's not quite a complete analogy, but close enough for what I want to expound on. Being private schools, their tuition is much higher compared to a public school like UVA (especially if you're instate) -- is that higher price tag worth it? Sure it's immediate recognition, people know your college immediately, you might be getting a better quality education -- but that's doubtful, so is it really worth the money and the cutthroat competition to get in? (And perhaps the competitiveness once you're in? It's not the same at every school, so it does depend.) I d'no, what do you think?

Friday, August 1, 2008

off the courts...

Our Snyder tennis courts have just been closed off for re- erm.. flooring? I forget the actual term, but it's when they replace the clay for all the courts. We do that every summer. Unfortunately, that also means it's the end of tennis playing for the summer. The whole process generally takes about 20 days, by when school will be close to starting again (eek!! School's starting. Oh my. Time goes by much too fast.) During the summertime there's a lot of midnight tennis going on. I usually hit the courts with my boyfriend around 9 pm - 10 pm, and the courts are usually full already. They turn off the lights at around midnight to 1 am, it really depends on the day. I remember during last school year I would often come out with suitemates late at night and play some tennis. It became something of a minor tradition, ah, good ole college days. =D

Thursday, July 31, 2008

grrr!

I was two steps away from one of the Orange route buses when it pulled away from me today. Just last week I was three steps away from it when it just roared off. Both times I was running full out towards the bus, not slowly walking on the street. Unfortunately we have non student drivers during the summer driving these buses sometimes, so I can only hope this doesn't happen during the school year. I.. haven't ran into a case when this happened to me, in any case. And it was drizzling a bit, sigh.

But one really nice thing about our transportation system is that all our buses have GPS systems. Which means we can call a number or pull up a website that shows us when the next bus for what route is arriving. This has made catching a bus so much more convenient, but has also made me lazier. Oops. =P

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

which school is easier to get into?

I was just moseying around on the CC forums when I came across a post that debated the merits of applying to our e school versus the college, based on acceptance numbers. Now, I do have to say that reading about people trying to 'game the system' or find a backdoor in really irks me. Why not use all the effort or time to write a kickass essay? Seriously, it's kind of pointless and rather late to be finding shortcuts and easy gimmicks, why didn't you just save a night or two of partying before to study for that test?

Alright, I'm not into lecturing people, just had to rant a little bit. But in all seriousness, you probably wouldn't want to apply to our e school to get into UVA that way. You'd have to stay in the e school for at least a semester, I believe -- and that's no cakewalk. I feel that they tend to have the higher workload and definitely have to study a lot more. Good grades are also harder to come by, so if you go that route you might end up wrecking your college GPA in your first semester of college. What will you do when it comes time for grad school apps? Try to find an easier route in? Oh wait.. you actually apply to the department for graduate school admissions. Oops. Guess that way won't work this time.

And I understand, maybe freshman year of high school wrecked your GPA for college. Heck, I hadn't realized at that time that what my clueless, naive freshman self was doing would become very important in four years. Don't worry if you took the wrong classes or made a mistake along the way. Admissions people know that, they don't exactly expect 17 or 18 year olds to have 20 year life plans or something like that. What would probably earn their respect is if you showed how you've turned that mistake around, or how far you've progressed since that time in your life.

Some of this comes from me picking up phone calls with the person at the other end frantically asking me about what clubs they should be joining in their senior year, or what classes to take that would make them look better. Well, sorry to say, it's kind of too late for that. And aren't you tired of the panicky, gotta do this to boost my chances feeling? Go with what you have. So what if you're not one of those in five clubs, president of student body, student athlete, NMF AND someone who's cured cancer? You're you and that's who UVA wants to look at.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

on a night like this...

It's perfect for taking out my instruments and playing through them. My current favorite is my ocarina -- Wikipedia it if you have no idea what I'm talking about. On a lazy summer night, it's perfect for hanging out with friends, or in this case, lilting notes from my ocarina.

I've been doing some reflection on this summer this weekend and have to conclude that overall, it's been a very satisfactory one. I do what I like at my jobs, have met a lot of great people, caught up with a lot of friends, and dived back into what I didn't have time for over the school year. Given the choice, I wouldn't have spent it any other way. And that, I personally feel, is the best way to spend life. Live it to the fullest and try to have no regrets. It's been my personal philosophy during my college years, and it's worked out quite well thus far.

There's about a month of summer left. some of you guys may be going to new colleges, some of you going back to school for the last year. Hope you're having a good time. =)

Friday, July 25, 2008

tv.

I was recently introduced to an Asian drama series - Number 8 Pawnshop, by one of my friends. It's not bad, I've quickly become addicted to it. It sounds really weird with everything being dubbed, but the plot line's not bad and the acting is pretty good.

I think summer is the only time when I really watch TV. I remember watching my roommate bring her TV in the room on move in day, where it sat for most of the year, completely unused. Real life is so much more engaging than TV during the school year, and I think most people end up not watching TV, maybe using it once in a while for movie nights with suitemates and friends.

Summer 2008 is one of my best summers thus far. Very chill, lot of fun with friends, time to do stuff I didn't have time for during the school year, and good pay at good jobs. I'm content. ..and also feel like an old person saying stuff like this. I guess I *am* old, what with being a rising third year and all. *shudder* That's a scary thought, the realization that college is half over already for me. Meh. I'm still in half denial. I don't want time to woosh by so fast that I'm having fun. *sigh*

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

to be... or not to be?

...that is the question, and questions are the main topic of today's post. For this week, the guides have been issued a challenge to listen for the most interesting/odd questions from the tour groups. So those of you coming for campus visits (by the way, no reservations needed! *nod* That's right, just come show up at the tour. And yes, we do have info sessions everyday at 10 am and 1 pm, with the tours following after), think of some interesting questions! =P The guide who wins gets a free lunch. I actually won last week for having the most interesting evaluation -- my name was mangled in an unbeforeseen manner. Haha.

Also related to questions are those asked in class. I don't think I've ever really been in a deadly silent class. Sure you have your fair share of people bored or falling asleep (and it seems the earlier the class, the more people who want to sleep), but classes tend to be very lively discussions. I've found the livelier classes are those with 40 people or less, but people do still speak up in large lecture classes.

And PS. I spent all over yesterday going over what ended up to be 5000+ emails. Hallelujah, I'm done with that.

Monday, July 21, 2008

you've got mail... mail.. mail.. mail... x1000000

ARGH. My inbox has 2500+ new emails and counting. Why is that? UVa Webmail is migrating to a better system -- Gmail. Unfortunately, I've got it set that all my UVa mail is forwarded to my Gmail account (because I love Gmail that much. Truly, I think it rocks). But that means my inbox is getting dumped with mail from two years!! OMG. Sigh.

UVa mail used to suck. Its interface was clunky, non user friendly and ugly. The systems were also down all the time. But now they're migrating to Gmail that has a much better system. But I'm going to be spending the rest of this week deleting a ton of crap... ARGH.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

new soul.

This song has been stuck in my mind for the last week or so -- "I'm a new soul in this very strange world..". College might seem like that to some people -- you're suddenly thrown into a mass of your peers, pretty much left without parental supervision. You can choose to have classes in the morning, in the afternoon, or not at all on certain days. You can choose to read the textbook, do your work, or not even show up to class. (In which the professor will just flunk you, haha). But the thing is, college is a blank slate, waiting to be written on by your choices. Essentially, you're kind of like a new soul.

Take me for example. I was your perfect studious student in high school. Err, make that ridiculously perfect. I was your typical overachiever in high school. I would frequently beat myself up over not getting straight A's or making a sub 90 score on quizzes. I was also super involved in clubs, holding tons of positions and in various clubs across the board. My transcript looked pretty darn good, and I wrote some really nice essays.

In other words.

I had no life.

I studied every day. Woke up, went to school, came back, studied, went to bed. I rarely went out with friends and always stayed afterschool for club related stuff. Of course, a lot of this had to do with my parents being extremely strict, but I definitely missed out on some finer points of life. And I'll admit, I did go for some things because I thought they would look good on my transcript. National Honor Society? Other than everyone having a high GPA in it, what else did it do? (Not much at my school). Loading up my schedule with another position? Granted I had a great time in them afterwards but the initial push to be president, or vp, etc. definitely came from the idea that this would make me more competitive. And alright, taking the SATs twice? Definitely not my idea of fun. I don't even remember much of what I was involved in high school (or that could be my bad memory at work), but this was something I didn't want to repeat in college.

Before I came to college I had the firm idea that I wanted to build an interesting, exciting slate that really showed people the type of person I was. That's been my philosophy for joining clubs, getting involved, and taking classes. I'm happy to say that I'm a reformed perfectionistic overachiever. I still like a nice transcript, but don't beat myself up if I get a *gasp* B-. I make sure my motives for getting involved are all the right ones, and try to study what I'm interested in. I hang out much more with friends now, and have quite a healthy balance of work and play. If you don't like something about you right now, college would be a good time to start over. =)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

ahh moving in..

So other than the thought of summer being half over depressing me.. I've seen some fliers around and about for Greeters, and that just naturally leads me to thinking about move in day.

So first off, you may wonder just what the heck you need to bring to college. Anything you think you want, really, but don't bring all or even half the contents of your room. What I found necessary first year was a couple fans, my laptop + printer, clothes, towels + toiletries, flip flops for shower, shoes, bedsheets + pillowcases, desk lamp, laundry hamper, pictures + momentoes of home, and some type of small filing rack for all the papers for different classes. Of course, what you bring depends on you, but try to bring something that's YOU and can be a conversation starter if people walk by or drop into your room. You'll get to meet a lot of people this way.

Secondly, you may also wonder how you're going to lug your new mini fridge up three flights of stairs. That's where the Greeters come in. On move in day, you'll see students dressed in orange shirts with a nametag on the front that says "Hello, my name is [blank]". Grab one of them and they'll happily point you to the right building or lug up your suitcases. I was a Greeter the move in day of my second year -- a lot of people do it because you get to move in a day early and beat all the move in traffic and general noise and congestion. When it was time to do my Greeter duty though, I almost wish I hadn't signed up. Ladies and gents, that day is HOT. Come in tanks and shorts, you can change into more presentable stuff later if you want. I would say come in as little clothing as possible but not being obscene. In between trips to the car, the sun beating down on you, going up 10 thousand flights of stairs into unair-conditioned areas.. you'll want to die. =P

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

mmm i do so love food!

One of our bosses treated us to a lunch from Mellow Mushroom today to celebrate the end of filing. (All those forms you sent in with our application? Each one goes in a manilla envelope, lovingly processed by an intern.) I love Mellow Mushroom, their pizza is fabulous, and so is the restaurant. I haven't ever been to a Trivia Night -- but I hear it's standing room only with free food given out for teams with the best/quirkiest names.

Some other favorite places to eat in Charlottesville... a lot of them happen to be on the Corner. I swear by Jimmy John's for sandwiches -- they make the best gourmet subs and sandwiches. And they deliver, but don't take 40 minutes to deliver. I also love Lemongrass for Thai food -- excellent food at good prices. I'm a huge fan of Bodo's Bagels -- they're basically sandwich bagels. I usually get a three cheese melt or a roast beef bagel.

Some other good places to eat are Bonefish Grill out on 29, it's actually where I went for the one year anniversary with my boyfriend. Any place really on the downtown mall -- though be warned if you sit outside, a bee might decide you're a delicious flower and stop on your head for the longest time, as a bee did to me.

Charlottesville in general is a pretty good place for food, our restaurant to resident ratio is actually 2.5 to 1, so you'll never be wanting for new places to go to.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

sats suck. so do rankings.

Who here thinks standardized testing rocks? (Please don't let me have a comment from someone whose hobby is ACT testing!) I think it sucks. Horribly. It's time consuming, non constructive, and just spews out another set of numbers for students to feel inferior with.

Why the sudden rant? I had a long conversation last night with one of my friends who's still in high school. He's ready to take his fourth SAT. Eurgh. Cue vomit. His reasons why? He feels that he could really go up another 30 points on his scores. He's already scoring over 2200 on his highest combined scores. *facepalm* That, my friends, is unnecessary overkill. At some point all the testing has to stop, if you can't break a.. 2000 barrier, don't beat yourself up trying to do it. Seriously, numbers aren't everything. These days, I feel that an admissions committee would look at the scores, think "Alright, they can do the work. Next! What makes them special?" And no, I don't think having a perfect GPA and ACT score makes you special.

But really, don't. stress. out!! If you've done your best, you've done your best. Really. Relax, you'll be fine.

Now, why did my friend want to get such a high score? Of course, his parents want him to go to a school ranked in the top 10 of US News and World Report. *cue fit of irritation* Rankings also really, really annoy me. They're so... useless. Do they measure how much the students learn? Do they measure how happy people are at the college? How about how openminded the administration is? How useful the education is, seriously? Nope to all four, yet people go by them as if they're a holy text. They're also really regionalized.

Take UVA for example. Most of you guys probably know that UVA is considered a public Ivy and is one of the top schools in the nation. (Yadda yadda how awesome we are, hehe). What you might not know is that we have a vastly different reputation say in.... Asia. There we're actually known as a safety school, because we're public. Or that we're not a good school at all because we don't have the same prestige as an Ivy League. How different is that? Or let's not even go overseas, let's stay in the continental United States. Those of you on the East Coast. How good do you think California's UC schools are? I've heard some East Coast friends bash it to heck and back, firmly convinced that it's barely a step above high schools. West Coast friends, that's obviously not the case. How about those of you on the West Coast? How good do you think Swarthmore, Wellesley and UMCP are? ..I hope you've heard of them.. Precisely my point.

Nothing irks me more than hearing someone say, "Oh I'm going to be flipping burgers in McDonalds when I'm 30 because I didn't get into Cornell." ..no you won't. Your life will be perfectly fine. Don't pay attention to rankings so much when you're looking at colleges, and don't focus on numbers so much. It's what else is written on the application that really makes the person.

Monday, July 14, 2008

it's a small world after all...

Alright, meeting one of my alum friends on the sidewalk as I was leading a tour today got me to thinking.

So straight off the bat, those of you coming from really small schools might be concerned or even intimidated by the thought of 13,000 undergrads. I know I was, there was only 200 people in my graduating class. But coming here, I've never felt like a face in the crowd. I might've mentioned this before but it feels like an amazingly small community sometimes. It's crazy how so many people know each other. You often hear about a six degrees of separation between people knowing people here, but it's more like two, three degrees of separation at UVA. I absolutely cannot walk anywhere without bumping into someone I know. Don't be worried.

For those of you who like the size though, there's definitely something always happening and new people to meet. I also come from a huge city of around seven million people, so I definitely know what city life is like. In Charlottesville, I really don't feel like I'm missing out. I've gotten used to Charlottesville life and in fact rather like it. Our basketball arena was recently finished -- the JPJ arena and we've had people like The Eagles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maroon 5 and Justin Timberlake performing in it. I wish I'd remember the day the Maroon 5 tickets went on sale. By the time I finally remembered, they were sold out. *sigh*

But back to my alum friend. Even people who've already graduated, they come back all the time. It's not uncommon to walk into a restaurant or down the street and see someone who graduated two years ago. And I keep bumping into my friends all over Grounds and in Charlottesville. What a place.

Friday, July 11, 2008

midsummers!

It's that time of the year again, when a lot of fraternity and sorority members come back to clean their houses -- aka lots of traffic and parties. I thought I'd address the subject of Greek life and parties in this post, since a lot of you may be interested.

Greek life at UVA - around 30% of UVA students are Greek. It may sound like a huge percentage, but it's not a big deal at all. There's no divide between Greek students, none of the 'you suck we rule' type mentality. People here don't really care what you're involved in, there's over 500 clubs so there's so much to do! Basically, if you're Greek, good for you, if not, more power to you. You have more time to do other things, and you will not be bored on the weekends just because you're not Greek. There is so. much. to. do here it's kind of insane.

Of course with Greek life comes parties. I've been told that we have some of the better parties in this area, but hey, who knows? I went to a couple my first year and quickly got bored. Guess that's not really the scene for me -- and it's alright here if you don't want to drink. There's diversity across all spectrums here and a lot of that includes people who love to party, people who find it's okay, people who are bored by it, and people who don't like to party. I have an active social life and hang out with a ton of friends on weekends. So really, come here and have fun, in whatever way that defines fun for you.