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.


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.