Results tagged “Class of 2009” from Hawk Talk - Christian
Last night I looked at my mirror and saw a different person. Who is that person? Who was he four years ago? Was he a person who was just fresh out of high school? A naive young man who wanted a girlfriend, has a lot of friends, and just hangs out a lot? A person who wants a job and make a lot of money? A person who doesn't know what to do with his life? A person with no purpose? I can tell you this: he was all of that before and now he is someone else. This person I see in the mirror wants to make a difference in the world, someone who wants to change people's lives for the better, a person who can make goals and aim higher to achieve them. This person has a set of skills with a vast and vivid knowledge that continues to grow, a gentleman-type of professionalism, and a drive to live that cannot be destroyed. This person has a caring and loving heart that is bigger than he knows and a personality that will build bridges, not walls. This person has a purpose in life. Humbly, this person is me, Christian.
And who should I thank for helping me become a better person and a worthy "top-of-the-line" contributor to society? I have to thank the University of Massachusetts Lowell, my alma mater. I have to thank my professors, their teacher aides, the deans, the Chancellor and the administration, the rest of the staff, my blog supervisor, and my blog co-workers. Most of all, I have to thank my friends and my classmates, who stuck by me through the thick and thin. Everyone here at the UMass Lowell has taught me many things from the topics set within my major to essential lessons about life. They have taught me that knowledge does not end at the last page of the textbook; everything around you is a "teachable moment" and a life-worthy learning experience. With these lessons, I took on UMass Lowell's challenge. They challenged me to be the best that I can be. They challenged me to work hard to reach my goals, and to fight in what I believe in. They challenged me to make a change and to make a difference in the world that we live in. I can be I am proud to say that I took on the challenge and succeeded; now I'm an UMass Lowell alumnus.
So can you take on the challenge? Can you change the person that you are now? Can you make positive changes? Can you make a difference? If you are up for the challenge, UMass Lowell is your answer to overcome that challenge "plus ultra." You "Gotta Be Here," plain and simple. This is where dreams are made and met, and where life truly begins. I can honestly tell you that I am happy with my decision to go to UMass Lowell four years ago. It was one of the best decisions in my life and I hope it is yours too.
Now I leave you all with this quote:
"We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make."
- Ted Kennedy (1962-2009)
See you later and thank you,
UML Exercise Physiology Class of 2009
It was a bright, sunny Saturday morning. The sky was blue, the air was warm, and the birds were chirping like there was something big about to happen. The garage was a bit empty with a dozen cars littered here and there. Nearby a stocky police officer stood at the corner of an intersection, directing cars of lost souls looking for a place to park...
... And there I stood at the East Campus garage alone, waiting for my good Exercise Physiology buddy to arrive. I was armed and dangerous with my academic attire (my "Harry Potter" gown, the cap and tassle, my cords and stole), my cell phone, and my camera. Here and there, I saw people who I haven't seen in years walking towards the shuttle area. I could tell from their smiles, chit-chat with their parents and friends, and their proudly worn cap and gown that they were extremely excited. I looked around East Campus and I told myself, "Dang, I'm probably never going to step foot on East ever again." At that point, all the memories of Exercise Physiology II Labs, workout sessions with my friends, basketball, and a pool tournament filled my head.
Finally, my friend arrived, and we walked towards the shuttle area. In the shuttle, we both caught ourselves saying the infamous group of words that seems to come out of our mouths a-billzion times: "I can't believe we did it. How come it doesn't feel like the end yet? Dang, it feels like we have another semester left!" Oh, at that point I got sick of those words (even if I knew I might splat it out of my mouth days after graduation). Well what can we do? We're done. Our four years is finally over. We have to believe it. In my head, I said, "Dang, I'm going to cross that stage and this major chapter of my life is over."
We arrived at the Tsongas Arena to a crowd of black-bodied people who look just like us... the caps, the gowns, the cords, the stoles, and the smiles. We definitely felt the excitement suffocating the air around us and I can tell you that it was a great thing. My friend and I walked towards two gigantic tents filled with graduates. Fortunately, the great UML staff organized the tent into "schools" so it easily found those familar faces of the Exercise Physiology program. From that point on, we went on a photo hunt. Everyone tried their best to get a photo of each other, while trying to sustain a conversation. That wasn't too hard (ha).
Here are a few pictures:
Walking into the Tsongas arena was probably the second (or third) best thing of the day. When we all poked our heads out of the tunnel and into the open, all we could see was a sea of proud families and friends. Honestly, it was the first time I saw the Arena completely filled to max capacity. We all had that warm feeling inside when we saw our loved ones in the crowd. All I could think at that point is my parents and siblings. Without them, I wouldn't be walking across the stage... They made sacrifices to help me succeed in college and I love them for that and many other things.
After getting everyone (2,000 graduates) in the Arena, the Commencement Exercises begun. The Sheriff of Middlesex County gave a loud, well presented opening to our graduation. Heck, I can't even explain in words on how he opened the event. I guess you had to be there to understand (Ha). Out of all the speeches I heard, Abbey Denaro, my good friend and a fellow Exercise Physiology student had the best speech. It is such a great speech that I plan on dedicating a future blog post on it (STAY TUNED). I actually recorded the speech and I will post it on that blog also.
Obviously, our commencement speaker, Harold Ford, Jr. who is the Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and a former Tennessee Congressman also had a great speech! Before he went on stage, we all saw him writing notes. We were all amazed at his ability take in what other speakers have said and sneak it into his speech. He mention parts of Abbey's speech many times. You can watch it here: Ford Commencement Speech.
Then it was finally time. After 4 years of waiting, our time finally came: Walk the stage to a new chapter. Little by little (when I say little, I say a group of hundred or more) students lined up to cross the stage to receive their degree holder. My EP buddies and I waited (a bit inpatiently) for our chance to walk the stage. It got to a point that some of us had the idea to sneak into the earlier lines... but we were too good and nice to do that!! I think it was a good 45 minutes wait before we had our shot to line up to "cross." Waiting in line, I could see the smiles on my family's faces. I knew they were proud of me of my accomplishments of UML.
A few minutes before my turn to walk, my best friends from the major crossed the stage. I was so happy for them. At that point, I thought about our hard study sessions for classes, our times in the commuter room and at Weed Hall, playing basketball at the Rec Center, and eating out. Before I got into a deep thought, it was my turn to walk. I gave my name card to the name caller, turned and walked. To tell you the truth, I was a bit nervous of falling than the namer caller not pronouncing my name correctly! I walked in a fast pace across the stage, gently received my degree holder from one of the deans, shook his hand, walked to the other end to shake Chancellor Meehan's hand, and stepped off the stage. It was probably a ten second thing, but it felt like a lifetime. It was like a slow motion 4 mile walk across stage. In my head, I was definitely taking in everything. My four years was over after walking off the stage. When I got back to my seat, I was greeted with hugs and handshakes. Oh, I can't explain the feeling of being done and graduating. Excited and happy are EXTREMELY weak words for that feeling.
After waiting for 1,000 more people to graduate, the commencement was over. I was very surprised that only a handful of caps were thrown in the air. I heard from many people that we weren't allowed to throw our caps in the air... it didn't stop the few of us who did.
I will never forget that day in my life. It was the day when a journey ends and another one begins. It was the day when my Exercise Physiology buddies were together in a group for one last time. I can tell you that I'm going to miss my buddies...
I'm going to leave you, the reader, a few more pictures of that day...
- Christian EP '09
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 www.twitter.com/umasslowell
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..."
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."
"Friday, January 16, 2009"
Is it really January 16th or is it just a dream? Has the month been that fast? What happened to the month long winter break? I finally got the sense that my final semester in UMass-Lowell will begin in 10 days. In 10 days, my final sprint to my Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Physiology starts. After realizing all that, I grew excited and worried - yeah, mixed feelings right there. I was excited that its finally my last semester in my degree. I've been waiting for this moment since day 1 of freshmen year. I've always thought about my last semester, well, actually my last full day of classes. I imagine it as a warm "wear your shorts" day and all of us are excited beyond belief. I imagine my buddies taking our final pool game at the McGauvran Student Center with our water bottles sitting on the already-turned-off heater right next to the large windows. Right there, we just reminense about the four years from the one year of torture from general physics to that tough pharmacology class we all had to take last semester...
At the same time, I'm worried what the semester will throw at me. Clinicals start this semester and I'm working at the cardiopulmonary clinic at Saints Memorial Hospital. For some reason, I feel very ill-prepared for any type of work over there. It just feels like I don't know much about any cardiopulmonary stuff to do well there. Heck, I'm still having trouble taking blood pressure on the treadmill. Another worry I have is what will happen after graduation. Will I find a job right away or will it take forever to find something? Generally, with the Exercise Physiology degree, you can enter into many areas of the health field, like entering the doctor in physical therapy program at UML, working as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists, becoming a personal trainer, working as an exercise physiologists at the hospital, work at the cardiopulmonary clinics, etc (I will talk more about the options with the Exercise Physiology degree in a future blog post). I know there will always be a job for me in the health field, since the demand for these jobs are always high. Right now, I'm still undecided - which area would fit me perfectly? Will it be the right choice? (Yeah I think/question way too much). I know down the line, I'll aim for a higher degree, but my major plan right now is to get experience out there, learn from experts in the field through work, and bring all my experiences to a higher degree program. In that, I would feel even more prepared for graduate school. Then my current "60% devotion" to graduate school would be a "100%."
It sounds like I do have an actual plan, but I'm just scared of the uncertainy and the mystery of the future. In my college career, I've seen a lot of things fly perfectly, then take a nose dive to complete failure. Probably, I'm just afraid to run out there and fail. I guess that's something we're all afraid off. I just have to stay in a positive attitude, stay consistent with my plans, and look at my future as a bright opportunity, then a mysterious shroud.
With that positive outlook, I can succeed. (I hope).
- Christian EP '09
It's been awhile since I talked about my senior year and my thoughts about it. It's been awhile since I really had a good "vent" on this blog. I've been long due for a good down-to-earth blog post, so here's my little speech about how things are going for me and senior year.
For the first time ever, I feel like I'm finally getting into the groove of UML and getting really involved with the community. I know, I know, I'm in my final year as a Riverhawk student, but for some weird reason I'm finally getting used to the way of life as a UML student. I can't really explain it. Maybe I feel stress-free this semester. The past 3 years seems like a tough up hill battle. It's like climbing up Mt. Everest in subzero temperatures during a blizzard. But now It seems like the mountain is becoming more of a plateau. Adaptation to the rough college climate? Maybe. And now, I'm part of a new student leadership organization - Omicron Delta Kappa. This group contains the top students/professors/leaders of each major, job, or concentration who has the qualities of a leader. I feel like I'm finally getting involved with something so great and I'm finally being part of the community. Yesterday I went to my first UML Riverhawk hockey game, and oh man! It was a great game! The R'Hawks destroyed #6 UNH 8-3.
See, what I'm trying to say is that being a commuter kind of pushes me away from the UML community. It just seems like we're not involved with anything. I don't usually stay around campus because it seems like there's nothing to do. But now that I'm involved, there's tons of things to do around campus, great people to hang out with, etc. I'm pretty sad that I'm now heading to the end of my UML career... I wish I got more involved with things or be more outgoing when I was a freshmen. If I was more into the UML community, this last drive to the finish line would be a "Final Hoorah" instead of a "Rookie Celebration." Oh well...
Another thing that pretty much shocks me is the "speed" of these four years. These four years is just way too fast to process. I remember my first day of college... I was sitting on the 3rd row from the right wall looking at the chalkboard around 8am in the morning. My college writing 1 professor walks in and welcomes us to the university... Now I'm here sitting on my laptop feeling like a freshman again! Even when this whole experience was like a drag race car going 200mph down a half mile stretch, I seriously had the time of my life. It is true that people have the time of their life in college. College changed the way I am for the good, and now I feel like I'm a more established individual. I have more knowledge, more mature (okay maybe not), and just stronger than what I was before. I have the greatest friends in the world, who are all from UML.
Even when I have a good 6-7 months left of my UML career, I'm going to continue to work hard and enjoy what I have left at this university. Time to create more memories with my best friends and with the rest of the Class of 2009!
Rock On EPs!!!!!
My name is Christian Tiongson and I'm (finally) a senior Exercise Physiology student at the University of Massachusetts - Lowell. I'm a commuter student who travels from Malden, MA to Lowell, MA every day. For those who don't know how far it is, the round trip drive is approximately 60 miles. So basically my drive up to Lowell in the morning is approximately 30-45 minutes depending on traffic and usually 45-60 minutes going back home. Fun stuff, huh? About 99.9% of the time, I drive my 2005 Mazda 3, which has brought me up and down the state through every kind of weather (snow, rain, sleet, wind, sunny, etc). It is also really great on gas with an approximate 30 mpg. In other occasions when a snow storm buries the roads in Malden and not in Lowell, I take the commuter rail up to Lowell and take public transportation. Not bad, but somewhat pricey.
As of now, I'm planning to attend graduate school to become a doctor in physical therapy. But I feel that there is something else for me out there, like becoming a certified strength and conditioning specialists, an exercise physiologists, or do something else that relates to sports. So right now, I'm still in the undecided state (unfortunately). I really hope that something pops into my view that catches 100% of my attention and later pursue it. Let's see what I find through classes and life... I am part of Alpha Lambda Delta, which is the Freshmen Honor Society, and planning to become part of Omicron Delta Kappa, which is the Leadership Honor Society. Alpha Lambda Delta haven't been doing much lately, so I plan to devote more time with Omicron Delta Kappa.
When I'm not busy with studying, I'm either hanging out with my friends (and that special someone), hanging out with my family, playing baseball with my brothers (and sometimes sister), doing artwork, playing guitar, or just playing around with my laptop. Most importantly, I am the coach of a Babe Ruth Baseball team in my city. I've coached for 6 seasons (3 years in Little League and 3 in Babe Ruth). This brings you to my next point... I LOVE BASEBALL! I relate everything in life to baseball from problems to love, etc. It's part of my life. I can't explain how much I love the sport. In the winter I get really depressed when it's done.
I also write music although not professionally but as an amateur musician. My music name is "Sir Christian." I don't sing at all, yet I do try (and I have a few fans out there who love my singing). When I'm not up for singing, I'm just jamming out on my guitars. You can listen to my stuff on my music myspace, www.myspace.com/blacklite . The sound quality isn't that great due to the lack of equipment, but I believe that it's good enough to be on that site.
Well I think I basically told you my life story. I'm happy with what I have right now and who I am. If you have any questions about the commuter life or stuff, just email me: email@example.com or add me on facebook!
Leave some comments!
- Christian Tiongson '09
But there was one thing that surprised me the most: I got to avoid the annual first day parking crunch. How I managed not to get into that is just one big mystery to me. You can say I was really lucky. I drove into the "VIP Lot" (check my March or April blogs about some terminology my buddies and I made up) and found my favorite parking space vacant. (Score!) Right away, the start of my senior year was going better than expected. I got to see all my EP buddies again after 3 months of nothing. We all just had this similar feeling: surprised... "I can't believe we're seniors." After 3 long years with hardcore science GPA classes, we were there looking at each other knowing this will be the last semester/year together. At that point, I didn't even feel like a senior. It just felt like the first time we all met each other in Professor Chamberlain's Intro to EP class (and yes, the get up, get your number and address exercise).
I had 4 classes that day: Research Methods in EP, Exercise Prescription and Programming, Health Care Systems, and (oh man) Vitamins and Minerals. My first two EP classes were as expected, which was just a quick intro into senior year. We watched a video about Universal Precautions and about HIPPA (look it up). Health Care Systems was just a quick intro too. But there was one class that caught me by surprise: Vitamins and Minerals. At first, I thought it would be a general class about vitamins and minerals and its use, but it all came up to be a very detailed and structural biochemistry class. The professor was extremely nice and intelligent, but the information that I absorbed did not match what I expected. Besides, there were a few graduate students in there who were there because it was required. I basically planned to take that class to fulfill my nutrition minor. So after 3 hours of "what the heck I am doing here" I went into the library, looked up ISIS, checked my credits for the semester and found out that if I dropped the class I will still be a full-time student. The only bummer is that I have to wait until the spring semester to make up that one class. My original plan was to keep 5 classes for the fall and 4 classes for the spring, but obviously that's going to get switched around. Oh well.
I definitely have more to blog about my past weekend, the Lowell Spinners game (Thanks Elaine!), and other stuff about my first week. So please come back and read some more!
- If you have any questions about the college or about my commute, email me Christian_Tiongson@student.uml.edu.
P.S. I found this video in one of my blogs. It was a video of me driving from Malden/Melrose line to Lowell in a 11 minute stint. Don't worry it's a compacted quick video: Click here to watch my video!
Do you remember your senior year in high school? It was the year when you were finally called an upperclassman, the big dog, the leaders of the school, or whatever you call it now. All the freshmens in UMass-Lowell should know how it feels. Now, the class of 2013, who were all big time big shots in their high schools are now back to square one: freshmens. Don't worry! Being a freshman here is a HUGE difference than being a freshman in high school. In high school, everyone automatically knows you're a freshman due to the young face, height, and inability to find your class in the maze-like halls. In college, no one will know who you are. Heck, if I ever walked by you, you probably think I'm a freshman due to the young face... Ha! That was a joke. No matter if you had a great or horrible time in high school, college is an absolutely clean slate. You have the decision to take that slate and write your story the way you want it to be.
So I have a challenge for all freshmen in UML. Can you take the slate, start new, and finish with flying colors? Can you look at every supposed "obstacle" and fight through it and not break a sweat? (I wrote something about these so-called obstacles from one of my past blogs. You should read it). From my perseptive, I'm getting close to finishing my story on that slate and I can definitely tell you that I'm never going to stop writing it.
Any questions, comments, problems, lawsuits? You can email me at Christian_Tiongson@student.uml.edu.
- Christian '09