Monday, April 27, 2009

momentary hiatus

For the next two weeks or so, my updates will be quite erratic indeed. It's finals time at UVa, and as much as I love blogging, I'm going to need all my brain power for finals. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

an amazingly fun and productive weekend

I haven't had a weekend like the one that just passed in a loooong while. I got absolute tons of stuff done and still went out to friend's apartments every night. Some magical combination of time of year, my mood, and the moon? Who knows.

Some highlights this past weekend included my sorority's scholarship tea, eboard bonding, and surprisingly, group meeings. We hold an annual scholarship tea in the spring and invite our favorite professors to it. For some reason, quite a few comm school professors showed up and I got to chat with my professors in what I term a more normal environment. It was one of those rare Saturdays that I had time to attend a sorority function, usually I'm whiling away my hours in the comm school. So I definitely enjoyed hanging out with my sisters, and especially sitting on my porch swing, reading a book for leisure (!!).

One thing about the scholarship tea is that it made me very thankful to be in a sorority and not in a fraternity. I'm not sure how fraternity guys do it, throwing parties every weekend that go into the wee hours of the morning. After one and a half hours of almost all my sisters in the house and some professors, I was ready to scream and throw everyone out for some peace and quiet. There was just soooo many people. How do guys do it, having loud music thumping through their house for part of the night and a good part of the morning, lots of random people they don't even know, and guests who trash their house, the damage being evident in the morning? I have no idea. *shrug.

Later that Saturday I went to hang out with the executive board of the peer mentoring group I'm president of at UVa. I had no idea one of my programming chairs was so good at mixing drinks, all the girls enjoyed some fruity concotions that night. I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of doing something like this with my board before, we're all really good friends and that night was just a lot of fun. We're actually having an end of the year banquet in one of the Pavilion gardens this Friday, I'm excited!! =D

And lastly, I really like my group for the second half of this semester and so actually enjoy our meetings. This is what a group's supposed to be like, I come into a meeting with a vague idea of a vague direction I want to go in, and I leave with a cohesive outline and plans for more research. I'm so impressed by the presentations we've come up with, and especially our Powerpoint slides. Oh goodness, I just had a final presentation on Monday and I'm pretty much in love with those slides. If I figure out how, I'll upload our presentation to give you guys an idea of what we do. The topic for our final presentation was the corporate social responsibility efforts of a particular industry. My group picked toys and games -- it was just the most logical and fun industry to pick.

Right now though I'm feeling like it's the calm before the storm. Finals are in two weeks, and I'm attempting to study for them, but just not really feeling motivated enough because they're still a bit off. I'll need to wrangle my mind into study mode this weekend.

Friday, April 17, 2009

block what? block five!

I had an excellent evening yesterday, and it's starting to feel like the end of school is creeping up on me. For all I like to gripe about the amount of work we get in the comm school, I have to say in all honesty and fairness, Rolls-Royce was a very nice corporate sponsor.

They threw blocks 5 and 6 a picnic dinner at Dean Z's pavilion (Dean of Mcintire) -- a full troupe of executives flew down for this, and they gave each one of us a paperweight with the words "ICE 2008-2009" inscribed, and an actual piece of one of their engines inside. They also announced the winners of the Rolls-Royce essay competition (topic this year: what to do about executive compensation in the face of bailouts, or as close as I can remember after spending a mind numbing six hours in the comm school computer lab). Someone from my block won, and someone from block six was runner up. This was only a taste of our victory to come...

To cap off the evening, we had some friendly inter block competition. We had a huge game of tug of war on the Lawn, and my block utterly owned block six! =D We played four times, two times block against block, once against girls, and once against guys. We won all four times, even when the other block had professors on their side! =D In the midst of all the yelling though, we scared off quite a few classes on the Lawn. In fact, one of my sorority sisters ran over to ask me what was going on as her professor led her class back into the classroom. Whenever it's a good day, professors usually bring their classes out to the amphitheater or Lawn and soak up some rays.

Monday, April 13, 2009

monsters in 3d?

I watched Monsters vs. Aliens over the weekend -- it was also the first movie I'd watched that was in 3d. I had to put the 3d glasses on over my regular glasses because I'm too scared to put stuff in my eyes = no contacts. I really appreciated the 3d, but not sure if it made the movie more real. I think the next step for movie theaters is virtual reality, in which the action is actually happening around you. ..that'd give directors a headache to film though.

I think I might've vaguely talked about movie theaters in an earlier post, so this one will explore the entertainment options offered at UVA. The first thing that comes to mind is definitely the theather in Newcomb. The theater is where tour groups go first for their information sessions, and it transformed into a movie theater from Thurs - Sat for students. The movies are pretty recent, with showings of big favorites such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter. The biggest thing is, they're only $3, and popcorn is only $1. Definitely a big money saver on the college student's wallet.

Another one of my favorites is to attend the UVA drama department's production. Each student receive $35 worth of Art$ dollars every semester, and they're free to spend those on free drama production tickets. I can't say enough good things about our drama department. Quality acting, excellent sets and costumes, and amazing directing. I took a drama class my second year and watched my teacher in the production of Hedda Gabler, and then watched some friends in.. ooh darn I forgot the name! But it was also an amazing production.

The student activities building (where you go for orientation) also hosts several productions -- ones from the First Year Players are the most notable. Only first years are allowed to actually perform in the First Year Players, the other years are delegated to set and crew. This is so that first years aren't shunted into the background just because they're first years -- I remember feeling very impressed when I first learned about this at the activities fair. I'm a big fan of FYP as well, I went to watch a musical/modern take on the Princess and the Pea my first year and spent the night laughing. Their production this semester was Sweeney Todd, but alas and alack, I didn't have time to watch it.

Then there's always the Lawn to watch Shakespeare on the Lawn -- they perform exclusively in front of the Rotunda. I think a tour group passed by one of their productions a couple of weeks ago, I hope the tourists weren't too weirded out. =P They have a couple impromptu performances too I think, but I've yet to bump into one.

Speaking of impromptu, we have two impromptu troupes here -- the Weathermen and Amuse Bouche. Amuse Bouche is a relatively new one, I think they started last year. I've seen their shows at several club meetings I was present at, and was definitely entertained. Thinking about all the performance opportunities I've attend and heard about at UVA, I'm definitely impressed by the level of talent found here. I haven't even gotten to talking about our musical productions in Old Cabell Hall yet! But class calls, I'll be back!

Friday, April 10, 2009

to show off some of my geekiness..

A law school friend (in case you were wondering, yes UVa Law) and I were heavily debating some of our favorite shows on Facebook, and here's an epic post that I just fired off. This may make me extremely geeky and give pause to people who have no interest in this show, but hey, I'm proud of my broad interests. Be warned, you'll find people like me at college. =)

I love Star Trek and the Next Generation will forever live on in my heart as the greatest series of all time, but I'm just incredibly disappointed in the trailers for the new movie. I know I know, it's about Kirk and he's got a tooooon of fans, but there's two main issues I have with it. 1) It doesn't feel like Star Trek. It's got all these new flashy visual effects that are really cool, but to me there's a certain time of special effect that are used in all Star Trek films. This new one just seems to be a cheap knock off of Star Wars. What next, they're going to invent lightsabers for the Enterprise?  

And alright. Star Trek. C'mon! Trekking through the stars! I dislike how grounded this one is. I understand, it's his journey starting from Earth and all, but I want to see adventures through space and exploring new worlds! Or maybe I've just been too influenced by the NCC 1701-D's mission. *shrug* And seriously, that scene of him fighting the guy on the bridge? (I see the Asian guy and I go, ohhh Harold and Kumar!) Way too Star Wars... to my memory this has never really been done in Star Trek before. I probably sound like a diehard fan set in my ways, but blah. Poobah, and blah.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

that class is full?! say it's not so!

That's what I'm deducing from the gasps of horror around me in the computer lab (where I have been for the last four hours, being consumed by the quantative analysis monster! Memo due tomorrow, and a couple of my data point forecasts are wrong. Sigh. My group member to the rescue! She's checking my work right now). It's class registration time at UVa, aka major stress time.

This major stress can come in several ways. 1) You have no idea what you want to major in so choosing classes feels like a herd of fire ants coming your way. 2) You have too many classes you want to take so you feel like a kid in a combined candy, chocolate, toy, and [pick your favorite thing] shop. 3) You don't want to take anything and just want to bum out. Mm, you'll have some trouble finding those classes. Or the most common, 4) The class you REALLY wanted to take is full. Or the type to induce screaming, 5) the class you need to graduate is full. @#%*!#(!!!

1) Pick anything that sounds interesting, that's what I did and how I eventually ended up at the comm school.
2) Hehehehe, I feel that way all the time. That just comes down to a matter of personal choice -- is your favorite subject really worth a three hour evening class on Mondays and Wednesdays? Or would you rather take your second favorite subject with your friends?
3) I'll admit, UVa has its share of easy A classes like any other school. However, none of them exist in the upper hundred levels. Imagine how impressed employers will be when they read you've only take Intro to Basketweaving, Intermediate Basketweaving, and Advanced Basketweaving during your college career.
4) Ah, pity. Unless a spot frees up, you'll have to wait for your chance to do that to someone else next year.
5) This takes a combination of emailing the professor, putting yourself on a waitlist, threatening someone already in it, and bawling your eyes out. Haha no really, only the first two are applicable. Usually if you show up on the first day of class and explain your situation, the professor will let you in unless he's got so many students that they're already hanging from the ceiling.

Alright, as much work and grief the McIntire school of Commerce has given me this year, there is one thing that I do appreciate. I don't have to endure the glares from upperclassmen as I've had before due to my insanely early registration time as an Echols scholar. Fourth years don't like it that first years are registering before them? I wonder why.. hehehe. =P In the comm school you pretty much get to take whatever you need to take, so it's not a huge problem.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

a philanthropic weekend

This was a weekend in which it seemed every organization held its annual philanthropy. There was a 5k run on Saturday, the conclusion to Sigma Chi's Derby Days, Beta Theta Pi's tug of war, Phi Sigma Kappa's benefit concert, Relay for Life, and the Multicultural Greek Council cook off. That mean this weekend was absolutely insane, music blasting from every field, people running everywhere. It was also a day with amazing weather, and everyone turned out to catch some rays on various quads and lawns. 

A lot of cultural events also took place this weekend: India Day, Japan Day, and Asian/Pacific Asian Heritage Month opening. Lots of good food, performances, music, and inspirational speakers at all of them. Like me to elaborate on any one of them?

But one of my favorite days was today, good ole Sunday. Usually people try to cram the work that they've been putting off all weekend in, but many people were soaking in the fineee spring weather on the Lawn, listening to a jazz band play. It was Jazz on the Lawn day. This was seriously the perfect day in terms of weather. Warm in the sun, cool breezes in the shade, add a blanket and snacks on the Lawn, some jazz music, and you've pretty much got a perfect day. MmmMM, life is good. =D

woe for SIS...

aka the Student Information System that's replaced our old student system. I've been struggling with it for an hour now and thoroughly dislike it. Listening to all my fellow students, I don't seem to be alone in my dislike. My biggest problem is that it bounces me from login page to home page and back again without ever letting me login to the system. And my class register time is tomorrow, so I *need* to be able to be in the system. Ah great. I'll get up earlier tomorrow to try on Grounds, hopefully that works, if not, I'll be tearing my hair out in the computer lab.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

so what have I been up to lately?

Other than marathon six hour long meetings for the club I mentioned two posts ago, spazzing out over the various group projects, homework, papers, and exams I have, nothing much really. ..yet for some reason I seem to find myself busy from day to night. ..weird.

Schoolwork wise, I have a paper due on Friday in which I assess a company's corporate social responsibility efforts. My group chose the overall industry of toys and games, and I chose the wonderful company of Nintendo. Who doesn't love Nintendo? I heartily admit, I loved Pokemon (and maybe do still.. hehe), and the Wii? Brilliant console. I love playing it at my friend's house. As I was doing my research, I was really impressed by some of their social initiatives. They seem to do quite a bit more for their employees than the average global company -- child care leave up to two years? Letting people work two hours a day so they can take care of their child? A "Refresh Leave" system? Pretty amazing. 

I'll stop the discussion of Nintendo's CSR here, because I really should be doing that on my paper! =P But to further the discussion on CSR, what are y'alls views on corporate social responsibility? We had an absolutely amazing two classes today in the comm school, each group presented on a CSR topic of their choosing and held a Q & A session.

We had topics ranging from Conflict Diamonds to Walmart's CSR Auditing to Gender Inequality in the Augusta National Golf Course. I wish I taped the presentations so I could show everyone! (I think my classmates wouldn't be as amused though). They were so professionally done in terms of presentation, Powerpoint slides, and supplemental media. I also thoroughly enjoyed our Q & A discussion section as well. We had debates going on how to best introduce more women into the Augusta club/is it even legal to do so, to the motives behind Walmart's CSR Auditing, and to why conflict diamonds are gaining prominence in a time when they're not such a big issue anymore. Truly amazing class, I looked around today and was quite proud I was in the comm school. This is the type of education you come to UVA for.

i just walked in...

to a guy dressed in a hot pink semi formal dress draping a boa around himself.

That was extremely disturbing...

until I remembered that it's Sigma Chi's Derby Days! Derby days is Sigma Chi's annual philanthropy event that's basically one big contest between all the sororities for a week. It usually takes place in April (and somehow always during a crazy exam filled week, sigh), and there are different competitions everyday. Every sorority competes to get points, and the one with the most points wins at the end of the week. It started yesterday, with the decorating of the fraternity house. The house is open at 10 am and sororities race to find the best corners/balconies to put up their decorations in.

Today's was a lip sync contest -- all sororities get one of Sigma Chi's pledge to teach a lip sync routine to. Usually, this ends up in a contest of how we can embarrass the pledge the most -- when I last checked my email, we were debating between getting him to dance to 'Womanizer', 'Single Ladies', or 'My Lover'. He was actually pretty stoked about it too, or as stoked as a guy could be in a hot pink dress with a boa when I saw him. My sorority actually placed second for lip sync last year, so I'm  excited for this year's results. =)

Other events throughout the week include a blood drive, penny war, bike to Uganda, and Powderpuff Football. I'd like to specifically mention bike to Uganda -- exercise bikes are set up on the portion of the Lawn right in front of Old Cabel hall, and all day long passersby just see people biking on them. It's definitely an interesting sight, and the goal is to bike enough miles to go from UVA to Uganda. Definitely a brilliant fundraiser, whoever thought of it was a genius. This event makes multiple appearances a year, and it's a great hit with UVA's athletic student body.