Birthday Girl

No, not my birthday. On Wednesday it was my friend Mackenzie’s birthday and to celebrate we went out to dinner at the Rosewood Cafe. Rosewood Cafe is this cute restaurant a couple of streets down from Puget Sound that has the best sandwiches and a beautiful pot au creme du chocolat that will haunt you. I can’t believe that I only discovered this gem last year. And now that I have become mildly obsessed with Pretty Little Liars, I love this place a little more.



I Swear I Am Not a Fainting Sheep Amazon

I am really bad at talking to people. So networking events and career fairs are like my personal armageddon. As you can guess I ended up attending a career fair this week as part of my never ending search for a summer internship (I have spent too many nights obsessing over the correct usage of a comma on my cover letters).

I arrived at the SUB which was where the fair was happening, checked in, and wandered around for ten minutes trying to work up the courage to talk to a recruiter. I found it very intimidating and was very nervous. I actually spent a lot of time talking to my fellow classmates in the beginning and learned some new names.

Finally, with the encouragement of a friend I walked up to the Amazon table. The conversation with the recruiter went really well and was very interesting. I was like ‘yeah, this is going so well’. And, maybe it was because the room was hot and there were photography lights flashing to my left and I was nervous or I don’t even know that caused me to faint. Yep, I fainted. In front of many people. People i may want to work for/with. It was MORTIFYING. I will cringe about this experience 50 years from now. I am still cringing about it even as I type these words.

Everyone was really nice and concerned. All the fainting stories I was told made me feel a little better. And I was able to joke that I was so excited about Amazon that I fainted. After assuring everyone that i was fine and indeed was not  a fainting sheep in disguise I quickly made my rounds at other tables and left.

My first career fair definitely was not boring. Though I lost some dignity, I gained a lot of experience about how to talk to professionals about my interests and the career I want. the fair was worth it.


Thoughts at a Passport Agency

So this week I went to Seattle to get my passport as I am going to Toronto for spring break. The whole process before arriving at the agency went smoothly. I thought I had gathered all the documents that I needed. Upon arriving and going through an airport like level of security I discovered that I had forgotten my passport photos. Luckily enough a kind security guard advised me to just run down the street to FedEx to get them done (took five minutes) and come back. So advice for you all; go to FedEx to get your passport photos done because that’s where the passport agency people actually recommend you go to since Walgreens doesn’t always nail down the requirements.

It was an interesting experience. I forgot that my queue number was 331 and NOT 333 which meant I had to get a new queuing number (371). While I waited, as you often do when dealing with any form of bureaucracy, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversations that each agent was having with the person at the window.

There was a programmer trying to fly into Tokyo for a new job, boyfriend trying to meet up with his girlfriend in the Middle East, a child gymnast who just won her way into an international competition, families taking vacations (usually to Canada), a wife trying to claim the body of her husband who had committed suicide, businessmen and businesswomen, and a lot of immigrants trying to go home.

The last group of people stood out to me the most. Many of them had previously talked to other agencies to help them navigate the complicated system in obtaining a permit and getting permission to cross the border among many other things. A woman that came here on a work permit was attempting to get a passport to go home to Mexico because there was an emergency (which is one of the circumstances that allows you to get your passport at an agency); a relative was dying. However she needed to be naturalized or a citizen to obtain a passport. She had already talked to Border Patrol who appeared to tell her this wasn’t a problem. A lot of stories were similar to this. And the whole time I was (let’s face it) eavesdropping, I couldn’t help but wonder how could you make this process better.

It turns out that failed group projects has not allowed people to realize communication is key when you hear the stories of inaccurate information being told to people at different agencies, leading to overall confusion. So, I thought what if you had some sort of process online that cleared up the issue.

The government website where you get information for your passport has a cost calculator where you enter your basic information and it spits out a number. What if you created a Situation Calculator (terrible name, I know). A person would start off entering their basic information, then enter the circumstances they are in, and then the program would tell them the process that they would need to go through required documents needed, who to contact, and what order to contact the agencies in.

It would help. Instead of individually calling each agency and searching for this information it would all be laid out clearly for someone. The program would create an outline/plan. Just a thought.

Wait, maybe I will create this for my computer science extra credit project. (cue TaySwift singing “it could be forever or go down in flames”)

How Do They Do It?

When I was applying to college I was always curious about how much time studying and clubs would take up my daily life and if I would ever get enough free time. Or if it was alot of free time and I could frolic about campus. There’s the suggestion that for every hour you are in class there are 2-3 hours of work that you do outside of class. It’s not true for all of my classes.

Thought you would want a look at what my average week looks like. Though this isn’t standard for every student it gives a clearer picture. As I have mentioned before my planner is my life. So, I have everything in there.

On the left side, I have deadlines and weekly agenda. There is space for random notes and things and my daily checklist for the week.

On the right side, I have my actual schedule/calendar and a space for me to write my daily itinerary. I am only taking three classes this semester so my schedule is light. I color code things. Red is for school things for example.

I need to have that daily itinerary to actually see how much time I have to budget for certain things. It helps keep me in check. When I register for classes, creating example itineraries for each potential class schedule (I know I am crazy), I can tell if I am putting too much on my plate. I have an odd mindset where if there is an available time slot, I will fill it up with something thinking I have time for it and not thinking about the work for whatever activity.

I spend anywhere from thirty minutes to three hours on a class. When I took French it was thirty minutes since I pick up languages really easily. In my reading classes it takes an hour to two hours depending on the reading. And problem sets and computer science homework can take anywhere from two to four hours. NOT EVERYDAY OF COURSE. I pick my classes so I can TRY to have an A/B schedule.

Hope this makes the college schedule alot less vague! 

Point Defiance & Tulle

As a local I must say that every Puget Sound student should try to explore Tacoma. And especially explore the gem that is Point Defiance. There is a zoo and aquarium, multiple picnic locations, gardens (so many), duck pond, a playground, a beach, the marina, a forest, a fort. There’s a lot going in that foliage heaven. So, deciding to take advantage of the free time that reading period gives and the nice weather, a friend and I decided to take the bus down there and have fun with the 50 yards of tulle that I bought but never used. I honestly don’t remember what compelled me to buy so much tulle.

Afterwards we had lunch at Don’s Market. Everyone should visit Don’s Market because it is adorable. And the options for milkshakes flavors are endless and you will be paralyzed with indecisiveness.

Saturday Traditions

My friends and I have a great tradition of going out for breakfast every other Saturday morning. Luckily for us Puget Sound is located near some of the best diners in Tacoma (Old Milwaukee Cafe and the Shakabrah on 6th Avenue).

This last Saturday we decided to try the Engine House 9. It was a firehouse back in the day and the owners decided to retain some of that history with firemen hats and the old architecture of the building. It may have either become a cheese place or a brewery before becoming its’ present day pub/restaurant.

The fries that are just automatically included with every meal are delicious and they have quite unique egg dishes. Like a California Benedict? Is that an actual thing? You also get the world’s most beautiful hot chocolate which tragically you will not finish because you are stuffed to the point of puking.

It’s Over(Sort of)

Ain’t no party like an end of semester party because end of semester party involves alot of stress relief.

The last day of classes was Wednesday and with it came a feeling of elation(did I use that word correctly?) as I submitted my research paper on Moodle. My planner, though still looking disorganized, had alot more blank spaces (see what I did there?) to be filled with a study schedule.

To be honest I had completely forgotten that Mistletoast (one of the end of the semester festivities) was happening. So, as I was leaving the SUB (that one food place) with my drunken noodles in hand I got swept into a winter wonderland. A bit like The Nutcracker if you put in acapella groups, a glorious chocolate fountain, and swing dancing. And minus the rats and the handsome Nutcracker doll. This tends to happen to me alot; I forget an event is happening and end up attending or participating in it.

After all the bonding I have done with my textbooks and BlueJ(the code compiler we use in computer science) it was nice to talk to people. Sometimes I forget how nice it is just to get out and socialize.

Then after I had my fill of the chocolate fountain I went for a celebration breakfast with a friend on Thursday morning (wow, I am such a party animal). After much deliberation we had decided on Knapp’s since we hadn’t eaten there before and it felt closer to us than the diners on 6th ave. There’s no better way to celebrate than with food after all.

Then that evening I went to my first holiday party ever. The thing is my family doesn’t celebrate the holidays. To us it’s just winter with alot of sales. I was talking to one of the new sociology professors, who is also Vietnamese, about how awkward this can be when considering to give family members a gift or not. The party was the International Political Economy , Economics, and Sociology office party. After getting lost and finding the wrong house, I finally ended up where I was supposed to be.

It was honestly strange and awkward since I was the first work-study student to arrive. So, I wasn’t sure how to mingle. Which resulted in me eating some delicious baked goods until I struck conversation with one of my old professors. I think my favorite part of this whole holiday experiencing was talking to my professors and hearing their thoughts and opinions on classwork, tests, reading period, etc. It’s always interesting to me because before you go to college it seems as though there are two types of professors; the eccentric ones who slept in their offices and go on rants. And the ones that are strict and cold-hearted. And, the concept of a normal professor does exist. What I’m trying to say is that it’s just fun to pick their brains.

Now that all the celebrations are over, it’s time to bingewatch Supernatural and spend some quality time with my flashcards.

I Applied for an Internship at Intel and Almost Died

(The title is definitely an exaggeration, but I swear my heart never beated so fast as when I was typing up my resume or when I was sending it in.)

I just may have gotten an ulcer and a heart attack here or there from applying for an internship at Intel. Yeah, you read that right. INTEL. ONE OF THE BIGGEST TECH COMPANIES IN THE WORLD. One of the new professors in the Computer Science Department, David Chiu, had a contact from a former student at Intel. Her software development team was attempting to increase the number of female engineers on their team to a more proper 50/50 ratio.

And, so he showed up to the WACM meeting and invited seniors to apply for the full-time positions and for the rest of us to apply for internships. David is my lab professor, so he knew that this was my first semester dealing with CSCI as I am taking CSCI 161 (the intro class) AND HE STILL WANTED ME TO APPLY FOR AN INTERNSHIP. AT INTEL.

Our conversation went a little like this (paraphrased and taken from memory):

David: You should apply. For the experience. Even if you don’t get it, you’ll have that.

Me: But, I have no experience. Like, none. My resume is nothing.

David: Just do it.

Me: No.

David: Apply.

Me: Okay.

He was incredibly helpful in helping me (sorry for the redundancy) create my resume. It turns out my resume isn’t actually nothing (I did do robotics for four years in high school). So, I corrected the resume worrying over every period while sweating all my fear onto my keyboard. And, then I sent the resume in and had a heart attack.

I haven’t gotten any results. But, that’s okay because I came away from the application experience with a resume and an ulcer.