Saturday, December 18, 2004


Finished finals. It feels weird as hell to know I am done. I still haven't seen the grades so I won't feel completely relaxed until that happens and I know once and for all I passed and have completed my degree. And then I will be able to safely say I am a college graduate. I will be able to say I am Yael and I got my Bachelor's of Science in Bioengineering from the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley. And that excites me. Why? Cuz suddenly I will have something to back up anything I say :) hehehe. A college graduate. I think it's bizarre because I never thought this day would come. I mean, of course I knew it would but then it always felt like it was a ways away. I don't know if any of this makes sense.

It was also funny that after my last final, the lecturer for that class told us all to meet up at this bar/restaurant for drinks and food. We sat around and ate and drank with the lecturer! The boys were having chugging races with him and drank a lot of beer. I didn't feel like drinking even though they wanted me to get in on the action. :) It was amusing and a great way to celebrate my last final being over.

A chapter of my life has come to an end and a new one is about to begin. I feel good. I am happy. Content. I slept in till 11AM this morning. Something I rarely ever do. It felt good to know I had nothing urgent to do today. Just relax and enjoy the feeling of being done.

Friday, December 17, 2004

2004 Questionare

I lifted this from Kathy's blog. I think that these surveys are great to help one reflect on things they felt, did, and wish they did over the past year. Hopefully other people will do it and share their answers. But I recommend doing it even if it's too personal to share because reflecting on your life gives it more meaning.

Here it goes:
1. What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?Hmmm...can't think of anything at the moment. I'll get back to this question. Why do they start with the hardest question??

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I seriously can’t remember if I made any new year’s resolutions this year. So much for that. I can tell you where I was on new year’s. A kibbutz near Kiryat Shmona hanging out with some very cute soldiers at a kibbutz party!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Well thank G-d lots of babies all around were born. 2 of my cousins had babies, 2 family friends had babies, and one more person who is almost family. So wonderful that everyone is breeding ?

4. Did anyone close to you die?No. Thank G-d

5. What countries did you visit?This year, only Israel….3 times.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?I would like to have my freedom from school and be able to live in Israel.

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?August 10th. It was a really sad day for me. The only day sadder was August 26th.
October 21st as well because that was Amir's wedding in Israel!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?I'll be able to answer this in a few days!!

9. What was your biggest failure?
The usual.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Thank G-d nothing serious. Just colds and an ear infection.

11. What was the best thing you bought?I trip to New Zealand

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Laura’s! She’s the best if you didn’t get it already. She was there through all the drama that caused those 2 sad days in August…and all the sad days that followed. I love her.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I just realized how personal this questionare is and now I am not sure how much I want to disclose….But I did have a "friend" decide he couldn't be friends with me anymore because I didn't feel more for him. I thought that was absurd and painful.

14. Where did most of your money go?To pay for New Zealand flight and gas for my car. Why is gas so friggin’ expensive in this state???

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?My brother’s weddings!!! It was the highlight of the year!
And also going to Israel in October. Both for my brother’s wedding…and other reasons….

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?
So many. But they will remind me more of Israel since I bought tons of cds in Israel and listen to them incessantly.

17. Compared to this time last year, you are:
More self-confident

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Volunteered or any kind of outreaching…

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Watching TV….and procrastinating.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
Well, I am Jewish. And you know what they say (on Southpark) “It’s hard to be a Jew on Christmas.” Just kidding. I might go to Christmas Eve Services to see what that’s all about. Could be very educational.

(what happened to q21??)

22. Did you fall in love in 2004?
I sure did.

23. How many one-night stands?
Wow this questionare is personal. But if you must know, zero.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
I guess ER. But I am really getting into CSI. That show is soo interesting.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word.

26. What was the best book you read?
I don’t read for fun. Not as much as I should or would like. Graduating is exciting because maybe I will have more time to read. Or maybe I’ll end up watching a lot more TV. We’ll see. For now, the only books I had time to read were for my sociology class. I can recommend a few of them: Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen and Inequality by Design written by a whole bunch of Berkeley Sociology Professors.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
For me, Shotey Hanevuah. I love love love them.

28. What did you want and get?
I wanted to go to Israel over the summer. And I did! Yay!

29. What did you want and not get?
I don’t know..I have been pretty fortunate thank G-d.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don’t know. I don’t watch many new movies cuz they are expensive.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My birthday…wow…why can’t I remember?? Probably cried that I am getting older. Probably checked my face for new wrinkles. Just kidding (or am I?).
I got a lot of phonecalls from people who are important and dear to me. That made my day.

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I think this has been one of the more interesting years of my life. Maybe a different turn of events on Aug 10th but then if it had come out differently I wouldn’t have known about what I went through and wouldn’t know what I was saved from going through. Does that make sense?

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?
Going for the Israeli chick look. But not quite there…working on it.

34. What kept you sane?
Laura. Did I mention she’s the best? And my family and my wonderful friends. I have some amazing friends…and my family Baruch Hashem is amazing as well.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Did this survey come from England? Who uses the word "fancy" besides them? Brad Pitt is still the sexiest movie star. As far as public figure…hmm…no that’s gross.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Things that have to do with Israel and hearing all the nonsense that people try and spread here at Berkeley. It’s infuriating and I can’t wait to get away from the lies.

37. Who did you miss?
The person taken from me on Aug 10th.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
See answer to question 37

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:
What a great question! I definitely have a valuable lesson learned this year. The lesson is to know that while you may plan your life, G-d may have other plans for you. It’s like the quote my dad always says, “Man plans his life and G-d laughs.” This is so true and I learned this first hand this year.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Finals Update

Final #2 done! One more to go!! The one I just took left me with a blister on my finger because there were 4 fricken essays and 3 hours to write. Bleh. Needless to say the essays were poorly written because lets face it... I can't write. That was one of the reasons I started a blog. Engineering school at Berkeley doesn't leave you with many opportunities to write and express yourself so I needed an outlet.

The class was called the Sociology of Poverty. If there is one thing I learned from reading eight books on the subject it is that I am soo thankful for having enough money for food, housing, health insurance, education, transportation, etc. In addition, that I live in a country that is not run by a tyrant but rather a beautiful democracy and does not oppress my rights to freedom of speech or education. Furthermore, a country that does not have such a blatant gender inequality and I don't have to spend my life pumping out children.

Fun fact of the day: No democracy has ever seen famine. It only occurs in countries where the rulers don't have to answer to the people (ie: be re-elected)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Finals update

Yes, my entries aren't so exciting lately. That's cuz all I get to do is read read read and study all day and night. Bleh. Yea I am a whiner. So I got one final done. I have one tomorrow. I again don't exactly feel prepared. This one has 8 books I had to read!! That is 8 more books than I normally read! (just kidding) I still have a bit of reading to do so off I go.

Only one more after tomorrow's final!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


I am off to my first final. I did not sleep well last night out of anxiety that I didn't study enough........oooof. It's one of those classes that no matter how much you study, you will still feel like there is more you could've done. I hope it goes well! Whatever happens, happens and that will be that. :)

I will feel better once this one is over. I still have 2 more after this one.

Here goes nothing!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Berkeley Pride

Did I really just say that? Well, it's for Berkeley's academic not social achievements. I read an article today that has ranked Berkeley's engineering school number one in the world. Above MIT!!!

Granted I found the article from the Berkeley website but it came from the Times, "UC Berkeley is the No. 1 engineering and information technology (IT) university in the world, according to rankings published today (Dec. 10) by the Times Higher Education Supplement. The weekly British newspaper also named Berkeley No. 4 on its list of the top 100 science universities."

The whole article can be read here

This is exciting for me since B''H my degree will come from the Berkeley's School of Engineering.

So yay for Cal! Something to be proud of!!

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