What would you do if you won the lottery? My ideal may be different from yours, but many answers involve a moment's splurge as well as some wild and wonderful travel adventure. I asked a friend what he would do, and near the top of his list was to enjoy Tesla - they are a splurge, and travelling with Tesla is an electric-fuelled, autopilot optioned, technologically rich breeze.
A Brief Background on the CEO
A Long Story Short: One Of Tesla's Models (Tesla Model S P85D) Includes:
Locations in Vancouver
Reading week is wonderful, and everyone’s taking at least a little bit of time off to do something fun. Some people went home for the week, others are going exploring to find someplace new, there’s skiing, hiking, going out for dinner, enjoying a Netflix marathon (go watch How To Get Away With Murder), and pretty much doing whatever your heart desires (delaying thinking about midterms).
Dare you to go explore Victoria, if you haven’t been yet! Or if you have, go again. It’s gorgeous. I want to mention some places out there that are my personal favourites, with a couple must-sees recommended from those at UVic.
First of all, getting there from UBC: I usually take the 480, transfer to the 620, and then take the ferry. With a student bus pass, and a $16 or so fee to walk onto the Tsawwassen ferry to Swartz Bay, this’d be one of the cheaper (hooray for that student budget...) adventures to another city you’ll take.
It’s a pretty easy hike, around half and hour should you choose to take the forest trails with a couple of switchbacks. You can drive to the top as well. If you hike up, chances are you’ll see a few trees covered almost entirely in lichen; they definitely reminded me of truffula trees from Dr. Suess’s book ‘The Lorax’, with their fuzzy look (but not their colour...) Anyways, from the top you can gaze over all of Victoria and out over the water, all in all a glorious reward for the walk (watch out for fog, it can come up quickly, and definitely did when I was up there).
Interactivity Board Game Café
This café downtown was absolutely wonderful, very quaint and cosy! I hadn’t seen anything like it. Upon entering, you feel as though you’re in a little kid’s paradise, as the walls are lined with board games of every kind. For $5, you can claim a table, and play any board game(s) for as long as you please, while refreshments you order simply go on your tab. I played an Ender’s Game battle board game, had a cookie dough milkshake, and found myself in heaven. This café would be my recommendation for visiting any friend/family member/lovely individual you want to catch up with, and it definitely stirs up competitive spirit in the best possible way.
While I can’t say I’m recommending these ones from personal experience, I’m sure UVic students’ feedback on this one is flawless.
Karaoke Thursdays at Felicita’s Campus Pub – If you’re around the beautiful UVic campus on a Thursday night, staying with a friend there, or just bored, these nights have a reputation for hilarity. This student night is similar to our Pit Wednesdays, so grab a friend or a drink or both and enjoy.
Other recommendations include the Sticky Wicket Pub, (just ‘Sticky’ for short), for a few casual drinks with friends, as well as Sugar, a nightclub. Sugar’s having an event called ‘Rave of Thrones’ later this year, in April – a festivity with Hodor (Kristian Nairn, as the DJ for the evening) and a solid pun for the title, so of course I couldn’t resist putting a note in here about it.
I stayed with family, but rooming with a friend would also be ideal, I’m sure. If you go to Victoria and stay in a hotel/location you loved, I’d be stoked to see a comment from you on this post.
Unwinding is something we all do differently, and those with a busy schedule will agree that time off is something golden and to be cherished. ISCI’s all about making connections in science, so I connected my knowledge of well studied psychological benefits and applied it to…. slacking. Just kidding – but you can use knowledge to cognitively re-frame (or think of) taking time off as being productive, which it is! Yes, “you do you”! What did you do over the weekend? Stress release!
Short bursts of stress = healthy. Prolonged stress = detrimental
Bottom line: use preventative measures on stress, like (1) being prepared for challenges and (2) feeling socially connected, and remember to break up prolonged stressful times with (3) exercise and (4) relaxation.
SCI Team’s ‘Get Into Volunteering' Event
Volunteering can be doubly beneficial; a feel-good event for both the receiving individual(s) and for the volunteer. Furthermore, I want to become a physiotherapist, and like many other programs, it requires involvement in the community. This event last week featured multiple booths offering volunteering opportunities, some of which that include “Right to Play” and “Learning Buddies Network”. In addition, they also had a guest speaker give advice on what to do to get involved. Events like this might not seem like direct stress relief, but feeling prepared to meet future goals (applications, being well-studied for finals, etc, can definitely minimize stress). SCI Team hosts numerous events throughout the year, so to get involved/attend events check out:
SOCIAL ASPECT (2) + EXERCISE (3): (Not to be confused with avoidance coping, for all of you out there in psychology)
The Calendar’s “Digital Zoo” Dance Party
If I had one word for my music taste, it would be eclectic. My iPod is the jack-of-all-trades, good for a bit of everything. So the insistent techno/electronic beats were a bit redundant for me, but it did mesh with the “digital” theme. However, I loved seeing so many fellow students I knew, and it was definitely a way to connect, celebrate and let out some energy.
But how do I know about these events? UBC Calendar of course! Check them out if you want to "shake it off, shake it off".
EXERCISE (3) + RELAXATION (4):
Time to get a little (a lot) sweaty. In the Vancouver, the city that brought you lululemon, you’ll find yoga studios are almost as easy to spot as sushi vendors. Recently, I’ve tried one nearby UBC in Wesbook village, called ‘Hot Box Yoga’. They’re newly started and offering a promotion; like them on Facebook and they’ll give you a free session, so of course I had to go stretch it out.
The session I attended was called ‘Detox’, run by Alyx Kottmeier. Armed with towel, mat, and gigantic water bottle, my first thought was ‘unusual’ – mirrorless, upbeat music infused studio. Turns out, unusual was the definitely the theme; the instructor balanced maintained poses with quick transitions, creating a session that had an interval-training feel. We balanced in poses that should be reserved for figure skaters...
I felt like Julia Lipnitskaya, I felt like I deserved a medal after surviving that one! (kidding, don't worry, what we did was fun.) Alyx instructed us to help hold our neighbour’s leg in the air while doing this pose:
I came precariously close to tumbling everyone (domino effect!) while my friend struggled not to be grin at my less-than-stellar bending skills) but even with that said, I enjoyed my sweat session and left feeling spectacularly refreshed.
In summary: never feel guilty about finding time for yourself. For whatever amidst work or school aspirations you’re putting copious amounts of time and dedication into, remember that a touch of time off will keep you laughing.
On that rather cheesy note, good luck with your finals, you can ace ‘em!
Rather worth a Saturday morning, this conference is run by SCI Team and SPAC (science peer academic coaches) who, along with some professors too, run workshops giving study tips tailored to individual subjects, including math, chemistry, physics, and bio. Here's a rundown on what you missed:
Intro: Even before the keynote speech began, the coaches were surprisingly approachable - in that they went around approaching you and asking about hey how are you, who are you, what are you doing here (all in friendly, non-aggressively interrogative tones - it was a conference, not a kidnapping). The point may have been to present a welcome environment so that our shells of quiet habit could be pried open easier but I think I ended up knowing one of the coaches more than they knew me (in retrospect, when somebody asks "what made you come here today?", asking "why are you a coach?" is a little cheeky- sorry!).
Chemistry: The professor presenting seemed very intent upon helping us study successfully and to avoid the mistakes she made; at some point, she emphasized, she was a student too, and it was very comforting to know somebody could empathize with what we were going through and it was possible to survive without undergoing grotesque evolutionary adaptations.
I attended Biology, Active Learning, and Exam Preparation so The major tips discussed and emphasized were:
1. Don't read, reread, re-re-read through everything. That doesn't suffice as studying anymore. Not recommended, unnecessary, ineffective in terms of the enormous amounts of time required and the little retention acquired that can actually be translated into points on the midterm/final exam/in case of the apocalypse.
2. Instead, the practice questions are where it's at. Online, in your ChIRP, the practice midterms. Practice and repeat. Even if your answer is correct when you check, pause for a moment and be honest: was that leprechaun luck or do you actually know what you’re doing? Also, try extrapolating as to what other similar questions could be asked, and visit your professor during office hours to check if they would really be tested.
3. Most importantly, LEARNING OBJECTIVES. Probably be the mantra chanted during their hallowed meetings in the halls of a musty, underground, wall-to-wall carpeted study sanctuary if SPAC were to be some sort of cult (which disclaimer: they aren't), this was the recurring theme of the subject workshops. Required by UBC mandate to be created for every course, professors did outline these with much thought and this is why these concepts you must understand are often the central ideas being tested. Designed to be not too vague to be confusing and not too definite to limit the teaching or the students from exploring the topic, being aware of them could help save time in prioritizing what you really need to know, which always boils down to what are the exam questions fishing for, what will earn you the most points, etc. This is starting to sound like a gameplan, which is probably the basic reasoning behind the study plan they explained we should make.
4. During the exam itself? Be Calm. Probably one of my favourite songs by fun. Aim and Ignite is the ultimate pop album and their 5th anniversary recently passed- was going to link you guys to where they were offering their digital album for free download but their deal ended so here's a listening link instead.
If Kelly's okay with it, I'd write a post raving about what I listen to, but my taste is so blatantly mainstream early 2000s it's embarrassing that I have zero shame.
5. In true buzzfeed quiz style, experiment to find and #haveityourway. Group vs independent, note styles to summarize and to review vs to connect and reinforce, this conference was excellent in that you could take away many techniques, supported by examples and personal advice and experience, to try out.
Sometimes, when things get abstract, you think "I know, I know, I need to manage my time effectively, that's so obvious, of course I need to stay focused and eat healthy and not procrastinate and excel and succeed, ain't nobody got time to listen to these fancy words for 'be a nerd', let's get STARTED already." And I'm sure you're the ultimate sassmaster and nobody can compare and you got this, but the most important part of knowing things you have to do is the follow through. And the follow through is the most difficult until you understand where to start for it to work.
As midterms approach, or have already hit for some of us, nerves can be running high. What better to control those pre-exam butterflies with a little (or a lot) of sweet deliciousness? Whether you like just a taste of chocolate every now and then, or if it's a staple food in your diet, UBC can accommodate. Elf's four main food groups might be candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup; but with this guide, I'm recommending a fifth: chocolate.
NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE, CHOCOLATE WILL BE THERE.
Seriously, there are a million (or so) Starbucks on campus, and you're a rare person if you say no to their double chocolate chip frappuccino. Alright, I might be biased, but you're walking on main mall, or headed to the SUB? Chocolate. University village/marketplace? Even more chocolate. Headed home through Wesbrook? You get the idea.
Tim Horton's. Definitely a Canadian classic. A mocha, (or for a little extra sweetness, ask for a half hot chocolate half french vanilla), is always wonderful on a rainy day. Tim Horton's also takes UBCcard.
Blue Chip Cookies. Hello heaven. Almost anything on this menu is wonderful, but hazelnut hot chocolate? YES. Pair that with the Marbelous cookie, a delightful mix of white and dark chocolate, and you'll have enough cocoa for days. For all of you with food money on your UBCcard, Blue Chip'll definitely accept it.
Pearl Fever Tea House. This one's honestly my favourite, if you've never had an Oreo bubble tea (make sure you get pearls with it) you definitely need to get yourself there. Another fairly unusual, scrumptious creation is their Ferrero Rocher bubble tea. The only downside here is that they don't take UBCcard.
Menchies. Besides their usual array of chocolate goodness, they also occasionally have nutella frozen yogurt!
In addition, don't forget about the upcoming events with ISSA, Meet Your Mentor on Tuesday Oct. 7th, from 4:00 - 6:30pm, and another event that those of us with a sweet tooth will love, a pie eating contest on Friday, Oct. 10th, from 12:00 - 2:30pm (see Events page for details).
Alright chocoholics, I hope I've mentioned at least one new concoction to try!
RECOMMENDED READS: CATEGORIES "MENTOR SPOTLIGHTS" AND "ALUMNUS INTERVIEWS"
About Me: My major is Integrated Sciences; I'm integrating physiology and psychology, and completing a minor in kinesiology. The movie 'The Imitation Game' blew my mind, and every piece done by the artist Alex Cherry is spectacular. Also, if you look up the definition of a bookworm, you'll find me.
Integrating Physiology and Neuroscience!
I like hanging out at Tower Beach but you can usually find me studying at Ponderosa even though I don't live there.