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Everyone by now is a week into Fall Quarter, adjusting from summer break, and getting into the groove. Likewise, I am more settled living at home, working my first post-grad job (!!!) and back into blogging.
So, what have I been up to since I last posted…
Well, I graduated! After I picked up my cap and gown, my friend Todd and I did a photo shoot around campus to commemorate the occasion. Here’s a select few:
Graduation day itself was pretty amazing. My friends and I scored front row seats! It was funny because the back row had filled up for the middle column and we were very hesitant on what to do and the ushers kept motioning us forward until we were like,”Ohhh!”
Melanie, Me & Jessie (Thanks Martin Wong for the photo!)
How my cap was decorated To infinity & beyond!
Graduation was just how I expected it to be – unmemorable speeches, a long long list of names and yet one of the happiest surreal moments of my life. I contemplated recording myself receiving my “diploma” but I am glad I decided to just live it with my fullest attention. I swear, I think I walked ahead before my name was even announced because of the adreneline running through me. It was almost an out of body experience with slow motion smiles and nodding, looking to the crowd, and BAM – over in an instant!
Here’s a little video from the day:
I am grateful to have experienced the whole thing with my lovely roomie Melanie & to have had quite a few friends in my half of the L&S commencement ceremony – more people to cheer for. Also, loved that my family had a great view of us from right behind the stage and lots of friends came to greet me afterwards with flowers and hugs. When all the photo taking was done, my family and I headed over to Fenton’s in Vacaville to celebrate with their biggest sundae – The Banana Special.
That’s it folks! My summer was spent enjoying my last days in Davis, moving my stuff back home, venturing off to New York for three weeks, working in Detroit for AAJA Voices on scholarship with a wonderful bunch of people, then flying back home on a Sunday mid-August only to land a job the Friday afterwards.
I feel pretty lucky to have found a job that I love right out of college. But I also know that I put in the work to really discover who I am and what I want out of a career and UC Davis definitely helped me do that. Interning at UComm, starting this blog, joining AggieTV, minoring in writing – all of these things helped me explore my interests and at the same time build a portfolio for a job I never knew I would want when I first started college. That’s my biggest advice – get to know yourself through trial and error. College is a buffet, try a little bit of everything and go back for the stuff your gut loved. Trust your gut instinct! (oh ho ho!)
If you ever want to talk anything UCD related, career advice, which restaurants you must try, feel free to contact me any time. I love receiving messages and love talking about Davis. Email me at rcagana @ ucdavis dot edu. Tweet me @RachelAgana. And to follow my life after college http://blog.rachelagana.com/ (It will soon be filled with my summer adventures)
Spring is here! As this is my last quarter in Davis, I am looking for new bloggers to take over. Below is the form to apply. If it is loading slowly, apply here: http://bit.ly/ucdblog. I’m looking forward to meeting you all!
Hi all – hope you all had a wonderful, fun and relaxing winter break. I know this week has been a whirlwind for us all. It’s rough transitioning from vacation back to school again. A few of my friends did study abroad last quarter and they all are in a bit of a culture shock. I thought with this being my last quarter here everything would be smooth sailing. I signed up for all the classes that I wanted with an early past time and set up an automatic payment for my last tuition and thought I was good to go. I guess being caught up with all the holidays I did not make sure that my online payment went through. I was pretty much anti computer (surprise!) over break. That mistake caused all my classes being dropped and having to re-enroll to the bottom of the wait-lists. It totally sucks. There’s nothing that the registrar can do and professors can’t make any promises on giving me a PTA number regardless of my situation. Fortunately I now have 2 out of 3 of the classes I was originally enrolled in. (Well 2 out of 4 – I am willing to sacrifice my tai chi class.) Now I’m just waiting out to see which Psychology class I can enroll in. The problem is they both have labs. All of the students are able to fit in the lecture part of the course but in lab it gets a bit crowded and usually one section is more popular than the other. In hindsight I wonder why I did not receive an email on the last day to pay for tuition. One final reminder. I received a few reminder emails since around Thanksgiving – why is there no email sent on the deadline day? I do take full responsibility for not double checking. I definitely regret not just paying it right there and then well in advance of the deadline.
Anyways, enough with the negative and on to the positive. I am for sure getting into TCS 191 Writing Across Media with Dr. Andy Jones. It’s a class I’ve been looking forward to taking ever since last year when a couple AggieTV friends told me about it. Here is the course description:
TCS 191 introduces students to experimental approaches to writing for different media and artistic practices, including photography, art installations, radio, film and film criticism, and live staged and multimedia performances. Participants in the class will explore how written texts relate to the images, sounds, and performances in digital and media production. Participants will complete a significant number of in-class and out-of-class writing assignments, both individually and as parts of groups. Our common themes, creativity and discovery, will inform all your reading and writing assignments, and prepare you to engage, challenge and impress readers, viewers, and listeners.
It’s going to be a fun and challenging class. I’m already brainstorming what I could do for our class projects. I’m looking forward to the radio script assignment because I have not played around with just audio in a while. I hope to find someone in class to collaborate on story boarding a favorite movie scene. Of course, Pixar comes to mind but I feel I want to steer away from movies that I have access to original story boards. One of the bonus assignments I signed up for is to create an Image Collection to have a visual companion for class. Dr. Andy suggested using Tumblr to host photos and so I went ahead and included quotes, links and videos in addition to photos. Check it out at http://tcs191.tumblr.com/. You can also read more about our class at http://www.andysclasses.com/tcs-191/. I believe someone is going to make a blog of class notes so when I find that out I can post it too.
Another positive for this quarter is that I learned I have friends in each of my classes! I know it’s great to make new friends but it’s awesome to have people you already know in class since everyone is so busy all the time and it makes it harder to find time to hang out. So that is comforting.
The last thing I’m psyched about is being on the Lip Dub committee for AggieTV. If you haven’t heard, see our Facebook event! We’ll be filming a promo on Sunday which will be fun. We’ll soon begin club and organization outreach to get everyone on campus involved. The song choice that naturally won the vote is Queen – Bicycle.
And for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about – here’s an example of a lip dub:
Hope you’re transitioning back to school as smoothly as possible! Sound off in the comments if you’re having wait list issues too.
Score! 3rd place for Team Jumba! Papa Jumba is a smooth sunnies seller.
Ever since it was announced that KevJumba and Papa Jumba were going to be contestants on The Amazing Race, his YouTube hiatus was all worth it. As you know Kevin Wu is a 3rd year here at UC Davis majoring in Communications (though I heard he’s taking some time off) and I had to tune in to support a fellow Aggie. I just finished watching last night’s season premiere through CBS.com (the life of a college student = online streaming). Not much of #TeamJumba was shown through their journey from Boston to Stonehenge.
But the spotlight was on for the boat balance challenge.
Best FAIL montage
With the start of the new school year, I felt it would be appropriate for us to reacquaint since I’ve never officially introduced myself.
Like many of my peers Davis was not my first choice school. It was a UC, respectable, and just far enough away from home to feel independent. Honestly, I almost did not want to go to Davis simply because my older sister went here. I just had to be different. But also like many of my peers – I fell in love with Davis. Head. Over. Heels.
After a roller coaster freshman year (more on that later), I went back home for a few years at community college but always knowing I would return. During my time at home, my friend Jessica Kim started to blog for MIT Undergraduate Admissions. At first I read just to keep updated with her life across the country – just another one of her blogs. I attribute my closest friendships to blogging – Xanga during high school and LiveJournal at the beginning of college. As I continued reading, I was not only fascinated by all her stories but became enamored by the campus.
Fast forward to about this time last year, The New York Times wrote an article about Jess and other student bloggers on how writing about their college experience is a great way for prospective students to learn about the school. Now I cannot count how many times people have said “boring cow town” when I tell them I go to Davis. I felt it was my duty to defend Davis and educate the public by showcasing all the things I love about this community. And so I started pitching the idea of a student blog around and found a home with Student Affairs.
My hope is that I can be an invaluable resource with advice for everything from the best places to get your textbooks to good eats off campus. I want to be an inspiration for taking advantage of all UC Davis has to offer. I write for everyone – prospective students to get a glimpse of student life, for current students to learn more about their campus and for alumni to reflect on their time here. As this blog grows I envision adding guest bloggers and full time regulars to demonstrate the diversity of paths to take while at UC Davis.
For now -
this is all my point of view.
This is how I live UCD.
Karin asked me if I could be her model to take photos of the new compost bins in the CoHo. I thought it was just going up for the new sustainability website Russ is designing but Sam pointed out it was on the homepage when we were working today!
Behind the scenes (Thanks Russ for taking the photos!):
It was fun being on the other side of the lens and there was much less pressure when I found out they’ll probably just use the hand shots. We took some shots of me dropping it too. Hard work!
Carpe Davis is the theme of this year’s Picnic Day. For our internship at University Communications, my friend Samantha and I were assigned to cover UC Davis’ annual open house for the UC Davis homepage along with the other interns. This was a wonderful opportunity because annually thousands of visitors will be visiting the site to learn more about planning their day.
We met Nicole and Chris to decide what topics to be covered. It was cool meeting the other students that also work at UComm. Nicole would cover how alot of the events would be moved to Vanderhoef Quad where alot of our new buildings are and Chris would do music.
Sam had the idea of going around and interviewing students about their favorite parts of Picnic Day in the style of what she worked on for last years graduating classes. I also wanted to interview as many of the Board of Directors as possible especially since they are students as this is the largest student run event in the nation. I have always wanted to create an interactive Google Map ever since I saw how easy it is but never found a topic that would be fun and also that other people besides myself would find useful. Picnic Day would be a perfect topic and I envisioned using the videos of students we filmed and including that in the map so when you click on a point that is about the Chemistry Magic show there would be a student raving about it, a photo and the schedule included all in one place. I knew that it would not be possible unless we had the final schedule of events.
So we stuck with Plan A since our deadline was Thursday April 8th and fast approaching. We spent morning and afternoon filming for three days and lucky us it was beautiful sunny weather. We shot the Board of Directors at the arboretum and approached students around the quad and outside the MU to see if they would like to give their opinion. It was a lot of fun and we got comfortable with talking to people we had just met. We were so grateful that Monica, Megan and Missy took the time from their busy planning schedule to help us out!
Filming Chair Monica Lindholm talking about the bus shuttles and the parade.
Best partner ever – Sam!
Finally, the night before our deadline we received the schedule of events via email – exclusive press access before the final version was designed and released to the public. I was editing the clips that we filmed from the first two days filming because I wanted that done first if a map was not possible which I finished close to midnight, went home and stayed up until 5AM creating the first draft of the map. I wanted it to be as complete as possible before pitching the idea to Susanne our web editor we work with to show that it could be done pretty quickly and see if the deadline could be pushed a bit more.
The next morning…or well a few hours later, I showed Sam what I created and then asked Susanne if she’d come take a look and to my delight she loved it and commended me for my initiative. In fact the whole department was excited about it. Laurie, the design manager, gave me a hug and told me that this was the most useful thing created for Picnic day ever. I was so elated that we got the green light to continue. By the afternoon, Russ, one of the graphic designers, had already created the first image that would go up for the Spotlight on the homepage using a screenshot of the map. I remember it said something about Google-ize your Picnic Day, I giggled because it reminded me of googly eyes. We finished up filming Megan & Missy that day and I helped choose pictures from the archives that should be uploaded to Flickr to use to embed into the map. Every day up until the end of the Monday before Picnic Day Sam and I worked on the map. A lot of it was having to redo work because sometimes the Youtube videos would disappear when switching to Rich Text mode from HTML mode such as adding a photo after a video. We learned how to work the system like remembering to add the photos before adding videos and lots of little details like that. Renaming videos and having to re-embed them after the edited descriptions was also doubling and sometimes tripling our work.
I was in class when Sam texted me that it was up Wednesday morning and I flipped out. It’s very satisfying seeing your work displayed for the public to see. In the end, all our hard work payed off. It was a great collaborative effort. Since the map went live it has neared 45,000 views and we’ve received compliments from students, staff and visitors.
Spotlight of Picnic Day on the UC Davis homepage
The feature (Click photo)
The map (Click for larger version)
For the future I would love include stock footage of the event. I know AggieTV filmed almost all of Picnic Day 2009 that could be edited for an updated map which would enrich and entice people to come up especially if they’ve never been. This year our campus photographers Karin and Cheng took more shots that could also be included. This assignment was definitely an opportunity seized!