Archive for August, 2011

working with “student” budget

August 13, 2011

Sometimes I find me telling myself that college days would also probably be one of my financially unstable times. But I enjoy being broke or a savvy when it comes to budgeting. I strongly do not believe that money brings happiness, it shouldn’t. It has a lot to do with the feeling involving possession issues but this is another subject we can discuss later.

I have found few ways to not break the bank. I am known for getting things that I want instead of needing them. By time when I really need them, I’d make a panicked videophone call to my parents and beg. Not an exactly good way to sort things out, I know. I am listing all the things I’ve done in order to save extra gravy.

1)  Skin Care: If I had a post-graduate job with a gravy flowin’ income, I’d find myself in the shelves at Sephora and browsing their latest cream. However I have found another way around, and the answer is baking soda. It works fantastic! Me and my high school self didn’t escape my face when I enrolled college for the first time. I was only seventeen and I had bad acne. I tried countless of products labeled with some promising marketing phrases that led me hoping it would tackle my skin problems. It never did. Until two weeks ago, I tried washing it with baking soda. It worked amazingly and my skin is a lot more controlled, the best part? It’s only a dollar or few more. I wash my face every night after wetting it with hot water, then I create a “paste” out of the baking soda with water and scrub then rinse. You’re all good!

2) Body Scrub: When you’re in California or DC, your opportunity to get a nice glow from the sun is great. But you cannot do that if you don’t exfoliate, with that being said– most of scrubs are costly OR packed with unknown chemicals that you cannot pronounce. (usually from cheap products, I’d say.) What I do, I take a bit of maple syrup and mix it with sugar. There! It works very well and not to mention it is delicious! You can use similar products like honey or agave nectar. Here’s a tip– the cafeteria at Gallaudet holds those products! You can easily get a spoonful of honey and sugar to-go then treat yourself to a nice body/face scrub topped off with a steamy shower!

3) Bring your cup: In order for me to survive the semester, I rely on America’s most addictive drug that is perfectly legal (well, sociologically speaking!)…caffeine. I usually like my cup of joe black and bold, but sometimes I’m in for a treat. A soy latte is a bliss for me when I’m at my stressed phases at Gallaudet. I go to the ‘gallybucks’ at the G-AREA in Student Academic Center and bring my mug. You’ll save a couple of cents! It is a small amount of money being saved but your action counts for the mother nature. NOTE: When SBG office hours are being posted, we have an espresso machine and it is for anyone to use! We can whip you up a latte if you wish to!
4) Get a metro card, seriously: You’re in DC and you’re a college student, please do not bring your car. We are blessed with wonderful public transportation. It is not the system that we’re blessed with, the perks comes within. Every Wednesdays at SAC, around 11AM to 3pm– a Metro sales rep will be present at a booth where you can apply for a discounted SmartTrip card. When you’re approved (it only takes ten minutes of your time to fill out an online form and get your picture taken) and you save greatly. You pay $5 for the card and start depositing balances at any Metro location- you ride for half of the price! And yes, again its eco-friendly. You’re saving your carbon footprint and reducing the use of paper.

5) Gettin’ tired of your look? Ask around and look out for some hair-cutting offer flyers posted on campus. I’m very anal with my bangs but I do not go to a salon to get a $15 bang trim. I know some friends of friends’ friend who got some mean cutting skill. I get my bangs trimmed in a manner I exactly wanted for an exchange of a drink or a tip. Most of salons at DC do offer student discounts but I’m not paying $27 if I can get a cheaper cut. You can sometimes find a great deal on groupon.com if you really want to treat yourself.  **A note to those who desire a mini-makeover, talking about beach waves: if you want the beachy waves- do not buy hair products. Just fill a sprayer with water and sea salt (get that from cafeteria!) and spritz all over your hair then blow dry- your prayers will be answered.

6) Craving for a movie night? Rent some from the library, you’d be surprised that they have good flicks on the stock! And it is  entirely free! You can also go to the cafeteria to pack some fun snacks to-go so you can nibble on them while watching the movie. I usually pack goldfishes, ham deli meat stuffed with cream cheese, cucumbers and salsa, and etc. I’ve done this many times when I’m broke and it is very fulfilling.

7) An event coming up: dive in! One of perks with being involved with sbg-sponsored events, you get a free admission. When the opportunity arises, sign up to be part of a committee! For example: Homecoming 2011 is around the corner and they will be asking for students to volunteer with decorations, beer stand, security, and more. You’ll pay in first as a deposit to ensure that you’ll fulfill your duties. After the event, you’ll get your money back only if you fulfill your duties. You may save $25!

I think I want to stop there, I finally finished my summer painting project- meet Lola. And, good night everyone.

Lola and the artist

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overcoming the..heat

August 10, 2011

When school starts again, the excitement and the energy is very high on Gallaudet campus. However there may be one environmental factor that I never liked and that is; the humidity, my friend.

Before Gallaudet College existed, the acres of land used to be a swamp. Yes, a swamp. In case if you never noticed the mosquitoes are always around until the midweek of September. Until Gallaudet College started to build, and the whole building expanded even bigger when Gallaudet College became a University and–it no longer resembles a swamp. And now we are continuing our renovations and new projects on campus, we are expecting a new residence hall in the spring of 2012! Anyways, the former climate of land now underpins the reason why DC has horrible humidity.

I always find myself dreading for the heat, because I’m from the west coast where it is nice and dry. But within my four years at Gallaudet, I have learned how to adopt to DC’s weather. I find it useful when I keep myself hydrated. You guys may see me bringing my trusty friend aka Palibou (don’t ask abt the name, long story and yes it involves Alaskan Caribou and Sarah Palin) it’s a REI refillable 32 ounces water bottle. The more hydrated you are, the less likely you’ll feel exhausted by afternoon after sticking up with the humidity. Whenever you’re going to a class, always bring a thin coat because Gallaudet University buildings are usually a bit chilly from the A/C.

I’m also a jogger myself in the mornings, and I do not recommend anyone running in the day where the heat is at its peak. It is dangerous and people do get heat strokes from that. It is best to do your running regime in the morning until 10 am the latest. And on the weekends try to have an activity that is water-related, it cools you down. I usually go to Dupont Circle and sit on the water fountain, a lot of people does this too! It is very cool and refreshing while you do your people-watching pleasure!

Before you know it, the fall season will begin and the humidity will be long gone! And when you pass your full-year mark, the more immune you will be from suffering the heat.

EDIT: One of my professor shared me this link- DC is not built on a swamp (oops!) it’s a myth apparently but this is a good read! http://www.welovedc.com/2009/07/07/dc-mythbusting-built-on-a-swamp/

and this shows that my readers do not only involve students, transfer students, new students, or stalkers–it includes my professors! The perks of Gallaudet- it’s a smaller school where everyone knows everyone on any level from personal to professional level. You’ll sense that after a semester at Gallaudet, really.  It’s something I’ll miss after I graduate. So that’s also the reason why I love the great northwestern (Anchorage) its so small and local- you bump into your tattoo artists every fridays at a gathering.

a cordial facade we stroll…

August 9, 2011

I am running out of excuses on why I’m not blogging. Yeah, really- this is raw. I’m going to lay it all out on the table and just say this: I’m just busy. Yes, I’m busy. But when you say “I’m busy” to someone- you don’t realize you either: scare them away or cut down the friendly tone in the conversation you’re having with the person. So I typically try to avoid the B word whenever I’m clacking my heels around the campus (usually with flats packed inside my bags because I start limping approximately three hours after the use.) Until tonight, I realized that this is a blog. I’m blogging about my life and it is BUSY. There! Using the B word has never been so liberating as tonight feels. Now what I am about to tell you is considered as a good excuse, probably the best you’ll ever hear.

Lately ever since I left off after my last entry (around Thanksgiving) I’ve been discovering more about my GNU Baby (for those who don’t know, it is a snowboard) and I love it until I injured my tailbone. I am now living with a coccyx injury. I have to stay away from Lomo the long board for a range of 6 months to a year and yes that includes my GNU Baby. I have read so much more books and yes it includes King’s books *ALWAYS! I’ve written a 45 page long story about a LSD trip and the catch is that I have never tried LSD. I became the Anagrapha Grammareus for my sorority in the spring semester. I coordinated Colorfest 2011 Workshops. Arranged several events on behalf of Student Body Government as their Director of Community Relations. I got an internship gig at National Council of Disability. And yes! I got tattooed (much more to come!) I discovered great bands like Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, Doctor Squid, and more. I went to Alaska in the summer then made an impulsive decision to stay there for two months. Where I enjoyed a lot of Kaladi Brother Coffee, honey-cinnamon-nutmeg-lavendar infused beer, and good local indie music (talking about the hoons: http://www.facebook.com/Thehoons). And here I am. So, I think this considers a good pass for slacking on this blog lately.

Anyways, one of my objectives for my last year is to blog as frequently as I can. This is because I want to have my own blogging site someday and this is a good start for me. I’ve been browsing around other wonderful sites (for ladies or anyone with kitschy art interests, and yes vintage fashion with a little bit of tattooing culture nicely interwoven into the mix) I fell in love and felt suddenly inspired! Their url(s) are:

http://www.delightfully-tacky.com/

http://entroende.wordpress.com/ (a dear friend of mine!)

http://skunkboycreatures.blogspot.com/

http://thevelvetbird.blogspot.com/

Something to keep you all occupied before your preseason training begins, or any other training that heavily involves workshops (the usual at Gallaudet for Resident Assistants, Campus Activities Workers, Student Body Government *me* officers, Greek Officers *me again*, and more.)

The upcoming academic year of 2011-12 will have to begin and end with a bang for me. It will be my very last year at Gallaudet University before I go off to explore the perks of life out there. Before I can do that- I’ll lead my sorority (I’m the Proedros- check our site out: http://www.phikappazeta.org/) and I’ll be the Chief of Staff for the Hinks and Behm Administration- it will be a great year for Student Body Government. I’m very animated about how I will lead my cabinets, we have a very diverse and wonderful team this year.

I can’t write about the year any further because it is yet to come! If you’re a existing student, a new student, a transfer student, a stalker, or a someone who wishes to give me an insult…rant…death threats.. I welcome them. contact me at my school email address: clara.baldwin@gallaudet.edu

ask me anything, I’m an open book!

p.s. the subject “a cordial facade we stroll” is a portion of lyrics stolen from one of the hoons’ song “a new credo” (a pretty rad tune to listen to) had to credit to them. just felt very fitting.

A week and a half away from my senior year

August 1, 2011

So it is the first day of August. I didn’t finish my internship in Romania due to personal reasons (ex: domestic violence). I left for home on June 5th and arrived home on June 6th, but It took me two days of flights. It was an interesting experience. I mean, I actually spent a whole night sleeping in an airport in Berlin, Germany and met a nice woman from Belgium.  Do not take me wrong, the experiences in Romania were very rich and full of amazing experiences. It is just that my supervisor had no respect for people. He openly admitted to me that he strongly loathes people when I first met him in person. Then he mistreated me for 2 weeks. So I left. Romania is a gorgeous country. Nights over there are amazing. There is no skylight for 30+ miles and the night sky always took my breath away. DC is beautiful at night, but it depends on the view and stars are barely seen whereas in Romania the night sky greatly resembles a black sheet with shiny diarrhea all over it. Get it? 🙂

I will be back in DC in a week and a half. It will be my first time taking ONLY four classes. I almost always take 6-7 classes per semester, but somehow fate decided that I am better off taking only 4 classes this fall. My schedule dwindled from 6 courses to 4 courses in one week. I am concerned about my schedule because 4 courses plus the RA job = way too much free time. I loathe “too much” free time. Some people like it, but I don’t. I like to be busy. But I will use it as an opportunity to venture off the campus as much as I can and explore DC before I graduate and say adios to Gallaudet for good.