Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I have arrived!

Saying goodbye is always hard especially to the two located below.

My dog Morgan was very depressed to see me packing and leaving :(

My niece Sofia came to see me one last time before I moved away. I won't see her for over a month so that is hard because she is growing up so quickly!

I arrived in Milwaukee last night. It was a very long drive from my town in central MN. My car was so packed I couldn’t even see out of my back windshield. I prayed I wouldn’t back into someone the whole way. The longer into the drive the more I questioned why I chose to move to Milwaukee and have such a boring and long drive. When I arrived in Milwaukee I was too excited to go to the hotel so I drove by Kenilworth just to see my future home since I had never actually seen it. I then meandered to the hotel where I am staying a few days before I can move into my apartment. While in the hotel flights back home were only 108 round trip instead of the usual 150 + so I pathetically booked my flight home immediately upon arrival for homecoming at undergrad.

Very Full Car

My copilot for the trip.

This morning was filled with a trip to campus for work orientation and field orientation for my social work program. Work orientation was mostly filled with paper work and then we went over how to take attendance for the SI sessions. Not really exciting things. After that I went over to my field orientation which was long and boring. I still do not know where I am interning yet, but it will be in one of the Milwaukee public schools.
After orientations were done I set off to get my ID card and UPass. That was pretty easy to do since I knew where the buildings were. After finishing all of my tasks on campus I went to go back to my car. Except of course, I didn’t remember exactly where the pay lot was. I decided to just wander one way and basically made a huge circle around campus and then some. It was a balmy 95 degrees so I was ecstatic after I finally found my car which ended my 35 minutes search. Let’s just say it was a nice little tour of the campus.
My mom arrived today and we went on a little adventure through Milwaukee so she could see the university and my apartment building. We decided to go to Walmart since I needed to get a few things before moving in. The Walmart was an experience to say the least. I learned that if you want a cart you must bring your own in from the parking because there were none inside, they were all already taken.
After that we went to an AMAZING restaurant called Antigua which served all sorts of Latino dishes. I have been craving empanadas, a meat pie per say for awhile so I was so excited to have them for dinner. The restaurant was just wonderful and it reminded me so much of when I lived in Chile. It’s behind Miller Park and you should check it out!

My delicious empanadas :)

Tomorrow involved more work orientation, hopefully not losing my car and actually moving in. I am excited to be able to move in since it’s not so fun living in a hotel.

Day 4

For anyone who ever told me that high school would be the best four years of my life...you suck. I love the idea of college. I love BEING in college. I can come and go as I please, hang out with friends whenever and wherever I want, and I don't have to worry about keeping my room as clean as my mom always wanted it to be. Mind you, I don't come into my room and just throw things all over, and everything has it's place, but I don't have to make my bed if I don't want to and I can keep things wherever I want. That wasn't the case back at home.
I love the fact that there's ALWAYS something going on here. You could ride up and down in the elevators in the Sandburg towers and you're pretty much guaranteed to find something happening in one of the lounge areas. Here in North Tower, 15th floor has an activity almost every night. One night I went up there and watched Mean Girls with them and then we split into 2 groups and one played Apples to Apples and the other played BananaGrams.
My roommate and I had our first adventure on the bus yesterday. We went over to the Walmart on Capital to get a few things. Word of advice - NEVER bring a pack of soda (or "pop" for those of you not from Wisconsin :P) onto the bus. We bought a 24 pack and had to hold it while waiting for the bus back and then on the way back, the bus stopped early and we had to get out and walk 2 blocks. Worst choice of my life.
Overall, it's been a great couple of days. I'm not really looking forward to classes - I still haven't walked around to find them all! But I'm sure I'll figure it out!

First Day at UWM!

Today was my first day on campus! I drove to Milwaukee last night and stayed in a hotel with my family. We spent the night looking around the town and ended up eating at The Cheesecake Factory, just a few miles away from school. It was so delicious, especially the Godiva cheesecake, YUM! I moved into my new room this morning. I was a bit nervous because I have been hearing horror stories about everyone trying to move in at the same time and horrible things happening. I found it to be quite the opposite. When I got here, I got out of the car to go get my picture taken, key, and some free food too. My mom went to the parking garage to park the car and start unloading my stuff. I was pretty nervous that we would only have one hour to move everything into my room, after all, I'm a girl and I have a lot of stuff. I fit everything on the carts I was given and only had to make one trip up, and I even got on the first elevator within two minutes! Hows that for customer service?

After moving in my mom really wanted to go see Miller Park and get some pictures. Even though I am a photographer, I thought I would be funny and snap some good ones for her. She didn't find out until she got home that this was all that was on her camera.

Can you see the stadium? It is right there, under my left foot!

Good thing my mom loves me so much (or I would be in a lot of trouble)!

Moving in was so much more pleasant than I could have ever imagined! I am trying to get all unpacked but I will upload some pictures of what my Sandburg single looks like in the next few days. I did not bring enough storage so everything is laying all over my floor.

I have already made some new friends here on campus and its only my first day! Tomorrow we will have a floor meeting with our Resident Advisor so we can meet other people on our floor, go over some rules, and ask any questions. I am not sure what else we will do at this meeting but I am looking forward to it. I thought I would feel like a fish out of water here, since I am transferring from such a small and private college. I have realized that its really what you make it. If you want to sit in your room alone and shut the door it may feel like a big school, but if you go out and make friends and meet people it won't feel so overwhelming anymore!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

All Moved In

Well Milwaukee, as unsure about getting here as I was I've been here since 9:30 yesterday morning. I'm moved in, I got some awesome sleep after a day where I didn't get any, and I'm getting used to being away from home. I woke up and packed up the last of my things at 6:30 Saturday morning and my family and I were out of my house a little before 8. Driving to Milwaukee from Madison always feels a lot longer than it actually is, especially when I stayed up way too late Skypeing(correct spelling?) with my girlfriend who is spending the end of her summer with her family in Vancouver. So four hours of sleep later, I find it impossible to sleep in my parent's car. We get into the city and make our way off of the freeway. Several wrong turns later we pull up to Riverview. I ran inside to get my key, mailbox combination, and other things. I then met my parents downstairs and headed up to my room and got all my stuff unloaded.

My roommate had already moved in due to working for campus security so I set my stuff down, made my bed, hung up my shirts and pow! There it was, an hour later I had the stuff I wanted my parents to help me with done and we headed over to the Pick n' Save across the street. I got some snacky stuff as well as a box of Easy Mac and a couple cans of soup, just in case I don't feel like eating in the dining hall. We headed down to the Union and picked up my books, which were all ready for pick up, which was pretty awesome. After that we drove around the area for half an hour finding somewhere to eat. We ended up going to Hooligan's Super Bar. It's right on the corner of North and, I think, Ivanhoe. Needless to say it was pretty good, I'd go back there some time if I have enough money.

After finishing lunch we headed back and my parents helped me bring up the "groceries" to my room. After a few minutes I walked them downstairs and said goodbye to them. My mom was a little teary-eyed, as expected. I tried to humor her so she wouldn't feel so bad, but it doesn't always work. I headed back up to my room, talked to my roommate and attempted to get the internet connection going. Three hours and one less than helpful phone call to the computer system people later I finally got my connection up and running. I assume this is because everyone was trying to connect at the same time, major flaw in the system.

I walked around downstairs checking out the building and attempting to open my mailbox, a failure but I'll get it, for a bit and headed upstairs due to simply being exhausted. I took the rest of the night to relax and Skype with my girlfriend, probably for way too long, but hey, what are you gonna do? I've found that she's a pretty damn solid person to confide in and talk to without holding things back, that'll happen after four years. There I am talking to her until I'm about ready to pass out to exhaustion and I get to sleep. It was the best sleep I've had in months. Sure, the beds not as big as I'm used to but it was a lot more comfortable than I expected. So I wake up the next morning and see it's 9 o'clock. I said to myself, "I'm not getting up, I'm getting back to sleep." Perhaps this wasn't the best decision due to having one hell of a really weird dream.

I woke up around eleven today and just hung out in my pajamas seeing as I was feeling a little less than wanting to go walk around due to homesickness. I started to get my computer set up, but gave up on that after a while. I Skyped my girlfriend again and we passed the time by talking and playing games. Let me tell you boys and girls, Oregon Trail is a fun game to compete against people with. If you're interested here's the link for you. It's a real throwback to being a kid.

Anyways, I decided I'd go take a shower. It was a little small, and it did take me a few minutes to figure out the hot/cold thing but it felt pretty nice. As expected the water pressure wasn't as high as I'm accustomed to, but it's still better than the place I stayed in New York a few years ago. Anyone whose seen the episode of Seinfeld knows what I'm talking about. I felt exactly like Kramer.

Here's a room tour of Riverview, through pictures!

The closet space is pretty nice, more than enough room for me to hang my shirts.

The dresser is pretty nice, although I didn't have much to put in the drawers.

I didn't have to raise my bed more than a couple notches above where it already was in order to store my stuff under it. I've got about six decent sized boxes and a big storage tub so it's a really good place to put your things.

Two posters I brought from home to remind me of some inside jokes as well as just being entertaining movies.

And finally my desk where I am currently sitting and typing this up. It's pretty nice a spacious so I can toss random stuff and still be able to see the portrait of Dwight that was drawn by my girlfriend. If you couldn't tell I really like my girlfriend, hah.

Anyways, that's in for now. I'm still getting used to the place and I'll eventually plot out how to get to my classes before Thursday, probably tomorrow or Tuesday.

The Dude abides.

My Humble Abode!

My Humble Adobe from Kelly Kloth on Vimeo.

Reasons to learn Chinese

(you should study Chinese)

I know this is completely random, but I figured now, before classes start, would be as good a time as any to try to convince you to add Chinese to your schedule. I'm not sure if Chinese is full yet or not, but you could always just go to Chinese and add it when someone drops it out of fear, because they will ;)

1. It's pretty impressive to be able to talk to Chinese people in Chinese, even just a little.
2. The grammar is SUPER simple, I kid you not. Always put time first because it's most important.. "I'm having dinner tonight" would be written "tonight I am having dinner"
3. There are no tenses or genders or any of that nonsense, it's very pictorial.
4. Questions are grammatically simple. "You are a dad" turns into "Are you a dad?" simply by adding a question word ("ma") on the end of the original statement... So your sentence would literally translate to- "You are dad 'ma'?" This works with pretty much every question.
5. You do have to spell things correctly in pinyin form- 你好 is ni hao. But this is just a way to spell things out in letters so they can be sounded out, there are no spelling tricks.
6. You will be incredible memorization skills after you take it. I promise you that.
7. It sounds really cool when you start speaking in dialogues and it looks really cool once you start writing short responses from memory.
8. You'll occasionally be able to tell when someone's tattoo is incomplete or grammatically incorrect, even if they have no idea. Or if it's just plain embarrassing and ridiculous.
9. Chinese professors are generally pretty awesome.
10. It's a very sing-songy beautiful language with the intonations.
11. Around 20% of the world speaks various dialects of it. I'd recommend simplified Mandarin if you're going to learn Chinese. Cantonese seems to be the other big dialect.
12. Awesome people take Chinese; the longer you take it the more awesome people you will meet!
13. Time is also simple. Put it in order from biggest to smallest unit- year, month, day, part of day...
14. Once you know your numbers you know your months!- month one, month two, month three... For instance February (my birthday) is the second month. 二 means two. 月 means moon (month). So February is 二月. It's just that simple!
15. Once you know your numbers you also know your days of the week- day one, day two, day three.
16. Numbers are simple-ish 一二三四五六七八九十 See how 一 has 1 line, has 2 lines, 三 has 3 lines, 四 looks like a mustache in a box, 五 kind of looks like and upside down 5 if you squint, and 七 looks like an upside down 7? Ah yes, not so bad. 十 is 10 and if you want to make a number like 12 it is simply a matter of combining the two- 十二 Easier than Spanish I tell you!!
17. If you are a visual/audio learner, like me, then this is the perfect language for you!
18. Periods look cool, they look like a tiny soap bubble- 。

People often ask me why I took 2 semesters of Chinese in the first place. They wonder if I have some secret interest in the culture or if I am planning a trip there. Nope! I just didn't want to take Spanish anymore and I needed a foreign language for college applications :-) I still have no plans of traveling to Chinese or putting the language to use, but I'm still glad I took it.

Chinese is mostly just time consuming memorization and it's hard to catch back up if at any point you start slacking, so if you are taking it make sure you have the motivation/time to really dedicate yourself to it.

Hope move-in is going well for everyone! The back of my dad's truck is filling up and I am almost done. Tomorrow is the big day! If there isn't room for my bike I will just ride across the entire state of Wisconsin (and part of Minnesota) alongside my parent's truck on the highway. Just kidding!.... although I did just buy that helmet, maybe we could rig something with a water skiing rope? ;-) ha.


Move In/First Day

Yesterday was close to one of the best days of my life. I was up early due to anticipation. My grandparents came over around 8:15, we started loading things in the truck and car, and left at 8:30. It was goodbye Oconomowoc, HELLO MILWAUKEE!
While we were waiting to get in the parking garage, I went in and got my key and information and met my mom and grandparents in the garage. The carts, I have to say, were smaller than I thought they'd be. But we got all my stuff up to my room with 3 carts. I had planned on lofting my bed, so we set that up, but the way the room was set up, there was just no way to do it and be able to get on my bed or even have any room. I then had to play the waiting game for my roommate to get here and see if she would be okay with bunking. Her dad helped us get the loft down and bunk the beds, so much thanks to him! That was an adventure just in itself, and then my roommate went out to eat with her parents and I stayed behind and started unpacking. Who knew unpacking would take so long?! Too much stuff - not enough space. I feel like I spent a good hour or two of the six or seven hours unpacking just shifting things around, not really putting anything away.
Eventually we both got everything done. We met up with some of my roommate's older friends from Purin and went to Noodles. We came back and visited a couple people's rooms and then my roommate and I were going to just kick back and watch some Mean Girls for the rest of the night and then crash, except a guy from the floor above us came and hung out instead and then we ended up going to watch a movie with him and his friend in his room.
We came back, awkwardly set up my bedset, and hit the hay.
Overall, it was a really good day. The funniest thing is I spent a good portion of the day (after unpacking) worrying about meeting people - worried I'd be too awkward or weird or not talk enough. Looks like I had nothing to worry about. I've already met a handful of new people who are all really fun.
Another thing that was funny was that I had this preconceived idea of how my roommate was going to be, and she's definitely way cooler.
I can only hope that everyone's move in/first day was/is as good as mine was!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Jenna- I'm All Moved In!!

So I am all moved in to Cambridge Commons!! The whole entire process was really smooth and efficient! I had to enter the building to check in while my family parked in the parking garage. I had to get my picture taken and sign an agreement. I also got some very cool info on the shuttle and the buses. I then met up with my family. I was surprised to see that they had 4 carts and informed me that that was everything! Needless to say I was quite shocked that all of my stuff fit! Getting it into my room was a whole other story!

My move in appointment was before any of my other roommates so I was able to unpack all of my things and put them away without having to worry about crowding out my roommate. After lugging all the boxes onto my side of the room, we went to the grocery store to stock up on some food. With the cafeteria not being open, it was a slight inconvenience, but the staff is doing their best at accommodating students needs.

After the grocery store I was able to unpack my stuff and start to get organized. I decided to loft my bed to give myself more room, and boy, am I glad that I did!! I will post a few pictures of what it looks like. Please remember it's a work in process. :] I still have a lot of things that have yet to find their permanent home, but I am so glad to be living in the residence halls! I will keep you updated as to how my week is going. Best of luck to all that are moving in!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Last few days of summer...

This summer has been amazing. Lots of great memories- new friends, bonfires, zombie tag in the park in the middle of the night, dissecting a sheep's brain to study structures for anatomy & physiology 2, and firework creations (both successful ones and unsuccessful ones).

And now for an update- I, the great procrastinator, finally got everything on my packing list together(!!), just have to get the last bits of it in boxes. I spent most of today at the mall with an old friend, hanging out and having fun, and as fate would have it I ran into friends of mine in every store we walked into… I’m going to miss that, but maybe someday some portion of Milwaukee will be that way for me, I hope.

Oh and my older sister's home visiting me one last time before I move! Yay! I love having my whole family here and together :-)

Anyway, I thought I’d show you guys a few new things I bought for the new school year-

First off we have... *que silent screams* :-D

Next off, I decided that after owning a bike for 10+ years it was due time I became a safe biker... So I bought this shiny new hat!

Third, I bought 3 new (actually old, they're a couple of his earliest albums...) Billy Joel cds... I always have, and always will, adore Billy Joel music.

If you do not know who Billy Joel is or you have not heard his music, Tina kindly requests that you urgently fix that.

Happy last few days of summer!


Welcome Residents

Move-in weekend is finally here!! Everyone has waited so long for this day and now there will be many more people here. It sure was nice to be living in Cambridge Commons with about only 30 people for two weeks, but now it's time for some more residents to fill up the rooms and add some more life to this beautiful building. Hopefully everyone has packed what they needed and checked their lists of things they needed over and over, because it is a pain to leave something at home.

I personally left some of my laptop stuff at home, and other little things. I also forgot to buy some stuff like a mirror for my door, and a tack board, and other items that will help me get through the new school year.

Also, don't pack too much. I've already went through my boxes and found that there were items I brought with me that I don't need right now, or just little objects I would much rather keep at home. Now I have to make the trip back home this weekend to drop it all back off and then pick up the other things I forgot.

So please, make it all easy on yourselves and pack correctly!!

When you come here, make sure to move in as fast as you can, but don't rush yourselves too much. You only have so much time in the parking garage to get everything out of your car and onto carts. Pile your boxes into your rooms and then unpack.

Finally, when you get all settled in, make sure to see who your neighbors are, where the kitchen is, where the trash/recycling room is, the lounges, and to practice opening your mailbox.

Please respect everyone working that day as well. We are all here to do our job and to make move-in day(s) as fun and as smooth as possible. I'll even be working at the front desk from 7-10am on Saturday the 28th, so please come say "Hi!!"

Happy moving and I can't wait for people to finally be here!!

Packing & Moving Out

I hear a lot from people about how hard it is packing the things you need, I couldn't find it anything but the opposite. I managed to get together 3/4ths of my things today. The only thing left for me to do is laundry and get all that packed in. I've learned from this situation that what I've heard is mostly sensationalism. Here's some helpful tips to live by:

  1. Take what you need, because you can always con your parents into bringing it down, or worst case scenario, shipping it to you.
  2. Too many knick-knacks are annoying.
  3. Your roommate might not want to stare at a giant poster of the Jonas Brothers, so get ready for some hassling. My roommate is lucky, I've only got a giant poster of Bill Cosby. That's a fact, I'll prove it after I move in.
  4. Don't waste your last few days in town, if you're moving. Use it wisely.
  5. Create lasting moments with friends and family (See the attached video.)
  6. Skype is an incredible thing. My girlfriend and I have been using it for the last 2 or 3 years.
  7. Stay hygenic.

I feel that this post was really unstructured and more of a non-coherent rambling than anything. Well I suppose that's how I am. I'll give another shout out after I move in with the deets on Riverview.

Keep on Rocking in the Free World.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Things to do at UWM

From the First Year Center to the Center for International Education, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has a lot to offer to its students. Many of its resources are free or offered at a very low cost to students, and some even to faculty and the general community. Be sure to look into these awesome opportunities. To give you a head start on getting involved, I have made a list of important things to check out.

Studio Arts and Craft Centre- the craft centre offers a free membership for all UWM students, all you have to do is stop by and sign up! They host weekly classes as well as one-day workshops. Some of these do cost money, but selling your work at the Holiday Arts and Crafts Sale could offset the price of learning a new skill. If you would like to practice your already gained knowledge of arts and crafts, just stop by. They have materials and equipment for sale, as well as checkout, in the studio. Want to bring a friend or family member who doesn’t attend UWM? They offer day and semester long memberships starting at $8.
Official website: http://www.craftcentre.uwm.edu
Find them on Facebook: http://facebook.dj/sacc/

Adventure Center- ever wanted to venture outdoors and try something new but didn’t have the necessary experience, equipment, or bravery? Well then this is the place for you! They offer instructional classes, usually led by a guide, and even weekend long trips! Some classes are free, and others are offered at very affordable student rates. If you would rather adventure out on your own, the Adventure Center has gear that you can rent such as tents, portable stoves, recreational and winter equipment, even sleeping bags, all offered at an affordable student rate.
Official website: http://www.aux.uwm.edu/Union/adventure_center
Find them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UWMAC

Panther Academic Support Services- even the smartest of us need help with our studies sometimes. PASS provides free tutoring services for all students at UWM. They accept walk-ins as well as appointments. It can also be a great place to get a job if you are doing exceptionally well in one area of your studies. If you have ever wanted to learn a new language but found that paying around $500 dollars for Rosetta Stone was not an option, you can stop by the PASS center to use theirs. There are multiple computer programs available for use in the center, as well as videos and handouts. They have a lot of great resources that every student should take advantage of, so don’t be afraid to just stop by and check it out sometime.
Official website: http://www4.uwm.edu/pass/

Center for International Education- for students already attending UWM this would also be known as studying abroad. While I myself wonder why there needs to be a whole “center” for this, I realized that it also includes students from other countries who are interested in studying at UWM. If you would like to study abroad sometime in your college career, it is good to get started early. Some of the programs may require you to apply a whole year in advance. The Center for International Education can help you with all of the paperwork, help you find a suitable destination, and even find you some money to travel through scholarships and grants.
Official website: http://www.international.uwm.edu

This is just a very small list of what UWM has to offer to its students. I’m sure you could find another whole list just by browsing through the website, like I did. Make sure to try new things and get involved in college. You never know who you could meet, what you could learn, or the connections you will make that could later help you in your career. Post any links to UWM’s resources that you think will be helpful to first year students, as well as those further along in their studies, and I will be sure to mention them in the future!


Advice for Freshman

That's my planner, and that's me and my family :) Although my bug won't really be moving to Milwaukee :(, it was just a cuter doodle than us in my dad's truck. And in case my sloppy handwriting has thrown you, the first appointment of the day is to "wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy!"

College is what you make of it. The best advice I can give a college freshman is to get your smiling face out there to meet as many new friends as possible. You never know when you’ll meet a lifelong friend. I met some of my best friends last year standing in a line for a hotdog.

Get involved with the community. Find a cause that you believe in and commit to it, even if it’s just once a week. Working for a cause will give you a tie to your new community that life on campus can’t give you, it will get your focus off of your own life’s stressors, and you might get more out of it than you ever bargained for (learning, personal growth, networking).

Get involved with your resident hall’s activities and meetings. Get to know the people in your building. Resident hall meetings might not sound like the most exciting thing ever, but they are a great way to meet people. Make these people your family and your best friends and I promise you won’t be nearly as homesick in the long run. And if you run into a problem, any problem really, talk to your resident assistant about it. They are a great resource to you. And if for some reason you don't feel comfortable talking to your RA, or maybe yours is gone for the day, by all means go find another, I'm sure they would be happy to help you out. RAs are helpful and nice like that.

Try new things, on and off campus. Expand your awareness of different cultures, sports, art forms, politics…. This is what college is all about! Go to random new clubs for the free food and come out with a new hobby, learn to salsa dance, join a meditation group and see if you can sit still and not think for an hour... Whatever floats your boat! Get outside your comfort zone though.

Last year I was challenged by my religions professor to attend prayer at the masjid (Arabic word for "mosque" meaning place of prostration - prayer) with one of my best friends in Rochester, a Muslim originally from Sudan. I learned more that day than I have in most of my life, both about my community and about myself. It threw me into a different culture and it gave me first hand experience with the glares and other forms of discrimination you get just for dressing like a Muslim, even in a fairly progressive city... Within a few minutes of changing into a traditional dress and hijab (headscarf) one woman in Culver's bathroom was too scared to even walk past me. I was in the same city I'd grown up in, but I was being treated completely differently.

Sure I was scared to dress like this, surround myself with people who weren't speaking English, and I tripped over the hem of my dress walking up the parking ramp's stairs twice, but I wouldn’t trade that day for the world. I felt like I was in a different world seeing out of someone else's eyes, and I loved every minute of it.

That's me shopping at the Red Sea International African Mall across the street from the Abu-bakar Sidiq Masjid. Most people in Rochester, Minnesota don't even know we have an African Mall, I sure didn't! Turns out it's a great place to find cheap pashmina scarfs (sooo soft!) and delicious Kenyan tea... And that rug I am holding is a prayer rug, Muslims stand, kneel, and prostrate on them during prayer. Muslims pray facing Mecca, Saudi Arabia, specifically towards a building with a cube in the middle called the Kaaba. This prayer rug has a compass (all in arabic and totally impossible to read, even to my friends who speak Arabic) to assist you in figuring out what direction you should be praying as you travel. I thought it was pretty spiffy.

Best of luck with your packing :-)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Packing Blues

I don't know about you guys, but I am completely overwhelmed with packing right now. My summer anatomy & physiology 2 class is done, I'm off work, most of my friends have already moved back to college, and I find myself at home trying to remember everything I'll need and then watching all my stuff disappear into boxes and bins... No fun.

And now my dog, love of my life, keeps hopping into my luggage, curling up in my sweaters, and making this face at me-

& then tilting his head. You can imagine how hard it is to continue packing when those adorable back eyes are begging you not to… His name’s Chandler Muriel Bing, named after that episode of Friends with the 70s flashback where Chandler had that crazy hair do (Chan had that same hair as a pup).

I’m so excited to move to Milwaukee and meet all sorts of new people, but I’m going to miss a lot of stuff around here…. Especially my family, Chandler, and my bedroom. :(

A Little Tour

Hey, Everyone! I can't wait for all of UWM's students to return. It's kinda boring around here! For the last week and a half, I've been training for my job. Because I have nothing to do but wait for everybody to get here, I made a little video. Don't fear... It was made about a week ago. Cambridge is much more complete. I just thought I'd give you a little taste of what it would be like to live in Cambridge right now. Enjoy!

P.S. I do appreciate feedback :)

The loose ends before leaving...

Every year I hate this point of packing. All my boxes are packed and ready to go- but now for the piles of laundry. I leave on Monday for Milwaukee but will be living in a hotel for three days before the actual September 1st move in for Kenilworth. I hate having to plan which clothes can be packed now, which need to be left out to wear in the next 5 days and which I will need to wear while in the hotel since I have many work and MSW orientations to attend. I'm sure many of you can relate.

I have finished ordering my books for the semester. A big tip that I can give you is to order them online. Although the bookstore can be considered the easy way it isn't always the cheapest. Since not all of my books were posted online at the bookstore site, I chose to email my professors to ask for the books. From that I was able to google around for the best deals. I mean who wouldn't want to pay 98 cents for a book instead of the 37 that the bookstore wanted?
Some important tips for buying online:
Pay attention the the edition or specific year that they say
Google promo codes for specific sites like half.com or amazon. (I was able to receive $5 off one of my books because I found a promo code for an order of 50 or more.)
The 10 or 13 digit ISBN number is the easiest way to search for books
Read the seller feedback and look at their rating to ensure timely delivery
Sites like dealoz.com compare all the book sites to help you find the cheapest

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tis the Season

For years the end of August represented a certain feeling. One of impending doom as summer closes and that dreaded school starts up again. The end of August represented the end of those amazing summer days with nothing to do buy lounge on the beach or hang out with the friends that you haven't seen in ages. But as I reach the beginning of my senior year of college I find that I don't have the feeling of doom from earlier school days. Instead I am looking forward to a year filled with friends I've yet to make, classes that may lead me on the path to a promising career, and all those unexpected yet fabulous experience ahead of me. If you asked my 12 year old sister she would probably say this is the worst time of the year, but I say its shaping up to be the best. So whether this is your first year of school or your last, make it the best one yet. I know that's my goal. Good luck to all moving in this weekend! :)

Building a college wardrobe

The summer’s winding down fast, and I don’t know a single girl who isn’t prowling their closets and running to the mall to fill in gaps they find in their wardrobes. College is the perfect time to start defining your style and building a “real” wardrobe.

A rule of thumb of mine is quality over quantity; define what you need and find the very best fitting and best quality of that item. Spend a little more, save a lot in the long run. But this is just one strategy of shopping, another is to run into mall and buy stuff that is pretty and shiny and the next week find your dress’s strap has broken… Save yourself the time, money, and frustration. Buy stuff that will last.

Anyway, I've compiled list according to my own closet and I've added wardrobe advice from my own freshman year. I hope it will be helpful to you-

Socks & Underwear – Bring lots of these. Personally I hate doing laundry, so I like to make sure I have 4 weeks worth of socks and underwear on hand. For socks I would recommend ankle-highs so you can wear them with either jeans or shorts. For underwear look for something that fits, doesn’t bulk up or leave lines, and try to match the colors up with your shirts as much as possible.

Bras- I’d recommend maybe 10 bras that fit well and are comfortable for everyday. If you’re not sure what size you are go in and get fitted, the right size bra makes all the difference to the outfit. At least one of these bras should be something that works under your dressier clothes. Also, make sure you don’t forget about sports bras and comfortable bras for around the residence halls.

4-5 Pairs of Jeans in various washes- Jeans are a college staple. If you get about 4 pairs of good-quality jeans in various washes you can rotate them. Oh and no one will notice if you wear the same jeans twice in a week, I promise. TJ Maxx is having HUGE sales right now as many college students have already left for school. I just picked up quality brands like DKNY and Lucky Jeans for $15 a pop. It was, in a word, amazing.

4-6 Basic, 100% cotton tank tops- Get a variety of different colors for layering. I recommend cotton over spandex and polyester blends simply because with pure cotton you won’t get the strange clinginess that you often do with blends. Look for something that isn’t see-through so you can wear it alone if you so choose. If you like lace keep your eyes open for tank tops that have lace edging, they look really nice when you’re layering.

At least 3 Cardigans – Personally I will be bringing about 10, but cardigans and sweaters are pretty much my middle name. Old Navy has some GREAT cardigans out right now for about $10 each.

Warm Sweaters- These are great to have if you ask me.

Formal wear- (for interviews and the like) At least 1 pair of dress pants, 1 Button-down dress shirt, and 1 pair of formal shoes, ideally black pumps since they will go with everything. The key with these dress shoes is to go for both quality and comfort, if you find the perfect pair they will last you many years. You’ll probably want a few dressy tops on hand for semi-formal events. Also, if you plan on attending many formal events during college, now would be the time to invest in a blazer or, if your in something like forensics, a full suit might be more appropriate. This can be pricy but it's an investment, especially if you're going into something like business.

A Bag- Look for a good quality handbag that will hold everything. I’d say your best bet is TJ Maxx. Go for a style and color that you can carry day or night and will last you throughout the seasons.

A backpack- Maybe it’s so obvious that you forgot to pack it? :-P

2 winter coats- I say 2 just in case you plan on getting into any major snowball fights, in which case you’ll want a spare handy in place of the drenched one. And I mention winter coats because I’m moving 5 hours and will not have a chance to go home outside of breaks. If you live closer I’d recommend picking up your coats once it gets cold to save precious closet space.

1 pair of winter boots- Look for a pair that is meant for walking, you do a lot of that in college. I found a great pair from Northface that only weighs a pound or two a boot; so they’re incredibly light but still cute and VERY warm. Plus I’m fairly sure they’ll last me all of college and beyond.

1 Rain Coat- Unless you like getting you and all of your stuff wet, bring a rain jacket and possibly an umbrella. I also have rain boots, but I’m an avid puddle-jumper.

**Keep in mind that umbrellas often direct water flowage directly onto one’s backpack. And if you’re paranoid like me, you might even consider sticking your laptop in a large ziplock inside your backpack on such days, just in case.

1 light jacket for the in-between seasons- I splurged a little and sprung for a London Fog trench coat off Overstock… I highly recommend London Fog. My mom one in college and I think someone somewhere is still wearing it. They’re cut great, water resistant, and built to last.

A pair of casual flats- It’s always nice to have another option in place of heels just in case you’re not up for them, or if you’ll have to do a lot of walking. Plus these look very cute with jeans.

Cute Sweats- These are great for wearing around the residence halls and working out, but wear with caution, you don't want to be wearing them to class a lot.

Shower Flip Flops- Unless you like feet funguses and standing in who-knows-what, don’t shower barefoot... I like Havaianas, they're a squishy sort of comfortable and they last for years.

Tennis shoes- Necessary, you’ll wear them often. I recommend Earth tennis shoes. They feel weird at first since your heels sit lower, but if you do a lot of standing or walking they’re amazing to your ankles and back, I promise. My chiropractor recommended them to me and I haven’t bought another brand since.

Slippers- optional, but cozy

Bathrobe- optional, but very very nice in the middle of the winter when you’re room’s cold and you’re all wet. Remember, you have a roommate, and she might prefer living in a climate slightly different from what you are used to. It’s always good to have warm things like robes and sweatshirts and blankets on hand to counteract such unexpected climate changes.

A random side note- Do not put a banana in your backpack, just don’t, it’s a death wish. It might seem like a good idea when you get that banana, but you will forget about that banana, and when you do you'll find yourself looking at a pile of gooey papers and a wet backpack.

Packing and Updating Yourself For College!

Packing and Updating Yourself for College! from Kelly Kloth on Vimeo.

Tina's Introduction

Hi! My name is Tina, I’m from a small town just north of Rochester, MN. Not to worry though, I’m a big ‘ol Packers fan. To sum it up I’m a country girl at heart, but I’m thrilled to be moving to the big city.

And yes, that is me scuba diving :) One of my favorite things in the world to do. If you ever get the opportunity to learn take it!

This is my first year at UWM, my sophomore year of college, and I’ll be living in Sandburg North. I transferred from UW-Eau Claire to UW-Milwaukee to pursue occupational therapy. Since declaring OT as my major I’ve found there are two general responses - 1) “You’re going to make a great occupational therapist!“ And 2) “Wait, so will you be helping people find jobs?”

Occupational therapy is similar to physical therapy but instead of movement rehabilitation (as in physical therapy) occupational therapy is more of a skill-building career. Ideally I would like to work as a pediatric occupational therapist, helping young children who have a variety of challenges in their lives to learn, grow, and become more self-sufficient.

Since high school I’ve bounced through an impressive number of majors- biology, religious studies, English, communication disorders, nursing... Occupational therapy feels like a perfect fit though; I’ll get to do hands-on studies in anatomy & physiology (my favorite subjects), I’ll get to help children one on one, and I will be trained in a skill that I can use as a health care volunteer abroad someday.

During high school I took Mandarin Chinese at the local community college. My professor was amazing; it is thanks to her that I discovered my passion for foreign languages and cultures. I’ve never been outside of the country, not even to Canada. I was planning on studying Arabic at UWM and then going to Egypt, but after seeing Eat Pray Love (Great move. Go watch it, now!) I’m completely inspired to spend a year absorbing the language, culture, and art of Italy instead… Or I guess it’s “Italia” to me now that I’m learning “Italiano” ;-) And let me just say, it is awesome to be enrolled in a university where I can switch my class schedule from Arabic to Italian overnight, such diversity!

As of right now I’m consumed with packing, shopping, and tying up loose ends here in Rochester before shipping myself, and my belongings, 5 hours East. Oh fewf, that’s going to be such a long day! I’m so excited for my first Brewer’s game tho, and for the UWM campus kickoff events. Seriously, I’m finding it hard to sit still. This year is going to be fantastic!

Let Me Introduce Myself

My name is Brittany and I am a Transfer student to UWM. I plan on majoring in Journalism with a minor in Political Science. I graduated from a small high school in Hastings, Minnesota. After graduation I headed off to a private college in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I soon realized that although it was a great school, it just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t imagine spending four years of my life doing something that I wasn’t in love with knowing that I had the chance to make a change. That’s how I ended up here, at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Leaving for school will not be as hard for me as it will be exciting. Saying goodbye to loved ones is always a difficult thing to do, but I have already been on my own for around two years so I am used to it. Since I have been in-between schools that are hundreds of miles apart, I haven’t had a permanent place to live all summer! I have been staying with different family members and friends every night. It will be so nice and relaxing to finally have my own room again! I decided that since I have been working so hard in school and doing well, I would splurge on myself and get a single room in the residence halls. Last year I had a triple so this will be a big change for me.

I love all things art. I am mostly into photography and ceramics, but I love anything crafty. I love to travel, and although I haven’t had the chance to go many places yet, I am constantly planning trips that I would like to take in the future. I have been learning Spanish for 6 years and I have just started to teach myself French.

The next time I write I will most likely be writing from my new home. Until then, enjoy your summer and good luck packing!


Monday, August 23, 2010

College Life: Fact or Fiction?

Well, for most of us, it's our last week in our own towns before we pack it all up (hopefully you guys have started on this at least a little bit!), say goodbye to most of our friends and family and head out "on our own". Ironic, since the last thing we are as students living in the residence halls is on our own.
I'm absolutely sure I'm not the only one excited to move in this year. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who's totally anxious about it too. Not only am I going to be thrown into an entirely different environment housing-wise, I feel it's going to be an entirely different environment school-wise too. I've often heard from people that you not only don't have homework, but you don't even have to go to class either and can show up late whenever you want. Maybe it's just me and the way my high school ran, but why do I feel this isn't going to be true? Who really wants to be the kid who walks in late and gets reprimanded for it? Not me. But this got me wondering - who else has been told things like this? What kind of things have you heard about college that you're not sure about or know aren't true? And for those of you beyond freshman year, have you ever been "that kid"?

Let me know!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jenna- Getting to Crunch Time!!

With 8 days left until I move into my residence hall, I'm beginning to have mixed feelings. Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely excited to move in and be on my own, but packing all of my things into boxes has made me wish I had a little more time at home. Saying goodbye to friends and family is never easy, but it's something that has to be done. I never thought I would want to extend my time at home, but now that the date is so close, I wish I had a few more days!! How is everyone else feeling? Have you guys started packing? I included a picture of some of my stuff for my room. I think it stayed in my living room for at least a day!!
As the move in day approaches my list of to do's gets shorter. I've been working on decorations for my residence hall room. My mom and I were able to find a nice frame and some pictures for me to put in it. With these pictures I know that any time I miss anyone in my family or my friends, they won't be very far away. I'm already planning on getting a few more frames!
I hope that everyone is enjoying the last bit of summer. I'm looking forward to seeing you all on campus!

Introductory Blog Post

Well hello, I'm Ryan, I'm a first year and I'll be living in Riverview. I'm going for a degree in education, more specifically for history. I've lived on Madison's west side for my entire life. Madison is, let's be fair, no small city, but compared to Milwaukee it's really nothing. I haven't spent much time in Milwaukee in my life, but I headed down there last Friday to show my girlfriend the campus. We drove up to Riverview so I could show her the building and we spent half an hour navigating through the cities traffic closures. Needless to say it wasn't too hard it just threw us off our plans.

Well I suppose I should share a bit about my personality. I'm a quiet guy at first, but after I get used to people I can be pretty fun. I'm a big fan of films, my favorite director being Wes Anderson. I've seen the majority of films on the AFI Top 100, I don't care what some people say that doesn't mean I don't have a life. I'm also into music, like most people. I'm planning on seeing Pavement on the 14th at the Pabst and Broken Social Scene on the 3rd October. If you're heading to either show let me know and we can bus down together and hang out.

I'm an avid reader of comic books and graphic novels, currently knee-deep in Scott Pilgrim, especially DC Comics. I'm a fan of books as well, I went to the midnight release of Half-Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows, both being awesome. My favorite book I read in high school was probably Richard Wright's Native Son.

I do get involved in politics as much as possible. Just remember, don't complain if you don't vote, and no I won't argue politics with you because neither side listens to the other side. Anyways I'm starting to ramble, and I'm running out of things to say. I'll wrap this up.

If you're interested in hanging out, talking about films or movies, or anything really, find me or contact me via Facebook. I'm looking forward to my future contributions on here.

Auf Wiedersehen

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Living on a budget

After living in my residence hall for about five days now, and I have discovered some very useful tips for living in the residence halls, especially Cambridge Commons. Being a college student, you must use your resources to get by. I found out how to use objects in these residence halls for other things than what they should originally be used for.

Starting in the bathrooms, you may use the shower to un-wrinkle clothes; Not perfectly, but it works well enough. While you are taking a warm shower with the door closed (of course) hang your wrinkled linens on the towel hooks that are provided, and while you are showering, the steam from the shower aids in un-wrinkling your clothes. You get a shower and dry cleaning service in one!!

Next, if you live in Cambridge Commons, the bottom portion of your window opens. This gives you the ability to lay your clothes on the open portion. (Don't worry, there's a screen and your clothes will not drop out of the window.) Here, you are able to air out your clothes, spray febreze fabric cleaner on them, or just dry them using the breeze if you so wish to. It's easy, energy efficient, and a good use of your resources.

Lastly, the box your food comes in is your best friend when trying to make food for yourself. If you are making a pizza, for example, in a kitchen in Sandburg, Riverview, or the floor kitchens in Cambridge Commons, you can take the pizza out when it's done and place it back on the cardboard box it came packaged in; especially if you don't own a huge plate, or a pan to cut your pizza on. Simply just put the pizza back on the box, put it down on the counter and use a pizza cutter.

Note: The pizza cutter from the UW Credit Union some of you may have recieved from New Student Orientation works very well and clean well with some soap and water.

Also, if you are making a microwavable dinner and the container is too hot to touch when you take it out, AND you don't own a pot holder, use the box it came in as your potholder. It really works by taking the dinner out of the microwave with your hands and putting it back on the box. The box becomes a good barrier to protect your hands from getting too hot and dropping your meal.

I hope these nifty ideas help you in living the life of a college student. It's not glamorous and it's not easy, but these ideas make it you a little more resourceful and hopefully these tips can make you feel as if you can work around living on a tight budget.

Hope to see everyone in the residence halls soon!!

- Lauren -

Monday, August 16, 2010

My First Days at UWM

Hi! I'm Connie and a First Year Student here at UWM. This past June, I graduated from Watertown High School in Watertown, Wisconsin. All summer I've been preparing for college. I've been packing, buying things, then repacking... I've been waiting all summer to take advantage of all the opportunities UWM has to offer and I'm so happy to be here.

I work for UWM's South Campus Security, which is Cambridge, Riverview, and Kenilworth. Because of training, I got to move in early. Moving in was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. First of all, moving heavy boxes and finding a place for everything wasn't very fun. Realizing I had forgot a box at home was even worse. But, eventually, I had settled in and my family and I went out for dinner. I was able to keep strong throughout the meal, but when we returned to my dorm, it was a different story. Saying goodbye to my parents and having to face the fact that I am now on my own was difficult. We hugged and cried and hugged and cried. Then they left... And I cried. I cried over alot of things: not being able to live with my parents, not being able to play with my puppies, not being able to have meals cooked for me... ;P But I was ok. I soon remembered all the reasons I am here, and keeping that in mind helped me out alot.
Today I started training for security. I am very excited about this new job. Natalie, my supervisor, is amazing! In fact, all the staff I've met so far, from RA's to security to front desk, is so friendly and as excited to be at UWM as I am. I met many new people today. I had to break out of my shell a little and not be afraid to be proactive about my life, but it was worth it. After all, No Fear... No Limits.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Introduction

In my previous blog, I started telling you more about packing than actually introducing myself to you. Well, to start off with, my name is Lauren West and I just moved to Milwaukee from a small town called Waunakee. It is about 20-30 minutes from Madison, Wisconsin depending what part you are going to. This move had been big for me since I've lived in a small town my entire life. I'm more than excited to be here though and start my education. I am currently enrolled in the school of Architecture and Urban Planning. I hope to be an eco-friendly architect.

This school year, I am living in Cambridge Commons.

I have all of my stuff moved in already because I just got a job in South Campus Security. So, you will probably be seeing me a lot walking around the residence hall or working at the front desk. Feel free to stop by and say hi!!

It's been a day and I'm still unpacking. I just got internet service too. I'm seeing construction workers every now and then, but nothing too much is going on here. It's pretty quiet. Last night I made some food in the common kitchen, and the view from the kitchen of the courtyard is really nice. I'm a vegetarian so I made some instant rice noodles. Yum.

Personally, I can't wait to start school actually and have everyone move in. It's too quite here, and the place needs more life to it. Hope everyone is enjoying their last two weeks of summer.

Right now, I'm just chilling in my room, writing this blog, looking at the courtyard, and listening to some music.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and I can't wait for everyone to get here soon!!!!

My Post-Milwaukee Tour Day Advice

My Post-Milwaukee Tour Advice from Kelly Kloth on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Preparation

Hello! My name is Susan and I am going to be a first year social work graduate student at UWM this fall and living in Kenilworth Square Apartments. I am from St. Augusta, MN and did my undergraduate work at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University in St. Joseph, MN. I have grown up in the country all my life so I am excited but nervous to be moving to Milwaukee. I have only actually been to Milwaukee for an hour before in my life so this will be a crazy adventure. I will be living in a three person apartment so I have two roommates I do not know yet.

Like many of you the thoughts of packing are looming in my mind and the constant nagging of my mother is heard throughout our house. I am going on a last hurrah camping adventure this week to enjoy the lakes of MN and my mother thinks I need over a week and a half to pack. I have started packing, but it is not very fun. Most of my stuff is in boxes from when I moved home last, but I need to organize and see what I need. I am not really sure how I will fit everything into two cars, let alone not go crazy in the seven hour drive to Milwaukee but it will be worth it.

I am excited for new classes and people and somewhat excited for my busy schedule (that will wear off come October). Besides the daily grind of classes and studying I will also be doing a social work internship somewhere and I am the supplemental instructor for Spanish 103 (so if you’re taking that stop by for help!). I feel that between those three things I will have little time to do much else let alone sleep.

My weeks building up to my move will be filled with many goodbyes not only to my friends and family staying in MN but also to my friends moving on to bigger and better things since our graduation. The hardest goodbye will be my niece who turns two in October. I know she will be so much older when I see her next. These last few days have been stressful with trying to get all of the book keeping done for the start of school. I will be arriving in Milwaukee on the 30th to attend work and intern orientation but not moving in until the 1st.

I hope everyone is getting excited for what will be a great year.