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Everything posted by Deku

  1. Days until SF Biofreeze: 295 Upping my bible studies from 2 to 4 hours a week--there's a free evening class that's opening within walking distance of campus, and I've decided to give it a shot. The weird thing is that even though it won't really help me get into medical school I still have a good feeling about the class. Maybe that'll be a sign of things to come ? Academics are still good--right now a lot of professors are dialing the load back, and it really feels like the calm before the midterm storm. I've been working hard to stay with the course material for every class and take detailed notes before/immediately after lectures, so I feel good about my position roughly 7-9 days out from midterms. Just have to review my notes, come up with some questions and hit office hours next week to get 'em answered. Lastly I've been spending a lot of time with Clarisse this week, and it's been nice. I'm definitely not crazy about her or anything, but I can see what @karabas meant when he said that the best relationships come from friendships and not some hot chick you bumped into in class. Since we have a lot of the important stuff in common (labwork, medical school aspirations, animal lovers and volunteer enthusiasts) I feel like she's pretty easy to talk to, and I feel pretty comfortable telling her about the stuff going on in my life, like my gaming addictions. It doesn't have to be Clarisse, but if I could one day find a partner I feel this way around that would be pretty nice. Overall life is good right now. We'll see how it is in a week or two though, when the midterms make landfall.
  2. Wow, congrats on the streak! I hope that you’ve managed to “crack the code” this time. ?
  3. Days until SF Biofreeze: 298 Finally got back on track with marathon training today--been dropping the ball recently because of all my academic commitments. Ran 3 miles at an 8:30 pace on the treadmill, changing the incline every couple minutes to simulate running a real course. I would like to write more, but there's really not much else to say. It really was just business as usual today. I guess the highlight of my boring-ass day would be the fact that Clarisse walked me to my next class after bible study, and we ended up having a great half-hour long conversation while waiting for the class to start. Turns out we both have the same favorite bible verse (Romans 8:18!!), so that was pretty awesome. Again I dunno if I find her attractive, but I definitely like spending time with her and having our conversations. I feel like I always learn something new, and get a lot of weight off my chest at the same time.
  4. Days until SF Biofreeze: 299 Finally finished rewriting my Stem Cell lab notebook. Pasting all the pictures I took over the course of the semester took a RIDICULOUS amount of time. Despite it only being the start of October, my notes ended up taking up 75 pages over two notebooks. They look beautiful though, and since Dr. Abramson has started to do surprise checks on peoples' notebooks it feels like a huge load has been taken off my back. I still need to rewrite about half of the Mol Bio notebook, but as notebooks aren't collected until the end of the semester I'm not feeling as much of a sense of urgency. I figure if I knock out one entry every day I'll have it done in no time. Got lunch with Clarisse today (and she even paid, so I'll make a mental note to take her out sometime in the future), and I'm happy to report that for the first time in my life I've met a wonderful woman that I'm totally not interested in dating. She's a really great person but she reminds me WAY too much of my mother, and that scares the living crap out of me.
  5. Days until SF Biofreeze: 300 Powered through the suck yesterday and finished redoing all the notes for Stem Cell lab (still need to paste in some pictures, but that's the easy part). The notebook is looking a lot better now--I've partitioned my notes by cell line, thrown in a bunch of figures, and just made everything a lot neater in general. I also read the paper "Mapping the Pairwise Choices Leading from Pluripotency to Human Bone, Heart, and other Mesoderm Cell-types" for Stem Cell lecture on Monday (and took notes, of course). Next on the docket is rewriting the notes for Mol Bio (13 labs worth of notes, totaling about 50 pages...yay...). I am seriously not looking forward to it, and I can literally feel my anguished brain trying to rationalize pushing it back, but I know I have to get it done. Just gotta focus on how much better I'm going to feel once it's out of the way.
  6. Thanks man! And the SF Biofreeze is the marathon I'm training for right now. 20,000 runners, getting to run through the neighborhoods and famous spots of San Francisco, should be a good time.
  7. Days until SF Biofreeze: 301 Oof, haven't posted on here in a while. I'm up to my chin in schoolwork, so trying to put in the necessary hours over the weekend to trim down the workload. I'm in the process of rewriting all my lab notes over the course of the semester (probably collectively at least a hundred pages by now), and every single one of my classes is having a midterm/big evaluation in the second or third week of October, so preparing for those with a sense of urgency right now. Life is pretty stressful, but I'm actually kind of happy right now (crazy I know). A lot of good things are happening right now: I'm doing well in school, my classes/professors are great, and I'm making a fair bit of friends. I think the biggest challenges moving forward are going to be avoiding complacency, and finding time to add in other commitments into my schedule. I'm really only doing school, bible study, and marathon training right now, but if I want to get into medical school that just won't be enough.
  8. As a fellow runner training for marathon I can totally empathize with the fear of getting injured. If you haven't already, invest in a good set of training shoes with generous cushioning, strike with your midfoot first on your stride, and be sure to properly warm up/cool-down/stretch/roll out. (Although you probably know these things already, seeing as you're quite a bit more experienced than I). Glad to see you're doing well. Keep up the good work.
  9. Days until SF Biofreeze: 304 I don't really consider myself a believer, but today marked the first time in my life that I said a genuine prayer. We were dissecting pregnant mice today in Stem Cell lab to harvest embryonic fibroblasts. Full disclosure, I'm a huge animal lover so it's really hard for me to work with mice in the lab. Some people can look at their mice and just see tools for science, but when I look at a lab mouse I can't shake the knowledge that it's a living being that spent its entire existence caged, hurt and abused, forced to copulate and die for the sake of an experiment. I know that animal testing is necessary for scientific progress, but even so, it's difficult for me to have a good feeling about it. Maybe that's why I decided to pray today. I had sterilized my hood, set up my tools, prepared my dissection board, and adjusted my chair. The mouse, killed not five minutes ago, was floating in a jar of ethanol, ready for dissection. I was ready to go, but I was NERVOUS. I'm very clumsy, my lab technique is terrible, and I'd only get one mouse to work with. The embryos we were supposed to harvest were the size of jelly beans and extremely slippery, making them difficult to cut properly. If I didn't do the experiment well then Shane and I would be short quite a few fibroblasts, which would set our project back yet again. Not to mention that I would be cutting into actual living tissue, a far cry from pipetting reagents or feeding cells. It was in this situation that I was inspired to bow my head, clasp my hands and say a couple words in respect of the mouse that had lived and died for my experiment. It wasn't anything fancy. I simply thanked God for providing the mouse and asked that he give me the opportunity to learn as much as possible from this experience so that its life would not have been spent in vain. And suddenly, all my nerves and doubts vanished. I calmly nailed the mouse to the dissection board, picked up my tools and started cutting. Working slowly and methodically, I teased various layers of skin and membrane away from the internal organs, until I found the uterine horns, and the long string of mouse embryos inside. One by one, moving as slowly as possible to avoid a mistake, I cut the embryos off the string and harvested them. Before I knew it, I had a sizable pile of pearly white embryonic tissue ready to be turned into a fibroblast culture. "Beautiful job," Dr. Abramson said as she passed behind me. So that was my first ever mouse dissection, and it ended up being a great experience. I still can't say I'm a believer, but I definitely would like to thank God for giving me the strength to make the most of my experiment today. Maybe I'll be inspired to pray more in the future.
  10. Looks like you have quite a few ambitious goals to work on. Good luck with your personal journey!
  11. Had a productive day for the first time in the post-Rachael era. Some highlights: -Got a good experiment done in Mol Bio (fucking finally). Now that Rachael is off the table it's like a huge weight has been lifted off me, and it's sooo much easier to concentrate now. -Fed our stem cells in the tissue culture room -Read a fat paper for Journal club tomorrow, "A Roadmap for Human Liver Differentiation from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells," and took notes. -Bible study seminar--been going to these since the start of school, and loving them. Although not exactly a believer, I'm learning a lot about Christianity and have broadened my social circle. -Went to office hours for Understanding the Biotech Industry, and got valuable input from the professor regarding our presentation slides. Will fix later tonight. -Prepared for Stem Cell lab tomorrow--we're killing pregnant mice and dissecting their babies in order to harvest fibroblasts for cell culture--yikes. Spent 30 minutes getting a quick boba with the instructor for the Bible study group, Clarisse. We ended up having a fantastic conversation, got to know her better and she really opened up to me about her insecurities regarding academics (she even started tearing up a little, which ngl made me a little uncomfortable). I don't know if I find her attractive or anything, but she's really passionate about what she does and I would love to get to know her better. Getting lunch with her on Monday at the school cafeteria.
  12. Days until SF Biofreeze: 305 Got up at 6:30 this morning and pounded out the first run in my training plan. Overpaced and did not feel good right from the start, possibly from dehydration and lack of a good warmup/stretching routine (it was cold as nuts this morning so I wanted to start running as soon as possible). Hella not looking forward to the 5 mile run tomorrow. On the bright side, the new running shoes I got are insane, there's so much added cushioning that it feels like a set of springs on my feet. My knee was barely bothersome and my shins didn't hurt at all. 100% great investment getting them.
  13. Days until SF Biofreeze: 306 This week is going to be roooough. Shane and I lost every single one of our stem cell cultures to a lab-wide contamination, which will set our project back by at least half a week. Marathon training is starting, and there’s yet another annoying presentation to deal with in Understanding the Biotech Industry (budget and P&L statements). I’m starting to feel the weight of every one of my 16 credits as the work is piling up to a ridiculous degree, with midterms just around the corner. Espresso maker is starting to look like a great deal right about now.... @JustTom I've never actually done anything sexual (or anything at all really...), so it's really a "can't miss what you've never had" type thing with me. That being said, I did watch all 20 minutes of the video you sent and I like it a lot. I know you said step 3 is the one that's relevant, but I really feel like I'm hardstuck step 1. I don't love myself unconditionally, I don't think of my self worth as very high and I don't have the life I want yet. Maybe one day I'll be able to check all those boxes and move on to step 2.
  14. Double posting with the results of Friday's pop quiz in Stem Cell lab. Feeling pretty good about my performance in that class right now ?
  15. Days until SF Biofreeze: 307 Another early day--got up at 6:30 and hit the lab at 8 in the morning again. Finished around 11, got an early lunch, and made my marathon plan for the next week while waiting for the library to open. Going to try and pace slow for the first few weeks while I acclimate my body to the increased workload, and develop my new running form. Largely over Rachael now (thank goodness). While I'm super relieved that my mental health wasn't compromised for a long period of time, I'm also a bit nervous about how close I came to ruining what has thus far been an excellent semester. While at first I could use Rachael as a tool to improve my productivity, the situation ended up festering poorly, to the point where I had a very hard time getting things done due to depression. If I'm going to seriously make a bid for my white coat, I can't let that kind of thing happen again. As a result, I decided last night that I won't make any more efforts to date anyone for the next year. I have to have solid control of my mental state, and that's something that simply won't happen if I'm making some random girl the centerpiece of my life.
  16. Deku

    Xiryts Journal

    Love the goals to improve your programming skills. Being good with any language is an extremely versatile and marketable asset in this day and age. Hats off to you.
  17. Wow...congrats. 180 days. That's incredible. At this point, I think all you have to do is live your life. Go see the world, find your passion, enjoy every day to the fullest. There's really no way you can go wrong at this point.
  18. Quitting Youtube videos and Netflix sounds incredibly difficult, so I don't blame you for relapsing, but I am going to call you out on your sleep schedule. You say you want to go to sleep before midnight, but you're missing that mark by such a hilariously large margin that it doesn't really seem like you're taking your own challenge seriously. Part of that reason might be that prayers aside you don't appear to have any morning commitments, so there isn't a real reason for you to wake up early (and thus no reason for you to sleep before midnight either). I'd try to fix that--sign up for a morning class, find a partner to hit the gym, etc.--and see if that helps you meet your desired sleep schedule. Sometimes I have trouble sleeping early too, especially if there's a lot on my mind. When I first started my journal I had the literal worst sleeping schedule imaginable, and because of that I couldn't fall asleep even at 12:30 or 1 in the morning. Sleeping pills (I really like Doxylamine Succinate) really helped me to reset my sleep schedule and get the circadian rhythms back on track. You could try those too and see if it doesn't help.
  19. Days until SF Biofreeze: 308 Went to the lab at 8 in the morning today, passaged some cells and went home. Decided to take a break today and spent a lot of time driving to a very nice running shoe store and getting a solid pair of shoes picked out for marathon training. The expert was incredibly nice and spent a good 30 minutes trying out 6-7 different pairs of shoes with me; she even threw in a pair of running socks for free at the end. Turns out all the recent pain I've been getting in my shins/knees isn't all in my head, as she told me I've been using a very high impact stride with a no-cushioning minimalist shoe for some time now. Ended up switching to a high-cushioning sole, and will make efforts to adjust my stride to extend my longevity. Can't expect to live my life to the fullest if both my knees are blown out by age 40. Marathon training starts tomorrow. Can't wait.
  20. Good stuff. Good luck on the interview!!!
  21. Days until SF Biofreeze: 309 Fridays are the easy day of my week, but today was definitely a good day by any standard, as Shane and I took care of business in Stem Cell Lab and Stem Cell Project Seminar. We’ve definitely established ourselves as the group to beat in the Stem Cell program, as our progress on the semester project has begun to vastly outstrip all the other teams. While our cell cultures aren't always the best, our team communication and commitment are on another level from the rest of the group. Lab starts at 9, but we're both in the tissue culture room almost an hour before looking at our cell cultures, updating our notebooks, sharing information and discussing our plan of attack for the day. It's amusing that a few weeks ago I absolutely hated working with the guy; now that the trust and synergy is there it's become one of the best work environments I've experienced. I'm definitely going to miss being his teammate once the semester is over. Oh, and here's the video of the beating heart cells that I promised:
  22. Exciting news--I'll be running a marathon for charity! An old friend now in medical school is putting together a marathon team to fundraise for ALS treatments, and when he called me I jumped on the chance. (Honestly, I even surprised myself. The last marathon I did was the single most painful experience of my life, and I swore never to do another since. I guess I'm taking this self-improvement thing more and more seriously by the day). The marathon is the SF Biofreeze at the end of July (one of the most difficult courses in the world and a bitch by any standards) so I'll have to utilize my time wisely to get my fitness up to snuff. It's been a hot moment since my first marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival in the Fall of 2016. I remember that I barely trained at all for that marathon (was going for Gold at that time in League, so of course I had bigger priorities on my mind ?), and ultimately went too hard on the first half, causing me to viciously cramp out on mile 16. This time I'll do things differently, and hopefully I'll blow my old time out of the water. And even if I find that the training schedule is too hard, I'll just shoot for 4 hours again like last time. The more important part is the 1500 bucks I'll have raised for ALS by then. Can't wait to start working!!
  23. Welcome! Glad to have you here. Best of luck with your personal journey.
  24. Sorry to hear about your illness and the resulting sleep schedule difficulties. Get a lot of rest, and hope you feel better soon!
  25. So Rachael has a boyfriend! I know I should be more upset about it, especially given all the words I've typed about her over the last few weeks, but to be honest I'm okay with this. It obviously isn't my preferred outcome, but now I know that there was nothing I could have done. I can also finally focus in Mol Bio, which was a godsend today. My partner and I did the whole experiment efficiently with no mistakes, and while a lot of that was due to our improved communication I could physically feel the difference when I didn't have to worry about impressing the girl across the table. I only wish that she bothered to mention her boyfriend at, oh, any point over the last month. It would have saved me soo much thought bandwidth and mental energy. Maybe it's because I'm so busy all the time now, but the usual heartbreak I go through isn't so bad this time. I've really only been rejected by girls, and sometimes I would stay in bed for weeks on end from all the depression. This time I really do feel fine. The hurt is there, but it's nothing I can't push through, especially with all the work I've got. That was the bad for today, now onto the good. Obviously Mol Bio went extremely well, and I actually found myself actively engaging with the material and having fun for a change. In the stem cell culture room, Shane and I found a huge surprise--the heart cells that we've been making out of stem cells have grown well, and are now beating! (Video to be uploaded once the beating becomes more prominent). It felt amazing, but at the same time kinda wrong. Weren't we kind of playing God by creating a beating heart in a petri dish? Where does the line end as to what we can and can't do with our knowledge of how life works? If all we are is a bunch of cells being supported by growth factors and differentiation signals, then what's the point of life? Do we matter at all? All food for thought for when my head hits the pillow tonight. Now if you'll excuse me, I have about 3000 calories of Steak N Shake and an entire season of My Hero Academia that I plan to greatly enjoy tonight. I'll see you all again tomorrow for the beginning of the post-Rachael era, and the start of my next story arc.
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