Went biking today

Been at UBC for a long time. Been biking for twice as long. Knew there were awesome bike routes all around Point Grey.

But I haven’t gone biking ever, until today!

Length: 11.3km. Time: 4:30-5:30pm.

The downhill from Marine Drive all the way to Jericho Beach was pretty wicked. I was going faster than my maximum peddle speed, and the bike started to shake. “One bump and that would be it for me,” I thought.

And a road biker zoomed past me. The differential speed was at least 20 km/h. I felt I was going about 35-40km/h, so this dude was going close to 60km/h.

Biking on the sand is a different type of wicked fun. You feel like you’re drunk. And any big turn will throw you off balance.

Weather today was gorgeous. At 12 degrees, I can’t hope for better. Ok, maybe a little less windy would be nice.

Loads of memory at this place. Today I am only accompanied by my bike.

On the deck there was a couple dancing. I wish the seagulls were still dancing around them but I was too slow with my camera.

The bike back was totally insane. I didn’t stop once when I climbed up 4th Ave from from Jericho to the forest, but I did get passed by an old dude and a girl.

In any event, UBC after exercise always seems very different. Very refreshed.

Bottom line: Everyone should try jogging or biking for an hour on campus 🙂

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海角七號引爆台灣社團心結 (加註)

《海角七號》一片造成全台一起瘋狂的轟動。紅到連我對流行完全免疫的老爸老媽都在問我《海角七號》是個什麼玩意,能否弄到。

「弄不到啦, 聽說連下載網站都聲明『支持本片, 請到戲院欣賞』, 可說是史無前例的現象呀。」我說。

(聽說不少影片下載網站的版主也都表明了~
海角七號,請進戲院看,這裡沒有得下載……奇怪地感動呀……) 
《海角七號》官方部落格。

老爸老媽聽了也一起感動, 全家就在一片祥和的感動中決定等它正版DVD上架。

然而, 偉大的海盜們果然還是法力無邊, 該偷拍的片子也拍, 海盜同儕不願偷拍的片子也拍。這是意料中的事。

偷拍的片子流傳到半個地球之外的溫哥華, 故事就變得更有趣了。要知道, 在UBC (卑詩大學) 有四個台灣學生為主流的社團, 分別為台灣聯誼會 (Taiwan Association, or TA), 新新人類 (New Taiwanese Generation, or NTG), 等等主義 (Literature Ecetera, or LE), 和淨心舍 (Reality Club, or RC). 一個5萬人的大學, 台灣人也不知道有多少個, 竟然能組成4個社團有些人會覺得不可思議。四個社團間的感情糾葛更是撲朔離迷, 連幹部們都知一不知二。

但這不是本文重點。

重點是我們雖然屬於不同社團, 卻都很喜歡看電影。尤其是社團人多, 看電影的消費可以大大節省。

喔, 說大大節省是以看電影需要開銷為前提。合租片子啦, 上戲院買團體票啦, 如是乎。

如果看電影不需要開銷, 那就不是大大節省啦! 那就是海盜分贓啦!

台灣聯誼會網站

哇, 海盜船長還要收海盜小兵錢耶!而且海盜船長還很得意的用腰斬的經典國片來慶祝國慶日喔!哇哇哇!

但!

等一下!

海盜船長那邊還沒勸到, 虎克船長就從這邊殺出來了!

UBC NTG Movie Night 海角七號

想來參加 NTG Internal Icebreaker,又不想錯過搶先看海角七號而猶豫不決嗎?
別著急~ NTG了解大家的煩惱,特別在10/17再次放映海角七號~
讓大家既能參加 ICEBREAKER 又能看強檔國片,一次滿足你兩個需求~

當天持NTG會員卡入場就有機會獲得Preal Fever飲料兌換卷以及海角七號電影原聲帶喔!!
(現場提供入會服務)

10/17 Fri 1830-2130
Location TBA

免費入場!!!

新新人類Facebook Event page

看到沒有, 虎克船長就是不一樣!免費入場!

這下子海盜小兵一定全部棄船來投靠虎克船長了啊!而且分贓之餘還可以分紅耶!電影原聲帶!(希望這是正版的, 不然拿片燒完用簽字筆寫曲目的禮品回家不是很鳥?)


10/8 加註:

原文結尾有關LE態度的部分純屬我個人的臆測, 經過LE幹部的反應, 與事實並不符合。經過考慮, 我決定把文後不必要的想像刪除, 以免模糊焦點, 還帶給我支持的LE不必要的困擾。

逍遙仙境版主Lawrence也來反應, 提醒我他的觀後感也純屬個人立場, 與LE的決策無關。

我在這裡要鄭重說明, 我以旁觀者的角度猜測LE內部的反應, 起舉不甚妥當, 沒有註明本文不代表任何社團的官方立場更是我的疏失。

也希望大家都能夠從這次事件學習到寶貴的經驗!


10/9 加註 (寫著寫著… 跨日了…):

TA 與 NTG 的宣傳文宣已經撤下, 頗有取消播放《海角七號》這個決策的誠意, 希望他們能做出正確的決定!

I reiterate: UBC CS ROCKS!!!

Many of you may have already heard too much about my love of the Department of Computer Science at UBC. Having the opportunity to interact with several departments in Science, I stand by my statement: Department of CS is more supportive of their students than any other departments that I know of.

I could talk about the annual townhall meetings that the Associate Heads of the Department run, with the sole purpose of improving students’ learning experience (and they hold separate meetings for different demographic groups of students!). I could talk about the successful tri-mentoring program that attracts hundreds of participants every year. I could talk about the countless industry networking and recruitment events.

But today, I believe this email speaks for itself:

Dear Students:

As you know, a 7.9-magnitude earthquake hit the Sichuan Province in China yesterday. We would like to express our sadness and concern at this terrible disaster and would like to refer you to the appropriate resources.

In 2007/08, UBC enrolled 1155 (1095 V, 60 O) students from China on both campuses. In addition, we estimate that more than one third of our domestic students at UBC V would claim Chinese heritage.

Our student support services stand ready to work with students who are affected. I am writing to remind you of some of the referrals that are relevant in this kind of situation.

UBC Vancouver
If you are an international student, please go International House, email isa@students.ubc.ca or call 604.822.5021 to speak with an international student advisor.  We have established pathways to access all services including Counselling Services and Student Financial Assistance for students in particular need.

All students are welcome to seek the assistance of:
Counselling Services: http://www.students.ubc.ca/counselling/
Student Health Services: http://www.students.ubc.ca/health/service.cfm
Student Financial Assistance & Awards: http://www.students.ubc.ca/finance/contact.cfm

Sincerely,

Bill Aiello
Head, Department of Computer Science

I was expecting to see the Vice President Students of UBC at the end of this email. But instead, I found Bill’s name and came straight to blog my appreciation out.

UBC CS ROCKS MY WORLD!!!

Finals update: CS310 and PeerWise

Writing my first and easiest final in three hours and 10 minutes – cpsc 310 software engineering. I started preparing for it around 12 midnight last night, as bed-time reading, and I expect to get an A+ in this course. It’s that easy.

The prof uses something called PeerWise to reduce his exam making effort help students prepare for exams in an innovative way. This is basically a website where students in the course post review questions and answers for each other.

I posted a few questions on PeerWise, and got pretty good feedback. Here’s my favorite contribution:

The question asks:

What is the term that describes the following:

“Dude, GMail ate my unsent drafts and I can only see a blank page when I try to open them.”

And the options are:

A
Defect
8 (29.63%)
B
Infection
 0 (0.00%)
C
Failure
16 (59.26%)
D
I though Google was cool
 1 (3.70%)
E
Hotmail isn’t any better
2 (7.41%)

 

And guess what? My prof used this as the first question on our mid term exam:

Yeah! How can I not get an A+ if I made the questions on the exam? XD

This is Web2.0 in its finest, ladies and gentlemen. Hello, money!

What can I do for Shad Valley?

I wish to be a Program Assistant again for Shad Valley this summer. The Shad PA experience two summers ago was surreal and wonderful: a full memory of sunshine, new friends, sports, lax, and overall awesomeness – minus the stress of the Shad projects 😛

As a PA, I am expected to organize workshops for the Shads among other things. Back then, I ran a math workshop in which we played poker and tried to calculate the strength of a particular hand. A global citizenship workshop with an invited student activist. And a lazy tour of my favorite hangouts in UBC.

This year I feel I could do more, and do better. But what do I have to share with a bunch of eager high school kids with too much potential to excel? Whatever I do have, I need to articulate it to the Program Director this afternoon. So once again, I’m here to formulate my thoughts.

1. Java Programming. The first thing I came up with is a series of Java programming workshop. I had no exposure to programming in high school, and I would sure love to have some more understanding of the computer than “er, I know how to copy and paste using the hotkeys?”

As an ex-TA for the introductory Java course at UBC and a genuine Java lover, I am quite confident that I can spread some of the Java love to the kids. I could also contact the Comp Sci department to see if I can book a computer lab for our workshops, otherwise we may need to install eclipse on our own workstation. Challenge: lack of interest in the group, and lack of computer resources.

2. Student entrepreneurship. A friend I met in my own Shad back in the days started an internet business when he was in high school. Now his business is growing. As Shad runs the theme of Science, Engineering and Business, it would be awesome if I could invite this friend for a workshop on business startup. Challenge: that friend may be unavailable.

3. Student Initiative Panel. Many friends of mine are in leadership positions in student clubs or other forms of groups and projects. I could invite them to describe their experiences and share their stories with the Shads, which would surely be engaging and inspiring for this audience.

I would run through these ideas with the Director and develop them further.

SCI Team Q’s from E Team founders

*The SCI Team is somewhat well-known on campus, and I am humbled and honored to be a member of it. If I sound in any way arrogant or self-gratifying in any of my reflective posts, it is definitely not my intention. The purpose of these posts on SCI Team is to archive the valuable lessons I learned from this experience, and to share my ideas with those who are interested.

Several students in Engineering heard about the SCI Team, through our cross-faculty events, word of mouth, or science converts to engineering (:P), and they are eager to start an analog in Engineering called the E Team.

And I am honored to be asked the following questions, and although I’m not in an authoritative position to answer them, as there are many much more experienced and articulate SCI Team members than I am, since I’m asked (and fast answers demanded :P), here are my 2 cents.

  • If you had the chance to start SCI-Team from the ground up, what sort of structure would you give it?

I don’t think I will change the committee structure. The SCI Team is composed of roughly half returning members and half new members, who have diverse interests and unique styles of leadership. Creating a fixed hierarchical structure of executives will not only limit the number of events and projects that we can organize, it would also discourage the active, self-driven participation that is abundant in committees.

I don’t think I will attempt to remove the umbrella of Dean of Science’s Office that encompasses the SCI Team. An appropriate amount of involvement of the administration adds to the credibility and professionalism of the SCI Team while allowing full self-determination of the team members. It’s more like: the Dean of Science’s Office backs the projects that we come up with and got approval for.

Of course, an effective, professional student group is entirely possible without such faculty supervision. I’ve written a few key things that are characteristic of a professional group here.

  • What are some negative aspects of SCI-Team?

For those who have difficulties managing time effectively, SCI Team may be too much of a commitment. And the danger lies in the supportive, exciting atmosphere of the team, which drives you to spend hours and hours on the projects. Time management is a key skill that is sought after in SCI Team interviews.

  • What challenges have you overcome within SCI-Team?

As a new member on the team, I was quite intimidated at first. The team building activities and introduction were helpful, but it wasn’t until I helped out in the first event and saw the team functioning together that I fully embraced the team. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the co-chairs of that event, both my good friends and returning SCI Team members, had “let’s show them how we work” in mind :P)

I’ve heard stories from previous years about conflicts and ineffectiveness in the team, but I’m lucky to say that the team worked like a dream this year.

  • How would you improve SCI-Team & SUS relations?

There is no hard feelings between the SCI Team and SUS that I saw explicitly. We are two distinct groups both in terms of structure and mission, and I think we should be synergistic and not competitive. For example, SCI Team and SUS cooperate over peer academic coaching sessions, which was a great success.

One way to strengthen the relationship though, is that we could organize an ice-breaker for the SCI Team to meet with the SUS executives, so that we know who each other are, and potentially generate links for future collaboration.

  • What general advise do you have for this dude who wants to start up E-Team?

Engage the SCI Team members who served their full 2 years and are now retiring! They are eager to continue contributing to UBC, and imagine all that time and energy that they would find to spend outside SCI Team!

Also, we’d love to keep in touch with you. Like we said to Erin (the Engineering Student Development Officer), the SCI Team is looking forward to seeing the E Team grow and mature as fast as possible, so that we can have some fun with inter-faculty collaboration!

Further reading: SCI Team organizational structure.

Do you want the U-Pass next year?

This was brought to my attention this morning:

Although this has not been explicity stated by anyone, the U-PASS contract between UBC and Translink expires this year. There is an item on the referendum that asks the question:

Do you support a $1.75 increase in the monthly U-Pass fee?

What they DONT tell you is that if students do NOT support a $1.75 increase the U-Pass contract will not be continued next year. THIS IS NOT EXPLICITY STATED, but that will be the outcome of this vote if 10% of students do not vote YES to increasing the $1.75 fee.

Voting is from March 25-31 (get your calendars out right now and write it down). You can vote at any polling station (polling-stations.pdf) or you can vote online. Go to the SSC website https://ssc.adm.ubc.ca/sscportal/servlets/SRVSSCFramework and scroll down to the left hand column and choose WebVote. It takes less than 3 minutes.

Have you written the date in your agenda?

For more information on the U-Pass referendum, visit:
Forward this to your friends, even distance ed or Robson. If 10% of the students don’t vote YES then there is no U-Pass next year.

This is true. The AMS Referendum states: “The U-Pass will not continue if this referendum fails” and “Charge will now be $23.75/month, [$190/year]”

Now, how many times have I used the U-Pass in the past month?

Twice I think, to visit my Comp Sci mentor downtown and back. Or maybe three times, I went home on one weekend on the bus.

But in the summer I used it twice every weekday, commuting from home to work, so that adds up to $2.25 /trip * 2 trips/day * 5 days/week * 4 weeks/month = $90 / month. So the U-Pass was good for me then.

But I got an U-Pass at all only when I took two summer classes. This summer, I will have to pay my ass off for busses (or rip off from someone you said?)

So overall, I’ve lost hundreds of dollars on U-Pass since first year. But I’m sure lots of commuting students have saved more than students in residence lost. So it all comes down to:

Can we get 10% of the student body to vote YES for the U-Pass?

Keep in mind that we only got something like 7% of students to vote in the AMS election, despite tremendous amount of shameless pushing and dragging.

Apparently they care more about this referendum than the elections though, seeing how they’ve positioned the poll stations in prominent places like the busloop and such.

U-Pass, or no U-Pass? This is a question of money, politics, environment, and the lack of UBC student engagement.