Tiongson, Christian J: March 2008 Archives
A few days ago I've started a small project about my drive from my city to UMass-Lowell. What I've done is record my whole trip from the Malden-Melrose line (not my house due to safety concerns) through my regular route (including highways) and into my favorite parking space on South Campus, Lowell, MA. I guess the cool thing about this video is that there is a winter storm occuring at the same time. So you get to experience a wintery, slushy ride up to UML. Watch how landscape goes from wet from the rain to about 2 inches of snow.
The video is approximately 11 minutes long with some great music included. My drive is usually 45 minutes long, but it was compacted (I sped it up 4x, so it doesn't mean I was going 220mph the whole way!)
I'm blogging real quick in O'Leary library, while taking a break from doing my exercise physiology II laboratory report, and listening to "Pig" by Dave Matthews Band on my iPod. For those who don't know, next week is Inauguration Week. It is basically a week we celebrate the inauguration of a new chancellor, who is the former MA house of representative, Martin T. Meehan. I believe this is the first time UML had a new chancellor in thirty years or so. Like a family getting ready for a birthday party for a young child, the university is fixing up some decorations and making areas of the campus looking tip-top shape. Comically, all I can say is that I've never seen so many enormous "UMass Lowell" blue banners in my entire life in one sitting. Of course, the workers here are also putting the final touches to the Allen House, the projected future of the Chancellor's office. Probably most of you probably heard about this or not, but the Allen House used to be abandon, or close to not being used at all. I remember coming to UML around freshmen year and seeing that place totally empty... and creepy-looking. Funny enough, I remember one Halloween ago, a bunch of paranormal investigators went to the place to find some... well, paranormal activity. I'm not quite sure if they found anything or not, but its former image would make you think there was something going on in there.
There will be tons of events going on during the inauguration week. It also includes many talks, like "A Vision for Addressing Climate Change," and even a concert by Gym Class Heroes on Tuesday, April 1, 2008! Here is the link of all event information------> Inauguration Week
Well time to be "brillant" on this EP lab report,
Right now, I'm in one of Weed Hall's computer labs, of course checking my email, going to wbztv.com to catch up on the news and weather, and looking up stuff for class. I'm surprised about today's weather, which is nice, partly cloudy, and warm. This type of weather just reminds me that warmer weather is on the way. Of course, since this is New England, the weather man predicts some wintery unsettled weather for the weekend. All I can say is that I'm pretty sick of cold, wet, and "grey" weather. Driving to and from UML can be a pain especially when a storm is on its way. I've been stuck in weather-related traffic a hand full of times already. I believe that present and future commuters should have a back-up plan if bad weather prevents any type of travel. It is almost required to find a buddy from the dorms who will allow you to spend the night with, or find any other places of shelter. Having an emergency kit in your car, with some can goods, extra clothing, toothbrushes, and other important things is essential for any weather related emergency or alterations. Come to think of it, I have to check on my emergency equipment and check if they are adequate. It's a good thing to prepare for anything while driving to and from campus. Most importantly, there is a school-closure number that all UML students, professors, and staff should know: 978-934-2121. Obviously, if school closes, you can also check your local television station for updates.
Wow, time flies when you are blogging. Time to head to Abnormal Psychology.
You probably already know that I'm a huge baseball fan... let me say again HUGE baseball fan. I usually try to make analogies that involves some aspect of baseball. Okay, okay, maybe this is going overboard but I got a good one about college semesters.
Here's my baseball description (I'll use Manny's name since he was the hero of game 1 of the opening series):
"Manny is 5 for 5 so far in this game with a lifetime batting average of 1.000 (I know unrealistic... but read on!). Manny is up at bat with Johan Santana (Cy Young bruiser) up on the mound. The first pitch is a strike; the count is 0-1. The outfielders are unusually shallow for this hard hitter... here comes the pitch, and there's a rocket down to 3rd base!!!! Here's Manny rounding 1st base.... the ball hops off the fence and goes away from the left fielder!!! The crowd is going wild!!! Manny is heading to second... and..."
Okay here is the translation:
I'm a junior college student on my spring semester, so technically, I'm on my 6 semester and I've completed 5 semesters successfully (hence 5 for 5: 5 successful hits and 5 at bats). Not being a stage-hog, I believe I've done very well academically throughout my life without failing a semester/quarter, so I'm "perfect" so far (1.000 batting average). This semester I've been seen a few bumps on the road (first strike of the at bat), but got myself up and swinging (hard hit down the 3rd base line). The first half of the semester is over already (rounding first and heading to second) and I'm looking into the second half with a positive outlook (zoomed passed second base and...)
TO BE CONTINUED (Suspenseful, huh?)
I know this is Spring Break, and everyone's mind is away from school (sorry high school students/transfers), but I feel that I should give you the "low-down" on the lin-go of some UML commuters (probably a good 10 of us, haha). Well let's talk about the history.
Throughout the years, my friends and I have created "short-cut" words for the various places/things at UML. Honestly, I don't know if anyone uses the same words, but I think it would be a fun topic to talk about. If you are planning to come here and you hear the following words, you're going to be a pro at it already. Maybe you can make up your own words for some things, too!
I parked in...
The Big Lot = Riverview Lot in South Campus
Music Lot = Durgin Hall's mini parking lot. This is the parking lot next to the hall of music majors
Coburn = The parking lot behind Coburn Hall
Mahoney = The side parking lot between Mahoney Hall and the Riverview Lot
VIP lot = The mysterious, yet legal all-decal (I hope so) parking spaces behind the Mahoney Hall Gym. It's a term my friends and I use a lot.
Softball Field = During the first few weeks of classes, the grass field behind the softball fieldin South Campus is used as an overflow parking lot... so we didn't park on the softball field, haha.
North = The commuter parking lot at North Campus; this is the only place commuters are allowed to park.
The Garage = The only parking Garage in UML, which is in East Campus.
I'm going to...
The Lounge (or The Commuter) = The Commuter Lounge at McGauvran Student Center
The Cafe / (Commuter Cafe) = Nope, not the cafeteria, but the Broadway and Wilder Sub Shop in McGauvran.
The Mez = This is the mezzanine section of the O'Leary Library. This is considered the "Quiet Study" area, and where most groups study/work on their presentations. (Unfortunately, this is not a quiet place to study).
3rd Floor O'Leary = This is where the Centers for Learning and Academic Support Services (CLASS) is located. This is where most students get tutored, use the computers for class assignments, and more other stuff.
4th Floor O'Leary = Most possibly the quietest place to study or even take a nap between classes. This is where most of the library books are.
Nurse's Lounge = As Named. The basement area of Weed Hall where various health and environment majors study or just hang out between classes.
Tunnels = If you are in South Campus, this is the tunnel that connects the Dining Hall and Weed Hall. If you are in North Campus, this is the tunnels that connects almost every hall, so you don't have to go outside at all. I call it the Rat Tunnels, because of its "winding" path, but its commonly known as the tunnels to most people.
Gym = When most students say they're going to the gym, the place they're heading is the Recreational Center in East Campus. Athletes would go to the Costello Gym in North Campus.
I definitely know there's a bunch of other words that students use, or different names for these places. At UML, you definitely create a specialized language that most people out of UML won't understand. When this happens, then you know you're at home at UMass-Lowell.
Until next time,
Whew... the first half of the semester is over and it's finally spring break! Today I had my first exam for Exercise Physiology II. Of course, these exams are pretty tough and challenging, so it wasn't that easy. I feel good after taking it, so I think I did well. Like what Prof. Chamberlain says, "Be Brillant!!" (If you are planning to be an Exercise Physiology student, the word "brillant" is something you will hear a lot, even when our very own Pro. Chamberlain retires). So to celebrate the end of the first half, my friends and I went to play a few games of pool at the McGauvran Student Center. The pool tables over there bring back good memories from the past few years, from meeting my best friend to relieving stress by shooting cueballs into pockets.
The first half of the semester felt pretty fast. My first day of classes felt like it was yesterday! This feeling always comes to my friends and I during every semester. Constant studying, completing assignments, projects, and other fun academic evaluations makes the college semester fly so fast. So this may be a good thing, if you want to get through your college career, or it may be a bad thing if you want to grasp every minute of the college life.
Oh yeah by the way, just a friendly reminder to all future UML students, there is no such thing as a february winter break. Sorry folks... instead there is a March break week, aka Spring Break. (Yeah... the stereotypical week where college students go to warmer beach-like destinations... or when students do an "alternative break" where they help needy people and serve other communities). Don't be discouraged! College semesters are relatively short and there is a major one month break between the fall and spring breaks. This is actually better than having a short high school one week break!
Well I really don't have anything else to say, since I'm laying on my couch watching a movie and finally relaxing!
I'm thinking of more topics for my next blog... maybe a lecture about the UML "lingo" we use everyday; I'll figure it out.
Have a great weekend!!
Just stopping by to say "hello" and hoping you all are having an awesome week. Next week is Spring Break and I'm pretty excited about it. It's a big money saver when it comes to food/gas money!
The topic of the day is the UML Recreational Center in East Campus. The "Rec Center" is a pretty new facility which opened a few years ago, most possibly before I was a freshman here. The "Rec Center" is an awesome place to workout, get a massage, play pool, racketball, basketball, and of course many other great activities. This is definitely the "crown jewel" of residential/commuter life in UML. The workout equipment is state of the art, with tons of open space to do any type of resistance training exercises. There is also another level where you can work on your cardiovascular health with treadmills, rower, cycles and even a oval elevated track! There are also extra rooms where you can do some dance practice (ie. my girlfriend practiced her dance she choreographed by herself for her church). Whew, there are so many other things to mention!
The rec. center is easily accessible in East Campus. You can't miss it! If you're on a different campus, you can either take the shuttle to East Campus, or drive and park at the new parking garage next to LeLacheur Park (Home of UML Riverhawk Baseball and the Double A (AA) Red Sox affiliate, Lowell Spinners).
Oh yeah, don't forget. Working out at the Rec Center is totally free! Come and go as many times as you want!
Yep. So that's about it about the Rec Center. I can't emphasize enough that exercise should be a definite part of your life. When you are down in the dumps, exercise can revive your spirits, and heck, it is healthy for you!
By the way, I still have some effects of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)... look it up, haha.
Healing (go away DOMS!)
Yesterday, after 6pm, I felt like I was "bigger" than I was that morning. I finally feel like my EP career at UML has made a major turn towards the finish line. Okay, let me explain as best as I can. Yesterday, the junior exercise physiology class had a meeting with our own Professor Chamberlain about the senior Clinical Practicum. This meeting involved the requirements and deadlines we had to fulfill before we head out and be "brillant" at our sites, either during the Fall semester or spring semester. Luckily, I claimed my spot for the spring semester, which gives me more time to prepare myself for the real-world stuff. This meeting hit me like a brick. It's like a person telling you that your days at UML is winding down, and you have to pass these obstacles to get your degree. But I remembered what Professor Chamberlain said to us last year during the Introduction to Exercise Physiology class: there are no obstacles. In other words, no matter whatever is on the path of life, you can overcome them, with your heads up high with no doubts about the road ahead of you. I try my best as a student to go through my college career without thinking negatively about myself. Keeping a positive outlook will make you a better student. I have gotten this far into my career with a positive outlook. Sure, there were times when I felt doubtful and had my head down. But believing in yourself and tackling everyday like it was a final exam will make you successful.
So here is some advice:
No matter where you go, you will never find an easy college, where you just fill in the blanks without any thought and mind. College is filled with hard work and weeks where you are crammed with due dates. As you enter college life at the start of freshmen year, stay on top of everything and believe that there is nothing that can stop you, not even a paper, presentation, a study session or even problems outside of college. Every step you take through the years with an open mind, the "bigger" you are as a student. At the end, you will look back at your four years at UML and say, "Wow, that was an awesome ride." So do not look at the mirror and say you don't have what it takes. At UML, there are so many great professors that will help you succeed. Trust me on this.
Well time to clean up my room and get ready for work. Wow, I hope my talk made sense, haha.
My name is Christian Tiongson, and I'm a junior Exercise Physiology student at UMass-Lowell. I'm a commuter student who travels from Malden, MA to Lowell, MA everyday (sweet drive, huh?). I am currently a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, which is the Freshman Honor Society. Academically, I have made the Dean's List every semester so far, which by far is the biggest achievement for me. As of now, my plans after graduation is attending UML's Physical Therapy (DPT) school. There are tons of options out there for me to grab, so I'm still looking around. Right now, I'm going for a minor in Nutrition.
Okay enough about academics; more fun stuff about me! During my spare time, I play my guitar, draw or paint (art stuff in general), hang out with my girlfriend, play sports with my younger brothers (mostly baseball, since we are HUGE Red Sox fans!), or simply relaxing and enjoying the day in my own room either on the computer or watching TV/Movie. Currently, I'm a coach for my city's youth baseball league. I'm proud to say that this is my overall sixth season as a baseball coach. I already have one city championship under my belt, and I'm looking forward for another one this season!
As a blogger, I'm here to give you the "low down" or perspective on my life as a UML Commuter Student. Many people would say that being a commuter student is difficult because it involves driving to, from, and in between the many campuses, there is a lack of time to mingle with resident students, there is nothing to do, and many other reasons. I would like to say through my own experiences that being a commuter is no different than a resident student, other than the whole dorm experience. Throughout the semester I will blog about particular aspects of the commuter life, give you advice on how to manage your day, and talk about other fun stuff at UML!
I will also post a few pictures and videos to enhance my blog... right now it looks dead because my beautiful face isn't on it! (haha, just kidding).
Well time for me to do some readings... I'm looking forward to blog more about me and my life as a commuter student at UML!
Happy and relaxed,