Was offered a $40,000 tuition scholarship to attend U Wisconsin (10k/year, or 1/3rd of total 4 year cost)! :) Don’t stop me now, I’m fist-pumping and shaking my butt everywhere!
Was offered a $40,000 tuition scholarship to attend U Wisconsin (10k/year, or 1/3rd of total 4 year cost)! :) Don’t stop me now, I’m fist-pumping and shaking my butt everywhere!
Anonymous asked: I totally want to hear you blast that discriminatory California SCA5 bill.
Oh gosh. I haven’t done as much extensive reading into it, but my former boss/mentor was really adamant about it and had a very strong opinion about it. I will go educate myself and see what both sides are of it shortly ;)
Anonymous asked: Hey, a question about multi-racial people: do white people perceive Julian as being Asian while Asians see him as white? Generalized, does half-"us" plus half-"them" always equal "them"?
Off topic comment: after my last blog post, a couple porn blogs started following me. Maybe this is the route I’ll have to go if I want to become tumblr famous!
Anyway, to actually answer your question, people like to play the “what ethnicity are you?” guessing game for him regardless of the circumstances/demographics of people present.
Non-Asian people are usually able to tell he’s a mix of “something” (but they often guess Spanish with Irish, etc; Asian if people look long enough) and Asian people often just treat him like he’s White unless he says otherwise. He doesn’t have any prominent features that would make anyone think he’s even mixed/Vietnamese, especially since he looks more like his dad (German/Irish) than his brothers, who look like their mom (Vietnamese).
What I’ve noticed is that hostility/off-handed comments (“Yellow Fever,” dating the enemy, etc.) and criticism/judgment about our relationship comes more from people within the API(A) spaces. However, comments towards me specifically about “Asian girls going only for White guys” etc. comes from non-Asian people. In both instances, someone is displaced as “other” or “them,” whether it be him in API spaces or me in non-API spaces.
On another note, I have previously also received backlash/been undermined for my work in social justice communities and the SEA/API organizations because of some imagined “hypocrisy” in my choice to date him over someone who is viewed as “Asian” (am I unfairly appealing to different power dynamics/privileges I would not have access to otherwise?) This is another issue I have yet to understand, as it further shows how subjective inclusive spaces can be.
tl;dr, how people choose to view mixed folks as part of them or “more like the other” seems to be a very superficial concept based entirely on appearances and not necessarily the work they’ve done or how the person in question identifies. Often, what I’d imagine to be the bigger issue is often being viewed as “not ___ enough” by either ethnic identity group because of this issue
In my case, I am not “mixed,” (1/8th Chinese, if you want to count that) but I am often mistaken/assumed to be Chinese based on perceived characteristics + my last name, so I often encounter situations where people will talk about me in Vietnamese and not realize that I am Vietnamese.
Another example is someone who may be mixed Asian/Black will most likely be viewed as more Black if their skin tone is prominent, even if they identify more with their Asian roots. Whichever identity is perceived to be the “dominant” one is whatever people are able to see based on physical observations.
A few questions/comments in regards to dating, love, and relationships have come up in my life as of late. Maybe readers may get a few laughs from what I have to say, agree, disagree, or even find something useful among my mindless jabber. Either way, let’s unveil the “mystery” surrounding my relationship (not that I have much of a filter to begin with).
Yes, I am 100%, even 500%, aware that I am dating someone who people perceive to be “White” despite his mixed heritage. It’s kind of interesting how a person could be mixed anything and still be viewed as a “white person” instead of their other ethnic identity unless they are a mixed person who has darker skin. I can’t even begin to describe the subtle (not so subtle) differences that I’ve seen in how strangers/various people treat my boyfriend because of this perceived difference, especially when I bring him into the “safe” spaces I believe I associate closely with. I would say that speaks volumes of how much internalized racism a lot of people still harbor (yet refuse to admit) in themselves, and I imagine this is a struggle that other mixed heritage folks often face.
What I don’t understand is why people feel the need to make jabs, comments, or even jokes about this observation on a regular basis. I mean, thanks for the PSA, I’ve been wearing a paper bag over my face for the past 7 years and never made note of the fact that I am 100% Asian and he is half White/half Vietnamese.
On the flip side of that, I am not the spokesperson for those who have been in an “interracial relationship.” Just because I’ve never been with anyone else does not mean I somehow have an obsession with White culture and am not attracted to Asians or folks from other ethnic backgrounds. Don’t tell me that I am betraying my people for dating outside my “race,” dating the enemy because you believe him to be an oppressive/privileged white man, or that I am only using this to “date up the social ladder.” I may be able to type over 120 WPM, but I definitely do not have the time or the energy to even address such ignorant garbage.
This line of logic seems to be incredibly common even within the LGBTQQIA community, where people will challenge a person who identifies as queer or asexual (“How do you know you only like girls? Have you ever been with a guy?? etc etc etc”). We see the world through our own lens, and we could never possibly begin to fully understand how our beliefs and perceived truths are not shared by someone else. Don’t push your own thoughts onto someone else just because you don’t have the context or knowledge to comprehend a situation. Sometimes attraction is attraction, love is love, and there doesn’t need to be any social justice interpretation beyond that.
Long distance relationships:
A question I’ve gotten tired of answering is how I plan on making my relationship work when I start med school. Wisconsin is pretty far from California, meaning that once I move out there, I’ll probably only come back home once or twice a year. For many of my friends, family, and support systems that I’ve built over the past 22 years, it may mean we won’t see each other for years to come.
Relationships are composed of multiple parts, and physical proximity isn’t the only factor that establishes long-term commitment. Although it’s important to be able to feel the warmth of a hug or the love we feel when we have a shoulder to cry on, communication, technology, travel arrangements, and continuing to make the effort are other crucial components too.
I don’t “plan” on making my relationship work in the sense that I have a detailed outline of how I’ll make sure we stay together 5ever, but I’m upholding my belief that if we want to make it work and if we still care for each other/want to be together, then geographic distance won’t be able to stop us from putting in the extra effort or time that we need to make it work. I’m not saying it won’t be hard, but it won’t be impossible either. I already beat the odds once with getting accepted to medical school, so I’m definitely liking my chances on our relationship a lot more.
For the sake of being realistic, I’m not saying I’m 100% sure that everything will be a-okay in the end and that things will work out and that we will have a happy ending where we get married, poop out babies, have a stable income where I can do whatever the shit I want with my own money/not be in debt. However, if that’s a card we’re both holding onto, then it’s a future I haven’t given up on either.
How I “know I’m in love”:
I’ll be honest. I’ve never really had the “butterflies when we see each other” feeling in the time I’ve dated Julian. My feelings for him developed over time, and I hated (strongly disliked him) for the first 5 or 6 years I knew him. Our parents were friends, so we’d often bump into each other at parties/gatherings/holiday events. He was a chubby, anti-social crybaby who only played video games, and I used to be incredibly active with basketball + skateboarding, etc.
Puberty happened some years later, and they told me that he was a cute guy who, for reasons I couldn’t understand, was attracted to despite the fact that his mom still cut his hair. As someone who takes a lot of pride in being extremely logical and rational under all circumstances, I’ve never been able to explain why these feelings ever developed in the first place.
Somewhere along the way, I also noticed that certain things he did or said to me lingered on my mind for days and made (for all intents and purposes) me feel like my heart was melting, laugh to myself during class, or smile for no reason. Even today, there will sometimes be moments where I’m just sitting there, and my heart feels like it’ll explode unless I grab onto to him and “never let go” (until I have to fart or go to the bathroom, of course).
The bonus to all of those happy things was receiving the validation, comfort, encouragement, etc. that I always felt like I lacked and didn’t receive from my own close friends/family, so it helped those feelings develop into something more.
However, seven years is a long time, and fairy tales/honeymoon phases hardly ever last beyond the first couple weeks (or months). I wouldn’t describe the journey of how we got here as anything other than hard work and commitment. Fights, disagreements, break ups, and everything else that hurts in between inevitably happen in all relationships, and they definitely took their toll on ours. I’ve felt my fair share of jealousy, insecurity, and heartbreak over the years - each time it got bad enough, I felt like giving up, but we always somehow managed to resolve our differences, address the issues, and move on. With every bad day, I’ve had many more days where I’ve never felt happier, more confident, more loved, or more complete in my life.
Everything in life, especially relationships require work. It’s a struggle that many aren’t willing to go through together, and is often the reason (aside from miscommunication) trust is lost or relationships end. I feel like I’m still continuously growing and learning as I live and thrive with my boyfriend. All of this disorganized babble is the closest I can get to explaining how “I know” that I love him. Sadly, it’s not even close to scratching the surface.
I often prefer to answer questions rather than dish out various truths/parts about my own life. While I may often troll or dodge questions, I’m incredibly open, and have nothing to hide. If anons or friends feel like asking for advice/questions, I’ll be more than happy to answer them.
The same goes for upcoming ideas to write about ;). I decided to scrap all my previous posts, since I wrote most of them during a brief period of time where I constantly felt bitter and negative. Although I put a lot of time into them, I think those issues are best left as a private discussion between the people involved, so I’m in the process of finding new themes, problems, or ideas to develop :D
Anonymous asked: Dear Jenny, U の I ♥ U. "Why Pre-Meds Suck" ain't ready yet. It needs a lighter, wittier tone than you gave it. It's hard to write an amusing yet cautionary post about sucky pre-meds, but otherwise it's just a bitter rant about bummer people. I know you can do it, and I double-dog dare ya! With "Meh" and then this one in mind, I truly hope you're happier than you sound. If not, surely unsolicited criticism will perk ya right up...?
Heh, the sad part about venting sometimes is that not all writing is necessarily “publish worthy.” My blog encompasses all facets of my life, which, at times, include the less positive and “witty” side. Sometimes, there’s a lot of negative thoughts I need to get out of my mind to clear the air and make way for productive writing to be possible again. These past few days are a testament to that, although I didn’t mean for those posts to come off as bitter bitching about a subset of people I dislike being associated with. I might consider revising it to “why people dislike Pre-Meds” and focus on a lot of the things we tend to do obsessively, but it’s not something I intend to revisit for the time being.
The point is that even those who are often placed on a pedestal for their strong academics and work ethic can be some of the most toxic people to have in your life. Being perceived as perfect, compassionate, and all around “amazing” comes at a cost that is both internally driven and externally pushed by others’ expectations. As a result, a trend of specific “types of people” form who perpetuate the stigma and stereotypes that negatively impact other peoples’ college experiences. My perspective comes strictly from pursuing the Pre-Med path since I’ve been familiar with it since middle school. I can’t speak for other folks and their majors, which is why my post was specifically about other Pre-Meds. I’ll find new things to discuss more thoughtfully/thoroughly shortly ;)
Pre-Meds are some of the absolute worst people you will ever meet in college. Yes, there are genuinely sincere folks, but if you ever follow through with this route and end up surviving the application process, I feel like most people can agree with this generalization. Although I generally do not condone stereotyping an entire set of people, there is no denying that there is somewhat of a “stigma” attached to the Pre-med label.
In every class at a university, there will always be that brown-noser/ass-kisser who raises their hand and makes unnecessary comments. However, by nature of the competitiveness of getting into medical school, some (many) folks will do a lot of (ethically questionable) things to better their own chances (often at the cost of their peers). It’s actually kind of ironic how our future healthcare providers + physicians are viewed as respectable, knowledgeable, and compassionate folks while seeing what lengths some Pre-Med folks with go through to sabotage their peers.
From my experiences, these are worst types of Pre-Meds you will meet. I am not including the actually amazing Pre-Meds (who are more rare), since I have nothing but great things to say about them.
1) The gunner
We all know someone who fits this stereotype. In general, this is the type of Pre-Med that everyone is jealous of and/or hates. These are the folks who may act like they hardly even try/study to set the curves in all of their classes, but actually study more than most people. They are the folks you will see at every single professor’s office hours, be involved in all extra-curriculars known to make a resume look “good,” and most certainly always raise their hand/ask questions during lecture. Sometimes they can be relatively arrogant people to be around, especially since they’re probably going to get into the top medical school of their choice.
2) The Pre-Med who doesn’t shut up about being Pre-Med
Like the melodramatic friends we have on facebook who use their status updates to passive aggressively call out people or write vague novels about how terrible their life is, this Pre-Med constantly uses every opportunity to talk about the awesome things they get to do because they want to be a doctor! If they got an A on that “super hard exam,” you’ll definitely hear about it, especially if they saw something “jaw-dropping” during their clinical volunteering hours.
3) The cut-throat Pre-Med
This Pre-Med, is like a gunner, but tends to do things that are at the expense of their classmates. If someone in a class compiles a google doc of shared notes to help everyone study for an upcoming exam, they may intentionally contribute incorrect information/answers or even delete the entire document in the days leading up to the test. They will do anything to off set the curve and ensure their own A in the class. Sometimes in group study sessions, they may even intentionally make it more difficult for others to learn through toxic behavior such as complaining, derailing others, or asking irrelevant questions to psych others out.
Usually, these folks also have access to copies of old exams from other friends/connections, but may refuse to share them with other peers.
Cut-throat pre-meds are also known to use more questionable methods to get good grades, such as using popular “study drugs” like adderall and ritalin.
4) The grade robot
Grade robots are the students who will harass a TA or the professor after every assignment/exam to get back points they may feel were “unfairly deducted.” Other times, they may even try to negotiate for partial credit for questions if they’re close to the next grade bump. Although they are not always at the top of their class, somehow, the grade robots manage to maintain a 3.8+ GPA throughout their 4 years as a result. If a professor is particularly stubborn on changing grades, grade robots sometimes “play the game” by dropping a class if they cannot get a higher grade in the class, or consistently only sign up for the easier professor for a course that has multiple instructors.
Grade robots are also always the first person to ask on the day an exam is passed back what the class average, standard deviation, mean, and curve are. Most definitely, they will ask, “Will this be on the exam?” during every new concept taught in class, and show no interest in actually learning the material if it won’t be tested.
Sometimes, the pressure to consistently do well in a class is so high that these grade robots may resort to other methods of doing well on a test, such as subtly cheating, slipping in study cards during the exam, secretly looking at their notes, entering notes on their calculators, etc.
5) The depressing, self-hating Pre-Med (The Complainer)
This Pre-Med will definitely almost always complain about how unfair a professor/class is, or how difficult the exam was. You can usually hear them ranting about how they “could’ve gotten that A if they didn’t make stupid XYZ mistake,” and/or always ask how others did on an exam. These Pre-Meds are depressing to be around, especially since they always have something to complain about and tend to be very negative people.
6) The ignorant, socially unaware Pre-Med
This is the pre-med that is strictly a “science” person and will never venture outside of their studies. Oftentimes, they show no interest in the political side of medicine/the healthcare issues, and don’t care about anything other than figuring out how to treat a patient’s sickness. Their bedside manner is often terrible since they are unable to relate to others, and almost always look down upon other non-science majors. Picture a problematic anti-social justice science bookworm, and that’s probably as close as you can get to imagining what this type of Pre-Med will be like. These pre-meds also often make a lot of ignorant claims about other communities and/or social issues (such as poverty/homelessness).
These Pre-Meds especially tend to put their own majors (STEM) on a pedestal and belittle everyone else, especially those in the liberal arts majors (communications, etc). They are incredibly judgmental and critical of everyone else, despite the fact that they tend to be terrible writers and struggle the most in these classes. It is not that uncommon to see a Pre-Med person with a nearly perfect science GPA (3.8+), and a non-science GPA that is significantly lower (<3.3).
7) The “Zero to Mother Teresa” humanitarian Pre-Med
These folks will often come out of nowhere and hold multiple leadership positions strictly in order to pad their resumes. Most of the time, these folks do not have any leadership experience and actually fail at fulfilling their responsibilities/run a club “to the ground.”
In other cases, you can find these would-be Mother Teresa’s doing a lot of medical missions and volunteer trips abroad in third-world countries/developing nations to further demonstrate their humanitarian-ness. However, when asked about what they can do in their local communities to help the folks who are underprivileged, they might give you a blank stare or show no concern.
Most of the time, you’ll find these Pre-Meds doing random community service projects such as volunteering in homeless shelters/food banks, but stop as soon as they fulfill a minimum hour commitment (quitting after 100 hours, etc). All they care about is padding their application packet and could probably care less about the people they are supposedly helping.
8) The Delusional Pre-Med
Unfortunately, given how competitive it is to even have a shot at applying to medical school, many of the Pre-Meds often fall under this category. They usually have a “below average” GPA/MCAT score (think <3.0 or so and a <28 MCAT) but continuously tell everyone how they’re going to apply to top programs such as Harvard, etc. A lot of the times, the possibility of needing to complete a post-bac program or special master’s program hasn’t crossed their mind, since they are convinced that they will be able to get into medical school despite the fact that the US average accepted GPA is 3.5+ and MCAT is 30+. These folks may also talk down to those applying to DO schools.
9) The “God’s gift” to the world Pre-Med
These are the most arrogant Pre-Meds anyone can meet, as they tend to be so wrapped up in how awesome they think they are that they forget how being a physician is about helping patients/other people. These folks often go into medicine with the sole interest of pursuing the most prestigious/well-paying specialty, such as radiology, plastic surgery, or dermatology.
10) The Incognito Pre-Med
The secret/quiet Pre-Med often slips under the radar and nobody realizes that they were Pre-Med until they announce that they’ve been accepted to a medical school. They refuse to talk about their future ambitions or career goals, and may even major in something totally unrelated/non-sciencey.
Sometimes the non-science GPA may be to ensure that they can maintain a 4.0 GPA throughout undergrad! Overall, these folks are usually pretty normal and otherwise do not cause problems like the above Pre-Meds.
Like I said earlier, there are a decent number of normal Pre-Meds, but a few “bad apples” do tend to ruin the image for everyone else. This banter is just so other aspiring medicine folks can be aware of what they’re getting into or consciously work to not be any of these types of Pre-Meds.
Remember that grades are not the absolute factor in anything, and that one or two Cs, a few Bs and A-s will not ruin your chances of reaching medical school. Given the high attrition rate of entering Pre-meds vs those who actually get accepted to medical school, we should work to help each other out, not think of ways to cheat/deceive one another. We’re all going to be colleagues and co-workers some day, and the last thing anyone should be doing is burning bridges to reach the finish line first.
It seems like Tumblr, and several other “networking sites,” are slowly losing its popularity among my immediate group of friends as of late. In its place, games such as Flappy Bird and apps like Snapchat have become a widespread phenomenon, further illustrating how we tend to value instant gratification over forms of expression and writing.
Anyway, I’m also guilty of this, as I have not been keeping up to date with practicing my writing (or piano) regularly. I feel like something is missing, as if I lack a sense of motivation to even try anymore. I have over 9 posts that are written out in draft form, but I haven’t touched them since the situation with Lucky was occupying all of my free time.
On one hand, I am counting my blessings because I can recognize that I am fortunate enough to be well enough connected to other individuals who not only empathize with my financial limitations, but are also willing to share the burden to help me out. But on the other, I feel like I’m slowly being consumed by the negativity that surrounds me (for no apparent reason), and that every little thing is bothering me 10x more than it normally should. Maybe this is a sign that my hormones are out of wack. Or maybe I’m actually being affected by this delayed bout of rain. I dunno. I am going to go on a pre-med writing frenzy shortly. I’ve been having a lot of thoughts about what it means to be Pre-Med, ethical dilemmas in medicine, and other stuff.
We’ll see how the rest carries out over the next few days.
I just got off the phone with the vet who has informed me that Lucky’s surgery has gone successfully. They are keeping him in the hospital overnight to see if his blood levels remain stabilized (which would confirm that the tumor was the source of his anemia). Final bill costs came out to be $3300, which was $500 more than the original estimate, meaning I am short on money, but we made it. In the end, we were able to fundraise $2700, which just about covered the original estimate (outside of emergency care and Lucky’s referral to a specialty clinic). I am very proud and grateful to the countless many who collectively made that part happen. Now for the remaining 600 that I have yet to make up, I am working diligently, balancing my finances, and continuing to fundraise for any last minute donaters who may be able to help out. You can check out the fundraiser here: https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/mst3/lucky-needs-help-with-his-medical-bills
Whatever happens from here will happen, whether it be a good outcome, or not the one we most anticipated. The money itself isn’t what concerns me, as I feel as if I will have no regrets regardless of the outcome since I know that I did everything that was possible within my own means and circumstances to at least provide for the best care possible. I hope Lucky does have a second chance from here, and that all his other problems are minor in comparison.
I also learned today that Lucky has a heart murmur, which may be associated with his timidness/easy to scare nature. Regardless, I am not as concerned with that for the time being.
In the grand scheme of things, $3000 is a drop in the bucket compared to how much my medical school education will cost, and is nothing compared to what I will be making in the future. The long-term logical side of me has already come to terms with that, and I feel nothing in regards to having just spent the equivalent of 1/2 a year of rent in one day. I am exhausted.
I definitely cried a little (a lot of bit) when I woke up to the level of support and msgs I received. Heh heh.
Thanks to everyone out there helping so far. We’ve reached amazing milestones in such short notice, and the prospect of Lucky receiving the best care possible is amazing.
Anonymous asked: Thanks for a great write up, Jenny! Did you find any estimate of death rate, as (# of people dying with H1N1) / (# of people dx'd with H1N1)? I couldn't; just a ton of caveats about how hard it is to blame a flu patient's death on the flu (rather than pneumonia or something, SECONDARY to flu.) But it confirmed that the H1N1 flu in 2009 was more lethal to young adults than flu usually is. Do the right thing, Young Immortals! Get your shots! Would an anonymous stalker steer you wrong?
Hahah, I think you did a lot more scoping than I did. I didn’t read too much into the swine flu scare from 2009, although I did hear stuff similar to what you were saying. Although I thought that although more young adults were being infected (and subsequently developing respiratory arrest, etc), not that many of them died from the illness itself (instead, unforeseen complications, additional sicknesses due to being immunocompromised). And relative to the folks who were infected in total, I can’t imagine the percentage of young folks dying being higher than the elderly or infant population.
Disease and trends are insanely complicated. Perhaps you can do some scoping and let me know what you find :P