Archive for the ‘thanks’ category

終わりの始まり – The Beginning of the End of Semester 1

August 4, 2008

After an insane amount of hassle and confusion that made me wonder if it was perhaps some sort of divine warning against air travel, I have finally managed to book flights to return home for break. Initially, I thought I could make it until December but, as lovely as Dominica is, it’s no paradise – I need to come back home, even if only for a couple of weeks. So, I will be back in Queens from August 20th – September 7th, spending time with friends and family, clearing up health issues and stocking up on island essentials (school supplies, snacks and cute cotton dresses!). Extra special thanks to my father – I take it for granted that not everyone’s dad is there to help out when one is essentially frozen out of one’s funds because of assorted issues to do with living abroad and banking domestically. I’m extremely lucky that even though I am technically a grown woman, I can still count on my parents to come through in a clutch. If fathers were graded, they’d have to come up with a new letter to convey my daddy’s awesomeness.

This may be the last update until after I’m back in Queens, or at least, until I’m waiting for my flight to board at the airport. This Thursday, we have the anatomy and histology lab practicals (back to back). Mini III takes place on August 14th and the comprehensive final will be held on August 19th (that’s right – we get 5 days to study 4 months of material). In fact, I should be studying right now! Okay, I’ll get back to work. Wish me knowledge, confidence and luck – I’ll need them for these final battles.

Not Without My Water

June 23, 2008

It’s rainy season on Dominica and I finally understand why some people might consider the island a third-world country. On Friday my first-world brain had a double-dose of reality. First, we had a patient presentation in biochem lecture. Continuing the blood week theme, our professors had arranged for us to meet a young man who was one of two hemophiliacs in his family, possibly one of the only two hemophiliacs on the island. The poor guy and his younger cousin sat at the front of the lecture hall as he told us about how he’d basically lost the use of his lower right leg and foot because he’d tripped while running and internal bleeding had destroyed the muscles. The professor told us about the treatment options available for those with blood disorders on the island; apparently there are four treatments that have been developed but only the two least expensive ones are available at Princess Margaret Hospital, the most advanced medical center on Dominica. The young man, only 18, mentioned how his constant medical issues had prevented him from regularly attending school and how more than anything, he’d like to have a computer since all he can do now is sit at home. How horrible it must have been to be in a room with over a hundred computers (every student owns a laptop). I couldn’t help but feel my privilege like a keen jab in the ribs while I typed my notes.

It had been storming all Thursday night and intermittently throughout the morning and though the electricity flickered a few times, I was used to being without power. The campus generators were functional so all was well, or so I thought. We received an email informing us that the campus water supply had been shut off and at first, I thought nothing of it. It wasn’t until I got back to the campus proper that I realized what it meant to have no water supply – no faucets. No drinking fountains. Going from bathroom to bathroom, I kept wondering why every single toilet was full of waste -ladies’ rooms aren’t usually that gross- then it dawned on me – there’s no water to flush them. Rather than stay on campus, I went back home to my apartment, only to discover that I didn’t have running water either. Luckily, there was enough left in my toilet for one flush. And that was it for 20 hours.

I can only think of one other time when I actually was concerned about not having an adequate water supply and even then, it was because our boiler was broken so we didn’t have hot water. We could still brush our teeth, take showers (albeit cold ones) and use the bathroom. Apparently, nasty storms knock out the power and water supply several times during the rainy season. Regular people don’t have the luxury of generators or utilities coordinators. They just have to go home and wait. It really makes a person think about how much they take for granted…

Things I Will Not Miss

April 22, 2008

Back in Queens, trying to squeeze a month’s worth of catching up with friends and family into my 8 remaining days. Though I managed to move on short notice with very little incident, I was surprised by how reluctant I was to leave Boston. From the beginning, I had only considered it a place I was passing through and with that in mind, deliberately tried not to form attachments. There were times that I hated living in Boston and couldn’t wait to leave.  But on my last night, I kept wishing for another week, a few more days, one more chocolate chip cookie from Paradise Cafe, one more ride on the Red Line at sunset, one more moonlit stroll along the river…



April 3, 2008

To be honest, I never thought I’d start a blog. As someone who has long chronicled the significant bits of her life in regular old journals and diaries, I must admit that to me, personal blogs seem, well…narcissistic. It’s like, ‘Hello, World! Read all about ME!’. I generally prefer to keep things private. Granted, I don’t think that bloggers are all attention-seeking egotists. It’s really wonderful that blogging has emerged as a platform for regular people to share their experiences and express themselves in their own terms. Maybe it is a bit self-centered to think that the entire internet is interested in what goes on in your/my/anyone’s life but it’s pretty cool that we can all put it out there if we want. So have I become a narcissist? Well, not quite.

I’m about to become a doctor. I am actually about to embark on the endeavor that will pretty much make my entire life worth something. I actually have a chance to achieve my dream. :::Goodness. Makes me a bit misty-eyed just thinking about it. Okay, I’m back.::: I really didn’t think I’d be able to get into med school at all without a 40 on the MCAT but I did, and I’m really excited. I kinda want to share it with the world (Hello, World!). Also, I’m enrolled at an offshore med school so, for 4 semesters (about 16 months) I am going to be away from everyone I know. So really, this blog is for them, not me.

This blog is also for you. Are you an aspiring med student with a mediocre and/or patchy academic past? Welcome! Are you fascinated by the trials and travails of a quirky quarterlifer who hasn’t quite figured it all out? このブログへようこそ! Have you ever wondered what you’d do if you were stranded on a tropical island with only a flatiron and no professional assistance? Keep reading! Did you stumble across this blog by accident? Glad to have you anyway!

In any case, thanks for reading. I hope you’ll enjoy visiting my little corner of the internet.