Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Two weeks spent in the Library

Free coffee in the library!
Hi, this is Loana! Guess what? It's almost Christmas!! As much as I'm excited for the holiday cheer (Christmas movies, songs, snacks, parties) the last two weeks were the library. You know that feeling where something seems really close and far at the same time? Well, this is exactly how I felt about the last two weeks before Christmas break. Dead week was one of the hardest week of my life. I started out  having quiz, two papers, and a presentation, and ended the week with a research paper and music performance juries. Unfortunately, I'm a professional at procrastinating, and I ended up scrambling to finish those things barely before they were due. Then finals week came, and I shut myself in the library studying for the three exams I had. When I was done with my last history exam on Thursday, I was really relieved that I finally get to relax. I'm really glad that I had a successful first semester at PLU, and I'm hoping the rest of my time here will be as good as this one!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dead Week has come upon us!

I think this picture says it all. This was me this Monday night where I pulled an all-nighter since I had a research paper in my Communication and Conflict class, and a 5-case Case Law Book for my Communication Law class that were both due this Tuesday.
I ended up with 14 and 16 pages, 30 pages in total. I was almost dead after that. But I guess that's why it's called Dead Week. eh? Ha...ha...ha...

For my research paper, I turned it in 2 minutes before the deadline, which is typial of me.
Hey, don't judge; I'm an aspiring journalist. Deadlines are my thing. I work best under pressure. ;)


Friday, November 30, 2012

From Happy Thanksgiving to Miserable Final Days

Belated Happy Turkey's Day! Well, maybe it's not so true for those vegetarians. Turkeys sacrificed themselves for our happiness...a little tragic. But tradition is tradition. Let's deal with it:)

To begin with, I decided to go back to my American host family, so I had to bail on the Thanksgiving dinner with the President's family. PLU President Thomas  Krise had invited international students and domestic students who lived far away from home to his house to celebrate Thanksgiving. That was very kind of him. Later when I saw the pictures posted on PLU's Facebook page, I sort of regretted my decision. OH WELL, I had fun too! Check out the link at the end.

The bus and ferry ride was SUPER long. I left the campus at 9:45am Thursday morning but didn't get home until 1:10pm. At least the weather was nice to me, so that I didn't have to "dance" in the rain. Then I arrived home and got to play the roles of a long-lost daughter and auntie for about two days. And then I went on to visit another little "family" (my grandparents-like friends) who lived near by and spent another two days with them. While having so much fun relaxing at homes, I deeply realized that I had been a bad student who tended to ignore her homework. Can't do any homework when I''m NOT in the mood:)

A break is always nice, though I hope my life is a long break. IMPOSSIBLE. I know, but I just never got over it. So I, reluctantly, came back to school and studied, and studied, and studied. My second resident hall is called the library haha. 
Photographed by: Helene Sunde Johansen

There are two more weeks left for fall semester, which  makes a torture: papers go into piles and piles. Plus final exams. Even better! Though we ONLY have two more weeks left! So here is the motivation! Happy Final Days!!!!

*Here is the link for the photos:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Very Vietnamese/American Thanksgiving

Hello all

I haven't talked to you guys for like 3 weeks already. Hope you guys didn't forget about me yet.

I guess I want to take a break from all the Nursing  related subjects and focus on "life" once in a while :)

How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Did you eat a lot? Study? Did you score big on Black Friday?

Well, for my part I got invited to my friend's family's Thanksgiving because I don't have my family here .

It's a Vietnamese / American Thanksgiving because they we had both cultures mixed together. My friend's family came to the U.S about 15 years ago and so they are very familiar with the American culture but yet, they still have their own culture.

Therefore, instead of just Turkey, Ham, Mashed potatoes and gravy, and pies, we had tons of Vietnamese foods as well.

It is very interesting for me to see because I had never been to a Vietnamese family's Thanksgiving dinner before since I used to stay with American host families.

Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving and were able to use this break to relax and to do some stuff outside of school.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Portland Trip

Hi again, this is Loana! So last time, I talked about some ways that students can hang out with friends over the weekend. Well, on the Friday of midsemester break International Student Services hosted a trip to Portland. Since I've only been to a total of two states in the U.S. (California and Washington), this was quite exciting for me to visit Oregon State!
First, we stopped for lunch in an area filled with food carts. There were all kinds of food available: Chinese, Greek, Thai, Japanese, German, American, ect. After walking around the food carts for 15 or so minutes and being completely at loss, I decided to get some Japanese food, just because I missed it so much; it was really nice to have good tasting rice!
Next, we went to the Powell's Bookstore. This was really exciting for me, since I really love books and the Powell's Books in downtown Portland is really big, I had a really good time. I bought two books: It by Stephen King and Atonement by Ian McEwan. I'm really looking forward to reading both books.
Our third destination was Vodoo Donuts. I have two words to describe that store; Donut Heaven. I don't think I've ever saw that many donuts in my life, and they were all really unique looking. The concept of the store was really interesting, and I enjoyed stuffing myself with good donuts and good coffee (there was an espresso cart near the donut shop).

And our last stop was the mall. One thing to know about shopping in Portland: it's tax-free. That's why it's a really good idea to buy things that you need there. So I bough a pair of formal boots, some food items like hot chocolate at the Dollar Tree, and an art piece for my room. All in all, it was a really fun day, and I enjoyed getting to know some of the other international students!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Visit from Norway!

For the past 10 days, I've had two of my friends from Norway visiting me, which has been great!
I've given them a tour of PLU, showed them around Parkland, taken them to Seattle and just introduced them to what Western Washington has to offer!

They're leaving today, which kind of sucks, but it won't be too long until I see them again. :)

Of course I had to take them up to the Columbia Tower and Cheesecake Factory! :)

This picture was taken during a photo booth event
on campus where the money went to cancer research.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tips for Success

Hello all

It's me, Henry, back with some more exciting college life stories...

In this post, I would like to share some tips for success, well, at least, it worked for me :)

I. Study your Syllabi

The syllabus is A-MUST-READ kinda document.
Back in high school I did not care about the syllabus. I looked at the syllabus to know my teacher's email address and I was done. However, there are way more important in college. You might have like 20 little assignments thorough the semester, but they might only take about 5% of your grades so why bother putting up with 3 hours for each assignment?

I guess what I mean is that study the syllabus and highlight what's important for you. Highlight due dates, important projects, and assignments/test that gives you a lot of points.

II. Organize your Calendar

I strongly recommend you to use some sort of calendar app to keep track of everything you do.
You might think that you don't need one but TRUST ME, you do.

Go over your syllabus one more time and PUT ALL THE DUE DATES TO YOUR CALENDAR. That way, you will know what's coming up next without looking at every single syllabus throughout the semester.

Some professor might change the due dates for some of the assignments throughout the semester, it's better for you to just go to your calendar and change it up there than go through the whole mess of looking up stuff in your binder.

If you are a PLU student, I strongly recommend the Google Calendar that is linked to your PLU email. Especially if you are involved with any club or if you work on campus, other people can see when you're free to make an appointment with you. You can also utilize this calendar to see when is a good time to meet up with your adviser.

III. Study group

You might not want to join a study group because you don't know a lot of people your first year but once you declare your major, you will take the same class with pretty much a lot of familiar faces.

It doesn't have to be anything formal. It can be just between you and another classmate.
Study group is awesome because you can quiz each others and help each other with ways to understand difficult concepts.

I always thought that I studied everything for the test so that's it, there's nothing else I can do. However, when I study with other people I usually find out tons of things I've never thought about. My friends usually come up with tons of creative ways to memorize some nursing definitions, or signs and symptoms of a certain disease that I would never thought of.

IV. Book or No Books?

This might sound weird but for some classes, I just don't need to read the book.

Of course you won't know which class you need to read for and which class you don't at first. I usually start the semester with reading everything and compare it to the powerpoint that my professors put on Sakai (sakai is a system we use at PLU). If they are exactly the same, I don't need to read the book because the book usually has way more information that my tiny brain can't handle.

You might wonder why do I waste my money on textbook then? Well, textbooks for sure will help since we don't know everything. For me as a nursing major, I need my book to provide evidence-based research. Although I don't need it everyday for the test, I might need it to learn other concepts.

V. Relax

You might say, oh man, I can't do anything fun. I can't go out. I can't watch a movie...I can't... i can't....I can't because I am a *insert major* and my life sucks.

Trust me, you life doesn't suck. Everyone feels the same when they are stressed out and overwhelmed.

But you can't study and be your best if you don't take some times off for yourself to relax and to do things you enjoy to do.

In order to do this right, you might need a well-organized calendar to see when is a good time to study and when is a good time to just put down the books and wish you would never have to see it again :) .

VI. My gift for you

Last but not least, here's something I've found in one of my nursing textbook and I hope you will remember this whenever you're stressed out.

Best regards,

Friday, November 2, 2012

Living In a Fairy Tale: Season Autumn

Toward the middle of the semester, it gradually becomes noticeable that on each tree, more leaves turned scarlet and warm orange . And if you watch Tinker Bell, you know that was because the little fairies had painted them, while we were snoring in our cozy bed. Autumn has f-i-n-a-l-l-y arrived!

As a foreigner coming from a land where all seasons look identical to one another, I enjoy seeing the changing of seasons in Washington. I love the colors of the leaves, and I love to stand beneath the trees waiting for the breezes to come so that the leaves can fall. I know this may sound strange, but if homework is some kind of disease, strolling through those dancing leaves is the treatment.

And all of this leads to the wonderful trip to Snoqualmie Falls Park I have been on with my dearest friends during the weekend. Unfortunately, I am lacking vocabulary to describe this beautiful place. Full of emotions, I should say. The nature looks alive, and it appears to me that it has many stories to tell if you listen to them. And they will continue whispering until the end of the Autumn...

Footnote: Photographed by Helene Sunde Johansen

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Life of a Nursing Major Part II

Welcome back to my life of a Nursing Major.
First, I truly apologize for leaving you hanging with my last post. I guess I needed to do that to make sure you will come back and visit me with this second post :)

So here it is...

Phase 3: The Labs, The First Clinical and The Almost-Fail-Out-Of-Nursing

During my very first semester at PLU, I only had one nursing class, Nursing 220. People call it the "common sense" class but for me it wasn't.
When you read the book, you can tell that yup, these information are common sense. However, when it comes to the test, those information don't appear quite "common-sense" anymore because with the NCLEX style, everything is right, but we as nurses need to be able to pick the "righter" one. And for me as an International Students, it was very very hard to see. I still remember the lecture on Pressure Ulcer and how people with an area of reddened skin that won't go away are at risk for a pressure ulcer. I knew what pressure ulcer was and I knew everything about it. One of the choices was something about "non-blanchable erythema", which is the right way to called an area with reddened skin that won't go away. I did not understand "non-blanchable" nor "erythema" therefore, I totally picked something else and I almost got an F on that very first test.

Labs for Nursing 220 was very early in the morning. It was like at 6 or 7 in the morning and I was always late for it. I was not a morning person and for me to wake up early without coffee or food in labs, it was a nightmare. That's also the reason why I mentioned I can't stay up too late at night and hang with  others like a normal college student. So we had labs the first half of the semester, and when we were all competent with our skills, we went to a Nursing Home for our clinical rotation in the second half of the semester.

Clinical was fun. Dirty, tiring, exhausting,  but fun.

Once you're a nursing student, you don't care about poop or pee or vomit anymore. I remember the day one of my patients peed on me and it was totally my fault. I just had to be professional and cleaned it up afterward instead of screaming out "Gosh, urine, please wipe it off of me right now..." :)
Our clinical was at 6am, therefore, I had to wake up at 4:30 to get ready. This is another reason why I can't socialize with others at night. Clinical at a Nursing Home was not all about practicing nursing skills, it was way more than that. Talking to the patients there really opened my eyes about the difference between a nurse and a good nurse. It allowed me to look at things from the patient's perspective and do my best to meet their needs.

By the end of the semester, I was exhausted and stressed out about everything in life. I turned from a 4.0 student to almost fail out of nursing program. I thought I was gonna lose my scholarship and if that happened, I wouldn't be able to afford for any more schooling.

I cried

and cried

and cried

When you hit rock bottom, you will realize your potential. You will see the things you are capable of doing and you will do your best to get out of that rock bottom.

And that was what I did. I turned around and get myself up. I re-organized schedule and changed my way of studying and luckily enough I got all of my grades up and maintained my scholarship.

Phase 4: The 2nd, 3rd and many more semesters at PLU

As of right now, I am a Junior I in Nursing and I just finished my clinical rotation at a Mental Health Hospital. I am currently at my Medical Surgical Clinical site and everything is going wonderfully.

I am on a Cardiac Unit and I get to see all of the amazing things textbooks can't ever teach me.

Next week, I will be in the O.R for the first time to see some surgeries.
Let's see if I will have something interesting enough to share with you guys in the next post.
As of right now, go study and enjoy life

Happy Halloween
Henry Tieu

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hi again!
So while classes have been extremely fun, they've been difficult and time-consuming at the same time. That's why it's nice to spend some time during the weekend hanging out with friends and just having fun.
Last weekend, one of my friends turned 18, so she drove us over to the Lakewood Center to watch a movie. We got to the movie theater around 10:00. While scanning through the list of movie titles and times, we dicided that we wanted to watch the new movie Looper (if you haven't seen it yet, you should!) which was showing at 11:30. Since we had over an hour until the movie started, we decided to go to Denny's  and ordered some food wile wating for the movie to start. Though we didn't do much of anything that was "crazy" and "adventurous" it was just really nice to eat good food and talk together, not having to worry about assignments due the next week. A lot of people emphasize that studying is important, and I agree with this. However, I also think that it's important to occasionally take a break and have fun with friends.

It's also really nice to get away from campus to do some grocery shopping. I went to Target with some friends and bought bread, cereal bars, coffee, and snacks. We also went to Panera (a bakery-style cafe) and grabbed some dinner there.

There's a lot of opportunities to get away from school for a bit with friends and have an evening off!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hooray, the rain is back in Washington!

The title says it all; after almost three months of nearly drought (in Washington, can you believe it?!) the rain is finally back.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I've missed it!

Now, the creeks will start streaming and the grass will be green again, AND, a great excuse to wear my new rain jacket!

The birds aren't complaining either as these ones were chilling on a traffic light pole, chattering amongst themselves.

All I can say is: WELCOME BACK TO WASHINGTON, RAIN. I've missed you. :)


Friday, October 5, 2012

My Transition to a New Community

Sorry for the late update my friends:)

I have been busy since the beginning of the semester, as you can probably tell from me not being able to post this blog on time. There are SO MANY activities happening on campus! And I am so anxious to get involved in every single event. Here is when reality kicks in, the time is not enough. I finally understand how difficult it can be to manage the time between school and fun activities.

The first day of school went well. I am taking five classes in total. COMA 215 (Writing for Communication), Religion 236 (Native American Religious Traditions), and Ballroom Dance are my favorite courses so far. I enjoy being in the classes taught by professors who have the passions in teaching. I guess I learn better that way when I know the professors care about the subjects and are aware of what they are doing. Professors of this kind never fail bringing positive influences into my life, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world by only thinking about them. From my writing course, I learned to think and say that "I am working on improving my writing", instead of "I am not good at writing". From the religion class, I studied about Native American traditions, which opened my eyes to a totally different world. Finally in my Ballroom Dance class, I dance,of course. And I am also having lots of fun dancing with others!

Studying has been my top priority for the past 14 years, so I decided to shift my way of thinking this time. I became more interested in spending more time with people, rather than interacting with only textbooks and loads of homework. Once I made up my mind to change, I noticed the difference immediately.

I appreciate all of the amazing people I have met so far. Spending time with them gives me a special kind of pleasure. I believe friendship is built upon communication. The more we spend time talking to our friends, the more we know about them. The more we know about them, the closer we get to their hearts. During the past month, I had a chance to interact with many people and to embrace different cultures at the same time. I just felt in love with the feeling of being with people.The life stories others shared made me reflect on my own through a third-person view. It brought up so many new meanings of life that I haven't really thought about before.

My journey at PLU has just begun, and I really look forward to the future. Whether or not it's challenging, I am ready.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Life of a Nursing Major

So you're about to go to College and you are trying to choose a major...Well, I am not here to scare you away. Instead, I am here to let you know what a Nursing Major is all about...Welcome to my life.

Phase 1: The Prerequisites
Getting accepted to PLU is one thing, getting accepted to the School of Nursing at PLU is another thing.
I was psyched the day I got the e-mail from Hiro saying that I got accepted to PLU. 2 - 3 months later, I got a letter in the mail saying that I've got the Provost's Scholarship and boy, I was so happy I could die.

But months and months and I still didn't get any email or letters from the School of Nursing. For me, it doesn't mean anything if I get accepted to PLU and not to the School of Nursing (SoN). Nursing is what I want to do and I do not want to change my major whatsoever.

The reason why I was freaking out because of the requirements for Nursing. PLU SoN requires TOEFL, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology along with many other classes that could give you a headache just by looking at the name of it. I was a straight A student and my TOEFL was decent enough, however, grades and scores were not everything the SoN wanted. Unlike others, I didn't not have a lot of volunteer experiences since I had two jobs prior to SoN and according to a lot of people whom got accepted to SoN, volunteer experiences is one of the most important factors to make your application stand out.


Phase 2: The First Semester at PLU
And so I got accepted to PLU and  the SoN.
Since I went to a community college prior to this, I was way beyond excited for this real college experience. I was ready to get involved, to hang out with friends from my dorm, to stay up late to watch a movie or play video games...

Reality hit me and none of that happened...
I am not saying that my life was a living hell. Oh no, don't quote me on that.
I am saying my college experience is awesome, it's just not awesome in a stereotypical way.
Right from the beginning, I was advised not to work during the school year since the Nursing program is quite intense. However, I still got 2 jobs: Admission Intern and Bookstore Sale Associate. Working on campus allowed me to get to know a lot of people as well as the culture at PLU. I am glad I applied to those two jobs.
However, the SoN is  right. Working while doing the Nursing Program is intense. I had to organize my time carefully every single semester in order to have time for both. It was hard.

I ran for ASPLU Senate position and I got elected as a Senator for the Academic year of 2011-2012. So yeah, I did get involved. I hung out with my Nursing friends and my roommate from Pflueger (the name of my residence hall). And I also stayed up late to watch How I Met Your Mother, and by late, I meant 11pm.

Want to know why I said reality hit me and none of what I expected happened the way I wanted? Then you would have to wait for my next entry...
 This blog entry is getting long and I need to do this to keep you all interested in what's coming up next...

Stay tuned....
Henry Tieu

Monday, September 24, 2012

First Semester at PLU

Hi, this is Loana! I started classes three weeks ago at PLU, and though they have been challenging I've been having a lot of fun! I'm currently taking HIST 260 (Early Modern European History), MUSI 103 (History of Jazz), and PSYC 335 (Cultural Psychology).

HIST 260 is really cool because the professor really enjoys what he teaches. So far, we've learned about the Renaissance printing press, impact of gunpowder in Europe, and the impacts of humanism on current education. We also get to look at Renaissance art once in a while during classes, and that's a lot of fun :)

MUSI 103 is taught by the jazz band director. He's a piano player, so he uses the piano to demonstrate different key ideas in jazz. I've also gotten some education outside of the classroom; there was a required gig at The Swiss in downtown Tacoma. It was really cool to be able to apply what I learned in class to actual music!

PSYC 335 has been really interesting. Since the professor is Japanese, I've been able to relate to some of the example that he gives of Japanese culture. It's been challenging because most of the students who are taking that class are juniors and seniors, but it's been a learning experience for me to rise up to the challenge. I'm really hoping that this class will help me grow.

Besides studying I've spent a lot of time practicing music and spending time with friends. I've also gone to Seattle the last two weekends. During my first trip, I went to the EMP (Experience Music Project Museum). I definitely recommend it! During my second trip, I visited the international district, and bought a lot of Japanese food and drinks! Well, I'm excited to be here, and hope everyone has a great week!


Saturday, September 15, 2012


Man oh man, has this been an exciting week!

The first week of actual classes here at PLU kicked in this week, and I’ve been nothing but busy!
I’ve had all of my seven classes so far, some I like more than others, but all in all, I think this is going to be a great semester!

All of my five Communication classes are going well, so far. One is particularly challenging as it is a class concerning communication law within the United States. Interesting stuff, but it’s all new material, so I’ll have to encourage every single brain cell in my brain!

Another class I’m taking this fall semester is Ballroom Dance, a P.E. class. To be honest, I hated it at first, but with a little effort and showing up every time with a smile on my face, and it ain’t so hard after all!
My other P.E. class, Swing and Salsa Dance, is also testing my patience as to whether or not I actually want to continue taking the class. However, both of the dance classes are one credit-classes, and the professor said they’re an easy A as long as you show up every week (we only meet once a week for each of the dance classes), so I think I’ll just stick with them!

Classes aside, I’ve had the pleasure to meet some amazing new people aka the incoming international students for this semester, and I am so excited to get to know them better! We all met during International Student Orientation a few weeks ago, but it will be fun to get to know them in a new environment without having the orientation as an excuse! :)

New International Fall 2012 Semester students!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Summer in Europe

Hey, everyone!

So, this summer I'm spending my time back in Europe where I'm visiting my mom in Ireland, my dad in Sweden, and my friends in Norway. It's stressful alright, but worth the traveling!

In March, while I was still in the US, I got a baby sister.
I was in California then on spring break and all I wanted to do was to catch the first flight to Sweden to see her. I had to wait until May, though, but I finally got to see her, and she's the cutest thing ever!
...or, the second cutest according to my dad. (:

Right now, I'm in Ireland and it never seems to stop raining (talk about being like Seattle!)
Don't get me wrong, though; there's no summer without a little rain every once in a while. (:

It's the 4th of July today and although the Irish don't celebrate it as much as the Americans do, a little celebration takes place every year

As of now, I'll be honest with you; I can't wait to go back to PLU this August and start my SENIOR YEAR. (:

By the way, here's a summery picture from my mom's garden in Ireland:

Have a great summer, everyone!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Cinco de Mayo

¡Hola, amigos! So, this Saturday was Cinco de Mayo (May 5th in Spanish), and my best friend and I went to Seattle to celebrate! We went all Mexican to honor the day, and had Mexican food at this really great restaurant wayyy into the heart of Seattle. We used the Google Maps on the iPhone to find it, but due to construction work, it took us an hour because of all the detours we had to take. Totally worth it, though! The food was MMMyummy. (: After devouring tacos and enchiladas, and rinsing it all down with tasty iced mint tea, we hit the streets. It was really beautiful with the sun shining and the temperature in the high 60s, and people couldn't stop smiling. Many women were dressed in colorful dresses wearing straw hats, and many men wore shirts with Mexican print. There were also tons of street musicians playing Mexican music, and my friend and I had a blast - without a doubt! I can't wait for next year's Cinco de Mayo. (: ¡AdiĆ³s!