مرحبا عليكم!

I study languages.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Today was another one of those painful days.
The ones like cardioprolapse, you know, where gravity pulls your heart farther and farther from its anchored lining until the sudden rip spreads like lightning, everywhere at once, quick and all-consuming, crashing rhythmic waves through your synapses as you attempt to draw breath.
Yep. It was dramatic as all that.

More and more often, I've been thinking that I'll be glad when this ends, like I'm reaching out to Time for his unique form of distanced healing instead of running away. I'm still falling, I've just realized that trying to stop my progress hurts more than will the impending impact. (See Exponential decay.) I just want to hit the bottom and shatter into a thousand crystal pieces, all light and sharp and blood and fragments of cerulean iris, away from you forever.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Today, I received my scholarship offer from BYU. Four years, full tuition.
I'm pleased, but not ecstatic.
It was exactly what I was expecting, nothing more.
I'm glad I'm not one of those people who gets really broken up over things like this. I mean, I'm extremely competitive, so I hate to lose, but that's the only thing that bothers me about all of this. I'm really a lot calmer than I thought I might be, to the point where I can say "Oh, well" and mean it. At least the anticipation's over.
If there's one thing I've learned in life, it's to have no expectations, and for this, I can say I truly didn't. I never expected to win. Losing, then, is exponentially less painful than it could have been.
What will hurt is if there's someone else from Timpview who got what I wanted, but there's nothing I can do about that.
I just need to realize that I am what I am, nothing more, and if that isn't enough, I'm just going to have to deal with it.
I realize that I can be my best even if it doesn't equate to being the best, but I can't tell you it makes me feel any better.

Well, what's done is done.
I surprise myself by realizing I'm actually okay with that.

What's weird is the fact that I'm going to have to absolutely reestablish my public image for college. I'm going to have to engage in some serious competition to prove myself academically, which will be interesting, to say the least. I mean, everybody here knows me well enough to assume that I know what I'm talking about (which is not always the case, but it's nice to have the connotation). In college, all my high school preconceptions will be thrown out the window, and I'm going to have to work to build credibility among my peers.
Sure, it's a scary prospect, but with some luck, I think it'll become a motivation.
I can do it if I devote all of myself to it.
Whether or not it's a good thing, I still believe I can.
Here's to hoping I'm not pathetically mistaken.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Intimidation 101.

I don't have a date to senior ball.
I guess I'm not going; the dance is next weekend.
I really couldn't care less about the actual dance, but I'd like to be with my senior class at an event like this one last time. It's going to be at Sundance, and I'm the only one of the Friendship that hasn't been asked.

My mom's been bugging me about not being "socially approachable." The other day, she was talking to the mother of a guy I know from school, who had suggested to her son that he should ask me to senior ball. Apparently, he told her that I was "way too intimidating," driving my mom to tell me in exasperation to "just act dumb once in a while" so people will ask me out.
Yeah, right.

What does that mean?
I mean, if it means I have power, I guess I'll take it as a compliment, but I've never thought of myself that way. Gorgeous people, eloquent speakers and perpetual centers of attention are intimidating, and I am definitely nothing like that. I'm certainly not easily intimidated myself, but I've never been the type to command fear. I like control; maybe that's where this comes from. People usually defer to me in groups, and I can't pretend that isn't nice. I'm really not the distanced, intimidating type, though. I'm a blonde who likes to wear dresses and high heels, and I smile and talk to the people around me in class. I'm not the gregarious, funny center of attention, but I don't sit passively in the back, either.

I really don't understand why someone would say that.
Half of me is pleasantly surprised; the other half is sad and shocked.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


This afternoon, my mood was suddenly and entirely altered, the way water reacts with deep, blue-black dye (which was, incidentally, part of the lab we were doing at the time).
I felt it swell inside of me, stretching the walls of my perfect cover frighteningly thin, and I almost burst. The tears and throbbing anguish would have drained out of me like hot arterial blood, pulsing scarlet, drowning the whole room, or worse, just me.
Fighting under the flawless surface without showing one ripple of discontent, I smiled weakly, became a little quieter, and held on until I could safely escape, betrayed only by the barely perceptible tremors in my fingers.

For once, I was glad to get away, glad that soon I would never have to come back.

If this is how the transition has to be, I'll take it gladly.
Anger and frustration are easier to deal with than longing.
Longing eats away at the lining of your heart and makes you shiver when it isn't cold.
It is treatable only with time, which just serves to increase the distance between you and what would make you whole. Gradually, you become accustomed to its absence, but the hole it leaves in you is never filled. It exists there forever, mocking your attempts to ignore it by flaring up in moments of vulnerability, choking you until you can get a hold on it again and push its head back under the surface.

Monday, April 21, 2008


My first day back to school (after spring break) was both anticlimactic and overwhelming.
Not only have I been absolutely inundated with AP work, I'm getting my medical assisting licensure at around the same time, so I've got a stack of packets the size of the Washington Monument to finish before my pedantic administrative final. My clinicals shouldn't be bad, though, and neither should my pathophysiology-- thank heavens.

The mind boggles.

I should be writing about Platonian idealistic evolutionary views.
I think I'll go do that.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mary Jane, Kurtz and Darl.

HAPPY 4/20.

I'm not a stoner, but I've vicariously experienced the joy that seems to come from celebrating this momentous holiday, so if you are, I wish you well. May you knock off as many of your dwindling neurons as you've always dreamed. My advice: replenish your electrolytes before you sleep with a purple (okay, the color doesn't matter, but purple's the best) Gatorade. Your head will thank you in the morning.

There are two books that I think embody the most masterfully captured thoughts to date:
1. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
2. As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner

1 + 2 = epitome of literature, to the extent of my familarity with it.

I've never been more deeply affected by any other books I've read. I pull out my copies of these books frequently, becoming sucked into the eloquent text and scribbling comparatively inept margin notes with absolute fascination. I do this all the time, and I am never finished. Each time I read them, I find something else, something that fits in just perfectly, or doesn't, because both are significant. Neither of these books can be truly understood. I don't care who you are--there are so many ambiguities that one cannot have a definite idea about what the author truly means. I think that's the mark of brilliant literature--the writing is intricate and obscure enough to make a reader study it. I'm not talking your run-of-the-mill (another cliche I don't understand) English class interpret-these-symbols-and-write-a-response thought processes. The combinations of words in these books, the depth of understanding or maybe not--it drives introspection, and with that comes true, original ideas, thoughts that are absolutely yours, inspired by the living text printed on dead paper.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Glorious revolution.


~ This message brought to you by the beautiful Spring Break 2008: My last one in four years. (BYU doesn't have one.)

Yep, this morning I woke up ON MY OWN at a reasonable hour (9 am) after going to bed at 3. My internal clock has spoken! It's a momentous event. This has not happened since last summer. Wow!!
Six hours of sleep is luxuriously perfect for me. I usually get three (four on a good night), function minimally throughout the school day, and then crash in the afternoons. It can be embarrassing at work, when I fall asleep over my secretary desk and wake up to some geezer chuckling at me.
Isn't that a gross word?
I hate it.

Anyway, I'll enjoy this blissful sleep-cycle-fulfillment while I can, I guess. AP tests are just around the corner. (What a weird cliche. I wonder if it originated from paranoia.) I'm only taking 3 this year: Bio, Stats and English. Stats is the only one I really need, because the other ones won't give me college credit, but my overachiever-ness won't let up. EGO: THIS IS THE END OF THE RACE, AND THE WINNERS HAVE ALREADY BEEN CHOSEN. BACK OFF ALREADY. I really don't know why I'm taking the tests. They won't benefit me at all. Oh, well.

Last night, I had a really stressful dream. Apparently, it was college, but it was a big gymnasium. There was this desk near the door, all walled in by wood paneling with a window, like the Timpview Financial Office, and there were two women sitting on plastic fold-up chairs inside (the Fates??). This was where you registered for classes. There was a huge crowd around the window, and I finally pushed my way up to the very front and requested Honors Calculus, which one woman wrote down. I pushed my way out of the crowd, and then had second thoughts, so I shoved myself back into the fray and reached the window again, where I told her I'd changed my mind. She crossed it off her list. Then, I regretted asking to cancel my class, so I went back to the window, where a friend of mine was trying to choose her classes. They said they were closed and began packing up their stuff, so I wrote down that I wanted Honors Calculus back on a piece of paper and threw it onto the table, where one woman picked it up. Then, the dream ended. Weird, huh? I think I'm stressed about class registration. The registration dates were assigned randomly, and I'm near the very end. Unfair. I've got everything planned out, from my classes to the teachers and rooms, so it's frustrating to know that almost everything will be taken by the time I get to choose. It's seriously killing me, and the worst part is, there's nothing I can do about it. I hope it all works out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Escape from the sunshine.

It's really nice to be back.
I missed flinging my badly articulated thoughts into the Internet's binary void, available to anyone unlucky enough to stumble across my ramblings. I like writing to nobody and everybody, and it was difficult to go a whole week without the opportunity to cyber-muse.

Currently, I'm peeling the sun-scorched skin from my left shoulder while looking out the window at the swirling snow. It's a strange feeling, to say the least.

This is what I did over my family vacation:
--burned my extremities' outermost epithelia off under the sun (2% of the time, which killed the other 98%)
--watched ANTM (addictive!)
--watched Colbert (♥)
--watched a weird seahorse show circa 3 AM (I didn't know whether to cry about their imminent extinction or exorcise the freak who was singlehandedly trying to save them)
--slept (90% of the time)
--went running after feeling bad about being so lazy; realized I didn't have shoes but went anyway, resulting in blisters the size of beach balls that sent me back to my bed with the TV remote

It was fun.


I won first place in a writing contest! Yep, $100 from BYU's English Department is now mine. I'm hoping this is a sign of bigger and better things to come. :-) I'll either put the money in my personal college fund (which I should do) or splurge on Death Cab/Tegan and Sara tickets.
I was thrilled when I got the letter, but my parents don't seem to care much. I can't wait until I can get back to school so I can tell someone who will think it matters, like my English teacher.
Also, I got the sample prints from my senior pictures back. I really like a few of them, and I can't wait to get them printed so I can send out my graduation announcements!
I can't tell whether I'm happy or sad about this. I'm looking forward to this summer (HOSA Nationals, Hebgen, Late Summer Honors, etc.), but I'm going to be seriously depressed when it hits me that I won't see nearly any of the school friends I know and love ever again. As in, EVER again. For the rest of my LIFE.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008



I've been on the computer for FIVE HOURS, intermittently calling the counseling center, coming to terms with three separate major schedules (Neuroscience, Physiology/Developmental Biology and English; I'll pin down my science choice next semester), navigating the convoluted university website (every day, it's like I find something new I could have used the day before and have to start everything over again), looking up all my future teachers on ratemyprofessors.com (invaluable, but biased...??), charting med school prereqs, choosing meal plans and housing arrangements, and feeling absolutely overwhelmed in the process.
I chose bed 3B in Apartment 88 because
-- it's by a window
-- it's farthest from the door
-- it's in a corner
-- it's farthest from the living room
-- I like the number 88.
Shut up, that's not totally arbitrary at all.


I'm going to have five random roommates. I hope there's at least one I like, or rather, one who's as serious about school as I am.

On top of everything, today I took charge of the AP Bio lab (as usual)...and skipped a crucial step. Yep, our experiment's going to be 25% screwed. Because of me.
It was an honest mistake, and we did everything else immaculately,

AND, on top of THAT, the Prehealth Advisement Center has informed me that I'll have to repeat calculus at the university level for med school even though I have AP credit; apparently, very few med schools enjoy ACCEPTING said AP credit (a fact I wish someone had told me before I spent weeks studying for last year's AP test). I'm taking it honors this time around, but that doesn't change the fact that I've already taken (and passed) the class. Hopefully it'll be an easy A (and it'll get me four credit hours of university honors credit), but nothing's guaranteed. The truth is, I'm scared to take college math. I was overjoyed when I learned I didn't have to take any more after this year. I love mathematical theory (I've even been auditing a university-level Linear Algebra class this year), but its practical application scares me more than anything, though it isn't like I have a problem doing or understanding it. Is there a word for an irrational fear of a subject at which one is seemingly proficient??

∫(college math) dx = scary + c
Yeah, I included the constant term. I have no idea how to write definite integrals on here.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A lucrative weekend.

It's been a VERY lucrative weekend, to say the least.
I attended the HOSA state competition on Thurs/Fri, and came away with two gold medals (Medical Terminology and Job Seeking Skills), one silver medal (Pathophysiology) and a $2500 scholarship.
This is how it all went down:

I sat around most of Thursday, because my friends had competitions. One of the girls I was rooming with had all the room keys, so I crashed in some other girls' room with my laptop and LOST episodes, formulating answers to interview questions and reading random medical literature to refresh my terminology. Everyone came back around 8, though, and we had pizza for dinner in a teacher's room: a raucous, messy gathering where you could hardly hear yourself think. It was fun...for about ten minutes, after which my friends and I went out into the hall to shoot caps off water bottles and discuss the physics behind reprogramming hotel room keys. Science in action. I ♥ being a nerd. Anyway, the girls and I went to bed and had girl talk for a bit, where I told everyone who I liked. I have this strange feeling that it's going to get out, which would be kind of awkward, but I can't say I really care--I mean, I'll only be in school for two months more, so I figure I can handle pretty much anything. This'll be interesting. At least, that's what I keep telling myself. Anyway, I woke up early (5:30) on Friday morning to get into my business suit and look decent for my first competition: Pathophysiology, which was scheduled to start at 7. When I got to the conference center, I saw that I was signed up for one of the first National Recognition Program interviews (at 7:45). I figured I could speed through Patho and get to the interview without much of a problem...until it was 7:15 and we hadn't been given our tests yet. I was INSANE with impatience, and eventually one of my roommates went up to the administrator and calmly asked if I could get my test (I'd been up there earlier, trying to stay externally calm while freaking out, and it didn't do me much good). I got my test at 7:20, leaving me 25 minutes to finish a complicated 100-question multiple choice test and a tiebreaker essay, which happened to be on SARS. I couldn't remember what the first S stood for, and I had WAY too little time to sit there thinking about it, so I just scribbled about generic symptoms (dyspnea, shortness of breath, chest tightness, etc.) and treatment involved with "systemic acute respiratory syndrome." Though "systemic" obviously contradicts "respiratory" (the correct S-word was "severe"), I seriously had NO TIME AT ALL, so I pretty much wrote the test off as a sacrifice to my National Recognition Program interview, which I figured was more important because it could be financially lucrative. I quite literally ran my hastily completed test up to the proctor and raced out the door, making it seriously thirty seconds before the interviewer opened his door and called my name.

Gathering my emotions and making some attempt to keep my throbbing heart from shooting through the wall of my thoracic cavity, I smiled, shook his hand, and followed him into the small room. Three judges sat at a table in front of me, and one sat behind me in armchair next to the door (strange). I introduced myself and watched as they pulled out the massive portfolio I'd compiled as per their requirements. Seriously, that thing must have taken me 12 hours--if I didn't get something out of all that work, my sanity would have undergone some kind of fatal combustion. The people asked me questions about my most memorable service accomplishments, my strengths and weaknesses, and my choice to pursue a health care career, and I felt like I answered them pretty well, all things considered. I've always considered myself a weak public speaker--I'm not able to command attention or exude eloquence, but I felt all right about this because I knew my academic and service records made me a strong candidate. I crossed my legs, though, which I regret (don't all the interview technique websites say to keep your feet flat on the floor?).

Anyway, after my National Recognition interview, I headed off to the Job Seeking Skills competition, the one I joined on a whim at registration because I figured I needed all the interview practice I could get if I wanted to succeed in life. I didn't expect to even place, let alone win a gold medal and the title "best in state." Walking into the room, I surveyed my competition and sat just to the left of the of the second row's midline, where our probably-right-handed administrator was most likely to focus her field of vision (a trick I'd learned from Model UN). I knew it was time to apply every strategic get-noticed strategy I'd ever learned, so I struck up a mildly pitched, lively conversation with the girl next to me, who turned out to be about as interesting as oatmeal. The administrator gave us some instructions and told us they'd already reviewed our resumes and cover letters, so all we had left was the interview part. We drew numbers for our order, and I pulled #7, which was at 10:30, so I figured I had some time to kill. I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up the book "Bringing Down the House," which was a true story about six MIT kids who form an intense card-counting blackjack team and take Vegas for millions. It was absolutely fascinating (I finished it tonight); thrilling, informative and impossible to put down. I love reading about really awesome nerd kids. It gives me hope for my future. :-) I met back fifteen minutes prior to my appointment time (which turned into forty-five; they were behind schedule). The admin asked me an offhand question about the book I'd bought, so I took the chance to bring it up to the front, explain the plot when she asked, and talk about the movie ("21") that was being made based on it. I scored some real points here, as we kept up happy conversation through the wait time (the other kids were just kind of sitting there in nervous silence). I was able to carefully segue in my competition at HOSA Nationals last year and my medical humanitarian aid trip to the Philippines, in which she was extremely interested, asking me tons of questions and exclaiming over the things my group had accomplished. It's deceptive and calculating, but I can surely be social and charming when I have to be, though by nature I'm the reserved, inwardly cynical type who never really wants to talk to anyone save a select few. As for the interview, I got lucky enough to score a positive first impression, making the judges laugh during my first couple of "tell me about yourself" sentences as I gave them my carefully formulated speech about my inhuman love for Honey Bunches of Oats and the fact that I asked for a skeleton for my seventeenth birthday, making it sound absolutely spontaneous. Yeah, right. Their questions were straightforward, so I could answer them pretty easily, though I kind of went out on a limb talking about human papillomavirus and Gardasil, the vaccine for cervical cancer, as my most important teen health issue. I should have picked something more prevalent like obesity or mood disorders, but whatever. I only said "um" (consciously) twice, which was good, and I asked questions at the end (when prompted), so I came out feeling all right. The thing about competitions like this, though, is that you have no idea what your competitors are saying. I didn't think I'd do as well as I did, that's for sure, because I figured that there would be people there who put all of themselves into the competition, the kind who speak easily and articulately by nature. I still don't know if everyone there was just like the oatmeal girl or if the interviewers actually liked me. Later, I was told by the NRP people that I "interviewed so well!!" so maybe I don't suck at this as badly as I thought I did.

Let me tell you, by 12:30 (the starting time for Medical Terminology), I was already burned out. I was sick of wearing a high-maintenance power suit, tired of wearing painfully high heels, fed up with smiling and self-promotion, and absolutely worn out from having to work so hard to make myself the center of attention (and making it seem effortless). Needless to say, I dragged myself into the massive ballroom (lined with literally hundreds of chairs at almost as many tables) entirely grateful that for the first time this day, I could be competitive without being conspicuous. Taking an unremarkable seat near the middle left, I relaxed into my cramped table space with my new book until I was given my test, which turned out to be just about as hard as the one I'd taken at Nationals last summer. There were three questions I didn't know for sure (I mean, they were insane; you try naming the serum test necessary for detecting ovarian cancer or the name for a cell-specific malignant tumor of the adrenal medulla), but the others went well. However, I walked out feeling unsure of my performance (it kills me not to know questions in a subject I'm supposed to be an expert in) but was reassured later when I was called up as the first place winner.

The awards ceremony after the Med Terms competition was wonderful. They called me up for my scholarship, first of all, followed by my Job Seeking Skills and Medical Terminology gold medals (placed around my neck by my nice Homecoming date from this year, the Utah HOSA president-elect) and my silver Pathophysiology one, which I felt entirely lucky to receive, seeing as though I couldn't remember one question from the test because I was flying through it at somewhere around lightspeed.

Well, that's the gist of my competition weekend. I think I've covered most of the bases. All in all, it was amazing, and I'm overjoyed with my performance. During the opening ceremonies, I was very close to just running away screaming because everyone had such high expectations for me, but it ended up working out rather nicely.
If nothing else, that's an incredible relief.