Why I am UW Bothell Bound


Photo taken by author.

Last fall I began my Running Start journey at Cascadia College, prompting many other new beginnings. I found a job that I actually enjoyed at the campus library, decided to pursue a degree in Computer Science, and have just recently been accepted at the UW Bothell for the Fall of 2017.

The decision to attend UW Bothell was an easy one; I fell in love with the campus this past year. Below are just a few of the many reasons for how this came to be.



Screenshot via Google Maps.

Of course, traffic on I-405 and downtown Bothell will be outrageous at times. But, this is really only during rush hours (from my experience), and isn’t nearly as bad as Seattle’s usual traffic. I can oftentimes get home to Lynnwood in as little as ten minutes!

There’s also so much to do around campus: hikes, museums, and our amazing downtown. UW Bothell has a great page on this here.

Small Class Sizes


The average classroom at UW Bothell. Photo via UWB Learning Technologies.

UW Bothell and Cascadia are the Goldilocks of classes – not too big, not too small, but just right. Classes usually contain around 30 students total, allowing easy access to both classmates and the professor. Also, since these professor will have less students than ones teaching lecture halls, office hours are generally more practical. I love knowing that if I’m ever struggling, I’ll have opportunities to seek help from the instructor themselves.

Both colleges on campus currently have around 5,000 students each (compared to UW Seattle’s 45,000), which is really nice for people like me who tend to be intimidated by large crowds.



Panorama shot of fields on campus. Photo taken by author.


Photo taken by author

The campus works hard to ensure that there’s a place for everyone here.

Clubs – We have many clubs for all kinds of cultures, majors, and interests… this website has currently listed 91 for UW Bothell students!

Campus EventsCascadia and Bothell have their own frequent events on campus, and sometimes they’re conjoined! For example, our HERO program had hosted healthy snacking and free massages in the library right before Fall Quarter finals this year.



Stairwell in UW Bothell. Photo taken by author.

With two schools, it’s no surprise that the campus has a large range of degrees available. Cascadia offers certificates, associate (2 year) degrees, and even a couple undergraduate. While the selection is not as vast as Seattle’s, UW Bothell does offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Because of the wide range of degrees available on campus, many students earning associate degrees at Cascadia attempt to transfer over to UWB! I’m personally hoping to take this route for a degree in Computer Science.



Some of our textbooks on Closed Reserve. Photo taken by author.

College is expensive, with tuition being only part of the battle. Luckily, our campus has lots of student resources.

Most materials needed for class (textbooks, laptops, equipment) can be acquired from the library, UW Bothell’s Qualitative Skills Center (QSC), and Cascadia’s Open Learning Center.

Both colleges on campus offer free in-person and online tutoring to their students. Here are links to what’s currently available:

UW Writing and Qualitative Skills ; Cascadia Writing and Math.

My absolute favorite part of campus is all of the space available to us, since our colleges realize that student homes aren’t always an ideal place to work. In addition to space in UWB (which can found here), many students also take advantage of Cascadia, the ARC, and the Food for Thought Cafe.


The beautiful silent reading room. Photo via UWB Business.

Tip: My go-to study area is the library’s third floor. This is the silent floor, home to the majority of our study rooms and the completely silent reading room.



The intriguing “Ancestors” statues on campus. Photo taken by author.

We may not have beautiful cherry blossom trees like Seattle, but we still have plenty more to offer.

Come here in the Spring or Summer, and you’ll find fruit, vegetation, and flowers growing right in the center of campus. Since it’s our community garden, anyone on campus is free to pick and plant (within reason, of course).


An older overview of campus and the wetlands. Photo via NBBJ.

Many consider the North Creek Wetlands to be the highlight of campus, and for good reason; it’s a great, quiet place to walk through and just take a break from the stresses of school. For more info, click here. For AMAZING pictures, here.

The artwork around campus is incredible, and there’s a lot to see! Our library has composed a page showcasing much of the art. Meanwhile, Cascadia College houses the Mobius Art Gallery.


An older view of UW Bothell from the side. Photo via NBBJ.

In the year I’ve been here, I’ve truly grown to love this campus; it is the only college I can see myself at and want to attend these next couple of years. UW Bothell tailors more to my own learning style than the other campuses, so I chose to only apply there. My advice is that instead of making a decision based on what others consider to be the better school, base it on which is the better school for you as an individual student. This is your education and your choice.

Tips for Bussing to Campus


Photo taken by author.

Fall quarter is just around the corner, and there are so many decisions that have to be made: what classes to take, when to take them, whether to buy or rent your textbooks, etc. The cornerstone decision for everything on campus, though, is how to get there. Luckily, our campus allows for quite a few options, and one of those is public transportation! I know, it’s not the most luxurious means of travel. Riding the public bus for the first time can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be!

Taking the bus is a great way to save time, money, and stress… If done correctly. I’ve been using buses as my main means of transportation for years now, and so I’ve compiled a list of what I wish I had known before starting.


On paying:


Image via Daily UW

  • Purchase a bus pass. If your route consists of transfers, DO NOT use cash, and buy a pass for the bus instead. This will save you a lot of money that could be used for other things, like coffee to get you through those morning classes.
    • Cascadia students/staff: Once you receive your campus ID card, you can take this form over to the Kodiak Corner (with your payment of $91) and get your new Orca Card through U-Pass. For the duration of the quarter, that card will have unlimited rides on three local transit systems.
    • UW Bothell students/staff: You can activate your U-Pass at the UWB Cashier’s Office in UW1. Much like Cascadia’s, this U-Pass costs $91 for the quarter, and is conveniently your husky card!
    • Other: For those not eligible for a campus bus pass, there’s still hope! Visit https://www.orcacard.com/ for more information on how to purchase a general Orca Card.

Planning trips:


Screenshot via Google Maps

  • Use a website or an app. There’s so much to consider when planning your bus route – transfers, walking distance, time, etc. Thankfully, there are many free sites that will figure all of this out for you. Use any of the following to find the most convenient route possible.
  • Have backup routes. Buses often run late, so if there’s an alternate bus that comes and will get you to your destination, take it!
  • Test out your route (at the same time you intend to bus) before classes start. This will be especially helpful if the route consists of transfers or is a long one. If there’s anything you are not sure about – traffic, where the bus stops, if the next bus will be made – test the route, and make sure that everything will go smoothly on the first day of class.
  • If not using a pass that is already paid for, check the ride cost. Different transit systems have different costs, and crossing county lines will typically cost more.

Image via SFTMA

  • Have exact change. Bus drivers do not carry change, so if all you have is a ten dollar bill, you’ll have to pay with that.
  • Even better, have EXTRA change. You’ll need it in case you get on the wrong bus and have to pay for another.
  • Keep a charged phone. I know, it’s tempting to use that last 5% on the bus ride back home. But, you’ll be glad you didn’t in case something goes wrong (like missing your stop) and have to call for a ride.

 Getting on:


Image via Flickriver

  • Have payment ready BEFORE getting on the bus. Don’t be that person to hold up the line!
  • Be at your stop at least five minutes before. This is commonly suggested by bus drivers, manuals, websites, etc. Trust me, it’s not a tip you will want to skip. Times shown are only an estimate, and so you never know when the bus will come early. Not all drivers will wait to depart.
  • Make sure you are on the right side of the road. Buses often have stops at the same intersection, but obviously going in different directions. Ending up in Shoreline when you meant to go to Everett? Not fun.
  • Double check the bus you’re getting on. The route number and destination are digitally printed on both the side and front of the bus, so make sure it’s exactly what you’re looking for before you leave on it. If uncertain, ask the driver!

During the ride:


Image via Tulsa Transit

  • Only take one seat. No one likes the person taking up two seats on a full bus, so keep your belongings either on your lap or on the floor. Not only does this prevent valuables from being potentially stolen, but others getting on the bus will appreciate that they won’t have to ask for you to move your things in order to sit.
  • Refrain from long, personal phone conversations. These are irritating, and it’s helpful (and somewhat worrying) to assume that everyone on the bus has nothing better to do than listen to every word during the ride. Of course, if you need to take a call, then take it; but try to keep it as short and quiet as possible.
  • Be respectful to your fellow commuters. They’re all like you in just trying to get to their destination pain-free. Respect includes taking only one seat, talking quietly on the phone or with a friend, giving up your seat to a senior, etc.
  • DO NOT fall asleep on the bus. A forty minute bus ride right before your 8am class may sound like the perfect opportunity for a nap, but beware: a missed stop can potentially cost you time and money. Plus, one of the scariest feelings is not knowing where you are when you wake up.
    • Instead of spending the ride snoozing, take the time to study or read a book! I’ve been making my way through A Game of Thrones during my commutes.

Image via Extrovert Diary

If this list of tips for riding the bus scared rather than consoled, seriously, don’t worry. Practice makes perfect, and it’s not as scary as it seems. All of these tips come from personal experience (aka hundreds accounts of falling asleep, missing a stop, getting on the wrong bus) and here I am: perfectly okay and still a frequent rider. Follow these tips, and you will be too!

If that’s not enough to convince, keep in mind that you will no longer have to deal with driving through traffic and parking.

Happy bussing!

Small Books

More than meets the eye


There is something rather magical about books small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, books you can carry with you wherever you go.  A few months ago, I was talking to a fellow library employee about the wonderful world of small books and was thrilled to discover I wasn’t the only one completely in love with them.  I then decided I needed to know exactly how small the smallest book in the library was.  I set off on my nearly hour-long adventure, beginning at A and trekking all the way to Z.  Past gargantuan textbooks, hidden away between mountainous instruction manuals were my treasures: tiny books.  They are good at blending in, some even seem to disappear on the shelf.  However, when caught, these little storytellers can prove to contain multitudes.


Here are just a few of my discoveries:


A Book Of Glyphs by Edward Sanders



Time Will Say Nothing by Ramin Jahanbegloo



Crown Of Olive by John Ruskin




This set of charming yellow play scripts



Left to Right:

Night Moves By Stephanie Barber

Avatar by Evan Lavendar Smith

Attempts At Life by Danielle Dutton



Left to Right:

Love At First Bark by Julie Klam (who wrote another book with an equally adorable title: You Had Me At Woof)

The Case Against Perfection by Michael J. Sandel

The Lost Art Of Reading by David L. Ulin



Clockwise from bottom left:

Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton

Les Chatiments by Victor Hugo

Book Of Wonder by Lord Dunsany



And of course, the smallest book I could find, Turtle Island by Gary Snyder which measures a mere 4.5 x 3 inches.



And there are even more of these lovely little books to be found throughout the library, in fact, here are all of the small stories that didn’t make it into this post!


Images By Author

Graphic Novels and Mental Health

Happy (Belated) Mental Health Awareness Month!

If you are looking to learn more about mental health this month, a great way to do so is by reading graphic novels. Yes, you read that right, graphic novels are a great resource for learning about mental health. Personally, I have found graphic novels to be an easier and more enjoyable way to learn about mental health than by reading from one of the numerous other books about mental health (which can sometimes tend to be quite bland and wordy). This is not to say other books about mental health cannot also be powerful and offer plethora of knowledge on psychology, but graphic novels just have something other books don’t tend to have. Graphic novels have art and are able to communicate aspects of mental health that words just can’t quite describe.

In honor of this special month, and as ways to help beat the always present stigma on metal disorders, I have compiled a list of graphic novels in the Campus Library that can help inform you on mental health.


Psychiatric tales : eleven graphic stories about mental illness

Psychiatric tales : eleven graphic stories about mental illness

If you have little knowledge of mental disorders or would just like an introduction to the vast array of them, than Psychiatric Tales by Darryl Cunningham would be a great book for you to check out. In this graphic novel Cunningham utilizes his knowledge from his previous years working in a psychiatric ward to discusses several mental illness in short chapter like sections. Some of the illnesses discussed in this book include schizophrenia, depression, and antisocial personality disorder.


Marbles : mania, depression, Michelangelo, and me : a graphic memoir

Marbles : mania, depression, Michelangelo, and me : a graphic memoir

Marbles is a fantastic graphic memoir (and a personal favorite of mine) about bipolar disorder. This book follows fellow Seattle artist Ellen Forney after her diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Throughout this book we go through through the ups and downs of Forney’s illness, and see the frustrating battle she has trying to reach a state of balance. The art in this graphic novel is absolutely wonderful, and this book includes a plethora of knowledge on bipolar disorder. I could go on and on about how great this book is, but I will spare you. Ultimately you should just pick this book up if you have not yet read it.



If you enjoy the movie Inside Out or would like to learn more about how the brain generally works, then you might want to check out Neurocomic by Hana Roš and Matteo Farinella. Neurocomic is an illustrated guide to how the brain works and includes topics such as neurons and memory function. This book is sure to fill your noggin with a plethora of brainy knowledge.


Something Different About Dad: How to Live with Your Asperger’s Parent

Something Different About Dad How to Live with Your Asperger's Parent

There are not many graphic novels out there about autism, let alone about a parent with autism, but the graphic novel Something Different About Dad by Kristi Evans and John Swogger discusses this not so talked about topic. This book shows what it is like to grow up with a parent with Asperger’s Syndrome, and how having a parent with Asperger’s affects a family.


Lighter than my shadow

Lighter than my shadow

If you are looking to learn more about the deadliest mental illness than the graphic memoir Lighter Than My Shadow, by Katie Green, would be a great resource for you . Lighter than My Shadow discusses Katie Green’s struggle and recovery from an eating disorder. This book follows Green throughout her childhood and shows the evolution of her eating disorder, and the symptoms of it that came from an early age.


Hyperbole and a half : unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem, and other things that happened

Hyperbole and a half : unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem, and other things that happened

The graphic memoir Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh manages to do the paradoxical by making a book that deals with depression humorous. With the humor in this book, inclusion of dogs, and array of technicolor language Brosh makes learning about depression a little bit easier and more enjoyable.


Tangles : a story about Alzheimer’s, my mother, and me

Tangles : a story about Alzheimer's, my mother, and me

Tangles is a graphic memoir by Sarah Leavitt about her experience losing her mother to Alzheimer’s disease. This book follows the six years of Levitt’s mother’s Alzheimers disease, and documents the transformation this illness has on Leavitt and her family. This book is full of emotion, and can help to offer insight into such a detrimental disease.


Couch fiction : a graphic tale of psychotherapy

Couch fiction : a graphic tale of psychotherapy

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a fly on the wall in a therapy session, or just wanted to know more about therapy? Well you are in luck because Coach Fiction by Philippa Perry can help answer those questions for you. Unlike many of the other graphic novels listed here, Coach Fiction is a tale of mental illness that includes a therapist’s perspective and is written by an actual therapist. This book follows imperfect therapist Pat through her therapy sessions with her client. Overall, this book shows a lot of the process of therapy and is very informative.


 If you are looking for more graphic novels on mental illness than you might also want to check out  The next day : a graphic novella, The road to god knows–, Tyranny, Lucille, and Swallow me whole



Feminist texts that you can (and should) read right now.

Sometimes I just don’t understand people.

I recently participated in a group discussion centered around violence against women. At some point during this discussion, the only man present in the group felt the need to clarify that he was not a feminist, but an equalist. 😒 Oh boy, here we go.

First of all, I find it extremely obnoxious that you find it necessary to distinguish yourself in a group of women by identifying yourself as an “equalist,” as if that makes you some sort of champion of women’s rights. Second, those who demand to be called equalists, rather than feminists, are ignoring the fact that we aren’t actually equal. Equalism does not recognize how women of color, trans women, disabled women and other groups exist at the intersection of multiple oppressive systems. And third, why do you find it relevant to bring up your “equalism” in the middle of a conversation about violence specifically committed against women!? Seriously!?!

IMO, when people (usually men) say things like “I’m not a feminist. I consider myself an equalist,” it’s because a) they don’t know what feminism is, b) they don’t understand why it’s needed, and c) they certainly do not recognize how they benefit on a daily basis from misogyny and patriarchy.

I am so sick of holding my tongue when men detract from the actual problems that are leading to the marginalization and murder of women in order to point out the fact that they are an “equalist,” as if it’s the most profound statement anyone’s ever made. Your obsession with the semantics (naming) of feminism shows just how much you don’t care about the struggles women have endured in pursuit of their liberation. Let’s be honest, the only reason you are trying to rename feminism is because you are afraid – afraid of a movement that was built by women in order to advocate for women’s autonomy. Your position as the dominant group has been threatened, and in a desperate attempt to make yourself more important, you say you’re an “equalist.” It’s just subtle enough to not be recognized as overt sexist bulls***.

Some people may be upset by my interpretations, but guess what? I don’t care. Women have to put up with criticism all the time for calling themselves feminists, so you “equalists” can just deal with it. Men need to stop acting like everything needs to be created in their honor. The horrendous truth is that feminism doesn’t prioritize men’s needs. I know, shocking. Y’all need to get over it.

With that being said, I thought I would help all you “equalists” out there explore the depth of your own ignorance by providing a FEMINIST reading list. These works are not steeped in academic lingo, nor do they critically analyze feminist theory. They’re just books, many of them personal accounts, written by powerful and talented women who believe in the future of the feminist movement.

I’ll just leave these here…

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
When was the last time you laughed while reading a book? If you can’t answer my question without consulting a calendar, then it’s time to pick up Bad Feminist. Gay writes in a way that is approachable, real, and hilariously honest. In her book, she explores what it means to be a feminist and how her life experiences have shaped her views on race, politics, media, and more.


Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks
Author, feminist, and social activist bell hooks defines feminism as “a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression.” She breaks this definition down in a straightforward way, not convoluted by theory or academic language. Cause seriously, who the hell knows what a dichotomy is? Just say division for Pete’s sake. Thank you, bell hooks, for clearing things up. You go. ✊


We should all be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Though just published in 2015, this book is already a classic. The short essay was adapted from a TedX talk given by Adichie in 2012. In it, she makes a clear argument for why we should all be feminists. Perhaps what makes this read so, well, readable, is its size.This book is roughly the size of a maxi-pad and is literally 50 pages long. There is no reason for you to not read this book.


He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut and 49 other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know by Jessica Valenti
Finally, a book that breaks it all down! We see and experience these double standards in our everyday lives and sometimes it’s hard to process it all. Valenti does the work for us. Not only does she identify the problems, but she asks the important questions like “what can we do about it?!?” The only thing I would change is the title – men should know these, too! Also by Valenti: Full Frontal Feminism


Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde: writer, radical feminist, womanist, lesbian, civil rights activist, mother, poet, and one seriously badass woman. Sister Outsider is one of her many works, but this collection of poems and essays deals specifically with intersectional identity and oppression. The best part is that Lorde is 100% unapologetic in her anger about police brutality, war, imperialism, violence against women, etc.


I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
If you haven’t heard of Malala by now, it’s about time you climb out of your cave. Malala Yousafzai was on a role long before her 2014 Nobel Peace Prize win (at only 17 btw). She has been a powerful advocate for women and girls’ education around the world. This book provides an insight into her experiences as a  young girl growing up in Swat Valley. You can also see the film “He Named me Malala,” AFTER you’ve read the book. 😉


Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back by Harilyn Rousso
“Rousso’s memoir is about overcoming prejudice against disability, not disability itself. It confronts not only prejudice but also the ways so-called “normal” people distinguish people with disabilities from everyone else by seeing them through the comforting but distorted lens of heroism, nobility and triumph over adversity—stereotypes that kill with kindness.” – Don’t Call me Inspirational. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. After reading this book it should come as no surprise to you that language matters! ahem, “equalists.”

Hope that helps!  ❤











10 Things I’ve Learned About Running Start

While planning my future in education, Running Start rose to the top of my possible options.  It seemed like a good fit for me; I could get away from the high school atmosphere I disliked while also getting ahead in my schooling.

Here are 10 things I didn’t know (and didn’t expect) until I actually experienced my first quarter as a Running Start student:

  1. You have much more free time in Running Start, partially because you no longer attend pep assemblies, homeroom, or have a designated time for lunch.  Time is also allocated differently in college, most students take only 3 (sometimes 4) classes per quarter.  This frees up your schedule, though some quarters you will need all that extra time to study.
  2. You won’t be reprimanded for being late to class.  Sure, a rare teacher will give attendance points.  Generally though, college accepts the fact that life can happen and cause someone to be late.
  3. Exploring campus is extremely rewarding because there are so many places and events to discover.  The library has great study spots, including silent and group permissible areas.  In my exploration, a certain tree has become one of my favorite spots on campus.
  4. Unless you do part time Running Start, you’ll rarely see anyone from high school.  I definitely feel like I’ve grown apart from many of my high school friends, mainly because we have such different realities now.
  5. Your classes won’t consist primarily of other Running Start students.  There will be some, but you’ll be in classes with people of all ages.  Also, it’s hard to tell who’s in Running Start versus who is an actual college student (unless you directly ask them).
  6. You need to be extremely self-motivated and able to prioritize well.  (Okay, I know people told me this before I entered Running Start, but I didn’t actually understand it until I started classes).  Most teachers don’t impose check-ins, so it’s up to you to get the work done on time.  Prioritizing deadlines and deciding when to cut corners and when not to is one of the most important skills I’m developing.  (Recommendation: Take College 101 in your first quarter because it really helps with adjusting to college life.  Also, you can’t take English 102 without it).
  7. In Running Start, you’re treated like an adult.  This can be quite a shock for anyone accustomed to the stifling breath of high school.  Differing opinions become exciting in college classes, and you quickly learn that your opinion -however unorthodox- is welcome in discussion.
  8. Time seems to pass faster when you’re on a quarter system.  You really need to maintain your grades.  Eight or nine weeks pass quickly, and suddenly you’re at the end of the quarter without enough time to significantly improve your grade.
  9. You get to plan your own schedule – which is really exciting when you realize you could choose to start your school day at 11:00 am!  That said, it’s incredibly important to make sure the classes you’re taking align with your high school graduation requirements.  This becomes even more important if you’re aiming to graduate high school with an Associate’s Degree.  Scheduling a meeting with a Running Start counselor (at the college) is a great first step in finding resources to help plan your Running Start schedule.
  10. I really appreciate the atmosphere of a college campus.  As we transition into adulthood, college students think more deeply about complex questions and concepts.  (I think some high school students are adults at heart).  I truly feel like I belong on this campus, which is a very refreshing feeling indeed.

If you find yourself intimidated by warnings that Running Start “isn’t for everyone” and will be “much more difficult than high school”, don’t be discouraged.  Though there will always be a few things that ruffle your feathers, the conflicts of high school are much less concentrated in college.  The Running Start program truly is amazing.  If you’re considering Running Start, you’re likely planning to attend college after high school.  Why not a little sooner? 

Yes, women have a month!

Since 1911 the United States has celebrated the month of March as National Women’s History month.  Globally women are honored on March 8 for International Women’s Day. This year I attended one of the events celebrating International Women’s Day which took place on March 5 and was presented by the Northwest Film Forum and faculty and students from University of Washington Bothell. The event included three different portions.

The first portion was a film screening which showcased many different scenes from films directed by women. In between clips, there was a theater performance. The performances illustrated different forms of challenges faced by women directors because of their gender.

The second portion of this event included a Panel Discussion on the topics of Policing Women and Generating Justice. The panel included women from different fields, occupations, backgrounds, race, and sexuality. The discussion was started  by acknowledging the challenge women face in order to make decisions and have rights to their own bodies. An example was abortion, the right to make a choice. The conversation progressed by discussing everyday challenges of Trans Women of Color, recognizing that Trans Women of Color are victims of violence and brutality.

The third and last portion of this event was a Poetry and Fiction Reading led by student and faculty in the Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Poetics from the University of Washington Bothell. The discussion surrounded the themes of sexuality, gender, race and  legality. All together the event took an interdisciplinary approach to surveying challenges and inequality faced by women throughout time.

More information on this event can be found at: http://www.nwfilmforum.org/live/page/calendar/3876