Rushing through the end of summer session!!

 

Yes people, it’s that time again when you’re about to run out of time to finish up all your projects at school. Well at least for me it is that time again,haha.. I only have 3 weeks left for my summer session class, yay!!! Super excited, but that also means that less time to finish up all the projects that keep coming up every week. And for me that means another thing: back to Starbucks to do my projects 🙂

Research has been going pretty good so far, I started to do my own experiment. I’m also  getting ready for the school year in Fall when I have to do the experiment completely by my own!! I hope my last blog about how to find research has been helpful for some people, and I will continue to update you guys about how’s life in research group 🙂

It’s really interesting how now it’s easier to understand research papers and the terminology once you actually are doing research. It’s not so much that I suddenly become a genius, but it becomes a habit and a training process that your brain has to go through, which in a way sharpens your way of thinking and analyzing an experiment 🙂

Another interesting thing that happen last week was watching Batman of course 🙂 For those that is a fan of superhero, then this is one EXCELLENT movie to watch! Of course, the tragedy that happen in Colorado totally saddened my heart. It gave me a really good wake up call to really appreciate life and people that I love. It reminded me to not take life for granted and waste it. How anything can happen anytime and anywhere, in an unexpected moment in our lives. My heart goes to all the families that lost their loved ones, and to all the heroes that protected their loved ones that night! That was a really good reminder for me to always give thanks and live every single day to the fullest.

Featured Study Spot: Novel Café

Another week has passed by and brought summer session A to an end!  And, like the end of any term, it must be accompanied by a round of finals.  Naturally, finals week (or the week immediately preceding it) is a crucial time when previously relaxed study habits suddenly click into gear and “get down to business.”  The usual popular study spots get increasingly crowded, and this is when I like to visit some of my favorite niche cafés in Westwood.

Novel Café has been in Westwood for a while, and yet it seems that not as many people know about it or venture that far from campus.  Novel Café, located at Gayley and Kinross, is a roughly 20-30 minute walk from the Hill and North Village apartments.  It serves an all-day breakfast menu, which is a nice change from Denny’s on the opposite side of the Village.  I know someone who swears by their Breakfast Quesadillas, and their Triple-Layered Chocolate Cake always finds a way to my table and bill nearly every time I pay them a visit.

In addition to great food, Novel Café also has a great study environment.  The café has two separate floors of tables; the first floor has both indoor and outdoor seating typical to any bistro, but the upper level has tables overlooking the lower level and bookcases in the walls with volumes spanning all sorts of topics of both academic and special interest.  My inner Geography nerd automatically gravitates toward the piles of National Geographic magazines, but I have seen anything from “How To Find Your Soulmate” to “Ancient Chinese History”.  It’s a great place to have casual Saturday morning (or afternoon… or evening) brunch with friends, or Wednesday evening tea followed by studying or writer’s block.

Stay tuned for more featured study spots in and around UCLA!

Previously on Featured Study Spots: Café Hammer

Involvement and Working on Campus

It is a lovely Monday morning in the UCLA Admissions Office!  I have been working for UARS‘ Recruitment Unit for a week now, and it has been a great learning experience for me so far.  Many students at UCLA (myself included) want nothing more than to get involved and, at the same time, take advantage of opportunities to make some extra money.  It seems to me that many of these opportunities continue to present themselves to us in and around campus.

Two years ago, when I entered UCLA as an international freshman student, I was unsure about how integrated into the campus I would become.  My worries about having trouble adjusting have since been repeatedly dispelled as I became more and more involved in activities related to my hobbies (such as joining an a capella group to sing), met people who have been integral to my college experience (friends from orientation, classes and student groups), and took classes that interest me (to help me find my major).  I began with the vaguest possible identity (an Undeclared international student who had no idea where she was from–more on that next time), and have since developed my own personalized shell of someone who possesses features of a UCLA student (Bruin spirit, knowledge and experiences about UCLA), whilst preserving the inner core of what makes me, me (my values and beliefs).

Some people think that international students aren’t allowed to work on campus while they are at UCLA–they can! Working on campus while taking classes is just another way for me to exhibit and express my involvement at UCLA.  I love that so many students feel the same way and are experts at balancing their classes with work, as one becomes a nice break for the other when we do too much of one in particular.  I enjoy going to work in the morning, attending class afterward whilst I am fully alert, and spending the beautiful summer afternoons studying for the fast-paced coursework of summer classes and getting ready for the next day.  I am glad I chose to remain in LA for at least half the summer, even though my mom was curious about what I would be doing during the six weeks that I am taking only two classes.  I always assure her that UCLA will keep me on my toes and that there is no doubt I will find ways to make my time here worthwhile.

Welcome to Summer Session A!

It’s great to be back!  Although campus seems a little empty for now, I blame it on the early morning and the fact that it’s the first day of summer session so not many people find the need to study in the library before classes have begun.  I got to campus early to meet a friend before our first class of the day; it’s refreshing to see the campus in its pristine quietness after a weeklong break anyway.  Summer session does seem slightly quieter than the usual school year, which may be just what you’re looking for if you’d like to take a class while relaxing and enjoying the slower pace of summertime.

I am excited for the two classes I plan to take during the six-week-long Session A.  The first is Urban Planning 120, Introduction to Cities and Planning, which I’m taking to get a taste of the Urban Planning minor that I’m very interested in picking up.  This class is about cities, the mechanisms that they run on, and the role of urban planners in their operation and maintenance.  Since our world is becoming increasingly urbanized, soon more people will be living in cities than outside, and this is true on a global scale.  I’m interested in this topic because I’ve grown up in megacities in Asia, and I am fascinated by topics such as urban sprawl, traffic congestion, and zoning.

The second course I will take is Urban Planning M150, Transportation Geography (also known in the Geography department as Geog M149).  I’m taking this class to fulfill both major and minor credits, hitting two birds with one stone, which luckily happens a lot in the social sciences! 🙂  The class studies the complexities of intra-urban transport.  The professor for the class has already emailed us the syllabus for the class, and from it I found that there will be a day-long field trip to LAX to see the behind-the-scenes workings of a large international airport.  The trip includes a talk from an airport historian and a bus tour of the tarmac.  This proves to be interesting, and I really can’t wait!