Monday, November 27, 2006

I Miss the Rain and Buses!

Let's try a more general overview of my trip this time.

Some things that I got around to seeing after the Museum of Natural History (maybe in order of actual occurrence)

Institute of Contemporary Art: Only went to because that's where Highbrow's writing group decided to hold their meeting. It was interesting what the christianites wrote, and especially what they think racy and angry writing sounds like. Highbrow didn't give me the props that I rightfully deserved when he told his story. (It was inspired by a long conversation that we had with one of our mutual friends)

Covent Garden: Nothing much to say. Cool market area. I just wanted to see it because I'm really obsessed with My Fair Lady. I looked everywhere for someone selling leaves of lettuce, but to no avail.

Piccadilly Circus, Oxford St., Regent St., Leicester Square
: All of them were really cool and decked out for the holidays. There is a reason they are all listed together, which I will get to later.

British Museum
: Wow, I had no idea Great Britain stole so much stuff from other countries. Hehe I kid, I kid. I wouldn't want to piss the majority of my readers. But seriously, some very impressive stuff. There are probably very few, if any, museums that come close.

St. Paul's: This was probably my favorite stop. I originally wanted to see it because it's a Mary Poppins locale, but it really took me away. I had no idea how huge the place was. Probably the most impressive church I've ever been in, second only to St. Peter's Basilica. I found it a little weird that the entire crypt was dedicated to explorers and war heroes of England though. I generally like a little more separation of church and state, but I guess it's to be expected when it's the Church of England...

Imperial War Museum
: I finally made it across the Thames. I liked this museum as well. I wasn't really into the artifacts all that much, even though the original letters were cool. And I liked the layout of the museum. It always kept you on your toes and made looking for your friend an adventure. A 15-minute adventure. What I enjoyed the most was reading about the different conflicts and how they resolved, or lack thereof. I think British history should be a required separate class in high school just so everyone can see that America is not the only country that goes into other people's countries and starts shit.

Parliament, Big Ben, West Minster Abby: I just walked past these and took pictures. Highbrow wouldn't pay to go into West Minster so I didn't go in. I'm sure it couldn't compare to St. Paul's anyway.

Now, while I was walking (and walking, and walking...) throughout London I noticed that there were a couple of American things that are extremely popular and they really shouldn't be. Specifically I'm talking about Pizza Hut and KFC. There are THREE Pizza Huts in Leister Square. For those of you who do not know what Leister Square is, just imagine a big square made of movie theatres, cafes, stores and fast food joints. If you stood in the middle of the green you could easily see three Pizza Huts completely packed with people.

Note to the British: PIZZA HUT SUCKS. STOP EATING THERE AND INSTEAD STEAL SOME ITALIANS (along with all your Greek and Egyptian artifacts) TO OPEN UP A REAL PIZZA PLACE!

As for the KFCs, I learned that some things that I thought were cultural tendencies might actually be ethnically linked. I'll leave it at that.

Some of the good things that you've made popular in England: Starbucks (up for debate) and jeans.

I also now know where Mean Girls, Nip/Tuck and Final Destination got their inspiration for killing people with buses. Straight from the street of London. You guys make New York City streets look tame.

Surprisingly, the rain was never really an issue. The only time it really down poured was when I had to walk to the Tube with my luggage when going home. Great timing...

All in all, I had an amazing time. It really was everything I hoped it would be and worth every cent.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Day One: The Arrival

Departure Day, started with leaving Po-Town (home of my school; short for poor town) and traveling to the airport. My roommate drove and we were planning on stopping by his home town before going to the airport. But because a certain state in the union has the most horrendous traffic known to man (and a delightful smell to get to be stuck in along with it) I decided it would be better if he just dropped me off at the airport 3 hours early than to risk missing my plane while coming back.

Check-in went smoothly, except for the fact that I thought they were going to lose my luggage because I never saw them put a sticker on it before I left. Security had no line and no fuss. It was just a matter of sitting and waiting to board my plane.

When I got on the plane I thought that I was going to have a window seat with no one sitting between me and aisle seat, since that's the seat a specifically picked the night before. But it wasn't meant to be. Instead I sat with a delightful, older British couple that was going home from Cancun. They had mistakenly thought that I too was going home to England, which pleased me because it proved to me that I was going to look like a complete tourist on sight alone. Although, I never really thought I would stick out since I am a typical WASP, as Highbrow likes to call me, and also because he knows I despise it. (PS-only one of those things accurately describes me. Another two are only close, but my last name sounds sooo British (although, at the same time you know it's a made up name) that I just assume the role of a WASP)

The flight went by very quickly and I was surprised that I was given two meals on the flight. Mmm, I actually enjoy airplane food and thought it died out along with the birth of Jet Blue. Unfortunately though, my iPod crapped out on my after only being played for a total of 4 hours after being fully charged. I think it's time that I get a new one. (hellooo, Christmas and birthday) Mine is that second generation one that has the four buttons at the top, as opposed to the click wheel.

Day 1:
At customs I got grilled like you couldn't imagine. First I was asked the typical questions: how long will you be here, for what purpose. But then she saw my index card with the cell numbers of some of my friends. So she asked what it was as if they were access numbers to a nuclear weapon. Then she asked a series of questions that I thought were really over the top like: why my friends were in London, for how long, when they were leaving, where they were staying, (how the hell do I know) where I was staying, how much money I had on me, if I had credit cards, when I was leaving, proof of when I was leaving. (thankfully I had a confirmation e-mail on me that had my return flight on it) My friends here agreed that the women was a little nuts and were never grilled like that whenever they returned to the UK.

I then proceeded to get my money exchanged, which made me cry. ($370 = 170GBP) Then I hopped on the Gatwick Express and got to the Tube, where I had a little trouble with someone going through on my swipe, and then needing to buy another, but not knowing how to use the machine, so instead waiting on the painfully long time again.

When I got to my hotel the room wasn't ready yet. I was suppose to meet Highbrow at Piccadilly Circus at 12PM, which was about 1.5 hours away. I asked the receptionist how long it would take to walk and he said about and hour, but thought I was crazy for walking that far. Well, I did it, and it wasn't that bad at all. It helped me get situated with the city quickly. But I still am having issues crossing streets. :-/

I hung out with Highbrow for the afternoon and went to the V&A museum. Then I went back to my room and slept for a couple of hours. Afterwards I walked to my other friends flat (but not after mistakenly going into the Dutch Embassy's backwater entrance) and hung out there for the night. I then proceeded to walk home in the rain since the Tube was closed. It rains too much, but I don't mind it as long as I have my hooded sweatshirt, which I guess I'll be wearing everyday here.

This morning (I'd like to stress the fact that it was the morning but for some reason the Bold and Italics option aren't available) I went to the Natural History Museum. It was pretty awesome. The building itself is breath taking alone, And it's not close to as kiddy as the one in New York City. I heard that the Science Museum here is, so I think I'll skip that one.

Now I'm here in Highbrow Hopefull's classroom building in London. We met up for lunch and now we're waiting for his writing group and then I'm going to drag him to some tourist thing that he'll claim to not be able to afford.

This post was much longer than expected but I wanted to get everything down. You're going to have to excuse me though because I don't plan on editing it beyond spell check.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Yo everyone, I actually made it to London. Don't really know how I did it.

Stories to follow when I get back!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

How does this sound?

3. How and when did you become interested in medicine or the health profession to which you are applying? (“Why do you want to be a _____?” Go beyond “because I want to help people and like science”). Which branch of medicine are you currently interested in practicing? In what setting do you anticipate practicing?

When I started college I was undecided between psychology and biology with no real aspirations of medical school. I considered it above my academic ability and wrote it off. Fortunately though, one of the first classes I took freshman year was Human Biology and it really sparked my interest. When taking it I knew that I was only being taught the basics of human body and I found myself wanting to know more and more about its complexities. This by no means meant that I planning on applying to medical school. I had simply decided that I wanted to center my studies on human biology.

Later on in my freshman year I realized that I loved applying what I knew to problem solving situations. I guess it gives me a sense of satisfaction taking what I learned in the classroom and using it to answer someone’s questions or explain to someone what’s going on in their own body. It then occurred to me that I could actually make a living doing this. Medicine started to seem like the perfect fit for my interest since I could get paid for learning about what I liked and applying it to real life situations and seeing actual results from my treatment plan.

The summer following my freshman year I started getting some clinical experience to see if medicine is what I envisioned. My Physician Assistant Dermatologist offered the opportunity to shadow her in the practice to see what a typical day is like. After the first day I was hooked. Although I did not find dermatology all that exciting I still loved going into seeing patients hearing about their problems and trying to figure out in my head what was going one and what treatment would be right for them. That summer I learned a couple of important things. One, medicine was definitely the field I wanted to pursue. Two, I most likely wanted to go into a primary care field because they would see a wider variety of pathology, as opposed to specializing. Three, I wanted to become a physician as opposed to a physician assistant because physician assistants mainly see the same easier to treat problems.

Ever since that summer I’ve been doing my research on what to expect in medical school, residency and beyond. I’ve read all the horror stories and have had more than a couple of physicians try to talk me out of pursuing this career. But I’ve already accepted these hardships and feel like as long as I go into this field with the right reasons and mindset, then it is still all worth the effort. I feel that even with the long hours, incompliant patients and years of training this is still a field that I would really enjoy and do well in.

After doing some research and interning in a variety of different field I can see myself happiest in a primary care field, more specifically Internal Medicine. I think this is the area that best fits what I’m looking to get out of a career. I also can see myself working in a hospital setting as opposed to a private practice. A hospital would allow me more tools to do my job and also give me a better sense of continuity of care. Taking all of these things into consideration I see the job of being a Hospitalist (general medicine in-patient care specialist) to be the most appealing.

Note: I think I'm suppose to keep this to around 500. It's for my Pre-Health Professions Committee.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Make Note of the Time

Right now I'm taking a break from doing my MCAT HW.

Tonight we're having fun with Kinectics, Force, and some other topic that I haven't gotten to yet. I've completed 1 out of 3 chapters due by tomorrow. I don't think I'm going to manage getting chapter 3 done since I'm anticipating chapter 2 taking longer thatn chapter 1.

Because my housemates were having a bit of a get together at our house I decided to do my work at a quieter environment. Unfortunatly, at our school the library closes at 9:30PM on Friday. I guess there isn't much of a student demand for it at that time. I wonder why...

Instead I'm utilizing my Microbiology lab pass, which allows me access to the lab 24/7, and studying in there. (I'm sooo cool) Well actually I got into that lab and walked into the ajacent Botany lab because it has larger tables. I guess plant bio is good for something after all.

I suppose I should go back to my work. Good thing the class is at 3PM. Well, it might be at 2PM, but Kaplan sucks at communicating with us and hasn't told us what time the instructor is going to arrive. Oh, listen to me complain. I sound as if I've paid them $1300 (about 700 GBP - shout out to my British followers) for this torture. Freaking Kaplan...

More like, Kraplan. (ha. ha. ha...)

[edit: since my blog records my entries in PST I'll just tell you that it's curretnly 1AM]

Thursday, November 02, 2006

My First Meme

I don't despise meme's the same way some people do. I just ignore the ones I don't find entertaining. This one I do.

1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next four sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.

5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest!

Here's mine:

With my money and his cleverness, we could make the house talk of Paris.

I didn't answer right away. It took me more than a moment to realize that I could own a theatre just like that. Own it like the gems in the chest, or the clothes I wore, or the dollhouse I'd sent ot my nieces.
--The Vampire Lestat; Anne Rice

PS - does anyone know how to tab in blogger?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Me Amo Azul

There was something really bugging me about my old template, so I decided to change.

I'm not sure if I'm that crazy about this one either, but we'll try it out for now.

PS - the blogroll was greatly updated