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


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.


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


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.


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!