Wednesday, November 15, 2017

An Eventful Fall thus far!

Hi again,

It's Joel here and this week I'm back with another blog post!

As a full-time student, ROTC cadet, International Student Services Intern, a National Guardsman and a Computer Science department grader, I have my hands constantly full. I also dedicate about 90 - 120 minutes to working out daily so there's never a dull moment in life. With that said however, this is the kind of life I enjoy!

Another benefit of being so busy is that I get to talk about things I've done over the past couple months, which is a long list. This week, I'm going to highlight the month of October, as it was by far the most hectic month.

A great thing about being in the Army is that I constantly get to do cool stuff. And that's what I did October 13th - 15th. I had my National Guard drill weekend then, and that weekend was individual weapons qualification time, which meant I got to shoot a M4 rifle with over a couple hundred rounds. Best part was it was all paid for by the government, talk about a gun-lovers' paradise!

We also did movement to contact drills as squads, and we have patrol base operations. I did not take pictures then as it isn't very appropriate with military personnel all around, but I can describe what we did. Movement to contact is essentially the methods and procedures a squad will take when enemy contact is imminent. There is a certain way we move and communicate, in order to minimize noise and light, but still effectively communicate before engaging the enemy. Once the firefight begins however, noise and light discipline just goes out the window!

A patrol base looks just like the image below:

It's basically an area that a platoon would occupy, in order to bed down for the night and to conduct weapon maintenance and personal hygiene. It is usually placed in areas that are nasty, just so it would be less likely for the enemy to want to come across that area. We set up patrol bases every night when I was out in the field at Fort Knox, KY over the summer so this was a great refresher!

2 weekends later, I had to go out to the field again, this time however, with PLU ROTC. We had Lute Forge, which is our field training exercise in the Fall. I was a lane walker with a squad, which meant I was the primary advisor attached to a squad and followed them wherever they went.

Here's a picture of me at Forge demonstrating clearing a weapon:

We also spent a night in the field at Lute Forge in a patrol base.

On October 31st, Halloween, PLU ROTC had a battalion fun run and I came in a sumo costume and ran 2 miles with everyone else! It was very challenging but definitely a fun experience.

The next weekend, I had drill weekend again for the month of November. This was a 3 day event, and this time we did medical readiness stuff, more patrol bases and more movement to contact. We also had our M320 qualification range, which is essentially a grenade launcher that looks just like this:

As you can see, most of my weekends are occupied with the Army, and it is sometimes a struggle to find time in order to complete huge assignments and to study for exams. However, I'm doing well this semester and am enjoying myself.

Take care for now!

Joel Goh

Friday, November 10, 2017

Intramural Sports at PLU!

Hello again! We're back this week with another edition of Guest Blog Posts! This time, we'll introduce a fellow Lute, Tiffany, who just recently came to PLU in Fall 2017. Tiffany talks about her experience playing intramural sports here at PLU as a new international student:

Hi, everyone!

I am Tiffany Huang. I am an international student from China. I spent all my past years in China. This is my first time to come to America and to study abroad. I am still trying to get used to my new school life at PLU.

Life here is totally different from the life that I had in China. I am experiencing a lot of new things here and having a lot of fun. I would like to share my story of participating in the intramural sports games at PLU.

PLU Intramurals!

My friends created a team for the intramural soccer league. When they invited me to join the team, I accepted it. After that I also joined their badminton and the basketball intramural teams. I am never good at sports. I only played badminton,when I was in China. I have never played soccer and basketball. When I told my Chinese friends I am in a soccer and basketball team now, they all laughed at me. They couldn’t imagine that I would ever play soccer.

Intramural Soccer on Foss Field!
Our team name is The Vegetables, which means we don’t really care about the result of the game, and we just want to enjoy the game and be happy, just like vegetables. As I don’t know how to play soccer, I didn’t help a lot for our soccer games, but I really enjoy every game with our team members. My job mostly is the cheerleader. I was there to support our team every game, although I didn’t play. I met a lot of wonderful friends from our Vegetables team. It is a really happy thing to see us making progress, and experiencing wins and losses with my friends. We made it way farther than we expected to. We almost became the champions, but lost the championship games at the end. I still think the Vegetables are all champions.

Now we have also created our basketball team. We won the first game on Tuesday. This is also my first time playing basketball. I think it is super interesting and fun. I can’t wait for the next game. Now my Japanese friend, Yohei, is my basketball teacher. He teaches me to play basketball every week. I hope we can become the champions this time for the basketball intramural league.

Basketball's an intense sport!
Don’t just study at university. Come to join us! Intramural sports are a great chance for students to do some sports, make more friends and have a lot of fun.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Mid-Semester Campus Life - Happiness is a choice

Hello friends! I hope that you are enjoying fall weather whether it is rainy, cloudy, or sunny day. Please stay positive and active during depressing rainy season and stressful school by participating in campus events, hanging out with your friends, and having time for yourself.

I am going to share with you how I stayed positive during nursing school, specifically during and after Mid-term. 

  1. Global Campus Connection game night & Around the World preparation

Planning an event can be stressful with all the preparation, and advertising, and concerns about if there is anybody coming to my event. However, I believe that short-term stress can serve as a motivation for learning. It helps me to form more effective time management strategy, and helps me to expand my consideration while planning events, and it helps me to improve and modify my stress coping mechanisms. Instead of perceiving event planning as a job obligation, I tend to consider it a time to have fun.

IMG_2602.jpgDuring one-hour Game night, we played Pictionary and paper telephone. We had so much guessing what other people have drawn. As the game proceeded, I also noticed that students with different background would have different perspectives or interpretations of a specific word or phase.

( * Global Campus Connection is an ISS program that provides platform for mutual learning experience and cultural exchange between international students and current students. ) 


We are busy preparing for Around the World!  If you are hosting a table, it is time to start thinking about the materials you need. A reminder for Around the World:  Wednesday, Nov 15th

I had some fun with the photobooth props --->

2.  Halloween entertainment-- Stay positive by laughing



 3. Acknowledging your stress, and appreciating things around you.

When people tell me, “Camille, you shouldn’t be stressing too much! It is really bad for you.”  I know I should reduce my stress but how do I not stress out when there are so many assignments and exams coming at me? Then I realize that it is impossible to reduce stress but what I can do is to increase my positivity while dealing with stress.
  • Same Amount of Stress with Increase level of positivity and happiness
  • IMG_2588.jpgSame amount of stress is due to unchanged course load despite your stress level
  • How do I increase my positivity and happiness?
  • Try to appreciate things around me by focusing on positive aspect of life.
  • Example of things that I appreciate:
    • My mom and sister care so much about me, and we talk every night
    • I have two awesome roommates, and we support each other
    • Beautiful fall weather
    • more……..


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Respond to Your Opportunity!

For those who work hard would deserve successful career path, I am writing this. I do not mean that I am on successful career path, but I would still like to share what happened to me for the last few days. Last week, I set up my Career Connections Opportunity Board and updated the necessary documents to apply for an internship I was interested in, and I got the opportunity!

You may have some friends around you who are doing internships or working, or you may be the one who is doing so now. It often sounds challenging for International Students to get an internship or work offer due to foreign status. However, there are still many opportunities around you. Regardless of the firm size or renown, I would like to recommend you to challenge the internship if it is related to your career path because there are a lot of things to learn at a real firm.

To make these things happen, you will want to search Career Connections Opportunity Board. You can use search bar to find the webpage below, and click the black box with the Career Connections sign to go onto the next picture 


You will be able to see this page now if you have clicked the Career Connections Opportunity Board box. If it is the first time that you are trying, you would see 0% profile complete (mine shows 83%). Click the %, then it will navigate you to what needs to be done. Here is another amazing thing I would like to share.  I updated my resume and cover letter a few weeks ago, and Career Connections gave me advice via email after looking it over. I can revise it either by myself at home or with an adviser at the office. I think this system is efficient in that it does not bother my time but helps a lot.  

Once you are done with creating your profile, click Jobs and see what are the opened opportunities for internship and work.

If you do part-time CPT (Curricular Practical Training), it will not affect your OPT (Optional Practical Training). If you can do CPT while you are studying at PLU, I believe you can build more experience and enrich your skills for your  next career path.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Shivani's Exciting Summer Travels!

Hello again! We're back this week with another edition of Guest Blog Posts! This time, we'll introduce a fellow Lute, Shivani, who just returned from her Summer break back home in India. Shivani recalls her experiences below:

Hi everyone, I am Shivani Muthyam. I am currently a senior at PLU. I am majoring in Business administration with a focus in finance and I am from India. I came to the United States in the year 2014 and I have been living in Washington State for the last three years now.

In the summer of 2017, I had to visit India for family reasons. It has been a very long time since I last visited home. Staying abroad for a considerable amount of time made me see my home in a very different perspective. I was perplexed, as I was subconsciously juxtaposing everyday norms, practices, and expressions of the two different cultures. When I reached India, I still remember how excited I was to meet my family at the airport. I stepped out the airport and gazed the city and realized that the city I grew up has been extremely changed. I saw what I didn't see before; Huge buildings, more automobiles, and people glued to smartphones, but it was reassuring to see the heart and spirit of the city remain the same.

Furthermore, I was able to relinquish the homemade Indian cuisines. I had a chance to travel Kerala. It is a state which located in southern part of the India and it is three hours away from my hometown. Kerala is also known as Devakulam, which means “God's own place”. It is the home of ancient Temples and scenic beauty. I had a chance to explore few of them. It is strange that I never actually traveled most of the India yet I traveled countries outside the Indian subcontinent. When I traveled to Munnar a city in Kerala I was flabbergasted by the effortless scenic beauty of the hill stations. The palm trees and the backwater boat rides added allure to the city’s grandiosity!

Moreover, the place is known for its historic splendor and traditions. It was amazing to see dancers perform an ancient dance form called "Kathakali" originating some 1500 years ago. It is also believed that the world's oldest martial art known as “kalaripayattu” is widely practiced in this place.
Finally, I had a chance to visit a coastal town called Kanya Kumari which is located on southern tip of peninsular India. In KanyaKumari, there is a place known as Triveni sangamam where the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean meet together. The transparent and clear water, surrounded by the ocean breeze was the ultimate moment of the trip.

I have to admit it, even now when I close my eyes, the nostalgic scent of the tepid raindrops and the sound of the water diverging front the shores of the Kanyakumari still haunts me.

In conclusion, although it was just a short trip it was an experience to cherish. Experiencing the vibrant culture and the misty hazy hilltop view of the hill station was best. The trip was a huge stress breaker, and a perfect trip to rejuvenate my mind.

Soon after, this wonderful trip I returned back to Washington for fall semester feeling better than ever.