Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Preparing for the New School Year

Hi, I hope everyone is enjoying the last couple of weeks they have of summer break before classes start at PLU. I got to go hiking on Mt. Rainier for the first time a few weeks ago, and it was absolutely great! If you're an incoming student, I recommend you try it out once you get here before it starts to cool down.

From my hike on Mt. Rainier!

As classes are starting in a couple of weeks, you might have forgotten to prepare for the new school year. Well no worries! Here is a list of things you might need to do before you start classes on September 8th (yes, this is when classes start if you already didn't know!).

1. Buy textbooks
Make sure you have all your textbooks for the semester. Textbook listings are available on the Garfield Book Company website. What I usually like to do is check the prices of books on the Garfield Bookstore website and compare prices with other companies such as Amazon or Chegg. Sometimes the used books on these websites tend to be a little cheaper, but not always so make sure to check the price before you buy your textbooks.

2. Buy school supplies
Make a trip to Target or Walmart to make sure you have enough school supplies such as pencils, pens, erasers, sticky notes, etc. It's always better to have extra, so that you don't run out when you least expect it.

3. New Student Living On-Campus? Contact your roommate.
If you are a student who is going to be living with a roommate they've never met, it's important you contact them so that you can communicate about things you may need to do before move-in. When I first moved into Ordal Hall, my residence hall my first year, my roommate and I talked about buying a mini-fridge and TV before moving in. It's also nice to get to know your roommate a little before meeting them, because it is very likely that you will be living with them for the whole year!

4. Chart out your classes and schedule on your Google Calendar
Gcal is a wonderful tool to have, especially if you know that you are going to be juggling several things during the school year. Since PLU has already provided you with a campus email address, you can use Gcal very easily through your Google email address provided by the school. I personally use it to schedule classes, work shifts, meetings with supervisors and professors, and sometimes even my time for relaxing! It's also convenient if you have a smartphone, because you can link your calendar to your smartphone so that it gives you notifications 40 minutes before you need to be somewhere.

5. Check your PLU email
Have you been having a little too much fun this summer? Maybe you haven't checked your PLU email for the last three months! It's important that you check your email before classes start, so that you are not missing important information before September 8th. Sometimes professors will contact you through your PLU email before classes start with some important things you may need to do for the class before you walk in for your first day.

6. Make sure you have access to Sakai and Banner
It's important that you confirm before the first day of classes that you have access to Sakai and Banner. Both of these will be necessary during the semester, so it's important to double-check that your accounts for these sites are working before you start class. Furthermore, your professor may also use Sakai to communicate with you. Many professors post important information or the syllabus for the class before classes start, so it's important to double-check and make sure you're prepared before you walk into that class.
 You also want to make sure that you have access to Banner. Make sure you have no holds on your account before the semester starts, and if you do take care of those right away so that you don't have to worry about those when you're busy writing papers or taking exams!
If you are having trouble accessing your account on these sites, make sure you contact the PLU Help Desk. They are located in the library, and are always willing to help you.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in a couple of weeks, and stay safe!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hiking in Washington for the First Time

I hope everybody is having an awesome summer! We've had beautiful weather in Tacoma so far, and some days have been extremely hot!

People are always surprised that even though I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for the last three years, I've never been hiking in Washington. One reason is because I'm absolutely terrified of heights, and even though there have be many opportunities to go on a trip through PLU Outdoor Recreation , I have been too scared to try it out. Since this is going to be my last summer as an undergraduate student, I decided that I wanted to at least give it a try this summer and hike up an easier trail.

I went with a friend, and we decided that morning to try the North Lake Trail, which is a hike in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (Here is the trail if you would like to check it out!). This trail also included two lakes, so it was extremely scenic. We passed by our first lake, Independence Lake within the first hour of our hike, and ended the first half of our hike with the second lake, North Lake before we headed down the mountain. We started our hike around 12 PM, and luckily it wasn't too hot that day! As the first half was mostly an upward hike, I got to enjoy the plant-life and nature the mountain had to offer. Although we got lost trying to find North Lake, it was worth the extra time spent looking for the trail leading up to the lake. Even though the hike was a little more challenging than I anticipated, overall I would say that I enjoyed hiking in Washington and would definitely want to do it again. If you have any hikes you would recommend I try out, please let me know!

I hope everyone enjoys their summer!

Approaching North Lake from the mountain!

Taking a break by North Lake before hiking back.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Adventures in the City and in Nature

I hope everyone is having a good summer! I went home to Japan for three weeks, and now I'm back in Washington for the rest of the summer working in the Admissions Office. Since this is my last summer as a student not working full-time, I wanted to take advantage of this summer and go on adventures in Washington. Though I came back from Japan with no plans, I have already been able to go on a few adventures; whether it's going to an event in downtown Seattle and trying new food, or going to the lake for the day with friends. Here are a few things I have been up to this summer:

1. Seattle Pride Parade
Seattle Pride Parade is an event that happens every year at the end of June. This year's parade was especially awesome, since it was the weekend after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage and many people were very excited. It was a great opportunity to explore downtown Seattle as well, and whether or not you've been to Pride in other cities, I encourage you to go next summer!

2. Trip to a Lake

One of the coolest thing about Washington is that there are a lot of lakes in the area that are accessible to the public. It's nice to just take a day (or maybe just a couple of hours) to go for a swim in the lake. Even though they get a little crowded during the weekends especially when it's hot, it's still gives you an opportunity to enjoy nature and cool down!

These are a couple of things that I have been doing this summer! I've also never been hiking in Washington or camping, so I'm hoping to cross those off my list. Let me know if you have any questions or want any recommendations on things to do close to PLU!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The PLU Bucket List

This is my third and final year as an undergraduate at Pacific Lutheran University, which had me thinking about all the things I still have to cross off my PLU Bucket List! The last year has gone by so fast and I will have so many fun memories to look back on, but there are still a few things I would like to do! If you are graduating or your stay at PLU is ending take a look through the list below to make sure you don't miss anything!

Here are 55 things to do before you graduate from PLU:

1. Go to President Krise's Gonyea House
2. Get a gold nametag
3. Get your picture on the PLU website or flyer
4. Skip a rock across Red Square to hear music
5. Declare a Major/Minor
6. Have a class in every building on campus (MBR, Morken, Admin, Xavier, Hong, Ramstad, Olson, Columbia Center, Ingram)
7. Befriend a student from another country than your own
8. Take a class just for fun
9. Perform on campus
10. Study away with PLU
11. Pull an all-nighter in the library
12. Put gum of the "gum tree"
13. Have coffee/lunch/dinner with a Professor
14. Join a club on campus
15. Start a club on campus
16. Study on Garfield street
17. Shop at the Garfield bookstore
18. Volunteer through PLU
19. Explore with Outdoor Recreation
20. Attend a PLU Sports Event
21. Hang out in the D(iversity) Center
22. Attend a concert in Mary Baker Russell
23. Perform on Stage
24. Play Tennis in the courts
25. Run on the PLU Track
26. See Mount Rainier from the 9th floor of Tingelstad
27. Have a sleepover in the dorms
28. Go on an all-hall retreat
29. Attend office hours with your professor
30. "Study"/Sunbathe on Foss Field or Redsquare
31. Learn a new language
32. Eat in the UC
33. Make dinner in a dorm
34. Visit every single dorm
35. Swim in the PLU pool
36. Participate in the PLU Color Run
37. Go to the Women's Center
38. Participate in Relay for Life
39. Attend LollaPLUza
40. Eat at every restaurant around campus
41. Attend a Career Fair
42. Buy something at BizVenture
43. Check out the Keck Observatory
44. Go to the Writing Center for help
45. Play with therapy dogs during final's week
46. Attend a PLUtonic and HERmonic concert
47. Buy a PLU sweatshirt
48. Take a picture infant of a PLU sign
49. Take a selfie with President Krise
50. Pull an all-nighter in the library
51. Read an issue of the Mooring Mast and the Daily Flyer
52. Rent a bike from the Bike Co-op
53. Attend Open Micc Night at Northern Pacific Coffee Co.
54. Play sand volleyball outside Pfleuger
55. Spin the sculpture in Red Square

I'm excited to say that I will be returning to PLU in the Fall to do my Masters which will give me a little more time to complete my list! Good luck everyone! See you next year!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

W-E | A-R-E | T-H-E-R-E | G-U-Y-S!

Dear Friends,
Yes, only two weeks remaining for this academic year 2014-2015! J
Congrats again for making it to this point.
One week before finals week! Huh. Do I have something interesting enough to share with you guys at this moment? Maybe my crazy busy schedule, huh no! Not interesting enough, I know that many of you are way busier than I do. So, I don’t think it’s a good idea.

This is what happen, we have only this week left before we get into the serious stuff, and I am sure that many, if not all of you are preparing hard for this final battle. Couple with the fact that there are numerous assignments, projects, presentations due within this short period of time. Most sad of all, many of you are barely making it to three or even four hours of sleep per night.

For this simple reason, I will not emphasize studying hard today, but instead I will encourage you guys to take a short break, especially for this weekend in order to refresh your memories and get ready for the dead week!

Here are some great on-campus events that you should not miss at all. The cool thing is that most of these events are free admission for the PLU Community or even anyone with a Student ID, but some others required some entry tickets.
LollaPLUza 2015- will be on May 9th- it’s an annual music festival hosted by the Associated Students of Pacific Lutheran University. The event will be held on lower campus on the former Golf Course from 1pm to 7pm. The event is free, check it out, it will be a nice event to attend. For more info:
The PLU Color Loop (Information provided below)

Into the Woods (Information provided below)

These are just few events, for a full listing of all on–campus events and activities scheduled for this month of May, please check it out here:
I wish you all a blessed and enjoyable week and good luck on your finals!
Your friend,
Pape Mathioro Samba


Saturday, May 2, 2015

WPA 2015: Psychology Research Conference in Las Vegas

Hi everyone! This semester has felt so short, I can't believe there are only 2 weeks left of this school year. I'm writing this blog from an airport in Arizona, heading back to SeaTac from a wonderful psychology conference in Las Vegas. The WPA (Western Psychological Association) Conference 2015 was held in Las Vegas this year. My group submitted our proposal in December for the conference, and it was accepted in February. Our research was on college student's coping techniques and their views on their future careers (feel free to ask me about the study if you want to know more!). It was very interesting working over the semester collecting and analyzing data, and we got to wrap up this process by presenting our poster at WPA.
Poster session at WPA
Besides spending time at the conference and listening to a few lectures, we also got to explore the strip in Las Vegas as well. It was extremely fun spending time with other psychology majors outside of class! We explored the M&M store, watched a few shows, and just enjoyed each other's company. On the last night, a few of us who were over 21 went out to a casino and tried black jack (probably something I won't do again because I'm so horrible at it…). As a whole, the trip was a very good balance between being educational and fun! It was great to get to explore Vegas as an international student, and I definitely enjoyed getting to know other psychology majors outside of a classroom setting. I'm hoping to go to other psychology conferences in the near future!

At the M&M store

The Las Vegas strip

Watching the water show in front of the Bellagio!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spring is FINALLY in the Air~~~

Hello awesome people :) 

I really hope that everyone is doing well! Instead of writing an awfully long blog post this time around, I would like to bombard y'all with beautiful pictures of the PLU campus in spring time!

This is PLU's prime in spring time

View of Xavier Hall from the Hauge Admin Building

Close up of some beautiful purple lavenders!

PLU Students enjoying the sun

The sunshine makes everything look beautiful!

Closer view of Xavier Hall and you can see Harstad Hall on the far left

Splendid looking tree right next to Hong and Kriedler Halls

(Photo credits go to me as I spent quite some time taking and using the best pictures) :D

By now, you could probably see what this blog post is about! It's just to show everyone how picturesque the PLU campus is during the Spring :)

And oh my, the weather here right now is absolutely magnificent! It's such an awesome feeling to have the sun shining warmly down on your skin, slightly toasting and glazing you as you stroll across campus. Like how a doughnut gets browned . (haha that was intended to sound funny)

Well, for those of you that are staying for Summer, enjoy the hot sun and great weather! Have a great rest of the week and take care always.