I’m in the midst of orientation for my post-bac and getting ready for my new classes, but I promise I will post soon. I just had to share this graphic really quick. My roommate showed me and said “this reminded me of you.” And it’s exactly how I feel. The girl may as well be me with brown hair. It perfectly captured how I feel.

My eternal love for Tumblr

I know I’ve been MIA for a while, and I have a list of posts waiting to be written. But this very short one, I had to write immediately. It’s just a major thank you and shout-out to the wonderful world of Tumblr. When I got a Tumblr about a year or so ago, I just used it as a place to look up pretty pictures, write a little bit, but generally didn’t take advantage of all it had to offer. Now, in the year that I’ve been using it, the site has changed a little, but one of my favorite things is the addition of “tracking” certain tags. So you can search for a tag and choose to “track” it, and then when you next click on that tag on your sidebar, it shows you all the recent posts with that tag, regardless of whether you’re following those blogs or not. It’s a great way to filter what you’re looking for.

But my favorite thing about Tumblr is the ability to fangirl. Yup. I said  it. My best friend was talking about how much she loves to use Tumblr to fangirl, and I realized, we love it so much because we realize there are other people out there just like us. People who are obsessed about tv shows, music, books, and especially fictional characters, and now we have access to the fanfiction, the fan art, the community that’s built around the love for these things. It’s a beautiful thing. And Tumblr still lets you control your anonymity (or lack thereof), so you can declare yourself to the world or not. But either way, you can find all those other people who are obsessed about the same things as you.

Lately, as my favorite TV shows have gone on break, or Comic Con has revealed new casts, all I can do is take to Tumblr to fangirl. Because I love seeing that other people are freaking out about these things just like I am. So even if I can’t quite fangirl in real life to the person sitting next to me, I can still have my moment online with all these other people. And it’s a lot of fun. So thanks, Tumblr, for indulging my already vivid imagination and helping me find others who then stretch my mind even further. 🙂

Summer nights

“Legend has it, when the Santa Anas blow, all bets are off. Anything can happen.”

                                                               -The Holiday

Even though I live nowhere near California, I’d like to believe the east coast has something similar. For the first time the other night, I had that feeling, even though I’m on the opposite coast of Cali. It felt like I was a character in a book, who has that moment where they realize something is starting, but they’re not sure what.

My best friend and I had just stepped out of the movie theater at night. It was dark and had just rained, so it was wonderful weather. Warm, but with a constant, beautiful breeze that made you want to stand outside forever. We took our time in the parking lot, stepping quietly at first, like it was something too precious to disturb. And then, the sky lit up with lightning, my flip-flop landed in a puddle, and the spell was broken. Then came what always comes after a movie: spending a good 20 of the 30-minute drive back home yelling about the movie. Good, bad, and everything in between.

It’s a ritual we have. The movies were where we became best friends. I’d met Gabby when I moved to the town earlier that year and started middle school, but we didn’t go out of our way to do a lot afterschool. Then I ran into her and her mom in Walmart one day (I love small towns where Walmart is the biggest thing around), and she invited me to the movies. So started our tradition – she bought tickets, I bought the food. The next time, we traded off. And the next, and the next. When I got my permit and eventually my license and was able to take us without the parents, nothing changed. Except that there was always a playlist for our movie adventure, courtesy of Gabby. The girl will make a playlist for about everything, and I love it. She is my reason for loving movies/tv/pop culture as much as I do, and both of us share the obsession with books and writing.

So when we left the theater that night, we couldn’t believe our luck. We’d missed the big storm but got to enjoy the beautiful weather after. It just felt like a really…interesting moment. And when we talked about how lovely the weather was, how it reminded us of something we couldn’t quite pinpoint, I remembered, “It’s like the Santa Anas! From The Holiday?” Gabby’s face lit up, understanding the reference right away. Usually, when our area gets rain, it’s just damp or humid. So this was pretty rare weather. It was one of the nights you just wanted to sit outside the entire night, just because of the possibilities. It felt like something different, but good different. All bets are off as to what that was.

Guinea pig for a day

I’m so sorry for the gap between my posts lately. School, job search, apartment search, and grad school application (only one) have taken over and continue to rule my life. Yay. But I had to post about the wonderful opportunity I got this weekend.

During the week, my volunteer coordinator at the VA  hospital contacted us asking for participants on the weekend for an ultrasound workshop. One of the doctors who had spoken at our lectures a few weeks before was giving a workshop to current VA doctors on how to properly perform and read an ultrasound. My roommate and I immediately signed up, excited for something new to do. On Saturday we went down to the hospital, expecting the workshop to be a couple doctors, no more than four or five. Instead, we walked into a room of about 20-25 physicians, with the lead doctor giving a full-blown lecture on the anatomy of an ultrasound. Thankfully, there was another volunteer there, looking just as nervous as we felt.

This was not what the doctor actually looked like. But he was definitely this happy.

The lecture itself was awesome. The man is brilliant and good lord does he know his stuff. He was drawing cross sections on the board like it was his job. And it was so cool. I remembered him saying a few weeks ago that he wanted to look for a teaching job, because he enjoyed it so much. His joy for teaching was on full display here, not to mention he was really damn good at it. I was able to follow him through certain anatomy diagrams because of his repetition and teaching skills.

After the first part of the lecture, he came over and shook hands with us, thanking us for coming to help out. He insisted we eat lunch with the group before our participation began. After eating, we stood by nervously as three stretchers were brought into the conference room. The doctors gathered around, and we all slowly clambered onto the stretchers. The lead doctor began with me. This ultrasound was of mainly my neck, no further than my clavicle. By some stroke of chance , the monitor was to my left, and the doctor asked me to turn my head left so he could put the ultrasound probe on my outstretched neck. I was facing the monitor the whole time, and got a clear view of  different areas that he pointed out: the traffic sign (my favorite), the thyroid, some muscles, and several blood vessels. Fun fact: you can tell a vein from an artery on the monitor by testing if it’s compressible. If the vessel compresses, it’s a vein. If not, it’s an artery. The doctor stayed a while, making sure the doctors had a sense of where to go and what to look for. Then, he moved on to my roommate’s stretcher, and some of the doctors stayed with me to try their hand.

The doctors themselves were so much fun. They were in a good mood and had a great sense of humor, cracking jokes and talking to me to help me relax. I would have thought there was a scientific name for the goo they stick on you before an ultrasound, and I’m sure there is, but they all called it goo, so goo it is. It was also interesting to see the different doctors do the ultrasound. Some exerted more pressure than others, some had a hard time orienting themselves and talked it out with their colleagues, and others took their time alone, figuring out where they were with the monitor’s help. They were all extremely nice people, and some were most concerned with all the goo that was getting on us. The most prominent question was, “Did they tell you what you were signing up for?”

Then, after all the doctors had had a chance to try their skills with at least one of us, the lead doctor began the lecture once more. This time, it was shoulder/upper-arm anatomy, with certain nerves and vessels as the target features. The medial, ulnar and radial nerves were the ones he was looking at closely. Again, he drew cross-sections on the board like they were nothing, just pulled straight from his brain.  I had never been so thankful for a college professor in my life. I love anatomy so much, and one of the classes I got to take at school was a new vertebrates course, developed and taught specifically by one amazing, intimidating professor. It included, among many things, the  anatomy of major vertebrate organisms, and specific anatomical terms that were now flying out of this doctor’s mouth like a second language.

When he was done, we climbed back onto the stretchers. This time, a bit of the area around and under the clavicle was the first target. Once the doctors were done with that, they went to the main area that the lecture focused on: the armpit. Yes, my incredibly ticklish armpit. I have never been so happy that I remembered to shave that morning. The probe was all over that area, and on some of my upper arm, as well. But it was so totally worth it because I got to see my ulnar, medial and radial nerves, in addition to some really cool muscles. The doctors, knowing that us volunteers were pre-health professionals, turned the monitors so that we could see what was going on. As they oriented themselves with the probes, so did I. It was cool to try to test myself a bit to see if I could recognize anything on the screen.

Overall, it was a fantastic three hours that really helped make up for an otherwise shitty two weeks of school/life. Being the guinea pig volunteers for the day was the most fun I’d had in a while, and I really learned a lot from it. It’s also nice to have something remind you now and then why you’re striving for this crazy profession.

Killing time

After an eventful night (and week, as usual), I’m taking a breather while my computer backs up my files to an external hard drive (loaned to me by one very awesome roommate). Notable things from this week:

  • I READ A BOOK. An actual novel. That wasn’t required for some post or the other. Nope, just because I wanted to. And it felt so good.
  • My iPod shuffle produced some really fitting songs for my daily activities. I love when my music just knows, it’s that kinda day/week.
  • My computer freaked out because of either (a) an infected program, (b) a trigger-happy overly-protective security system or (c) both. Either way – restore was not cutting it, so some other finagling was required. For now, my laptop lives on *knock on wood*
  • My second volunteer shift in the ER (after being gone for three months because of school) was absolutely wonderful and re-affirmed everything I love about my hospital and the people who work there. I really really really love this place, and it felt so good to be back this week.
  • It’s always nice to hear what doctors have to say to potential pre-meds, but I really love the ones who don’t censor themselves. On Monday I got to hear a wonderfully passionate and expressive doc tell me not to give up and stick with it. And it was really what I needed to hear. After a few weeks of, frankly, depression and dread over my application & personal life (lack thereof), I absolutely needed to hear that, and he was the perfect person to hear it from.
  • Ran into an old English professor who I adore. She’s the cutest, wackiest person ever.
  • My post-bac application is on its way to being completed! FINALLY. My short answers are (mostly) done, my personal statement is done, I have 2 out of 3 reference letters, and I have the application filled out (including the GPA form). The goal is to send out the entire package MONDAY.  And then the waiting begins.
  • My personal life is still a hot mess and I’m still confused as ever. And I don’t see that changing any time soon. Emotions are messy. Just trying to stick with things, stay busy (not hard), and ride out this wave.
  • Still avoiding all things Super Bowl; I can’t do it. I break out just reading articles about the promotional photo days. When Sunday night gets here, I’ll be a hot, hyperventilating, yelling mess (I don’t know how that’s going to work). But there will be food. And hopefully, when it’s over…oh god. I can’t even write it. Just…please, Pats.
  • I don’t even remember what this bullet was supposed to be about. That’s how stressed I am about Sunday.
  • Thank goodness for my fellow football fans in English twice a week. I can get out my crazy fan obsessiveness with them so my roommates don’t have to hear it (Sunday aside).
  • SUNDAY. Sorry. I need to sleep.
  • Hey, look at that. My backup is almost complete.

Hope everyone’s having a good week. It’s almost Friday!

Snow day!

It feels like eons since my last post. And because I am so tired from this week, I’m afraid this one will be quite short also. But after a long, fun night last night where I finally felt like a college student again (thanks to some delicious wine & other beverages), and not like an adult with a million and one things to do, I awoke this morning to the sound of snow falling. And sure enough, when I crawled out of bed an hour later, we had snow on the ground. *cue hallelujahs*

Obviously, it didn’t look like this, because we live in the depths of a city. But, in my head, snow is snow and everything looks like this when it snows 😀 So it made me very, very happy. It was a reward for making it to the end of the week, and some motivation to start all this work I have piled up. I have a lot of writing to do this weekend – personal statement, more short answers for my post-bac application, two nonfiction pieces for class. I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Oh right, that pesky little bitch cover letter so I can find a job and get paid. Soon.

I don’t know if these will make me want to blog more or less, but we’ll find out soon enough. One thing’s for sure: I am happy enough to stay in my apartment, bundled in a hoodie, sweats & fuzzy socks, under a warm throw, and do my writing instead of having to run errands outside. Although once we get enough snow, a snowball fight will be called for. Oh, and I’ll have to go dig my car out at some point, before it gets worse than this (not that this is so bad, but if it freezes…):

As a side note, I’d like to hope that my reward for making it through this college (well, I’m almost there) involves a Pats-Giants rematch. I want revenge for 2007. So that would be really nice. Just saying. But the snow is a great start.

Happy Snow Day! this puppy has the right idea.

Writer first, student second

“For the hour, I want you guys to be writers first, students second.” That’s what my writing professor said earlier today during our first class of the term. He was describing our class, a creative non-fiction writing workshop. It was a really great way to explain what he wanted for the class to be about. It was a simple but nice phrase to hear. And it got me thinking about how much writing has become such a huge part of my life. With an English minor, it might seem obvious, but I didn’t realize how much I really associate myself with being a writer. Having spent several years investing myself in journalism work in addition to science, I think I usually separated journalism from normal essay writing, simply because they seemed like two very different processes to me. But I realize now that both types of writing, while different, have overlapped and influenced each other, in good ways.

When I spoke with a professor earlier today regarding my (temporary) job search, I was surprised when she referred to me as a writer and even suggested I look for writing/communication jobs. It was an avenue I really hadn’t considered at all, having been focused on lab work for a while, but it was really nice to realize I had more opportunities available to me. I was also really happy to feel confident in my writing abilities and experience, enough that I could consider looking for writing jobs. It was a great feeling to realize that others thought of me as a writer, in addition to being a scientist/pre-med/student.

I suppose it came as more of a surprise because I haven’t been writing as much as I usually do. I’m not usually a list-maker, planner-keeper or journal writer, by any means, but this blog is the closest I’ve come to having any type of regular writing. I’ve been pretty good in keeping up with it, but even that seems to have dropped slightly. I’ve been  working on my post-bac application, which requires several short answer essays, as well as the big kahuna: the personal statement. I think i’ve been so stressed and nervous thinking about those lately that it’s just stopping me from writing anything, good or bad. Hopefully I’ll be able to freewrite on these soon and get some of these banged out.

My English & writing classes this term seem determined to get me writing, and fast, which might not be a bad thing. Sometimes I just need to get out of my own way 🙂 So it was nice to have some reminders today of how much I love writing, so I can get back to doing it sooner rather than later.

 

Music magic

Yesterday, I picked up my best friend before we headed to the movies, like we’ve been doing since sixth grade. And like sixth grade, she got the in car and whipped out CDs from her purse. But this time, instead of another mix (she bangs out playlists & mixes like it’s her job, and it’s awesome), she pulled out some old pop music. “It’s S CLUB 7!” she yelled. And then “MORE S CLUB!” … “And if we get S’Club’d out, I got us some N*SYNC.” I can’t explain the joy I felt looking at those old CDs. We loaded them into the CD player and off we went, wailing along to “You’re My Number One,” “Everybody Wants Ya,” and other wonderful old pop songs from the first S Club 7 album.

I miss this pop music. It’s just good old-fashioned group pop songs. S Club 7 was really good at having cute, retro songs that weren’t obviously retro or trying too hard. They were cute, peppy songs from a fun group. Try listening to the songs without a smile on your face.

I really loved this group growing up, and I watched their TV show all the time. They were just a fun bunch, and I loved their songs. They were simple and cute, and it was good music. I miss that nowadays. My favorite was Paul. He had a great voice, even though he wasn’t solo on too many songs. But in the car yesterday, my friend and I screamed “PAUL!” each time we heard him. Good fun. I was so sad when he left the group. It just wasn’t the same. But my favorite S Club 7 song is his song “Love Train” from their second album, 7. It’s simple and sweetly romantic, and his voice makes everything that much better.

All these songs are just wonderful fun pop songs that make for a fun car ride or jam session (or both! 🙂 ) I think I enjoyed the group so much because they were all silly and goofy and just genuinely having fun during each song. And that made each song more fun to listen to later. The lyrics were simple and joyful, but still ring true today. That says a lot.

Shopping bonanza

I was trying to be pretty conservative while shopping this break, just because I’d recently bought so many gifts for friends & family. But when one of my best friends wanted some company while shopping for presents for the schoolkids she tutored, I figured I’d tag along. We decided to hit the massive dollar store in another town about 45 minutes away. The drive wasn’t long, since both of us were in the car and time tends to fly when we get together 🙂 I’m so glad we made the trip. The store was huge, one of the bigger ones I’ve seen, and it had a plethora of cute things. While I found some additional small items for gifts & things around the house, I also picked up a couple things for myself:

This is adorable hat I found at the dollar store. I’d been looking for one less obnoxious than the neon-pink striped one I have now.  A lot of the cuter hats are not as warm, or at least not the ones I’ve found. Since my head is pretty sensitive to temperature change (thanks, headaches) I have to be careful. I loved everything about this hat. I saw it peeking out of the pile and grabbed it. The print and style are adorable and it’s not too snug. It’s like Goldilocks’ porridge – just right! 😀


There was a whole aisle of great frames. I saw this one and immediately knew which picture I had that would be perfect for it – a great picture from this past summer, of me and my friends at the beach. It was the perfect frame for my favorite family photo of us, and I knew it was the special frame I’d been looking for to really commemorate that beach trip. The other frame I got was two frames joined at hinges, like a book. I love these, and again, for a dollar, I was happy to have one, to put some more pictures in and sit it on my desk at school. I’m really happy with these buys.

On the way back, we stopped at Goodwill. I freakin’ love that place. I found a super-cute wrap dress for $3.75 – my favorite part about it is that it can be both casual and business/workplace-appropriate. With interviews coming up, this was a steal. The other thing I love is that my mom used to have a dress like it, which makes me a little nostalgic whenever I put it on. I couldn’t get a great picture of the dress & it’s wrap-around cuteness, but a closeup of the pattern is below:

 

Tonight, my parents and I visited some stores down near the beach, which was a lot of fun. I got to spend some fun time with my parents and shop around a little. Since they work a lot, Sundays are usually our day to enjoy some time together – usually over football 😉 Best part of the night – we passed Reebok and and saw in the window, football jerseys for $19.99. Considering most jerseys start at about $69.99 and only go up, this was awesome. I was practically bouncing off the walls as I ran into entered the store. I went to the corner where I had seen my beloved Patriots jerseys. At first, only seeing a few players but not the one I was looking for, I turned to another rack. A minute later, my mom yelled from behind me “I found Welker!” It was an XL jersey, practically a dress on me, but hell if I cared. I finally had the jersey I’d been dreaming about for years in my hand, and I wasn’t gonna let go because it was too large.

It was a good weekend. Especially since the Pats won tonight too 😀

Raise Your Glass For Me

You don’t actually have to raise your glass. I’ll raise everyone’s glass! I don’t have enough words to convey the triumph and excitement I feel at the end of this term. After having final grades officially entered today, I’m proud to say I made Dean’s List for only the second time of my college career, and damn does it feel good. The first time was at the end of my freshman year, in spring term. The time in between that term and this one has been substantial, and goodness knows I’ve been through a lot and learned a lot about myself in the process. But what fitting bookends to my college career. I have one more term to see if the third time can be a charm, which I really hope it will be. But I’m just overjoyed at the fact that I was able to achieve this even once more, before graduating. The fact that it comes during a heavy, 18-credit term is just cherry on the already-iced cake 😀

Amongst the thousands of thoughts rolling around in my head, from post-bac applications to job search to annoying romantic issues, this was really the best pick-me-up ever. I’m really proud of myself for getting through this term and remaining consistent throughout. Normally I start out pretty crappy and have to save myself at the end, at least in one class, but this term that feeling was pretty minimal. While I had plenty of stress from week to week (hell, day to day is more like it), I really enjoyed this term. It never ceases to amaze me just how much can happen in the span of 10 weeks. It always seems like such a short amount of time, but then seems to take on it’s own weird time-dimension once the term gets going. Each week is literally a new kind of adventure. I have one more term to really fully enjoy and get the most out of, and I’m hoping it’ll be fun. This was a great way to end the fall term and give me a positive outlook on my last ever winter term.

Now I feel (even more) completely justified in spending my break eating, sleeping, and essentially fluffing off for a bit 😉