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Snowy February

We’re in the midst of another snow storm!!!!! Can you sense my excitement? It’s absolutely gorgeous outside and looks so pretty! I’m enjoying every minute of this.

We’ve had more snow in the February than the rest of the winter combined so far. This is the first time in many years we are actually having a snow-y winter, so I’m definitely enjoying it and remembering what our winters were like when we were in Canada… even though where we lived in Canada isn’t getting much snow this year.

I only had one class this morning and the professor let us go as soon as we were done with our quizzes and so I was out in ten minutes. Ten minute classes – now that’s something I could get used to.

I was surprised that Rutgers didn’t end up canceling classes altogether when I woke this morning considering how bad the walkways were on Livingston Campus – they were so slippery. I almost slipped twice leaving my classroom building and so did others walking out. They did cancel classes for the evening since the snow is supposed to get heavier, so I guess that’s something.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

LSATs, Round Two

The LSAC really needs to get its act together – at least on the LSAT days.

When I took the LSATs last September the only part I remember being annoyed about was the fact that when I got to my testing location, I had to go the second floor of the basement of one building to find out where I was supposed to take the exam in a completely different building.
 
Why they couldn’t post that list on the main door of the building or the MANY surrounding windows, you ask? Beats me. But when you find out – let me know.
 
I took the exam for a second time today. It was originally scheduled for February 6th, but it got cancelled because of snow (and ironically we didn’t get the big snow storm till days later).
 
Anyhow, back to this morning:
 
I left early and got there with some time to spare (in case they did the whole ‘go-down-two-floors-of-this-building-to-find-out-what-room-you-are-taking-the-exam-in-a-completely-different-building‘ again). This time, fortunately, they were smart enough to post the list on a window close to the doors. I still had to go to a different building, but it was a step in the right direction. Considering they do this at least four times a year EVERY year, you would think (and hope) that they would have the simple stuff like this pretty set.
 
So we are finally settling down (and this proctor didn’t make us sit alphabetically or in any organized fashion) in the room and this one girl points out that not everyone has an admission ticket (since the exam was cancelled originally, those who hadn’t printed it at the point no longer could) and the email we all received said we would get an empty one at the testing center if we needed one.
 
I wish there was a way to describe the look on the proctor’s face because it was priceless. She looked at the girl like she was a)nuts and b)totally making this up. A couple of other people who were in a similar situation spoke up and the main proctor finally sent the other proctor to find out what she was supposed to do because she didn’t have any empty admission tickets.
 
The second proctor finally comes back with some empty admission tickets. Way to being organized! You would think (and hope) that the proctor of the exam had simple information like this. We are already stressed out as it is, we don’t need unnecessary stress added on top it.
 
Then the main proctor starts walking around the room taking attendance and finger-printing us for the admission ticket as a part of the process (she only made us do it once even though last time we had to do it in two boxes just like the instructions said) and when she gets to me – I ask her shouldn’t I be signing the form now in front of you? To which she responds “oh, yeah”. Like really?
 
Other things that annoyed me:  
  • The second proctor continuously coming in and out of the room. Like seriously she would not stay in the same place and the doors creaking every time was driving everyone crazy.
  • The proctor didn’t put the timing on the boards for any of the section so it was hard to keep track of how much time we had left.
  • The proctor next door was talking loud enough so that we could hear her clearly and I was on the completely opposite side of the room.
  • The five minute warnings before the time allocated for each section was to be over turning in to a ‘oh you have a little less than four minutes left’ twice.
Oh and how can I forget this: when my original exam was cancelled I received an email from the LSAC telling me that within a week I would get another email with my new testing date. Exactly a week later, I got an email telling me my test would be on one of two dates (both Saturdays). And that I would get ANOTHER email telling me which of those two dates by the Wednesday BEFORE my test date.
Seriously? Are they purposefully trying to annoy us and/or stress us out more than we already are?
I’m sure there were other small things too, but this is all I can think of right now.
 
23 days until scores come out.
 
 
P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Snowmageddon – 1, Rutgers – 0

The snow hasn’t even started yet, but Rutgers canceled classes for tomorrow because of the snow storm we are expecting overnight. Not only am I looking forward to the snow, but looking forward to some time to catch up on some school work that I had been neglecting while studying for the LSATs.

We are expecting somewhere from 10 – 20 inches and I hope it happens. ONE big snow storm per season is all I ask for!!

My cousin sent me this picture from this past weekend outside their house (they live in VA- where after having 30 inches of snow, they are expecting another 20 inches):

Wishful thinking, I know, but can we get something like this? 🙂

Update (8:01 P.M.) – it just started snowing very lightly! Doesn’t this happen to me a lot? 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Battling New Jersey’s Budget Deficit

In one of my classes we have been talking about how we would erase New Jersey’s $9 billion budget deficit. We did various activities, including a poll in our class and writing plausible lead stories amongst other things.

Today, we did this Budget Calculating activity as a class using the same aspects we used for all the other activities and it was interesting and shocking at the same time to see how knee deep we are. We are always saying we want the government to do more in providing funding for higher education but at the same time cut taxes and whatnot…. and this really helps put things in perspective.

In our class poll, we had to rank the ten aspects in order for which we would be most to least likely to do to counter the nine billion dollar budget deficit we are in. It was no shock that, as students, over half of us ranked cutting the higher education aid as what we would least prefer. From these ten aspects of the budget – how would you rank them to erase the budget deficit with 1 being your most preferred choice, 10 your least preferred?

You guys should try it. I found it pretty neat. The link above is, of course, only for New Jersey… but I’m sure you can find it for states as well online.

Oh and guess what? We are expecting ANOTHER snow storm tomorrow into Wednesday. This time I want it so it better happen (so just watch us not get any snow at all)! We got around seven or eight inches Friday night into Saturday and it’s forecasted to be in the 10 – 18 inches this time – i don’t even care if we get that much… just something substantive.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

When Life Throws You Lemons…

Have you ever gotten the feeling that you were meant to do something? Well, I keep get the feeling that I wasn’t meant to be a lawyer. And that’s quite unfortunate because it is something I have wanted and ASPIRED to become since I was in the eighth grade.
It’s funny how we plan for something, and something totally different happens. Or we are so sure of something, but God has something else in store for us. I’ve noticed that happening so many times on a much smaller scale than this. Or we try our hardest, and sometimes that still isn’t good enough. Because the truth is, sometimes our hardest efforts aren’t enough. But that’s life.
I’m not saying hard work doesn’t pay off, but it may be in a different form than we anticipate or want.
So many little things have happened along the way that have gone against me leaning in the direction of law school. I do believe everything happens for a reason.
Like seriously the ONLY time ever I don’t want a snow storm, we will probably end up getting one. The snow hasn’t started yet, but earlier this afternoon my LSATs for tomorrow were cancelled because of the impending snow storm.
Virginia is supposed to get hit with around 30 inches (and they already had 7+ inches about an hour ago)! While we are only supposed to get 8 – 14 inches, I’m not even sure how likely that is to happen considering it hasn’t even started yet. I have a feeling the storm will just bypass our area…. which would be a bummer not only because I LOVE snow, but because after all the studying and prepping for the LSATs in the last few weeks, they are cancelled! I have devoted so much time to it, which is very hard with being a full time student and working as well (which is another thing considering I picked February over last December to retake the exam thinking about how hard it would be will school and exams). I’m supposed to be notified in about a week about my options so we’ll see what happens. At this point, I just want them over with. All I am saying is, we better get a real snow storm.
If they were just isolated instances, I would for sure overlook them… but all I know is I need to do some serious thinking and evaluate my options. But then again, nothing worth having ever comes easy.
No matter what happens, at least I know I tried my best. And that’s really all I can ask of myself.
Earlier, in haste and frustration, I was telling my mom that I feel like I wasted the past eight years of my life working towards my aspiration. But now, after a few hours to ‘calm down’, I’ll take it as another life lesson
Update (11:03 PM): I should have apparently written this earlier because it just started snowing.
P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Obama’s State of the Union Address

So as I was watching Obama’s first State of the Union Address (SOTU) as president earlier, education was high on my list of things to note. As a college student right now who is planning on pursuing higher education (via law school), it is probably one of the two most important issues (healthcare being the other one) that I am concerned with… and I’ve mentioned that on this blog time and time again (like here and  here for example).

Even with grants and whatnot, I am still going to be in TREMENDOUS debt… and that’s just from the past four years worth of education. For the past four years, tuition has increased EVERY year and it has definitely added up. I don’t even want to think about what I’ll owe after law school.

One of the reasons I’ve been contemplating on whether I should go to law school right after undergraduate or work for a few years first is because of this debt! This is especially because of the state of the economy nowadays… it’s not like before where if I had a pretty decent education, I would most likely find a decent job (barring any unforeseen circumstances).

Nowadays, I know so many people who have been laid off in the last year or so that it is ridiculous. To think of the competition of people from an older generation looking for jobs and the young people vying for the same jobs is pretty scary. All I know is I’m not too comfortable with the idea of being in such a huge debt and being uncertain of a plan to pay it back.

Quoting a part of what Obama said tonight about the education aspect:

‘To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer-subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let’s take that money andgive families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants. And let’s tell another one million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only ten percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after twenty years – and forgiven after ten years if they choose a career in public service. Because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college. And it’s time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs’ 

My thoughts on this:

  1. The tax credit and increase in pell grants will go a long way and help many families.
  2. Students being only required to pay 10% of their income on student loans and their debts being forgiven after 20 years will take a HUGE burden off of a lot of people! This one is a biggie in my opinion.
  3. Calling for colleges/universities to cut their own costs. I could not agree more! One of the annoying things at Rutgers is that as a part of our tuition, we pay some money to use the printing services at the libraries and computer labs. We are given about $30-32 dollars (i think) worth to use in printing twice a year (one for the fall and winter semesters and another one for the spring and summer semesters). However, we are not given an option on whether we want to do this or not! I, next to never, use the printing services (because I don’t usually have the time in between in classes and whatnot to use it  up). And we don’t get the amount we don’t use back either, so I am being gypped of about 60 dollars each year for this. And this is just one of those ridiculous fees we pay… so they all add up!

Now by no means am I naive. So in no way am I expecting a hundred percent of what was said tonight to happen in reality. However, I want SOMETHING done! As Obama said today: “In the United States of America, no one should go broke because they decided to go to college”.

Here are the other important highlights from his address (VERY briefly):

  • Obama called for a crack down on the violations nationwide of the equal pay acts so that men and women get equal pay for an equal day’s work. As a women, of course, I find this to VERY important. It’s so sad that even now women are still fighting for just basic things!!
  • A call for doubling the child care tax credit; expanding tax credit for families with children.
  • Healthcare! discussed very briefly though.
  • The state of the economy and the ENORMOUS deficit the country faces.
  • Obama said he plans to work with Congress to repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country in the armed services. No matter what your religious and/or political views are on gays and lesbians, they are people and they have rights 

What were your thoughts on his speech and some of the issues in general?

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

My Last First Day of College!

Tomorrow is my last first day of college! Classes at Rutgers actually began today, but I have no classes on Tuesdays and Fridays this semester – so tomorrow will officially be my first day of the semester. It will definitely be a long day with work in the morning and then classes from 1 to 7:30 P.M and Mondays are going to be even worse (I have classes ALL day from 10 A.M. to 7:30 P.M), but then I only have one class on Thursday mornings – so it makes up for it. I’ve been working pretty much all day every day for the last few days, so to say that i’m tired is an understatement.

Let’s get the negative out of the way first – one thing I’m definitely not going to miss about Rutgers is the scheduling annoyance i faced EVERY SINGLE semester. This time was no different. Seriously, I can’t remember (um, because it didn’t happen) one semester where I had no problems scheduling classes for the next semester. The frustration and the stress during planning my schedule, registration, the week leading up to class and the first week of classes were something I will not miss. Neither will my family as I’m pretty sure I drove them crazy every time for all of those times I just mentioned all eight semesters long. I’m sure a lot of other Rutgers student will agree with this problem as well.

Okay, enough of the negative.

I’m one of those people that are sentimental/emotional and cherishes the ‘moments’… and this is definitely one of them. It’s amazing to think that in a few short months i’ll ‘graduate’ into the real world. Whoa. Pretty scary, huh?

Sure, i have graduate school ahead of me – but that’s just different.

Time sure flies by, doesn’t it? The last seventeen years of schooling (kindergarten through 12th grade and these past 4 years to get my B.A.) sure have. I was actually just looking at old photos from back when we were little kids this past weekend when my aunt and uncle were over and talking about old memories – I don’t know about you, but I LOVE looking at old pictures and reminiscing.

While I don’t actually remember my first day at school, I definitely remember my first day of school. You know – school bag on my back, wearing the school  uniform, crying like crazy as my mom takes me to school? Ha.

Hopefully this semester goes by smoothly. Not that I’m expecting it to, considering my last seven semesters at Rutgers… but I guess, that’s part of the ‘experience’. More importantly, I hope that I make the most of this last semester at Rutgers. In hindsight, sure there are things I would have done differently – but wouldn’t most people? One thing is for sure, everything can be a learning experience if you choose to look at it like that.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Winter Break ’09

Why is it that it seems like we wait for vacation for so long and then when it finally comes, it just flies by… no matter how long (or short) it really was. It feels like winter break just started, but it is going by so fast and already coming to an end and classes start again on January 19th (and I start working on the 17th after requesting the winter break off to study) – and it’ll be my last semester as an undergraduate. SO hard to fathom!

This break was pretty low key – we didn’t travel anywhere too far… but did a lot of little things here and there (and had A LOT of dinner parties!).

Oh and i think i made up for the fact that i watched like no movies throughout last year (read this post from last month), by watching both Avatar (with a lot of my cousins and Faraz) and Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel (with my parents and Faraz) in my winter break.

I also got a chance to catch up with Yasmin on Monday of last week. I’ve known Yasmin since the seventh grade (when I first moved to New Jersey) and she’s been a great friend since. We went to different schools for the first time last year when she decided to transfer to a different college. Even though I don’t get a chance to see her too often nowadays, everytime I do – it’s like I see her all the time. Some things, fortunately, don’t change.

And of course, I studied, studied, studied for the LSATs. I can’t even stress how much I’m looking forward to February 6th to get them over with (and hopefully with a decent score, of course). It sucks that I spent a lot of summer break and now my winter break studying for them. Hopefully, it pays off this time. Once I get my scores three weeks after taking the exam, I have some serious decision making to do.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Snow Storm Forecasted

I don’t know about you, but i LOVE snow! Actually, i think that is the biggest understatement ever haha (and anyone who knows me can attest to that). Since i woke up this morning and read/heard that we were expecting a snow storm, i’ve been anxiously looking forward to it (and hoping it won’t dissapoint). My brother, Ayaz, was just teasing me some time ago that we’ll probably just end up getting an inch or two of snow (or less), but i hope not! All i ask for is one big snow storm a year… is that really too much to ask? 😉

I just LOVE snow as it’s falling, and the white blanket of snow on the ground with a storm/blizzard…. until it gets dirty and slushy. then, it’s not so cool. I could do without the incredibly cold temperature that comes with it though haha. I guess part of the reason i love it so much has to do with me growing up in Canada, but i don’t know about that since the rest of my family isn’t too fond of it (or most of extended family in Canada).

The forecast has changed from 12 inches, to 1 or 2 inches, to currently being at 8-14 inches in the span of less than 12 hours… so we’ll see how that plays out. Currently, it is forecasted that the snow will start around 1 or 2 A.M. and get heavier around tomorrow evening, and end by Sunday 6 AM. We’ll see how that changes and progresses. It’s already started snowing in Virginia and the surrounding areas (even though it was forecasted to start tomorrow sometime), so the snow is definitely coming… just not sure how much of it!

anyhow… let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

On a side note, things i’m looking forward to in the next few days: 1) tomorrow is the bowl game for the Rutgers football team (the last RU football game i’ll watch as a RU student); 2) monday is my last final for this semester (i hope the snow doesn’t mess with the exams schedule on monday since it is supposed to snow until sunday morning); and 3) which means winter break starts monday evening and i’m off from classes until jan 19, 2010 when classes resume (which will be my last semester for my undergraduate degree! :/ ). Not quite sure how i feel about that just yet – i’m excited about being done, but have mixed emotions about it as well… so we’ll see.

Snow, Classes, RU Football

It FINALLY snowed today for the first time this season! When i read in the newspaper a couple of days ago about the forecast for snow for today, i’ll admit i got super excited for it – but i didn’t really think it would end up snowing… or that if it did, it wouldn’t snow a lot and definitely not stick (considering it was almost seventy degrees two days ago).

the rain this morning, however, quickly turned into wet snow… and then snow that stuck… so we have a nice blanket of snow outside! I LOVE snow as it is falling and the blanket of white snow on the ground, until it starts getting dirty. it was only an inch or two of snow, but it was great nonetheless. I hate the cold temperature that comes with the snow, but LOVE snow – i guess because i grew up in Canada (actually i don’t know about that reasoning since the rest of my family is not so fond of snow).

On a different note, this coming week is my last week of classes – just days more days of classes! I also have two of my exams on thursday, and i will be done with exams and all on december 21st. As the semester draws closer to an end and the fact that i had my senior photos yesterday, the realization that i have only one semester left at Rutgers as an undergraduate is finally hitting me. I can’t believe how fast the past three and a half years have gone by, and i’m sure my last semester will go by just as fast.

Ttoday was also the last rutgers football game of the regular season ( the bowl game happens in a few weeks). i didn’t get to go to today’s game even though it was a home game, but it was a great game.  it would have definitely been nice to have gone, considering it was my last game as a student, but oh well. it may be just as well considering the weather and the temperature – risking getting sick right before finals would not have been too great. anyhow, we played against west virginia university (who has beat us every year since 1994, unfortunately). we didn’t win, but the game was close with the final score being WVU – 24, RU – 21.