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02/01 Direct Link
Indignation is the word of the day. From a kind, unknowingly patronizing (white) girl commenting on my ďnot having an accentĒ while I was helping her with her physics, to an annoyingly Freudian Chinese thriller perpetuating the persecution of evil female ambition, suffice it to sayÖ I am annoyed.

I feel sort of ďblue collarĒ for supporting Hillary based on a sense of female unityÖ but sexism and racism have indeed been a very real part of my life. I am all too familiar with the feeling of being marginalized. The feeling of belonging is something more foreign and dream-like.
02/02 Direct Link
Gorged on physics today. That seems to be the pattern of my relationship with physics. Unlike o-chem, which really canít be crammed very well, physics I tend to slack off on, then pick up during the week before a test. It doesnít take that much effort to learn the concepts needed to do the problems, in comparison to o-chem which simply takes a lot of time and energy.

Things are going well. I just wish I had more time for ArabicÖ I grow more impatient each passing day, seeing my personal goals relegated to the back burner.
02/03 Direct Link
It was a funny feeling seeing my old classmatesí pictures in the newspaper. I didnít leave Chinese class on the best of termsÖ my interest in the whole experience sort of drifted off near the end.

I was telling my mom that I shouldíve left that group a lot sooner. The cliquishness really narrowed my world. I shouldíve traveled when I was younger, before college. The whole Yemen experience was really transformative and strengthening. The 18-year-old (??) British girl I met there was amazing! Remarkably poised, independent, and self-confidentÖ how was I at that age, fresh out of high school?
02/04 Direct Link
My books came today in a surprisingly small, light bundle. Iím quite happy with my new acquisitions: Cartoon History of the Modern World, After Dark (Haruki Murakamiís new book), and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

I think I want to save The Diving Bell and the Butterfly for last. Itís a slim volume and I want to savor it, some time when Iím not so busy. Maybe Iíll even save it for after May, when school ends. Iím looking forward to getting these classes over with, so I can focus full-time on MCAT. Iím just not a great multi-tasker.
02/05 Direct Link
What a night. What a day. Sigh. Super Tuesday started off rather well, as I finished my schoolwork and had a pretty good class. The few hours before my prep class at night were fairly productive, as I worked together with a classmate on some suggested problems. I was in high spirits. Prep class was unusually decent as well, as Iíd already gone over thermodynamics before.

All that came to a halt as I, being hard-headed, pissed off the Ďrents with an innocuous comment about a blind person. Iím just too logical to the point of being cold. Stubborn me.
02/06 Direct Link
Trolling around SDN at a much too late hourÖ yet again. My calves are sore from lugging around my heavy backpack these last couple of days. Tomorrow is the group component of the physics test. Still boggles the mind that a physics class would have group quizzes. WTF? It works about as well as ďpair codingĒ, which my mother has been forced to do since some idiot higher ups of her company came up with the idea. Working in a team to divide up the work is one thing. Sitting around collaborating on each line of code? Just plain stupid.
02/07 Direct Link
Iím pretty interested in nutrition and longevity studies. I always get excited talking about it and reading about it is interesting. Itís a lot of fun trying to figure out an ďoptimumĒ diet or combination of foods. I think medicine, the way it is practiced currently, lacks the individual tailoring it really takes to obtain optimum functioning.

So it was exciting to see a med student interested in the same stuff posting on SDN. Itís too early to say, but nutrition and neurology are definitely among my top interests. Iím not sure how the former translates into a specialty, though.
02/08 Direct Link
I have become a tea addict. Iíve been thinking of the cloying green tea latte from Starbucks for a while now. Itís way sweeter than it needs to be, but oh so good.

Itís good that Iíve weaned myself from fruit juices and other beverages, pretty much completely now. All I drink is green tea, or herbal tea, or water. Occasionally, Iíll imbibe a cup of coffee, or perhaps some dairy, in the form of a smoothie or a hot chocolate. Or, Iíll have a bottle of sparkling fruit juice. And very occasionally, a glass of wine. Thatís it, really.
02/09 Direct Link
Iím strangely stable. Maybe thatís the effect of being overworked. Maybe thatís the necessary result of keeping myself on track. I feel comfortable with the TPR materials currently, as physics is still going over material I know pretty well, and chemistry hasnít been too bad for me either, mostly on account of my mastery over o-chem. Iíve got my periodic trends down, for the most part.

When I try to think about the other events in my life, they just donít seem like news, or things to write about. I feel better than I sound on paper, however. Sated, serene.
02/10 Direct Link
A really pitiful morning. Dehydrated, pissed, bedraggled. No wonder all the solubility stuff wafted right over my head. I guess Iím eating, breathing this test. Sort of. Not exactly. I still found time for a few episodes of Frasier. Itís the best way to unwind, that I can think of. I suppose Iím living vicariously through the Crane brothers.

I really donít know how people study more than a few hours a day. I mean, when I really focus, I can manage three hours of concerted effort, spread out. I doubt I could do more, unless I were particularly inspired.
02/11 Direct Link
Tired, fragile, touched. My mother surprises me sometimes with what she remembers about what Iíve said. I guess sheís like me in that she takes to heart the things that make sense to her. She may be hard-headed (the same as me), but she can also be quite lovingÖ she is my mother, after all.

Iím lucky to have these two people that I complain about so much, in my life. I hope my life will take a turn for the better. I hope Hillary wins this thing, beating all odds. It would be a magnificent 2009. I can hope.
02/12 Direct Link
Remarkably better today. Itís bizarre because my days are packed these days, and Iím not bored, but when it comes to writing here again, I feel at a loss, sometimes. The things I find to be preoccupying my mind wouldnít be of interest to outsiders. Simply the minutiae of my days in class, studying, or pondering about studying while trolling around SDN.

I dive into the deeper emotional territories when I volunteer and take calls from people mired in sorrow, anger, loneliness. It satisfies something within me. Iím following Hillary and the campaign with zeal, too. A strangely vicarious addiction.
02/13 Direct Link
A big relief tonight. Iím not sure what I was expecting exactly, but I would have been happy with anything over 90. I got a 95, which I certainly canít complain about. I did better in the individual portion than I thought, so I was pleased about that. At the same time, Iím somewhat disappointed about the group portion; I feel that we could have done better. That was a totally doable problem. I just panicked a bit. It was such an unexpected question, it threw me a bit.

Overall, Iím relieved. Better luck next time. Itís a good beginning.
02/14 Direct Link
I donít know that Iíve ever had a ďnormalĒ, romantic Valentineís Day. Itís always one thing or another. The first year that I can remember that thereís been a shooting though. I spent the day pretty normally in classes. We did get some candy in TPR physics, so I can claim that I got some celebratory treats from somebody.

Itís funny where I was this time last year. Verdant was still on my mind (messing with it), and Cage was my new crush object over the Ďnets. Itís not as exciting this year, but Iím more stable and happy.
02/15 Direct Link
Totally tired and drained today. It is Friday. Got yelled at, in another classic case of inappropriate anger. I can honestly not think of a single other person who would have responded in the way that she did to my honest enthusiasm over the Okinawa Diet today. It was so out of line and uncalled for and unnecessary. It just drained me, and left me both unmotivated to work at all, and uninterested in further reading the Okinawa Diet book.

I felt sad and hurt and resentful. I tried not to be angry or bothered, but I was and am.
02/16 Direct Link
Chinese restaurant opens in Baghdad. This has the makings of a story, begging to be told. What is my obsession with Chinese restaurants? I just find their tenacious existences in the unlikeliest, untenable of places fascinating. These people arenít braving the odds for some noble purpose of serving their country, or for some higher purpose of political protest. NoÖ these are entrepreneurs. These are normal, average, people going far across the world to earn a living for their spouses and families back home.

Iím amazed. Braving the danger, not speaking the language, against all odds, these people make it work.
02/17 Direct Link
Iím reading an article about Michelle Obama, and the way she is portrayed is quite interesting. Her personality comes off of the pages very well, and I get a strong sense of what sheís like as a person: sassy, extroverted, open. Not the typical political spouse. Young, and more in tune with todayís generationÖ well, just like Barack.

Apparently though, sheís not quite the ďvisionary geniusĒ, so much as the grounded, hard-working, supportive spouse tethering Obamaís visions to planet Earth. Why is it always Barack is to Michelle as Bill is to Hillary? Where is my visionary, female role model?
02/18 Direct Link
The bucolic image of a green Denmark, with its rolling hills and iconic windmills, really awakens my wanderlust once more. WanderlustÖ what a fine word.

There is a bit of a traveler in me, although Iíve typically considered myself more interested in the internal landscape. Iím not into seeing things just for the sake of seeing thingsÖ Iíd rather the beautiful sensory experience be accompanied by a message- the vision of its composer or editor.

Otoh, Iím nuts about design: interior design, architecture, graphic designÖ even ukiyoe Japanese woodblock prints. Photography. Itís creativity tempered by technical discipline born of necessity.
02/19 Direct Link
I canít believe Iím almost done with all of the chemistry lectures. Itís amazing how much weíve covered in so short a span of time. Iím simultaneously overwhelmed and relievedÖ the work is finite.

When Iím stressed out, I find myself wandering far away in my mindÖ like a butterfly skimming the air currents, looking down on my fondest moments. Yemen still stands outÖ itís like a movie. Itís like a dream. But it happened. And I thirst for more.

I donít want these dreams to end. I want the story to continue. I want the night to go on.
02/20 Direct Link
Itís been a rough day. Tonight was the last full lunar eclipse until 2010. I shouldíve taken a picture or somethingÖ but it just did not turn out that way. InshallahÖ right? I pretty much woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and stayed a shade off-beat the whole entire day. Which is not to say I got nothing done, for I did.

And in particular I accomplished something very fine today. I finally asked my professor for that LOR. It was something I was dreading, but I did it, and he agreed. Itís a huge relief.
02/21 Direct Link
Iím doing a lot of weight-bearing, which I suppose is good. I tried to google the health effects of routinely bearing a lot of weight, but couldnít find much. I suppose it helps maintain my bone density.

This year-long quest for medical school has really sharpened by thinking and reasoning. I feel like Iím gaining a lot over time. Everything is on track. I hope this works out. Inshallah, inshallahÖ

Once this boat is righted, and I have my life back again, I really hope I will have the frame of mind to write again. Thereís so much I want.
02/22 Direct Link
I fell in love with a condo today. Itís different from anything Iíve ever seen thatís available locally. Based on European styling, the flats offer heated herringbone wood floors, high vaulted ceilings, lovely little balconies, and some intriguing ideas, such as elimination of common hallways (how novel!), and a delightful ďrooftopĒ garden area on the second story level.

There are so many high-rise condos that are a zillion times more expensive, yet less impressive lookingÖ This place looked so different and Iím so enchanted by the Parisian ethos of living. Perhaps Iím simply living in the wrong cityÖ or country.
02/23 Direct Link
Becoming a doctor is a scary prospect. From time to time, my own mortality stares me down and leaves me hyperaware of the fragility of life. My mother was just diagnosed with osteoporosis. It kind of shocked me, actually. Theyíre getting old, my parents.

While osteoporosis on itís own is oftentimes asymptomatic, it increases the risk of injury due to falls. But other than that, they are doing decently, health-wise. I am too, with the exception of my cuckoo digestive system and Gilbertís Syndrome.

Age takes its toll, and I do worry that I havenít done enough with my life.
02/24 Direct Link
I am so dang hyper. Itís incredible. I donít know if itís just adrenalin rushing through my system, or what kind of hormone. Iím a bitÖ shall we sayÖ unstable. Really, really, really, in need of just a nice, big, warm hug. But not in a bad, needy way, exactly.

I should explain. I just came back from our monthly Arabic meetup, and it was a bit of an adventure. Iíve gotten over my crazy anxiety and fear. I was comfortable with my assistant organizer there, sort of as moral (and physical) support. But itís so hard. Itís hard organizing.
02/25 Direct Link
Dang, I ran out of time at the end there. But it felt like a better PS section than my previous attempts. All those practice passages in the in-class compendium should show some effects by now. The thing is, Iím clicking awkwardly on my little tablet PC, with its tiny screen. Itís super hot, and Iím crouched awkwardly in front of it, half awake, uncomfortable.

Öyeah. So, for all the aforementioned reasons, I sort of almost ran out of time at the end there. Which was unfortunate, as the last passage concerned friction, and all kinds of good familiar stuff.
02/26 Direct Link
I had an enjoyable evening tonight, again, watching the debates. This time itís just the pair of them, again. The twentieth debate, I believe. Who knows whether there will be a twenty-first? It is a historic election and my first time, really, being so excited over an election.

This goes back to that muse ideaÖ I need to find a new muse, now that Oksana has disappeared off the radar, Martina has retiredÖ even Sasha is gone. At least, they are still with me, in a sense. I can replay their performances in my mind. Itís a symphony of colors.
02/27 Direct Link
Feeling the pressure, yet again. At least the o-chem test next week will be limited to two chapters, as we did not start on any new material this week beyond finishing up with reactions with the benzene ring. Iím about over the half-way point plowing through the chapter, so thatís looking okay.

Physics, Iím just at that point of being overwhelmed. Weíve covered so much material in two weeks, itís kind of crazy. I meanÖ three weeks for two chapters on electrostatics stuff. Then, only two weeks reserved for three chapters of heavy-duty material on capacitance, circuit analysis and magnetism?
02/28 Direct Link
Well, I think I lucked out today. I had no idea what was going on with that whole Ampereís Law thingÖ but somehow, somehow, I think we managed to come up with the right answer. Lady luck is on my side.

Iíve got two months of this crap to wade throughÖ and then I will have completed an entire year of courses, as a part-time student. Whoa. Time sure does fly.

Nothing more I really want to say about that. I canít wait for school to be over so I can study full-time for the MCAT. I really want this.
02/29 Direct Link
This was a dark day. That test was shit. But I think there was a consensus about that. I really have no idea how I did on itÖ but I felt sort of resigned to my fate, as I donít think any trivial amount of studying would have helped me score any better.

And so that was that. I donít remember what happened on that nightÖ did I forget to write? Was I too tired? Iím listening to Live, right now. It reminds me of so many things. Always, I associate it with Dragonrealms. And, more recently, also with Verdant.