Friday, October 6, 2017

Moon Festival in Kreidler Lounge

Hello everyone!  Long time no see since last Winter break if anyone cares.  I am back to the US in the summer and now on campus again after a life changing study away experience. 

This year I’m back to the Moon Festival again, yayyy~ So Kreidler Community had an event in Kreidler lounge on October 4th this year to celebrate Moon Festival. 珞 It’s actually an idea by one student staff in our office, Camille.  (She is also my roomie ) And so to complete a part of me being away from home and my tradition, I came to support her and had a great time making a lantern and eating moon cake~

Here is my lantern haha..

 It's not the best lantern but I tried guys.  We have it in the office too so swing by to see the prettier versions of my boss Heather and Camille. 

Me trying to have a cool picture with Cheong Wun and Yohei. 

 If you missed the event, Camille is holding again in Kreidler lounge on Oct 6 from 5.30PM to 7.30PM! 
Come, have fun, and celebrate a little late Moon Festival (but it's the celebration that counts!). 


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Joel's Summer Training + Back to School!

Hello again!

I had a bit to say last week, when I introduced my good friend and ex-staff member, Harald Overa's guest blog post. We actually also celebrated Harald's 22nd birthday on Saturday, so the past week was definitely an eventful week for him!

A happy bunch celebrating Harald's 22nd!
Anyways, let's rewind back to this Summer. This Summer was really eventful for me, I attended Cadet Summer Training 2017 (Advanced Camp), visited Los Angeles, CA, Vancouver, BC and also Tanzania on a Cadet Training Deployment.

Advanced Camp is a commissioning requirement for all MSIII Cadets. It is held annually at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, and cadets have to endure the summer heat as well. In other words, it was a big deal. We had to endure a month of physical, tactical and mental challenges in order to graduate and pass camp. As a MSIV Cadet this year, I am also tasked with managing the PLU ROTC Battalion and Advanced Camp has allowed me to hone my skills and apply things I've learned here. I have less than 8 months before graduating from PLU and commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army so I can't wait for that!

Graduation March - Cadet Summer Training 2nd Regiment Graduation
After Advanced Camp, I got to return to WA for 11 days and relax. During that time, I visited Vancouver, BC and Los Angeles, CA with buddies! It was a great time to just recuperate and chill as my body was not only physically exhausted, but mentally tired as well.

11 days later, I returned back to Ft. Knox, Kentucky in order to prepare for my training deployment to Tanzania. I was in Tanzania for about 3 weeks, and it was an amazing experience. My team mainly taught English to students in a local school, but we did get to meet Tanzanian military personnel and also had the American Chargé d’Affaires, Inmi Patterson come visit.

Not only did we immerse ourselves in the culture, we also learned Ki-Swahili for an hour every workday. We spoke basic Ki-Swahili by the time we were done with our mission.
Soccer with the local teachers in Tanzania!
Tanzania Team 7!
After all my experiences and travels during the Summer, it was eventually time to return to PLU! I was involved in the New International Student Orientation and the New Cadet Orientation Program at PLU during orientation week, so that was a busy time. I am now about a month into school, and everything's going great. I'm busy with school work and ROTC, but every day's a great day!

Take care for now!

Joel Goh

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Harald's Taiwanese Summer Experience

Hello again! This week, we're doing something new and exciting. We're having a special edition of blog posts and we're bringing in a guest blogger! Our ex-ISS staff member, Harald Overa, has just returned to PLU after spending 7 months in Taiwan! Harald recalls his experiences and journey below:

Isla Formosa - The Beautiful Island

Where do I begin describing this amazing journey I had, together with my girlfriend Martine, in Taiwan from February until the end of August? Like this picture above, the adventure on the isla formosa was colorful, exotic, local and full of life.

Prior to departure in early February, neither me, nor Martine really knew what we had set out to do: live in another part of the world for 7 months without really knowing the language, the culture or anyone in the place we were visiting. If was frightening, but equally exciting.

Sitting at about 4000 feet is Jiufen, the city shown in the photo above. Jiufen is a picturesque city in the mountains north of Taipei. It is a very popular tourist destination as it is a unique representation of Chinese-style architecture combined with the extraordinary nature that gives Taiwan the nickname “The Beautiful Island”. 

One of the thing that surprised me was the big presence of buddhist religion and culture on the island. Seen by the photo below from Dharma Drum Mountain Monastery and National Park, there any many Buddha statues around Taiwan and the religion has a very big presence among the local inhabitants of the island.

It was very neat to be able to visit some temples around Taipei and the island. We really got a local sense of the culture and emerge ourselves with the local traditions and cultures. The photo taken below is from a famous temple on the west-side of the island in the town of Lukang (鹿港鎮). This is among the most famous temples in Taiwan and it has a very vivid historical aura about it when you visit. It really gave me a new perspective about what the buddhist culture and tradition was about.

The architecture of buildings around Taiwan was completely new to me, as I am used to wooden houses and a more maritime style from home in Norway. Below is the Chiang-Kai-Shek Memorial hall, it is a landmark in Taipei and a must visit spot for tourist visiting the island.

Needless to say, cold Norway does not have palm trees. It was very fascinating to live in a place that was very tropical, as seen by the trees at our campus, National Chengchi University below. The school had 18000 students and is the 2nd best university in all of Taiwan. It is located in the southeastern part of Taipei that has 5 million people. To say that going from 500 people in a Norwegian village to Taipei is a contrast is a massive understatement.

The photo below shows downtown Taipei and the famous Taipei 101. To live in a city that was so vibrant, full of time and a constant huzzle and buzzle was for me a very neat experience. There was always 24hrs restaurants, endless shops to find things and a lot of stuff to do. Compared to Norway, Taiwan had very cheap prices on food and drinks, as well as activities and shopping, at least the local souvenirs. The international brands had similar prices to the states and Norway,

One of the definite highlights from the trip has to be the food. Taiwan is a melting pot of Chinese cultures and the food was mind boggling in its variety, flavors and tastes. Needless to say, most meals contained rice or noodles, together with some small dishes like pork, chicken, beef or fish together with mixed vegetables. Thought it took some time, I am an avid user of chopsticks and I was quite successful in using them by the end of the trip.

To be able to go out of your comfort zone and experience loving somewhere where everything is foreign was equally challenging as it was rewarding. Looking back, I feel very fortunate that I was able to have this journey and I find it more rewarding when I know I came here through PLU`s study away programs. I would strongly recommend everything to travel or live abroad, it is a great experience and it really puts things into perspective. You will end up looking at your own culture in a whole new light and have a very unique outside-looking-in perspective about your culture and your values you have learned to know.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Remembering Summer

Happy Second week of School!

Some of you might dive right into your academic courses just like I do the first week of school. I know, right? One thing that I always do the first few weeks of classes is to reminisce about the break I just have and to wish that I could go back to the summer break.

Well, we know it is not possible so I would like to share some of my summer FUN. In the meantime, as you are reading through my blog, I hope that you can also reflect on the fun that you had during summer. Personally, I find it helpful to alleviate some of my stress.

Here we go: 

IMG_0522.JPGAt the beginning of summer break, me and my roommate Van ( also one of the blogger for our International Student Blog :) )  took a 4-day trip to New York City. We have taken advantage of the convenient transportation to get around Manhattan. One of the highlight of the trip that I was able to experience diverse culture in New York.  There were variety of cuisines that we could select from, and I have tried my standard of authentic cantonese food in chinatown in New york city. Being away from home for so long, having a taste of an authentic wonton noodle soup is valuable to me.  Exploring central park is another aspect that I enjoyed during trip to New York City. It actually gave us opportunity to take some time off citywalk. The skyscrapers were great but for someone who grew up in a big city, I prefer trees and mountains. Having been to New York City, it makes me appreciate the nature resource that we have in PNW.

IMG_0786.JPGSince Van has been away for a whole semester to study away, we have driven down to Portland to visit our other roommate, Michelle. It was fun when Michelle took us out exploring Portland city, and we stopped by the Rose Garden. At that time, it was around 37 celsius ( approximately 99 Fahrenheit). Before we headed there, we were wondering if the roses were able to endure the heat. Apparently they did, and for us, we just needed to keep ourselves hydrated.

Self-care tip during study and stress: KEEP HYDRATED  

IMG_1664.JPGIMG_1563.JPGAnother highlight of my summer was when my mom and sister came and visited me at PLU. I have shown them the beauty PNW. We went to Olympic National Park, and drove up to Hurricane Ridge. When we were at the bottom of mountain, it was rainy and foggy. We were concerned that we might not be able to see anything on the top. However, when we almost reached the top, we got a glimpse of blue sky, and when we got to the top, it was sunny up on the mountain. ( Always stay positive :) )  I also took them down to Oregon to visit the Rose Garden.

It was hard to say goodbye to two of the most important people in my life: my mom and sister. I am more than grateful that I have them in my life supporting me, making laugh and relieving my stress during my nursing school.

To wrap up:   Stay positive
                     Stay hydrated
                     Be appreciative of the supports that you receive

- Camille

Monday, September 11, 2017

Have I ever ridden SLING SHOT

Have I ever ridden Sling Shot?
Yes I have ! ! ! 

On September 10,  I went to Washington State Fair with the international students who signed up for the ISS Event. I had a great time with those friends (Brian, Joe, Jun, Tiffany, Rene, and Yohei). I think it was the most exciting time of mine for last one year.  To be honest, it was my first time going to ISS trip. Although I have had several chances, I did not go because I had much things to study. That is my excuse all the time.  

I, as a person who have spent time primarily for study,  would like to tell you one thing that I realized on September 10, the historical day of my life. It is "Have Fun" and "Be Ready to Have Fun." I believe that academic success is very important to build strong basics and the ability of application, so it is necessary to study hard and learn as much as we can from the classes. However, it is also important to experience things other than classwork. Face new things, physically feel those, and challenge. It is always good to have some enjoyable times during semester to refresh. In that way, you may make new experience and memories. I got all these thoughts by riding a Sling Shot. How worthy the ride is!

Sling Shot is $35 per ride, but Worthy!


Greetings from the Washington State Fair!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Preparation for Finals

I have finished my clinical rotation for this semester.  Even though I appreciated the opportunities to “being with” the clients and practice my therapeutic communication with them, finishing my clinical makes me more grateful the amount of the time I can sleep, which means no more getting up 4 am in the morning at least for a while. 

However, as finals are approaching, I understand lots of people start to stress out, and ME TOO!! I am not here to tell you how stressed I can get but to share my strategies of getting ready for finals.   

  1. Listing specific study plan

        Throughout my academic path, I realized that I am easily distracted when I don’t make plan before diving into my study pool. When I say distraction, I am referring to other assignment popped into my head when I am working on one specific assignment, and I get stressed out so I ended up not finishing up my assignment.
To fix that problem, I usually list deadlines for all my assignments and exam, and I prioritize my to-do list. On top of that, I write down a study plan, or schedule. For example, instead of putting down “study biology” in my list, I put “study biology from p145 to p155” for 20 minutes. The reason behind it is to be more efficient with the time that I invest. Believe it or not, I could spend one hour reading 5 pages, and I still couldn’t comprehend the content at the end, which definitely increases my stress level. so DON’T do what I did. 

      2. Maintain sufficient sleep and rest
In the last week of my nursing competency I, we have talked about “Sleep and Rest”. Therefore, I want to emphasize the importance and benefit of sleep and rest.  In my perspective,  maintaining sufficient sleep is a key to efficiency. Sleep deprivation highly impacts on cognitive function like memory, concentration and mood. In my experience, I used to stay up out of guilt even though I knew I wouldn’t be efficient. I ended up being drained physically and mentally, and I wouldn’t be able to focus for the whole day. My main point is to sleep well, and study better. Your bed is your best friend. 

  1. Relaxation
Lastly, it is important to take time to relax. What I had done on the Sunday before dead week started was to attend a yoga class and to watch a movie with my roommate. We tried out samdhana-karana yoga class, and they offer a few sessions of free yoga class. After a day of relaxing, I do feel that I am ready to embrace finals.  

Speaking of yoga, I have found a yoga exercise that requires no yoga mat, and you can do it anywhere you want!  Practice your laugh yoga

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


On Saturday April 22, PLU Business Plan Competition was held. I teamed up with Finn Kelln, Kyle Bendebel, and Felix Ye to challenge the venture competition in the middle of March. We had a fabulous idea, good plan, and fitting market trend. Finn and I worked on research and general business cases, and Kyle and Felix took in charge of computer technique and editing sample of prototype. We all put all our passion and effort to win the competition not for the prize but for actualization after real investment. On the day of competition, we presented very well, received good feedbacks, and got defeated totally. There were many other good ideas which were able to be initiated right away. There was a PLU alumna who came to Tacoma from New York to participate in this competition, and she was a professional.

We did not get any place, but it was an instructive experience. There was a lot of things that we could learn throughout our work and feedbacks from investors. We were given a time to have conversation with investors, one of the investors gave us a lecture for 30 minutes. Moreover, we could receive their personal contact. What we learned from the whole process of the business competition was much greater than the prize. The failure of our first attempt became stronger motivation, and we are going to prepare more for next year business competition.

If you have any venture idea, try! Challenge yourself for the competition! I promise you that it will benefit you much more than you may expect. 

Cho Cheong Wun

Monday, May 8, 2017

Senior Capstone Presentation

My senior capstone presentation for my Political Science major is tomorrow night, and I am finally becoming more excited to present. Since I printed and submitted my Capstone paper last Thursday, I have had a few days to craft a presentation and practice my speech. This presentation is suppose to be the highlight of my research as a political science undergraduate student, so I want to ensure that this presentation is taken as seriously as possible.

I will be presenting in Xavier Hall in room 201, which is a large lecture hall that some call the 'Harry Potter room' because of its elegant decorating. On the night of the presentations, students, faculty and fellow presenters will fill the room for two hours of presentations. 

My faculty advisor is Dr. Michael Artime, and he explained to our class that he wants this night be a celebrations of the 'great research we have done throughout our time at PLU'. 

The research I will be presenting on is titled 'Fear of the Other's News: What the Death of Martin McGuinness Means for Legacy Politics in Northern Ireland'. My project addresses the complexities of politically-aligned media and the affect those media outlets can have on divided communities. I am excited about this research because it links to my study away experience in Northern Ireland that I had last spring. I study at Queen's University Belfast through an approved program of PLU. 

This presentation is one of my last assignments before graduation in 18 days! Hopefully the night runs smoothly & I will be one step closer to graduation.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What to do when You can't seem to be Able to do Anything

We have all been there.  It's 11 o'clock at night and you haven't started your homework.  You should be panicking and yet you sit and wonder how life would be if you just quit college and became a bohemian alpaca farmer. 
Well maybe that's just me, but don't lie and say you didn't panic binge 5 episodes on Netflix.  These days where motivation can't be found happen to all of us.  Though, with the end of the school year just a month away, some of us may notice that these days are coming more frequently.
I am not saying I have a magic potion or spell that will suddenly get you high on homework, but I do have some helpful tips and tricks for helping ease you out of the school year.

Getting Enough Sleep

It's hard enough to get out of bed in the morning as is.  Depriving yourself of a solid 8 hours with your pillow is a sure fire way of tanking out early in the heat of the end of semester craziness.  So make sure you prioritize your health this month and  avoid pulling any all-nighters. 

Not Letting Yourself Procrastinate

Seems impossible don't it?  You start off with the best intentions and suddenly you awaken from a 4 hour internet coma like "What year is it?"  Here are some tips that could help.
     -Designate a specific study area:  Do you study in bed, or where you normally sit and browse the internet?  If you answered yes to either of those questions, you may be unknowingly setting yourself up for failure.  That is, when you study in these places your brain is signaled to think about sleep, or the internet, respectively.  So, find a new place that you can use just for studying!
     -Set a 10 minute timer:  Anyone can be convinced to sit down and work for just 10 minutes.  This being said, setting a timer and telling yourself you will only work for those 10 minutes is a great way of focusing in.  You will be surprised at how much you get done when you fully dedicate yourself and in all likelihood you will have gotten so invested you won't want to stop.

Let Yourself Procrastinate

Well this is awkward.  Yes, yes.  I know I am now telling you to do the opposite of what I just said.  Please, let me explain.  In the hectic, fuzzy tumbleweed that is the end of the year, there will always be something more you can do.  Please, PLEASE, do not over load yourself.  It may seem like the end is nigh, but we still have a month left.  Charging into things all homework-go-lucky at this time is a sure fire way of zapping your energy before we even get to dead week.  So let yourself have moments of relaxation.  Recognize when your brain has had enough.  Take breaks. Draw pictures.  Go on walks.  Have coffee with friends.  Everything needs a little moderation.

Good Luck to All!