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December 9, 2011

Hello all!

Literally just took this picture.

As I sit here in the Green Bean, sipping on a latte out of a snowman mug, listening to holiday music in complete blissful denial of all my work, I thought I'd take a moment to share the joys of finals season with all of you! Classes officially ended Wednesday, after I pulled my first and only all-nighter of the semester.  It was mostly my fault for not planning my time better, but at the same time I knew it was probably inevitable at some point. Surprisingly, I was pretty alert for most of the day.  I'd never felt better... Read More

December 8, 2011

Hey everyone! Sorry to have been so MIA of late--I went on some great trips and then had all of my big papers due (in French!), and that combined with spending time with my host family and American/French friends has left little time for me to blog. First my trips.  At the beginning of November, I went to Rome for the weekend to visit one of my best friends/Delta sisters that I met at Oxy, Elke, and who is studying there for the semester.  We visited a few famous sites, took lots of pictures, ate even more delicious Italian food, and stumbled upon the protests for Berlusconi's resignation, which happened the night I was there!  But because I couldn't get directly from Nantes to Rome, I went through Paris, where I stayed with my French friend, Cecile, who was the conversation teacher at Oxy last year.  (Every year for Spanish, French, and German there's a student that comes and lives on Oxy's campus and has a...

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December 8, 2011

Yeah, it's pretty sweet right?  The music department here offers a variety of scholarships such as the music department scholarship, glee club scholarship, English award, and so on.  One in particular is open for first years to try out for: Howard Swan Award.  With this scholarship they subsidize an hour lessons each week as well as a $1000 scholarship award.  Howard Swan is also one of the most respected choral directors in history, so it is very prestigious to get an award in his name. How music scholarships work: The only award open to first years is the Howard Swan Award.  You apply for that over the summer before arriving to campus.  If you are called back, you have your call back on campus with the director who then chooses the recipient.  If you come to Oxy without receiving a music award, you can audition for one the following year if you are involved in the music department.  Students with music...

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December 6, 2011

It has only recently dawned on me that the city I have called home for the past three months will soon become only a memory. Hong Kong isn't going anywhere but I am---come Christmas Eve I will be repatriating after having an incredible semester abroad. I'm beginning to get nostalgic and think about how much fun I have had with my new-found friends exploring a brand-new and arguably one of the best cities in the world. That however, still happens to be in the future. Right now, I'm suffering through final exams (2 out of 5 done, woohoo!) and generally trying to organize my life in preparation of moving back to the U.S. Last weekend the Office of Academic Links (CUHK's equivalent of the International Programs Office) arranged a fancy farewell dinner for the exchange students. I actually had conflicting plans and ended up not going,...

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December 5, 2011

Hey everyone, I was really supposed to blog this semester, but I've had a crazy time of it. I've been writing my senior thesis (known as "comps"), starting the karate club on campus, and getting involved in some stuff on campus in addition to three other classes. I'm sorry for not getting up more posts! The last week was kind of crazy with the wind storms, but Oxy recovered remarkably fast. The wind blew at around 100 mph, the equivalent of a category 2 hurricane, yet we still had class 36 hours later. After much ado, we also now have the Karate Association of Occidental College as an official club. Right now the regular attendees are mostly my friends from karate class, but we're looking to expand over the next couple semesters. Today is kind of a big day for us - most of us are testing for the next belt level this evening; I'm testing for brown tonight. It's a bit of a nervewracking experience, kind of like tryouts...

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December 4, 2011

The Green Bean Coffee Lounge, our student-run coffee shop on campus, strives to implement eco-friendly practices and promote sustainability in general. For example, we only sell organic, fair-trade coffee and all of our cups, lids, plates and utensils are compostable. But even though our cups are compostable, using less of them is still preferable. So on top of the 20-cent discount we give students who bring in their own travel mug when they purchase drinks, we have recently launched an in-house ceramic mug program. We've asked faculty and staff to donate any mugs they have lying around so that we can bring them back into circulation, don't have to purchase new ones and best of all have a wacky collection of random ceramic mugs around the Green Bean. If students order a drink and plan to stay there for a while, our baristas will suggest that they agree to have their drink served in a ceramic mug...

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December 4, 2011

The countdown to winter break begins now! The trouble with that is that the closer I get to the date I get to go home, the more work I have to do. I currently have a whole list of work I have to have done before finals week! But hopefully all that work will make time go faster? So of course I have to talk about the wind storm that swept through L.A. this past week…I have always lived in Los Angeles and I remember maybe once having strong winds, but never that strong! Unfortunately for us at Oxy the winds were so strong it knocked down several big branches, trees, and messed with power lines which caused an entire black out in the city. We thought that a power outage was the worst thing that can happen during the winds, but we were wrong. Apparently a fire started behind Keck Theater and because of the winds it began to spread. Some dorms were evacuated just to be on the safe side. I live in Rangeview, and we weren’t evacuated. That is...

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December 2, 2011

Who doesn't love before and after pictures? They're so fascinating! Here's a great example: I could stare at pictures of before and after photoshop, weight loss, plastic surgery pictures all day... (maybe that's weird). But I've decided to show you some before and after pictures of my own life from this last week. (You may notice that they are not quite as dramatic or inspiring, but maybe just the idea of before and after pictures will hook you enough and trick you into reading the rest of this post). First, Thanksgiving was this last weekend! The Marketplace here at Oxy has a tradition of serving a Thanksgiving meal the day before we all leave for...

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December 2, 2011

Hello Everyone! It's been awhile since I've posted, but lordy has it been a busy November! First of all, last night there was a mini-crisis on campus.  Not only were 100 mph winds raging in Los Angeles, but there was a power out at Oxy.  That was a little inconvenient, but the fun

Some fallen trees to depict the "madness"

Pres Veitch...

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December 2, 2011

This has definitely been an interesting week for weather here at Oxy. The Santa Ana winds definitely took me by surprise, as I am rarely prepared for Los Angeles to have any type of weather that is not warm and sunny. On Wednesday, I heard people talking about the possibility of a wind storm coming. I didn't think much of it until a little after midnight when, after deciding to settle in for a rare early night, I noticed the power go out and heard several people screaming in the hall. Shortly after, my roommate and I both went out into the hall, where people were mentioning a fire going on nearby campus (more pictures, video footage, and information about the fire here) and spreading the word that we were all supposed to evacuate the building and go to the gym, where we stayed for a somewhat uneventful hour...

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