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Irene Liao
Genetics and Plant Biology major
Samantha Bell
Microbial Biology major
Jena Riggert
Forestry and Natural Resources major
Dale Dualan
Conservation Resource Studies major
Stephen Kwan
Molecular Environmental Biology major
Kay Jiaqi Yang
Nutritional Sciences - Dietetics major
Tiet Nguyen
Microbial Biology major
Selina Chou
Nutritional Science - Dietetics major
Jenn Jehnsen
Environmental Sciences major
Wendy Chen
Environmental Sciences major
Jessica LeBeau
Environmental Sciences major
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October 26, 2008

Study Breaks

As the second round of midterms comes around in the next few weeks, I have found ways to entertain myself with study breaks that really help me focus afterward. One good break over the weekend was going to the UCLA vs. CAL game. It was really awesome watching us beat them this year, especially after I drove down to LA last year to watch us lose:( I love going to the football games because it is such a great display of school spirit, and I feel like football really brings people together. I encourage everyone to go to at least one football game, because it's an important part of being a Cal student. n1239360_32218359_8993.jpg

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March 16, 2008

Activities, Student Groups...So Many to Choose From!

When I first came to Berkeley, there seemed to be soooo many options. Welcome Week was overwhelming, especially with Calapalooza and all the student groups that seemed like they would be so much fun to join. I was over-ambitious, and I soon realized that I would never be going to a different meeting each night of the week. But after a while, I found what suited me best and kept with that. Recently, I've been trying to attempt new things and join new student groups, and I hope that they will continue in with my normal weekly schedule.

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October 15, 2007

where should i study!?!?!

midterms are around the corner, i need to study but i cant concentrate at home nor do i want to go to the quiet quiet library. what should i do then? where should i go? Starting this year, i have been addicted to cafes! Not only can i drink a cup of hot soy lattes, i am able to sit inside the cafes and study whatever i have to look at. The environment is very inviting and it is not absolutely too quiet that i can hear a pin fall on the ground. One cafe in particular that i visit a lot these days is Cafe Stradda. The coffee there is realllly good and so are the pastries! what is better than enjoying a cup of coffee and pastries any time of the day right? Anyways, i really like the environment because people are around me and the noise level is not unbearable. In fact, when there are a lot of noises like that, i am able to zone it out and to concentrate on what i need to look it...weird, but true. Stradda also has good amount of light that shines through the doors and windows so that i do not have to strain my eyes out trying to read. The tables are also big enough so that i can lay down whatever i have. Sitting outside is also fun because they have those heater lamps thingy that keeps you warm. You can also look at the people walk pass you as you sit and study. The people are super nice too..hehe i go there so much now that i do not even have to say anything and they know i want a cup of soy latte! =D
this may sound like i am advertising stradda...which i hope i am not, but definitely im trying to suggest studying or just sitting and relaxing in a cafe. find one that you like, stick to it and see how it affects you. if you are not a cafe person, there are many other study places/option to choose from. find one that you like, and study away! =)

April 30, 2007

Some Good Life in Berkeley

Shopping
So, wanna shop around Berkeley? Lots of places to go to. The closest shopping place is on Telegraph Avenue and on Bancroft Street. Besides some well known clothing stores like Adidas, Wet Seal, Urban Outfitter, and Hot Topic, there are unique hat stores, cafes, piercing & tattoo stores, and some local/ethnic clothing stores. Shopping on Telegraph is a great way to get to know the culture and history of Berkeley.

Another place for quick shopping is in Emeryville. You can simply jump on the F bus towards San Francisco and arrive in Emeryville in 20 minutes. Besides many typical stores like Ann Taylor, Abercrombie and Fitch, Gap, Victoria’s Secret, etc, there is the AMC movie theater right next to a Barns and Nobles. To get back from Emeryville to Berkeley, you can take the 57 bus and transfer to a 51 bus to get back.

If you love shopping in large scale shopping malls, take the F bus or the BART to San Francisco! There are all kinds of shopping area in the city. In addition to shopping in SF, you can tour around the city. Some nice spots are Pier 39, Fisherman’s Warf, Ghirardelli, the Japanese Town, the China town, etc. If you are over eighteen/twenty-one, clubbing in SF can be another experience to explore.

Eating
Berkeley is known for its great and wide variety of ethnic foods. Besides the well-known “Asian Ghetto” food court on telegraph, there are a lot of eateries on College Avenue and on Shattuck. You can find almost any kinds of food, with student price, around the campus: Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Salads, Italian, Ethiopian, Caribbean, Korean….and lots and lots of good cafés!

Hiking/Sports
There is the Tilden Park next to Berkeley. I went camping with my friends on Tilden before. The view was beautiful and it was a good hiking experience. We also went kayaking in the park.

For rock climbing, I heard that Indian Rock Park at Shattuck Avenue is one of the best places to go to around Berkeley.

If you’re out of places to go to, go visit http://events.berkeley.edu. Daily and weekly events are listed there.

April 27, 2007

Berkeley Life

Berkeley is wonderful because it's a college town. Since being here, I feel like I've been able to cross off so many things off my "To do before I die" list.

Food
Of course there's always asian ghetto. But that's just what it is...ghetto. There are so many nicer restaurants that are just a bus ride away. I always talk about College. There are half a dozen cute, fairly affordable restaurants there. And North Shattuck as well. There's something called the "gourmet ghetto" and a variety of yummy places to eat.

Culture
I love being at Berkeley because it offers such an array of musical/performing arts. Zellerbach has tons of great shows. You should definitely go to a show before you leave college. I've been to some random shows (like Peking acrobats and Flamenco dancing) and I've loved every minute of it. There are also great concerts given by the University Orchestra every so often. And if you didn't know, Hertz Hall has noon concerts every Wednesday. Plus, I love the shows that Superb puts on. They're a great way to see your favorite artists perform as well as explore those genres of music you're not quite familiar with.

The Outdoors
Just a 5 minute bus ride up Euclid Ave is the Rose Garden. It's beautiful when its in bloom (which is right now!) and right across from it there's this cute little park that has an awesome stone slide (It's a bit scary but perfect for the adventurous). And farther north there's Tilden Park. Indian Rock is on northside as well. And there's always the Berkeley Marina and Botanical Gardens.

Shopping
Again, I have to mention College. Jeremy's is a great place to shop. And there a few other nice little boutiques. And if you don't mind used, Telegraph has a great selection of vintage shops. I really like Buffalo Exchange.

So go out and explore what Berkeley has to offer. Especially with finals coming around, it'll be a good excuse for you to take a study break :)

April 19, 2007

Something for fun?

Sometimes I find that I am studying too hard and that I need a break from the library. There are many things that one can do in Berkeley, although it might not seem this way in the beginning. Most people just hop on BART and go to San Francisco, but before you do this I ask you to visit these great places in Berkeley. My favorite place to go when it's a nice sunny day is the Berkeley Rose Garden, which is up Euclid Ave. on Northside. If you're into a steep climb, just walk straight up Euclid. If you are more lazy, like some of my friends, you can take the AC Transit bus 65 up to the garden. It is a great place to meditate, study, or just walk around and "smell the roses".

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November 6, 2006

Berkeley's Best

There are a million things I love about this quirky little city, but after a couple of years I've narrowed down some of the best for you. I'm sure in the next two years I'll find even more tidbits...

When I need to study, nothing beats Cafe Strada's outdoor tables or FSM's cozy interior. I love that you can grab some tea or a snack and get your reading done at the same time, and the white noise of a little coffee shop somehow helps me focus. Tip: get a table next to a heating lamp at Strada if you're going to be there for a few hours! I also love the North Reading Room in Doe Library for some hardcore, no distractions, nose-to-the-pages studying action. Anything to get me away from my friends or my apartment where I can't seem to ever get any work done!

I love to walk around and go for day-hikes, and anyone who has been to the Berkeley hills knows that there is no shortage of awesome sights. I recommend the Fire Trail (just east of the Strawberry Canyon pool, trail head at the parking lot) for anyone looking for a relatively easy day-hike in the Canyon with a sweet view on top. It's about 5 miles round-trip and good for releasing some energy on a sunny day. The Botanical Gardens are also really close (and free with your Student ID!), and Tilden Park is also a must. You can swim in Lake Anza, ride a carousel, hike the trails, or even hit a bucket of golf balls there. Be warned though, it's kind of a long walk. I recommend cruising up there on your bike.

As far as good eats go, man does Berkeley have just about every other place I've been to beat. I have a huge running list of tasy places, but here are some of my favorites: Crepevine for breakfast or lunch (on College Ave, by Rockridge BART) has the tastiest scrambles and burgers, The Thai House (Channing and Telegraph) for my favorite type of food, Dara (on Northside) for amazing Laotian food in a cool atmosphere, Bacheeso's (on Dwight and San Pablo) for awesome Mediterranean/European brunch, and of course, the Cheeseboard (on North Shattuck) for the tasiest pizza place with the weirdest hours I've ever found. Whew! Not to mention Yogurt Park, Cafe Intermezzo, House of Curries... I think you get the point.

And lastly, some of the coolest things about Berkeley are its community events. You absolutely have to come out and have brunch at the Thai Temple (Sundays, Russell and MLK) at least one Sunday while you're here. It is always crazy busy and many of Berkeley's community members show up to eat some tasty thai and hang out and chat. Also, the Ashby Flea Market (weekends, Ashby and San Pablo) is always a fun experience to find all that eclectic stuff you didn't even know you were looking for. Critical Mass, an anti-war/oil bicycle protest, also happens once a month (you can check dates online) and is really awesome to take part in. There's always something going on in this crazy town... check out the Berkeley Daily Planet for a schedule of events sometime!

November 4, 2006

Some of my Favorite Spots

Often times between classes when I have a short break, I like to walk around Sproul and update myself with what goes on in campus. During school hours from 10-2, Sproul Plaza is a major center of for political activities, club events, flyer-ing, octapella, free stuff, and hanging out with friends. If I have time, I’d hang out with friends in front of club tables. Since I have meal plan, I’d also often go to GBC, grab my favorite chicken Caesar salad, and enjoy my salad and the California sunshine. =)

Other than the crowded upper Sproul, my favorite quiet place in Berkeley is the North Reading room in Doe Library! It’s my favorite because the sun can shine through the windows and it is really spacious and comfortable. I also really like those big oak study tables and how they match with the historic atmosphere of the study room. It’s been two years and I haven’t gotten tired or bored of studying in that reading room!

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As for my favorite café-kinda place, it is the Pat Brown’s next to GPB and Morgan Hall. Unlike GBC, this café is never too crowded. As a result, you can study there while eating your lunch. You don’t need to buy food to sit in Pat Brown’s since there are microwaves. The out door sitting area is also nice if the weather is good. Pat Brown’s is also near CNR’s resource center in mulford and it opens from 7:30 – 4:00pm.

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At last, for sight seeing and relaxing views, I like the view from Lawrence Hall of Science the most. You can take the Hill line bus up there or drive up. The bus runs every 30 minutes in front of Evans. If you want to walk up there, the hike is a little intensive but it’s doable. I’ve done it once last summer, took me about 30 minutes from Haas. Up there, I can see the whole San Francisco Bay Area and feel how I’m just a tiny part of the world. However, it’s often cold and foggy at night up in Lawrence.

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October 31, 2006

My favorite place at Cal


Have been studying at the university for nearly three years, I have passed the well known landmarks of our university every day. However, I have never checked them out. This semester, I finally got the chance to go up to the top of the Campanile! I had a great time up there and I am highly recommend you all should go and visit before you graduate!

The Campanile (“Camp-a-knee-ly”), “bell tower” in Italian, is the most well known building at Berkeley. The tower was completed in 1914 by campus architect John Galen Howard. It is the tallest building on campus soaring 307 feet. The bells ring hourly from 8pm to 10pm. There is music by the University carillonist and other bell ringers at 7:50am, noon, and 6pm everyday, and a longer concert at 2pm every Sunday. The campanile also contains many Paleontology museum’s fossils.

If you are a student, faculty or staff, you can go up the Campanile free with you Cal 1 Card, or a small fee ($2) during open hours. (M-F, 10-5pm; Sat 10-5pm; Su 10-1:30pm and 3-5pm) This semester, it was my first time to ascend the tower with my friend. It is very beautiful up there and all the Bay Area is under your feet! I could see students walking on campus underneath while enjoying the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The first ring of the bells was slightly loud, and then you would get used to the following bells. Remember to bring your camera with you! I took a lot of pictures and I wish you will enjoy it, too!

Here is a link if you would like to view some of the movies of the tower:
http://www.debevec.org/Campanile/

I hart Cal

I love Berkeley. And not just for our great academic programs. There are tons of places on and off campus where I love to hang out, relax, or even study.

On campus:
The Dwinelle court: It's a little hard to find (go to the bottom floor of Dwinelle and find your way into the maze of the 1000s faculty rooms) but it's very peaceful and a great place to do work.
Random benches: Our campus has tons of cute little benches surrounded by trees and shrubbery. Great for us Natural Resources people! Plop yourself down on a bench and do some reading.
North and East Reading Rooms: It's quiet and has a grand, university feeling to it, so it'll inspire you to get some serious work done!

In Berkeley:
College Avenue: I'm a sucker for cute coffee shops and little restaurants. La Mediteranee and Filippo's are great places to have a nice weekend lunch or dinner, and you can do some shopping at Jeremy's while you're there.
Botanical Gardens: It's a beautiful place where you can enjoy nature and take a break from studying.
Rose Garden: another naturey place where you can enjoy the scenery and let out your romantic side.
99 Ranch (actually in El Cerrito): It's kind of hard to get there (take the 43, or better yet, get someone to drive you), but everything there is so much cheaper than Safeway! It's a good place to get some cheap vegetables and stock up on groceries.

Go out and explore our wonderful city and find your own little favorite corners where you can escape from school!

Mulford Hall is the Best Hall of them All!

My favorite place on campus is Walter Mulford Hall. Through these halls walked forestry students before me. And in these classrooms they did learn. Legendary professors inspired students to shape the world. Now here I am, preparing to shape the world with all of you.

I can smell the pastimes as I walk down the exotic wood-paneled hallways. The layers of dust caked upon each stair in the stairways have probably been collecting there since the building's completion in 1948. Why is our beloved home of CNR so neglected?

Some interesting facts about your home away from home:
Formerly known as "The Forestry Building" from 1948-1956.
70,600 square feet
Funded by state appropriation
Resource Center formerly the forestry library
Named after Walter Mulford, first professor of forestry at Cal (1914-1948), who was the first dean of the School of Forestry (1947-1948).

Where Do I Like to Chill?

Honestly, my favorite place to be is home. I love being around my family, hanging out with my niece and nephews, spending time with my boyfriend, and just chill-axing at home. But, being at home is very distracting because I find so many other things that I would rather do than study, which I really should be doing instead. So I try to stay on campus or at my uncle's house in Oakland so I can get things done. On campus I like to study at the VLSB library, the Public Health library, or the Physics library. I usually study alone, so it's nice and quiet. If I need to check my email or print stuff out those libraries are good too. Sometimes when I'm hungry and I also need to study I'll go to Lucky Thai House on University or Le Petite Cheval on Bancroft. They both have such good food and nice environments.

October 30, 2006

My Favorite Places (mostly for eating)

Since I’ve been at Berkeley, there are a few places I love going to for studying, eating, napping, and relaxing. Here’s the breakdown:

Eating around Campus:

Indian food: try House of Curry right across the Asian Ghetto on Durant. It’s part of the Beau Sky Hotel, and the food there is a bit more expensive than Naan ‘n Curry but worth it.

Chinese food: Little Hunan on Shattuck in between Center and Addison. It’s a great little-known-about restaurant with very reasonable prices and some kick-butt hot and sour soup (yummy for cold Berkeley nights).

Japanese food: Kirala at the corner of Shattuck and Ward. Liked by many others too but more on the expensive side and I would suggest reserving for the weekends.

Mexican food: the soon-to-be Chipotle on Telegraph right near campus. I usually drive to the one on San Pablo for their chicken burritos (with white rice!).


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October 27, 2006

Favorite Places On and Around Cal

Every so often when I walk to class, I look around me and can’t believe I’m actually here. It’s strange because this is my second year, but it’s just a wonderful feeling to be part of this campus with its history and prestige. The beauty of the campus (although some of my friends in UCLA would argue otherwise) is just incredible, from the seemingly everlasting towering redwoods to the London Plane trees at the Campanile that indicate the changing of seasons.

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The Inside Scoop on Berkeley Cafes

By now, most of you have had plenty of experience studying, and many see the library as the ideal spot for curling up with that G-chem textbook or Ralph Ellison novel as midterms and paper deadlines approach. However, there are other environments that you can study in, and one of my favorites is the cafe. Not only is food and drink allowed, but you can engage in light conversation with your study buddies. Also, the atmosphere of a coffee shop tends to be less tense than the ultra-quiet Main Stacks. It can serve not only as a study spot, but also a place to meet up with friends or reading a book at leisure.

Many people head straight for Strada, on the intersection of College and Bancroft. It has a nice outdoor area, and chances are, you've met up there at least once for a GSI office hour or study group. It tends to get quite crowded however, so here are a few less well known cafes that are quite superb:

Espresso Experience: Located on Bancroft directly across from Eschelman, it's a tiny mom and pop shop that can whip up an intense brew of Americano or Espresso. The cafe can get a little crowded during lunchtime, mainly because of their exquisite Korean Bulgogi sandwiches. Yummm, they're awesome, and actually a rare cuisine that you can't find anywhere else in Berkeley. Great for a light lunch. This cafe is closed on Sundays.

Brewed Awakening: for Northside residents, this is the place to be. It's located on Euclid, near North Gate, and serves the traditional espresso and lattes that other coffee shops. On weekdays, they serve Aram sandwiches and baked potatoes for lunch, along with fruit salads, spinach pies, and delicious pastries. Many of their patrons are actually locals who live in the Northside suburbs. Quieter than most other cafes, so good for studying. Also has many electrical outlets for laptops.

Cafe Milano: convenience is this cafe's greatest asset; it's located right on Bancroft across from Sproul Hall, and right between the new Carvel shop and Bancroft Clothing. With two levels of seating, it's usually not too difficult to find a table. Moreover, pastries, sandwiches, and salads are served throughout the day, so you can have a full meal while studying or chatting with friends.

Other options include the International House Cafe, Cafe Zeb at Boalt, Espresso Roma on College and Ashby, and the ubiquitous & crowded FSM cafe. Enjoy the cafe hopping!