Sunday, August 31, 2003

Orientation Week Day -2

I don't remember if I mentioned that I was involved with orientation week at my school this year, but in case I didn't, well, now you know. :) Today was the first time I met with all the orientation leaders in my group in the "HQ Room". Each group is designated a colour, and we need to come up with a theme. Our theme is the Grape Scots - sort of like "Great Scots". Anyhow, we raided the city of everything purple, from fabric to balloons, and even a handbag. (what we are using that for, I have no idea)

Two more days until the incoming students arrive on campus! I can't wait for the day to come - it will be so exciting to witness the feared 'double cohort', and hopefully we'll be prepared enough to handle them!

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Adventure on Greyhound

Last night I took the late bus to leave Champaign for Chicago, where I would take the bus and return home. Here is the bus ride, in summary:

1. Champaign -> Chicago
Just a regular bus ride - quite a bit faster than I expected, only took about 2 hours to reach Chicago downtown.

2. Chicago -> Michigan
The driver was a 31 year veteran in bus driving, and he went on the announcement to brag about it. I must say though, he was efficient, and did his job well. Got us to Michigan two hours before the scheduled time. Not that it matters - because I still had to wait for the connecting bus.

3. Michigan -> Windsor
Got the most disgruntled driver who complained about everything from the delay at the terminal to the drivers on the road at 6am. I wish she would just shut up and do her job. Went past the customs where they asked us to get off the bus, then get back on. Huh? Why can't the customs people just come on the bus to ask us questions? We crossed the tunnel at Windsor, and about to embark on the journey, when suddenly..


The driver ran a red light, realized it half-way, and slammed on the brakes. There was a green pickup that slammed into the side of the Greyhound - literally T-Boned. Looks like the truck suffered much more damage than the bus! Oh and just in time, it started to rain. What a great way to start the day.

So we all got off the bus, waited for another bus to take us onwards to the London terminal. The bus came, and me and this other guy (Matt, a drummer from England whom I met on the trip from Chicago to Michigan) didn't have a seat. Originally we were going to sit on the floor, and the driver said he would let us ride for free. Then some Greyhound admin came by and said he would send us off to London by taxi. TAXI?! From Windsor to London, on the highway, takes about 2 hours. I am not going to argue, since I don't have to foot the bill.

Got to London, caught up with the connecting bus to Toronto, and got there only an hour behind schedule. Considering all that has happened, I didn't think the delay was unreasonable. Thanks to Adrian who volunteered to pick me up - I was about to fall over when the whole 17 extended hour of travelling ended.

I hope there is some compensation on my suffering and time-wasted though. I didn't pay to have the driver run a red light and cause an accident!

*sigh* Things like this only happen to me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Last Day in C-U

Tonight I'll be heading back to Toronto on Greyhound - 15 hours of bus ride. I wonder what it would be like - or if it would be half as comfortable as sleeping on the plane. Had some amazing Italian food at a nearby restaurant in CampusTown, bookstores are giving away lots of freebies (I already got a t-shirt and some pens!).. reminds me of my own frosh week in university. I suddenly feel so old surrounded by all the 17-18 year olds..

Monday, August 25, 2003

American Iced Tea != Canadian Iced Tea

I have learned something else here - never order iced tea. American iced tea is literally just iced tea. Non-sweetened. I actually figured this out two years ago, at the Chicago O'Hare Airport. Since then, I have forgotten and keep ordering this blasted iced tea here numerous times. Ugh. Must remember for next time.

Living here is awesome, except for the fact that I have to climb up and down the stairs to get into bed, and the apartment is seriously built for Evelyn. I nearly hit my head every time I climb the steps. There is barely any entertainment in this town, unless you (a) belong to a fraternity or a sorority and (b) likes to drink and party everyday of the week. No wonder this university is ranked in the top 5 partying schools in America.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Life in C-U

So today Evelyn is in orientation for incoming graduate students, and I found out that there is wireless internet here at Borders :) So I'm sitting here, sipping my Latt�, and surfing the net. Unfortunately it's only free for one day (some promotion they are having).. so I have to pay for my next daypass tomorrow if I want to come back.

It is not impossible to live in C-U without a car, but if you want to buy anything or do any kind of grocery shopping, a car is almost a must. We rented a car for the week (damn expensive too), so we could shop for her apartment without too much trouble. Probably go on a weekend trip before I head back to Canada, and before her semester officially starts.

Everything in America is bigger. Even their supermarkets. Meijer stuns me with their size (and prices). Everything is so expensive here too. Collegetown is cool - something that I know I'll miss when I go back to Waterloo. A much better student atmosphere here, and it seems the town is built solely for the purpose of the students here.

I'll recount more adventures as the week goes on. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Arrived - and moved!

Driving a big truck is very annoying. Not only that you have to watch the overhead clearance, you cannot go through drive-thru, cannot park regularly at a parking lot, and all the cars give you the most recognized sign language on the face of this planet when they pass you. Thankfully, we got to Champaign-Urbana right on time and got the keys. The move from ground floor to third floor is HORRIBLE. So I have learned three more things in life:

1. Don't rent a place on the third floor when you have 20+ boxes to move.
2. A utility dolly is useless when moving up and down the stairs.
3. Evelyn is stronger than me now.

Took us a little over 4 hours to move everything from the truck into her apartment. All the boxes barely fit into her very very small apartment - and I mean VERY small. I am starting to question whether she can live there for five years..

Monday, August 18, 2003

On the way..

I would like to thank Chris, who volunteered to drive Evelyn and I down to the Greyhound station despite the chaos on the streets. Evelyn and I couldn't get any sleep the night prior to the move - who could, knowing that there is no way to tell whether we have a truck to move, or even if there is power in MI, where we were staying overnight. Calling U-Haul yielded no result - the customer service rep hung up on me! Finally catching a bus into Waterloo, we found a truck that we could use, picked up all the boxes from storage, and off we go.

We got stuck at the border for about an hour and a half because of Evelyn's student visa, but everything was smooth afterwards. After checking in at the hotel near East Lansing, we hurried off to T.G.I. Friday's for dinner. Little did we realize, we haven't eaten all day! (it was 10pm) I suppose I would be a bit worried about eating out after the blackout - who knows if the food is safe to eat or not.

After the blackout, I realize that as a society, we rely on technology. Are we still the master of the machines, or have the machines taken over control? (Oh no, this is starting to sound like the Matrix)

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Farewell Party (Part 2) [AKA the Blackout Party]

Okay, so there was the big blackout on Thursday - on the day of Evelyn's farewell party at Lisa's place. Many people could not have made the party because they were stuck in traffic, but thanks to those who actually showed up and bid Evelyn farewell, we made the best out of a bad situation. Luckily enough, we decided to do a bit of BBQing that night so at least we had FOOD to eat. (something that a lot of people can't say on Thursday night)

Unfortunately, the lights didn't seem to want to come back on anytime soon, so we left shortly after 8:00pm because we fear that with no street lights, the chances of an accident is very high. Everybody seemed a bit teary-eyed when Evelyn said goodbye. Trekking an hour home with NO traffic lights was not fun at all. We saw a lot of regular civillians directing traffic, even in the heat wave that stroke the city around the same time as the blackout.

At least it was memorable :) We will always remember Evelyn's farewell by the blackout of Summer '03..

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Farewell Dinner (Part 1)

More driving today - from Toronto to Waterloo for Evelyn's farewell dinner with her friends in psychology. We had dinner at Marbles, which in my opinion is overpriced and next-to-nothing selection of entre�s. Should have gone to somewhere decent if I were to pay that much for a chicken club sandwich. Ah well, at least it was good times for Evelyn, saying farewell to all her friends that are going to different places when the new school year begins.

I wonder, in a year, how many of them will still be talking to each other?

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Shopping.. ugh.

Today I drove three ladies to shop in Buffalo - most blokes would consider this extremely lucky on my part, since I get to accompany three gorgeous ladies trying on clothes. Other than the fact that I really enjoyed seeing Evelyn try out different pieces of clothing for me (no, not at Vicoria's Secrets), the drive was exhausting and I didn't buy anything. The girls talked from the way down all the way to the Walden Galleria, then talked all the way back. It's so true that when girls gather, they talk and talk and sekInDgly have no end to their conversation - I can attest to that!

Friday, August 08, 2003


Although my performance on the last exam was sub-par, but I just couldn't care less when I walked out of the exam. It's all over :P (well, at least for four months)

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Still here..

Barely though. I've been here since early morning, and I will probably be here until early morning. I promise, this will be my last bitching entry for this semester, but I just need to get it out of my system before I explode.

Wish me luck for tomorrow.. 9am.. *sigh*

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

[profanity] this [profanity]

I [profanity] hate this [profanity] [profanity] [profanity]!!!! How can I be so [profanity] [profanity] stupid and [profanity] up the [profanity] [profanity] exam?! I'm such a [profanity] [profanity] [profanity]!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

And so, the battle continues

Three more days (including today, unfortunately) until I'm free - well, at least for another four months. Lately I have been increasing the amount I procrastinate, like right now. It's good that it's finally over, I fear if this were to drag on for another week, I would have lost all motivation to study and just fail out or something.

Another final this afternoon, hope it goes well.. after that, it's the final stretch (and seemingly, always the longest). Sometimes I wish I could just wake it and it'd be Friday, but then I worry how I would have done given the amount of stuff I know right now. :P

Sunday, August 03, 2003


Consistency can either be good or bad. Being consistently bad at something means you're not improving at all, but being consistently good means you are always good at what you're doing. I don't know whether I can accept the fact that I will continue to improve - there is an upper bound on everything. (yes, I just wrote my Digital Control Applications final this afternoon) To draw an analogy from the exam today, a stable system (referring to us), given a bounded input (finite amount of effort and time), the output is always bounded. This agrees with what I believe in - there is a certain 'plateau' I hit, sorta like my 'talent bound'.. I simply cannot achieve more than my upper bound.

So I would have to say that my performance on the exam today was.. consistent.

Sorry for the rambling. I have been stuck in the library from 8am-3am everyday for past week, and sometimes when I procrastinate I think too much. :P

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Another one bites to dust

Well there goes another final exam that I don't think I did very well on. Ah well, I have learned over the years that the feeling when walking out of the exam has virtually zero correlation with the final mark of that course. Even if I walk out of there feeling soreness in my behind, I learn not to feel so bad anymore. It's just another exam - how many challenges will one face in one's lifetime? Probably more than what my final is worth. There's some food for thought.

Oh and some people are complaining that I am distancing from them. Great. Refer to my July 29th entry please.