Monthly Archives: March 2012

I Didn’t Win the Lottery

I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t believe it could happen when I held that ticket in my hand. Why not? It happens to some people, why couldn’t it be us? The reality is that we’re trapped by human nature. Most of us wish for things we don’t have. Why? Because we don’t have them. Think about it. Look around you and find something you really wanted to buy. How long did you stop caring about it after you bought it?

What would I have done with all that money? Pay my debt (insert three years of law school tuition here) and those of our families. I would have put money away for the college tuition of my kids, my little sister, and my wife’s little cousin. I would have given some away to people who needed it. Then I would have invested the rest. Oh wait, I would have taken my grandmother on a cruise. See, my grandmother grew up in poverty and never had much. Sometimes I’m bothered by the fact that my fridge has more food than she ever saw growing up. I’d like to give her a trip. A nice vacation. Though she’d probably be content with just having me around. Grandmothers…

The dream has ended though, and I’m back to real life. I think the Mrs. mentioned someone in Maryland scored. Good for them. They probably needed it more since they live in that state. Just kidding. Kind of.

-Mrs. This One

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On a Schedule

A lot has happen, yet my mind can think of so little at this point. It is almost midnight, so that may be a factor.

There are two days left on my spring break. I will be spending those two days interning. I don’t know about you, but I’d say this is the life, right? No, you’re right, I’d rather be in Lake Tahoe.

Here’s the thing though, life is really good right now. I can’t believe things worked out so well for us. After spending the last weekend in Orange County, I definitely saw myself living there. Either for the next three years or for the long term. Yes, I feel like I’ve betrayed every Democrat out there, but unfortunately one’s gotta make a living.

I’ve met so many people in the past few days. I’m learning again to network. I used to be good at it, then I got married and the rest of the world stop being important. But now that the rest of the world could give me a job after graduation, they matter again, a lot.

What’s next then? One more quarter at UCLA, graduation, the summer, then it’ll be moving day! Crazy, right?


Finals Season

If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to attend a university on the quarter system, you’d know that the saying “if you snooze, you lose” has never been truer. It feels like midterms happened last week. Now I’m already working on finals.

Thanks to the indecisiveness of one of my professors, I have a final paper due this coming Wednesday instead of Finals Week (which takes places next week). Due to the change coming so late in the term, I was unable to request time off from work. This is the beauty of being a working student.

Though I should admit that I am to blamed as well, I should have used my time wisely. I did catch up on some homework, met with a study group for a different class, AND applied to one of the scholarships in my list! Okay so maybe I haven’t been so terrible after all. All I got to do is keep reminding myself that after the next ten days, I will be checking into a hotel with my wife for Admitted Students Weekend. Not so terrible after all.

-Mrs. This One 


College Student Resume Tips [Revised]

After my dear fellow blogger, Deborah, posted “A Love Letter,” I had some thoughts of my own on essay writing and putting the best of you on paper. As I mentioned earlier, I am in the process of hunting and applying for scholarships. This comes just right after 20 applications for law school. Yes, I did say 20. Needless to say, I am not looking forward to more applications, but I could use a scholarship (or ten), so this is what I will be doing when I’m not working, studying, interning, or living.

A current resume is one of the most commonly asked components for scholarship applications. Because of this, I went through my current work and academic resumes. These happened to be the ones that I used for law school applications. My first diagnostic was: What was I thinking? There was nothing wrong per se with the resumes, but I didn’t connect with them. They didn’t make me look at them and think “wow!” I was a bit upset that I even let law school admissions staff look at them in the first place. But I suppose in the big scope of things, it didn’t matter all that much since I’m going to the school I wanted to go to anyway.

After some browsing on how to craft resumes, I was a bit confused as to what format was the right one to go with. So I decided to go with what I’d call the best advice I could give to any college student working on their resume: Keep it simple, clean, and professional.

I made my name bigger than anything else and centered it along with my contact information right below it. Then I added the different sections (i.e Education). I used font, bolding, italics, and capitalization in a way that would highlight what I considered to be important to grab the reader’s attention. The outcome: The best resumes I’ve ever come up with. I even felt as a more accomplished individual after printing them out.

Lastly, don’t you give up until you look at it and think “wow.”

Edit: Mine looks something like this:

Mrs. This One – Resume

-MTO

P.S. Thank you Deborah for writing such a beautiful post that made me try harder.


Teaching Assistant or Tough A-Giver?

I never knew of TAs (Teaching Assistants) until I came to UCLA. You know, graduate students who hold their own discussions in addition to the lecture, and most likely the person who will grade you throughout the course. It made sense. There’s no way a professor could handle a 300 student lecture on his own. And with the lack of funding, there’s no better way to offer your graduate students financial assistance than by making up a job for them, right? But what happens when this job comes at the detriment of other’s education?

I must say than in less than two years, I’ve been thankful to have met truly committed TAs who have been there to help their discussions as much as possible. But as in real life, there’s no good without the bad. I have come across two or three individuals who are so bitter about not getting an actual fellowship, that they take it on the students.

Student: “Hi, I noticed that you gave me an A- but didn’t quite comment as to why. Could you help me understand what I could do better for the next time?”
TA: “Your paper was great.”
Student: “I don’t follow.”
TA: You chose to go with X’s argument and I don’t personally agree with it. That’s why you didn’t get an A.”

Thankfully this exchange didn’t happen to me, but I know this TA in question. After all, I had to correct his flawed theories from time to time. This is the same TA who wouldn’t let me see my final to see what I did wrong in it.

I understand TAs though. Since we still haven’t heard about fellowships for my wife, she might end up becoming one of this miserable individuals. But I keep reminding her that she would have been an undergraduate once by the time she’s grading papers. I mean, both my wife and I understand how competitive it is to get into graduate and professional schools. Why ruin someone’s chances because of a personal bias?

I personally gave this TA a very sincere and detailed evaluation, including how he was inadequately prepared to aid us with the material he was supposed to be in charged of. Yet, he doesn’t seem to be listening. My classmate will be taking this matter to the supervising professor next week and I sure hope he does something about it.

-Mrs. This One.


We’re Separating

How to begin without ending? Though I love knowing where I’m going this coming fall, I must admit it sucks a bit to be stuck where I am now. Next week I’ll start my second-to-last round of finals. Then one more quarter and I will be done.

After that, the Mrs. and I will be separating. Unfortunately, we decided against one of us commuting. So instead, we will go back to having two places. With Irvine being the primary one. This is really weird to think about. I can’t even begin to picture how lonely I’m going to feel. I know we’ll be too busy to think about it, but who are we kidding? This will be a big sacrifice. But at least we’ll be doing it together.

I am now in this place of in-betweenness. Wanting it to be fall, but dreading it with all my heart. You can’t win them all, right?

-Mrs. This One


Searching for Free Money

The thoughts of interests accruing in student loans I haven’t gotten yet have haunting me since before I even took the LSAT. Isn’t it crazy to think that the money you spend on a degree could have gotten you a house? I suppose you could say that you cannot put a price on education, but it seems to me that this is exactly what universities keep doing.

Although I received a merit scholarship from the school, and I will probably get a small need-based grant as well, this does not even begin to cover the half of it. So here I am, searching for more scholarships.

So far I have compiled a nice little list of scholarships I will be elegible to apply for. The hardest part was to get the recommendation letters, but to my surprise, the three professors I asked were happy to do it- and I only needed two nods! Now I will devote my time to essay writing. Easy, one may think, until one realizes that there some of them even require you to write five essays (yes, five!).

My only confidence problem is that I haven’t been able to win a scholarship in about two years now. Sure, I didn’t try as hard as I’m planning to try now- but it does make me wonder whether it would all be worth it.

Only time can tell, right?

-Mrs. This One.


Senior Thoughts

Go Bruins!

Tonight we went to the UCLA vs. Washington State basketball game. Although it may come as a surprise to several Sports Illustrated staff, we actually won this game with enough room to let the benchwarmers take a few shots. As a student season holder, I got to sing, cheer, yell, clap, and smile to what may have been my last UCLA basketball game as an undergraduate student. I even dare to say that there was something particularly special about the bacon-wrapped hot dog I had during half time.

If you’ve read enough of us you’d know that I’ve never claimed to have had an awesome undergraduate career. Tonight I saw this part of my life with new eyes. It may not have been great but it was mine. I’ve been made a Bruin, and I will die a Bruin. Maybe I didn’t get to change to the world yet, but perhaps this was my starting point. Tonight I felt young, even though I know I’m aging quickly. The Los Angeles Sports Arena may not be our actual home, but for some reason it sure felt like it.

Moving to a new city, going to a new school, I don’t think I’ve understood this well until now. It is the beginning of something exciting, of something I’ve been wanting for so long. But if I’m beginning something, that means I’m also ending something else, leaving it behind.

It went by so damn quickly.

Life goes on whether you want it or not. It doesn’t let you catch a breath or take a minute to rest. If I stop everything around me will go on and I will have to catch up to it. Maybe I’ve finally caught up with the situation at hand.

I’m a Bruin for life.

-Mrs. This One


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