Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wisconsin and Chicago

Okay, after this post, I probably won't post about med school(s) for a while (thank god, goes the crowd, lol). Also, I retract my preconceived notions on Wisconsin and apologize in advance to any Wisconsin readers for anything I may say.

I just had my interview yesterday at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) which is just outside of Milwaukee. I will admit, I never thought much about Wisconsin nor the med school, till I looked into that med school. So naturally, I never expect how utterly amazing MCW was. It was so large, and new, and beautiful. I stood outside the main building just looking at it in awe. And during the tour, the lecture halls were so nice, the anatomy rooms were nice, the library was beautiful, they had cutting-edge conference rooms with the whole video tele-conferencing and such . . . the school was just amazing. I'm still a bit in awe. (Oh yeah, my tour guide was pretty cute. He had that cute dorkiness thing going for him.)

The only thing I didn't like so much about the med school was the neighborhood it was in. It's in a very residential suburban neighborhood, so I would need a car to do anything (which annoys me mildly). At least it's close to Milwaukee. Maybe there's stuff to do there.

Anyway, my interview went really well. Of the three interviews I've had, this one went the best. There were maybe 2 questions that, although I answered adequately, I didn't answer optimally. But who knows. This interview was also to be on their alternate list (aka, wait-list). So best case scenario right now for MCW is that I get on to their alternate list, worst case scenario is that I get rejected. In the next couple weeks and next few months, there are several possible/probable outcomes:

Optimal possible outcome: 1.) I get accepted to grad school for public health. 2.) Then I get put on the alternate list at MCW. 3.) Sometime during the spring/summer (preferably sometime in May) I get taken off the alternate list and given an offer of acceptance by MCW.

Most probable outcome: 1.) I get accepted to grad school for public health. 2.) Then I get put on the alternate list at MCW. 3.) I get accepted to either Wayne State or NYMC sometime during the spring/summer.

Worst probable outcome: 1.) I only get accepted to grad school for public health.

I suppose there's one worse outcome, and that's not to get accepted to anything. I have no idea what I would do if that happened, so I'm not going to think about it right now.
Now, on to Chicago. I was born in Chicago and I've visited Chicago often, and it still amazes me how little of the city I've explored or been to. At least in my recallable memory. While I interviewed at MCW, I spent the night and the following morning at my uncle's house.

In retrospect, I find myself in a unique situation here. Both my brothers and I are exalted amongst the children in our entire family (or as much of the family I know) on both my mom's and dad's sides. We're the "model" children, the ones who succeed in every class and get into good universities. My relatives dote on us whenever we visit, sometimes to the annoyance of our parents. And so I also see my uncle (my mom's older brother) trying to tell his kids to be more like me and my brothers, more focused and driven in their studies so they too can get into a good university (or get into a university at all . . . my Chicago cousin gets C's and D's).

My cousin in California's in better condition, though he's a B-average student right now I think. And his dad (my mom's younger brother) is always stressing over that. They all have potential, all they need is discipline and motivation. Both these things are harder to obtain than to just say.

Anyway, another interesting situation I find myself in is always coming back to Chinatown. I never really liked Chinatown that much, probably because it's the last place we stop before we leave Chicago and at that point we just all want to be home. But I grew up around Chinatown, and I remember the stores, and the smells, and the food, and the Cantonese. It feels weird going back, like a person who's gone to the city and then returns to his village. And yet, entering that Chinese store, smelling those smells . . . it brings one back. Is it nostalgia? Hardly, I think. I don't exactly miss that smell, but it is a memory.

I wonder where I'll find myself in the future, in terms of this strange amalgamation of cultures. It's awkward sometimes, and lonely. In some respects, I feel I'm "better" than this place, but a part of me belongs in this environment. I thought myself to be "at peace" with this part of me. Apparently not quite yet.

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