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Blog Archive: September 2003
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September 30, 2003 - First candidate meeting
-11:55 pm: Wooooo... first official TBP candidate meeting went pretty well, although i stumbled a bit talking, and failed to mention a pretty big requirement (the questionnaire and essay).. Our candidates are smart and should get it anyway... i hope. And besides that part is less confusing than some of our other requirements.... (ok those were pretty poor excuses). The meeting had a much much larger attendance than i was expecting. Given that Amar and I received around 25 emails from people saying they couldn't make it, i was expecting  around 70-80 people to show up. Instead, about 100 showed up, which made me really nervous. Big crowds, especially ones i have to speak in front of, make me nervous. It's probably why i skipped over the questionnaire and essay despite having it clearly marked on my script... DOH. I was also concerned about whether we had enough food provided. Alas, Kathy did a great job in getting enough food; didn't seem like anyone went without getting at least something. Can't pass jugdment on the success of the meeting until Friday, when the candidates decide officially whether or not they'll join this semester.
-midterms coming up: ME104 and CE130, thursday and friday respectively. Haven't studied much for either, due primarily to freakin HWK assignments. I don't see how they expect us to study and do hwk assignments at the same time. It's going to be a blitzkrieg of studying ME104 tomorrow and the same for CE130 on thursday... I really can't wait for 12 noon friday, as i'll be done with midterms (for a week though lol) and i can look forward to the TBP BBQ on saturday.


September 28, 2003 - GRE,  saved... by parents :)
-2:00 pm: quite the interesting weekend i've been having here. Got up yesterday at freakin 6:40 am to get to SF to take the GRE... My appointment was at 8:30 and i didn't want to fool around with being late. The GRE itself was ok, although writing those damn essays for real kinda sucked (i just skipped those when taking the practice tests). The practice were pretty accurate in predicting score: i got 540 verbal, 790 math. OK scores for the particular grad schools i'm applying too, although the 540 is kinda low. Shouldn't compare those scores to SAT scores, cuz the percentiles are a bit different. It turns out that 540 is about the 71 % percentile, or about 640 on the SAT. I'm not sure why the two tests use different percentiles when they use the same damn raw score scale. The point of this is that i scored about the same on the GRE as i did on the SAT. ANYWAY...After the GRE was done, left SF about 12.
-My parents came up to rescue me from lack of food this weekend at around 2:30. Made a big Costco run for $200 worth of food, and ate dinner (at the asian ghetto, lol). Afterward, i took the smallest possible of vacations by spending the night with them at the motel. Hehe first time in a long time that i went to bed at 10pm! (but there were assholes outside around midnight talking about random shit). This morning, went to 99 Ranch to buy some produce (buying produce at Costco is a bit too much). They left berkeley around 12 noon (yeah sucks they could only stay for basically one day). Won't get to see the family again for two months!! (Thanksgiving!)
-now it's time to start the laundry and do the shitloads of homework i have...


September 24, 2003 - random entry before i have to scamper off to damn discussion
-1:33 pm: ah yes... about 20 min to write about random stuff on my mind before i get stuck in 3 hrs worth of discussions.... Hmm what comes first to mind? particularly how i can't my free energy curves to look right on my bioe118 hwk. I think the Debye length is wrong or something... I do have this curve that looks somewhat correct, but i think it dies a little too quickly
(and for the nerds, as if this entry won't be nerdy enough, the first derivate is too negative). After bioe118 comes the TBP concerns on many fronts. Probably the most worrisome is delay we have getting our eligibility lists. Apparently the College of Engineering hasn't even gotten the lists from Sproul to process!! The first candidate meeting is less than a week away, and i'm beginning to wonder if the short time is going to be long enough for publicity. Of far less concern is how incomplete our events calendar still looks. E-mail doesn't work and calling last night didn't work either (ergggg!) .
-the last thing on my mind is the GRE which is on saturday... Total time spent studying = 1 hr. FACK... oh well time to cram!!  (yeah right).... although i will be taking practice tests the next few days. I've been brushing off this test as nothing for the past month, i hope that doesn't come back to bite me in the ass. We'll see. It's a computer-based test, so i'll actually have scores to bitch about on saturday!!
-It's been a good 20 min giving off steam...


September 19, 2003 - broomball, return to Freeborn
-7:22 pm: i intended to write about the stuff from last night, last night, but i couldn't... was finishing up my lovely CE130 hwk instead. SO i'll write about it now! Ok, so i basically decided to go because i didn't want to do my CE130 hwk and i wanted to play broomball with EJC for a change (i've only been with PMHS before). It was much much different than with PMHS. The biggest difference is that there were a hella lot more people, like freakin 60 or something. Also THREE balls at the same time made it very very interesting. I tried offense for like 2 minutes before i retreated back into my traditional broomball defensive mode. Being on offense causes too much slippage and bruised asses. We got to play for a good hour or so. After broomball, we needed to sort out some car issues, then we proceeded back to Berkeley. Some interesting conversations and sights along the way.  Sometime during the ride, Ryan, the driver, got a phone call from Diana, who 4 of us in the car happened to know. So we decided to visit Diana in good ol' Freeborn Hall, my former home during freshman year. OH the memories!! Was pretty exciting to be back there and seeing how much changed in the past 3 years. We had some pretty interesting conversations at Freeborn, courtesy of Nathan. Topics included: STDs, masturbation, wet dreams, and "ground hogging." Anyone who knows Nathan, go ask him about it, i deem "groundhogging" inappropriate for my blog. Those interesting arrays of topics and broomball definitely made the night worth it. I got home around 1:15 am and finished my CE130 hwk at 2:30... I got a joyful 4.5 hrs of sleep for my 8 am class, but hell it was worth it.


September 17, 2003 - school, lab, TBP, out of food, CA Special Recall Election Update
-8:18 pm: a fun updates re: all those above!
-School: bleh of course... starting to pick up steam with more difficult assignments and midterms on their way in two weeks. Not too worried yet, although i should be. After almost 4 weeks, CE130 is still my favorite class, although it is definitely the hardest. Prof Armero is also the most interesting of all my professors... the rest can be REALLY boring.
-lab: finished a repeat experiment of the DIG isolation. Western blots look promising and seem to support the prof's hypotheses. Not sure what experiments we'll be running next.. probably additional westerns and maybe (hopefully) some IF.... I did so much IF during the summer that i miss it now!
-TBP: the official start of the candidate process is less than two weeks away... Feeling a little nervous at the moment, but also excited to meet and help the new candidates. TBP probably represents the extent of my social life during school, so it's highly important to me. Regarding getting all the planning done for the semester.. most of it is done, but there are a few holdouts making me both nervous and a little angry at the same time. If appropriate people are reading this (unlikely, but whatever) DO NOT INCUR MY WRATH... YOU WILL REGRET IT.
-out of food: well, out of decent food let's say. Of course there's tons of ramen and BS laying around but nothing worthy of being called actual food. The past few days have consisted of eating rice and whatever frozen protein can be quickly made into something... (today was round sirloin steak, yesterday it was chicken parmigiana)... It's getting kinda gross. The worst part is that it's hard to go shopping without a car and to find time to do it... I'll probably get desparate enough this weekend to walk my lazy ass to Safeway, just so i can last the week before my parents come up.
-And now for the most EXCITING part of my blog... the somewhat regular CA special recall election update!!! If you've not heard, the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals has delayed the election due to potential disenfranchisement of voters in three counties that still use the punch card system. It's obviously under appeal right now, so the election could possibly still happen in october. We should find out within a week or so. Regarding how the candidates and stuff stand, overall the recall seems to be losing support, while not much has changed in terms of who would win (Bustamante still leads).


September 12, 2003 - why so hot...
-10:47 pm: Dang freakin 95 today at least and weather forecasters say it should be about the same tomorrow. The heat made the day very unpleasant, and it's especially bad when you have a west facing window for the sun to shine through during the afternoon. The only good thing to come out of the hot day is the absolutely beautiful night right now - clear skies and comfortable temperature.
-the semester is officially getting crazy now. The TBP calendar is mostly set up now, and it looks i have some pretty stressful weeks ahead with midterms and events coming 'round the same time. It's also not nice having 4 classes each with homework... i'm creating much trouble right now in fact by not working on any homework. FUN!!! I guess i should catch up tomorrow, but of course only after going to lab to finish off an experiment. Hmm i just realized i won't get to sleep in tomorrow because of having to go to lab... sigh.


September 11, 2003 - 2 Years Later
-10:05 pm: Today marks the two year anniversary of what some have called the first major milestone of the 21st century, the terrorists attacks on the WTC in NY and Pentagon in Washington D.C. I would like to recount that day as well as reflect on what has happened since.
-I think everyone who recalls that day begins almost the same way. Something along the lines of "it was just another day..." or "the day was innocuous enough." My story begins just like that....
-I woke up to the damn alarm that Tuesday morning, about 7 am. Had to shower pretty early because both my roommate and I had the same 8am class, and that tuesday it was Chem3B. After i was done showering, for some reason i didn't turn on my computer as normally do in the morning to check news/email etc. After Leon was done we took off for the bus stop to take the bus to Pimentel.
-The first signs of strange-going-ons was the bus... The radio was on (which was odd in itself) and what it was saying was really really weird. Something about attacks and buildings collapsing on the East Coast. I thought it was some cruel joke, similar to H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, and that the bus driver was whack or something. We got off the bus all weirded out and finally walked into Pimentel. On the big screen overhead they were showing a CNN broadcast of NYC: fire, smoke, panicked people and reporters and dust everywhere... That radio "joke" was no joke.. it was the real thing. Of course i was shocked, and it was even more shocking when Prof. Pedersen just gave the lecture, mentioning only that "lecture would go on despite the events of today..."
-After lecture was done, i rushed home and turned on the TV. The first thing i saw was the recorded collapse of the South Tower.  It was actually really hard to watch, so much so that i had to turn away. To this day, it is still difficult to watch the towers collapse... it is like watching someone die or get killed. Well indeed thousands were killed in those brief moments. And i felt the pain of the thousands of families affected. I had just returned to Berkeley the Sunday before from my grandmother's funeral, so i was in a pretty emotional state as well. I just knew that there was so much pain out there, because I was experiencing some as well. However, I really cannot claim to know what pain the went through, for we were expecting my grandmother's death. Those thousands of deaths that day were wholly unexpected; i got a chance to say goodbye, most people did not. It is often said that "time heals all wounds," but i have serious doubts about it.
-It is hard to believe that two years have gone by since those attacks, but they indeed have. It almost goes without saying that the world is a very different place since the attacks. I think we all live in some state of fear now; in some it may be small, but most assuredly we wonder not if an attack will occur, only when it will. The response of our government to the attacks has been to counter the violence with more violence. The actions were taken in the hopes that overthrowing governments and installing ones sympathetic to ours will decrease the terrorist's resolve and capacity to destroy us. I really wonder whether operations in Afghanistan and Iraq (and potentially North Korea) will really prevent more attacks. Many believe those operations have actually increased the probability of attack. However, there is the flip side of the coin. Were we supposed to do nothing after the attacks, sitting idly by while the terrorist killed us off? Doing nothing would obviously not sit well with most Americans, so action was taken and continues to be taken.
-Whether the action was effective or not remains to be seen... Whether or not it leads to more attacks also remains to be seen... I sit here in this world and watch the various sides attack each other back and forth. I doubt this world will ever know true peace, not as long as humans are permitted to occupy it. I seriously believe that i will live to see a massive nuclear war that could perhaps drive human civilization back a few degrees of technology or perhaps even cause the extinction of our species. I'm not sure what hope, if any, we have, but there is one quote that i try to keep in mind...

"
In spite of everything that has happened, I still believe that people are really good at heart."
    -Anne Frank


September 8, 2003 - 2 weeks of class, California Special Recall Election Update
-11:55 pm: i currently find myself bored and having nothing better else to do, so i might as well write something in this blog which i haven't touched since last wednesday night. hmmm, I just finished an entire bag of microwave popcorn and am feeling gross about it... Oh well where to start...
-evaluating the past two weeks of class is a pretty appropriate place to start i suppose. Well it has been mixed. CE130 and ME104 have both been very interesting, and i really like both professors. They also happen to be the two harder classes involving hard core physics/math. Good balance i guess. The other two classes, MSE/BioE C118 and PublicHealth142A have been pretty boring so far, although 118 promises to increase in difficulty and interest. Overall through two weeks of school i think i'm doing fine (for now). We'll see what i say when the GRE and 1st round of midterms come 'round the end of the this month and beginning of october.
-summary of the past few days: spent friday at Yeh's from about 5 pm to 2 am playing various games, most notably getting my ass kicked in Soul Caliber2, WizWar and Puerto Rico. Hmm that sounds like i got my ass kicked in all three... well only Soul Caliber 2 :p. Walking home at 2 am in berkeley is fuckin scary business. DAMN. Weirdos, drunks, plain idiots all around. I probably shouldn't do that again.... The weekend consisted of doing absolutely nothing. I think i watched TV the whole time, primarily football. Saturday's Cal game vs. Colorado State was disappointing; not only because Cal lost but because the game wasn't the offense filled game that i was expecting. Sunday was more of the same, except that the games were NFL games. They were also disappointing for some reason, not really sure why, but hell they sure beat damn baseball games. monday: pretty standard monday i suppose. PH142A, study in the library, CE130, lab, home ---> now.
-And now for my regular CA special recall election update!!! Over the weekend i got the first piece of political junk mail associated with the special election. As a registered Republican, it should come as no surprise that it was from Arnold. weeee how fun.. it makes me SO want to vote for him. Yeah right. It has pretty standard Republican stuff on it (i.e. lower taxes, smaller gov't). There haven't been any recent polls that i've seen done on who's currently leading the field, or even if the recall is still favored. I suppose it's because the story has gotten old and the news media aren't really paying too much attention to it. It'll probably pick up in a few weeks as the actual election is not too far away, Oct 7.... OH and BTW... IF YOU ARE A U.S. CITIZEN RESIDING IN CA, PLEASE REGISTER TO VOTE AND VOTE IN THE UPCOMING ELECTION. You have until Sept 22 to register. SEE http://ss.ca.gov/


September 3, 2003 - Seeing Phantom of the Opera
-11:55 pm: YAY! just got back from SF after seeing Phantom at the Orpheum Theatre. It was definitely worth the $50 tickets, and i would probably like to see it again. I finally got to see/listen to the songs in the context of the story line of the play. They're pretty good by themselves, but i had no idea how they were supposed to fit together prior to seeing the musical. And it was so nice being in the theatre after being absent for the past two years... hadn't seen a performance of any kind since freshman year.
-hmm interesting thing happpened in school today... the power went out in Evans and CE130 lecture got cancelled. OK maybe that wasn't interesting, but it was definitely out of the norm...


September 1, 2003 - Work... work
-8:54 pm: As i said yesterday, i actually did spend today, Labor Day, laboring... Lots of fun hwk!! OK they were kinda easy, but of course they still take time. The day has been boring as a result and well there really isn't anything worth writing about. From now on as the semester progreses, i'll probably be writing less and having less quality. Probably can't expect the almost daily updates and definitely can't expect the same length. The semester's going to be tough, and this blog shouldn't be something that takes up too much of my time, at least in the daily sense.


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