“Z” is for Zones

ZI try to keep up with friends in between working and classes. However, I’ve noticed, as we have grown older, that we have been moving farther and farther apart, a few of these friends even leaving the country indefinitely.

“Oh, Fullerton?” A friend from Los Angeles would say. “That’s far.”

“Alright, I’ll come to you then.” And even when I used to live in LA County, the invisibly faint zone lines determined how often I would see someone.

Dating was another story. There have been times in the past that I would type an address in my Google Maps app and change my mind about a potential partner candidate. The zones determined area codes, friends, and lovers. Continue reading ““Z” is for Zones”

“Y” is for Yams

YThe students sat down in their usual half circle in the classroom, leaving room for their professor to sit at the table in the front. There were only six of them, which certainly made the students feel as though they were closer to each other personally, than those they have met in other classes during their undergrad years. Some how the same seating arrangement that they had experienced in preschool came back around as a trend when they become graduate students.

One of the students, who wore her long blonde hair tied back in a ponytail, looked up from the papers laid out on the desk in front of her as I walked into the room. “Hey, so how was your Thanksgiving?” Continue reading ““Y” is for Yams”

“X” is for X-Ray

XHer blonde hair was tied back in a messy ponytail, and when she opened her mouth behind her mask, she spoke with a heavy Boston accent. “So, do you floss regularly?”

I stared up at the woman with her gloved hands in my mouth. “Well, umm, I floss?”

My dentist laughed. “I don’t know, I’m asking you.”

She finished up with her examination and then went to go grab the x-rays that she had taken of my teeth earlier.

I waited for a few minutes until my dentist came back with another dentist.

“So, that weird thing you felt in your mouth was an extra tooth.” She pointed to my x-rays. “You have five wisdom teeth. Continue reading ““X” is for X-Ray”

“W” is for Waitlisted

The Thing About These Recent Tuition and Fee Hikes For Education

Photo by Richard Lee via Flickr
Photo by Richard Lee via Flickr

The estimated costs of attending college in the University Of California school system for undergraduates during the entire 2013-2014 academic school year was $36,078. With estimated costs for books and supplies at $1,500, living costs at $13,800, personal and transportation costs at $2,200, and health insurance fees at $1,700, the total average estimated cost for education can put you back $55,278 a year. As of today, approved to raise tuition as much as 28% by 2019 for at University of California schools.

For California State University Schools the price tag rings a little differently, but the costs for attending the institutions are continuing to rise as well. During the 1989-1990 academic school year, tuition fees were at $700. Today, according to the California State University website, undergraduate CSU students pay $5,472 and, on average, mandatory campus fees of $1,287 totaling their costs to $6,759.

The other day I was speaking with a friend, who also went to the same Cal State School, about registering for classes. She was nervous, as everyone else was, about getting the classes that she needs in order to graduate on time. Continue reading ““W” is for Waitlisted”

“V” is for Versailles

VThe day before we left France was another cool and slightly gloomy day. It had poured and sprinkled off and on every day in Paris except for the first extremely hot day that we arrived. It didn’t really rain as we headed for the metro and onto a train to Versailles, however, it rained for a moment while we took shelter inside of a Parisian McDonalds.

After eating our beignets and macaroons from the French-ified restaurant, we walked down several blocks to visit Château de Versailles. It was slightly strange walking off the path of the suburban surroundings and onto the property, which once housed monarchs.

There the Palace of Versailles stood as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the “Ancien Régime” in the middle of a country village, and it continued to sit beautifully dripping gold in the wealthy modern suburbs of Paris. Continue reading ““V” is for Versailles”

“U” is for Umbrella

14820799132_0bef631731_mThe last day of our adventures in Spain was flooded with a heavy downpour of rain. The small group of travelers that I was with at the time wanted to make one last stop before hoping a bus to the airport in Barcelona, despite any of us being prepared for the weather that waited outside for us.

We had walked against the cool winds that tried to push us away from our destination. We had called in and tried putting our names down for a reservation to enter the architectural feat that is La Sagrada Família, and were to told that we could walk in with other groups around 10am. We checked the time when we arrived in front of the gates surrounding the basilica, and were told by the guards at the front that we had to wait outside for bit before they could let us in.

The day before had been so sunny and warm, but as we looked up toward the gray skies our faces were dampened with misty sprinkles. A moment later led to an immediate cloudburst of heavy rain, and all of us travelers without hoods or an umbrella huddled together underneath a small awning in line. Continue reading ““U” is for Umbrella”

“T” is for Train

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The stop in front of Disneyland Paris

I’ve noticed, after traveling Europe for a little bit, that there are often more railways than motorways. Compared to the U.S., the rail networks in Western and Central Europe are wonderfully developed and maintained, they cover more land area, and they just have their shit together.

I spent a decent amount of time in Europe standing in the Firenze Santa Maria Novella Train Station. I bumped into young people wearing large backpacking packs on their way to the next country, locals heading out on day trips, and other students studying abroad who were, like me, using the weekend to explore all that the new foreign country had to offer. Continue reading ““T” is for Train”

“S” is for Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Palace of Versailles, Paris
Palace of Versailles, Paris

We hit the ground running after we traveled by bus from Beauvais-Tillé Airport in to the heart of Paris. We snapped our pictures under the sparkling Eiffel Tower that stood proudly against the starry sky, seen all that Disneyland Paris had to offer, saw Parisian guards in a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, walked through the paths at Place des Vosges and Palais du Luxembourg, and gazed up at the gargoyles and beautiful stain glass window in Notre Dame Cathedral.

Between all the running around the group that I was traveling with, we had went from being completely confused by the Parisian metro, to mastering the city that resided underneath the surface. We were submerged in a crash course lesson of everything French. I didn’t know the language before traveling to France, but after what were most likely hours spent riding the metro; we had listened to the voice overhead announcing the stops to the point where we memorized the order of some of the places, and were taught how to pronounce them perfectly. However, for a few of us (including myself), learning how to navigate our way through the metro didn’t translate as well to the above ground city of Paris. Continue reading ““S” is for Saint-Germain-des-Prés”

“R” is for Rome

RThe last day that I was in Rome, Italy landed, appropriately, on a Sunday. I had been sick that weekend either from travel fatigue or from my fellow travelers suddenly falling ill to what seemed like the plague, and the rain that flooded the streets the night before wasn’t helping at all.

A friend of mine, who was also Catholic, had mentioned that she wanted to attend mass while she was in Rome. I wasn’t the most religious person, but I agreed to go along because it would be kind of cool to say to my other Catholic friends that I did. We both got up that morning in search for a church with a service that was held in English, but, we had missed many of those already and didn’t think it would be worth it to sit through mass in Italian. We ended up wandering around and meeting up with another friend at the hotel that we were staying at. “Did you guys want to see the Pope at the Vatican?”

My friend and I looked at each other and knew the answer, “Umm, yeah!” Continue reading ““R” is for Rome”

“Q” is for Quiche… And The Realization That Times Have Changed

QThe other day, as I curled up on the couch with some hot green tea after a late class, my sister asked me a strange question. “Hey, is it okay if someone borrows an egg?”

I removed the thermos full of tea from my lips and replied with a, “What? Just one egg?”

“Yeah, one of my friends who lives in the building just texted me and she’s coming over to borrow an egg, if that’s okay.”

“That’s totally fine. She can take an egg.”

Several minutes passed and there was a knock at the door. My sister answered it, inviting her two friends in and gave them the cooking ingredient that they asked for.

“Thank you!” The girls said as they moved toward the door.

“You guys just want the egg? You don’t want a cup of water or something?” My sister watched the girls shake their heads with a smile. “I just feel like I should be offering you guys something else.” Continue reading ““Q” is for Quiche… And The Realization That Times Have Changed”