March 2012 Archives

Stressed = Desserts

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Hi all!
I totally did not realize how fast the time went by.
I thought today was still Friday... How's everybody doing?
I am sure you all are way more busier than I am.
The question is how do you manage your stress when you are stressed out.
Today I am going to write how I manage my stress.

retro_music_dryicons_600.jpg Listening music has been always my favorite thing to do when I am stressed out. I like to listen all kinds of musics. My mom is a piano professor, and my family except my dad (he is actually a really good singer, instead) play instruments (I play violin) so music has been very important in my life. Here are some recommendations either if you like to listen various kinds of musics.


Classical:
- Borodin Polovtsian dances
- G. Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
- Debussy Clair de lune
- Dvorak Cello Concerto in b minor Op. 104

House music groups:
- Romantic couch (Korea)
- Capsules (Japan)

Some Asian singers/ groups:
- Leessang (Korea)
- 2PM (Korea)
- 2AM (Korea)
- 王力宏; Leehom Wang (Taiwan)
-周杰倫 Jay Chou (Taiwan)
- 175R (Japan)
- Misia (Japan)

...and so on Ikue Asazaki, Mr. Children, Orange Range, Radwimps, Spitz, and Shinna Ringo (All Japan).

Instrumental & Mics:
- Nujabes (Japan)
- Bajofondo (Argentina and Uruguay)
- Pink Martini
- Quasimode (Japan)
- Paprika OST

I am sure you all will find some good musics from my recommendations list.
I strongly recommend Nujabes and Pink Martini musics if you like instrumental musics or like to listen some kinds of musics that can calm you down.
If you like Jazz musics, Quasimode is a good group too.

As I mentioned, I like to listen music when I am stressed out. How about all of you?
When you feel like you are being stressed out, remember stressed can be sweet things like desserts if you appreciate them (Stressed and desserts are palindrome).

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City of Lakes

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Hey all,

I hope you're all doing well with your studies and are enjoying a wonderful spring time :-)
Minneapolis is so warm and great this spring unlike the previous years that was cold and snowy at this time of the year. Here is how Minneapolis looked last year around this time compared to this year:

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Since we're experiencing such a pleasing weather, everyone longs to go for a walk or an outdoor picnic with friends and enjoy the freshness of the springtime breezes.
I love two seasons of Minneapolis, the fall and the spring. Minneapolis has a truly beautiful nature at these times of the year.
As you might know, Minnesota is known as the land of ten thousand lakes, so Minneapolis means the "City of Lakes".
Therefore, I think now it is a good time of the year to explore and enjoy the lakes of Minneapolis.
Lake Calhoun, Cedar Lake, Lake Harriet, and Lake of the Isles are four beautiful lakes in the district of "Chain of Lakes" in Minneapolis.

Lake Calhoun is in uptown and from some point around the lake you can have a view of the downtown's skyscrapers.

Lake Calhoun.jpg

Cedar Lake is north of Lake Calhoun and west of Lake of the Isles and is on the west side of Minneapolis.

Cedar Lake.jpg

Lake Harriet is south of Lake Calhoun on the southwest side of Minneapolis. Lake Harriet is also a beautiful lake that has the Minneapolis skyline in its background.

Lake Harriet.jpg

Finally, Lake of the Isles is on the southwest of downtown connected to Lake Calhoun and Cedar Lake.

Lake of the Isles.jpg

So, now that you know about these beautiful lakes of Minneapolis, you should visit them sometime and enjoy the beautiful nature of our city.

I wish you a wonderful springtime!

Norooz

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Hello Everyone,

Happy Spring Break!! I know we're all so excited about the spring break, and we've all got a lot of plans for the upcoming week. I hope we all get some rest, have some fun, and do some homework as well! I, personally, have tons of homework to do, that are due right after the spring break.

Anyways, today I want to tell you a little bit about Norooz .
Have you ever heard of this term? Norooz is a Persian (Farsi) word meaning "New Day" (no= new and rooz= day). Norooz is the name of our New Year, which starts on the first day of spring. It is usually on March 20 or 21st. Norooz is our most important holiday and we celebrate it for thirteen days including the first day of spring. During this time we visit the elders of the family and have many gatherings, with a lot of food and gifts for kids. On the thirteenth day we picnic outdoors.

At the moment of Norooz, which happens at a different hour year to year, families gather around a table with the Haftseen on the table. Haftseen is the most important element of Norooz, and it stands for "the Seven S". We have seven items on this table that start with the letter "S", and each of them has a symbolic meaning. The Haftseen are:

Sabzeh: wheat growing in a dish
Somagh: sumac berries
Serkeh: vinegar
Sib: apple
Sir: garlic
Samanoo: a sweet pudding made from wheat germ
Senjed: dried fruit of oleaster tree

But we also include some other things such as:

The Holly Quraan
Sonbol: Hyacinth plant
Sekkeh: coin
Mirror
Decorated eggs
Two live red fish
Lit candles

This is how a Haftseen would look like:

Haftseen 4.jpg

and here are some other variations of Haftseen:

Haftsee 2.jpg

Collored eggs for haftseen.jpg

Sabzeh.jpg

So, now you know how excited I am, since it is the spring break, and even more importantly, it is our New Year!
Yaaaaaaaaaay I am so happy these days :-)

Have a great spring break everyone!

Welcome Spring Break!

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Hi all!
The spring break finally has begun, and I am here in Niles, Illinois.
I finished my last midterm on Thursday night, and on very early morning of Friday I took a greyhound bus to come down here. I have been feeling not so good, so this time I came to enjoy Korea's hot sauna & spa.

I know everybody has been waiting to have a spring break, and I also know that once your exams are all taken care of you all want to just have fun until the spring break is over.
I, here, too wanted to just enjoy spring break as it comes naturally. Actually this semester has been so stressful, all I wanted during spring break was sleeping and do nothing.
However, soon I realized how spring break is important to students like me.

1. During spring break you can catch up what you've missed during semester.
2. You can still work (International undergraduate students can only work up to 20 hours per week, but during spring break you can work up to 40 hours per week depends on where you work), and save money for future!
3. If you do not have to catch up study (lucky you!), you can start preparing exams. Some of the exams and projects are due right after spring break is over.
4. You can use this valuable time to do some great volunteer!

Other than what I already wrote, I am sure there are millions of things you can do in order to use the time wisely. I am not saying don't take a break during spring break, but find your own balance so after break you won't feel overwhelmed. And break is quite long to just sleep and party. Use your time wisely, then you will appreciate spring break even more.

Hope everybody enjoys break and talk to later.

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My Daily life as an International Student.

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Today I want to write about my daily life as an international student.

I am about the graduate after this semester, and it really makes me think about my life here in U.S.

Truly, I will miss Minnesota a lot. A LOT

Usually, I woke up at 6:10 or 6:20 a.m. Trust me, I'm not an early bird type, but I'm used to it after I came here. It is because I'm living off campus housing so if I have a morning class (the earliest class starts from 8:00) and my work schedule (also starts at 8:00 a.m.), I really need to get prepared at last 40 minutes before. Don't worry. I'm living quite far from the campus. Usually students live much closer than me or they ride a bicycle or car. Campus connectors are another great transportation system to make your life easier.

At first, commuting to campus was one of the hardest things that I needed to adjust myself. Also, when I was in Korea, I'm from the big city where transportation systems were much convenient. Bus and subway stops were everywhere, and if I was late, I could just waive my hand to Taxi and usually got one within few minutes. So, it was hard for me to wake up and walk to school (yes, sometimes in snowy, slippery, dark morning of Minnesota winter)

However, I got used to my new daily life soon and I found out walking to school in morning is actually very fresh and healthy. Also, coffee really helps. (You can find many coffee shops on campus too!)

After eating lunch, I have all the classes. If you are worrying about having lunch, there are so many places you can get your lunch. However, if you eat outside a lot, it cost you lots of money too. This is why I usually pack my lunch box.

Minnesota has many cultural grocery stores, so you don't need to worry about it too much. Many microwaves are available on campus, so you can enjoy your lunch warm and fresh!

One thing that took me for a while to adjust was I needed to eat my lunch alone. I couldn't imagine myself eating alone in public before I came here. However, I became more independent and found out it is quite hard to find a friend who has exactly same schedule with you.

The earliest time that I finish my class is 2:00 p.m., but the latest evening class is done at 8:10 p.m. Last year, I intentionally had a schedule for only three days for school per week. Registering classes is really up to you unless your department has specific rules. I saw many students designed their schedule in the most convenient way for themselves.

I usually take 15 ~ 18 credits. When I was in Korea, I usually took over 24 credits every semester and it was totally fine with me. However, since university system is quite different, 18 credits are actually quite a load.

I understand some of students want to take as many as credits, but please talk to your academic adviser about your credit load. (Especially, if you are a first year student!) Once, I took 21 credits and I ended up dropping some classes at the middle of my semester.

After my classes are all done, I usually stay on campus for studying and doing my assignments because I feel lazy when I'm at home. There are tons of places you can study on campus and most of places on campus have university WIFI. If you have a project group or study group, this is time when the students usually meet up.

Usually, I try to finish my assignment at least a day in advance so I do my homework at night. Especially, if you need some writing support from writing center, you may want to ready your writing "at least" a day before the due date.
(When you have your syllabus at the beginning of the semester, mark all the due dates and make an appointment with writing center in advance if you need.)

Also, if you have reading assignment, please do not procrastinate. It will be bigger and bigger so by the time you need to take a test, it may be beyond your ability. (THAT happened to me before)

So, this is how my just "normal" day looks like.
However, you will be surprised how many "unexpected" and "unplanned" things happened to your life at the University of Minnesota.
At first, you may be scared or puzzled. However, you will soon realize, those are really valuable and amazing experiences.

Good luck, my friends!

Employment Options for International Students.

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Hey there! Lately, I have been receiving queries from my international friends about various employment options available at the U. So, I thought that this would be an awesome platform to discuss about few of these opportunities offered by the International Student and Scholar Services, exclusively for the international students.

Culture Corps: This program lets students develop a project (e.g. language teaching, dancing, music or culture sharing) to share their culture and tradition with the campus community. The amount of stipend you receive depends upon the depth of the project. To get more info about application process and project ideas, you can visit this link!

Small World Coffee Hour: This program lets students, staff and faculty enjoy cultures and traditions from around the world. If you are passionate about planning and organizing events, then you are a good fit for this position. As a member, you'll primarily be involved in planning, shopping, publicity and hosting culturally-based events. In return for your hard work and participation, you get a stipend of $1000 for every semester.

International Buddy Program:
This is the most time- and energy-consuming program out of all three. This program pairs up a current student mentor with a new international student mentee, in which the mentor assists their new buddy to smoothen their transition to the US. The mentors and mentees stay in regular contact with each other throughout the year and participate in various events and activities. For more information about application and stipend, you can contact ISSS.

Again, if you have queries about any of these programs, feel free to contact ISSS or me. I hope that these opportunities help you ease up your financial burden. :)


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