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Eight Ways to Maximize Those Awkward, ‘Awkward Gaps’

It’s only 9 a.m., you’re on campus after your first class and your next class isn’t until noon. You’ve failed yourself, you think. This is a chunk of time, an awkward gap,  you’ll never get back, week after week.

But wait – before getting annoyed with your lack of scheduling perfection, give these ideas a shot to cure your campus blues.

1. The amazing nap chairs in the Louise Kerckhoff Study Lounge

If you’re running on empty after a long night of studying, or simply just want to relax for a while, head to the third floor of Kerckhoff and snatch one of the chairs in the lounge that recline all the way. Yes, I said recline.

2. Be adventurous with some slacklining on the lawn by Janss steps

If you have not yet heard of the outdoor activity that is taking the country by storm, slacklining is a balancing act on a rope or webbing strip that isn’t pulled as tightly as a tightrope (where the “slack” part of the name comes from). Students have been seen setting up their own slacklines between two trees in the lawn at Janss steps, so why not give it a try? All you need is a rope (preferably webbing strip), two trees and an open mind.

3. Explore the coffee options in Westwood

Have a long, early morning break between classes? Up for a bit of a walk? The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Espresso Profeta Cafe, Starbucks, Elysee Cafe, Novel Cafe and Peet’s Coffee & Tea are all open early in the morning and just a quick walk down to Westwood. Each offers unique coffee options if the numerous on-campus coffee shops are just not enough for your coffee cravings. Between these options and the probably numerous others, all your coffee hopes, dreams and desires could be satisfied during your break between classes. And if, like Buddy the Elf, you’re not a coffee fan, hot chocolate and tea can also be found at each shop.

4.  Check out the Fowler Museum

Head over to North Campus for a while and check out the Fowler Museum’s six current exhibits. From Wednesday through Friday the museum opens at noon to the general public and students and has free admission. The newest exhibit, “Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates” opened on Jan. 25 and will close on March 8. It includes over 50 paintings, sculptures and photos from Emirati culture. And it’s FREE, so check it out.

5. Figure out your schedule with help from the ASK counselors on campus

As the spring quarter schedule deadline looms in the near future, many students are in the process of planning their courses for the final quarter of the year. Instead of wondering to yourself all the questions you have about course planning, use your time on campus to get help from one of the ASK counselors. Student ASK counselors can help to answer your questions quickly from numerous convenient, on-campus locations. Find them in Royce Quad, the Public Affairs/Lu Valle (PAL) Patio or the Court of Sciences. Instead of staring at your schedule like this, get those questions answered.

6. Explore the botanical gardens with a self-guided tour

Buried deep in the land of south campus is UCLA’s beautiful botanical garden. If you’re in the mood to escape the hustle and bustle of campus, go no further than the garden for a relaxing walk. The garden’s website even offers a self-guided tour map so you can explore the miniature oasis on your own. Fix your between-class boredom by taking a walk down to the botanical garden for a peaceful adventure in a beautiful landscape.

7. Try a green smoothie at Jamba Juice

Are your tastebuds in the mood for an adventure? Feeling healthy? Usually look like this when you see a flourescent green smoothie? Well, your reaction may be different to Jamba’s new additions to their Fruit & Veggie Smoothies list (take, for example, the new “Amazing Greens” smoothie). These smoothies may not look appealing, but who knows, you may end up liking them. So during your next break, head down to Jamba Juice in Ackerman to give these green beverages a try.

8. Locks of Love

And if you’re still bored during your break between classes, you can head down to the James West Alumni Center and donate your hair to Locks of Love. The Alumni Scholars Club is putting on a Locks of Love event Thursday and Friday (Feb. 5 and 6) beginning at 10 a.m. Not only will you benefit a great cause, but also you receive a free haircut and get free Chipotle. Check out the link to view the hair requirements here.

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Arts & Entertainment

9 Facts That Are Completely Irrelevant to Midterms

Midterms are trying to take over my life. I have reached a point in my life where I procrastinate studying for midterms by spending hours viewing GIFs about the pain I feel while preparing for them. This post is aimed at ending the hold these exams have on our lives. Here are nine facts that have absolutely nothing to do with those exams.


1. The most expensive pizza in the world costs $12,000. It is 20 centimeters in diameter  and includes three kinds of caviar, red prawns, Mediterranean lobster and sea cicada. The chef goes to the customer’s house to prepare it.


2. A cow named Mist was auctioned off for $1.3 million.


3. Trader Joe’s opens things for you to sample if you ask them to! Yes, the packaged things have free samples too.


4. Space tears look like this:


5. Some people fear that somewhere, somehow a duck is watching them. The condition is called anatidaephobia.


6. Strawberries aren’t really berries. Bananas, tomatoes and watermelons are.


7. You can pay someone to stand in line for you. TaskRabbit has you covered.


8. Students can use giant slides to get to class at the Technical University of Munich. If only UCLA had these.


9. According to death statistics, a vending machine is almost twice as lethal as a shark.


Happy “studying.”

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Office Hours

9 Questions You Should Ask Your Potential Roommates (But Won’t)

Via Daily Bruin Marketing

It’s that part of winter quarter again: time to figure out housing. This is the time when your crippling loneliness and social ineptitude is magnified by the need to figure out your roommates for next school year.

We all know the drill when it comes to screening roommates, whether they be current friends or acquaintances, but can you really ask them what you want to know if you’re going to live together? Here are nine questions you probably won’t ask your potential roommates it wouldn’t hurt, though, to ask their current roommates about them.

1. How often am I going to get sexiled? No, really. How often?

The age-old problem of “sexile”, or sex exile, is something that many of us have to face. Do they have a long-distance significant other, or are they the type to bring someone home after Thursday night at 2 a.m. (when you have an 8 a.m. on Friday)? Consider the amount of sleep, how much you like your potential roommate and if you plan on doing a bit of “sexiling” yourself.

2. What is your tolerance for a pile of really gross and/or moldy dishes? How about if it’s my midterms week?

For those making the move to the apartments or simply moving from one apartment to the next, dirty dishes are an important aspect of cleanliness. They attract flies, may grow mold and build up quickly. Make sure you and your potential roomie are on the same page when it comes to cleaning priorities, especially under the stress of midterms.

3. Nighttime flatulence and/or snoring. What can I expect?

It’s an awkward question no one wants to ask, but given that we’re all human beings who produce methane gas and strange noises, it’s a valid concern.

4. Are you the leader of a new on-campus club without a place to hold meetings?

Maybe your potential roommate is some visionary with an idea, but hasn’t had the foresight to book a room in Ackerman or elsewhere for their weekly meetings. If that’s the case, you should get used to them and 20-plus other people holding court in your living room while you’re trying to study.

5. If at some point I puke on myself or our furniture, are you going to get all holier-than-thou?

For those of us too far removed from our AlcoholEdu days to remember how to pace our drinks, there may come a time when you experience an untimely reversal of fortune. An understanding, or at least tolerant, roommate would be ideal if you would bet money on you having a post-alcohol fit of vomiting in the 2015-2016 academic year.

6. If we share a tandem parking space, how often can I expect to get my car out?

Tandem parking spaces are the only way we can fit all our cars into the North Village apartment area. Unfortunately, they’re also a total pain. If you’re looking into bringing your car on campus, make sure you find someone reliable and reasonable when it comes to sharing, or at least someone you’re comfortable with screaming at when you’re late for your internship and need to get your car out.

7. How forgetful are you when it comes to your financial deadlines?

If you have flaky roommates, keep yourself open to the possibility of being the monthly rent and utilities nag. Or maybe that’s you, who knows? If that’s the case, be ready to be hounded by your more responsible roommate come the end of the month.

8. How often do you plan to throw parties and/or hold get-togethers?

Whether the definition of “party” includes 10 or 50 people, it’s nice to know if you and your roommate are on the same page about how many parties you plan to throw and the exact parameters of that.

9.  Are you going to steal my milk, or are you going to steal my milk?



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Office Hours

PostGrad Life: Anthony Bushong, Political Science ’14

Courtesy of Anthony Bushong (Flickr)
Courtesy of Anthony Bushong (Flickr)

You may not think of a political science student as a viable candidate at the engineering career fair, but Anthony Bushong made it happen. Originally from the Bay Area, Anthony Bushong started out at UCLA his freshman year as an environmental science student and considered himself pre-law, but within his first quarter, he had changed majors (twice!), finally settling on political science with two minors – in digital humanities and film. After taking a position in IT at the UCLA School of Law, Anthony eventually decided against a J.D., focusing his efforts on securing a future in the tech industry. After graduating in June, Anthony accepted a position at Oracle in Boston, a large multinational company known for enterprise hardware geared toward businesses that are currently making a shift to online software. Now, he works now as a sales engineer, thousands of miles away from the hills of Westwood and warm weather of Southern California. I asked Anthony about his UCLA experience and how it led him to where he is now.

Describe what you do. What’s your day-to-day like?

I’m a sales engineer, so I support sales reps who reach out to customers. When customers want a technical demo or more information beyond a sales rep’s technical knowledge, I come in and interact with the customer through online contact and webinars to get those potential buyers to close. It’s a mix of sales and engineering.

What specific experiences at UCLA, either academically or otherwise, have helped you in your career path?

The biggest influence on me was working at the IT department for UCLA’s law school. There, I was guided away from law school, seeing the competitive nature of law school and recruitment at law firms, and found myself more drawn to the team-oriented culture of tech. The hugest part of why I wanted to get into tech was the culture of the industry. There’s a lot of room for self-driven learning. I came from a non-technical background, and currently teach myself as much as I can through online resources. You can never teach yourself to become a surgeon by studying online, but you can definitely teach yourself how to build a website in HTML or CSS, or how to set up a test database. It’s up to you go out and take the self-initiative to do those things. I had no technical experience to get into tech as a poli sci major.

Would you recommend either the digital humanities or the film minor, or just doing a minor in general? 

Although I’m not trying to say that my minors didn’t teach me any real-life skills, I thought the most important thing (in my experience) is that each minor exposed me to a lot of possibilities in each subject. Digital humanities won’t teach you how to build technical projects from the ground up, but it’ll expose you to the types of projects out there. If you do find yourself interested in something, you’re somewhat familiar with the subject. I would say the the same thing for the film minor. (By minoring in film) you’re not gonna walk away knowing how to produce a big budget Hollywood film, but you will learn the different aspects of every skill set that does come with film-making, from editing and cinematography to screenplay-writing and cinematography. I definitely would recommend a minor, just because they expose you to so many possibilities.

What opportunities or resources at UCLA did you feel helped with navigating the real world?

I never had any formal mentoring, but I always developed good relationships with my bosses and older friends, and looked to them for advice. My biggest mentor came from when I worked at a start-up, and I really developed a mentorship not only in terms of learning programming from my mentor, but also learning from them in terms of professional and life values. Finding a mentor, someone you admire, and learn from them and their experiences. Find someone you want to be like. See what they hold important, and try to emulate that.

What was your job search like? What would you change about it, if anything?

My job hunt was very short. I went to the engineering career fair, and I knew I was applying to sales engineering jobs based on former students who worked in IT at the law school with me. I got three interviews, and went through these processes. Of those interview leads, Oracle was the first to reach out, with a two-week deadline to accept. They gave me two options: San Francisco or Boston. I wanted to explore a different part of the country, so I decided to go with Boston, and ultimately, moving 3,000 miles away to Boston has just been as much of a learning experience as the job itself.

What advice, based on your experiences, would you give to graduating seniors this year on the job hunt?

I would definitely recommend going to the (engineering) career fair. Get there early! From other people, I know what the job-hunting experience is like without it being spoon-fed to you, like how it is at the career fair. Take advantage of the UCLA name. Firms at career fairs come to UCLA for a specific reason. When hunting for jobs cold turkey, they’re not necessarily looking for UCLA students. Why not take advantage of reputable employers specifically looking for someone like you? On a more general level, I have one specific piece of advice. Someone can build up as their resume as much as they want, but if you can’t speak to that, and market yourself in terms of how your experience fits within a company’s bottom line, then that’s the number one thing you should work on.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about the real world since leaving college?

The biggest change for me was the fact that a lot of what I learned in college classes wasn’t necessarily applicable in real life. I did learn how to critically think and problem solve, but compared to my co-workers who majored in (computer science), very little of it is. Another thing is lifestyle change. Getting into the 8-to-5, forty-hour workweek lag is quite difficult. In theory, you can imagine what it’s like, but I think (the lifestyle change) has been like jumping into a cold pool, most likely because I moved so far away from UCLA. The shift could just be me being out of my comfort zone in a much more extreme way than people who stayed in the L.A. area.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself coming home (to the Bay Area) after living in other great cities like New York and Chicago. Within five years, I want to come back to San Francisco with all that experience and work for a company like Google, or maybe Netflix or Venmo. It’s such an exciting time in tech, and the industry is an incubator for great ideas. As corny as it sounds, that’s ultimately why I want to stay in tech, because it has the potential to make people’s lives better. If I can make at least one person’s life better, I know I’ll have had an impact in the world, or at least, someone’s life. I don’t know! (laughs)

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Super Bowl Highlights As Told By Someone Who Doesn’t Watch Sports

Super Bowl Sunday is over, and students living in apartments are dreading the cleanup of viewing parties, but unfortunately not everyone had the opportunity to watch the Seattle Seahawks face off against the New England Patriots on the year’s most important day of football. Or maybe some of us just didn’t prefer to (yup, that’s me). Either way, here are some highlights from the NFL Super Bowl XLIX, as told through GIFs.

Idina Menzel sure did “Let It Go” with her vocals by nailing the national anthem.

Just like us, football players get the munchies before the game starts.

Sports stuff happens. Like kicking balls.

And touchdowns.

Looks like some serious stuff.

But then the best part: halftime. Katy Perry sure did make a “Roar” while performing for the halftime show this year.

She came into the stadium on her “Dark Horse” (if you call that a horse).

She might have kissed a girl, but no kisses for Lenny Kravitz.

She pointed out to the stage and told us to live our “Teenage Dream,” but for most of us that teenage ship has sailed. Sigh.

Katy Perry danced around with her “California Gurls.” But wait, is that a  I’m not even gonna ask.

Missy Elliot joined too, and she sure did “Work It.”

Then Katy Perry flew up into the sky like a “Firework,” and ended with a bang.

And there were the much anticipated commercials. Kate Upton made her way off of Trivia Crack and onto our TV screens with her ad for Game of War.

Kim Kardashian speaks of the tragedy of unused cellular data.

Budweiser used puppies to make everyone’s heart melt.

Oh yeah, and then more sports stuff happened. Like touchdowns.

And impressive hand-eye coordination.

A little bit of dancing.

Maybe the dance battle went a little too far…

Tom Brady looks happy. So I’m assuming the New England Patriots won.

Yep. They sure did.

Final score:

New England Patriots      28
Seattle Seahawks                     24

Congratulations to the Pats…

But we all know who the real winner was tonight. You live your life, Mr. Shark.


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