Today’s haul… almost everything 50% off. I didn’t get the hawaiian shirt because it was only 10% off and I’ll wait for the 25% off sale for that :) 5 shirts, a shot glass, a beat USC pin, a UCLA bear pin, and an umbrella….

Oh also got 2 gifts, a mug for my father and an ornament for my friends mom.


And here it is–I double majored in Spanish and Chicana/o Studies graduating Cum Laude from UCLA. 10 years later and I finally have my diploma. Being a mortuary school dropout, to being in community college on and off for six years, losing my grandmother, being in a toxic relationship where I was told I focus too much on my education, and owing almost a grand in fees to UCLA, it’s finally in my hands and I literally cried. It’s so surreal cause I never believed this day would happen. Thank you to everyone who actually supported me on this decade long journey.


Immigrant stories untold

Immigration is a hot topic, but all too often the discussion is missing the perspective of immigrants themselves. What is it like to leave one’s family and homeland and arrive as a stranger in a new country with a different culture? 

The quotes and pictures above are part of the hundreds of accounts collected by First Days Project. The community-based online archive solicits and compiles short audio, video and written narratives about immigrants’ first days in the U.S.

“The First Days Project … started in response to the lack of everyday immigrant voices in most archival repositories,“ said UCLA archival studies assistant professor Michelle Caswell.

The stories, she added, provide, “a sense of how emotional the immigration experience is — from fear, anxiety and loneliness to excitement, relief and wonder. These emotions are not found in bureaucratic documentation like immigration paperwork, so in many ways the stories … balance out the official record.”

You can read more stories on their tumblr: @firstdaysproject


A hovercraft that rides like a motorcycle

With “Star Wars” on the mind this week, we had to share this hovercraft that’s similar to the speeder bikes from the movie. But this one isn’t science fiction. UCLA alum and aerospace engineer Mark DeRoche developed the Aero-X, which rides like a motorcycle.

The idea was to build a vehicle that could quickly glide over rough terrain. Your cruising speed on this thing tops out at 45 mph at 10 feet off the ground. DeRoche says that it could be used by farmers, security personnel or search and rescue missions, but admits that it could also be for those who want to joyride out in the desert.

An unmanned version also is in the works for agricultural uses such as crop dusting large areas of land.

Read more about the Aero-X.