On January 27th, 1870 four women named Bettie Locke, Alice Allen, Bettie Tipton and Hannah Fitch founded the first women’s fraternity, Kappa Alpha Theta at DePauw University, an organization I am a proud member of. This year marked 146 years of friendship, scholarship and women empowering women and it was a wonderful experience to attend the Seattle Alumnae chapter’s Founder’s Day lunch. Especially after completing formal recruitment this past Tuesday and welcoming 30 amazing women into the fold, the lunch & time spent with women who share the same values of Theta throughout their life after college and meet other Theta’s wherever they’ve lived.
The spring semester is always a tricky little thing, you’re so burnt out over the fall semester all you see is winter break, and then suddenly its gone! And there’s no starting a new schoolyear jitters, you’re already been a freshmen\sophomore\junior or senior for a semester, there’s no excuses really for not having your shit together. You have to get your textbooks and you technically knew what classes you had and how it was gonna be that you should have it by the time the semester starts. But you’re so caught up in winter break that you don’t want to think about school or preparing for it at all. Sadly the spring semester has no three-day weekends (which is more sad than you would think) but I think a full week of spring break makes up for it, most definitely we need that break time.
But at the same time, its a new year, 2016! Its the last semester for seniors, the first “real” semester for freshmen to know what college is like, and there’s a finality about the spring semester ironically considering spring the season of blooms. We’re kinda serious about making New Year’s Resolutions and focusing on ending the schoolyear strong because not for long we will be adults and there is no winter or summer break (unless we go to grad school or become a teacher, but normally not).
Nonetheless its there’s a new-ness and ending feeling with the spring semester with so many opportunities and excitement for what’s to come from the semester or thereafter. So happy spring semester Loggers! Well, enjoy the last three day weekend before school starts xP
2015 was a pretty big year for our university I’d say, with the students taking action and pioneering the change we wanted to see come about, some to no immediate success (with work still going on!) and some to the change we wanted to see! Yay us!
In honor of winter break and the end of 2015, here are the top things I get asked or told the most often while I’m home, usually from my family & friends. Some of which may only be related to others who attend schools in colder climates (with less sun) than their warm, sunny hometowns.
1. “Wow, you’re so pale! Don’t you get any sun in Washington?” And yes we do, but it is cloudy and overcast most of the time especially heading into winter, I can’t help that there’s no Vitamin D for my skin to soak up!
2. “So how’s the rain in Washington?” In my opinion we didn’t recieve that much rain in the fall and I’m not sure why or what (global warming?) but it was a pretty pleassant overcast semester; it doesn’t ALWAYS rain in Washington! While California is\was facing an epic drought, Washington was as well that the normal abundance of rain has receded heavily.
3. “Oh you’re a bio major? Are you planning to be a doctor and cure cancer?” Uh no, there are multiple venues for being a biology major and while being a doctor is stereotyped as I’m asian and its what the general public thinks, that’s not what I want to nor plan to do; there are so many other exciting fields that biology could lead to for example: teaching, research, medical technology, bioethics, ecology, conservation, genetic counseling, hospital work, etc.
4. “What are your plans after college?” I don’t know! Granted I only have a year and a half left of undergrad but as I’m not following some pre-set track (aka doctor so medical school), my options are boundless and I’m looking into what I would enjoy doing but I don’t have the answer to life yet, don’t stress me out more about it!
5. “How was your semester?” Everyone gets this and to me its one of those questions where they kinda don’t care what your answer is they’re just making conversation. My semester was rough lol and very busy but I never want to go into that especially if it’s with a distant family member or friend and all I want to do is put the successes and lows of the semester behind me and look to the future.
6. (after being on break for awhile and just lounging at home) “You should get outside more!” I honestly take it for granted that I live in Hawaii while for many the can only visit and want to take in everything our beautiful islands have to offer. And while I love all the activities I can do in Hawaii, I also just love having time to do nothing and be in my house.
7. “What was your first stop when you came home?” This for me is always a difficult choice, what do I want to eat (especially after a six hour flight) most?!? I never know and usually end up going home to a home-cooked meal because that’s few and in between at school and relaxing with my family because that’s one of the best parts of break always.
Today I received an email from PrintGreen saying I had $9.90 credit on my account and to head to a link to add more credit. I was like, what?!?! But what that actually means is that I had approximately 90 sheets I could print before I would be asked to pay. Print Green is the system that our university uses with each individual’s myPugetSound account to track how much documents and sheets of paper are being printed as everyone has a limit so as to conserve paper and track student usage to keep printers runnign smoothly and in stock all semester-long. Our technology services as got a pretty sweet set-up with printers in every dorm and computer labs with printers in Thompson, Wyatt, and the Piano Lounge in Wheelock Student Center. All these printers are hooked onto our myPugetSound account that from our own computer if we logged onto vDesk we could access all Microsoft Office, other programs and printing to campus printers from the comfort of our computer in a Thompson conference room, cubbie on the third floor of the library or our dorm room!
The twinkling lights adorning the massive (probably 10ft) christmas tree, wreathes and bows across the chapel and warmth of the company exuded the holiday spirit within Kilworth Chapel while the rest of the campus labored over their last week of classes assignments and finals preparations. By the time I walked into the chapel, nearly all the pews were full, many with elderly folks in our local community eager to enjoy the holiday music. A sentiment I fully agree with after hearing the Adelphians and Voci d’Amici annual Holiday Concert, “The Darkest Midnight in December”. Adelphians is our mixed audition based vocal group, renown for many years and Voci d’Amici are the top sixteen singers on our campus, auditioned to perform acapella music. The concert also engaged Rev. Wright in readings across the many religious disciplines about the holiday season. Their concert drew the hoards of the community, as I exited one family was seen taking their annual holiday picture on the steps of the Chapel after each concert.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Adelphians and Voci d’Amici is anything but great, their musicality, performance, song choices and emotion rang true on Sunday afternoon taking me out of the fog of finals, lab reports and papers I was drudgering through to think about the holiday spirit. To tradition, to spending time with family, friends and be grateful for. My parents are sending me to college because I wanted to further my education, I am excited about biology and what I could do with in this career field of medicine and help people. Enough to send my a couple thousand miles away from home for 8 months of the year for thousands of dollars, because they believe in me and my desire to know more and be able to do more. *pause* ALL of that makes the studying, fun, and times with the friends I’ve made up here at Puget Sound all the more special and meaningful, just as being about to see all my family and friends at home who I love and will finally be able to spend time with during my break special too. I’m lucky to be able to study a ton and moan and groan about my lab reports, exams and learning all about science. Adelphians and Voci d’Amici shared amazing music with us that day, a part of their passions for singing and to remind us of the holiday spirit as much as I’m sure the elderly folks and other families there were able to enjoy.
I stopped to think about the world, about life abstractly the other day and I noticed I’m doing so more and more. There has been a lot of chaos and more media coverage of those chaos for us sheltered in the US to realize what is actually happening around the world. Americans seem stereotyped to only care about our country, our problems and our successes and that’s true but that mentality can’t continue in the world we live in today. This is a time of turmoil, and change for positive great change and equality and basic respect for all humans to be achieved, hopefully in my lifetime and I can look back and say I thought critically and participated in making change for the good, for seeing all the bad in the world and wanting to hear people’s narratives to be informed and support action to better the world.
Earlier this past week at around 4am I was woken up by a flurry of text messages on my phone. And half asleep I just ignored it. When I woke up I saw a bunch of text messages and email notifications. They were both from campus security alerting me of an incident on 11th and Alder of a drunk individual (not a member of our campus community) making noise and exiting his car, to then shoot at the approaching campus security. Nobody was hurt and the Tacoma Police arrived to arrest the individual and take him into custody. Despite the fact I slept through the whole altercation, I am grateful that security contacted all students (who’s contact information is in their myPugetSound profile) via text AND email at the beginning and conclusion of the altercation so if we were in the vicinity we would know what is happening, and for me who had no clue to at least know what was happening. It struck close to home that this incident could have been one of the many recently campus violence across the nation. I think its horrifying that this trend is even occurring or can occur anywhere.
I am thankful for the safety measures our campus security and administration has put in place to keep us students safe. As someone who lives off-campus and quite a few blocks away, as the nights get longer and darker soon-er I’ve been utlizing our security escorts to get home more frequently. Yes, I think Tacoma is a pretty safe community especially the residential area our campus is located in but when its dark and late at night you never know what could happen, such as the shooting incident. And upon getting to know our campus security better, they don’t do a lot of security escorts and that service is available for our students for our safety. These officers, some of which are students, others adults are willing to walk with members to their destination on or off campus (within a wide triangle around campus, see link below for exact streets) and via vehicle if like myself you live or are going somewhere more than 10 blocks away. This incident also spurred a discussion on campus safety hosted by Dean of Students Mike Segawa a few days after the event along with emails from our Head of Security and Assistant Dean of Students Marta Palmquist-Cady on the resources available to prevent campus violence or any nature, safety, and security for our campus. It makes me feel safe knowing our campus were prepared for such an incident, and kept students alerted of what was going on, held follow-up discussions and reminders of resources all in all keeping our campus community safe.
For fall break my friends I decided to go up to Seattle to do some window-shopping, snacking and walking around the neighborhoods. We didn’t want to do any of the generic tourist-y Seattle things, we were all pro’s at that already and wanted to get to know native Seattle-lite perspective and lesser known areas to explore. I wouldn’t say hipster or hippy are the right words to describe Seattle per say but its very much a city of the individual, or hand-crafter, locally sourced produce, goods and activity. And it was all over the city, in the boutiques we went to, the multiple of food options around and hubs of activity. We jumped from Melrose Market in Capital Hill to Fremont Square and then Ballard all in one day. Smaller pockets of what makes up the large city of Seattle. And as someone from Hawaii, I don’t know if understand what makes a city, just that; a city. Are these areas merely neighborhoods, parts of the larger definition of a city..