Things guys shouldn’t do

My roommates and I. We are a little harassed. By who? Why, our counterparts of the opposite gender. For often… they are idiots.

So we’d like to put up a little proposal. All guys– dudes– bros— whatever you like to call yourselves– need a little… help. A female life advisor, as one of my roommates eloquently phrased it. We’ll start with a little list– of what you guys should never, ever, under any circumstances, do to a girl you’re trying to pick up. Because it didn’t work on us. And it’s not going to work on anyone.

And finally,

A bit specific? Yes. Tip of the iceburg? Absolutely. Where do guys get these ideas? I don’t know.

And so girls (and boys) what sort of insanity have the opposite gender (or same gender, of course) tried to pull on you? Let me know! The best ones could possibly be illustrated in a future post!

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Failing the MCAT

I have an affinity for free things. Who doesn’t? Except my love led me to do something slightly ridiculous– in this case, taking the MCAT.

The MCAT, for those who are unaware, is yet-another standardized exam for medical school applicants. As with any grad school exam, it’s monstrously competitive, perhaps even more so for the MCAT as it’s taken by overachieving pre-med students. Kids usually take at least six months to study for it, if not more. Like any major exam, the MCAT fuels a whole business of study books and preparatory courses.

Kaplan, one such test-prep company, happened to be offering a free MCAT practice exam at NU. I’m a pre-med student. For now, at least. So I decided to give it a shot.

The exam I took had a few differences from the real thing, though. The real MCAT is entirely computerized– but we took it on pencil-and-paper scantrons. Also, Kaplan omitted the writing section and shortened the remaining sections by 10 minutes each.

They might as well have. Because I died.

The MCAT has four sections: physical science, verbal reasoning, biological science, and the writing sample. I took the first three in a process that went a little like this:

In all fairness to myself, I’m just a freshman. I haven’t seen chemistry in one and a half years. I’ve never taken an advanced physics course. Nor have I taken organic chemistry. My AP Biology class in high school was pretty useless. So, while some of the questions went like

The majority of the test looked more like

Since the practice test was only multiple-choice, we got our results back right away. I got the high, high score of

Afterwards, we received an answer key showing which questions we got wrong. MCAT teachers were available for any kids wishing to discuss their results. I didn’t take up the offer, just because

Oh, well. It was a worthwhile attempt. Now I know how much I have to improve! Besides… I’m a freshman. I’ve got quite a ways to go.

Skater-nerdy-Asian girl

A while back, I got a longboard. I’ve been trying hard to learn how to use it. Every chance I get, I’m outside clumsily skating around, tripping over bumps and running into people.

I feel like there’s a certain stereotype that comes with girls who use skateboards, or in my case, a longboard. You know, the skater girl. Skull cap. Punk sneakers. Graphic print tee. Heavy makeup and a look of rebellion.

But I don’t fit that stereotype. Nope, I am a bona-fide nerdy Asian girl. So what people will see on the street, contrary to their expectations, is this:

People often don’t know what to make of me. Usually they’ll glare as I pass them by, only to be replaced with looks of pity.

My longboard seems to get attention wherever I go. First of all, it’s a bit different from the conventional skateboard we all know. Secondly, it seems like “the skater chick” is, so to speak, a “thing.”

But my progress on the longboard is coming along nicely! Meaning that I can, uh, ride on the board, slowly, without falling off. I’m awful at turning, though, and I still have trouble steering clear of passerby. More often than not I’ll just pick up my longboard and walk where it’s too crowded. Especially since I don’t know how to stop, besides just jumping clear off the board. It’s a… a work in progress. But it’s a ton of fun!

You should read these webcomics

I started blogging by writing about comics. It was embarrassing. But even after I ended it, I still feel the need to share! Thus, quickly, here are some great webcomics I’ve been reading lately. Why webcomics? Well, they’re free, accessible, and absolutely awesome!

1. Buni — a wordless, dark humor comic about a cute bunny whose life sucks. Cyanide and Happiness recommended it a while back.

 2.  feel afraid — An offbeat comic featuring often anticlimatic, random, and morbid humor.

3. Two Guys and Guy — a comic strip about a girl named “Guy” and her two guyfriends. The comic focuses on the friends’ lives, with hilarious results.

Romantically Apolcalyptic — a humorous post-apocalyptic comic showing the lives of survivors in a radioactive wasteland. The main character is “Zee Captain,” a slightly loopy man wearing a captain’s hat. The art is incredible, too!

Interested? Read them! Not interested? Don’t! But I highly recommend all of these, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Also, happy birthday to my dearest sissy! Congrats on reaching the wonderful, wonderful panlindromic year of 22! And, for that matter, thanks for putting up with me for 18 of those precious years!

There is no explanation to this picture. There really isn't.

Every pound of clothes is a dollar? Yeah, this is my new favorite store.

Some of the RA’s on my floor took us little freshman on a little field trip one day. It was to a little shop located in Cambridge, right by MIT. It brought promises of clothing for the low, low price of one dollar a pound.

The basic concept? Everyday, the store dumps a pile of old clothing on the floor. Shoppers grab a garbage bag and start digging. When purchasing your clothing, you pay by the pound– there’s a scale by the register.

And when I say digging? I mean you need a shovel for this place.

Unfortunately, the first time I went there, our group left at 6PM. It takes 45 minutes to get there. By the Pound closes at 7. We were unaware of this. Thus, when we got there, the shopkeeper told us in irritation,

And the gamer in me reacted like this:

I ended up getting an inordinate amount of clothes that night, as you can imagine. But it was all so cheap! By the Pound is a great place. It fits very well in hipster Boston. You can find the most eccentric clothes, the strangest fashions, all sorts of weird stuff! And, if you dig enough, you might find relatively normal clothes! Though of course, there’s a chance that you’ll also find this:

Though the pile-of-clothes itself is called By the Pound, the building is also home to The Garment District, a sort of alternative-retro-clothes store, and Boston Costume, obviously a costume shop. They’re both a little bit pricy. But great if you’re looking for a Halloween costume.

You know you want it.

I’m hooked. It takes 45 minutes on the T to get to Cambridge, but it is SO WORTH IT. Of course, I was the one addicted to thrift shopping before I came here, so it’s pretty natural that I love this place. It really takes some effort to find normal clothes, though, so you have to be in the mood. Here’s some of the stuff I’ve bought so far: (click for animation if it’s not working!)

Heads up, though– go on Friday! Every other day of the week it’s $1.50 a pound instead of $1.00.

You know you’re in Chinatown when…

Boston is often called the “Walking City,” due to its relatively small size, workable transportation system, and the fact that driving in Boston is a nightmare. Northeastern promotes the idea that students should walk places when possible so that we can see more of the city on the way. And the fact that Boston’s winters are terrible– so we should be outside, I quote, “while we still can.”

I haven’t been to Chinatown Boston since I moved in. I had a few hours in between classes today. I decided to walk to Chinatown.

Chinatown is a two-mile stroll from Northeastern. I don’t have a smartphone with a GPS, and I haven’t walked to Chinatown before, so I was a little afraid of getting lost. I have the worst sense of direction ever.

The whole time, then, as I was walking, I was looking desperately for a sign. Just one sign of Chinatown.

And I finally received it, in the form of this:

Chinatown Boston isn’t all that big. Compared to the likes of New York City or Toronto (two of my favorite Chinatowns) it’s pretty tiny. (Philadelphia’s Chinatown, on the other hand, is just as petite.) Still, I had a… satisfactory time.

Boston Chinatown is pretty standard: some bakeries, some restaurants, a couple of cheap souvenir stores, a smattering of grocery stores. I did note a lack of anime stores, though. Hey. I’m a dork. That would have made my day.

In the end, I spent more time walking to Chinatown than I actually spent in Chinatown. I even managed to get slightly lost on the way back. But I say the trip was entirely worth it. It’s definitely a good place for my Asian dining needs.

Sometimes I don’t understand shipping companies

Boston is known as the “walking city,” which I agree with. So many places are within a few miles of each other. It’s doable.

It should come with a disclaimer, though. Sure, Chinatown is two miles from Northeastern. That’s still 40 minutes or so of walking.

But the T costs money. And I like the exercise. I decided that I wanted to take up a popular sport here in Boston…

It’s always been my dream to learn how to skateboard. But as I’m not too concerned with tricks, and because I really just want to get around the city, a longboard seemed like a more practical choice.

So I used my first paycheck to order a longboard from Amazon. And waited with baited breath for it to arrive.

At Northeastern, dorms don’t accept packages– they have to be picked up in a different building. For me, the building is a short 0.3-mile walk from my dorm. THANK GOODNESS. Because the box containing my longboard looked like this:

And carrying it back was… a challenge.

I attracted plenty of stares on the way back, the looks of which can be summed up in my roommate’s reaction:

And in the end, most of the box was full of paper.

…and the board took up only a fraction of the space in the box.

That's the longboard sitting at the bottom.

What, Amazon? I don’t understand. Regardless, I’m glad my longboard arrived so quickly and safely! I can’t wait to learn how to use it. It’s gonna take some time. But it is so worth it.

CollegeFest is a freebie fest

Freebies.

It’s a sure-fire way to attract people.

There’s an annual event in Boston called “CollegeFest,” some sort of back-to-school convention. It features live performances, music, and, as CollegeFest likes to call it, “free swag.” The event claims to attract about 17,000 college kids each year. Tickets are $10.

To get kids to actually come, though, CollegeFest really pushes it. They station representatives at all the big colleges in Boston, offering free tickets if you like their page on Facebook, enter a giveaway for a Ford Fiesta, or even, in one case, beat a worker in a game of rock-paper-scissors. If, for some reason, you didn’t get a free ticket, they gave out tons of coupons that lets you in for half-off. But only if you bring a friend with you.

No worries, though– I got a free ticket. Three, actually. Thus my suitemate and I headed over to the Hynes Convention Center to see what exactly this “CollegeFest” was all about.

We discovered, in fact, that it was all about the freebies.

CollegeFest is essentially a large room full of tables advertising their companies. “Like our page on facebook, and we’ll give you a free t-shirt!” “Sign up for our e-mailing list, and we’ll give you a free laundry bag!” “Try a free sample of our new ice cream shop!”

Basically, it was the greatest place in the world.

There were indeed performances, on this tiny stage. I saw dance crews, a fashion show, kids singing, and the like. (also sponsored, of course)

Still, everyone knew that it was all about the freebies. There were huge lines at tables to get free stuff. Everyone I talked to sang the same tune:

After an hour of stocking up on freebies, my suitemate and I left. CollegeFest is a good time if you’d like to pick up some random free goods. After you hit all the tables, though, the novelty wears off. Still, if you can score free tickets, it’s a great place to stop by! Especially if you’d like to see the performances.

This is why I take the stairs

International Village is 22 stories high. There are more elevators than stairwells, and out of the few stairwells there are, only one of them can be used without setting off the fire alarm. Using the elevator is a necessity.

At most times, it’s okay. But at certain times– when everyone is going to class, when everyone is getting dinner, etc., using the elevator can look like this:

And that’s why I take the stairs.

My suitemate reacts to Death Note

Warning: This post is, truly, only understandable for those who have read or watched Death Note. 

When one of my suitemates got to NU, she got into watching Death Note, the hit manga/anime by Obata Takeshi and Ohba Tsugumi. Both my roommate and I have seen it before.

My suitemate is quite hilarious.