مرحبا عليكم!

I study languages.

Friday, June 27, 2008



I had a meeting with a university advisement counselor this morning, and I went all out to prepare. I compiled a paper with the schedule I've so meticulously planned, my AP credits and their application to GE requirements, and a complete summary of my financial aid. I brought along the course map for my intended major and a copy of my resume, as well as a sheet of prepared questions to ask. I arrived ten minutes early for the appointment.

Guess what?

The idiot wrote me off within the first five minutes. He called my name, and I stood up to shake his hand. I watched him examine the highlights in my styled blonde hair, my colorful skirt and complementary suit jacket, and my color-coordinated makeup, making no attempt to hide his disdain.
From that point on, it became blatantly obvious that I was nothing to him but a mindless, blonde stereotype of a seventeen-year-old girl, obviously incapable of entertaining even the vaguest idea about what she really wanted--least of all, involvement in a complicated science major.

Taking me back to his office, he told me to sit in a chair as he pulled up his computer. He stared at the screen almost the entire time, mumbling vague, memorized responses to my carefully designed questions. I handed him my resume and comprehensive sheet, and he didn't even glance through them, preferring instead to stack them in a corner of his desk and hand them back to me at the end of our session. He never offered me one word of affirmation or asked one question about my experience or interests. I had to probe to get even the least specific reply.

When I asked about the major, he appraised me skeptically and said, "It's a lot of math and science. If you're bad at that, you probably shouldn't be here."
Taken aback, I attempted to further demonstrate my interest, and he cut me off with, "Look, a lot of students who thought they were academically inclined in high school get here and realize they're really social butterflies, and they don't do as well as they expected."

I'm a National Merit Scholar. I graduated with a 4.0. I took seven AP classes. I completed three medical internships. I'm the Utah state gold medalist and national bronze medalist in medical terminology. I held a steady job for three years. I'm certified to practice medical assisting and phlebotomy. I did humanitarian aid in Southeast Asia. I've won multiple writing contests and been published twice.

If it were 1970, I'd expect this kind of treatment.
It's 2008.
Girls make up HALF of all medical school applicants these days.
Yes, I'm a girl.
Yes, I take care of myself.
Yes, I happen to enjoy math and science.

I walked out of his office and collapsed on a bench outside, unable to control my sadness and rage for any longer.
Pathetic as it sounds, I sobbed all the way home.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Okay, this is another guess-the-subject creative writing exercise.
Guess correctly, and I'll give you a prize or something of that nature!
Game on.
HINT: Looking at the poem's shape might help.


a purple flower blooms from the seething mass on the table,
sick in its unfinished vulnerability,
flailing, stretching out wide:
a desperate universal sign
as the flower is plucked from its nourishing source,
its safe and natural haven


immaturely transplanted into an ocean.
waves uniform and green breathe filtered air
maybe it’s an aquarium,
only there’s a baptized gardener
immersed entirely,
digging swiftly around roots,
overturning soil with intense precision,
warming the shriveling petals with his breath
to counteract the pallor of so much

easing his pace

stability is restored
in a heroic underwater rescue
(at least for now).

EDIT: No one guessed! Well, I didn't really expect anyone to. It's shaped like an EKG. It's an emergency caesarean delivery of a premature baby that I watched.

Taste testing.

Recently, I've been validating truths from Malcom Gladwell's Blink.
If you haven't read it, you're missing out- it's about the instantaneous judgements our minds make without our conscious involvement, and it's absolutely fascinating- definitely one of the most thought-provoking books I read last year (excluding classic literature).

I really want to test a theory from the book concerning taste testing. Everybody has that friend, you know, the one who boasts he can tell the difference between two almost perfectly identical soda pop brands? 7UP and Sprite, Mountain Dew and Mountain Maze, etc...well, this'll throw him. He may win in a simple identification taste test- I mean, it's a 50-50 shot, and that probability is essentially what it comes down to. So try this- triangulate the test. Use three cups of soda, and make two the same and one different. Have him identify which cup holds a different soda than the other two (harder than it sounds), and then have him identify which soda it is. This reduces the odds of a blindly correct guess to roughly 16.6% (1/3 times 1/2).


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I'm anticipating something I know won't happen.
It's kind of lame.
I wish something in me weren't so naturally optimistic about some things. At the moment, my empirical mind's a frustrated realist, trying to convince whatever else it is inside me that invades its space to calm down and listen to reason.
Reality may suck, but that's how it goes, and my mind tells me I have no problem facing that. Logic = supremacy.
The something else has a different opinion, and I need to learn how to shut it up.
Any ideas?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hoy es lunes...

I've found that it's nearly impossible for me to write and listen to music at the same time. It's like my creative thought gets tangled up with the musician's, and I end up writing in jumbled poetic garblescript before I realize the words are only half mine.

In other news, I had an interesting day. I went to the salon to get my hair colored, and my usual stylist had missed a connecting flight, so they assigned me to someone new. Okay, I thought, there's nothing I can do about that. Halfway through putting the foils in, though, the new girl somehow developed an acute condition I can only refer to as an "eye attack." She started blinking uncontrollably and unfocusing her right eye, dropping all the hair supplies to stare at herself in the mirror. Flustered, she excused herself and apparently walked out of the salon, careening wildly out of the parking lot in her little blue convertible. They had to call in yet another girl to finish my color, and I think she was a student or somebody's daughter or something, because she blowdried my hair so rapidly I was honestly surprised it didn't catch fire.
Despite all this, my hair didn't turn out too badly.
I like the color particularly.

I also went up to SLC to make up the phlebotomy class I missed while in Newport. I was assigned to work with a cute 24-year-old premed from the U of U, which was fun. I got to teach him a median cubital draw. He was really flirtatious, even after he learned my age (rare; I'm underage until August). Smart, too.

Right now:
"I've got no plans and too much time / I feel too restless to unwind / I'm always lost in thought as I walk a block to my favorite neon sign.."
-Conor Oberst

I'd like to go on a walk. It's 3:15 AM and gorgeous outside.
I wouldn't like to get raped.
I won't go on a walk.

Monday, June 23, 2008


There's a bug by me.
What's a bug doing awake at this hour?

EDIT: Time of death, 3:34 AM.

Online now!

It's three in the morning, and I like being able to play on my laptop again. Going without it for a week was more difficult than it should have been. What can I say? I'm a nerd.

Things I do when I don't want to sleep:

1) Play on Facebook.
This morning, I took personality tests and sifted through related groups. According to the most definitive quiz I could find, I'm an INTJ, or "Rational Mastermind." It's strange how test descriptions seem to fit so perfectly. Listen to this (from the Love Life section)..."[Jessica] is a Rational Mastermind (INTJ). In high school, she watched others flirt and felt a combination of envy and disgust. In college, [Jessica] found some dates in her upper level classes and professional organizations. Now, she has a steady boyfriend. They enjoy long technical and philosophical talks and cultural experiences. They have talked of marriage, but at this point, they’re too involved in their careers." That right there is an eerily correct description of myself and the way I see my future love life going. What can I say? These guys know me.
It's also interesting to see who else gets online at this hour. It gives one a strange feeling of camaraderie to see someone else doing the same pointless things you are at the same unnatural time during the night.

2) Blog.
This one's kind of self-explanatory, seeing as though it is the activity in which I am currently engaging myself. It's nice just to write, even if I'm not writing anything important.

3) Listen to music/play on iTunes.
This morning, I went through Coldplay's new CD to see if I like it well enough to buy it or just procure a copy from my little brother. I'm still indecisive. I like Coldplay, though I'm really unsure how I feel about this CD.

4) Plan.
Sometimes when I'm up really late, I get into this hyper-planning mode. I make and organize pedantic lists, spanning all aspects of whatever I want to accomplish in the proximal few hours/days. Experience has taught me that late nights really fuel my pseudo-perfectionism, so when I'm overly stressed for school or other important things, it's best just not to let myself reach that phase.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Triumphant return.

Not only am I back in town, I'm two thousand dollars richer (thanks to a scholarship check made out to me, not my university) and the national winner of HOSA's bronze medal in medical terminology!!

It's been a good week. Dallas was scorching hot with 70-80% humidity, which played malicious games with my hair, but I miraculously managed not to get sunburned. Thanks, Sara's spray-on SPF 70!

Now, about the competition. My med terms test followed a simple format: 100 multiple choice questions with 20 mandatory write-in tiebreakers (so if people get the same score, there's an additional basis for comparison). I completed most of the exam and all the write-ins with no problem, but at Nationals, it's a given that multiple people will end up with 100%, so I thought I was screwed when I encountered one question I didn't know. I was looking for a descriptive term for "non-CA lesion caused by UV overexposure," and I went with the more general "chemabrasion" over "actinic keratosis," which sounded more like a condition and less like a lesion to me. Plus, the roots have nothing to do with the sun- "actinic" refers, of course, to actin (I still have no idea how that fits in physiologically, though), and "keratosis" means hardening condition (which kind of works, I guess, now that I think about it). Of course, I looked it up right after and discovered that I'd answered incorrectly, so I thought I was totally screwed in terms of getting a medal. I guess I got lucky, though, because I was called up as part of the Top Ten in front of eight thousand people at our closing ceremony. You have no idea how hard I had to concentrate on not tripping- I came so close while walking up the steps to the stage...yeah. Looking around, I noticed that the rest of the finalists were Asian and Indian, so I thought I had no chance at all. I was thrilled when they called my name, though, and watched as a massive version of myself flashed up on the big screen in the convention center while they gave me my medal. I probably looked like an idiot, smiling far too wide and trying to stay balanced on the podium while keeping my outfit in perfect alignment (I should have worn something less high maintenance), but it was exciting, all the same!

I'm really happy to be home. Katie and Liz just came to visit me, and it was great to see them. When I'm gone, I miss the Friendship like I miss my family. It'll be hard to separate for an entire year of college.

Anyway, I'm in town until Saturday, and I'm looking to have a fun week. I wanted to start my phlebotomy externship, but I can't see that happening until I can be in town for less irregular lengths of time. No clinic'll want to take me unless I can be consistent.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I'm getting a lot more adept at phlebotomy, but my hands still tremble uncontrollably when I switch tubes. It's difficult to hold the needle perfectly centered in the vein while manipulating the change in Vacutainers; my patients say I'm good at holding it steady despite my nervous system's rebellion, but I feel the behavior undermines my credibility. Sometimes I wonder if this'll interfere with becoming a surgeon, at least at the microscopic level- most of surgery is large-scale, so it wouldn't be a problem going into a macroscopic specialty, but if I want to specialize in something minute, I have to get this under control. Thanks to my medical assisting course, I know it disappears absolutely with practice, but is it ethical to practice at the possible expense of my work's quality? Augh. I know I've discussed this before, and I'll probably discuss it again, but it seriously bugs me that I can't keep those muscles under voluntary control. Maybe with some targeted exercises, I can strengthen them to the point where my will overrules my nervous system. I'll work on it.

In other news, I leave for Dallas on Monday for HOSA Nationals. More about that later.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I've been thinking about individuality lately, about self-discovery.
Sure, it's cliche- maybe I'm waxing nostalgic after high school graduation; maybe I'm trying to justify why I am the way I am.
Regardless, though, I AM, and that's interesting.

I've realized that the way I see myself is entirely different than the way others see me, but I can't figure out whether this is a bad thing. I mean, admitting to a discrepancy implicates me in some level of hypocrisy, so either I'm not being absolutely honest with myself, or I'm not being absolutely honest with other people. The thing is, I can't figure out which side I'm on.

For example, I'm always surprised when people describe me as "quiet." When I really force myself to think about things, I guess I don't say much, but the description never fails to shock me. This is because somewhere in my consciousness, where whatever it is "I" am is floating around, silence is so unfamiliar that the very idea seems ridiculous. Quiet? Me? Since when? That's impossible.

There are discrepancies between aspects of my personality, things that can't be logically reconciled but somehow exist together. Sometimes, I think people are confused about what to think of me. If they know me from school, they know I work hard and perform well. Some people say I'm "intellectually aggressive" and they're "intimidated" by me (another adjective that makes my "self" go crazy. Intimidating?? How in the world is that possible?) and others know me as the controlling group leader it's better not to argue with. It's safe to say that in school and in competition, I am a vibrant Type A. Socially, though, I'm a different story. I hang out with a group that can be considered popular in its own right, composed of many types of girls with various personalities, habits and goals. I'm reserved in large group situations, coming across as "quiet" and "overanalytic." I don't think people know how to deal with this discrepancy. A paradox?
Somehow, it makes sense to me.

I guess I'm the only one.

The fact that I'm just beginning to realize who/what I am kind of scares me. What else is in there that I don't recognize? More importantly, why don't I know about it? Is my subconscious mind so adept at suppressing my active consciousness that it's keeping secrets from the person I think I am? And if I'm who I've always thought I was, who or what is controlling my subconscious? Is it me? Or is "me" a delusion, created by whatever else is in there to induce superficial satisfaction while it does whatever it wants without "my" consent?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I walked into my house a few hours ago to find my family glued to a Season 2 episode of Lost. Apparently, life goes on even when I'm not here, though I don't know how they've been understanding anything without their incessant questioning sessions... :-)

It's nice to be home. I love the Friendship (all seven of us lived in a garage together for a week without getting sick of each other! That's love), but it's really nice to have all my stuff back where I want it to be. Living out of a suitcase can really be a pain. Everything you want somehow finds its way to the bottom, eluding your fingers as they grope through piles of previously organized clothes and shoes, trying desperately to touch something the same shape of whatever you're looking for...augh.

In other news, I can't wait to start my summer!
I'll probably spend most of this week tangled up in one of those massive, fine-print copies of Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, though...HOSA Nationals are next week, and I'm supposed to have been studying since the state conference in April. Um. The Friendship and I do have plans for a fire pit and a surprise birthday party, so I guess I'll make room for fun.

I think I'll unpack now...as soon as I finish perfecting this Facebook album from our trip.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


It's official: I find our United States Marines seriously attractive.

The Friendship and I just spent the day with two of them currently "at liberty" for a week in Southern California. Mmm. We lay out on the beach, swam in the waves, got dinner on the boardwalk, took the ferry to Balboa Island and back, and ate Oreo ice cream at the beach house while listening to their cool stories about military strategy and training. It was surreal- I never pictured my friends and I hanging out with actual members of the Marine corps. It seems so entirely...grown up. We also got to learn some tricks of the trade; for example, I learned that when one enters a house to kill people, one should shoot them twice in the chest and once in the head, in that order. It's not like that'll come in handy anytime soon, but it was fascinating to talk and play with the two strong nineteen-year-olds: people my age on track to war.

Friday, June 6, 2008

One time only.

I am typing from a PC in the garage of Katie's grandparents' house in Newport Beach. Currently, I'm listening to my friends make predictions for my life, so it's my turn to play on the computer and not say a word. All six of them are lying across our communal bed, made from three mattresses, at least fourteen blankets, nine pillows and one massive comforter. We've just returned from an expensive trip to this wonderful Moroccan restaurant called Marrakesh, where we dressed up all glamorous-like and shelled out a painfully large load of money to eat a six-course ethnic meal and rock out with belly-dancers. It was seriously amazing. We're making life predictions before we head out to a singles dance in about an hour. This trip's been so much fun- it's incredible to be with the entire Friendship for one big marathon trip before we all go our separate ways. Faith and I are staying in town for BYU Provo; Louisa's heading up to the University of Utah; Angel's finishing nail tech school at MATC; Katie Crosby's spending the summer in Newport before returning to attend UVSC, and Katie Cannon and Liz are going up to BYU Idaho.

Okay, it's time for me to review my "future..."
Wish me luck.

EDIT: Apparently, I'm on track to marry an Asian surgeon after I graduate from medical school. We're going to live on the East Coast and have two children. I'll practice neurosurgery, write books, and continue to read a lot. My husband and I are going to make a lot of money and go on expensive trips all over the world.
Sounds pretty idyllic, right?? :-)

Monday, June 2, 2008


Yes, it's 3:15 AM; yes, I have to be up at 7:30 to shower and finish packing; yes, I love my Facebook and blog enough to be playing on my laptop instead of asleep in my bed. Ha.

I'm leaving to Newport Beach (Cali) in the morning for my senior trip with the Friendship, which will be seriously amazing- I can't think of anything I'd rather do right now that lay on the beach, take pictures and relax in the sun with my six best friends while listening to music and audiobooks on my iPod. I probably won't be able to blog for a week, though, unless we can find Internet access for Katie's new laptop, so this may constitute goodbye for now.

See you when I'm tan!
That is, if we don't die on the freeway...we're driving there and back by ourselves. It's kinda scary.