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A Starving Student’s Guide to Holiday Dinners The end of first semester is nearing, and many of us will soon be returning home to tables of food, holiday celebrations, and families trying to show their love of their returning university students with food and treats. After weeks of terrible diets that long hours of studying creates, our poor stomachs may not be ready for the well-stocked fridges that are awaiting us, but we will have to somehow pull through and suck it up. As someone who has been around the buffet table a time or two before, and worked the holiday party many a time, I offer you a few tips and tricks to make the most of the abundance of free food you will soon find yourself surrounded by.

Courtney Northrup

Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine singlemalt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two!

Avoid vegetable trays. Anyone who puts vegetable trays on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see them, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

Do not pull a Scarlett Oâ€&#x;Hara and have a snack before going to a party in order to look polite. The whole point of going to a party is to eat other people's food for free.


If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy.

Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

Avoid fruitcake. Câ€&#x;mon, have some standards.

If you find yourself in a buffet type situation, check out your options before loading up your plate. Hosts always put the good stuff at the end of the table, and the salads and buns at the beginning. Rookies will excitedly load up, and then find they have no more room on their plate for the key ticket items. Be smarter than that. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge or brag about your find. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention.

One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention, and need to go back for another round.


TPRA Presents: A Night In Las Vegas



Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Moustache

Jan Bartolome, RA, Shuswap House

Andrea Hoflin, RA, Nootka House

Aaron Bailey, SUS President

Seth Holland, RA, Mackenzie House

David Penner, RA, Həm'ləsəm' House

Sadie Morgan, RA, Həm'ləsəm' House 6

Rida Jamal

A Personal Reflection: Med School Dreamin’

When someone asked me what I wanted to be when I was five, I replied in a voice that hadn't quite learned how to talk yet: "doctor." Heck, I'm sure that as soon as I exited the womb, if someone could decipher baby talk, that wail after a slap on my butt would loosely translate to "me wanna be a medical professional." As the years have progressed, the dream has wavered but it has not in the slightest disappeared. In fact, on the first day of university, a friend (who is now an acquaintance—this next statement should have been a telling sign) gave me a look of disdain and said, "Actually make it to med school—you?" with a look in her eyes that I will never forget. It seems that the past two and a half years of university have morphed into this very exfriend and have been giving me the exact same look. But it is no match for my defiant stare (I have also scared off many guys with said stare). As one of thousands of first year Science students with dreams of medical school in one hand and a graphing calculator in the other, I came to UBC, ready for anything. I was not going to be a statistic. This sums up what I heard in first year, murmured in lecture halls and exam facilities and down Main Mall and in the basement of Koerner library: 

Don‟t get good grades, get excellent grades

Get better grades than your peers

Get involved


Volunteer more

Want a social life? That‟s cute. Get back to work.

Don‟t stop studying

Be better, or else you won‟t make it Does this horrible mantra seem familiar at all, loved reader? I am privileged that this crazy schedule and this hectic every-minute-booked lifestyle is one that motivated me, that filled me with passion and the drive to do more. Moreover, looking back on my own personal experiences, I have learned that it gets better. I am now actually taking classes I LOVE (imagine that?), I'm involved with clubs and organizations that are centred around issues that I'm passionate about (imagine that?!), and after finding my footing, I have mastered the elusive art of time management. In Hannah Montana's wise words, I have found the best of both worlds. And it feels great. My medical school dreams remain just as strong, and for every few people that tell me that it's impossible, there are a few more that tell me that my hands are made for healing, that they would trust me with their lives, that they can see that this is what I was made for. And if there's one thing that keeps me going (that all-nighter, the last minute scramble before a big event, a few more hours at the lab), it is that friend, with that look in her eyes so many years ago. One day, that look will be transformed into one of amazement and shock. I promise. 7

Tea With Marjan Green teas. Green tea is the most popular type of tea, especially in Asia. Some of these teas are even scented with flowers or mixed with fruits.

Marjan Hatai Oolong teas. Oolong tea, also known as Wu Long Tea, is fullbodied with a flavorful fragrance and sweet aroma. Oolong is often served in Chinese restaurants!

Tea blends. Tea blends often have the best of all words, as they combine more than one type of tea. Mixing teas really helps to enhance flavor! Black teas. Black tea is the most common type of tea. It is more oxidized than white, green, or oolong teas and is therefore significantly stronger and more flavorful.

Mate teas. Mate tea is considered the coffee lovers‟ favorite tea. It is made from the leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant.

Herbal teas. Herbal tea does not contain any leaves from the Camellia plant family, so it is sometimes referred to as tisane. They can be broken into three categoWhite teas. White tea is the purest and least processed of ries: rooibos teas, mate teas, and all teas. It brews a light color herbal infusions. Herbal infusions are made of pure herbs, flowers, and flavor. and fruits. Herbal teas can be enjoyed hot or iced. I have to have it… Rooibos teas. Rooibos tea, or red tea, is made from South African red bush.

Blooming teas. These teas are also known as artisan or flowering teas. They actually „bloom‟ as they steep! They are hand tied by tea artists and often include some type of flavor or scent along with a beautiful design.

My favorite shops in Vangroovy are David‟s Tea and Teavana. From David‟s Tea, I especially like Jessie‟s Tea, which is a rooibos tea blended with lavender, coconut, and cornflowers. From Teavana, I love Monkey Picked Oolong! This tea has an interesting story behind it: ancient legend has it that Buddhist monks formulated this tea. The monks are said to have trained monkeys to gather the youngest leaves from the tip-top of wild tea trees for this special blend. So there we have it, now you‟re a tea sensei! Go pour yourself a mug, snuggle up on your bed, and watch a Netflix show or two. 8

An Acrostic Poem from the Musical Committee


he cast is set! owever, more are welcome and

veryone can help somehow


e love new faces!

ven those who hide backstage, so on't be afraid to ask a question a' musical committee is happy to answer!

nterested? o worries if you are new to the musical life

reat positions are available for everyone!


o let us know

f you'd like to join our crew ' we would love to have you

et ready for some awesome fun!

veryone will enjoy this show emember to pick up your tickets and go! 9

Oh Bonjour…so you need some French credits?

Andrea Hoflin

If you‟re like me, the words in your French vocabulary upon completing high school were bonjour, baguette, fromage, and rouge. And maybe you could count to 10 and tell people your name too. Unfortunately, if you were plunked down in France for an afternoon, you‟d probably soon realize this doesn‟t really cut it. As part of my degree, I‟m required to have 12 credits in a language other than English, so I figured I‟d use this opportunity to brush up on the language of love and finally learn some French! I took six credits at UBC, and then spent five weeks in Nova Scotia during Spring 2012 for the other six. The best part… the government even paid for my tuition for these six credits. How did I do this? Explore is a five-week intensive language-learning course which runs every spring and summer. Up to $2,200 of funding is available for students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. International students can also attend, but have to cover their own expenses. The bursaries are awarded by random selection and cover tuition fees for the course, instructional materials, meals, and accommodation. So basically… you pay a registration fee (~$225) and your travel expenses, and the rest is covered. Cool right?

Where can you go? Universities all across Canada offer the Explore program— British Columbia (UBC!), Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. However, I‟d encourage you to think about the benefits of trying a region that is primarily French-speaking! I might be a little biased, but I highly recommend Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia (so much fun to be had). It‟s located in a small french-speaking fishing community three hours west of Halifax.


What is Explore like? I can‟t speak for all Explore programs, but mine sure had a lot going on (lots of it was optional). At the beginning of the program, you are tested on your French skill level and then placed in the appropriate section. Every morning I attended class until noon, and then after lunch I had a mandatory “atelier” (aka… extracurricular workshop). There were many to choose from, but I chose the “arts” section and spent the five weeks doing photography, drawing, and painting. Later each afternoon, there was some type of sport being played, and usually some sort of organized optional outing—sometimes a field trip, sometimes a trip to the grocery store, thrift store, etc. Every evening also had an entertaining event… everything is funnier en français (even when you have no idea what they‟re saying). Every Friday and Saturday there was a special themed party of sorts. In five weeks I celebrated Valentine‟s Day, Christmas, Halloween, and went back to the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Plus, I met a ton of awesome people, many of which I still keep in touch with. I didn‟t come home fluent in French, but I learned a ton and improved my conversational skills a lot!

How do you apply? Go to and print out the application form. The deadline is February 28, so while you‟ve got some time to think about it, it‟s a good idea to start looking into the universities now. Even if you have a high level of French, this is a great opportunity to strengthen your skills and have fun! Check out the website and see if this is the right thing for you… it was for me! #noregrets.


House-roscopes Shuswap

Uncover the secrets of the future with Miss Informed, Totem’s fortune teller.

There will be a high percentage of delicious things to eat in your life this month. Enjoy them, and feel no regrets. You‟re worth it.


Dene Wearing orange socks this month will prove useful to your ability to focus on your final exam studying. Wash them though, to make some friends.

The word on the street is that Lawrence Lam is going to be the next President of the World. Being near him will increase your cool factor.

həm'ləsəm' Salish Someone in the library will have the sniffles this month. It won‟t be you, however, because you were smart enough to bring Kleenex with you. Well done you smart fish.

This month, you will read the Totem Times, and someone will give you a high five for doing so. They might not know that‟s why they gave you a high five, but you and I will know. Won‟t we?




You will have the sniffles when you study in the library this month, and you will forget Kleenex at home. Make a friend in the library who hasn‟t forgotten.

You will notice a lack of Dominoes pizza and Love Actually in your life this month. Spend some time with your RA to make up for this loss.

You will meet a new person in the laundry room this month, washing their orange socks. Congratulate them on their hygiene and study habits.


Carol Huang

Where are you staying for winter break?

With holidays approaching in just mere weeks and we begin planning our long-awaited break, a question that‟s arising is “Where are you staying?” As you know, Totem Park and Place Vanier are closing on December 19th at noon and reopening January 5th, 2013. While your belongings may stay in your room, all residents must vacate the residence buildings. For the many domestic students from outside of British Columbia and international students living in Totem, what are your options for the winter?

Home: Many students have chosen to visit home outside of British Columbia during the weeks of winter break. After three to four months apart, family and friends must be anxiously waiting their returns! Some fortunate students with early exam dates can enjoy nearly a whole month at home. Travel: An exciting option for winter break would be to travel to other Canadian cities or to head down to the United States! University is a time for learning and exploration, and planning your own trip to a new city is a great way to facilitate that. If you‟re considering travelling around for the winter, make sure you have your visas, medical insurance, and other documents ready for a smooth trip. Safety is always a priority, so go with a friend and make lifetime memories. Stay with a friend: Have a domestic friend with a spare bed, sofa, or space on the carpet? Staying at a trusted friend‟s home during the break is a safe and fun option. Ask your close friends and see if you can make an arrangement that is agreeable for both you and the host family! Rent temporarily: Another option would be to rent a place in Vancouver for a month. Rental ads can be found in newspapers, on bulletin boards (eg. Student Union Building basement) or online. Students can share a place for a month and split the rental cost. For example, craigslist has categories for temporary or vacation rentals where ads can be found. If you are choosing this option, be aware that not all ads are equally trustworthy and safe. Ways you can evaluate the rental location would be to look at photos, check out the neighbourhood of the rental property and understand a bit about the people currently residing there, such as whether they are a family or what their professions are. Start looking early to find an ideal place in terms of cost, location, and safety! Other: If you found your own solution different from what I have suggested, that is fantastic! If you‟ve tried all the above options and are still stuck, you can talk with your advisor and residence coordinators for advice. Residence staff are here to help you so go chat with them and don‟t leave the conversation until the last minute! With December approaching, I hope that many of you have already found your place to stay or are actively searching for one. No matter where you go during winter break, the most important things are to be safe, be healthy and be happy. Good luck on all your upcoming final exams! 13

Homemade Christmas Gifts for the Poor Student

Chris May

Homemade gifts are a wonderful idea for two reasons: They don’t break the bank, and those who receive the gifts think you spent tons of time making them. You don’t have to go around to dozens of stores trying to find the right thing, or wait until the last minute to buy a sad, waste-of-money present just to fulfill your Christmas duties. Sure, homemade gifts take a little creativity, but that’s what this article is for!

Home-Made Hot Chocolate Mix This recipe only has four to five ingredients that you can easily obtain and don’t need a kitchen for. These can be made with hot water or hot milk for an extra treat. Keep in mind, these are made-up recipes so feel free to play around with them to your liking. What you will need: 

1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 cup icing sugar

2 1/2 Cups Skim Milk Powder The good part:

Cinnamon hot chocolate: 1 tablespoon cinnamon (or to your liking)

Peppermint hot chocolate: 5 heaping tablespoons of ground candy-cane (to your liking)

Coffee Hot Chocolate: 3 tablespoons ground coffee (to your liking)

Orange Hot chocolate (requires oven): zest 10 oranges and dry the zest in an oven (200 F for 2 hours, or until dried but not burnt), then blend into a powder. o

Put your concoction into a nicely wrapped mason jar for the homey feel, and don’t forget to label it!


Home-Made Candles This is a good one if you are planning on making many candles for multiple gifts, because wax is expensive if you don’t buy a lot at once. What you will need:       

Candle Wax (any type should do, you can get this in large blocks at Michaels craft store) Microwave-proof bowl Wick (also found at Michaels) Candle Scent (Michaels again), or you could use oils/extracts like clove oil or even real vanilla extract/other extracts (maybe peppermint?) Crayons (cheapest candle dye, but only use small pieces or it will smell like a crayon) Container (mason jars are a classic, but be creative. Champagne/wine glasses are great for this). Pencil, tape

1) Wrap some wick around a pencil (may need tape) and place the pencil across the container balancing on the rim, letting the wick hang straight downwards in the center of your container, all the way to the bottom. Tape the pencil to the edges of the container to ensure it does not move. 2) Melt the wax in the microwave and add small amounts (literally slivers) of crayon until you reach the desired colour (beware, the colour will lighten as it cools). Put the scent in the wax at the very end. Once it is all mixed, pour the melted wax into your container. Allow to cool, unravel the wick from the pencil, and trim the wick down about 1cm from the top of the candle. 3) You can also layer candles by making different batches with different colours and letting each layer harden before adding the next, but you should use the same scent for all layers as mixing scents can be disastrous.

Home-Made(ish) Christmas Ornaments This one is really easy. Get clear bulb ornaments (dollar store, Wal-Mart, Michaels etc.) and paint them! One cool idea: take the “cap” off the bulb and put a bit of paint inside, then shake it around! It’ll splatter around the inside and look all artsy and stuff. You could always try throwing some glitter in with it. Try customizing them to the person you are giving the bulb to, they will just feel that much more special! Need some more ideas? Check out Pinterest! It is a great resource for all crafts, gifts, and delicious snacks (especially holiday desserts)

Happy Crafting! 15

Monthly Coffeehouse brings good vibes to Totem Park Georgia Wilkins It‟s commonly mis-thought that prior to his successes with Bon Iver and Volcano Choir, Grammy Award winner and multi-instrumentalist Justin Vernon got his start melting hearts and blowing minds at Totem Park‟s monthly coffeehouses. Though this may be slightly false, there is something to be said of the incredible talent that has graced the stage at Totem Park‟s monthly coffeehouses held in the Totem Park Ballroom. One night a month, the ballroom is transformed by a committed group of Totem residents and residence advisors into a beautiful space that exudes good vibes, especially when the space is filled with residents both eager to listen and share. The Totem Coffeehouse is a positive and safe space that has welcomed everything from acoustic covers of 2 Chainz songs, to ukulele jams about riding the 99 B-line bus, and poems about falling in love. Coffeehouse exists to provide a platform for residents of Totem Park to express themselves creatively through song and poetry. Coffeehouse is a place where residents can share and a place where residents can appreciate their neighbours.

Coffeehouse‟s own Nick and Tom performing at November‟s Unplugged coffeehouse. Photo: Farhad Ghaderi 16

Aidan Danaher sharing his music at November‟s Unplugged coffeehouse. Photo: Farhad Ghaderi

Join us and perhaps you‟ll find yourself leaving coffeehouse with a sticker featuring this gem of a logo.

The next Totem Coffeehouse will be happening Sunday December 1st in the Totem Ballroom. Join us at 7pm for a lovely evening of music, words, hot chocolate and good vibes. Email if you‟re interested in performing. For more updates, like us on Facebook: Follow us on Insta: @totemcoffeehouse 17

Trash the campus! (well, not really)

Constantin Pietschmann

Sustainability, environmentalism, “green”… all those big word that are used to enhance the image of our wonderful campus. And it is truly wonderful. There are few places in the world that have so much to offer, simply as a result of their location. Mountains, beaches and a buzzing metropolitan (West coast) vibe are all things the make UBC a very unique place to pursue your degree at. But then again, how does the university actually attempt to encourage this sustainable behaviour that has become such a prominent, almost inescapable topic over the last decade? Have you ever strolled along Main Mall, sat down on a bench to finish your Fairtrade (insert favourite beverage), and then wondered “where do I put my trash?” Now, it might seem like a very minor issue. Just walk to the nearest trash can, right? Well yes, we would obviously not want to just leave behind whatever garbage we accumulate throughout the day. But where are these trash cans located? Yes, at the most inconvenient places, in obscure corners and often not in a sufficient number. But definitely nowhere near all those beautiful spots where people actually sit down to relax (may it be at the fountain or just a random bench on campus). Even in buildings like Buchanan, with all its labyrinthic hallways only seem to place their trash cans on every second floor, or hidden away in classrooms. And it is not unlikely that, once you have actually found one, it is overflowing with all kinds of, well, trash. For a such a gorgeous place, with all its projects and slogans and associations all targeted at maintain this Green image that is so very important these days, UBC does not seem to pay attention to one of the easiest, and most convenient ways to reduce the trash on campus. Nobody wants to litter. Nobody walks out the door in the morning making it their goal for the day to cover as much surface area as possible with their waste. But some people are lazy. Some people simply do not care as much. Some people might be stressed for time and do not want to put up with the inconvenience. So why, UBC, why can‟t you provide your student body with an easy and convenient way to keep their campus clean? 18

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TFL Congratulations to Salish 5th

Men’s TFL Champions 2013-2014 Women’s TFL coming to a residence near you! 2nd Semester.

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The Totem Times December 2013  
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