Sunday, July 20, 2014

Studying for Exam 1 and Giordano's Pizza

Ah, the day before an exam. Though it’s not the first day I’ve started studying for this test, the nerves are definitely getting to me today. I woke up at 10 AM (what a great start, right?) and had lunch at the Dining Commons an hour and a half later.

Instead of going to an RA-held activity, I chose to stay in my dorm and write an essay on our reading assignment, The Alternative Genome. Kaitlyn, my roommate, went to the Adler Planetarium, so I had the room to myself. After blogging around 500 or more words each night, 300-400 words seemed like nothing. In fact, I had trouble keeping the word count under 450.

Jimmy and Vicky visited my room afterwards to hang out and talk. We talked about what we’ll do after the ILC program is over, how we feel more mature and responsible after this ILC trip, and talked about hanging out and staying in touch with each other once regular school starts again. I think our Chicago cohort is hands-down one of the closest cohorts this summer (thanks to all those late nights blogging, no doubt).

Jimmy and Vicky left to make a CVS run afterwards, leaving me to edit my essay. After that was done, I started studying for my exam tomorrow. One thing I’ve learned in all of my two years of high school is that exam reviews are highly helpful! I’m so glad Danny and Ciara posted the exam review slides on Chalk, where UChicago class materials are posted. I studied until I heard a knock on my door.
Giordano's! It was delicious.
Oyin came in asking about pizza. I had no clue what she was talking about until Jimmy and Vicky came in the room with a box of deep-dish pizza from Giordano’s and toothpaste for me (I didn’t even have to ask them!). It was my first time eating Giordano’s pizza in three years, so I really enjoyed eating the pizza (and having a study break with the rest of the cohort at the same time). We ate, talked, and hung out in my room until I kicked them out (in the nicest way possible, of course) so I could study. 

I hope I studied the right things well enough. Despite my anxiety, I’m excited about the field trip we’re taking to the Comprehensive Cancer Center DNA Sequencing and Genotyping Facility tomorrow after the exam. I’m also excited to see how the plate I painted with fluorescent bacteria turned out.

I know the beginning of this blog started out by saying how easy it is to write 500 words each night, but I have a test tomorrow! I’ll call it a night.

Deep Dish and Reading

I woke up this morning to a loud banging noise. It took a few minutes for to realize that someone was knocking on the door. Neither me or my roommate wanted to get up so we just let whoever was at the door keep knocking. It took a while but my roommate took one for the team and answered the door. One of her friends wanted to see if she wanted to go somewhere but she said no and shut the door. About forty minutes later, someone started knocking on our door again. This time, another friend of hers dropped off her laundry. I took all these interruptions as a sign that it was time for me to wake up and start  my day.

I spent a bulk of my day at the library with Alexa reading a book. I decided that I would start reading the Game of Thrones series so I bought the first book at the bookstore on campus and I kept Alexa company. After I got tired of the library, I changed scenery and I went into one of the lounges on campus. That wasn't the best idea because it was filled with people getting an orientation about another program here at UChicago. I vetoed reading and I went to check in on Dani because she shut herself in her room all day studying. It was good timing too because Jimmy and Vicky brought some deep dish pizza to Dani's room. We all went to West Lounge and we had our first deep dish pizza together.
Deep Dish Pizza
Tomorrow is the first day of the second week of my class. My goals are to get better at eating breakfast, ask more questions in class, develop a better strategy on reading the documents assigned to us, and to get more sleep. During the first week I was horrible in all of these things and this week I really want to see this improve. 

Star Wars Movie

Shannon And Tess Watching Star Wars
Today I woke at 9:30 AM because I needed to go watch Star Wars with Tess and Shannon, my classmates. I needed to meet them up at Tess's room at 10 AM. Then, we asked Shannon which movie of Star Wars we should watch because apparently she is a Star Wars movie fan. I went to Tess's room at 9:50 AM and she was still in bed because she had forgotten that we were going to meet here at 10 AM. Shannon was not at Tess's room so we waited for her to come. When she came we talked about which Star Wars movie we should see and we decided to see Star Wars: New Hope. 

The movie was two hours long and we watched the first hour of the movie that took us two hours to watch because we kept on pausing it in every scene to take notes. Then, we decided to take a break and go eat lunch at noon. After we finished eating lunch, we went back to Tess's room and watched the rest of the movie that took us and 1 hour and half. We ended up finishing the movie at 2 PM because we reviewed our notes to see if everything was right and if we hadn't missed anything else.

My delicious lunch
After I finished with my assignment, I went down to Dani's room and Vicky was there because Vicky had called me before from Dani's phone so we can go to T-Mobile to check to see if they could fix her phone; her screen is cracked. We stayed in Dani's room for about 30 minutes, talking about church, and then I shared with them that when I was small and used to go to church I used to sing at church. My cohort and I, we have really gotten very close in such a brief time. We act like if we have known each other for years, and that’s a good thing because I never thought we would be this close. We make fun of each other, we laugh together, and we help each other.

When we left Dani's room around 2:40 PM, Vicky and I started walking to the T-Mobile store that is only 15 minutes away from the campus. Dani didn't go with us because she needed to do work and study for her test tomorrow. When we arrived at the T-Mobile store, Vicky asked a worker how much they would charge her to fix the screen of her phone? The woman that was working in the store told her that they don’t fix screens but they would send her a new phone if she had insurance but she needs to pay $90 to get the new phone. Vicky said never mind and she asked what other store would they try to fix her screen phone and the woman told her to go check RadioShack that they might be able to fix it. RadioShack was just next to the T-Mobile store and we went inside and they told Vicky that they don’t fix LG phones. It was a waste of a walk because Vicky was not able to get her phone fixed.
Vicky then saw Giordano’s restaurant that is famous for their stuffed pizza. Mr. McGee had recommended us to go their yesterday when we saw him. Then, Vicky decided to buy a pizza to prove if it is the best pizza in Chicago like everyone else says. I thought Vicky was just going to get a pizza for herself, but she ordered a small pizza for everyone. The pizza was going to be ready in 45 minutes, so we decided to go to CVS to go buy a 2 liter bottle of soda for the pizza. I decided to buy the soda because Vicky had already bought the pizza. Then I told Vicky I wanted to buy a smoothie in a Sushi restaurant. I ordered a mango mixed with pineapple and it was the first and the best smoothie I have tried in Chicago. We walked back to Giordano’s restaurant and we waited for 15 more minutes to get our pizza. 

At West Lounge
When we got our pizza, we started walking back to the campus and when we were by the library, that is 5 minutes away from our dorms, we called Oyin and Alexa to meet us at Dani's room, so they can have a break from studying hard. Vicky and I realized that we didn't have cups to pour the soda in. We went to the bookstore that has a Starbucks inside too and we asked if we can get 5 cups and they were so generous to us and gave us the cups. When we got to Dani's room and knocked, Dani came running to the door and opened it and she was very happy that we brought food to eat. Dani doesn’t like pepperoni, so in the order we asked for half pepperoni and half cheese. Dani, Oyin, Vicky and I went to the West lounge to eat because we didn't want to make a mess in Dani’s room. Alexa was still studying in the library and she told us to save her a slice, so we did.
A view of the Chicago skyline on a hazy Sunday
After we finished eating the pizza, I waited 35 minutes so the food could digest and so I could go for a run by the beach. I started getting ready to go for a run and I left at 6 PM. I ran 15 miles from 6 PM to 8 PM, and I think that was too much for my body to handle because I haven’t run since one month ago. I ended being very sore and my calf hurts every time I walk. I’m not going to lie, it feels good because I haven’t been sore in a very long time.
One of the many beautiful buildings on campus

Chill Day at the School

Today was a chill day. I woke up at 12 PM and got ready to go to the dining hall to eat lunch before it closed at 1:30 PM. At lunch I ate fruit, herbal turkey, and fries. When I finished I went to my room to chill and do some of the questions for my lab report for a while before I did anything for the day. Around 2:30 I went to Dani's room to see where everyone was so that we could hangout but Alexa was at the library doing homework, Oyin was with her, Jimmy had homework but was almost finished by the time I went to Dani's room, and Dani was studying but I mainly just sat in her room while she did her work and until Jimmy was done with his homework. When Jimmy finished we both hung out in Dani's room before we left while she was taking a short break before going back to work.
Deep Dish at Giordano's
After being with Dani, we went to T-Mobile to see if I could get my phone fixed but ended up not being able to, so we ended up going to Giordano's, in Hyde Park, to get the famous deep dish pizza. When we got to Giordano's we ordered our pizza to share with everyone else. As we waited for the pizza we walked to CVS to get something to drink that we all could share and then walked back to Giordano's to wait a little longer for the pizza. The pizza took about 45 minutes to make but it was worth the wait. When we got our pizza, we walked back to campus to bring the pizza to Oyin, Alexa, and Dani. Unfortunately Alexa wasn't there with us to eat the pizza so we saved a piece for her and she later came and we all hung out in the lounge together. Then Alexa went to the gym and  stayed in the lounge and watched "Lady Sings the Blues". Around 7:30 PM Alexa, Oyin, and I regrouped and hung out in the lounge with our computers to blog. For the rest of the night I will be watching "Lady Sings the Blues" in the lounge with Alexa and Oyin and finishing my lab report for my class while Jimmy stays in his room relaxing because he was coming back from running and while Dani is studying in her room for her test tomorrow.

Getting Ready for Week 2

This weekend, for my class, developmental psychology, our assignment was to write an introduction and literature paper. This is for our final project, where we will be observing the kids and seeing whether they take more goodies than the sign says they can. Part of this is writing a research paper on the experiment. Our professor, Cassie, wanted to give us the paper in parts so that it wouldn't be too much work all at once.

The introduction and literature review were the first section of the final paper that we were assigned. For the introduction and literature review, we had to explain our experiment and back up our hypothesis for our experiment with other research papers. Finding and then reading these research papers took a while, but I was able to focus well because I was in the library. The part of the library I was in was the glass dome, and it was absolutely quiet. It was really easy to focus there, and I got the paper done pretty quickly. 

Oyin came with me to the library for a while, she had bought a book at Barnes and Nobles and brought it to the library and read while I worked. She left after a while, and I finished about two hours later. 

Victoria ordered deep dish pizza for everyone, which was delicious, and I was so grateful for it after doing homework all day. I then went to the gym for about half an hour, and came back to work on my blog. The day went by quickly for me because I slept until about noon, and I am trying to get a good night's sleep and go to sleep early tonight.

I accomplished what I wanted today, and I hope this next week I can be a little more efficient with my time so I can get more sleep. Next week in class, we are going to start our experiments so I am really looking forward to that, because it is a little more active than what we were doing last week in class.

The City Trip

Chicken Nuggets and Fruit
This morning I woke up at 10 AM, got freshened up, and met Jimmy and Alexa at the gym. I tried to sleep until 12 AM because it’s the weekend but Jimmy encouraged me to go to the gym to work out. I missed breakfast which was fine because I wasn't that hungry. My work out was to lift some weights and then go to the basketball courts and shoot around. I also did a couple of drills that had to do with defensive slides, free-throws, and shooting drills. After a while Jimmy wanted to play against me in 21. I beat him 21 to 2 which is not bad because at least he scored. Then Jimmy and I left at 12:40 PM to get lunch before the dining hall closed at 1:30 but we still wanted time to eat.

The Movie Theartre
For lunch I had two plates of fruit and chicken nuggets. They were very good and flavorful. After lunch we got ready to go to the city and hang out. We left around 2:30 PM to go to the movies to see The Purge. We got to the movies by taking the bus and walking for about 20 minutes. When we got to the movie theatre we paid for our tickets. After the movies we went to find a place to eat. We ate at a place called Burrito beach which has some nice burritos there. While we were there we saw Jimmy’s Vice Principal, Mr. McGee. After dinner we went to go see Alie, who was not far away from where we were. Then we left a while after talking to Alie for about 30 minutes and later caught a cab back to campus at 9:30 PM.

We all decided we wanted to do laundry in the basement. It was nice to clean my things and play Ping-Pong with Jimmy. We checked in to curfew at 11 PM.  We couldn't be down in the basement after curfew. When all of our things were done we all met in the west lounge to end the day.
The Cohort in the City

A Day in the City

Today, I decided to go to the gym when I first woke up after sleeping in. I needed to sleep in after such a long week with many late nights. I spent about an hour at the gym, where I saw Jimmy and Victoria. I decided I was getting hungry, so Oyin and I had lunch/breakfast together at the dining halls. After breakfast, I spent some time organizing my room and getting ready for the day. 

We had not made any specific plans, but my cohort and I planned to get out of the dorms, and explore the city. Eventually, after about half an our of making plans, we decided to take the bus into the city and watch a movie. The movie we decided watch was called The Purge II, and it was just a silly horror movie. It turned out  that the director, Woody Allen, was in the theater at the time that we were watching the movie, but we did not get a chance to see him.

 After the movie, we went looking for a nice and not-so-expensive place to eat. Eventually, after walking for a couple blocks, we found a place called Burrito Beach. At Burrito Beach, I wasn't feeling so hungry so I just got some horchata, and I also picked up a organic quinoa salad for my friend Meg who missed dinner back at the dorms. At Burrito Beach, we met the vice principal of Jimmy's school, Mr. McGee. Mr. McGee was born and raised in Chicago, but he was just returning for a little bit this summer because he was participating in a conference about inner city schools. He said that the next morning he would be taking an early morning flight to Washington D.C., so he had to head out. It was so nice to be able to talk to Richmond High School's vice principal, and it was such a coincidence that he was in Chicago at the same time that we were.

Skyscrapers in Chicago

 After dinner, we went to the Omni Hotel to see Alie and talk to her about our plans for next weekend. Next week, we hope to go to the Sears Tower and eat Chicago-style deep dish pizza. For the remainder of the day, once we arrived back on campus, we all went down to do our laundry and then blogged. It was a nice laid-back day.

Trip To Downtown Chicago


Today it felt good waking up late, I woke up at 9:30 AM. I missed breakfast hour, but I decided to go to the gym again and take advantage of the free time I have this weekend because I’m not going to have time on the week. I got to the gym at 10:30 AM and then ten minutes later Alexa came to the gym to work out too.  Then later on, Vicky came to the gym at 11:30 PM. Vicky went to run with Alexa. Alexa left the gym and then Vicky came where I was working at, so she can work on her arms. Vicky then went to the basketball court to play basketball. Then, I went to join her and I told her that I will play her a game of 21 points. I score the first two points, but then Vicky scored the rest of the points and I wasn't able to score again, so I stayed with two points for the rest of the game. Vicky was laughing at me because before we started playing I told her I was going to win her, but I guess I doubt her skills in basketball. Then, I told her that later on to see me in my sport that is soccer, to see if she came be able to win me. Vicky accepted my challenge, but I just have to find a soccer ball because I didn't brought one with me. 

My Lunch 
We finished getting out of the gym at 12:30 PM. Vicky and I, then headed to the Dining Hall to go get our lunch because we both didn't eat breakfast.

My Cohorts and I Stopped to take a Picture
My cohorts and I were planning to go to downtown Chicago to go see the Purge movie. We were planning to leave the campus at 2:30 PM. The girls couldn’t figure out how to get to downtown, so I went to the front desk and asked, how can we get to downtown Chicago? The guy told me the way to go and catch the bus; number 6. Then I downloaded an app on my phone that tracks the CTA buses because that’s the only bus we can get in for free. I also downloaded Yelp so I can find where the theaters will be at. That’s how we figure out how to get to downtown and to the movies. When we got to the movies we were happy because we accomplish to get there by ourselves. The theater that we went was the AMC theaters. The AMC
AMC Theaters
Theater has three floors and is very big. It has its own bowling alley and a bar too. I’m so jealous because in the Bay Area we don’t have a theater like that. I really enjoyed being in the theater with my cohorts we had a really great time watching the Purge movie.

After we finished watching the movie we were looking for a place to eat. We started walking outside and exploring the city, while we were looking for a restaurant to eat. It took us about 20 minutes to find a place that everyone agreed to eat. That place was the Burrito Beach. I have been craving a burrito this whole week. I was very satisfied that everyone one picked to eat there. Then, my vice principal, Mr. McGee , came down to Burrito Beach, that was in downtown for a school district business and he came down to visit us and talk to us, how we were doing in the program? And from which school my cohorts are from? And what courses are we each of one taking. It was very nice of him coming down and talking to us we really enjoyed his company. Then he left because he was packing to go to Washington tomorrow and he is going to visit some family over there.
My Cohort Eating Burritos

After we finished eating at Burrito Beach, we started walking Omni Hotel to meet Alie, so we can talk about the plans for this week and where we want to go. We got to the hotel and we stayed to talk to Alie for about 15 minutes and then we came back to the campus.

Burrito Beach
When we got to the campus, my cohorts and I went to do laundry that is located in the basement of the building. While we were waiting for our clothes to wash and dry, Vicky and I decided to play ping-pong. I really had fun playing ping-pong is really fun and I kind of got the hang of it even though it was my first time playing ping-pong. It wasn’t Vicky first time and I still won her in ping-pong. After we finished doing our laundry we decided to do a group blog in the west lounge and that’s how we ended our night.

The View Outside The Theaters
Fireworks On Our Way Back To The Campus

A Relaxing Day in Chicago!

A miracle happened today—I had a good 10 hours’ worth of sleep.

Since I woke up too late to go to a church service today, I went on Amazing Facts and watched a sermon by Doug Bachelor. It’s nice to know that I can still worship on my own, but it definitely doesn’t feel the same as going to church. A college with a Seventh-Day Adventist church nearby is definitely what I’ll look for when applying to colleges.

Thank goodness I have snacks in my room, because I missed breakfast (and later on lunch) today. Though there were three different activities held by the RAs, I chose to hang out with the rest of the cohort instead. Later on in the day, once everyone was ready and felt like leaving campus, we took a bus to downtown Chicago. It was fun walking through downtown Chicago and seeing the sights.

After walking for a bit, we went to a movie theater and watched a movie, which was nice. We walked around after the movie looking for places to eat, and finally settled on Burrito Beach. There, we met Mr. McGee, the assistant principal at Richmond High School in WCCUSD (he was here for a district conference). He asked us about our travelling and class experiences so far, and gave us advice about college. After he heard how we haven’t had time to go downtown all this week due to homework, he assured us that once we’re in college we’ll have time to go out and have fun during the school day.

Mr. McGee is definitely one of the nicest and friendliest vice principals I’ve met. I see why people at Richmond High like him so much.

We walked to the Omni after dinner, which was about a five-minute walk, to visit Alie. After talking to her, we took a van back to our dorm, South Campus. I was finally, finally able to wash the heap of dirty clothes in my closet! It was due time.

Some differences I've noticed while living in a college setting than in a high school setting:
  1. The feeling of independence is amazing!
  1. Making decisions by myself is both liberating and difficult (for example, it's hard to decide to do laundry without being nagged).
  1. Managing time is everything.
I'll have to manage my time tomorrow as well. I'll need to finish my essay and study for my first Biotech exam tomorrow. All the confidence I felt yesterday after the exam review with Danny and Ciara seems to have faded away; it seems like nothing but apprehension fills me now.

All these nerves remind me of the time in lab when Dr. Bhasin told us that though being cautious is good, being too nervous could hamper your work. Though I'll try my best on the essay and exam, I'll make it a point to try to enjoy this trip and not let the stress get to me as much.

Movie Saturday

Today was a very relaxed and laid back day. I caught up on the sleep that I missed out on and I woke up just before noon. This very long first week of school has made me realize how sleep is very important. I had a lot of late nights this first week and at first I could go all day without getting tired but on the third or second day, I noticed myself getting really drowsy in the middle of the day. I'm making it a goal of mine to get more sleep in the second week so that I won't be as tired as I was this first week.

Once I was fully awake and dressed, I went to the dining commons with Alexa to grab lunch. We were brainstorming what we could do today and going to the city was at the top of our list. We wanted to take things easy today so we decided to go to the movies. The tricky part about this plan was trying to figure out how to get downtown. Me and Alexa were exhausting all of our resources to figure out the Chicago public transportation system. After twenty minutes of work, all we had was a really complicated way of getting to the movie theater. When we were trying to memorize the steps, Jimmy came and said that he asked the receptionist how to get there and he had an easier route. I will be the first one to admit that my skills with public transportation is the worst so I was really happy that Jimmy figured out everything for us.
On Our Walk to the Movie Theater
When our movie was over, I tried to find us a place to have dinner but I failed miserably so it was up to Jimmy. He lead us to Burrito Beach where we met his vice principal, Mr. McGee. He was here for some business with the school district and he wanted to check in on us. Mr. McGee was really kind to us and he gave us some advice about where we could go in Chicago to have fun. After our meeting with Mr. McGee, we walked to Alie's hotel so that we could say hello to her and make plans for the rest of our trip. 

I ended my relaxing day by doing laundry with my cohort. I'm glad to say that laundry wasn't too difficult for me. I got my clothes separated and everything. I only had trouble with finding a dryer that actually worked and I accidentally paid for Alexa's clothes to dry. As of now, she owes me a dollar to wash my clothes, or to dry them.