Thursday, January 23, 2020

Go Skiing/Snowboarding!!!

Welcome back to J-term!

And welcome to a new season of skiing/snowboarding!
I figure I can write something about these winter sports, since
1. It's limited time - Winter Only!
2. It's fun - and really addicting
3. An opportunity for you to try these is coming up - @Outdoor Recreation
4. I just went to Summit at Snoqualmie for skiing
But just to be clear, I am no expert of skiing too. The information I provide will be mostly based on my previous experience with skiing/snowboarding.

Why should I go skiing?

If you come from a southern city like me where the coldest winter is like 55 F/12 C, you will definitely be amazed by the feelings of gliding on snows. It's all about the unspeakable joy of speed and control that you get every time from skiing down the hill. Plus the view of the mountain is absolutely gorgeous. I think this is just one of the things you have to try at least once in your life. 

Should I ski or snowboard?

This is the question that you should definitely ask yourself before heading to the mountain. Skiing and snowboarding are different in many ways other than just how you head down the hills. In general, skiing is easier to learn for beginners, and snowboarding is easier in doing tricks. 
I will recommend skiing to you if you...
1. Have never skied/snowboarded before, and you don't have a good sense of balance and strong physical strength.
2. Want to pick things up faster and head up the hill earlier with your friends
3. Not particularly interested in doing tricks
4. Want to progress to harder slopes faster
I will recommend snowboarding to you if you...
1. Have been playing skateboard, surfing, or any kinds of board sport. 
2. Feel confident about your physical strength and sense of balance
My first day skiing
3. Interested in doing tricks
4. Feel like snowboard is more interesting

For me personally, I started with skiing and changed to snowboarding later. On my first day of skiing, I registered for a skiing lesson in the resort. It took me only 1 hour to learn how to ski with no previous experience about skiing and I hardly ever fell. On the second day, when I confidently decided to learn snowboarding, it took me nearly 3 hours to learn how to snowboard, and I fell so many times that I couldn't feel my butt anymore that night. But, in the end, I love snowboarding because it offers me more sense of accomplishment.

How should I start my first day skiing?

For you first day on the slope, I absolutely recommend you to register for a class and learn from some experts, if you can afford to do so. Let me warn you that the cheapest beginner lesson that I found (for crystal mountain ski resort) was $128 for 2 hours of lesson, a beginner lift ticket, and rental equipment. I think it is still quite worth it, since the beginner ticket + rental equipment worth $101 already ($49 + 52). But I know not everyone has the time or money to do so.

So another thing you can do is to watch some Youtube videos online and try it out when you get there. It works for some people, but it is truly more difficult than it looks in the video. The youtubers are all pro-skiers already; they are used to the speed and they have perfect control over the skis. When you first get onto the skis, you will likely have no control of your skis and get scared by the speed and fall. It is going to happen multiple times before you are no longer afraid of the speed and learn how to slow down. So the big take away here is to be prepared to fall for your first day on the slope.

And for sure you can find a friend to teach you. Just warn them ahead of time that it takes time for you to learn and free them from time to time when you are learning how to "fall".

Equipments and Tickets?

Skiing is not always so affordable for everyone. It can be pricey if you buy the full ticket and get a complete set of equipment. What you can do to decrease the cost are: 
1. Buy beginner/discovery ticket
Slopes are arranged into different levels based on their difficulties. If you buy a full ticket, you will have access to all of the slopes. However, if you are a "noob", you probably won't get to the hardest slope for the first day and buying a full ticket can be a waste of money in this case. A discovery ticket will have access to magic carpet slope and a beginner slope. These are great places for you to learn, and the ticket is 40 dollars cheaper than the full ticket!
2. Buy tickets online ahead of time
Buying tickets online will save you at least 20% of the price. Visit their website for a link of online purchase!
3. Wear warm and water proof outfits
Swimming glasses works! @Masuda Yohei
You don't have to buy a 100 dollars ski jacket to be able to ski. The key features that ski jackets offer are waterproof and windproof. If you can find a warm and water proof jacket, you should be good for skiing. (Just remember you will fall for many times and it will get dirty)
For pants, also try to find a water proofed pants, since you will sit and lie on the snow very often. If not, find something that is warm and sporty and bring extra clothes for you to change later!
If you wish, crystal mountain offers ski jackets rental at $36.  
4. Buy ski gloves and goggles
Personally, ski gloves and goggles are the ones that are worth buying. Each can cost you around 45 dollars, but they are quite essential and can last for a long time. Skiing when it's raining is truly a pain if you don't have waterproofed clothes and goggles. 
If you decided not to buy one, a leather gloves can work. And, believe it or not, swimming glasses works too. My friend tried it and he gave a thumb-up to it. 
5. Rent a helmet
You will fall a lot, and you will fall on your head if you are snowboarding. Helmet saves life!

Where should I go for skiing/snowboarding?

There are three ski resorts around PLU. They are:
1.Summit at Snoqualmie
Summit at Snoqualmie

Snoqualmie is only 1.5 hrs away from PLU. It is relatively close and the tickets are a bit cheaper.
The downsides are the slopes are shorter and there are less beginner slopes. The beginner lesson there is also more expensive. 
2.Stevens Pass
I have never been to Stevens Pass, but I have heard a lot of good things about it.
It will be a 2-3 hours drive though, if you plan to drive from PLU.
I heard it has some very good slopes and it closes late in the season.
Just be careful about the bad parking situation. 
3.Crystal Mountain
Crystal Mountain

I have been to crystal mountain twice, and it gave me some pretty good experience.
It's a 2 hours drive from PLU, but it's definitely worth it.
The slopes are large and have quite some slopes available for beginners.
They also rent out ski jackets and give cheap beginner lessons.
Most importantly, Outdoor Recreation will host a trip to Crystal Mountain this Sunday (1/26)!
You can get a transportation to Crystal mountain and a lunch that OR will provide.
It will be a great opportunity for you to ski/snowboard and you will definitely have a lot of fun there!
So what are you waiting for? Grab your friends and sign up for the trip online at

Bryan Yuan

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Bryan's Five Reasons to Visit Portland, Oregon

Hi guys,
Welcome back from the Thanksgiving break! I hope you all enjoyed a nice time off and spent some times with your families and friends. This is Bryan, and I went to Portland, Oregon, to spent my Thanksgiving vacation. 

I am sure most of you have heard about Portland. But here are my five reasons to visit Portland.

1. It's TAX FREE!

Currently, the Oregon sales tax rate is 0%. This means that you don't have to pay the 10% sales tax when you buy anything! Think like you get a 10% off for everything you buy. 
Besides, there are couple big outlets around Portland, like Woodburn Premium Outlet and Columbia Gorge Outlet. Or if you are not a hardcore shopper who is willing to stay up all night shopping, you can also choose to shop at downtown Portland like I did. You can find most of the brands you need just by walking in downtown Portland. And there are a lot of good foods

2. It's within driving distance (2.5 hours drive, if there is no traffic)

2.5 hours of drive is not that bad. Really... If you compare it with driving to other nearby cities:
Vancouver, BC -- 4 Hours drive, if you don't get stopped by the custom
Leavenworth, WA -- 3 Hours, if the snow doesn't bother you
Yellowstone, WY -- 13 Hours, yeah.. you probably won't drive there during thanksgiving
However, things can get rough if you are caught in a traffic jam, like we did. We first drove to Seattle to pick up my friend, and it took us two hours to drive back to Tacoma, because of two accidents near federal way. Then, the two hours drive to Portland took us over four hours, due to three more accidents around Olympia. Driving for six hours literally killed me both physically and mentally. 
So trust me, leave in the early morning when nobody is driving like they are in bumper cars.

3. Sunshine

Some people do whatever it takes to get away from the Rain in Washington. And I am probably one of them. 
Portland has always shown me her good side whenever I went there. It's sunny, dry, cool, and windy when I was where during thanksgiving. 
And if the weather is not enough to impress you, you should try exploring around Historic Columbia River Highway.

4. Great place for hiking - Historic Columbia River Highway

Historic Columbia River Highway is 20 minutes drive to the east of downtown Portland. It has many attractions along the way, like Vista house (photo ↙) and 5 waterfalls. The highway is built on the mountain, so you can get a good view of the Columbia River. There are also hiking trails built around the waterfalls. The one I recommend to go to is the Multnomah Falls (photo ↓). 
It takes around 1 hour to hike up to the top of the waterfall. It's not very tiring, which makes it ideal for all kinds of people. Also, the views along the way are gorgeous. 
Look at the view! Cr: Claire Huang
Multnomah Falls


Try some "rainbow" poached egg
Portland has some serious good foods in the city. 
Five things I would advise to try are:
1. Petite Province for Brunch
2. Voodoo Doughnuts for Snacks 
3. Pok Pok for Thai dinner
4. Salt & Straw for Ice cream
5. Food trucks for some street foods

There are many many food trucks in Portland. And they are famous for being delicious! It's one of the special thing in the city that you should definitely try in Portland!
Unfortunately, I did get to try the food trucks this time, because most of them were closed due to thanksgiving break. 
But if you go to Portland someday, try it and let me know whether you like it or not!

Bryan Yuan

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Top 5 Job Interview Tips

Hello everyone, it’s Megan!

As my last fall semester comes to an end, I’ve naturally started to think about the future and what it holds - especially as an international student! Graduating college can definitely be scary in and of itself, but the thought of having to get a job right after college makes it all the more terrifying. One of the most common concerns for seniors in college in terms of graduation is having a job lined up for when you’re done with school. Relatedly, going to job interviews is a nerve-wrecking experience for pretty much everyone, and all of these stress factors related to job searching inspired this week’s blogpost: Interview tips

So, without further ado, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when the time comes for you to interview for your future job!
  1. Research the company and your interviewer(s)
Let’s start things off with the basics - do your research! Before you go into a job interview, it is important to show that you are familiar with the company you would like to work at. By communicating to your interviewer that you’ve done your homework prior to meeting with them, it lets them know that you are serious about your interest in working there, as opposed to it being “just another job interview”. The company’s website, social media posts, and recent press releases are all good sources to provide you with a solid understanding of what the company is about, and how your skillset fits into the equation. For a more detailed guide on how to research a company effectively, here is a helpful website!

Now, keep in mind that researching your interviewers can come across as creepy if you don’t do it right. There is a fine line between coming across as knowledgeable about the company, and being borderline creepy. You don’t want them to feel like you have invaded their privacy, so stick to looking for information that relates to their career persona. You can also try to find some commonalities between you and your interviewer, as this could make them remember your interview favorably over other applicants. At the same time, be sure to not give away any suggestion that you actively looked up information about the interviewer themselves.

  1. Practice answers to common interview questions
Most job interviews will include some standard questions that are common across the board. These are usually questions like “tell me why you would be a good fit for our company”, or “tell me about a time when you faced a challenge, and how did you deal with it?”. These sorts of questions are commonly used by interviewers, and practicing some of the most predictable questions will give you an edge if you have already prepared yourself on what to answer. Giving well-rounded answers to these questions illustrate that you are able to reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses. If you are not familiar with common interview questions, you can visit this website for a helpful guide.

  1. Prepare questions for your interviewers
A lot of times we forget that a job interview is a two-way street, however, you should ask some questions, too! When you’re reading the job description of the position you’re applying for, think about what questions come to mind and what you would like answered. 
For me, I am always curious about what a hiring manager has to say about the office culture, meaning, what the “overall vibe” is amongst the employees. For you, this might not be a relevant question at all, so make sure that you find a couple of things to inquire about when you are given the chance to ask questions. Not only does it show that you have seriously thought about working there, it also gives the hiring manager an idea about which aspects of the job matter to you.

  1. Make a great first impression
We usually spend more effort preparing for the actual content of the interview, including the points mentioned above. What is arguably just as important however, is to prepare your external presentation as well. Don’t forget to pay attention to the little things! If this is a high-stake interview, put some extra thought into the details of your appearance; like doing your hair nicely, making sure your nails are kept, ironing or steaming the outfit you’ve chosen. Essentially, you wan’t to show your interviewers that you care about this position, and spending time on your appearance and making sure that you look presentable is an obvious way to show that you’ve put effort into your meeting with the hiring manager. Most importantly, looking good will make you feel more confident, which will show through as well!

  1. Send a personalized thank you letter after the interview
You should practice the habit of sending personalized thank you notes to each interviewer. When you are meeting with them, ask for their business card during the interview, and if you have multiple interviewers you should ask them individually. This allows you to follow up with them individually, as well. This note (or email) should be sent the same day, or the following morning depending on when you had your interview. If you interviewed in the morning, try to send out an email within the end of the workday. If your meeting was later in the afternoon, waiting until the next morning should be fine. Make sure that the emails are personalized though, and incorporate some of the notes you took during the interview to show them that the email is meant specifically for them.

Alright, so these are some of the best interviewing tips I have come across over the past few years, and now - I pass them on to you. The most important part is come across as authentic, meaning: just be yourself! Regardless of whether you choose to follow the tips in this post, I wish you the best of luck with your job-hunt moving forward. You can do it!!!

— Megan 

Inspiration taken from

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Commonly Used OTC Medicines (Ⅰ): allergy, cold, fever

   Hey Guys! This is Bryan
   For this week's blog post, I want to talk about something different. As a nursing student, I am currently taking N330 Pharmacology, the study of medicines. In that class, I learned about all kinds of different medicines and their effects on human body. I realized that many people are taking medicines without knowing enough about it. Especially for international students, we are not familiar with the commonly used medicines, and we don't know what to use when we really get sick. Therefore, I will introduce to you some of the commonly used medicines that you can get easily in Walgreen or Target. I understand this is a lot of information, and you will not read it all today. But please come back to it if you are sick or decide to take one of the medicines. 
   And please remember you can always consult with the school's Health Center!

   What are OTC medicines

o   OTC medicines stands for OVER-THE-COUNTER medicines. It means you don’t need a prescription to buy these medicines at the pharmacy. These meds are OTC (over-the-counter) because they have milder side effects (unwanted body reaction to drug) and less contraindications. Yet, people who take them are still under the risk of overdosing, developing side effects, and having drug to drug interactions if used with other medicines or recreational drugs. Hence, you should always look at the instruction book before taking a new medicine.
o   Drug to drug interactions: Though OTC drugs have less lethal side effects (unwanted body reaction to drug), taking multiple drugs at the same time will increase the risk of having side effects. Unless prescribed by a healthcare provider, you should only take one med at a time. Alcohols and recreational drugs should be stopped when taking OTC meds.
o   Common Precautions: Many of the medicines require liver and kidney to excrete out of your body, and some of them interfere with your blood vessels or heart to change your blood pressure. Thus, before you take these medicines, you should consult health care professionals if you have been diagnosed with hypertension, diabetics, liver or renal disease.
o   Overdose: overdose happens when you take too much of one med. Follow the dosing instructions when taking meds, and call 911 if severe symptoms happen. 
o   Pregnancy Warning: most of the drugs have unknown or bad reaction to baby. If you are pregnant, plan to be pregnant, or breast feeding, please consult with healthcare professionals before taking any of the OTC meds.


o   Pseudoephedrine: nasal decongestants; relief running nose and helps your breath easier)
§  Common drug name: Sudafed 12 Hour
§  Picture:

§  How many to take: 1 caplet as needed for every 12 hour (120 mg/12 hr)
·       Warning: Please check with the instruction book before use
§  What you should know about it:
·       Do not use with Antidepressant.
·       STOP and ASK: if nervousness, too slow or fast heart rate, breathing difficulties, hallucination (seeing things that are not there), or seizure as these symptoms indicate drug overdose.
o   Diphenhydramine: Antihistamine, decrease allergy symptoms, including sneezing, running nose, itchy etc.
§  Common drug name: Benadryl
§  Other usage: cold, insomnia (Hard time falling asleep), motion sickness
§  Picture:

§  How many to take: 1-2 tablets as needed for every 4-6 hours
·       Warning: Please check with the instruction book before use
§  What you should know about it:
·       Do not drink alcohol or taking recreational drugs while taking this med.
·       It makes you feel sleepy; avoid driving or other activities requiring alertness after taking this med.
·       Should not be used routinely for sleeping aid.
·       Do not use with antidepressant.

   Common Cold

o   Acetaminophen + Dextromethorphan + Phenylephrine
§  Common drug name: Comtrex Day and Night (Any of the "Day and Night")
§  Picture:

§  How many to take: 2 caplets as needed every 4 hours
·       No more than 10 caplets every 24 hours
·       Warning: Please check with the instruction book before use
§  What you should know about it:
·       This medicine will not “treat” your cold, but only decrease the symptoms to allow better rests and recovery. So please ensure proper diet, enough sleep, and avoid heavy workloads while taking this med.
·       Day pill and night pill have different function. Night pill will make you feel sleepy and have more effects to help you fall asleep. Day pill have fewer effects, but cause less sleepiness to help you get through the day. Do not drive if taking night pill; recommended not to drive if taking day pill. 
·       Do not drink alcohol or taking recreational drugs while taking this med.
·       Do not use with Antidepressant.
·       STOP and ASK: if original symptoms (cough, nasal congestion) gets worse for more than a week; if fever gets worse for more than 3 days; if nervousness, dizziness, or sleepless.
o   Diphenhydramine
§  Benadryl: since allergy and cold have similar symptoms (running nose, sneezing…), Benadryl can also be used for common cold. The side effect of drowsiness (ability to make you feel sleepy) can help you better fall asleep if you take it 30 mins before going to bed.


o   Acetaminophen
§  Common drug name: Tylenol
§  Other usage: pain relief
§  Picture:

§  How many to take: 2 tablets as needed for every 4-6 hours
·       No more than 10 tablets every 24 hours
·       Warning: Please check with the instruction book before use
§  What you should know about it:
·       Do not drink alcohol or taking recreational drugs while taking this med.
·       Tylenol comes in many different forms. Note that "extra strength", "nighttime", "rapid release" indicates different effects and different dosing requirement. Please check with the instruction book!
·       Do not use with NSAIDs, like Aspirin and Ibuprofen
·       STOP and ASK: if you still have fever after three days of use; if you have skin rash (red and itchy patch of skin), headache, redness, or swelling; if your symptom gets worth and new symptom (like nausea, stomach pain, dark urine) develops. 

As my instructor Dr. Robinson has always said: "Like your mama taught you, don't put anything in your mouth if you don't know what it is!" You should really understand these medicines well before putting them into your mouth.
Lastly, remember that the best way of recovery is always healthy lifestyle! 
(I will continue this topic with my next blog post about pain relief, insomnia, and diarrhea)

Friday, October 18, 2019

Guest Blog: Risa's Summary of PLU Experience

Hi, this is Risa.
I'm a transfer student from Japan. I used to go to a university in North Carolina.
I'm going to talk about what I experienced here and how I liked PLU.

Sweet Professors, Students, and Environment in PLU🎓

First of all, I love PLU's classes!

They are a small size, less than 40 people. One of the reasons I came to PLU was to take small-size classes close to a large city.

It is easy to give their opinions and the professors always try to remember students' names. International students sometimes take time to understand a class because of their culture or language. They are willing to help us when we need help.

In addition, in the class there are many students having different backgrounds-- sex, age, color, beliefs... All of them are open to something different from themselves. I'm comfortable in the environment as a minority. Since I came to PLU, I appreciate all of them and the time of studying without any problems.

Fun Events Provided by ISS🎉

I attended some events by International Student Services (ISS).

Football game at University of Washington

We went to the match between UW and Arizona State. My friend and I were not familiar with the rules of football. I still remember we searched on phone and discussed what happened in the game at that time. After the trip, I began understanding the rules and finally enjoying it!

Seattle Chocolate Factory tour

We went to a factory of Seattle Chocolate. We saw how to make chocolates, and tried several kinds of chocolates. Seattle Chocolate is one of the most famous companies in Seattle. We were able to have an experience related to here. In exchange for it, we couldn't stop buying souvenirs though...

Precious Treasures I Got at PLU❤️

Sometimes I'm stressed out for some reasons. The reason why I'm enjoying the college life is because I have met many friends.

They sometimes show me around the city, sometimes help me with my homework, and sometimes drink together 😂

I can't be much happier to meet special, precious friends in my life.

That's all what I have here so far. I still have a year till graduation.

Can't wait to see more fun events then!!

Your friend,