Tiongson, Christian J: May 2009 Archives

The Advanced Study in Exercise Physiology presentation was not my final obstacle before Commencement.  I had one big final that was worth 20% of my grade on my way.  In my head, I said, "Oh this is going to be cake.  I did very well in this class and getting a 50% will still give me a B in this class... so I'll be totally fine."  The only problem about the final was the day and the time... My last day of classes was on May 13th, which was a Wednesday, but my final happened to land on the VERY last day of finals in the VERY last hour to conduct finals.  So yes, it was on May 21st, 3pm.

Ridiculous huh? 

So what did I do for a week and one day?  I can honestly tell you that I didn't start studying until the Tuesday before the final.  I know, I know, bad me, but I was very productive during my mini-pre-final vacation.  I went on a super job hunt, and ended up applying at a hospital that is looking for an Exercise Physiologists, and a few personal training positions.  So far, as of May 24th, I have my second interview for Bally's Total Fitness this Tuesday, and having my first interview at L.A. Fitness on Thursday.  I'm very excited, yet a bit disappointed that I haven't gotten a phone call from the EP job yet... I had my EP cardiac pulmonary rehab clinical during the spring semester, so I hope I can continue working at a similar facility. 

So how did my final go?  Well, with my two days of studying 4 note packets full of information, I think I did fairly well.  There were a lot of easy questions, and a few tough ones, but I finished it in about 30-40 minutes.  Then that was that.  As soon as I left the room, I felt free!  After my week long wait, I finally took my final final of my final semester and IT'S OVER!!!!!  I can tell you straight out that I wanted to run down the hall and say "YEAHHHH, SCHOOL IS OUT FOREVER!!!!"  But I knew that as an UML alumni, that was not the way to act (until I left the building).  Again, the same theme from my past blogs came up again:  I can't believe I'm done.  My two EP buddies continued to say that they can't believe it either, even if one of them is heading to Physical Therapy Graduate School next semester. 

Well, now that's over, all I have left is Graduation!!!!!

AND I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Christian UML EP' 09

For those who don't have tickets to UML's Commencement, do not worry!  UML will have a live stream on May 30th, 10am.  Just click here (http://gse.uml.edu/commencement/) to watch it! 

Also UML will Twitter the event!  Follow them on
It was May 13, 2009, and the time was 4:45pm.  Our professor wished us good luck and congratulations.  I looked around the lecture hall as my classmates were leaving.  I said to myself, "Wow, this is my last lecture class as an undergrad."  I looked at my friend, signaled him, and we left the hall.  The first thing my friend said was, "Dude!!!  We're done!!!  I can't believe we're done!"  Trust me, I can't believe it either.  My friend and I walked towards that massive mass of pavement we call the "Big Lot."  During that typically 5-minute walk, we went through our massive filing cabinet in our brains and reminisce on the good and bad times at UMass-Lowell.  When I say our memory cabinet is massive, it is MASSIVE.  Even when we reached our cars, we still 1/1000 of it to go.  So we leaned against our cars and stood there as the sun went down, talking.  I think we stood there for a good hour before the chilly air finally reminded us that it was time for us to leave UML one last time before graduation (and a final for me). 

Like what I said for my last blog, it's just weird to not come back.  Sure, I'm coming back as a part-time student to get a graduate certificate in nutritional science, but coming back as a full-time naive, not-ready-for-the-world undergrad?  That's history.  We're not coming back as undergrads.  We're already called alumni.  It's just weird, weird, weird, and weird. 

I can tell you that I don't regret going to college.  College was a major chapter in my life when I finally grew up to be a better person, academically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and so on.  Physically... eh, I need to work on that (Ha ha).  Going to college was the best choice I ever made in my whole entire life.  I feel like I am ready to take on the work world and go to graduate school down the line. 

And who should I thank?  UMass-Lowell off course.  UMass-Lowell is the school to go to if you want to make a difference in the world.  Everyone here is awesome and extremely supportive beyond belief.  You can't get anything better out there.  Financially, the tuition here is affordable compared to big-time schools.  Come on, who would turn down affordable tuition with phenomenal education?  And sports?  All the sports here are extraordinary.  Come on, Division I Hockey East Riverhawks?  It's true that the university is young and lacking in traditions, but that is where you, the perspective and current student, comes in.  You have the ability to make a change for the better.  UML will give you the best education out there, and you should give the best of you.  I did and now I'm graduating.

It's your turn to make a difference and to create life-long memories for your cabinets in your brain.  It's worth a shot.  You won't be disappointed.

- Christian EP '09  


 ... and that's what we did. 

Stop.  Think.  Realize... 

This overwhelming feeling is surreal.  It's like a dream.  Are we really... no, we're not...  It feels like there is another semester left, but there's nothing left for us to do.  We finished our papers,  studied up storms, and passed our exams since day one.  It seems like we were in a never ending cycle of semesters:  Fall and Spring, Fall and Spring... Now it seems like the cycle just ends like how a chapter ends:  ending a part of the story with a major cliffhanger.  We completed our chapter and now we are left with a cliffhanger.  What's next?  ... Wait, are we really... We are standing here with our knowledge in our hands, and the real world is on our door steps.  All I can say is, "Wow... I can't believe we're graduating..." 

Thumbnail image for buddies.jpg
Caption:  My exercise physiology buddies and I at the Senior Brunch at Cumnock Hall.

... How can I explain it?  It just doesn't seem real at all.  We all worked so hard to get to this point in our careers at UMass-Lowell, and it seems like the party is over.  No more late night cram sessions, no more typing out papers on Microsoft Word, and no more poster presentations in front of a huge lecture hall.  I remember, when I was a young, insecure freshman, I told myself that college is going to be a wild ride; there will be good times and there will be bad times that's worth fighting through.  I told myself that one day after the storm settles, I will be crossing the stage to shake hands with the Chancellor and to receive my Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Physiology.  That thought was just a blur in my head and something that was too far to reach.

Now that wild ride called college is finally coming to a close.  That naive thought I had when I was a freshmen is now 19 days away.  In 19 days, my Exercise Physiology class and I will be crossing the stage to receive our degrees and walk out as an alumni of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.  Wow, it just feels like a dream to me... pinch me please, am I dreaming?  I worked so hard the past four years and it's finally here.  My friends and I had a conversation about this today during our Exercise Physiology/Physical Therapy luncheon.  They can't believe it themselves, even those who are attending another 3 years in the Doctor in Physical Therapy (DPT) program.  My friend said that it is a major chapter in life, where we transform from "little, naive freshmen to academically seasoned seniors on our way out."

So be it, let this surreal feeling continue.  I took my one second to stop, think of what I have done in my 4 years, and realize that I finally made it.

At the end I can say that, "Our epic chapter at UML will end... so another saga will be written."

- Christian

Okay, what do you think?

Is H1N1, also known as, the Swine Flu, a big deal?  Or is it just an overblown illness that can be easily treated?

As a health student, I'm concerned, especially when two known cases of the H1N1 virus was found in Lowell.  Like all airborne illnesses, it is always good to take as many precautions as possible, even if the "cold" is going around.  These precautions include washing your hands with soap and water (and singing "Happy Birthday" to yourself), sneezing straight into your sleeve instead of your hands, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.  Most of all, if you are feeling sick with flu-like symptoms...


...sorry I needed to vent that...

Ever since the Swine Flu took the top shelf of the News, newspapers, and health websites all over the world, I've seen a rise in people taking precautions, especially with my School of Health and Environment buddies.  A few days ago, my friend and I decided to go to Walmart in Drum Hill to buy Purell hand sanitizers so we protect ourselves from "dirty and germy" hands.  My buddy from the Exercise Physiology program was giving everyone a little squirt of Purell to everyone she knows.  My community health buddy said she'll take every chance to wash her hands.  Another said a professor actually passed around a big container of Purell to his/her students as a precautionary prelude to their health lecture.  My best friend locked himself in a closet and told me to stay away from him until this scare is over

So here's my question:  Why do we all of a sudden take these precautions, when we are supposed to do it everyday even without H1N1 in the picture?

In my opinion, we don't think about these precautions unless the situation presents itself, like working in a hospital or collecting money from a customer in a retail store.  Also, we never think about getting sick.  Everyone goes around giving people hugs, kisses (well... not me), and hand shakes without having the thought of getting sick from the other person's germy hands.  Yep, we always have some type of germ on our hands.  And yes, we ALWAYS transport that stuff to each other.  The thing is, are we doing our job everyday to kill those dang germs? 

I guess you can say that the H1N1 is a wake-up call to everyone.  Now everyone is taking every step to stay healthy.  This virus has proven the world that it is lethal and can make anyone from age 0 to 100+ sick no matter how healthy you are or how sick you are.  I believe that we all should be concerned about this, but not to the point where you are going to isolate yourself from the world around us, like the band Oasis who is touring in Venezuela (Story: OASIS Stuck in Hotel Room Because of SWINE (3rd story down)). 

All I have to say is please protect yourself from this virus, and continue on with your everyday routine.  The U.S. government will tell you when it's time to panic... okay, nevermind, you have to decide if you're going to panic or not... they will tell you when it's time to halt your routine and take EXTRA EXTRA precautions like using masks.

If you want more information about this, click on the following links:
- Center of Disease Control: Swine Flu Updates
- MA Department of Health: Swine Flu Updates
- Talk to you doctor
- Go the the Student Health Services in South Campus, which is an awesome place to get info about protecting yourself and the Swine Flu.  The staff is great there!

- Christian

Oh yeah, here's my P.S.: If anyone sneezes around you, don't freak out, especially if that sneezer is allergic to the floating pollen in the air.  It's just allergies, not the Swine.   Just a friendly reminder from a person suffering from allergies. :-)


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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Tiongson, Christian J in May 2009.

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