WHOO

Ok, so I don’t think any of my friends or regular (former) readers even use tumblr anymore, but it’s good to get back into writing for a little bit when I do have time.

We just finished her first block of exams on Wednesday for school, and I am absolutely blown away by just how much we’ve learned in such a short amount of time. It really is impossible to describe how medical school is different from undergrad in terms of difficulty other than that it’s like drinking out of a fire hydrant. Information is just thrown at you from day one, and it doesn’t stop until you have exams. If you have to finish that entire fire hydrant in 5 weeks and say you decide to not chug that water for one day, that suddenly becomes double the amount of water you have to chug the next day.

I have never studied, reviewed, and group tutored so much in such a short amount of time. I remember in undergrad, I could play games for 3-4 hours every day, do a on of extracurriculars, balance research and 2 jobs, and still have time to do well in school. But the funny thing is we pretty much covered everything we ever learned in undergrad in the span of a week in medical school.

Needless to say, I am pretty sure I walked away intact from those exams, so I think I’m adjusting well to school.

Since school started, I’ve also been elected to our student government (Medical Student Association) as the class representative and I’m currently working on an outreach/retention project that I would like to really develop and get started. A lot of my interests focus on “retention” and outreach among med students in the sense that I want to help create a weekly space where students can drop by as needed to talk about what’s bothering them, what’s going well, etc, and receive the support from other classmates or help that may need. 

Mental illness is so heavily stigmatized, especially among the health profession, that resources like psych and counseling are incredibly underused. Maybe if it was student-run, others may be more receptive to the possibility of recognizing the fact that we’re all human and that we all fall down sometimes.


Today, I also completed my first shift at a student-run clinic as a medical spanish translator. I have never felt so nervous about my Spanish skills in my entire life, nor have I ever spoken SO MUCH spanish in such a short amount of time! I’m really excited about the possibility of signing up for more shifts.

Overall, medical school has been tough, but completely worth it. I totally do not regret my choice and I’m really happy in Wisconsin!

Tags: Med School MS1

Sometimes, I’ll catch myself thinking about all the bridges I’ve cut off for the dumbest reasons and wonder how those people are doing now. I doubt any of them ever think about me as often as I do them, but I’d like to say hi and send them all apology letters. 

Doing this since I was tagged, haha.

Tagged by: pha-lisha

Rules: Just insert your answers to the questions below. You must tag at least 10 of your followers!

URL: Giangrene
Name: Jenny
Nickname: J.Lo
Birthday: May
Gender: F
Sexuality: I don’t really know what to identify as
Height: 5’1.75” (lol)
Current Time Zone: Pacific
Date: 9/8/14

Last thing you googled: 
Excitable Membranes and electrical conductance (Zzz med school life)

Most used phrases: Teehee, lol, lyke, dat, omgat
Last thing you said to a family member: bye
Favorite beverage: Arnold Palmer
First word that comes to mind: Poop
Place that makes you happy and why: Home, it’s where da heart is :B
Last movie watched at the cinema: Guardians of the Galaxy
3 things you can’t live without: Family, love, respect
Something you plan on learning: Medical Spanish
Piece of advice for your followers: Life’s too short to waste time wondering why some people just don’t like you.

Anonymous said: An ongoing compendium of unintended offenses when provincialisms collide, huzzah! ♪ Offense is taken a lot more often than it's given. Taking offense is an insidious habit. Those self-righteous rushes of superiority when some lout from Madison doesn't even know it's rude not to have the UC Davis view of Asian ethnicity? Lots of dopamine in those rushes; don't get hooked! If you're going to put a monkey on your back, pick oxycodone. It's more respectable. ☺

Pinning this as UC Davis being the only community that is somewhat more knowledgeable of various cultures is misleading. 

Most people who are ignorant or make problematic comments rarely ever “intend” to be offensive. It’s somewhat hard to run into people who are blatantly racist and are unaware of the fact that they’re being racist. The point of the post was that I spent one night out at the bars with friends, and this one individual repeatedly made “Asian jokes” or “Asian comments” directed at me the entire night, especially given the context that I was the only Asian person there. Those were just the “highlights” of the entire conversation.

I would hardly call documenting examples of how it’s been somewhat awkward for me to adjust back to living in a city (like my hometown) where some people don’t know the difference between two Asian people as “self-righteous” or acts of “superiority.” 

Yes, my college was a nice socially aware bubble, but it doesn’t mean I’ve been groveling in the corner of my room because I’m too filled with angst to deal with people. I choose to deal with my circumstances with light-hearted humor and storytelling for my friends back home via tumblr. And consciously avoid people who repeatedly use Asian stereotypes on me because that’s the only way they apparently know how to talk to me.

My everyday encounters with people around Madison (Post 1)

I’m starting a log of all the awkward encounters I have with people throughout my time in Madison. Different people will be designated by Person and a number

Person: Oh, that’s a really interesting last name, what kind of Asian are you?
===

Person 1: Oh, were you the one who contacted me about housing?
Me: No, I don’t think so. I would know if I approached a guy about living with him
Person 1: No, I could’ve sworn it was you, short hair, glasses…
Me: Could it be Person X?
Person 1: You’re right! Sorry, you two look a lot alike!


Note: This person is Hmong, and I am Vietnamese.

===


Person 2: So, do you put sriracha on everything?
Me: No, but I do like spicy food.
Person 2: I bet it’s an Asian thing, because all the ones I know LOVE Spicy food too.

====


Person 3: I have a best friend who’s Asian too!

===

This has been an eventful first two weeks, to say the least! Let’s see how much more interesting it will get!

Getting too Comfortable

When we’re kids, we can’t wait to grow up and become teenagers. After all, big kids and adults get to have so much more fun than a five year old who can’t even leave the house without supervision. The only problem with this is that days feel like years.

The exact opposite is true once we actually reach adulthood. One day, we wake up, and suddenly everyone around us is married or starting families. Years have passed by like seconds and the monotony of our daily schedule sucks up all the energy and free time we have left. 

I got too comfortable with my schedule and environment while in undergrad. As a result, I took the time I had with others for granted and a lot of my memories feel like they were spent studying in front of my desk. Similarly, my gap year between medical school and graduating hardly feels like a year. In the beginning, I spent 2 months in Argentina studying abroad (which was one of the highlights of the year). However, afterwards, I once again found myself running on autopilot as I bounced between my three jobs just to make ends meet and pay back some of my student loans. 

Because I spent most of my time worrying about whether I’d have enough money at the end of the day and how to carefully budget what little I did have, it left little room to enjoy reading or any of my regular hobbies. Days would literally pass by, and I would have no idea or recollection of what I was doing in those hours.

It’s hard not to run on autopilot throughout a week when your body memorizes your sleeping/waking schedule and your mind is stuck doing the same things everyday (eat, sleep, study, read notes, do work). A lot of people sometimes notice this sense of autopilot when they’re driving and are suddenly jolted back to reality when the car in front of them suddenly brakes.

In a week, I will be starting medical school, but I’m still sitting here wondering where all the time between graduation and now went. It reminds me of a lot of my former classmates from high school who also probably got too comfortable after we graduated and never finished their programs at our JC (even 5 years later). To this day, I know they are still doing the same things we did in high school (hanging out at Safeway when they’re bored, going swingdancing, sneaking off to vandalize something, etc). I can only imagine that the last five years for them have felt like seconds!

When we lack a strong sense of direction and fail to stick to a specific plan, it’s very easy to get comfortable and let our other mundane responsibilities dictate our day to day routine. However, the crazy thing about time is that the future always feels so far away until it suddenly passes us by and we miss countless opportunities to try new things and take risks. Then, it feels like we have no time for anything else and we find ourselves even more trapped in the “I’ll do it tomorrow” mindset. If we don’t force ourselves to draft a game plan for the immediate future now, we quickly get out of shape, stop studying towards the test that will get us into a professional school, or stop trying altogether.

I mean, I hardly consider myself to be someone who has a “clear” idea of what I’m doing with my life, but I’ve noticed that I enjoyed my time in college the most when I had a set plan on how I would graduate and apply to medical school. Maybe the only way to figure out what we’re doing with our own lives is to just take those risks and start working towards a goal. A vague idea is still better than no idea, right? 

thecatantichristishere:

rabbitrecycle:

donaldkaneda:

owo:

punkmonksteven:

lalatula:

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*does the anime character with glasses thing*

Does that really work though?

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What…?

that’s so cool i wanna do it too!!!!!!

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ok here goes

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NO

Okay, there’s no way that works.

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Let me try this out.

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I’m kinda skeptical about this? Can it really make you anime.

imageGuss i’ll give it a shot

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ABORT ABORT

yeah right, like that really happens

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hmmm….

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maybe I should try-

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HOLY SHIT

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WHAT THE FU 

(Source: abosl, via sweetmerlinsbeard)

Being Selfish in Order to be Selfless

If you asked anyone to list out some characteristics that they thought would make an excellent physician, compassion and selflessness would undoubtedly be somewhere at the top. No surprise there - a doctor who’s a complete ass and makes their hospital look bad would get fired pretty quickly in the “real world.” 

However, the path towards becoming a physician inherently fosters the exact opposite of both traits - to have the GPA/MCAT, complete resume, clinical, and research hours, Pre-Meds are expected to regularly place their career ambitions above friends, relationships, family, and outside interests; it’s the norm to expect “true Pre-Meds” to be selfish by prioritizing their future above others. 

To an extent, it’s possible to maintain some sense of balance, but very few are able to effectively have it all. There are only so many hours in the day, so every decision impacts the amount of time leftover for sleeping, studying, socializing, hobbies, etc. You have three options to invest time in: a social life, your academics, or your personal health (sleep). Now choose two.

In undergrad, I consistently chose my academics and a regular sleep schedule over my social life. It didn’t take very long before my friends started calling me “4.0 Jenny,” but once everyone started to expect my excuses for not coming out to parties and dinners, I stopped receiving invitations altogether. 

On top of having no close friends, I rarely called or visited my family at home. I only visited my boyfriend on weekends, even though we lived (literally) less than a mile from each other. To put it simply, people would be shocked (and somewhat horrified) if they ever saw me in public.

As someone who used to harbor serious trust issues, I didn’t see anything wrong with this at the time. I had no interest in making new friends because most of my previous friends never stuck around when I needed them anyway. Ultimately, all I cared about was making sure I would become a doctor, especially since I had already worked so hard to get here in the first place.

So let’s pause and reflect for a second. Does anything that I just wrote sound at all like someone who demonstrates selflessness or compassion for others? Absolutely not - I was literally the very definition of a narcissistic, unattached Pre-Med, yet I was on track to attend medical school.

At some point, my determination to achieve my goals got to the point that my choices became more and more selfishly fucked up.

When my grandpa passed away, the very first emotion that I felt wasn’t regret or sadness. It was anger. I was actually angry at my grandpa for passing away on a weekday, two days before my OChem midterm, because it meant I had to drive home to attend a funeral and not study. I was angry when I received the text from my sister that read, “Grandpa just died” because I got it while in class and I couldn’t figure out whether I should leave and make up the lecture notes later or focus on the material and process what I just read after class.

Words cannot describe the amount of conflict and guilt I felt when I stood in front of his casket at the funeral. If my family ever finds this post, this is why I couldn’t, in good conscience, look at him and tell him how much I missed him in Vietnamese. And as messed up as I know this is, this is why I wasn’t crying at the funeral - I couldn’t silence my resentment and allow myself to fully process that my grandpa was actually gone.

In high school, I had a classmate who was a year older than me. From my Sophomore year, we were relatively chummy and always butted heads on the most random topics. Although I never said much, she always praised me for my maturity and passion for science/medicine. Before I believed in myself, she had already believed that I was going to “make it” as a doctor and that I would be great at it if I stuck with it. However, once we went our separate ways for college, I stopped trying to keep in touch, and we never followed up on our coffee date reunion. Three years later, she unexpectedly passed away from medical complications. I couldn’t bring myself to attend her funeral out of equal parts regret/shame and the fact that I couldn’t justify pulling myself away from school to figure out how to make the commute.

To this day, I still have not forgiven myself for how I handled their deaths, and it is something that I continue to remember everyday. However, the regret and sorrow I still feel in passing made me realize that success is meaningless if you have nobody to celebrate it with. I mean, what’s the point of working hard to get what you want when you have to make others (or yourself) miserable in the process? 

Even though my epiphany happened only two quarters before I graduated from undergrad, it has changed my perspective and approach towards medicine and my future. After reflecting (consistently) on the friends, family, and opportunities I’ve lost to maintain my grades, I’ve made progress in balancing my personal and academic life more effectively. Now, If settling for an A-/B+ means I have more time to see my boyfriend, dog, and parents, it’s something I’m more wiling to do now. Similarly, if my friends need me at 4am in the morning, losing a little bit of sleep to make sure they are safe and comforted is more important. These small, but symbolic steps are the small victories that will come to define the physician, friend, sibling, significant other, and family member that I strive to become.

The selfishness that once helped me thrive academically now pushes me to continue pursuing a medical career. I have lost so much in order to get to where I am today, and a large part of me feels like it would be such a waste to back out now. I can’t undo the fact that I neglected my friends and family, nor can I ever apologize to my grandpa and friend who passed away. However, I can continue to work hard, spend the time that I do have with the ones I love, and ensure that these sacrifices were not in vain. Whenever I help a patient, mentor a child, or positively impact a community, I will always make sure that I remember those I have lost in order to get to where I am today. 

Anonymous said: What books are on your summer reading list? What books are your long-time faves? What books have been on your gotta-read-it list for a long time and you still haven't gotten around to reading them?

Woo, it’s hard to put together a comprehensive list, especially since I don’t actually own a lot of the books I intend to read (and probably won’t purchase until after I move to save $$)

I have a lot of medically related books that I’ve read…haha


Among my favorites:

Medically/Health related (In no particular order)

  1. Mountains Beyond Mountains - Tracy Kidder (it’s hard to get into at first)
  2. House of God - Samuel Shem
  3. Hot Lights, Cold Steel - Dr. Michael J. Collins, MD
  4. Gifted Hands (mixed reviews on some parts, but very informative overall) - Dr. Ben Carson, MD
  5. How Doctors Think - Dr. Jerome Groopman, MD
  6. Birth Day - Dr. Mark Sloan, MD (My mentor’s autobiography, so I’m biased lol)

Randoms/Things I’ve read but enjoyed

  1. La Casa en Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros (I read it in Spanish but I’m pretty sure there’s an English version)
  2. Quiet Odyssey - Mary Paik Lee
  3. America is in the Heart - Carlos Bulosan
  4. Bone - Faye Myenne Ng
  5. There are a lot more on this list, especially ones from high school, but I unfortunately cannot recall them at this time

Currently Reading: East Eats West - Andrew Lam (about 2/3rds done)

My “To do” books (in no particular order, mostly medically related)

  1. Books by Atul Gawande (Better, Complications, Checklist Manifesto, etc)
  2. Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France Paperback - Miriam I. Ticktin
  3. The Emperor of all Maladies - Siddhartha Mukherjee
  4. This Won’t Hurt a Bit - Michelle Au
  5. Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis - Dr. Lisa Sanders, MD
  6. Moloka’i - Alan Brennert
  7. Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  8. There are a lot of others on this list but I know I will never get to them (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Harry Potter books, Hunger Games series, etc)

Recommended to me:

  1. White Coat Wrinkle: The Patient Power Guide to Getting the Best Care from Every Doctor, Every Visit - Dr. James DeVore, MD and Debra A. Skinner
  2. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
  3. Song of Ice and Fire Compilations - George R.R. Martin (GoT books)
  4. The Fault in our Stars - John Green
  5. Books by Oliver Sacks
  6. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  7. Bossypants - Tina Fey

Other “To Dos” in terms of health policy + getting up to date on da politics of the health care field

  1. Understanding Health Policy: A Clinical Approach
  2. The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System
  3. Actually everything on this list (in terms of getting up to speed with Medicine) - http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/how-to-spend-your-m0-summer-or-at-least-an-afternoon-of-it.1068352/

A post about nothing

My tumblr has been barren, even though I regularly think of posts and write them in my head. So what has happened in the past few weeks…

The short and simple version:

1) I have moved out of my old apartment into a different area of Sacramento

2) I have managed to condense most of my life down to 5 boxes that I will be shipping to Wisconsin with me.

3) I had to turn down the $2500 scholarship to study Vietnamese in Madison for the summer out of the realization that no matter how I budget, my credit cards already carry most of my debt and I couldn’t front the remaining $1200 after buying my plane ticket (q_q, maybe next summer)

4) My cousin (My mom’s aunt’s son?) is getting married on Friday! 

5) I have been reading a few books on my summer list, and am almost done with one! After that, I’ll (hopefully) get back into piano, and review all of my Spanish + Vietnamese notes to get a little studying in before school starts.

6) Upcoming posts will probably have something to do with some kind of social issue, relationships, my thoughts (or denial) about moving, and maybe brainstorming for future book ideas (if I choose to continue writing throughout my medical career).

dopeybeauty:

you fucking salmon

(via samapitongzabala)

Care package arrived from my super awesome, super sweet, super generous, super adorable friend who moved to Korea! I’m going to have a field day trying each and every one of these snacks, especially the discontinued Oreo Os cereal! I mean, I knew a care package was coming, but I was nowhere near expecting THIS MANY goodies!

I will be working on a detailed food review shortly…HAHAHA

Care package arrived from my super awesome, super sweet, super generous, super adorable friend who moved to Korea! I’m going to have a field day trying each and every one of these snacks, especially the discontinued Oreo Os cereal! I mean, I knew a care package was coming, but I was nowhere near expecting THIS MANY goodies!

I will be working on a detailed food review shortly…HAHAHA

FOMO or JOMO?

It’s kind of funny how life situations work out. Just yesterday, I had convinced myself that it wasn’t meant to be and that I would not be studying Vietnamese this summer at U Wisconsin because of financial situations. Then, this morning, a day before the deadline to make a decision, they increased my scholarship offer from $1700/3700 to $2300/3700. I know, it’s not a huge difference, but I’m surprised that it’s forcing me to reconsider whether or not I still want to withdraw from the program.

If I choose to accept, I will be moving to Wisconsin a month early (at the end of June instead of the end of July), and cutting short a lot of my last minute travel plans with friends, family, and loved ones. If I choose to decline, I am missing out on one of the few opportunities I have left to study one of my “native tongues” and I’m not sure when else I would be able to. I would go for taking it my first year in the summer, but then I would miss out on research, which could potentially close some doors for competitive specialties if I end up going that route.

People are always saying that we shouldn’t be afraid of the consequences of turning down opportunities, as we will still find a way to make things work if it’s important enough. But I’m just not sure what to do, and I only have until tomorrow/Thursday to make a final decision. AHH!

Omg, surprise late night visit from @jamiexeatxworld and Justice. Thought they were solicitors or drunk people but they came dropped off this bag of birthday goodies + banana bread! Legit permanently having something in my eye flipping through the photo album :’)

Normally, I don’t like to put my birthday on blast, but this is sweeter than any cake I could ever have. So, obviously I have to tell the world about my best frand 😍😍😍😁

Omg, surprise late night visit from @jamiexeatxworld and Justice. Thought they were solicitors or drunk people but they came dropped off this bag of birthday goodies + banana bread! Legit permanently having something in my eye flipping through the photo album :’)

Normally, I don’t like to put my birthday on blast, but this is sweeter than any cake I could ever have. So, obviously I have to tell the world about my best frand 😍😍😍😁

otlbrandonle:

yep-that-tasted-purple:

It’s time for another giveaway!

These giveaway prizes have been donated by poroadoptioncenter! Please go check out their blog and their Etsy store which can be found here!

Thank you everyone for following and showing us love!
Rules: 
You must be following us! (It is a giveaway to thank our followers after all.) 
You must have an active blog. 
Please no giveaway / side blogs. 
Only reblog once.
You can get another entry by liking but you must reblog first!
FOR YOUR ENTRY TO BE VALID YOU MUST ADD WHICH SERVER YOU PLAY ON WHEN YOU REBLOG! (If not your entry won’t count, you will not be reminded!)
Information:
There will be two winners! One person will win Arcade Hecarim and the other will win Riot Blitzcrank. 
This giveaway is open to every server! 
Please don’t be rude if you don’t win. 
The giveaway will end on the 20th May at around 6-7pm GMT.
Good luck and have fun! 

NA   :3

NAWhy not? LolzAdd me! Jennyfish

otlbrandonle:

yep-that-tasted-purple:

It’s time for another giveaway!

These giveaway prizes have been donated by poroadoptioncenter! Please go check out their blog and their Etsy store which can be found here!

Thank you everyone for following and showing us love!

Rules: 

  • You must be following us! (It is a giveaway to thank our followers after all.) 
  • You must have an active blog. 
  • Please no giveaway / side blogs. 
  • Only reblog once.
  • You can get another entry by liking but you must reblog first!
  • FOR YOUR ENTRY TO BE VALID YOU MUST ADD WHICH SERVER YOU PLAY ON WHEN YOU REBLOG! (If not your entry won’t count, you will not be reminded!)

Information:

  • There will be two winners! One person will win Arcade Hecarim and the other will win Riot Blitzcrank. 
  • This giveaway is open to every server! 
  • Please don’t be rude if you don’t win. 
  • The giveaway will end on the 20th May at around 6-7pm GMT.

Good luck and have fun! 

NA   :3

NA

Why not? Lolz


Add me! Jennyfish

(via orzbrandonle)