Friday, December 31, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Or you wore sandals like I did.
Truthfully, I had been wanting to buy a "little, black dress" for a long time, and thought that the Infinity Ball was a good excuse to invest $60 in a good dress. However, Fashion Square Mall was disappointing and even -gasp- depressing after three hours of shopping and finding no formal wear affordable for a college woman. My friend got nice shoes though.
On the way back, we bumped into a friend, KFly, who had sensibly gone grocery shopping. After helping her bring her groceries to her room, I was blessed (or pitied) by some higher being, because KFly had a gorgeous black dress that she could lend me. I felt a little too Cinderella-esque as I rushed back to my room with my dress and transformed into a chic twenty-year old fashionista. However, to spite whoever thought it was nice to set me up in a fairy-tale, I wore white sandals, no jacket, and rode a motorcycle to Alumni Hall. Well, maybe no motorcycle.
It was a lot more fun than I expected it to be. The live band was decently good and sang favorites like Kids (MGMT). Dean Groves emceed and there were canolis. I danced like a manic (think 7-year-olds dancing better than Beyonce). I promise you that I wore something better than they did.
"Hi. I'm John White. Thanks for waiting in line so patiently," he said after each handshake.
Commence the thinly disguised adulation that poured forth from the poor, nervous soul in a pencil skirt. The line dutifully shifted forward a couple of steps and pretended not to overhear the conversation.
"Do you have a resume?" he inquired, and then upon receiving a sheet that was supposed to encompass the entirety of the person shaking in front of him, he asked, "Tell me about yourself."
Commence the 30-second elevator speech that the soul had practiced in the bathroom mirror the night before. The line restlessly shifted side to side in tune with the pen that he tapped against the resume.
John looked up, interested, when several key words were dropped: "self-taught," "HTML," "co-founded," "website design and development company."
"Digital," he declared, "It sounds like you'd be perfect for digital."
The soul abruptly shut up and timidly nodded her head, even though in the beginning she declared that she was interested in being a creative.
As John rattled off the process of applying for digital, his eyes slid behind and noticed the restlessness of the line snaking out behind and cutting off the poor Social Security woman from the foot traffic. Realizing that this was going to take forever, he looked up and smiled.
"Thank you for your time. Do you have any questions?"
However, John was already dog-earing her resume.
A quick note about this man's system. He either dog-ears your resume--- or doesn't. He either puts it in this pile horizontally--- or this pile vertically. All in front of the people in the line.
He dog-eared the resume and placed it horizontally in the bigger stack. The soul realized her time is up.
"Good luck," he said and gave her a firm handshake.
"Yes." A faint reply. "Good-bye."
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Over the summer, I made it one of my goals to experience the Charlottesville culinary scene as much as possible. One equally challenging and pleasurable goals should be to experience the Charlottesville music scene as much as possible. Charlottesville is surprising in that it attracts a lot of talented artists to its multiple music venues. Ingrid Michaelson was at the Jefferson, which is a fantastic, newly renovated music space. The Southern is supposed to be a great venue as well.
For large names though, such as Jay-Z and Lady Gaga, John Paul Jones Arena takes the cake. This is where Muse will be! Muse is an English rock band that has awesome rhythms. I'm such a groupie that I'll be there around five. Or maybe not, because my friend holds my tickets hostage as she has class that ends at 6:30...
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I dared to breathe unfiltered air and feel unadulterated sunlight when I ventured out to grab lunch with Sophie. We were on our way to Newcomb before it closed its doors for brunch, when I heard my name being called. Turning around, I see a person I hadn't seen in a while since he graduated this past May.
"Hey! What are you doing here?"
Oh, duh. It's Homecoming Weekend. The person out of place is me, coming out of a library on this gorgeous Saturday.
Suave as usual, BJ smiles generously and laughs off my social gaffe. I nervously laugh along. I know he is questioning the reason for my creeping out of Clemons, looking like I was wearing clothes that could pass off for my grandmother's PJs.
"You look cute."
Uh, thanks. I quickly explained that I was writing a ten page paper and was in the process of swiping a meal from Newcomb before retreating back into the fluorescent-striped rooms of Clemons. Then to stall an awkward silence, I turned around and introduced my friend Sophie. Luckily Sophie struck gold when she said she was a political science major, also writing a nine page paper.
"Ah," BJ said sympathetically, shaking hair out of his eyes, "I've done my fair share of long papers. You see I was also a political science major, double majoring with Economics."
"You see, the trick in a ten page paper is in the outline."
Nodding thoughtfully, Sophie looked at me and I realized that I was doomed. I had spent two hours on the abstract. There was no way I was going to have an outline and still finish this paper in time by Monday.
Thanking him and promising to meet up with him later, even though I didn't have his phone number, I walked away with Sophie. She was fascinated by Newcomb because it was her first time there as she didn't have a dining plan. I made sure that I showed her to taste-test everything before heaping piles of it on her plate. Newcomb is notorious for having food that looks decent, and then upon the first bite, laughing at you for believing its empty promise of deliciousness.
Well, I wrote enough now. It's only been 18 minutes and I wrote an entry. So why can't this essay finish?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
So I checked out this site and woah. Fratmusic.com is FRESH. Then I found out a UVa student who went by DJ Omarish last year before he graduated was working for (maybe even created?) fratmusic.com. Apparently he is making big bucks in San Francisco. From what I remember when I met him, he was a Lawnie who is down to earth. Well, good for him. It's nice to see people in alternative jobs than i-banking in NYC or law school.
Ah, so this essay that I'm supposed to be writing... hahaha, peace out!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Thank goodness I walked in.
I received several emails from Charlottesville Community Design Center (CCDC), one of which was for the Design Marathon. "Calling all Nonprofits and Designers!" it said and I called. For those of you who don't know, the Design Marathon is an annual event where teams of talented designers (architects, landscape architects, planners, and graphic designers) donate 12 hours of professional services to ten competitively selected local non-profit organizations. That happened October 1st.
Hmm, how to describe the intense time-crunch to provide innovative and creative solutions to design problems? Absolutely fun. I want to be a graphic designer.
While I won't post the ideas and works that I came up with, I must say that this event has enormously boosted my ego. Down, girl, down. I barely noticed the time flying by and truthfully it was fantastic. All the designers were coddled with free coffee (apparently necessary), complimentary pizza lunches, access to a high-tech printer, and attentive volunteers who catered to all your needs. It was a designer's heaven.
You can check out the final designs of the Design Marathon at their blog: http://designmarathon.wordpress.com/.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
What did that mean for my birthday? A party.
Therefore for those of you who saw me on that day, you must forgive my odd reactions to cards shoved underneath my door, presents behind people's backs, and masses of people entering my small room shouting "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!". (Because you are curious, my reaction was to back into the corner of my room and say "Help! I'm claustrophobic! Let's move to the lounge!" Hehe.)
However you must understand that I am grateful. I truly am. The purpose of the celebration of one's arrival to this world is to make that person feel unique and special. (This actually is a very socialized concept, because in truth, you share a birthday with 18 million people in the world. That would be 3.6 million Chinese, 3 million Indians, 824,456 people who reside in the United States, 90,682 Canadians, 166,052 British, 225,813 Germans, and 349,216 Japanese.) But it worked. I bought into it. The fact that dozens of people wished me a happy birthday and smiled at me that day and the tons of freebies associated with you birthday (Hotcakes gives you a free slice of cake) gave me warm fuzzies. I really enjoyed my birthday.
Which is why I made funny thank you cards! I utilized the motif of a robot, because that may have been what I was before: absolutely indifferent to the day when the last bolt was screwed in my head. However, some robots are obviously female, some have hearts, and some love to listen to music. Robots have souls too!
Saturday, September 4, 2010
This semester has been all about being on top of my readings. When class participation is 30, 40, 50% of your grade, you better come to class prepared and having done your readings. As of right now, September 4 15:20:32, I am on top of my readings. What now?
That's right. I am writing my essay. I just wanted to report that in writing so that I will believe it three months later. Have a nice Saturday.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Therefore I am taking all the classes that I desired. Although I had to drop my art-class-of-the-semester, I decided to opt instead for an interdisciplinary class taught by a Darden Professor, Gregory Fairchild. Googling his name reveals a plethora of news articles singing praise, videos about "Gregory Fairchild on Business Ethnics" or "Gregory Fairchild on Entrepreneurial Research," and still shots of this man in action in the classroom. Obviously he is a celebrity, a demigod, a super being descended upon us little undergraduates to bestow his wisdom. Because of the fact that he cold calls, uses cases in class so that I HAVE to do the reading beforehand, and split the class into teams each headed by a MBA candidate in a cold competition of wits and advertising campaigns, I am impressed by his ability to keep me in his class--- AND drop an art class to stay in.
My other classes are also seminars--- loads of reading. Ah wells.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
RAs and "alternates" (They are people who had the potential to become RAs but couldn't because there were no space-- they are on a waitlist.) come back a week early and participate in grueling training called O-Week to be the great, supportive team for you when you arrive on Grounds. I'm really excited for this year's staff, because we have a fantastic mix of new, inquisitive RAs who bring a lot of energy and experienced, talented returning RAs. We also have great "kisma," which is my combination word of "charisma" (meaning compelling charm that can inspire devotion in others) and "kismet" (meaning fate or destiny). You can guess what it means. ;)
Already we have hilarious inside jokes and quotes. My favorite ones are:
- "Hey, so because I'm new in this area, are there any great eating places around here? Y'know, like 7-11?"
- "JESSIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!" *shakes banana in the air like Stephen Colbert talking about his arch nemesis, Rain*
- Y: "Wait, so why did you stroke my knee?"; V: "Because it was shiiiiiiny."
Along with that quip, I am going to leave you with this clip, which gives you a taste of how I get pumped for O-Week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg.
Monday, June 28, 2010
As the title says, we had a nine-minute hurricane in Charlottesville. Apparently this bad-boy stormed across Blacksburg, VA (aka home of Virginia Tech) before rampaging into Charlottesville. Did I mention that this was the first day of the first session of Orientation? For those nervous first years out there (and nervous parents), it was quite a story to tell.
The rain poured down around 5pm, instantly drenching the pavement and all those who were unfortunately outside. This weather wasn't too surprising though, because we've had flash thunderstorms (and flood warnings) a couple weeks before. However, things got noticeably scarier when the wind picked up and the rain started falling horizontally. As seen by the pictures, the wind shook branches and hurled small stones against the window. Finally large trees were brought down with lightning, thunder accentuating each thud.
Then it stopped and it was 5:13pm. The damage? Power lines were out (the building I was in and my house, as well as the entire Corner and Downtown area had no electricity), traffic was in confusion as street lights had ceased to work and fallen trees directed the flow of traffic. Incredulous people pointed and stared at a crushed car on 14th street. It seemed like all roads leading out of Charlottesville were blocked by purposefully spiteful trees and power lines.
After work, I rushed home and went straight to my refrigerator to chug my soymilk. No way was I going to let my oh-so-expensive $2.50/carton soymilk go bad. I had cereal for dinner that night.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I started a cooking habit, where meals are actually made in my kitchen. By being part of the food industry, I am more aware of how I impact the environment and how the decisions that I make in the supermarket are part of the food industry. The picture on the left is some tomato+mozzarella bruschetta that I made with a friend.
Orientation starts today! A lot of my people that I know are Orientation Leaders (OL) this year and I hope that they won't be too nervous for their first Orientation. Best of luck firsties!
Saturday, June 5, 2010
I am sitting at Mudhouse, a coffeehouse downtown, doing some work. Large commotion ensues. The proprietor, a young man in his mid twenties who apparently is broke because he disappeared for two years to travel to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina (the things you hear about people's personal lives), spied one of his sister's college friends. She, the sister's college friend, was back in Charlottesville for Alumni Weekend. She has been working in DC for the past couple of years and now she came back just for Alumni Weekend, with her boyfriend (point to eye-candy on her arm). The conversation that ensued (pretty much verbatim) was:Proprietor: "Hey hey! Yeah you look great! You haven't aged a bit."
Alumna: "Yeah? Thank you! Thank you!"
Proprietor: "Yeah~ So do you want to go on a date with me?"
Alumna laughs and lightly punches him. Boyfriend on arm growls.
Apparently graduating college doesn't make you smoother.
But really, college graduates fascinate me. One thing is for sure, I will join their ranks very soon so I am really curious about life after college. Having had many fourth year friends as a first year, I do know a lot of college graduates, but I think they are still too fresh from college (FFC?) to be good specimens of alumni.
If they are working over 40 hours a week, how do alumni make friends? What do they do for fun? What is the dating scene like? What makes their world go round? As a college undergraduate, the word alumni is synonymous with networking, which goes under the heading of "careers." However, surely life after college is more than just work, right?
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
For those of you who do attend graduation, or Final Exercises as they are known at UVA, be prepared for the masses of people (see picture on right). Some good tips:
- When trying to get on the Lawn for the morning speeches, get on line on the side of the Rotunda that faces the Hospital, and not the side that faces the Chapel. Everyone and their mother will be trying to squeeze into the Lawn and one side will have a longer line than the other. That side will be the one facing the Chapel.
- If you're going to eat out during graduation weekend, reserve your spot. Eat on the Corner for dinner on the day of Final Exercises because most people will want to eat in fancier restaurants Downtown. However if need be, then reserve ahead.
- Parking is a premium. Avoid driving.
- Bring an umbrella. If it rains, as it has done for the past three graduations, then you have an umbrella. If it is sunny, then you have shade. Umbrellas are win.
While this may seem blasphemous to the UVA-fanatics out there, I ask you to consider what graduation actually means. It is time for the graduates. What does this time mean to them? They are bittersweet, joyful, wistful, regretful, relieved and other emotions. Can the four years (or three for some) that they have spent here at this institution be summed up in a two hour ceremony, a diploma, and a handful of pictures? Are all the conversations, lunches, dates, practices, meetings, and promises that you have made be represented by your presence at graduation? I will be blunt. Whether you are there or not is irrelevant, but whether they are there is the world. Remember you are not the one graduating, but they are.
With this spirit in mind, being present at your friends' diploma ceremonies means a lot to them. The picture on the left is for the Commerce School diploma ceremony. While the speech given was absolute propaganda about giving back to the Commerce School and perpetual alumni status, the excitement on the faces of the graduates was palpable. Some were going to New York, some were going to Singapore, some were going to Boston, and some were returning as 5th years in MS Commerce. It was a period of transition for all of them and I wish them the best of luck!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I will definitely post some graduation pictures and have a post on it, but that will require my unpacking and finding my USB drive. My room is a hot mess. I'll keep you updated!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Because both Dee and I were bad at directions, it was fail when Google Maps lied, to our chagrin. Nevertheless like good sports, we cursed Larry Page and Sergey Brin for fooling us with their marketing brilliance and popped open the GPS on Dee's phone. What should have been a 10 minute drive ended up being a 20 minute drive around Fairfax County in Northern Virginia. It was all good though, because both of us were just using the trip as an excuse for human conversation and I was getting a great tour of Northern Virginia.
On the side note, Northern Virginia is the worst nightmare for an urban development major. I am not an urban development major, but even I could see that having construction everywhere at the same time is not a smart idea. We saw more orange construction signs than regular green ones, and I swear they were building an overpass directly over a couple of business buildings. The roads are also confusing as heck. One road changed names three times. Why would you do that?
A reoccurring theme in Dee's and my conversation was the fact that we were bored college students at home. Dee is going to travel to South Korea on a Department of State scholarship in June, and I was home for only a week before heading back to Charlottesville. Yet we both found ourselves immeasurably bored at home. We were used to going down the hall and finding six people with whom to talk. At home, I sang along with my Glee show and Dee talked to her cat. Both did not make very scintillating conversation.
Another thing was the realization that I was a college student in a town that wasn't a university town. Two days ago I went for a run in the morning and decided to head to a nearby high school, hoping that the high school had a track. Having arrived at the school's parking lot, I was approached by a security officer. To sum our encounter up, he rudely told me to not trespass while school was in session and then followed me in his car a good 800m into a side road. While I was duly offended by his tone and lack of manners, I also realized that he had a good point in that it was 10:32am and it was probably third period. I forgot that students were still in class. Dee and I relished this truth as we sped down 66.
We ended up going to Jammin Java in Vienna, VA, which has live music every night. Apparently Kina Grannis is going to perform there on June 15th! Kina is one of those guitar goddesses on Youtube, and I stumbled upon her while searching Missy Higgins (Where I Stood). She does collaborations (My Time with You, w David Choi), covers (If I Were a Boy), and her own originals (Valentine). While I was ogling Kina's flyers, we were both munching on some huge sandwiches (Dee got fresh mozzarella and tomato and I got homemade chicken salad) and still talking.
I think we talked for four hours straight. After Jammin Java, we went to Shilla Bakery, which is known for their sweets, breads, and shaved ice treats (called bingsoo), in Annandale, VA. We didn't order a bingsoo (but I'll post a picture of one on right to show the glorious goodness of what we could have had), and had little baked hazelnut treats instead. Both of our voices were sore afterward, because we just kept on talking and laughing! This probably goes back to the human need for conversation..
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
In my lack of things to do, I finally watched Atonement (watch the trailer). I don't know much about cinematography and I am by no means a movie connoisseur. However, I do think Atonement was brilliantly done. The plot itself is actually very simple, but the way the plot is presented, with flashbacks and other techniques (I lack the words to describe!), is glorious. I loved the artistry of the scenes. The music is fantastically creepy. Another point to mention is the brilliance of the director in showing the two different perspectives of the same chain of events. I could definitely relate to the innocence, fright, confusion, and then finally conviction of the younger sister as she perceives the budding love affair of her elder sister. At the same time, I am swept away by the romance, struggle, contradictions, and passion of the elder sister as she tries to find a space for her feelings. Are these the same chain of events?
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Nevertheless, I came home and had some hearty food. My father prepared haemultang (해물탕), which is spicy seafood stew (see pic), and there were the familiar side dishes like kimchi (김치), spicy pickled napa cabbage, and rice. My stomach was so happy, because during finals I have been eating cereal and milk for breakfast, lunch, and dinner sometimes. Instead of snacking on Doritos, Ben & Jerry's, and Skittles (all brand name items, I just realized) I have been munching on healthy snacks, like steamed corn, sweet rice cakes, and orange slices. My stomach is home. :)
Friday, May 7, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Finals: I had my first final test and I submitted my portfolio yesterday (ironically not in a portfolio but sandwiched between a cardboard box. Cheap, I know.). My first ever 10 page paper is due on Friday, and a paper and final on Monday. Then freedom.
However, surprise surprise. According to an email I received earlier this morning from a sad and angry Professor, someone had decided to swipe my Professor's bag of finals. That's right. Someone stole a bag of blue books. Not only were my grades and hard work gone, my Professor's favorite bag is lost forever. Give them back!
This is a honor code violation. The stakes are high, because if this person is found out, then he/she will be expelled from the University. Now that the crime has been committed, it is very unlikely that the person will return the bag. Now I have to retake my final on Monday. Times are sad.
Monday, May 3, 2010
ARCHITECTURE: $4,869.00 / $15,869.00
COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES: $4,840.00 / $15,840.00
COMMERCE: $4,878.50 / $15,878.50
EDUCATION: $4,841.00 / $15,841.00
ENGINEERING: $4,846.00 / $15,846.00
NURSING: $4,843.50 / $15,843.50
According to the UVA Today blog, the Board of Visitors just approved hikes in the cost of tuition, meal plans, and housing for next year. The number given for the tuition of an undergraduate (school is unspecified) is $5,314 / $16,787.
Reasons for this hike include unexpected costs and a decrease in state funding. This year there was a total unexpected cost of $11.2 million and a reduction of $14.7 million. Sounds like a lot, right? "Sound financial management calls for the University to look beyond 2010-11 to the following fiscal year," Sandridge said. Ok, way to not mention a large, approved spending.
Does sound financial management approve a $58 million price tag on SIS and yearly several million maintenance fee? According to a friend who graduated as a computer science major, if you put a team of graduate computer science majors together, you could have gotten a more user-friendly and efficient product than SIS... for a lot less. SIS is better than the previous system, ISIS, but I don't think it was worth $58 million.
While having a sound financial management means cutting excess, it also means making good choices in what you do choose to spend.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
(Side note, as I tend to have many of these: College is all about being on top of your emails. If you are going to involved that you are considering reading books on how to manage your time, I say hit up the how-to books about emails. UVA has list-serv emails, which range from having three to hundreds of members, and can encourage using it for the force of good-- i.e. forwarding great opportunities-- as well as the force of evil-- spamming. In one hour, I have seen my inbox go to 36 unread emails. I could write a whole other entry about little things you can do to about this, but my two-liner-of-advice is filters and folders.)
I am a compulsive email-checker. I refresh often, I am constantly on chat, and I will spontaneously send you an email if I think of something. Therefore, when I remembered something before a BBQ that the RAs was hosting, I sent my supervisor a reminder email. "Don't forget to remind the new RAs that the BBQ is happening!" it said cheerfully. The reply was grateful and simply said, "Thanks." This is an example of an okay reminder email.
It becomes micromanaging when I sent my supervisor a reminder email after the BBQ, saying "Don't forget to thank the RAs who came!" He testily replied that yes he did thank them verbally and I sound like his supervisor--- and worse, I thought, like a nagging wife!
You know it's bad when your supervisor is complaining about a switch-a-roo of roles... and you sound like a 50-year-old grouchy woman. I need to let it go.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
So I pulled on my running shoes and lightly jogged down Emmet St towards Barracks. I hadn't even reached Barracks, when I saw a sign that said "Yard Sales!" Stop running now!
To give a little background information, I am a big fan of yard sales (we could simplify it to being a fan of just sales as well). In New York, I went to high school in a suburban neighborhood bordering NYC. During the summertime, the manicured green lawns and asphalt driveways were often dotted with yard sale pickets and blankets with items. Because I learned how to sew and wield pliers in middle school, these yard sales were my source of unique clothes. A large scarf could become a dress; an interesting but broken brooch could become a necklace; an oversized T-shirt could become a jersey dress; the possibilities were endless!
Going back to the yard sale on Emmet St, even though I had no cash, credit, or debit, I ended my run and just had to look. If I had $10, I could have bought a Coach bag (ew), three pairs of sandals, an entire VCR collection of Disney movies, ten pillows, two five foot lamps, five cases of makeup, or a black ballgown dress. Unfortunately, I didn't have $10 and that imaginary scenario went through my head in a second.
Instead, I booked it to the box that had the "Free Clothes" sign. The woman attending over it held a baby to her hip and looked about late twenties. While I was rummaging through presumably her XS Anthropologie skirts and American Eagle shirts, we struck up a conversation. She is a graduate student, finishing her degree this year. She's looking to go to Boston afterward with her husband and kid. She told me there was a fluorescent stain on the large American Eagle shirt that her husband had gotten in his lab work and refused to wear it since. It sounded sketchy and sci-fi-esque, because she didn't explain what the stain was or why her husband refused to wear it since, so I gently folded it and placed it back in the box.
The conclusion? A tie-back dress with a plunging V-line, a cute black sweater, a button-up linen shirt, and a New York Comapny top. Well done and it's only 9:48am right now.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Apparently last year's OLs are already facebook stalking this year's new group of OLs. In the words of a wise friend: let it go, guys, let it go.
I was reading these with my friend and I was also just amazed at what a variety of organizations people were involved in. It makes you want to go "Huh, I didn't know we had that... I want to join!"
Anyways, a couple of my friends are being OLs so be nice! :]
Monday, April 26, 2010
I have broken it down so I know how many pages each section of my question should take. I gave an oral presentation to my friend on what my paper is about. I solicited four pages of quotes from my reading sources. (Essentially, I retyped the book.) I am writing a blog entry on how I am writing my essay. I created a diagram on the organization of my essay.
But I have not written my essay.
It is a topic that I am passionate about: How the rigidity of ethnic nationalism in Korea affects biracial children. However, thinking about 10 pages is daunting. Perhaps I should think about my fellow RA, who is in his last year at the Batten School and has to write a 50 page thesis by Friday. (He hasn't started, because he was taking his CPA exams. Bless him.) Perhaps, I should write my essay in blog entries. You all know that I enjoy pouring my opinion into four-paragraph chunks online. Perhaps I should opt for a youtube presentation of my essay.
If only it wasn't a 10-page paper, with a bibliography and endnotes.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Anyways, after the cheese party, I visited another friend who is a phenomenal guitarist. A bunch of us were singing along, and then someone busted out a tambourine (yes, judge me again) and shakers. Another guitarist-friend was called over, and soon we had a huge jamming session going on. I loved it. I missed singing with live music, and the company was fantastic. I hope we can have something like this at my dorm.
To take it further, I think I'm going to sing at the open mic at Para Coffee! Wish me luck!
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Being an art major was something I considered. In fact, art school was a serious consideration for me. RISD, Pratt, FIT, Parsons, Cooper Union... all of those were common buzzwords amongst my friends who were preparing their portfolios. I loved art and I had dedication. Why not?
The why-not came in the form of opportunity cost (see post on April 17th for an explanation about opportunity costs.). I had received a perfect SAT score according to the 1600 scale and was 80 points off from a perfect score on the 2400 scale. The SAT scores of the middle 50% of incoming class of RISD was 1690-2050, and for FIT... you probably didn't even have to take the SATs. If opportunity cost is the cost of not taking the next best choice, for me the opportunity cost of art school was research universities and liberal arts colleges. It was too big of an opportunity cost. In layman's terms, if I went to art school, I would be missing out on too many other opportunities that I could have had at research universities and liberal arts colleges. Essentially, I had to be absolutely sure that art school was right for me, and I wasn't sure.
Now that I am at UVA, an established research university, would it have made sense to major in art? After all my reasoning, the answer is no.
Having said all that, I absolutely envied my friend D as she rushed to prepare her exhibition. Perhaps she should have looked into a career in event planning, because she was making the most of her physical and human capital in getting this event together.
The 4th Year Studio Art major exhibition was fantastic. We explored three floors of art, people, cheese, and drinks in Ruffin Hall, the newly built building for studio art. I fell in love with one of my friend's wood printing pieces (actually the set, but I'm too poor for a set), and so I decided to purchase one. I'll take a picture of it when I make the transaction. (Note to the art connoisseurs out there: never go for the listed pricing. I would start bargaining at half... sometimes less than half. A good example is the one that I will buy: the listing was $220. Due to the fact that we were friends, she said she would sell it to me for less than $100. I know she made the frame, which would normally cost $50, but because she made it it costs about $25.)
I suppose pictures of the art exhibits would convey absolutely more than my words, but sadly I did not think we could take pictures of it and I was too forgetful. I will try my best to describe D's exhibition.
D's exhibition was on the ground floor of Ruffin, the bottom floor was dark with no windows, and spotlights haloed her paintings on silk. She had gone to high school in Japan and learned the Japanese tea ceremony there. The subject of her exhibit were hands, drawn in the brush-style that she had learned in a study abroad program in Hong Kong, pouring tea. The theme was brilliantly conveyed as sequences of these delicate hands pouring tea, outlined in bold black ink. Then in the center, she had at least nine female figures in similar sitting positions. They were clothed in the stiff, ceremonial costume associated with the tea ceremony. At a first glance, it looks like they are all replicas, but after close examination, you realize that they are different moments of the tea ceremony. For example, one drawing showed the woman placing a sweet in her mouth, which D explained to me happens because the tea is so bitter. I really enjoyed her fusion of her passion for tea, the techniques she learned in Hong Kong, and her painting style.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
“a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture" (Pollock and Van Reken). However that doesn't fully capture their identity because some TCKs have traveled between two or three countries and some TCKs have been to nine countries. Some quotes about what a TCK is that I stole from the section describing the TCK identity:
"A global citizen independent of cultural distinctions yet whose identity lies in his/her membership of multiple cultural groups."
"A TCK is someone who spends a lot of his/her time growing up outside of his/her native country. A TCK identifies himself/herself best with other TCKs. It is almost as if it is a nationality in and of itself!"
From what I hear, you are a TCK if any or all of the following apply:
- It takes you at least 15 minutes to answer the question “Where are you from?”
- You swear in a myriad of languages.
- You have a favorite seat in airports and on airplanes.
- You've filled out so many customs/immigration papers, you don't even need to know the language to know what they're asking.
- You don't know anything about the history or geography of your country of birth but know pretty much everything about any other place in the world.
- An earthquake, heavy storm, bomb threat, or anything else doesn't freak you out
- You have more than one type of currency weighing down your wallet with typically more of the currency that you don't need.
- You plan vacations to different countries just to get things cheaper than they are where you live.
- You have multiple vaccination cards because they keep getting filled up.
- You have to explain how you learned to speak certain languages, why you can speak some but not read others, and why you still can't speak some even though you lived in the country where they're used.
- People constantly tell you you're "interesting" or "different.”
- You practically jump someone when you find out they're also a TCK.
- The thought of living in one place for longer than a few years and NEVER leaving scares the living day lights out of you.
Truthfully, this is a fascinating phenomena for me. The idea of a global citizen is appealing, and the fact that there are highly mobile family units that travel so much that they "float" in between nationalities is a lot to wrap your head around.
For more coverage, there was a UVA Today article about TCKs and the group on Grounds, TCKs at UVA.
The talk itself was fantastic. Tina Quick was a great presenter. She introduced fairly well the complicated identity of the Third Culture Kid, the benefits and downfalls of being a TCK, and the importance of colleges recognizing TCKs and their different needs from internationals and domestic students. She was engaging, she was humorous, and she was comprehensive. I could feel the weight of her expertise, having been a TCK herself and currently an adult TCK with children. Her book, The Global Nomad's Guide to University Transition, which is about how to ease the transition into college for TCKs will go on sale this summer.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
It's the glorious time of the year when the weather lightens up and even at 7am it is light outside. The UVA campus is glorious in its pink-flowered trees and fragrant azalea bushes. Even looking at The Week in Photos, you spy at least two photographs centered on flowers and trees, and a couple others with them peeking in the background. If you visit with Days on the Lawn or a random campus visit around this time, you'll be astounded by the beauty. I know I was when I first came.
Okay, I need to stop being so nostalgic now that I'm going to be a third year. Oh, you prospective students, enjoy life. Before I end my reminiscences, I want to point out that because this time of the year is about transitions, it also brings nostalgia and longing. Exhibit A is an email that one of my best friends sent me. The title was "and we thought they were so cool then...", and her body said "if your feeling anxious about the future, remember, change is good :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is6gtilerPk&feature=channel." Oh, Justin...
At 11am, I am going to go to the PURSUIT Conference. An 8-hour day affair, the Conference will take up my valuable time for studying. And I think it's absolutely worth it. On Thursday, a visiting Professor from University of Illinois commented that she was amazed when she realized that the time spent and knowledge learned from Professors is only a small fraction of the knowledge we learn in college. In fact, one could argue that the time in classrooms competes with time that could be spent in conferences, listening to guest speakers, and other ways of "learning." For those of you who have taken economics, think about opportunity cost. For those of you haven't, I recommend taking at least an intro economics class AND I will explain. :) For every activity that you do, there is a next best choice. For example, I am currently typing out this entry for half an hour now. That half an hour could have been spent searching for breakfast. Or it could have been spent starting on my ethnographic research paper. Instead, I choose typing this entry out, because I found more value in doing so than the others. (Or I am procrastinating... you decide.)
I applied for summer Resident Adviser and summer Senior Resident. Hopefully I receive one of the positions, because I will be here all summer long. Perhaps I am mellowing out, because this will be my second summer in Charlottesville.
On a random note, someone told me that people read my blog! Hello hello! Please post a comment!
Friday, April 9, 2010
In class yesterday, one friend introduced the idea of liminality in her presentation. Coined by Victor Turner, it is an anthropological term that describes the spot in between the structure and another structure. We can call that spot the "anti-structure," because Turner defines it as ambiguous and when rules and hierarchy are turned up on their heads. However, you usually pass from the state of liminality back into a structure, albeit possibly a new one. This diagram might make this very clear:
A great example of liminality is the time when final exams are over, but you haven't "graduated." High school seniors may experience this feeling of liminality, and so do 4th years at UVA. You aren't part of one structure and not tied down to the next one; you are in a state of liminality where you are free from both rules and free to reflect on both structures.
So back to my example, I am in a state of liminality. I have been elected into a position, but I do not have the powers transferred to me yet. I want to take advantage of this liminality to look back and forward and critique what I want to do. As with all organizations, the transitional period is crucial in setting standards for the change of power, the turnover of members, and introduction for new traditions. I hope I can be mindful of this, and will work closely and carefully to maintain a sense of continuity to ease the transition.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Did I mention that the weather was 23c or 82f? With sunny skies and temperature conducive to lemonade and free samples, I was thoroughly enjoying my Saturday morning. I frequently encountered yummy signs like the one to the right. Who can argue with $4 a bag of "mmm's"?
Coming back to my dorm, I was pleasantly surprised that there was free food, because of Japan Day! The Japan Club was hosting a free food / performance-filled Japan Day. My friend and I got to try out yakisoba, onigiri, bubble tea (actually from Taiwan), and other yummy foods served by the diligent Japan Club.
At 3pm, my friend, JJ Towler, picked me up to go on a ride through Albemarle County. We visited beautiful parks, scenic highways, and old estates. At one of the estates, we saw a peacock! The roads were gorgeous, lined with peach orchards and daffodils. We stopped by at a park, where a bullfrog croaked like a motor. As a student, I rarely saw beyond Grounds, except for Barracks Shopping Center, the Corner, and Downtown. Once in a while, I will be tempted to take the 7 Bus to Fashion Square shopping center, but most students do not even venture there. This drive with JJ showed me that as students, we are missing out on a lot of the public parks, lakes, and historical areas of Charlottesville, Crozet, and beyond.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Someone told me that "using the term 'lame' to describe what you consider to be a pathetic situation is hurtful to those people who are actually physically lame." It is equatable to wrongly using "That's so gay," when you really meant "That's so stupid." Point taken, loyal reader of mine! Sorry about that!
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Anyway, back to the lecture--- it was part of the Service in Society series, and the title was "Intellectual Inquiry: A Pathway to Engaged Citizenship." What was covered in the lecture though was not a speech about service in the traditional sense, as I expected, but more of a diatribe about the lack of acknowledgment and support of the service done in the academic field--- particularly her program at the Woodson Institute. However, Deborah E. McDowell, who is director of the Woodson Institute for African American & African studies, made several good points, which I would like to outline here.
1. Service, interpreted now days, means moving outside of the boundaries established by daily life
Deborah McDowell started off her speech talking about how "service" in her day, which meant driving the elderly neighbor to the hospital, building a church together, and cooking three meals for the friend on crutches, was actually called duty or responsibility. Service connotes the helping of people out there, and the recipients of service, they, were disadvantaged. In truth, we should consider what the relationship between those who service and those who are served really is. To do service, do we go to the "disadvantaged area" or can we look into our own environment? McDowell argues that service starts within the boundaries of your daily life. If service seeks to expose injustices and discrepancies-- what forms of inequalities exist within our own institutions? How do you base service on what you like to do, instead of what's "sexy" like ASB? In doing service, how are you engaging those whom you are serving and bringing them aboard the planning and action?
2. Lip-service by the University for Interdisciplinary programs, but a lack of monetary and structural support
This struck me because I am interested in Global Development Studies, a newly created interdisciplinary program, and the statement that the University "talks the talk," but doesn't "walk the walk" from the director of an interdisciplinary program worries me. There are structural and institutional differences inherent between a department and a program, which are most evident in the funding. Programs do not have enough funding to even hire a professor but must "borrow" professors from different departments.
3. The difference between a program and a department
This flows from what I said earlier, but another difference between a program and a department is the lack of acknowledgment by the academic community. The academic community is still skeptic about the validity of knowledge from an interdisciplinary program, even though the knowledge produced is as valid and precious as the knowledge that comes from a department. The freedom to cross and make connections across boundaries is what attracts students to interdisciplinary programs, but to hear that this freedom comes at the cost of validity is unnerving.
UVA is considered a very service-oriented student body, with Madison House boasting over three thousand volunteers. Yet, we tend to look afar when we are performing service. Let's go to "that part of Charlottesville" or "these elderly grandparents" need you to help. McDowell makes the convincing argument that in truth the places that need the most attention and that you have the most impact on are the places close to home. For McDowell, her academic program is home and she sees many aspects of it that need "service."
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
It's an interesting organization, not under the umbrella of the University of Virginia, but definitely drawing from its resources. I have only been an intern for less than two weeks, but already I have jumped into a lot. As with most paid internships, they would like to see that we get our work done. Right now, I'm sort out the links page on the website, and writing blurbs for it-- I hope you get to see the improvements!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I guess I wanted to walk after a $1.70 Mellow Mushroom cheese pizza slice with $1.20 toppings worth of jalapenos and roma tomatoes. (NOM NOM NOM.) I did my best not to introspect too much nor look like a creeper as I entered deserted classrooms and buildings on Grounds. Having been on Grounds during summer, winter break, and spring break, I am used to and even like the feeling of being the only non-international student here. It's nice to reorient oneself without responsibilities expected from other people. I would definitely say that I am introvert in that sense.
I had lunch with an alumna, a recent graduate from the previous decade '09, at Mellow Mushroom. She ordered a small Kosmic Karma pizza that consisted of olive oil, pesto, roma tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese, and was successful in devouring only half of it. Her flyaway hair reminded me of wispy clouds that had graced the sky on Monday, and I missed her owl-esque look that was wise to my young soul. I presented her with a belated graduation gift of a scarf.
We talked about life, school, life after school, classes, majors, friends, our dorm, how indecisive we are, and Blueprint. All this and my pizza needed to be digested hours after our conversation. I think one of the best quotes from today is "Consume experiences, not material things. The truly happy cherish friends, family and new experiences." Woah. Yeah, that's right, woah.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
On a random note... have you played the iTunes game? Click next song on random, and see what comes up.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
- Organic chicken
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
I was talking with a close friend of mine, and she revealed that she felt like the girls of her pledge class melded into one person. Not talking about humans trying to achieve portmanteau, she was addressing the fact that these women, probably of different personalities and backgrounds, were buying into the social ideal of looking a certain way. They looked like clones.
Of course, this brings up the question about UVA "culture." Does the typical UVA man wear penguin-studded shorts, Northface outerwear, sunglasses holder, and a UVA baseball cap backwards? How come I am attracted to anything that walks in something other than salmon-colored slacks and boat shoes? Will I ever understand why UVA girls seem to reach a consensus that Northface and Uggs are the way to go?
The answers to these questions are up to you, me, and every UVA student here on Grounds. For example, I do not wear Northface and Uggs. I have friends who do not wear Northface and Uggs. In fact, they don't know what Northface and Uggs, and they happen to be from out of the country, where Northface and Uggs are just not known. The fact that UVA also includes these friends and me, as well, answers these question. I am also a UVA woman.
The UVA Men's Basketball Team lost yesterday. Apparently they shot one in in the last seconds of the game, and went into overtime. Unfortunately, that is where they lost. We're still number four in our league! Go, Hoos, go!