Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 620: Mentorship, Biochemistry and Baking

My Stanford mentorship held a meeting/get-together this Tuesday. The Dean of Admissions and first-year medical students gave presentations about how to be a better applicant to medical school. I was annoyed because the Dean came, spoke, and left ASAP. There was no chance for any one-on-one time, which would have been ideal to ask about me specifically as an applicant. Oh well, such is life.

On Thursday, I had my first day of Biochemistry. A ton of the kids in that class are applying to medical school and shared that little tidbit when we talked about ourselves. I don't enjoy sharing things, especially something so banal and common, so I just said I had some trouble finding parking :P

The professor is this cute little pregnant Asian woman who seems adamant about making the class as relaxed as possible. It was pretty low-key, so that was nice. The first day was just a review of some biology and chemistry that will relate to future lectures. All of her lectures/notes are given via PowerPoint, of which she will be emailing us future lecture slides/notes in advance. It isn't all that great because she zips through her lectures and doesn't give me any time to copy them down. It was fine the first day because she gave us a hard-copy of her notes, but still, I prefer hand-writing my notes. Call me old-fashioned that way.

I don't have the textbook required for the course. My friend who took Biochem in NC gave me his book and I'm using that for now. We'll see how things pan out when I head back to class with the reading from my book instead of hers. If it doesn't work, then I'll buy the book. I thought I'd give it a go my way first.
My hole from the previous post is healing nicely. The entire situation was just so odd. The oral surgeon says it happens sometimes. One of the reasons may be that the hole(s) healed too quickly the first time and they reopen, which the doctor said was a good sign...? I don't know. Overall, everything seems to be healing nicely.

In other news, my biggest obession in life at the moment is baking macarons. I literally bake at least a batch a week. It took me a while to get the knack of everything, but I have perfected them! Now, I'm playing around with flavors and colors (as seen below).

Just a regular dark chocolate ganache. I added some blue dye to the sugar,
which gave the macaron shells a blue-ish twinge. Yummy.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 613: A reopened wound

For every post here on out, I'm going to try and blog with pictures. It breaks up the boring text and provides you all something to look at.

Okay, so you all saw that I had my wisdom teeth out and I looked like a sad chubby chipmunk. Well, two nights ago, sincerely out of the blue, my bottom left hole opened up. I have no idea why or how. And it appears to be larger and not-where-I-remember it being.

Just to warn you, this is gruesome. Some of you may not find it so, but just in case, I thought I would warn you with it's grossness.




Here it is...

It's like a bull's eye!

I apologize if this is gross but this has been the biggest going-on in my life as of late. I know I haven't posted very regularly but it's because I'm trying to maintain positive-good-vibes Jess and that is much more difficult than I had anticipated. So. I thought I wouldn't blog at all until I had more news.

But since everyone loves to ask (and it makes sense why), no I haven't heard from any other schools. No rejections and no interview requests. This late in the game, I am probably correct in assuming that I have not and will not get into medical school this cycle. I won't sugar-coat it ... It sucks. A lot. I'm moving forward, because really, what other direction is there? If there was a wallowing-in-my-failure option, I would certainly take it.

But, all in all, I'm keeping busy and waiting for doctors to call me back. They probably won't because they're sooo busy, so I'll be following up with them next week.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 604: Hitting the ground running

I have had enough of my little pity party. The past few days have involved me having minor freak-outs and panic attacks about applying to medical schools again next year. I have resigned myself to the fact that I won't be getting in and it sucks. A lot. After accepting the suck-age that is (eventual) rejections from 18 schools, I have decided to cancel my reservation for a pity party of one and, as the title of this post says, hit the ground running.

I walked into my principle investigator's (that's fancy research words for "boss") office and asked him flat out if there was anything I could do. I was avoiding his awkwardness and "well, you don't know anything" talk for the past week because I didn't want to hear it. You know what? That was pretty much his response. "You've been here for a while and you haven't really learned anything." "You should ask the other people in the lab if you can help them." Et cetera. And you know what, rather than feel bad and dejected about being such a "failure" in his eyes, I just stared right back at him and I said, "you're right. I haven't learned how to do any surgeries on my own but I have been able to participate in them and I know how to do X and Y. I was hoping you could provide me with some reading so I could see what we could do in our lab and see if I could start helping out more." I fully accepted my weaknesses and was actively trying to improve them. So now, I am not afraid of being called out but annoyed at his inability to help.

So. The new plan is. Get reading. Find something to do. If Dr. Z continues to be disdainful of my presence, then my time can be better spent...elsewhere.

In other news, I submitted an application to volunteer at a homeless shelter. I'm looking up phone numbers to start cold-calling doctors I could shadow. I don't know what has been holding me back, but I'm slowly getting over whatever it is because at this point ... I have to go, go, go.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 592: New year, new thinking

Hello all! I hope you all had a lovely Chrismukkahkwanzaa. Goodbye 2009, hello 2010!

This year, I am getting into medical school. No ifs, ands or buts about it. I can't promise no negativity and doubt, but I can promise a better attitude. It's very easy for me to fall into a "poor me" state rather than bolster myself and recognize the amazingness that is me. That's why I have all of you :) So, thanks for being such a wonderful support system. I take you all for granted way too much.

Anyway, in the world of academics, my online statistics course starts on Monday. I've never taken an online course before and my biggest concern is that I'll fall behind and not do the work. However, with that kind of thinking, it seems inevitable that I won't fall behind because I'm so worried about falling behind -- does that make sense? Hopefully it'll be easy enough to learn and keep up with. This class is on the quarter system, so I will finish it up in 10 weeks.

I am also, as previously mentioned, taking a Biochemistry course this semester as well. This Biochem course is 15 weeks long (ergo, on the semester system) and only once a week. I need to get around to actually paying for it but I'm geekily excited about it. I like the idea of actually thinking and using my brain again.

With my online stats class and evening Biochem class, I will be interning daily Monday through Thursday. I'm hoping this will give me more to do with the actual research. If it doesn't, I'm going to start volunteering or something. Or else I'll be sitting around and doing my homework at the lab, which is fine too I suppose. I just want to feel useful this year.