Easter in the Bay!

204

 

Spring break has officially ended and classes have resumed.  This is always such a bittersweet time.  I’m sad that break is over, but spring quarter really is the best quarter.  The sun is shining, fun events like Spring Sing occur, and I have no Friday classes!

It was nice that Spring Break coincided with Easter this year! I spent mine in San Francisco with a friend’s family.  One of the great things about college is that you make friends all over the state, country, and world! I drove up to San Francisco for Easter weekend and then back down to LA Sunday afternoon.  It was an fun and exciting road trip!  Fortunately, it did not rain during our trip into the city, but we got to see a really cool lightning storm on the way down south.

Even though the drive down was a bit wet, I have high hopes for this quarter!  I am done with all of my GEs and my schedule is fantastic.  I am only taking my major related classes and I can look forward to exploring the city on my three day weekends.  The sky is clear, the days are long, and the city is at its finest.

I’ll keep you posted on my adventures!  Next week I plan on going to “The Last Bookstore”, later the Getty, and of course the beach!  Not to mention all of the events that will be on campus….including SPRING SING! One of the most epic college talent shows! Last y!ear Sara Bareilles was a judge!  I can’t wait for this quarter!

A Brief Road Trip to the North

This past weekend I traveled to San Francisco to attend my boyfriend’s cousin’s wedding.  Although it was a very hurried trip (we left on Friday and returned on Sunday), it still was a great experience.  This marked the first time I traveled to northern California by car since I moved to southern California.  Although I had gotten recommendations to take the scenic route along the coast, we were a little pressed for time so we took the straighter, flatter route on the I-5 through the Central Valley.

I finally got to see, firsthand, the long drive my roommate and friends take up to the Bay Area when they are on their way home for Thanksgiving or winter break.  It was relatively straight (except the mountainous section of the I-405 before it meets the I-5), and we made good time both heading there and back.  It gave me a chance to sit back from the daily bustle of my final quarter at UCLA (!) and take in the view of the Coastal Range as we coasted down the I-5.

One day, I hope to make the same trip again, this time on the coastal scenic drive, and this time all the way up to visit my mom and sister in Vancouver, Canada.  Although that trip will not cross any time zones, I will traverse three states and one province, and hopefully many cities (and some national parks) along the way.

My Summer Internship with About-Face

 

 

This summer, I’ve been interning with About-Face, a San Francisco-based non-profit that promotes positive body image through media literacy. They mainly focus on girls and women but media-driven insecurity certainly can affect anyone, and About-Face addresses this by including boys in their workshops. Often times the work About-Face does revolves around picking apart various advertisements, TV shows, or pieces of pop culture to decode and debunk their messages about how you should look – all very fun stuff!

My project this summer deals with social media, which means that I  not only get to spend more time on Facebook than I already do but also that I finally need to figure out Twitter (a process that may never be complete).

What is especially exciting about this internship, however, isn’t all the extra web-surfing – it’s how I got it. During freshman year I took the Sex Cluster, a three-quarter long (amazing) class that included taking a seminar during the spring. My seminar was called “The Psychology of Human Sexuality” and covered a wide range of seriously interesting topics, one of which was body image. I had never really come in contact with the concept of positive body image or knew much about why it was so great, but throughout the course of the class I learned so so much about why it’s important (and cool) to have a positive view of your bod.

One of the seminars featured a guest lecturer from About-Face. She talked about the organization, what they do, who they serve, and she gave a little demonstration of the kinds of activities About-Face puts on during a workshop. Immediately I knew that I could learn something valuable from About-Face and the work that they were doing. I knew I would go back to my dorm and peruse their website, but first I asked the guest lecturer about internship opportunities in the organization. She was more than happy to fill me in and loaded me up with a pamphlet and information on the sorts of things they had going on.

I didn’t follow up immediately, in fact I waited a year before I emailed about working there. But when I did, she remembered lecturing for my cluster and was super excited to have me intern at About-Face. Now I’m learning all of this super cool stuff about non-profits, social media, and body image all because I asked a question to a guest lecturer in one of my classes.

And if that wasn’t enough, a former TA from my time in the Sex Cluster now volunteers at About-Face, too. So whenever I’m in the office I get a bit of UCLA to keep me going.

So, even though I’m not in Los Angeles for the summer, I still have UCLA to thank for the awesome time I’m having.

My Indian-Themed Weekend!

My weekend definitely had an Indian theme going on. Last weekend I went home for my cousin’s wedding (he married an Indian woman, so the wedding had Indian dresses, henna and ❤ samosas <3). When I got back to school on Sunday, I went to Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, which was located at Sunset Rec (on the Hill).

The wedding was on a Friday, so I had to miss classes for that day, but how often do you get to see your cousin get married (or really get to go to weddings, geez (actually, I have a lot of cousins who are probably going to get married (so maybe often?)))? Besides having to wave goodbye to UCLA, the trip home was fantastic. The wedding was in San Francisco, a city that is always fun to visit. Bee-boppin’ around SF reminds me that cities have a ton of really cool places to go – I’m looking at you, LA!

The day of the wedding was lovely. There were lots of pretty colors and delicious foods and certainly a lot of family members I loved seeing. There was smiling, giggling, tears of joy, and a ton of pictures. After the reception (at which the largest amount of dancing I have ever seen took place, and I did Dance Marathon, ok?), the family minus the newlyweds went back home to hangout and continue the festivities. After milling about for a while, I started a big game of Black Magic. If you haven’t played before, GOOD, because the point of the game is to guess a hidden pattern. Only me and two other family members knew how the game was played, so we went through many rounds with the entire extended family before people got the hang of it. I actually learned Black Magic playing it with my fellow tour guides! It was one of the games we played in the lines at Disneyland.

After getting back to school, I was able to immerse myself in the Indian culture further with Holi, that afternoon. For those of you unfamiliar with Holi, it is a festival of colors, which sounds nice until you realize what a festival of colors entails. Basically, everyone throws color at each other. Like powder dye- super bright pigment in powder form. And everyone dresses up in white clothes and people go wild. I kind of decided that this year at Holi would be my last because I got dye allllll up in my eye (owwww), but besides the occasional eye-dyeing experience, Holi is pretty fun. I mean just imagine a lawn full of college students throwing handfuls of brightly colored powder at each other until everyone looks like a Na’vi.

So that was my weekend. Thanks for reading!

New Year’s Eve in San Fran

This past New Year’s Eve was a blast. Traditionally on New Year’s, my parents like to find a get-together (I’m not even going to call it a party) to attend that usually includes cheese fondue, banging on pots and pans, and several different kinds of board games. While I do enjoy all of those things, as a sophomore in college, my idea of party has evolved past playing 20 rounds of Catch Phrase.

This year, one of my on-campus groups was having a New Year’s Eve party in San Francisco. I leapt at the chance of spending the evening in an exciting city (I did not want to ring in the new year attempting to mime out the word “fortify” during one of my family’s games of charades).

I live in San Jose, which is only about an hour from SF, so I planned to drive up during the day and spend the night in a friend’s apartment. At around six on New Year’s Eve, I began the drive up 280. There was not a ton of traffic, and the drive was smooth. It was dark by the time I got into the city, and the lights looked absolutely ~marvelous~. I headed over to my friend’s apartment, which was right near the Haight (woo shopping!). Although traffic wasn’t bad, parking was a nightmare, and I drove around for 20 minutes before finding a place.

The party was super fun. This break had been the first time that I have seriously missed my school friends and seeing them altogether in one place was great. We chatted about our breaks, what we had been doing, and how (freaking) excited we were for winter quarter.

After a little while, I said goodbye to everyone and headed off with some friends to go to the Embarcadero. Even though I had come to the city for the party, I thought that the fireworks on the water would be too good to miss.

My friends and I hopped on to a bus and winded our way through the streets of San Fran. We had to walk several blocks from our stop to get to the water, and on our way we stopped at a Jack-in-the-Box for a potty break. It was a good thing that we had left rather early because the line took about a half an hour (who knew, I would spend the final moments of 2011 in a fast food joint). But it was still fun – my friend got burgers for everyone! We ate, we peed, and then we jogged down Market to get to the Embarcadero before midnight.

The fireworks show was spectacular (and it lasted a full fifteen minutes!).  There was dancing, kissing, and a lot of yelling. We moved back toward the bus stop in a huge herd of people and finally got home around 1:30. The night was fantastic, and even though I love my family, it was so fun to have my first real live New Year’s party experience (and that I got to spend it with UCLAers was such a bonus).

Happy New Year, y’all!