Tag Archives: cliché

The Senior Bucket List

Senior year has arrived, and with it has come a most deplorable fate. The secret that has been hidden in plain sight. What we have chosen to ignore. Refused to even acknowledge its existence. It was easier that way… But now the time has come. No longer can our blissful ignorance protect us. Nor can we hide from the inevitable. The truth must come to light. Our eyes must be opened.
A cold, hard dose of reality slaps you in the face, beats you down to the ground, and leaves you just conscious enough to realize what is happening to you. We are seniors. We will be dragged – kicking and screaming against our wills – into what is known as “the real world”. Whispered rumors become full fledged realities. We have seen others succumb to this most harrowing fate, but it was never us. The day that we would be standing in the place of fabled seniors that were once our closest allies are now forgotten in the depths of what is called “undergraduate lyfe”.
Being buried under a pile of assignments doesn’t look so bad compared to the dirt that would be sprinkled over our metaphorical graves if we left. The death of our youth. And the birth of our adulthood. (which explains why there is so much kicking and screaming involved…)

While some seniors may turn their head in denial away from the impending doom of the future (myself included), others are taking preemptive measures to ensure they do join the ranks of the fallen. These seniors are spending their time studying for admissions tests, securing letters of recommendation, and finalizing their plans for the next step beyond the illusory experience of the undergraduate stage. But I cannot bring myself to do that. Not with so many unknown variables left to solve in my equation. This is what we have been trained for… so why do I feel immensely unprepared?

This is why I choose to invest my time into the present, hoping that it will pave a road for my future. It will be my “first time” for the last time this year. I won’t have the opportunity to be in an environment that facilitates the idiosyncratic nature of my being. College forces us to discover so I have to make use of that while I can.

I have clearly taken the “bucket-half-full” perspective on this one, so with no further ado I introduce THE ONE, THE ONLY


  • Walk Across a Frozen Lake Mendota – possibly singing songs from the “Frozen” soundtrack
  • Ice Skate in Teeney Park
  • Go to a Drag Show
  • Release a Red Heart-Shaped Balloon in the Capital building
  • Take a Picture with Bucky
  • Take a Walk in the Tunnel System
  • Olbrich Garden – Thai Pagoda
  • Attend a Muslim mosque, St. Paul’s church, Jewish synagogue, Buddhist temple
  • Obtain a pink flamingo
  • Open Mic “Take On Me” at a student org
  • Shake hands with Chancellor Blank
  • Ride Merry-Go-Round at Ella’s Deli
  • Go Inside the Clock Tower
  • Sit on Abe’s Lap
  • Love and be loved in return
  • Participate in the Battle on Bascom
  • Steal a lunch tray and sled down Bascom
  • Go out to lunch with my friend Ty Tau
  • Sneak into Camp Randall at night
  • Freakfest!
  • Eat at L’Etoile
  • Badger football game?!?
  • Essen Haus Boot Challenge
  • Steal a Memorial Union chair
  • Go somewhere I have never been before
  • Eat the Plaza Burger
  • 5K! Color Run?
  • Go to Holi, Diwali, Chinese New Year… SOMETHING!!!
  • Drink at The Library
  • Orchestra Recital!
  • Positively impact a random stranger’s life
  • Leave my mark on the UW-Madison campus
  • Nothing Left Unsaid – ongoing life perspective

That, my friends, concludes my list of unexplored mischief for my final year on campus. But by no means is it exhaustive! I just wanted to open a dialogue to generate ideas about what I should and want to be doing before I leave for good. One final rally that would make all my dreams come true – whether I knew what those dreams were or not. I want to look back on these moments and reminisce over all the crazy things that I have thought, and said, and done (it usually happens in that order). But as I ponder of the wonders of my life that are yet to be had, I have come to realize that I can’t plan everything. That is the nature of the future. It is unknown. And there is just too much adventure to be had!!! So until then I’ll take life one slice at a time and make sure that my mischief gets managed.


The Incomprehensive List of Freshman Taboos: A List of Don’ts

This is the second half of my list. These are recommendations to remind you of all the opportunities available in your first year of college. Of course, these are all merely suggestions. Take as much or as little of my words as you like *bows respectfully*

Take your freshman year by storm. Fly my pretties! Fly!!!

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk to Your Professors

They might be 30 years older than you but they are still people… mostly. Although they operate on a higher brain wave function and possess motivation levels that rival programmed robots, they do have emotions and – believe it or not – were in your shoes at one point in time. Professors want to help. So let them! They can’t help you if you don’t let them know. Whether you’re sailing smooth waters or weathering the storm, you should stop by. Only good things can happen.


Some things are not always as they seem… #snapeadoodle

Don’t Stay In Your Room All the Time

For those of you that do not have legitimate medical reasons or severe anxiety issues, then a little sunlight never hurt (NOTE: Vampires should not take this advice to… heart? Do they have hearts???). Not to mention that you will miss out on all the free swag, chill people, and good times that are happening all around you. Besides… how much Netflix can one watch?

Don’t Procrastinate… An Unhealthy Amount

Some procrastination is necessary. When you’re working for 10 hours straight on that paper due tomorrow morning at 7am, frustration levels are likely over 9000 so you should take a break – or maybe a 20 min nap – to refresh your thoughts. But don’t let that “break” become more than just a break. Procrastination is a college student’s public enemy #1. Don’t let it become yours. Vanquish this beast with the power of internal motivation and an indomitable spirit (full MP cost, Cooldown: 1 week)!


Does anyone else feel this way?!?

Don’t Forget Your Roots

Let’s start things off with a quote from one of my favorite animated series:


“No matter how things may seem to change, never forget where you came from.” – Zuko’s Mother, Ursa

It took time for our main character to come to terms with his past, but that is exactly what he needed to do in order to survive the onslaught of corrupt Earth Nation soldiers. Granted, none of you will face this exact situation, but we all have faced that internal existential crisis at some point in our lives. We pleadingly cast our sorrows into the sky longingly hoping for a response as we shout like a Dragonborn being into the air, “Who am I?!?”. You are a product of your family and friends and the experiences that you have developed with them. They will be greatest allies in your darkest hours. Never forget that. At the end of the day, Zuko knew what was up. It’s all about HONOR! HONOR! HONNNNOOOORRRRR!!! Bring honor to your family. Bring honor to yourself. But most importantly, bring honor to your cow.

Don’t Stress Over “Major” Decisions

The stereotypical first-year student question that plagues the minds of unsuspecting freshman and torments their souls for the rest of their years in college: What is your major? Just kidding. It’s not that dramatic. Not quite. Picking a major is the least of your concerns. There are so many possibilities that lie ahead of you that you’ll find that this is irrelevant. Find a love interest! Apply for that dream job! Meet the band that you drool over! Just follow your interests, find your passions, and make your dreams come true. The major will come along the way. Don’t be a stereotype!

The Incomprehensive List of Freshman Taboos: A List of Do’s

I was tasked to come up with a presentation for the incoming freshman to prepare them for the year they are about to experience at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. What began as merely a discussion with the new students about life as a college student became an opportunity to reflect on everything that has happened to me since I have been in college. This is one half of a list that I have compiled detailing advice to heed for the fresh kids on the block. Enjoy!

Do Explore the Campus and the City

UW-Madison is much more than just a campus. The city of Madison has a vibrant population of free thinkers, humanitarians, and life-long learners to match the attendants of the university. Find your favorite coffee shop. Take a walk in the arboretum. Visit the free local zoo (did I mention that it’s free?) And discover the hidden history of the city – most notably the tunnel system! Adventure awaits you! You just have to go out there and find it.

Clearly Russell is a Badger! Follow in his footsteps and explore (or follow him and eat his trail chocolate)!

All rights to this video are owned by © Copyright Disney

Do Ask For Help When You Need It

College is an adjustment period. Everyone is transitioning past the awkward stage of pubescent hormone misbehaviors and into a semi-realistic introduction into the inner workings of the “real world”. The shenanigans do not stop. There will be times where you get yourself into trouble. You bomb a test. The love of your life dumps you. A family member passes away. Emotions run high in life the same as they always have but college intensifies those feelings. Whatever issue you encounter, do not be afraid to ask your friends or family for a little guidance. And the campus community provides a long list of people – from residential to medical – that are dedicated to helping you navigate your way here. Everyone feels these hard times. And we need to help each other get through them.

Do Be Present for Class

Being present for class means more than just showing up. Although showing up – on time I might add – is a good place to start. When you are in class you put away the phone, stay away from internet black holes (Facebook, Twitters, all dat other good nothin’ web space), and zip your lip and your friend’s lips as well. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Especially the professor. You are a student at a university. You pay to be here. So pay attention and your work will pay off. And if you are feeling like an overachiever, let some of those behaviors continue past the classroom. It can’t hurt, right?


The picture says it all… Don’t do that!

Do Join A Club

It is tremendously easier to make friends if you have intersecting interests and joining a club will help you find people that share those commonalities with you. You might think that you are the only one harboring a guilty pleasure behind closed doors, but chances are – and the chances are high with an undergraduate pool of 29,000+ Badgers – that you aren’t the only one hiding that dirty little secret. So step out of the shadows and into the light with your freakish obsessions. Be loud and proud weirdos together!

Do Be Yourself

You could be downing doughnuts or other sugary sweets, busting some embarrassing moves to your favorite songs, geeking out over your favorite childhood cartoon or even if you see that she’s wearing short skirts and you’re wearing t-shirts, there’s one thing you should always do: Be Yourself. People appreciate the authenticity. And you will too when you find the group of people that accept you for all your weirdness.

Let’s get weird!

Because it’s Batman

Fortune’s Fool

“As long as you don’t sign up for anything new, you’ll do fine.”

These were the words that I read in questionable confusion, as my lunch break came to an end. The problem wasn’t the lack of specificity or creativity in detailing my providence. The problem was that my very nature contradicted with the destiny I had been served.

I continually search for new opportunities to trade in for my current ones. The endless upheaval of my positions, coursework, and research impedes my ability to travel on a single path for my future. The only certainty is my tendency to remain undecided. If a fear of commitment is what has been stopping me, then the very idea of complying to the demands of fortune-cookie-fortune-writers was absurd. But not THAT absurd.

The knock-off treats had a point. They acted as a source of illumination, shining a light onto the darkness that lay before me.

POINT: The chances of receiving this specific fortune that so unspecifically assigned my fortunes had to have fallen within the probabilities for statistical significance.

COUNTERPOINT: This is the same reasoning defending the nature of horoscopes.

Something to keep in mind as I begin this year and initiate another cycle of implementing order to the chaos. If my success was contingent upon rejecting new opportunities, then I was doomed to a life of “not fine” according to my fortune cookie fate…

At the end of the day, it is my choice. And I am not about to let a fortune cookie have a significant impact on my major life decisions. No matter what the future held in store for me, I would have to wander into the dark eventually. With this new perspective, I think I could handle it. As long as I developed night vision… then I’d be fine.

But I was not about to completely ignore the American-Chinese-restaurant-tradition either. I would take the middle ground. And eat the semi-sweet shell that enclosed nothing more than a string of random words and a list of lucky numbers.

Hello World!

Although the term “Hello World!” is traditionally associated with the launch of a newly configured computer program, it now marks the inception of my own dark corner of the interwebs: “A Slice of Kai”

On this online data source you will gain insights into my life, personal thoughts, erratic behaviors, rambunctious laughter, unorthodox lifestyle and so, SO much more.

Beware of what you might see. You have been warned.

Hello internet. Hello.

– “The Sly Kai”