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Student Voices

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October 5, 2011

These past few weeks have been pretty turbulent. Let's address my title backwards. Since the beginning of the year the weather has mostly been like this :

Hot hot hot hot

Until today that is. Today, we woke up to this:

Not Gene Kelly, that would be too good to be...

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October 4, 2011

It's pretty hard to write a post detailing the last 3 months of my time in Cape Town, but I will try to fill you all in. I've been remiss in posting... I'm volunteering, taking 17 credits, Pan-African dancing it up (questionable on my part), and living with a wonderful host family. I pass out at, like, 10PM on a lot of weeknights. Except Wednesdays and sometimes Thursdays, because those are good nights to go out! Spring break was September 3-12 and it was INCREDIBLE. I went to Mozambique, Swaziland, and Kruger National Park in Johannesburg, South Africa. Every part of our trip was hilarious, even when we were driving in a truck (classic... tourists in Africa) for ten hours from Jo'burg to Swaziland. We drove all over Mozambique and visited Inhambane, Vilanculos, Maputo & Xai Xai. What that means is that I basically spent six days visiting incredibly beautiful beaches in Mozambique, quad biking, dancing, and eating delicious meals around the camp... Read More

October 3, 2011

Hi everybody! So it's been nearly 6 weeks since my last post, and I apologize for the hiatus! The start of the school year is always so busy, and my schedule is so packed this semester! In a good way, of course. I'm involved all over campus and even a little off campus too! This year, I'm the secretary of Alpha Lambda Phi Alpha. We just had our Informal Fall Recruitment, which was a very busy week but so worth it because we were able to welcome 19 new pledge babies to Alpha tonight! I love being an officer because it allows me to give back to an organization that has given so much to me already. I also have a little sister, who I am guiding through her pledging process. In addition to Alpha, I'm also the Editor in Chief of Her Campus Oxy, which is a new thing that I started prior to the semester's beginning! Her Campus Oxy strives to provide a place for college-women to...

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October 2, 2011

Junior year started off really busy and hectic! First was getting used to my busy schedule; I had class every day, Thursday being the packed one, and then I had work for 3 hours. Aside from work and school, I also had to juggle family life and Greek life.  To update people on things, my cousin had her first baby and it was a very exciting thing especially since all my other cousins (who had children) had them in Guatemala. See my parents are from Guatemala and most of our relatives still live there so I have not really been involved in my cousins’ life so having my cousin here with a baby is exciting. I haven’t been around babies so I was a little hesitant to hold her but once I did, I didn’t want to let her go. But unfortunately I had to leave her and return to school. Rush week/Informal Recruitment was the following week so everything had to be ready. Informal Recruitment is one of those weeks that you are excited about but...

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September 29, 2011

Weird title for my first post, eh? A Tribe Called Pauley happens to be the theme of the hall I am living in this year. I live in Pauley, the multicultural themed residence hall on campus. What's unique about living in Pauley as a first year is that there are not only freshman living in your hall as with the other first-year halls, but there are upperclassmen too. Don't feel intimidated to consider Pauley because there are people older than you. It really actually makes things a lot easier.  It is really nice that you can go to them when you need help or advice. Pauley is great because I feel like there is such a strong sense of community here, hence the theme of our hall (although it is also a reference to the hip-hop group, A Tribe Called Quest).

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September 25, 2011

Before coming to college, I was told that about a month into my first semester, I might experience a "slump," a feeling that comes when the initial excitement of coming to college starts to wear off, classes start getting harder, essays are assigned, and tests are scheduled. I can honestly say that this so-called "one month slump" is a real thing. However, the good news is that it is very curable. To start off the week, my friend Maddie and I went to the Bon Iver and Other Lives concert at the Shine Auditorium on Monday. It was one of the best concert experiences I have ever had, made even better by the fact that we accidentally sat in the wrong seats, which were much better than the ones we had paid for. Luckily, the real owners of the seats never showed up.

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September 25, 2011

Bonjour!!! So I've now been in Nantes, France for about 2.5 weeks and I'm finally starting to feel settled.  I picked Nantes instead of Paris because I wanted a more "authentic" and personalized experience--I wanted to be in a French city that was small enough that I could really get familiar and comfortable with it in just a semester, and where most people didn't readily speak English, so that I would be forced to work harder on my French.  And so far, I haven't been disappointed at all.  The city is absolutely beautifuland has a rich history that is manifested though some of its magnificent old buildings.  But it's also a modern city complete with great public transportation, tons of fashionable shops, a healthy nightlife, a huge university, and beautiful gardens, museums, theaters, and other entertainment, including a larger-than-life mechanical elephant that you can ride!!!  I...

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September 24, 2011

As an East Asian Studies/Japanese Studies double major, one can expect to be taking a relatively large proportion of Asian studies classes. Of course I know this intellectually, but somehow I forgot just how much overload 4 Asian studies classes can be. I've done this before - first semester last year in fact - but then I added Shakespeare last semester to spice things up. (Strangely enough, Shakespeare has a lot in common with... Gah! Asia, stay out of Shakespeare!) This semester though, it's all Asia, all the time, with Chinese and Japanese literature, Japanese language, and a survey of East Asian history. Not surprisingly, I find Asia even taking over my artistic life. Chinese Ghost and Love Stories prodded me to write a screenplay, and now East Asian Survey (the History course) is demanding I paint a shy, retiring Geisha peering coyly over her shoulder under a cherry blossom tree, yes, that specific.

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September 22, 2011

Armed with my new camera, I'm ready to take on Hong Kong (note the Occidental College shirt).

My first blog post of the new school year, and I'm not even at Oxy. I have the opportunity to spend this semester abroad, studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. This place is quite a bit different from Oxy, and from Los Angeles in general. Let's get the obvious out of the way: I am in a foreign country, and I am reminded by that fact multiple hundreds of times per day. From the Cantonese spoken on the bus, to the fact that most of the signs I encounter are...

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September 12, 2011

Hello Again! School's only been in session for two (short) weeks, and I already feel like I've been here for a month!  Part of that probably has something to do with the fact that I've been super busy since I got here in Mid-August.  As an overview, I had Barista Training at the Green Bean, I helped at the Club Fair, I've had several Theta events, and I also decided to add a fifth class to my schedule. In case you don't know, most students at Oxy take 4 classes a semester, and in fact you can't take more than 18 credits in your first year without getting special permission.  Anyway, at some point during the first week of school, I realized that I really wanted to take a Philosophy class again this semester.  I am tentatively working towards a minor in Philosophy, but I'd not sure if I can manage it on top of a double-major.  Technically, I am still undeclared, as I haven't officially...

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