Results tagged “classes” from Hawk Talk - Christian

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


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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
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  

  


My first day back on UMass-Lowell soil was uneventful.  Actually, it was the worst first day of classes I've been experienced.  Figures, it's my last semester as an undergraduate at the campus, too! 

Let's start out with some positive aspects of my first day.  I woke up at a reasonable time that morning, which gave me enough space and time to watch T.V., catch up on the news, take a shower, have a "good" breakfast, and warm-up my car adequately (Sweet).  My drive up to Lowell was also pretty awesome too.  The drive was a good 35 minutes without any hint of traffic, slow downs from state trooper speed traps, or even a splash of icy patches.  Heck, even my trek through the back streets of Lowell was very smooth without any red light stops or construction.  But as soon as I turned into Broadway St. and entered the Riverview lot, my commuter nightmare begun. 

Let's just say that my journey in the parking lot took a good... 45 minutes to find a LEGAL parking space.  First of all, it seems like UML decided to dump all their snow on one corner of the "Big Lot," which eliminated a good 40+ spaces.  Why on Earth did they do that?  They never did that stuff before!  In the past, the crew usually would dump all that snow behind the softball fields, where the temporary overflow lot was.  I guess this time, the university decided to just pile 20ft mounds ON the active parking lot.  With those mounds, many people decided to parallel park next to them like there was no problem narrowing the space to drive.  Also, many people just decided that there were no such thing as parking lines.  I saw people continue to add more "imaginary" spaces, which also obstructed driving.  Come on folks, I know the unverisity screwed up by not removing those mountains of snow before the first day of classes (and the annual first day parking auto-fill), but at least don't be stupid by making driving difficult for that lot.  So basically, driving in that lot was like a Pac-man game without eating ghosts - we're all "Pac-mans" who were hungry for a clean parking space.  Luckily for me (after 45 minutes of car "Pac-man," I found a space in the Mahoney parking lot.  Thank God I gave myself a lot of time that day.

Here's the picture of the snow mounds from the top of the Mahoney parking lot:

38d3f3219a00bbbbbbbb.jpg
Sorry for the crappy picture, but you can tell that those hills are noticable in the picture. 

I wonder where all the new snow will be dumped tomorrow... I hope they plow all that stuff onto the unused overflow lot.  At least get rid of those hills so I (and the rest of the commuter population) won't spend 45 minutes of my life looking for a space.

- Ian

I woke up this morning with one of the weirdest feelings in the world.  It feels like something hit me really hard - not physically, but mentally.  As soon as I opened my sleepy, blurry eyes, all I saw was my desktop calendar.  I tore off the first page, put on my glasses, and realized what day it was:

"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




How does it feel to have the last day of classes canceled due to "one of the worst ice storms on record?"

Don't answer, because I'll answer it for you!!!!

It is grrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeatttttttttt!!!!!!!!  Oh man, you have no idea!  My presentation and in-class final was canceled!!  And it's the last day of classes!!!!  All I have left is finals and I'm all set for 2008!  Wooohooo!!

Okay, maybe it wasn't completely great since approximately 500,000 from the Worcester and Merrimack Valley Region lost power.  And you know what stinks even more?  Most of those poor souls won't get their electricity restored until Monday at the earliest.  So that means that there is no lights, no heat, rotten food in the refrigerator, and other negative effects.   My buddy from Worcester told me that since his power won't be restored for the whole weekend, he has to stay over his sister's house until further notice.  I heard it was terrible in the Worcester area.

He sent me a picture of his street during the storm:

IMG00188.jpg

Nasty picture, huh?  It looks like it snowed a little, but it's not snow - it's just tons and tons of ice that just piled on top of each other from the heavy rains and the sleet.  With that extra weight, tree branches, power lines, poles, and other stuff fell straight to the ground.  On top of that mess is the black ice.  I just read an article off wbztv.com and one woman died from sliding off black ice.  Her truck dove head on into the Charles River... Thank God I didn't drive around last night when the temperatures dropped below freezing.  I got reports from people at UML that electricity around the city is still pretty much dead too - internet services are down too.  (It makes me wonder if you'll be able to read this blog today).


Okay, this blog is getting a bit depressing (and it's time to bring out the cookies! - it's a Health Care Systems class inside joke)!   Let's talk about a more positive ice event! 

Back tracking five days (December 8) before the ice storm, Omicron Delta Kappa (the Leadership Honor Society) went to the Boston Bruins hockey game vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning.  It is one of our first social events for the organization.  About 20 members, faculty, and their friends headed to Boston to watch the RED HOT Eastern Conference leader Bruins rough up the Lightning 5-3.  I honestly think in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Boston Bruins jumped on top 3-0, giving the fans a show!!! 

I actually recorded the most exciting point of the game through the Flip Camera I borrowed from UML.  Before I drop the link, here is the description:  The bruins are already up with a power play 5 vs. 4.  After failing to score in the first few seconds of the power play, one of the Lightnings were penalized for holding giving the Bruins a 5 vs. 3 man advantage.  In this video, big man Zdeno Chara fires one of his hardest slap shots for the power play goal.  Fun times!

It's on youtube right now:
ZDENO CHARA'S POWER PLAY GOAL (YOUTUBE)





Well I hope you find warmth during this icy weekend.   Stay relaxed, focused, and mindful during this tough finals week!!!  You're almost done!!  Sprint to the finish with flying colors!!!

Good Luck With Finals,
Christian
 

Welcome Back!!!

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After months of just laying around, working, coaching baseball, and other fun stuff, I managed to get myself up around 7am in the morning, eat a good breakfast, get ready, and head up to Lowell for my first day of classes.  The commute up to UML wasn't too bad.  Traffic on Rt. 128/I-95 was a bit slow, but it was never a crawl.  Overall the commute was a good 40 minute drive, which was considered a normal run up to Lowell. 

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. 

Christian


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!

 

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