Category Archives: College

Missing: Nancy Salas

Glendale Police are looking for missing UCLA student, Nancy Salas. I don’t think I knew her personally, but apparently, I’ve been in school clubs wit her when I was at UCLA. I pray for her safe return and for God to strengthen her family during this time.

Anyone with information can call the Glendale Police Department at 818-548-4911

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Affecting Communities with 58-12 Design Lab

One of the best things about my college experience was it jump-started my passion in helping others. I found that my apathy quickly dissipated when I got out of my comfort bubble. I learned about Alzheimer’s disease and how it affected not just the individual, but the entire family. I learned about the homeless sleeping on the benches of Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade and on the floor of Los Angeles’s infamous Skid Row. I learned about human and sex trafficking that not only occurs around the world, but even in my neck of the woods. But it’s not enough to know something–something must be done.

College exposed me to a variety of ways I can help my community or make some impact in the world. When Hurricane Katrina hit or even as most recent as the earthquake in Haiti, college students across the country volunteered their time, even sacrificing their Spring Break to help those in need. You see, college supposedly trains you in life to be upstanding citizens. But it is utilizing what you learn in the classroom into the real world that shows

Most people after they graduate get a job or go for more school. Some even get married. There’s noting wrong with which path you choose. But that’s usually when the spirit of apathy comes stumbling back, telling you that what you’re doing doesn’t matter. Sure, you can’t save everyone, but you can definitely save one person at a time. Well, for Jonathan Crisman, Melanie Young, and Thomas Yung, the passion for helping others never left. Together they formed the 58-12 Design Lab, dedicated in integrating design that would affect communities in positive ways. But they first need your help. It takes less than 2 minutes. Vote for their project on Pepsi’s Refresh Project .

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Aborting Tim Tebow’s Superbowl Ad?

“Tim Tebow is a Greek god,” my friend Sandra* said. “Yes–tall, dark, handsome, and a whole lot of man. Wish guys at my school looked like him. I’m definitely going to be paying attention to Florida football from now on.”

“What are you talking about? It’s college basketball season now.” I asked surprisingly. “Besides, I thought you have a crush on Mark Sanchez. He was a Trojan you know, and…” As I turned around, I realized what brought on this random conversation. There was Sandra, going through my collection of books and magazines. In her hands was my September 2009 issue of GQ magazine where Tebow was interviewed and featured.

“Yah, Tebow is bow wow.” Sandra winked. “I’d go to church if I get to see that every Sunday. Are all you Christians this hot?” Then she takes the magazine and points to a close up picture of Tebow wearing John 3:16 eye-black markings.

“Yes,” I answered sarcastically. “Very hot. I mean look at me. Better get those books and magazines away. They catch fire when I’m around.”

Sandra picks up a book, throws it at me, and starts laughing. “You wish.”

Yah, I wish. Sigh. How can a five-foot-seven, 195 pound guy like me supposed to compete with a six-foot-three, 235 pound athletic phenomenon? I know where to pick my fights. Tebow is numero uno, so why try harder? He was the first underclassman (a sophomore at the time) to win the prestigious Heisman Trophy back in 2007. The truth is, I do admire the guy, despite being a Bruin. I kind of have to, at least according to the hilarious Jon Acuff. I commend Tebow for being outspoken about his faith, without getting too preachy or Pat Roberson-ish and not minding all the ridicule or criticisms associated with being a Christian in the public eye. Here’s a guy who genuinely loves Jesus Christ, and can’t help but share that fact with the world. I mean, isn’t that what we all particularly do when we are in love with someone? We want the world to know it. That’s why songs about love are the most common types of songs. And for those who see football as a religion–well, he plays football darn well too. You don’t have to be a Christian to like him–he’s easily likable.

He’s easily likable for many female fans for obvious reasons, but for some women’s groups, that’s another story. And that story first started twenty-two years ago with Tim Tebow’s parents, Bob and Pam. In 1985, the Tebow family moved to the Philippines for a Christian missionary outreach. Unfortunately while pregnant, Pam Tebow drank contaminated drinking wanter and contracted amoebic dysentery. The doctors advised her to get an abortion because the medications that would help her recover could have extreme irreversible effects on the child she was carrying. Pam Tebow chose to keep the baby, and on August 14, 1987, the Tebows welcomed a healthy baby boy. That boy would grow up to be the Heisman Trophy-winning American football quarterback for the Florida Gators, the guy that girls like Sandra dream about, and that guy I can never measure up to.

And now, that boy grew up to star in a controversial Superbowl advertisement coming to a TV near you. Working with Focus on the Family (FOTF), the Tebows finished a commercial highlighting Pam Tebow’s predicament in the Philippines. FOTF spent about $2.8 million on the ad. The Tebows just want to tell their story, but women’s groups believe it’s an anti-abortion ad and urged CBS to pull the ad. Although I can sympathize and understand the women’s groups, I think even if you were pro-choice, you should respect Pam Tebow because she made a choice–she chose life. And to be pro choice means to respect choices that might not agree with your own.

“I know some people won’t agree with it, but I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe … I’ve always been very convicted of it because that’s the reason I’m here, because my mom was a very courageous woman. So any way that I could help, I would do it.” – Tim Tebow

Controversial Superbowl ads are nothing new to Superbowl Sunday. The most controversial ads tend to be the most sex-infused because the Superbowl tends to be a family event. Why aren’t women’s groups making noise about how women are being portrayed in these ads? Well, at least they made some noise over a certain wardrobe malfunction. Should Tebow’s ad have a place with all the other Superbowl ads?

I don’t care. If people are willing to shell out millions of dollars and are abiding to FCC regulations, then shouldn’t they be given a chance to show their ad? Isn’t that the American thing to do?

Tim Tebow knows some people won’t agree with it, and that’s just fine by him. But then again, not many people could say that at one point, their mothers were about to abort them either.

I picked up the book that Sandra threw at placed it on my desk. Then I got my revenge by picking up a dictionary next to me and throwing it at her. Don’t worry–it was a soft cover.

“Ouch,” Sandra said, then started laughing. “See, I’m right. You can never be like Tim Tebow. You throw like a girl.”

*Name change

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The Importance of Being a LOSER

School Hierarchy (n): The social order in which any high school runs from top to bottom.

Flashback to the awkward days of high school. In most high schools around the nation, you know where you belong in the school hierarchy. If you didn’t, you’ll certainly be put in place. It’s a food chain, and when you’re a guy, you can have it just as bad.  If you’re too scrawny you get picked on, and if you’re too fat you get picked on. Like Goldielocks, things have to be “just right.”

In college, those lines get blurred. Why? The infamous Freshman 15–almost everyone seems to be gaining weight. Results from a Cornell study showed an average weight gain of 5 lbs in Cornell freshmen. Despite the results, there’s still an obesity problem and according to Newsweek reporter Johanna Cornblatt, “In an effort to fight obesity, colleges may also trigger disordered eating.”

What exactly causes Freshman 15 or should I say the Freshman 5? I, for one, know all too well. I wasn’t blessed with a high metabolism:

  • Eating unhealthy dorm food and/or over-eating
  • Eating late at night.
  • Having unhealthy snacks in the dorm.
  • Drinking lots of coffee, lattes, etc.
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Lack of exercise
  • Less sleep
  • More stress

When I first entered high school, I was at a scrawny 145 lbs. By the end of college, with my weight shifting up and down, I became a fat 205 lbs. Inexcusable! It’s time I reclaimed my life and my health. This New Year resolution is going!

I was a geek back in high school, and in many ways, I still am. I’m not ashamed of it. It what makes me…well…me. After all, Clark Kent had nerdy glasses and look who he turned out to be. And that fat that has accumulated over the years? That needs to go so Superman can come out. So dear friends, the geek in me is shouting: I want to be a LOSER…a loser of weight.

And I hope you’ll accompany me on this 5-month journey of being a loser by keeping me accountable. Encourage me when I need it, and abuse me when I make bad health choices.

I’ll fill you guys in on my BMI and other health info tomorrow as part of a health series. For now, that’s my loser identity revealed.

How about you? What’s your weight-loss strategy? How much have you gained since high school or college? What are you doing about it?

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Theme Thursdays: “Discover the Frontier”

Photo Credit: Highlight Kids

Just a refresher: UCLA Dance Marathon is a 26-hour dance philanthropy that will benefit kids with or affected by AIDS. It will be held on February 13th at UCLA Ackerman Grand Ballroom. There is only one rule: I am not allowed to sit–I must be on my feet for the full 26 hours.  There will also be costume changes every 3 hours and is based off a theme. I need your help to choose a costume so please VOTE! And keep in mind I’d actually like to build the costume–do-it-your-self costumes are a whole more fun.

An update: I’ve reached my goal of raising $208. In fact, I’ve currently raised $242 because of your help. Let’s try to make it an even $300.

Click Here to Donate to the Fight Against AIDS

This week’s theme is “Discover the Frontier.” I’m guessing this is another way of saying “Wild Wild West.” Any ideas of what I could do with this theme rather than the obvious cowboy costume? Or maybe I should just be a cowboy?

Currently getting my country on with Gloriana’s “Wild at Heart.” Check them out!

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The Post Grad Identity

Photo Credit: eHow

Fact 1: It’s the twelfth day in 2010.

Fact 2: The Class of 2009 graduated in May (semester system) and June (quarter system).

Conclusion: It’s been 5 or 6 months since you graduated.

On the day of your graduation, you are hopeful of the future, of opportunities coming your way. After all, that’s what all those graduation speeches are for–to pump you up. That’s because those that have walked before us know that the real world isn’t as idealistic as your college one. You wake up the next morning and begin thinking: God, I am actually done. I don’t have to wake up and class.  This is great! Oh God, I got to find a job. I got to work off my debt. This is not so great! Oh God, oh God. What have you been doing since that day? Yes, let’s freak out together.

After graduation, there are many routes to take. There are 3 parts to this Post Grad identity; am I missing any?:

1. Go immediately for your Master’s or Ph.D. or Law School or Med School. This might be the most common pathway undergrads choose. The process usually starts around your second year of undergrad, as you secure letters of recommendation from professors or internships. You want to visit your professors during their hours and to make sure that they know exactly who you are. Study about your professors beforehand, read up on their research, then show up to their office with confidence.

You also want to work on your Curriculum Vitae (CV), which is essentially a resume for academic purposes. When I mean academic, I mean any research positions you’ve had, any research papers you’ve done, any research you’ve presented–the key is research. You may also want to put in any symposium or academic talks you’ve attended.

Also, research on potential Grad Schools. Look at their programs. Does it fit with you and what you want to research? Do they have fellowships? Do they give out  loads of money for your research? What about the professors? Are there any you desperately want to work with and learn from? You may want to visit the campus because if you’ll be spending 2 to 7 years at that school, you should like attending it.

Around the later half of your third year, you should study your butt off for the GREs, LSATs, MCATs, GMATs and then actually take them.  If you don’t like your score, this gives you enough time to study, take it again, and redeem yourself. Then, when the applications for Grad School are due as early as October, you are ready!

Then, your rejection or acceptance letters come in, and by the time you wear that cap and gown, you know you have a secure future–a spot at whatever prestigious university you’ve chosen and accepted you.

2. Taking a break…for a year…or two! I’ve spoken with about twenty graduate students and post-doctoral candidates, and most of them say that taking a break is important. *Gasps* A break? That puts me behind my cohorts. They say you’ll thank yourself in the end. You may need that time to “find” yourself after being in school for so long. After all, if you want to get your MA or Ph.D, that’s MORE years at school and DECREASES your “you” time. That means no breaks from here on out because after your get those degrees, there’s work, more work, and perhaps starting a family.

And of course, there’s also that slight chance that you don’t see yourself in the future doing what you got your BA or BS in or want to postpone that dream. For example, let’s say you got your degree in Psychology and Sociology. And as you take your much-needed break, you realize maybe Nursing is a better a life choice for now.

You may also want to use your break to explore the world. If you didn’t use opportunities to study abroad, you now have the time to go to places you could only dream of visiting. You may not get the chance once you start Grad School or when family life takes over, although you may get that chance to travel to an exotic place for your honeymoon. *Wink, wink*

You can also use your break-time to add experience to your CV/Resume. You may decide working at a place that relates to your intended Grad School major.

OR, you may need that break to get a job, save up, and work off that undergraduate debt. If you are trying to get a job, good luck. Apparently, it’s harder than getting into Harvard.

3. No Grad School for me…a BA/BS is enough, and I’m going to just work thank you. Some people’s goals is reaching a BA/BS. That’s fine. You did it. You’re done. Congratulations.

Now, remember when I said “Yes, let’s freak out together?” That’s probably because I’m the guy who is doing something unconventional. During my “break,” I’m going back to school to take my nursing prerequisites so I can apply for Nursing school, whereas most psychology graduates are in Grad School right now. You need to follow your own path–the one that works for you. But lucky for us, there are people out there who want to help you as you experience your post grad identity.

The people of The Post Grad blog are there to lend a helping hand and give some friendly advice. They’ve walked in your shoes and want to ease your anxieties of this new identity you’ve achieved (a Sociology reference for you Sociology majors).  If you’re experiencing a quarter-life crisis, or trying to find a career path, The Post Grad is there for you. If you’re taking a break, you should keep your mind sharp. And as for me? Let’s just say that I need to shed some of that undergraduate fat I’ve accumulated. This post grad body of mine needs to stay fit.

So head over to The Post Grad site, and tell them Gio sent you (I’m a huge fan of theirs). And embrace your Post Grad identity. Oh, and congratulations on graduating!

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