Blog Archive: September 2003
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.
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
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
-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...
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.
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
-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
-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).
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
-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.
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
-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."
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 --->
-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
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...
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.