Tag Archives: friends
Since my last post, I have made it through graduation alive and relatively sane. Although all the worries and doubts from before were still there, I tried my best to focus on graduation for what it was: a celebration of the achievements of me and my peers over the past 4 years. It was a hectic and frenzied 3 days, but sitting among the sea of light blue in my own matching cap and gown, I was happy and proud to be graduating from such an amazing university and share the occasion with my family and friends.
I don’t think the fact that I won’t be returning to Columbia in the fall has quite sunk in yet, but hints of nostalgia are already beginning to peak above the surface from time to time. But with so much change on the horizon I’m forced to look forward and not back. Right now I’m back home for a bit, before moving to San Francisco on June 9. So I’m busy looking for jobs and apartments and procrastinating on my dental school applications. I know I’ve said this for just about everything this past year, but I’m both scared yet excited about all this change. Look forward to more posts about starting this new chapter in my life soon! But not before a post about Yufei and my post-graduation vacation to the US Virgin Islands!
What’s more perfect for two broke college girls than free clothes, cosmetics, and food and drinks? Nothing! That’s what my friend Jin and I realized at Lulu’s Style Studio at NYFW last Friday night. The event was hosted by Lulu’s, a great website for trendy and affordable fashion finds (I’ve gotten a pair of oxfords and a great dress there myself). The event was held at the Openhouse Gallery in Nolita, a really cute little space that was made to look like an indoor park.
We received a tote bag at the door filled with some coupons and other goodies, and as we walked around, there were tables full of free samples from all the different sponsors of the event, from Pop Chips to Pop Beauty, Cravebox to NYX. There were also free drinks from Hpnotiq, chocolates, candies, cupcakes, and truffles.
They also had a prize wheel that we got to spin, and Jin and I both won jackets from BB Dakota!! Here’s me wearing mine the next day:
Everyone at the event was also invited to take home one Lulu’s item from five different style racks, and I decided on this bright blue peplum dress! Here I styled it with a wide black belt and black heels:
We walked away from the event with over-stuffed bags a a huge fashion high. Such a good night! Here’s everything I got for free (shoes not featured):
Thanks to Jin for finding this fabulous event and asking me to go with her!
I’ve been neglecting this blog for some time now, because soon after my birthday I freaked out and realized that my DAT was in less than 2 months (now more like 2 weeks)… so I’ve been very busy studying. And now it’s finals week and I’m dying because I have so many and they’re all worth so much of my grade. But I really don’t want to study anymore so I’m using this to procrastinate.
Here are some photos from my birthday dinner last month:
We went to Symposium, a tiny Greek restaurant (the photo on the website makes it look deceivingly large) near Columbia. It was the first time since I started college that I’ve been able to celebrate my birthday with a group of friends, and it was excellent! Great food, great sangria, great company. And the delicious strawberry mousse cake was from Artopolis.
22 is a rather unmonumental age, I must say. But that’s just fine with me. Turning 20 and 21 felt like such a huge deal that it made me nervous and agitated that I still hadn’t figured out my life. But I actually felt surprisingly okay with this last birthday. Maybe it’ shouldn’t be so surprising, since I finally do have some idea of where I want my life to go, even if I haven’t ironed out every wrinkle in my future plan yet. But I finally feel like I have a goal and am making progress, so that it no longer feels like time is passing me by. It’s a good feeling!
So right now I’m focusing on finishing finals (with decent grades, hoping for straight A- this semester, haha), then it’ll be onto the DAT, and then doing the pre-health application and other stuff for applying to dental school, and finding a job for both next semester and my gap year, all while enjoying my last semester in college! And then it’s onto the real world… but let’s not get too far ahead yet.
I probably won’t be back until after my DAT on Jan. 7, so I guess I’ll wish anyone who’s reading a very Merry Christmas, and see you in 2012!
There’s finally a tiny little break for me! I still have a paper due on Sunday that I need to start, but at least midterms are over for now and I don’t have anything else major before fall break. Phew. I’ve been so burnt out over the last couple of weeks, and I got sick last weekend too so that didn’t help either (still recovering from a cough). But at least I feel like I have enough time to write a blog post, that must mean something, right?
Earlier this month, I went to a little reunion with some friends that I attended a summer program with in 2007 (wow that’s a long time ago). One of them goes to Cornell and another goes to BU, and the other 2 are in town doing co-op programs. Since everyone was in NYC that weekend, we decided to meet up! It was great catching up with them since I haven’t seen most of them since the program ended, which was 4 years ago!
Then later that week, Yufei and I celebrated our three year together by going to dinner at Cafe Boulud. The meal and the service were excellent, I especially loved the olive bread (I think olive is starting to grow on me!) and my dessert, the milk chocolate coffee parfait.
And the company was even better, of course! Thanks to Yufei for such a great evening, and I hope we will celebrate many more years to come!
The weekend after that, I went to Columbia’s homecoming game against U Penn. We didn’t win, but at least we were winning when we left the stadium. And that’s not the most important part anyway, because that title goes to free stuff! By being a senior, I got a free t-shirt and free beer, and by pretending to be an alum, I got a free scarf (for being an “engineering alum”) and a free stuffed lion. And a ton of free food, snacks and drinks! The weather was beautiful that day, and it was so lovely to spend the afternoon with friends bathed in the upsurge of school spirit that only happens about twice a year. Here are my friends Cindy, Ying, Jin, and me!
Photo credit goes to Yufei, with amazing post-processing by Jin.
Then last weekend, I had the chance to meet up with my fellow blogger friend Erin, who is attending NYU. It was so cool to meet someone that you’ve been talking with online for so long! Erin was so nice and awesome and I’m looking forward to seeing her again to do some cool NYC stuff together!
That’s about it for now! There will be lots happening over the next week or so, so if I find time I will definitely write about it here!
The only good way to do this is through photos – so here we go!
Our Robins cabin flag that I drew and my girls colored!
Color competition draft:
There was a ton of pool time at camp:
Canoeing and kayaking at the lake!
Me and some of the other interns before the dance (where they had a live band and everything! And they played Green Day’s Basket Case which totally made my night):
Circus Mojo came to camp for a show and a workshop, where the kids learned how to do some of their tricks (it took me forever to learn how to spin a plate on a stick):
A circus complete with popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, glitter tattoos, and giant inflatables? I hadn’t had so much fun in a long time!
A beautiful sunset over camp:
Lovely fruit baskets at the luau dinner (did I mention that the theme this year was Hawaii Camp O?):
Pinewood derby time! One of my campers won second place for best paint job – which I take at least half the credit for… her car was zebra striped – she painted it white and I added the stripes…
One of several intern skits at the talent show:
Prom time! Yes, there was a prom, and it was awesome. The girls got to pick out dresses and get their hair and makeup done and everything! The dining hall and tent were transformed for the occasion:
I was a little sad that Shelby and I were the only ones who picked out crazy dresses to wear to prom – but we totally rocked it!
All the interns plus our coordinator Stacey after prom:
And that’s a wrap! Reflections on camp coming soon…
Has it really only been less than 2 weeks since I arrived in Nashville? So much has happened and everything has felt so surreal, and I haven’t even started my official internship yet. Where do I begin? With the cicadas, I suppose.
So, yeah, there were cicadas EVERYWHERE when I first arrived in Nashville. They were the second thing I noticed about the city after the heat and humidity. I was expecting the heat and humidity, but huge ugly bugs that fly everywhere and run into people? Not so much. Apparently they only come out every 11 years or something like that and I came at just the right time! I hate bugs and these things are just awful. They will fly into you and land on you, which freaked me out every single time, and it’s impossible to avoid stepping on their crunchy corpses when you walk outside. So far the welcome I was getting here was not so impressive.
But things soon got better when I got to the hotel that DCI booked for the interns for orientation – a lovely Holiday Inn Express. After I got settled into my hotel room, some of the interns that were already here decided to go out to get some dinner, so we took the hotel shuttle to Jack’s Bar-B-Que and I had my first very appropriate meal in Tennessee.
Downtown Nashville (live (country) music can be heard everywhere – Music City indeed!):
Orientation began the next day at the DCI corporate headquarters and went on for 3 days, during which we listened to various presentations on topics such as tissue and organ donation, dialysis, brain death, etc. We also got to visit the dialysis clinic, HLA lab, and learned how to scrub in. In the evening of the first day, we got free tickets to a Nashville Sounds game. I’m not the biggest baseball fan so it was more like an evening of fighting off cicadas and chatting with my new friends. We left after the 7th inning, but not before a picture with the mascot!
Then on the second night of orientation, we were invited to the Johnsons’ house (which was quite a beautiful estate) for a BBQ. The Johnsons are two of the nicest, most generous and amazing people I’ve ever met, and not to mention an adorably sweet old couple. Dr. Johnson is the founder of DCI, which is a huge huge accomplishment, as well as everything that came after, like this internship and Camp Okawehna. His wife Nancy is the sweetest ever. When she came in to orientation that day, she already knew all of our names, where we come from and go to school, and our interests. I can only hope to be as successful yet humble and nice as the Johnsons one day.
On Friday we left for Camp Okawehna, about 45 minutes away from Nashville, where we were to serve as counselors for a week. We helped unload and set up a ton of supplies, and that night we were once again treated to dinner, followed by a Wal-Mart run and bowling. Then we returned to camp and spent the night in one of the nice air conditioned lodges, the best accommodations we were to get for the next week. I drifted off to sleep as I anxiously awaited the next day when the campers would arrive.
Has it only been three weeks since the new semester started? It’s starting to feel like a drag already. The weather certainly isn’t helping either. I’m regretting not going to school somewhere warming every day (I’m only semi-kidding here). So I haven’t done a whole lot since I got back to New York, since I’d rather stay inside all the time and go into the snowy slushy mess that is Manhattan right now. But anyways, there are some things I wanted to share here.
I had lunch with a fellow Canadian girl a couple of weeks ago. I gave her some advice (she’s a freshman) and she’s so nice and gave me this cute little cell phone chain:
It has a charm of the mascot of the 2010 Shanghai Expo, Haibao, and a tiny little hourglass. I like pretending that it’s a Time-Turner :D
On Thursday I attended a scholarship reception at Columbia. I didn’t bring my camera, which I regretted as soon as I walked through the doors. It was the fanciest affair I’ve been to in a while; tablecloths, floral centerpieces, jazz trio on the stage, hors d’œuvres, a wonderful buffet dinner… the type of thing that was designed to make you feel special to be a Columbian. I met some wonderful new people and have a lovely evening. I even brought home one of the centerpieces (of course, in Columbia colors blue and white), as I was alerted of this possibility by friend and fellow Columbian Jin. Isn’t it gorgeous? And it makes my room smell wonderful.
Then yesterday, to celebrate Chinese New Year, Yufei and I went to have lunch at Wa Jeal Sichuan Chili House. Reviews on Yelp compared it to Szechuan Gourmet, of which I am a big fan, so I wanted to try it out. We ordered the Sichuan dumplings with chili sauce as an appetizer, and it was nice and spicy, very good. Then we shared shredded pork with garlic sauce and kung pao chicken as entrees. The pork was cooked with water chestnut and mu-er, which added interesting texture to the dish.
I could barely contain my excitement when I saw the kung pao chicken, because for the first time ever the dish contained green bell peppers!!! Just like the way we make it at home! This has never happened at a restaurant before, so that was a huge plus for me.
Both dishes were delicious, though I think not as spicy as Szechuan Gourmet, as well as less oily. Anyways, I really liked the restaurant, the decor was more upscale than the typical Chinese restaurant and it wasn’t cramped at all, the service was great, and the check came with orange slices and fortune cookies! I would love to go back there sometime.
After lunch, we headed to the Met a few blocks away, where they had Chinese New Year festivities. We were rather late so we only caught part of the youth orchestra performance and the tea ceremony demonstration. We walked around the museum some more, as somehow we had missed the Asian art collection during previous visits. I really liked the beautiful Astor Court, modeled on a Ming dynasty scholar’s courtyard in Suzhou.
Since we were in the area already, we decided to go to the Guggenheim after leaving the Met. We had attempted to go last semester, but they required a current sticker on our Columbia ID’s for free admission (hey, MoMA never asked). So now armed with our Sping 2011 stickers, we entered the giant spiral building.
I really liked the structure of the museum, as walking through it felt very natural, not like most museums where one feels constantly unsure of where to turn next. The main collection on display right now, The Great Upheaval, is great as well. Must go to more museums before graduation!
And now it’s Sunday, and as usual I haven’t gotten any work done, so I better be off now!