Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring at PLU

Spring is back at Pacific Lutheran University and this means flowers blooming all over campus and lots of fun outdoor activities! Lutes are spending their days in the precious sun, slack-lining, playing frisbee and doing their homework outside.
Outdoor meets indoor!
Homework in the sun!
New flowers showed up almost overnight!
The PLU is gorgeous this time of year and walking though it on warm spring days and nights is great after winter. Everything is so green because of all the rain the rest of the year!

Students enjoying dinner in the evening sunshine!
Sunshine through the tree on upper campus!
This also means it is time for spring break! This is a great opportunity for international students to travel and visit different parts of North and South America! But even if you do not travel far from campus there are many fun opportunities as PLU is located perfectly for all kinds of adventures, with easy access to nature, city life and the Pacific Ocean.
Spring break 2013 in Bandon, OR.
Last year I drove down the coast to San Francisco, where I met some fellow lutes who had the same idea. Many international students are there this year!

This year will be spent in Santa Barbara, California. I am looking forward to getting some sun and visiting the beach! I will be doing culinary tours and cooking classes to try new foods and experience creative recipes.

You can find Lutes everywhere these days, Mexico, Canada, Las Vegas, San Fransisco, D.C. and more. I wonder if I'll meet any in Santa Barbara!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Nursing Preceptorship

So as you guys know, this is my very last semester here at PLU and boy, I am way too excited.

I've written many blog posts about my experience as a Nursing student along with tips and tricks to survive Nursing School and I hope you guys find those posts helpful. Here goes another one.

What is the last semester in Nursing like?

Well, it is definitely not easy nor relaxing. I have classes on Mondays and I am sort of required to have the rest of the week open so I can do preceptorship.

In order to keep my Provost's Scholarship, I needed two more credits (School of Nursing only offers 10 credits for your last semester), so I signed up for an art class. Good news is the Art class is on Mondays also but the bad news is that it's at 6pm so I usually have to spend the entire day at school (like 12 hours).

How are Classes this Semester?

To be honest, classes this semester are not as crazy as I expected. Like I mentioned in my previous posts, classes such as Patho and Med/Surg are overwhelming. Everything is sort of connected to something else since the human body is interconnected. One thing happens to one system can actually cause something else. And I was used to that so I thought that this semester would be about the same.

However, classes for this semester focus more on Policy, Politics, and Employment issues. In other words, classes this semester provide me a realistic image of the workplace. Therefore, there isn't anything that I need to memorize for but rather tons of group projects and meetings.

What is Preceptorship?

In nursing, we can't just learn everything in class. Clinical is very important but we only spend about 4 - 5 weeks for each clinical. Therefore, preceptorship is where you get to do extensive clinical hours on the field of nursing that we like.

Since there are limited spots for preceptorship, each of us had to fill out a request form last semester. First, we listed three things we want to do for preceptorship, for example, med/surg, oncology, emergency department. And then we choose three hospitals that we want to work at. Then our professors would work with the unit managers and the staff at the hospitals for our placements.

Luckily, I got exactly what I wanted. I love the heart and I love the Intensive Care Unit so I got Cardiovascular ICU.

Tell me more about Preceptorship

For preceptorship, I work whenever my preceptor works therefore, my schedule changes every week. It is tough to change my schedule around because I still have a job at PLU and I still have homework. Also, I do nightshifts so whenever I work, I have to sleep the whole day before to prepare and the day later to recover.

However, preceptorship is very fun. I get to provide direct care under an RN supervision. I get to learn about things I had never seen in school. And everything just starts to make sense and I feel a little more comfortable now.

So what's next?

Well, it's almost the end of March so Spring Break is next on the list.

Then, Order cap and gown. Have my birthday one week before graduation. Then Nursing Pinning ceremony. Then the Commencement.

But it's not the end yet. After graduation, I will have to study for the NCLEX. For those who are not familiar with the NCLEX, it's an exam that everyone has to take in order to become a registered nurse. Then after that, hopefully I will get a residency position somewhere.

If you guys have any questions about the nursing program or would like to know more tips and tricks, please feel free to comment down below.

Thank you

Monday, March 10, 2014

Is P.L.U Religious?

Dear friends,

When I first heard about Pacific Lutheran University, I had no idea what the deal was. My host family and professors at school kept telling me how prestigious PLU was and how I would end up really liking the school if I chose to go there. My only concern, however, was that I had no interest in attending a religious school.

I was not a Lutheran, and I didn't think I would ever be one. Growing up in China, I had never been formally introduced to Christianity. I consider myself as an individual free from religious traditions, and I would like to keep it that way.

So I proposed the question to the international admission counselor, Hiro Kuroiwa-Lewis,

"Do I have to be regious to attend PLU?"

"No. Not at all," Hiro said.

Believe it or not, questions about religions and beliefs are often asked by many international students, who come from all over the globe along with various backgrounds. If you are eager to find out how religious PLU is, here is my answer:

No one is required to have religious affiliation to attend PLU.
If you believe in Jesus, great. There are many ways to nurture your belief. Chapel service is provided every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which is a special break PLU offers for you to reflect and appreciate your spiritual side of life.

For students of other faiths or of no faith, whatever you have is valued at PLU as well. The diversity of PLU and the appreciation of diversity are what make PLU unique. Every point of view matters here. At least no one has scolded at me yet for what I don't believe in.

However, you are required to take one to two religion courses.
The reason for that is to enrich your cultural experiences, which are in close relationships with religion's influence in our daily life. This requirement is to prepare you to get a better understanding of the impacts different religions have in the U.S. and other parts of the world. It is one of those things that you might not be interested in learning, but the learning outcome is often beneficial, and it gives you many Aha moment later on in life. If you are here to learn the culture, get ready to be open-minded and challenged, to engage in conversations, and to be comfortable of being uncomfortable.

Does this solve the concern that many of you have out there? Comment down below if you have more questions. I will be more than happy to answer them for you!

Happy Monday :)

Love always,


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tunnel of Oppression: PLU taking part in social justice

Every year, PLU organizes an event called Tunnel of Oppression, where different clubs and organizations put together visual displays to show the different types of oppression people go through. Some topics included oppression of people with disabilities, gay men in prison, people who go through poverty, and even the community around PLU.

Though all the topics were very serious and sometimes really shocking, I was really glad that I participated in this event. I felt like I learned a lot about my privilege and how much resources I have available to me. One display that really caught my eye was a video where PLU students first held a banner that said "I'm a poor college student..." and a second slide was played after that which listed things that they had access to such as a roof over their head, $4 coffees, J-term trips, a good education, etc. It was really eye-opening to think about how many things I took for granted, and didn't really think about on a daily basis that a lot of people may not be able to do for different reasons.

Overall, it was a really educational experience. Even those who do not enjoy heavy topics should possibly take a look at it next year. A lot of the issues are everyday things that we might not particularly think about, but are still existent. I definitely learned a lot from it, and I'm sure other PLU students who attended the event did too!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Chinese New Year at PLU

The Chinese House in Hong cooperated with the Chinese Department and the Pacific Islander Club to put together a Chinese New Years celebration in the Cave. People from all over campus came to enjoy traditional Chinese food prepared for us by our fullbright scholar Tiantian, watch a lion dance performed by the Pacific Islander Club, make paper lanterns and dragons, play traditional Chinese instruments provided by Professor Gregory Yutz and celebrate the Year of the Horse!

The Lion and Buddha pose for photos!
The lion dance was very exciting and people were laughing and clapping. The Chinese Lion Dance is performed accompanied by the music of beating of drums, cymbals, and gongs. Instruments synchronise to the lion dance movements and actions. It is believed that the loud beats of the drums and deafening sounds of the cymbals together with the face and aggressive dancing of the lion can evict bad or evil spirits. It is also believed to bring food luck and fortune to the business.

Lion head close-up!

In my Arts of China class last J-term with Professor Youtz, we put on lion dances in class and I was chosen to be Buddha! My job was basically to play, tame and direct the lion's movements. We had about 4 lions and me running around having a great time!
Professor Youtz teaching an interested student how to play a traditional Chinese instrument!

Students were invited to make paper bag dragons and paper lantern they could decorate! It was so much fun to see how creative they were!
Craft table!
My paper dragon "Mushu"!

Guests received red envelopes with "money" (chocolate) in them. Usually the red envelopes are given by adults and elderly to young children during New Years. It was believed that the money in the red packet will suppress the evil from the children, keep the children healthy, and long living.

My red envelope!
It was my first Chinese New Year celebration ever! I learned so much about Chinese culture and can't wait to learn more about this culture! I am hoping to study away in Asia at some point and this made me want to go even more!