Posted by: idm04 | 2014/01/13

January 11th – Student Leadership Conference

Peer Programs/UBC Orientations positions

The application for Peer Programs and UBC Orientations is now open!  (e.g. Science Peer Academic Coaches/MUG Leader they’re now called Orientation Leaders etc.)

Student Leadership Conference 2014

Be infinite.”

was the theme this year!


Peter van Stolk, founder of Jones soda, gave a talk about the roller coaster of his career, highlighting both his successes and his mistakes.  I thought he was a funny guy and enjoyed his speech, although sometimes I didn’t understand what he was trying to get at…

He basically said we should “look up” or think in terms of tomorrow and not today, so we can plan/work with the future in mind, instead of thinking about the present, especially if you are in a bad situation.  He also mentioned “knowing the rules of the game” and then breaking those rules.  For example he made this Thanksgiving set of Jones soda lol which included mashed potatoes flavoured soda, turkey & gravy, cranberry, green beans… so weird.  Yet it sold out within an hour when it was released…

Featured Presenter 1

I went to Alia Dharamsi’s presentation, which was about her undergraduate life before she went on to UBC med.  She basically talked about how we shouldn’t be afraid of taking risks and getting involved with new positions even if we don’t have all the skills, because that’s what other team members are for (complementing your own skill set).

Workshop 1

I was originally signed up for Tech Startups Done Right but that was canceled 20 minutes before the session by the presenters.  So instead, I was “forced” into going to “If you haven’t thought about quitting once, then your goals aren’t big enough” which was a workshop given by two ex presidents of two different UBC clubs.  They basically told their story about how they had really ambitious goals and how they overcame challenges (and failure).

Lunchtime activity

We got food at the lunch workshop woot!  I got a turkey & cranberry sandwich, which came with juice and a cookie and a candy.  It was actually filling, which was somewhat surprising.  Not that I couldn’t have downed another sandwich and cookie though… which I was totally not tempted to do…

The lunchtime activity I signed up for was Strengthsfinder.  My strengths:
1. Responsibility 2. Deliberative 3. Relator 4. Analytical 5. Adaptability

The strengths that surprised me the most are Responsibility and Adaptability.  I don’t consider myself to be an adaptable person in many contexts, because I always like having a plan of what I’m going to do tomorrow or next week.  For example, I keep a calendar and every single time someone invites me to something, or every time there’s some kind of event that pops up on Facebook or in my e-mail, it goes directly into my calendar.  Then every week or day I can check out my schedule for the next day or next week and I feel more relaxed knowing that I have a plan, and that every single event and meeting and class (and scheduled errands) has been accounted for.

One of the downfalls to using a calendar is that you can’t really schedule random tasks that are not urgent.  For example if I need to go to the bank, but I can go anytime in a certain week, then it doesn’t make sense for me to put it on a certain day at a certain time, in my calendar.  It should go on a to do list instead (which I also keep, using an app called Remember The Milk).  However I tend not to check it as often as my calendar lol.

Anyway back on track… the people I was sitting with were people I had worked with before, and they seemed pretty adamant that I was both adaptable and responsible.  They said I was “chill” and “hardworking”. Well ok fine then.

Workshop 2

Was called ‘Putting Your Best Foot Forward’ which was given by two MD graduates.  They basically told stories about their journey through undergrad (stuff they were involved in, career aspirations), then they talked about what to get involved with (basically whatever suited your interest), and how to come up with your own stories for successful interviews/job applications.

Presentation 2

Went to the one by Rumana Monzur… she talked about her life story, oppression, and having a new vision despite being blind.  There was a relatively lengthy Q&A session, and people seemed to have this expectation that Rumana would become an activist for women’s rights and oppression, a role she didn’t want to take on (at least, not at that moment).  When people asked her about what young men should do to prevent oppression of women, she answered using gender neutral terms like “people should respect their partners” which I found interesting.


Closing was much longer than expected.  It was supposed to start at 3:55 so I was expecting it to end around 5… however, it got to 5:35 when I had to leave and it seemed like it wasn’t going to be done until after 6 lol.

Anyway, Waneek Horn-Miller, an Aboriginal who was an Olympian, gave a speech about her story growing up.  Unfortunately, I had a dinner appointment at 6 sharp so I left early :( and despite leaving early, I was still late due to the busses running slowly… I wish I didn’t leave early, because the closing for the SLC is supposed to be the highlight.




MICB 421

Heard a lot of things about this course, mostly about how difficult/challenging it was and how much work there is.  It’s a lab course called ‘experimental microbiology’ where we’ll be designing our own experiments based on previous work done by other people and carrying out our own project in groups of 3 – 4.

Last week, I found out that our first assignment was due on Friday, and it was worth 5%.  So much so soon!  Thankfully, it was to be submitted online so I didn’t have to trek all the way to UBC just to hand it in.

We also had our first lab the first week… in which we were given a tour of the lab, which took very long, and then we started preparing media for project 1, which is only supposed to last 2 weeks while we think about our main project.  I thought prepping media wouldn’t take that long, but it did because we had to prepare certain components separately, and because we didn’t know where anything was pretty much.  My group got one of the newer rooms which I am glad about because I don’t like the older rooms.  Because they look old.

In addition to doing lab work, we have to update a group lab record book.  I dislike keeping lab record books because it’s annoying :( but I can see why it can prevent future confusion… Unfortunately, my group went ahead and bought a lab record book from the Bookstore which I didn’t like LOL.  It’s in my favourite colour, but (1) it has metal rings which get in the way of writing and (2) THE PAGES ARE NOT PRE-NUMBERED.

When I was trying to write my individual proposal last week to find a suitable project, I spent hours just looking through the past papers in JEMI (the journal that the dept has) and everything seemed really difficult and I couldn’t really think of any ideas/questions to pursue :( I was leaning towards genetics-related stuff because bacterial physiology doesn’t really interest me.  Eventually, I just chose one of the novel experiments to do, and then I managed to write a draft of the proposal in 2 hours lolol.

There is also this reflection journal which is worth 5% of our grade (which isn’t a lot given it’s weekly work) if you choose to do it.  I’m choosing to do it because it seems fairly easy (just write whatever you want related to your thoughts for the lab that week) and I can’t see how they would mark stringently.  Basically seems like free marks.

My entire group consists of MBIM students that I’m friends with, and hopefully that is something I won’t regret.  Tomorrow, we’ll be continuing the first project and will be doing radioactive work and time interval sampling which I am not looking forward to because the lab manual is confusing and I don’t trust other people in the lab doing radioactive work :/




This course is called ‘Political and Social Philosophy’.  Originally, I thought I only had to take one course this term (MICB 421) but no, apparently I need another upper level course to graduate.  So far, it seems like it’s going to be a challenging course — Dr. Bedke (the prof) said that PHIL 230A was recommended, and that if we didn’t have it, we should “consider dropping the course”… and I don’t have it lol.  So I kind of regret not choosing to take KIN 472 instead (genetics of athletic performance or something like that).  I ordered one of the textbooks through and hopefully I will get it soon -_- for now I’m using a Bookstore copy.

There are no midterms in this course, just a couple short essays, one normal length essay, and a final exam which apparently will only take an hour max.  And weekly clicker questions to make sure you’ve been reading.  This week we will be talking about models of utilitarianism and arguments for/against it.  For example there’s the hedonistic model… and the informed preferences model… and two others that I don’t really remember I should probably reread my book…




Been pretty busy with non-academic things…  I’m also on two basketball teams this term (no volleyball teams :(!!!) but I haven’t been to any of the games yet because I was at the SLC last Saturday, and this weekend I will be in Whistler (for skiing yay)

Been pretty anxious about a lot of things lately, probably because I’m not used to being back in school…

Still taking a break from the gym (except bench press).  I’ve been pretty consistent with plyometrics, but so far my resolutions for doing more mobility/cardio/badminton are failing lol.  However, I’m not sure I mind because there are a lot of other things on my mind…





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