Friday, May 21, 2010

So Much Win, Yet Still Some Fail

So yesterday I finished my neurosci review PowerPoint, about 2 days ahead of schedule. Win. ^_^ Today I just spent some time going through it all (to actually attempt to memorize it all now) and check for errors/typos, and also to make it a little bit prettier, lol.

So yeah, after 3 days (about 12 hours of work), now the PowerPoint is 13Mb, 108 slides (of which 104 are substantive) covering 9 lectures, and filled with pictures and animations and such. I must say, this makes WAY more sense than many of the professors' PowerPoints.

After I showed it to my pharmacy friend, she exclaimed:
"OMG I can't believe you know all that or that you have to know it all for the exam. . . . I mean, there's a ridiculous amount of info and detail in that one ppt. I think my head would explode."
Little does she know, it's only 1/4 of the total knowledge I'm supposed to know for my exam on Monday, seeing as it's cumulative. Bleh.

Anyway, I *heart* my PowerPoint. So much work, so much win.
Oh yeah, and it's my birthday today. And I'll have to spend most of it studying for my finals next week. T.T So much fail. I'll have to ameliorate that by making a German chocolate (from box) rum cake. :-) Maybe I'll toss raspberries in there too . . . I wonder if that'd taste good.
P.S. Some of these neurological disorders/diseases are really weird. Like, Klein-Levin syndrome; symptoms include bulimia, hypersomnolence (excessive sleepiness), and hypersexuality. I mean, how does that make sense? You're really sleepy but also really horny at the same time, with an eating disorder? . . . o_O

More reason for me not to be a psychiatrist/neurologist, lol.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hilarity Ensues

So, neurosci is borderline unbearable to study for. The lecture notes are organized terribly, most of the professors probably haven't taken a teaching workshop in years (if ever), and I just don't like the subject all that much. Needless to say, I won't be a neurologist (or psychiatrist, since I think they take the same Board exam).

BUT what I've found is that making a review PowerPoint of neurosci makes studying tolerable, and even borderline fun. o_O That's just disturbed, but it's true. PowerPoint now is just so . . . pretty. And I can re-organize the notes in a way that makes way more sense than the order it was taught in. Only 4 more lectures left to go.

And all this studying for finals next week is making me fat. I haven't exercised at all in over 2 weeks. Blorp. At least my caloric intake has decreased some, since if I don't exercise, I don't get that hungry very often. But perhaps I should regulate my food intake a bit stricter still . . . since it'll be a while before I'm able to exercise again (or motivate myself to at least).

Anyway, none of that is particularly hilarious.

I rediscovered KevJumba on YouTube a couple days ago. I re-watched this YouTube vid:

Still just as hilarious. Especially at about 1:40 minutes. Haha, the way he jerks his dad around, and his dad's exclamations in Chinese. :-P

And here's him over a year later on JumbaFund:

Just as funny, hehe.

Although, I must admit, he's pretty cute now. *Blushes* He doesn't look like quite an Asian stick anymore (unlike my brothers), lol. It almost looks like he's been working out a little in that year. Also, this kid has great facial expressions. I must also confess that I find people with great facial expressions attractive.

So yeah, if you find his stuff funny, watch more of his YouTube vids. Each view generates money (since he got that Google partnership thing on YouTube) that he donates to charities.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Post of Quotes

"My personality description: I am an awesome person. Everyone likes me the moment they meet me. I am the life of the party and all of your lives will be improved once you have spent a day, nay, an hour with me."
I pilfered that from my friend's AIM blurb, which she took from her roommate (who had always wanted to say that in person to someone). I thought it was amusing and worthy of sharing. :-P
"In May, one or two huge decisions must be made and they affect many besides yourself . . . Gather your lieutenants. Sit down at a big table and sort out the details of these issues . . . You think big when you might better be thinking small . . . Drop the control freak behavior. You want to be everywhere at once, doing everything and doing it well. You must however make an attempt to concentrate on events at hand."
That's part of my horoscope for May from Facebook, lol. In many ways, it's eerily accurate. There are lots of decisions to be made this month, especially where student organizations and programs are concerned that I'm president/co-president/co-chair of. I may be overextending myself, and I may need to let go and trust my other board members to get things done (in a timely and organized manner). Fortunately, I make a big emphasis to make sure everyone's on board with something before I make a final decision - so I'd like to think that I'm a pretty good collaborator. So much work to be done over the summer, bleh.
"Love life? What's that? You will be far too occupied to play at hearts and flowers. There might be a tiny flirtation in the wings around the 21st of the month. But it won't lead anywhere because you will not let it . . . right?"
Well, that doesn't bode well, lol. So Drew broke up with his bf of 3-4 months. For good now (the reasons of which I shall not reveal here). He's still super-busy and it's still pretty difficult to get a hold of him on either AIM or Facebook just to chat. But that's fine, he has finals, I have finals, we all have finals. Studying should come first. I wonder where this might go, if anywhere at all. And given my like and the portends above, chances are it'll go nowhere. :-/
"He decided to open a sporting goods store instead because he wanted to get as much out of his life as he could before it was shortened by the disease."
That's a quote from this article. In short, a patient goes to see his doctor about whether or not he should go to med school. The patient asks that question because he has a family history of Huntington's disease, an autosomal dominant genetic disease. The patient finds out he does have the gene allele for Huntington's, which means he'd have symptoms starting in his mid-30s to early-40s, and he'd probably die by his 50s or 60s.

And so, instead he expresses what's quoted above. In a way, that's saying something. Particularly the part "because he wanted to get as much out of his life as he could." Those words are rather chilling (perhaps oddly so) for me to read.

Sometimes I do wonder. It's not like I'm going to drop out of med school (willingly), but I entertain the thought from time to time. I had a conversation with a friend earlier today about med school education. We're both soundly frustrated (as is pretty much everyone in our class) with the way med students are educated. The sheer volume we have to cram into our heads (and M1 year is like, nothing compared to M2 year) is just not productive. We can't retain it long-term. We have to re-learn everything, almost from scratch, every time.

Actually, let me rephrase myself. I've "learned" surprisingly little in med school. I've "studied" a lot though. Anything that I learn - like "really" learn - I retain long-term (at least for a few months to a few years). Studying means I just know it for a test and then move on. I learned a lot in undergrad and grad school, and I retain a lot of it. I retained more from my undergrad biochem class than my med school biochem class. There's something wrong with that. I hate studying things over and over again, because I didn't learn it well the first time (because it wasn't taught well). Some things don't really get that much easier the 2nd or even 3rd time around. ::cough:: cardiovascular physiology ::cough::

I remember the days when learning used to be fun, stimulating, engaging. I remember the days when I walked out of lecture able to recall exactly what I was expected to learn, rather than be utterly confused. I miss those days.
"I'm Yours" by The Script

The refrain:

I may not have the softest touch
I may not say the words as such
And though I may not look like much
I'm yours.

And though my edge is maybe rough
I never feel I'm quite enough
And it may not seem like very much
But I'm yours.

Sunday, May 9, 2010



Sometimes I like to wake up at the crack of dawn, before pretty much anyone else. On these days, I like to watch the orange glow of the sun force the creeping shadows of night into retreat. I like to walk around town before almost anyone else, and see the shops just beginning to open. People slowly fill the sidewalks and cars slowly fill the streets. People exit doors with coffee in hand. Now the sun is higher up and washes the cement in yellow light.

Sometimes I like to stay in on a rainy day. I like to avoid the gloom and dreariness of going out on such afternoons. I would cut up some strawberries and sit, curled by my laptop or TV, eating the strawberries slowly. It would be nice to have someone with me, to share my strawberries with.

Sometimes I like to stand outside at sunset, with my eyes closed, feeling the wind in my hair and on my skin, feeling the soft fading heat of the sun on my face. I would take a deep breath, inhaling deeply, smelling the grass, the trees, the flowers, the springtime. As I walk pass trees, I would look above me and take note of the green leaves and the small flowers that most people would miss - like the pale green flowers of maples. Sometimes I would pause to take a closer look, and see if the tree was a male, a female, or both.

Sometimes I like to take a walk in the summer night, the cool air and darkness around me. The moon and stars adorned above, and streetlamps to guide my way. There's a kind of solace in being awake and out at this hour, a kind of silence only broken by the chirp of crickets. I would walk slowly, taking in the night before I too drift off to sleep and the world of dreams.

And so I ask, who's with me? And so I ask, will you join me? And for this, my friend called me sentimental. And so I ask, am I?

So I friended Drew (Online Guy #2) on Facebook a while back. We've been chatting intermittently back and forth. He seems very busy, so our conversations have been very short. Apparently, he's been dating some guy for 3-4 months now. But then they broke up. And got back together yesterday/today. And will be breaking up (for good?) again today/tomorrow. I don't know what to think, do, or say. I'll just sit this one out and see what happens. All I know is that I felt pretty down this morning when I saw on Facebook that he had gotten back together. And after he (very briefly) cried to me how unhappy he is in the relationship with that guy, and how he wants to break up for good, I'm not sure what I feel.

He seems like a genuinely cool guy, from the brief conversations we've had. He's intelligent, kind of eclectic (which I like), kind of goofy, but really busy. But then again, I suppose I am too. Alas, a fool I was to think he was single (though, on that dating site he said he was - I guess he just never bothered/forgot to change it).

Where does my bad luck come from? I pursue one person, and they're taken. Another person, and they're taken. Another person, and they're not interested except as friends. And him: taken, single, taken, maybe (hopefully) single? But I don't know how to handle this - as if I have much time to care, what with finals coming up in 2-3 weeks. After finals, then I'll see what the situation is then. Perhaps then he'll be less busy, and we may actually meet in person?

I spent a bunch of time organizing the school sites for the 2 groups I'm president/co-president for. In a few hours, I've pretty much got things how I want them.

I created a banner for the LGBTPM site. I didn't like the sheer rainbow-ness of many of the pictures. So instead I decided to create a collage of sorts, with each letter being its own color. Unfortunately, green was pretty difficult to come by. But I think I got something that works:
(click to enlarge)

"L" for the orange smiley faces. "G" for the "yellow" pair of hands washing. "B" for the world and tolerance (my substitute for green). "T" for the purplish transgender symbol. "P" for people around a red heart. And "M" for medicine as symbolized by the stethoscope. Eh, it looks alright, right?

When my roommate came back earlier today, he convinced me to go watch Iron Man 2 with him instead of my original plan to study cardiovascular physiology. Good change in plans, lol. I thought it was a pretty decent sequel, once one realizes that sequels are almost never as good or better than the first movie. On its own, a pretty solid movie, in my opinion.

After that, we went "tie shopping" because I wanted some new ties. I'm rather sick of my 5 ties, 2 of which I rarely wear. But ties are more expensive than I thought. I mean, seriously, $50 a tie?! Even at half off that's a bit more than I'd be willing to pay. Bleh.

I guess I'll ask my brother when he goes to Hong Kong over the summer (actually, in a few days) to bring back some ties for me. I also want to buy 1-2 more dress shirts, but I'll wait a bit before doing that. Alas, because I don't have an iron, I must seek out these "wrinkle free" shirts.

Later, I made some bread pudding with raspberries and Bailey's (as a substitute for heavy cream). I was met with success. :-P Then my roommate and I had a "wine and cheese" moment, where we downed 2/3 of a bottle of Chardonnay while eating Muenster and Havarti cheese, as well as raspberries. I don't know why he wants to save the little remaining 1/3 for tomorrow, but whatever.

And now our internet is broken. BLARG!! Right now we're bumming off someone else's internet. Their fault for leaving their network unsecured, lol. My roommate called customer service, and as expected, they were no help; also, no one would be able to come by and take a look until Wednesday. So if I'm not online (much) in the next 2-3 days, you'll know why.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Next Generation

Apologies for not posting in such a while. It's been getting hectic (and I haven't even started studying for finals yet!) with being president/co-president of 2 student groups. And I'm still recovering from this weekend. Let's back-track a wee bit.

Last Thursday I helped out with the "LGBT Health Night" event. It had a surprisingly good turnout! I learned some things, made a couple contacts. Of the things I learned was how difficult it was to proper interact with transgendered people in a health care setting (I'm still rather bamboozled about it all). Immediately after the event ended, I drove about 1.5 hours to my uncle's house, where I stayed the night.

Last Friday, I took a city train from my uncle's house to Union Station, where I took the Megabus to my destination. About 5 hours away. Bleh. I attempted to read endocrine physiology on the bus. Bad idea - I just got nauseous for a while. That was unpleasant. :-/ When I arrived, a friend picked me up and we stopped by her house to drop my stuff off. Then we walked the 30 minutes to campus from her house. Two more friends joined us where we ate dinner.

After dinner, we trekked across campus to a new frozen yogurt place called Lab. It was certainly interesting, and really yummy. You had a choice of 4 frozen yogurt flavors and an assortment of toppings. The price you pay is dependent on the weight of your frozen yogurt + toppings. I wish that frozen yogurt place had been around when I was still in undergrad. Feeling stuffed, we walked (slowly) around campus some more.

We walked by the newly finished North Quad, where my youngest brother will be staying next year (so jealous).

As well as the walkway between the Undergrad Science Building, overlooking a dorm and field.

The last trip of the night was at Bubble Island, where in undergrad we gathered quite frequently to consume bubble tea (something that doesn't seem to exist in the state I'm currently residing in).

On the way back to my friend's house, I noticed and snapped a pic of this sticker (random, I know):

The following morning, Saturday, I got up at 6:00am. Why, you ask? Because we all had to get ready for graduation - my friend's and my brother's. Saturday was Spring Commencement, and it was a truly special graduation. Unfortunately, at around 6:20am it started pouring. Fortunately, I had bought a rain poncho the day before.

By the time my parents came by to pick us up around 7:30am to go to the stadium, where commencement was being held, the rain had mostly let up. The crowd at the stadium was insane! And security was pretty intense, with metal detectors and all that. Not quite as bad as airport security though, hehe. We managed to get inside the stadium and to some seats by about 9am.

Spring Commencement formally started at 11am or so. It's always cool to see the professors and deans and such walk up on stage in their full academic regalia, robes and hoods and all, while carrying the flags of their respective departments. There were a couple special guests at this particular graduation.

The first was the state governor. Her speech was very . . . political and suck-up-ish. No one was particularly enthused by her, lol. The real star attraction of Spring Commencement was President Obama. Yes, President Obama. Did you notice the secret service agents standing at the top of the stadium in the previous pic?

It truly was quite special to have President Obama give the commencement address to the graduates. How I envy my brother and my friends graduating from grad school this year! My Spring Commencement was so lackluster by comparison. Alas (though it was still a nice graduation). Obama gave a solid speech for about 32 minutes. There was a moment in there that I felt was a bit too political and not exactly apropos for the occasion, but he ended on a very nice note. Overall the excitement from that stadium, from the graduates and friends and family, was nothing short of overwhelming.

An except towards the end of President Obama's speech:
"The men and women who sat in your chairs 10 years ago and 50 years ago and 100 years ago –- they made America possible through their toil and their endurance and their imagination and their faith. Their success, and America’s success, was never a given. And there is no guarantee that the graduates who will sit in these same seats 10 years from now, or 50 years from now, or 100 years from now, will enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities that you do. You, too, will have to strive. You, too, will have to push the boundaries of what seems possible. For the truth is, our nation’s destiny has never been certain."
And so the onus is with the next generation, as it almost always is.

After Spring Commencement, the remainder of my weekend was unremarkable. Sunday morning I woke up at 5:20am to catch the Megabus at 7:30am back to my uncle's place (the outbound Megabus was about 1 hour from my house). After a quick lunch, I had to drive the 1.5-2 hours back to my apartment.

I'm still recovering from all that lack of sleep. But I think it was worth it. :-)