It’s 2014. Some food for thought
And every class I go to for any of my clinically related topics, they still say the “cause” or “pathogenesis” is still unknown. It’s starting to get annoying and shows huge gaps in science that still exist today. Either not enough money is getting thrown at research and health care or there is not enough political will to solve life’s mysteries.
On another related note, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT WE WILL BE THE NEXT GENERATION TO RUN THIS COUNTRY. It’s quite shocking. Look around you, look at your peers in your classes, look at the friends you hang out with everybody. Do you think they have enough maturity/knowledge to sign off on the next bill to raise/lower the retirement age, finally find the cure for AIDS/HIV, or build the next Golden Gate Bridge? Jesus christ, we have a long way to go, ladies and gentlemen.>
From Wikipedia. Looked up gonorrhea for one of my classes and this was the main photo. But LOL. Pretty messed up, but very true. I guess back then they didn’t have to deliver the message too subtly.
It’s still hard
I want to accomplish things that I never thought I could accomplish.
I want to hit milestones at an early age so I could move on to bigger and better things so that I can spend the majority of my waking years to help people.
But it’s put an incredible stress on myself. It sometimes makes me want to throw up. The thing is, I don’t even burn out so I can force myself and push myself to the point that I become a robot sometimes. I don’t really have an outlet for the stress either and talking to people doesn’t cut it anymore. It sometimes drives me crazy to the point that I often have this need to see a psychologist.
Then I think about the end of this journey. The bliss I’m going to get when I do finally achieve my milestones and devote my knowledge and my experience to the benefit of others.
And the stress goes away.>
Go to pubmed.org and search “Edward Park”
Only three things that I want to accomplish
- Get into medical school
- Get a paid job for the gap year
Top comment by Bill Gates earlier today in his AMA on Reddit
YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE CHECK IT
The World is a Big Place
The world is a big place. It’s hard to fathom the many different lives people are living all over the world. Hell, if I had never stepped out of Cupertino, I don’t think I would even know what poverty was. I thought I got out of the sheltered life when I came here to Los Angeles, but I still remain sheltered. I have trouble keeping things in perspective and recognizing the plight that people are in all over the world. I can read books on developing countries and go to lectures where they teach you about poverty, but nothing comes CLOSE to confronting the thing in person. Poverty is a monster.
My first contact with poverty and suffering came in 10th grade when I went to Bolivia, but after I came back I slipped back into my old life, doing the things I wanted to do, being selfish. Even after Peru, after a week, two weeks, the memories faded away. However, after each trip to a developing country, I had an easier and easier time reminding myself that what I wanted to do was help thousands of people until the day I died.
I believe that everyone should go to a developing country and observe and learn from those people suffering from poverty, from real life issues. I’m currently reading Half the Sky for one of my graduate classes and although I knew about most of the issues from earlier classes, some of the personal stories are more heart wrenching. Gender equality issues are absolutely NOTHING in America. Women are the heart and soul of economic growth, of relieving poverty, of making this world a better place. They are the center of the family and the backbone of education. It is now the 21st century and it is time for us to give them the respect they deserve.
After I came back from Uganda, I hung up 2 paintings right above my piano and desk. They are just two elephants, but they are two reminders that I have yet much to accomplish before I can give back to the world. Two reminders that I have to keep myself focused. For people that have been to developing countries: It’s so easy to lose sight of what you saw, what you accomplished in the country you’ve been to. It’s easy to go back to online window shopping for hours a day, it’s easy to play video games with your homies for four hours a day, it’s easy to go back to worrying about the next restaurant or yelp place you have to go to that weekend, it’s EASY to worry about how this person or how that person is thinking about you. But let’s keep in mind that life isn’t so easy for the other half of the world.>
José Alberto “Pepe” Mujica Cordano
He has been described as “the world’s ‘poorest’ president”, due to his austere lifestyle and his donation of around 90 percent of his $12,000 (£7,500) monthly salary to charities that benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs.
In 2005, Mujica married Lucía Topolansky, a fellow Tupamaro member and current senator, after many years of co-habitation. They have no children and live on an austere farm in the outskirts of Montevideo where they cultivate chrysanthemums for sale, having declined to live in the opulent presidential palace or use its staff. His humble lifestyle is reflected by his choice of an aging Volkswagen Beetle as transport. His wife owns the farm they live on. The Economist in an article writes that some Uruguayans see him as “a roly-poly former guerrilla who grows flowers on a small farm and swears by vegetarianism”, but he is not vegetarian. He is an atheist.
THIS IS THE KIND OF PRESIDENTS WORLD NATIONS NEED. RESPECT.>
I MISS UGANDA
I MISS IT I MISS IT I MISS IT I MISS IT OH I REALLY DO MISS IT OH SO MUCH. I MISS IT!>
I’m gonna go see a therapist
I think this is overdue, but I think I just need to talk about my thoughts and feelings about my life to a professional. I have my doubts about going to see a therapist, but I don’t think it’s going to hurt. I need to reconcile differences in my heart and my mind about my career and my past.>
Crashing, crashing hard
I’m starting to crash hard from Uganda. My classes are killing me and I’m facing the realization that I may not be cut out for this anymore. Now that I quit video games, there isn’t even anything I look forward to every day. I can’t go on the “adventures” I was going on in video games in real life. I realized I played so much video games last semester because I wanted an alternative reality where I could do things that I couldn’t do in real life and go on adventures in exotic locations. I sound like a fuckin loser, but it’s the truth. Life is so mundane here and I’m facing severe withdrawals to Africa. I need to get the fuck out of here and stop studying, reading, writing papers. The amount of writing that I have to do in graduate school is insane. Just this week I had three papers due and it’s only been two weeks since I came back from Uganda. I have papers lined up all next week. It’s actually fun and I want to write quality papers, but the time constraints are frustrating. I want each day to be like 36 hours so I have enough time to work out twice and put some thought into these papers. Because the deadlines are so short I’m just churning a bunch of papers out with different topics to the best of my ability. I’m a slight perfectionist so it bothers me if I have to turn in a paper too soon. Anyways, I’m really looking forward to the extra $150 my professor is going to give me to set up the eight Raspberry Pis I’m going to be sending to Uganda on February 20th. This next week is writing an article for the newsletter and making a presentation for the Global Citizen Roundtable to explain how I set up the Pis and how I decided on the curriculum for the kids in Africa. This will actually be fun as opposed to papers for my classes.>
I first met Cory Remsburg, a proud Army Ranger, at Omaha Beach on the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Along with some of his fellow Rangers, he walked me through the program – a strong, impressive young man, with an easy manner, sharp as a tack. We joked around, and took pictures, and I told him to stay in touch.
A few months later, on his tenth deployment, Cory was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan. His comrades found him in a canal, face down, underwater, shrapnel in his brain.
For months, he lay in a coma. The next time I met him, in the hospital, he couldn’t speak; he could barely move. Over the years, he’s endured dozens of surgeries and procedures, and hours of grueling rehab every day.
Even now, Cory is still blind in one eye. He still struggles on his left side. But slowly, steadily, with the support of caregivers like his dad Craig, and the community around him, Cory has grown stronger. Day by day, he’s learned to speak again and stand again and walk again – and he’s working toward the day when he can serve his country again.
"My recovery has not been easy," he says. "Nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy."
Cory is here tonight. And like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg never gives up, and he does not quit.
The story behind Cory Remsburg, Michelle Obama’s guest for the night, from the SOTU speech.
"Nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy."
By my friend, Jonathan Huang, he recalls a vivid dream. Inspiring, poetic, revolutionary, take a look!
The Inspiring Story of my friend Jonathan Huang, by Jonathan Huang
Why I Dropped Out of College
In May of 2012, I drastically altered the course of my existence.
Up until that point, I had been a quiet, good kid. I willingly did all the get-into-college bullshit in high school (grades, test scores, “well-roundedness”, faux volunteering). Got 2300 on the SAT’s. Triple 800’s on the subject tests (Math, Physics, Chemistry). Varsity basketball starter. And I filled all the empty hours with video games (namely DotA).
Good enough to get me into UCLA. However, I frankly didn’t take the process very seriously. Instead of actually researching and visiting schools. I just applied to schools that I heard were “good” (UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UCSD, Stanford, Cornell, Princeton, USC, and Notre Dame). Instead of putting much thought into my applications, I just submitted the same two essays for each school and barely looked at any supplementary sections. Minimal effort required.
Like many other high schoolers, I was under the impression that getting into college was the solution to life. Once you’re in, everything is set. All your hard work has paid off. Your major, your job, your future just all falls into place. This was due in part to the academic pressure and higher education fixation that were features of my hometown. The majority of residents were upper middle class Asian and Indian Americans. It was drilled into our minds that a high-quality education was the surest path to wealth, power, and fulfillment. Getting into a top university was our closest definition of “success”.
So at UCLA, I didn’t try anything different. I didn’t think I needed to. I continued the same sheltered (never drank, smoked, or even partied until my 2nd year) and studious (3.9 GPA 1st year) approach. And honestly it wasn’t so bad. I had a group of friends. I played lots of basketball. I was exploring new ideas (namely spirituality, by joining a Bible study and a religious studies class).
But the sheltered stagnation soon caught up. I didn’t join any student organizations, didn’t do anything to expand my comfort zone, and didn’t even attend classes once I realized I was learning faster on my own. The routine was slowly killing me. I constantly wondered, “Is this all there is to life?”
I also couldn’t decide upon a major. I was enrolled in the engineering school, but was undecided on which type to study. Honestly, none of the branches really interested me, but everyone thought that because I could be an engineer, I should. Eventually, I became tired of taking classes that I didn’t enjoy, with professors who didn’t care, and with classmates who also didn’t want to be there (generalizations, of course). It all seemed so forced. And to be candid, it didn’t help much when my high school girlfriend dumped me around this time.
I thought I had been set, that I had reached success… But success is a constantly moving target.
Now I am grateful for these struggles because they served as a series of wake up calls. Kicks to my unconscious ass. And thus began what I like to call the Existential Crisis.
For the better part of a year I became obsessed with existentialism. The meaning of life, the meaning behind happiness, and the meaning behind the boredom and suffering that plague us human beings. Big questions. It was no coincidence that these reflected my spiritual progression.
This prompted a series of experiments in self-improvement. In the summer after my first year:
- I wrote 750 words a day for 43 days straight
- I took Linear Algebra and Differential Equations simultaneously (+ an online GE)
- I improved my fashion sense from disastrous to mediocre
- I ran or exercised everyday
- I attempted to start a blog
And for what? The motivation behind all these schemes was to fill a gaping void that instead grew larger.
Upon returning to school in the fall, my master plan was to:
- Take five classes a quarter
- Schmooze my professors
- Make new social circles by joining cultural and engineering clubs
- Get my blog off the ground
All of which failed horribly. Not because it wasn’t doable, but because I genuinely didn’t want to do it.
I became depressed. It wasn’t the external circumstances, those were actually pretty good (high GPA, engineering honor society, great friends, good food, comfortable living, health, and free time [still didn’t attend classes]). It was more due to the anxieties I constantly felt in my mind to live up to some vague, lofty ideal that I expected from myself. A perception built up through continual reinforcement over the years. The guilt I felt for underachieving when I had such good conditions and “potential” was crippling. I was a complete head case. I went through page after page in my notebooks, tripping about everything. Trying desperately to find an answer.
But there was no answer. Not externally at least. This was an idea that I came across in many self-improvement and spiritual resources. That inner peace is just that. Internal. I had the answers within myself all along.
If you think that sounds like total crap, that’s also pretty much how I felt at the time. I was so wrapped up in trying to outthink everything; I couldn’t see that I was the one creating the problems. My mind just wouldn’t take to this new line of thinking. Years and years of ingraining societal expectations and ego-forming beliefs made it difficult for me to truly understand. But based on my experience with the spiraling, self-perpetuating nature of depression and anxiety, it was undeniable.
All I had to do was accept myself. And by doing so, I would also become more accepting of those around me. The way you feel about the world is a projection and a mirror for the way you feel about yourself.
In order to learn, I had to unlearn. So I dropped out, and accelerated my education.