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ALMOST DONE [Dec. 7th, 2009]
i have a test (NOT a cumulative final) on wednesday and a paper (only 5 pages) due on thursday and then i'm DONEDONEDONE because i have no finals during finals week (hell yes)... all the ridiculous amounts of group work during the semester was worth it because i am done a week before many of my friends :) i'm so excited to go home and relax. and we're having a christmas party tonight which will be very fun, especially because we're all dressing up :)

AND i'm going to LA on the 7th of january til the 12th when i'm flying back to berkeley. my roommate is going to show me all around hollywood and we might get into disneyland for free.. i'm excited

[Sep. 24th, 2009]
i just sent this as an email to my family, but i thought i'd post it here too. it's probably really jumbled and my thoughts are kind of all over the place (it's late.. i have a ton of lab stuff due tomorrow haha) but here it is anyways:

I just came back from a two hour teach-in given in Wheeler Hall by five professors here at Berkeley about the purpose of the UC wide walk-out tomorrow on the 24th, the problems behind the budget crisis in California and the UC, and what we as students, faculty, staff, citizens, etc. can do about these problems. It was very informative to hear well though-out, fact based, intellectual speeches about these issues. I wanted to write to you to tell you about the walk out because I'm not sure who knows about it/how much coverage it has gotten outside of the university. I know there are a lot of misconceptions about it, like that the professors are only participating because they have been given furloughs, and while this may be true for some, I now know from experience that there are many passionate faculty members here who want to support the university and it's students. Integrative Biology Professor Kevin Padian, city and regional planning Professor Ananya Roy, political science Professor Wendy Brown, public policy Professor Robert Reich, and dance, theater, and performing arts Professor Catherine Cole were on the panel, and each spoke passionately about the problems they saw in the situation. I wanted to let you all know what was going on because as they all said, one of the goals of tomorrow is to raise awareness in the public. If the public remains uninformed and nothing is done in the upcoming statewide elections, the university will continue to become privatized and lose its standing as the number one public university in the nation.

Just some quick facts that I find startling:
Currently, it is proposed to increase student fees by 32% by fall of 2010, starting with 15% next semester. If I heard correctly tonight, this would mean that our fees will have doubled in the past five years. This is on top of the $800 increase that took place this semester. When will tuition fees stop increasing?
In 1990, the state provided the university with 75% of its budget. Now, it provides 25%. This number continues to decrease.

Here are some helpful links where you can read more from more informed people about the crisis:

And I really recommend that you watch this video:

This is Professor Ananya Roy speaking about the budget crisis. She is one of the professors I heard tonight, and I constantly hear from friends who have taken her classes that she is one of the best professors they have ever had. Tonight, she really emphasized how much the middle class will suffer from these budget cuts and fee increases, and how much the student body's diversity will suffer by attracting more wealthy students and fewer low income students.

All of the problems I've mentioned and many that I haven't are my reasons for participating in the walk-out with my professors tomorrow. Until tonight I wasn't sure about how I felt about the walk-out, how necessary it was, or how influential it could be, but hearing from all of the passionate speakers tonight convinced me that being involved is important, and getting the public of California is important as well. Changing the budget crisis in the UC involves many factors, but one of the most important is mobilizing voters in 2010 to change the ridiculous 2/3 majority rule set up by Prop 13 in 1978. Requiring a 2/3 majority to pass budget changes means a minority rule in which a person's vote in the minority is worth twice that of a person's vote in the majority, and that is unacceptable.

awkwardness [Jun. 26th, 2009]
so, my least favorite part about going to the gym at home is seeing people from high school that i haven't seen/talked to since graduation and then being awkward. just throwing that out there. tara, you're basically the only person i see at the gym that i don't feel awkward seeing. haha

also i think i'm going to go to physical therapy at kaiser for my hip. i really really hope it helps because it's been getting worse.

also if anyone who is reading this wants to see transformers with me you should let me know

now that's what i call a success [May. 20th, 2009]
used the final to raise my biology grade from a D to a C. HELL YES! passed! i raised my grade a letter grade!! i am so happy :)

[Dec. 19th, 2008]
finals week is over

i probably did not do very well

but at least i survived.

;alksdfj [Dec. 14th, 2008]
i hate finals. i hate rain during finals which makes it that much harder to motivate myself to go to the library. i hate finals that start at 8 am in the morning. on wednesday, when i have my 8am ochem final, i am going to get up at 5am, go to starbucks, drink a very large amount of coffee and add some things to my short term memory, take my final, and crash. it's going to be oooohhh soooo much fun. ughughugh. :(

and now i'm going to go study physics. hopefully.

never, ever, ever take ochem and physics together.

[Nov. 5th, 2008]
i am so excited that the country came out in historical amounts to elect Obama by such a huge margin. it really is incredible, and even though 8 passing was horrible, i still am so excited. berkeley was such an amazing place to be last night. i just wish that this week wasn't the school week from hell, because it's really interfering with my joy. i'm currently running on 4 hours of sleep. it's exciting. not.

on another note,

i am honestly surprised that 8 passed. i knew it would be close but i didn't think that it would, and i am so disappointed by it. how could people be so blind? even disregarding personal feelings about gay people, it's just not right to have a law governing who can be married and who can't. i just don't understand how people can justify a yes vote without bringing religion into their argument, and the separation of church and state is (or should be) one of the fundamental grounds of our government according to the constitution. i just don't understand it. and did you know that arkansas passed a law banning gay couples from adopting children? i just don't understand. and how could people be so cruel and hateful? i know that most people are scared of what they don't know or find strange, but i can't fathom wanting to take away a fundamental right from a huge group of people. californians basically labeled gay people as second class citizens yesterday. as did arksanians. and another state that i can't remember that also passed a ban on gay marriage.

i know i'm preaching to the choir here (haha..ironic) but honestly, i just don't understand what goes on in the minds of voters. being in berkeley really shelters me from anti-gay sentiments though, i hadn't even seen a yes on prop 8 sign until i went home/to apple hill a few weeks ago. i was amazed at how many there were.

i just really hate intolerance. and i don't understand it.

hmm [Oct. 3rd, 2008]
the chemistry midterm was ridiculously hard last night. i'm kind of terrified to see what i got. it was seriously 20 pages long and we only had 90 minutes. annika's first chem 3a midterm was 8 pages long and they had 2 hours. and that stuff is nowhere near as hard as 3b stuff. i pretty much hate my professor. who gives a test like that? nobody that i know actually finished. ridiculous. and, to top it off, the second question was written incorrectly in a way that completely messed me up because i thought i understood it and was trying to answer it but according to the way it was worded i was wrong, and so i spent a bunch of time trying to figure out what the hell was going on, and then more than halfway into the test a professor comes in and says that the question was wrong and it should be this way, and it turns out i was right all along. waste. of. time. i could not believe it. ugh i hate chemistry.

i tied my soccer game 1-1. i hate ties. 0-0 ties are okay, but ties with scoring just piss me off.

my parents are coming tomorrow. which should be good.

holy crap [Jun. 28th, 2007]
the spice girls are going on a world tour. they will be LA and Las Vegas.


just a little tid bit [Feb. 14th, 2007]
"dating relationships are a little different because they may include physical affection, like hugging, kissing, or holding hands."


we had fun in advocacy. if you didn't read it and make fun you most definitely missed out.


they do know we're in high school, right?

just tell me which way you like that [Feb. 12th, 2007]
must be my futuresex/lovesound

ohh my god i have a fascination with justin timberlake and futuresex/lovesounds

therese and i were talking today about how it's funny that we like him, and christina aguilera's new music (cuz we do) and how we used to like them when we were like 10. i think they're the only people to have made good music lately from like the past teen pop stuff we used to like.

homecoming dresses [Jan. 24th, 2007]
should i wear this

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

or this

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

i think i'm leaning toward the first one, because the first time i wore it it was severely overshadowed by the big hair fiasco of 2004. haha.

HAHAHA [Jan. 5th, 2007]
an update on taylor:

she deleted the comment where she called me stupid.


teehee [Dec. 19th, 2006]
i watched drive me crazy on comedy central today.. i forgot how corny it was. haha. anyways.. i like this:

Nicole: Who we making jealous?
Chase: Everyone Nicole... everyone

stolen from chelsie [Dec. 17th, 2006]
it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but oh well.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, soccerkicksx sent to me...
Twelve songs star-gazing
Eleven stars voting
Ten dreams a-cuddling
Nine carbs cloud-watching
Eight tomatoes a-reading
Seven democrats a-sleeping
Six pirates a-driving
Five ci-i-i-ivil liberties
Four roller coasters
Three foreign accents
Two ipod commercials
...and a justice in a being silly.
Get your own Twelve Days:

ahhhhh [Dec. 15th, 2006]
8 hours and 25 minutes.

the suspense is killing meeeeee

AHHH!! [Nov. 25th, 2006]
someone hacked my myspace last night and i don't know whoooo! they kept posting bulletins that said "i love you baby. kiss me baby" and they left a comment on this one random guy's picture that said "cutie<3" and of course he thought it was me. so now i can't be like oh that wasn't me because that would be sad. and i don't understand how this happened because i never am stupid enough to put my password in one of those fake window things. plus this is different because they didn't post bulletins like "go to this website!"

gaaaah! i'm scared of who else they may have commented..

psh whatev. [Nov. 21st, 2006]
it seems that everyone has a boyfriend and i am stuck here all alone in singleness land.



quotes?? [Nov. 6th, 2006]
"if you can't laugh at yourself, life's gonna seem a whole lot longer than you like"

"it is on our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top"

"the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, tangled, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing"

"so make the best of this task and don't ask why. it's not a question, but a lesson learned in time"

"it's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right. i hope you had the time of your life"

"She laughed - a laugh that began way back in her throat as a soft bubbling, and then it rolled and curled out of her mouth and into the air until it wrapped the trees and the bushes."

essays! lots and lots of essays! [Oct. 31st, 2006]
One of the places where I can clear my mind is on the soccer field. Soccer has been one of the dominant aspects of my life since I began playing at the age of seven. No matter what is happening outside of my soccer team, once a game or practice begins, my stress is relieved for a short aount of time. When high school started, soccer became more important than ever. It helps me manage any amount of stress that I have because I can get exercise and concentrate on something outside of schoolwork, or high school in general. I love that when I am on the field, I only have to focus on the game. I am a competitive person, and the soccer field is a good place for me to use my competitiveness well. Playing soccer has added to my life in many ways.
Being on different teams over the years has provided me with the opportunity to meet and form connections with other people that I would not have met otherwise. Being teammates often forms strong bonds because playing soccer at any level requires a serious commitment to one’s teammates. This aspect of the game helped me realize the importance of working with others from an early age. I have been able to take this lesson from the soccer field and apply it to other aspects of my life. Academics as well as soccer requires a certain amount of cooperation in order to be truly successful. This knowledge has been a significant factor in my success in school, and I am confident that it will also be an important aspect of my career success as well.

At the end of my sophomore year of high school, I went to the Davis Model United Nations Conference with my history instructor, and learned a lot about how the United Nations works. I attended the conference in my junior year as well, and at both conferences, I was in a classroom filled with highly competitive, highly intelligent students. Each of us represented a different country, and our committee goals were to draft resolutions which would help solve world issues. Even though the resolutions we wrote were only effectual inside our classroom, I learned how the United Nations can have an influence in the world. I find the idea of a large body of countries working together to solve world issues to be exciting. I believe that while the United States of America is a strong, great country, many Americans do not tend to think about the rest of the world and the impact we could have on it. The United Nations could be one of the most influencial bodies in the world, and could be used to make the world a better place. Unfortunately, I believe that many countries neglect this fact. While America does participate in the United Nations, we could have a much more active role in it. We could use that role to help change the world, rather than trying to do so on our own. The institution needed to change the world is in place, but countries must collectively decide to use it for that purpose. Discussing how to do so is especially interesting because their are so many different opinions on the matter.

One area I have strong opionions in is politics. I love to talk to anyone about what is happening in the world and the country. My friend Leigh-Anne Borkowski and I share a lot of the same opinions and passions about poltiics, and by the end of our sophomore year, we felt that our school was missing a place where our peers could meet and discuss political opinions. At first, we were considering starting a school branch of the Young Democrats of America, but we soon realized that that club would be too exclusive. We then had the idea of beginning a school branch of the Junior State of America, a nation-wide organization that holds conferences and other such things for young people interested in politics. Leigh-Anne and I were determined to follow through on our idea, so we took it to our history teacher, Mr. Graham. Mr. Graham thought the idea was a good one, and told us what steps we needed to take in order for the club to become supported by the school. We then followed those steps, and in our junior year, the first year the club was official, we held meetings once a week in which we debated political issues, such as war and abortion. I chose to run for Vice-President of the club and was elected by my peers because I have a lot of ideas for the club’s direction. Although it was not easy to set up a brand new club, I am very glad that I had a part in it because I feel that the club is very beneficial to our school. We continue to hold bi-weekly meetings in which anyone who wants to attend can participate in friendly debates. I am always actively involved in the debates because I like to talk about the opinions I have about the world.

The most prominent influences on my life have been the people involved in it, be they family, friends, or acquaintances. However, some people have been much larger factors in shaping who I am. Two of the most important people in my life are Therese Marucci and Laura Kroeger, to whom I owe a lot of my success and accomplishments. Therese and Laura have been in my life since kindergarten, which is almost longer than I can remember. In fact, I was so young when our friendship began that I have limited memories of the first few years of it. That is why the photograph I treasure most is of the three of us holding hands at the Sacramento County Zoo on a kindergarten class field trip. The picture reminds me of my two best friends, and how long they have been in my life. A lot has changed since the picture was taken. All three of us have grown taller, our hair has changed, and our faces have matured. What you cannot see, however, is how our personalities have grown and changed in the past twelve years.
Throughout elementary school, Therese, Laura, and I were often inseparable. We each had a few good friends, but our bond is the only one that has been strong enough to last through to high school. The three of us have survived many changes, on eof the larger ones being Laura attending a private high school instead of Center High School, where Therese and I went after the eighth grade. Our friendship’s survival of this separation proved that we really are the best of friends. Because Therese and Laura have remained a huge part of my life for so long, they have become one of the biggest influences on it. Throughout the years, the two have been my support, competition, and second family. I have never been afraid of new challenges because I have always known that Therese and Laura would be with me no matter what. In many cases, I have risen to the top because they push me, whether it be subconsciously or knowingly, to get there. I owe many of my accomplishments to the fact that Therese and Laura have been with me for practically my whole life.
The fact that I know Therese and Laura are always behind me, no matter what, gives me confidence to reach for everything I want. I am not afraid to leave my home and start a new life in college because I know that my best friends are no more than a phone call away. I have confidence in my ability to succeed in college because I know that if I ever need extra support, I have two dependable girls to turn to. I am confident that our connection will remain because it has already survived numerous changes and challenges, including the passage of over twelve years since we first met.
The impact Therese and Laura have had on my life is immeasurable. Without these two girls, I would have become a much different person. They have kept me grounded throughout the years. They provide me with enough confidence and support to go forth with everything I do. The support that Therese and Laura give me does not come without return, though. They both know I am always available for them, no matter what, because I have always told them this. Having Therese and Laura in my life has not only provided me with extra support, but has also taught me how to be a supportive friend. My affinity for meeting new people is in large part due to their presence in my life. Twelve years of close friendship does not come without work, and the work that the three of us have put into our bond shows in the fact that we are all very capable of forming bonds with others. I know that being outgoing in order to form new friendships is one of the most important qualities I have, and the influence of Therese and Laura in my life has largely made me confident enough to do so.
I know that leaving my home for college is going to be a challenge. I am going to have to meet new people and begin a new phase in my life. While this thought is sometimes overwhelming, I am not afraid of the challenge ahead of me. I am ready for a different routine and different people in my life. My confidence is in part due to the fact that I have Therese and Laura in my life. No matter how far apart we are, I know they will always be behind me. We have a bond that’s stronger than most friendships between people our age, a bond that is hard to describe in words. Somehow I can feel that no matter what happens in our lives, the three of us will always be able to pick up where we left off. The picture that I have of us as four and five year olds at the zoo in kindergarten reminds me of that bond. It is one of my most treasured possessions right now, and when I leave home, it is going to become more important. Anytime I need to, I can look at that picture and know that I have two girls behind me that will never fail to support me.

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