Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Spring Festival Feast

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Happy Chinese Spring Festival!
This is the year of Rooster, 2017, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. As a native Chinese, spring festival is my favorite time of the year. People usually have winter vacations during this time, and spring festival is the time that families get together and relax. It is just like Christmas here in America.  Although I can’t celebrate with my family this year, the student organization “Bridges the Internationals” has provided me a chance to welcome the Chinese new year.

There were twelve of us here: all girls, some are graduating seniors, some just started the life in Iowa. We are from different parts of world: China, Korea, and America; we have different majors: accounting, business, pre-med, Literature, Engineering… But, we all belong to this big family called “Bridges to Internationals”, which connects international students and local Americans to provide a platform of making friends on campus. This is where we hang out, learn and grow together. I joined this student org when I was a freshman, and now I really enjoy the time with my friends in this community and have had unforgettable memories.

To celebrate the spring festival, it is typical that people will share a big meal together. This time, we got together and made dumplings and other creative dishes. Here is a photo of what we made! Homemade feast by Bridges the Internationals! Can’t wait to eat!


New semester is here!

Monday, January 25th, 2016

It is a new beginning of our spring semester here at the University of Iowa!! Hopefully everybody had a wonderful winter break with family and friends. What is your new year’s resolution for 2016? Personally speaking, I plan to fix my mistakes that happened last semester like not being efficient enough for my classes and activities, not staying completely focused during lecture. This year, my goal is to make a difference in life. Here are some tips I learned from last semester.

  1. Study ahead of classes. Having a good preparation has never been a bad idea. Although people including myself think it’s a little bit time consuming, it really is worth the time and effort. Coming to class with questions is much better than just receiving the knowledge taught by professors. This is because there is a motivation inside to drive you to learn new things rather than teachers giving you what should be learned during lecture. The time in a lecture is limited. Reading the material before and after class helps you learn and gain a much better understanding in a limited amount of time.
  2. Attend social events to relax yourself and try new things. This past weekend, I went to a swing dance event at IMU with my other two roommates. I was not confident enough to go at the very beginning. But after my roommates encouraged me, I went. I was glad that I tried it out. Now I know how to do a little bit of swing dancing. It is never too late to try new things. As long as you have the passion, you should do what interests you.
  3. Take group exercise. At the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center (CRWC), students can take group exercise classes for free. It is a great opportunity to get fit and stay healthy, and make new friends! Our floor went together for the Zumba dance class on Thursday. Although I was sweaty after the workout, it was a great experience. In addition, doing group exercise gives you a sense of belonging since everybody else is learning the same step as well, so it is easy to build your own confidence.
  4. Have a healthy diet and sleep well. I want to say that the most important thing in order to stay active on campus is to keep a healthy living style. Get enough sleep and eat healthy!

Carver Clean-up

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Everybody is either picking up the trash and putting it into the garbage bag or rushing to the next dirty spot. Nobody ever stopped to have a rest or even look around. It was like a competition, but there is no loser or winner. Because we are working as a whole group and our goal is to get the stadium cleaned up and the fund raised for Continental Crossings.

Continental Crossings is one of the student organizations that I participate in, whose mission is to build bridges in developing countries of South America to help the people survive the flood season. Where is the money from to make this bridge building happen? It all depends on our students. There is a fund raising group that is designed to hit the goal to collect the money needed from all the sources that they can utilize.

Cleaning the stadium is one way we raise funds. Right after the Men’s Basketball game, although it was already 10:30 in the evening, the group was armed to get this giant stadium done. It was my first time to clean a stadium. I have been to basketball games before but never did I think about how to clean the entire stadium with a group of twenty. The basketball stadium is really steep, which was my first impression of an American basketball stadium. I was even scared to stand up in a row, especially on the top part close to the entrance. But to my surprise, I rushed out to pick up the garbage without thinking about this concern after half of a circle was done. That was actually scary when I looked back. I stood there for a couple seconds to let my breath come through, and moved on. It wouldn’t be scary if I don’t think about it. I couldn’t waste the time on taking a break because we were doing a group work– other people would have to do extra work if I didn’t work hard as I could.

I was stepping on large amount of popcorn that people spilled with a crunchy sound. In the meantime, some coke spilled all over the path as I walked by, even on my shoes. It was awful. It is miserable to see how garbage is left all over after the game. The peanut shells, popcorn and candies, etc. are just sitting where they used to be. Will the leftover popcorn be thrown away if there is a little garbage bin at the end of each row? So the custodians can actually save time of sweeping the floor?

We left the stadium in the middle of the night. The stadium was refreshed and quiet again. Although our group stayed up late, we finished cleaning and it was worth it!

The embarrassing moment of today

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Have you experienced the most embarrassing thing in your life? What is it? I bet everybody’s answer is different. Whenever I was asked to tell what was my most awkward thing, I found it so hard to say. That means I was either intimidated to say it out-loud, or I didn’t even have my best answer in mind. But now I have had one, and it just happened earlier today.

After my Korean friend showed me his favorite study place–the law library, I decided to explore this library since visiting different libraries is on my to-do list. It was extremely large to me – with multiple levels, thousands of documents and numerous study spots. I think the word “enormous” is best used to describe it for it was several times larger than my current favorite one, the Engineering library. As a carrel lover, I couldn’t help looking to find an open seat while I was wandering between lines of the study carrels. I thought they were public carrels open for every kind of students to use, just like the ones in the basement of the Engineering library.  As I walked through line by line and found out that almost every spot had some books or something on the shelves. That was really weird. Why do people leave their belongings like books and documents at the public carrels? Aren’t they worried about those thing being stolen? Because it was Sunday, that level was almost empty. How would it be different sitting there to study? Driven by a strong sense of curiosity, I sat down quietly on one of the spots which was totally empty.

A boy stood right by me when I was pulling my chair out.

I looked at him. And he looked at me.

I realized there was a strange deadly sense of silence.

Finally he said, “This is my spot.”

“Oh I am so sorry. I didn’t know that they were assigned.” My cheeks flushed. I could never tell him how embarrassed I was. I realized that it was not right to sit down at a study carrel when I didn’t know they are for personal study use.

“It’s alright. I didn’t put a sign saying this my spot. So I don’t blame you.”

Thankful for his understanding, I grabbed my backpack and quickly walked out. This is the most embarrassing moment of the day. “Never make the same mistake again,” I told myself. “Not every library has the same rules. You are not a law student.”

But anyway, at least I saw the inside of the law library. That was interesting! But it is just a place to visit, not a place to stay. On the way back to the Seamans Center, I am lucky to say that Engineering library is where I feel I belong.


My Awesome Chemistry Professor

Monday, September 21st, 2015

“We need to feed our brains with fresh oxygen so please take a deep breath…then breath that out… calm and quiet… and now you may begin.” This is the gentlest way I have experienced to start an exam. It came from my chemistry professor right before my first, and one of the biggest exams. I didn’t even feel I was getting a bad grade or anything like that. It was just like doing my daily mastering chemistry homework. I worked through the problems step by step, then I finished.

Walking out of that big auditorium, I felt so glad that this chemistry exam was over. It started at night – that is the one thing I have never tried before. I never ever had a really important exam that ends at 10:20p.m. Although I thought it was kind of crazy, and I didn’t know if this was a good time to take it, this night exam sounded more exciting and new to me rather than stressful. Because I can see if it is a better time for me, a night owl, to find something refreshing.

Luckily enough, I recognized that my favorite chemistry professor was right in the front row when I was walking into the room. I felt more excited. I love his class a lot. His lecture is well-constructed every time; we know what to expect in Chemistry and he always works through hard problems in class, and more importantly, he has the precious patience for everyone, which I admire most.

He was with us throughout the whole exam period. I was surprised to see him standing there checking people’s scantrons when there were only few people left (including me). He is the professor that we meet every other day for a 50-min lecture; he is the professor who works with students during his office hours; he is the hard-worker who deserves a good night for tomorrow’s lecture… but he was right there with us until the last second. That totally surprised me.

At that moment, I thought about my goals for a second. I made a quick decision to let chemistry become a part of my life!

Sweet day

Monday, September 14th, 2015


“This is your birthday surprise!” Emily took out a toy puppy to me. “I know we ‘re sneaky!” Elly said and looked at my astonished face while I was holding my birthday cupcake.  I got a bed animal (Don’t laugh at me if that sounds childish) from my Roommates Elly and Emily!! Because they found out I didn’t have a bed animal as accompany when I arrived here. Yes It was because I didn’t have enough room to put my little bear in my suitcase. I did not even pay any attention to this topic while talking, but it later became a birthday surprise.

It was yesterday, a sunny but little bit chilly Saturday, when Iowa football team was fighting against Iowa State. The whole town was filled with great excitement and a sense of madness—–Everybody was super into the football game and they cheered and cheered again. So we our three roommates decided earlier in the day to explore the downtown area to watch the game and give me my birthday surprise. I totally forgot the birthday surprise thing after a couple of hours into the game. The only thing that I have been thinking of is that we finally got a roommate hang-out day! Gathering together is such a great way to spend more time with our extended “family” (roommates) on a relaxing weekend. Although I have lived in the Stanley for a month, I have not had a truly fun day with my buddies until this time because of all kinds of homework and study. How special today would be!

Working with numbers and elements all day, we actually went out of this mad world and had something special and fun! We cried out “Go Hawks!” when football players were doing well; we chatted, we laughed, and also we got fully relaxed from the overwhelming coursework. Elly even got a tiny hawkeye shirt for her puppy coming to see her next weekend.

But suddenly I was led by the girls to “Molly’s” to get my birthday cupcake! My birthday was September 10th but because of so much work to do for everybody, I didn’t talk really much about it. Inside I really wish this birthday will be different for I have been away from my home for two years and hardly can imagine what a real birthday will be like. I planted my wish secretly in my deep heart but my roommates digged it out.

“This is your birthday and you are going to enjoy it!” Emily said,

“Because we know you couldn’t bring your one from home so we got you the bed animal!”

Oh I really wished time could ever stop at that moment. How lucky I was to meet those girls who really care about others and focus on details. I was overjoyed not because the birthday gift itself but because of those two kind and thoughtful hearts behind it! I can’t believe how I was blessed.

But in fact, time flies. Everything happening in this moment will be gone when it is the time to go. So maybe start today to care about those folks that really care about you because love is sweet.



Campus discovery (2)——Macbride

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

In the middle of this long weekend, maybe there is a place that you wish the time can stop for a second, and you can read every piece of it——that is the Museum of Natural History located in Macbride Hall.

Yes, Macbride Hall has three different exhibits which are: “Diversity of Life,” “Iowa Hall,” and “Mammal Hall” on the ground floor, first floor and third floor separately!  My first time visiting there was by accident. I wouldn’t visit Macbride Hall if I didn’t have my lecture there.

After my lecture, in the early afternoon, I wondered, “What is Iowa Hall?”,  but had no one else there to ask when standing in front of the door by myself. Because of a strong sense of curiosity, I went into the Exhibit room after knocking the door (that was a side door actually). I was astonished by what was in front of my eyes. They have a museum here!!! How come I never knew it until now?! It is a totally different world from the door outside. I suddenly felt like I ran back to 500 million years ago. As if I was walking in the jungle with lots of plants and animals that I have literally never seen. Although they are behind the windows, I almost started to yell when I saw that ancient Indian looking towards me! I think, “they can’t be more real!” I felt the time stop and start to go backwards.  I also found out the answer to my previous question during a visit in February: “Why does outside of Macbride Hall have some sculptures of animals below the windows?” The answer is that they represent the species exhibited inside.

Do you want to meet the Giant Sloth in the Ice Age (which is almost four times lager than a normal person, from my assumption)? Do you want to see what the world was like millions of years ago? Hope the Natural History Museum is the next stop on your campus tour list!

Here is a link you can check out:

New start

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Can’t believe that the life safari at the University of Iowa is just at the corner. Experiencing a totally different lifestyle from my home country China, there are lots of fun events to be aware of and to enjoy. Moving to my new LLC-WISE family in Stanley couldn’t have been more exciting. Because it is a great way to meet new people – your new RA, your new roommates and friends. I can’t tell you how happy I am now to get started. Also, good luck to our international students’ orientations – attending meetings, seeing your academic advisors, going for your Iowa spirit, meeting, meeting new people and more!! The most fun thing that I have to mention is the Iowa Spirit Night, which was so wonderful and energizing! We created our own T-shirts and flags for the On Iowa! football game. To be black and gold!! Go Hawkeyes!!   photo