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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!

Deku

Journey to my white coat

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Got 3 quizzes next week, so I spent 9 hours studying today in the library/student center. Let’s go!

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Heyyy Deku! It's now 4:50am and I just binge-read your journal ahahaha so worth it though! Mann you've gone through a lot hahaa I've just started my journal and yours is really inspiring! Your determination and willpower is insane! And it seems like God has taught you a lot and you've taught me a lot through your journal! Yeah unlucky about the relapse but it's great that you're off it, you've learnt from it and I hope this time it will be permanent! Even with such a crazy schedule you've still committed to extracurricular activities which is super inspiring! Thanks for sharing your highs and lows and just being vulnerable because I know it's not easy! If you don't mind me asking where do you think you are at right now in terms of your faith? Are you still a self-directed person or Jesus-directed? Praying hard for you bro keep close to God and keep being vulnerable <3

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@Splitstep Thanks for the positive comment and pleasant surprise—I’m going through a pretty rough period of time right now and really appreciate it. I’m frankly surprised you read through all of my haphazard ramblings, but glad you enjoyed it. 

As to your question I don’t really know how to characterize my faith right now; I used to be hardcore nonbeliever because I took the bible literally and couldn’t buy into the worldly interpretations of its content, but now that I’m going to class and learning the meaning of the parables and hidden language I’m finding that my faith is slowly coming alive. I don’t know if you know the parable of the four fields, but I’m currently just trying to be the good field—providing the open and understanding heart for the seed to grow, and persevering through the many worldly concerns in my life. ‘

How about you? I’m always interested to learn about the faith of other people. :)

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Went on a tour of Amgen today, and had the nasty realization that I don’t think the life of a scientist is for me. It just doesn’t excite me the way medicine does, and I just know I’d live a rough and miserable life if I committed to a science career at a biotech company. I guess it’s white coat or bust for me then.

Quiz tomorrow for Hematology. I spent a freakish amount of time taking detailed notes on the esoteric and horribly written textbook, with the help of some new gadgets I acquired over break (screenshots below). I hope it’s enough to get me a good mark on that quiz 😕

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Wow that is really encouraging Deku! You're open to hearing about Christianity and understanding the parable of the sower. I find reading scripture is a big weakness of mine but I can see God working in the world around us.

I grew up in a Non-Christian household, and so I went to a secular school, and didn’t hear much about Christianity and never heard the gospel. Until last year in my first year of university.
On Orientation Day this year God lead me to a Christian group called Student Life. They were giving out jandals and staff member Josh handed me a jandal and a card. On the card there was a section about learning more about Jesus. Usually I would say not interested but God wanted me to be curious and open, so I ticked ‘maybe’. Later, a student leader in Student Life named Emad called me and set up a meetup about it. Josh also came along to it. I thought that they were trustworthy and honest people that really did believe in their faith and did thorough investigation on the reasons why they believe in Christianity. The gospel was what I needed to hear, because it says that we live in a broken world which I suspected, and to hear that nothing we do can get us closer to God was also a relief. And also hearing that there was a solution to our brokenness was the best news ever! And that was Jesus! They answered my questions convincingly, such as evolution or creation and the Big Bang Theory, which gave me the courage to put my faith in Jesus and pray to receive Christ! So in that one meetup I because a Christian!

I haven't been a Christian for even a year but it's been the most challenging but best year of my life no doubt! Seeing God do miracles and create good out of bad situations and using them to humble or to grow me and to remind me how much I need Him. Realising that my identity is not in money, my achievements or how people view me but in being God's child and he loves me for who I am has got me through a lot of tough times. This year I am doing what Emad is doing and being a Student Leader, giving out jandals and seeing where people are at and giving them what God has given me! To be honest I don't feel I am capable but God doesn't choose the qualified but qualifies the chosen! This year will be super hard with a timetable similar to yours in engineering but seeing you still committing to bible study and wanting to know God personally is really really encouraging!!! Thanks Deku keep it up!

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@Splitstep Thanks for your reply! First off, it's always fascinating to hear about how many nonbelievers go to a bible study session out of pure curiosity and end up hooked for life. It really is a testament to how fascinating and pure the word of God is.

And second, thank you for being a student leader and doing the work that you do. You're giving so many people the opportunity to receive the gift of the word, and that in itself is awesome.

A couple comments about what you wrote:

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God doesn't choose the qualified but qualifies the chosen

Of course--if you look at the parable of the bags of gold (Matthew 25:14-23)

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14 Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

God qualifies each of us according to our ability, and regardless of how much ability we have we can share in the master's happiness so long as we pay it forward.

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This year will be super hard with a timetable similar to yours in engineering but seeing you still committing to bible study and wanting to know God personally is really really encouraging!!!

Remember the thorns in the parable of the sower? 

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22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

 

Of course I make learning the word a priority in my life, despite my commitments. You aren't a child of God if you let worldly duties and responsibilities overtake your desire to study the scriptures 🙂 

Edited by Deku
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It's been quite an uneventful few days, which is strange because every day is so busy I feel like I don't have any room to breathe. When I get home I'm usually too pooped to do anything so I've been sleeping early A LOT recently--on my phone it says my average bedtime is something like 9:10 pm.

Had an exam last week for Neurogenetics, it was okay. I thought I did okay until I compared answers with everyone else. Turns out I'm either going to be setting the curve or absolutely failing the class (It's okay though, since the lowest test is dropped).

Hematology exam next Thursday as well, so I'll have to work hard today for that. Still have two short chapters of reading to do.

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1 hour ago, Deku said:

It's been quite an uneventful few days, which is strange because every day is so busy I feel like I don't have any room to breathe. When I get home I'm usually too pooped to do anything so I've been sleeping early A LOT recently--on my phone it says my average bedtime is something like 9:10 pm.

Had an exam last week for Neurogenetics, it was okay. I thought I did okay until I compared answers with everyone else. Turns out I'm either going to be setting the curve or absolutely failing the class (It's okay though, since the lowest test is dropped).

Hematology exam next Thursday as well, so I'll have to work hard today for that. Still have two short chapters of reading to do.

Much respect for being able to commit so hard! 😮 

Watch your energy levels, buddy! Wouldn't want you burning out. But other than that, crazy amounts of balls you got there, you working bee!

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Finished all my Hematology readings. All that's left now is a frenzied review of all the content before Thursday.

Went to a resume building/cover letter/interview workshop today, and found it mind numbingly boring. Whoever thought a workshop comprised of 2 hours of lecturing and no actual workshopping would be a good idea ought not to be planning these things.

I also made a quizlet set of all the various biblical terms and scriptures for our exam in March, and shared it with as many people in the class as possible. I've gotten to the point where I actively dread attending that class, but I must not let the current rough patch kill off my desire to learn the scriptures.

I haven't had an amazing day in quite some time. Lots of stuff keeps happening and my schedule is so busy I don't really have time to just breathe and take it all in. I'm not worried, though. I know that if I just keep my head down and keep working hard, one day I'll realize I've made it through whatever this is. I just have to have faith.

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Got an exam in Hematology tomorrow and I’m actually pretty worried about it. I’ve gone to all the classes, done all the readings and reviewed my notes, so I’m not in a bad spot per se, but this class is known as one of the hardest the school has to offer. I don’t know what to expect, but I suppose I’ve done all I can at this point to prepare. I’ve done my due diligence to learning the material. I don’t need to cram so I can get a solid 7.5 hours of sleep tonight. The rest is all in destiny’s hands now.

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Yikes, that exam did not go well. From self correcting I know I got at least 5 or 6 out of the 70 multiple choice questions wrong. It's a bit frustrating because I could have and should have done a lot better, but my train of thought literally imploded on some of the more difficult questions. Ah well. I guess I can still be a scientist if the med school dreams don't pan out.

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On 2/21/2019 at 4:25 PM, Deku said:

Yikes, that exam did not go well. From self correcting I know I got at least 5 or 6 out of the 70 multiple choice questions wrong. It's a bit frustrating because I could have and should have done a lot better, but my train of thought literally imploded on some of the more difficult questions. Ah well. I guess I can still be a scientist if the med school dreams don't pan out.

You are joking, right? One (mid-term?) exam can't decide whether you are going to medical school. And if you got 91% correct, it shouldn't be a bad grade anyway.

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1 hour ago, Silverlining said:

You are joking, right? One (mid-term?) exam can't decide whether you are going to medical school. And if you got 91% correct, it shouldn't be a bad grade anyway.

I'm actually not joking. It doesn't seem like much, but in a class without many points in the gradebook one exam can determine my entire grade for the semester. And if I can't even get an A in a medical class at state school, then I really don't feel like I'm strong enough to even think about competing for a spot in medical school.

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11 hours ago, Deku said:

but in a class without many points in the gradebook one exam can determine my entire grade for the semester.

Ooh, that must be really tough. 😔 In my college, the exams that I will have will determine 30% of my whole grade in each of my four classes. Hope that you are doing well.

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On 2/22/2019 at 6:05 PM, Deku said:

I'm actually not joking. It doesn't seem like much, but in a class without many points in the gradebook one exam can determine my entire grade for the semester. And if I can't even get an A in a medical class at state school, then I really don't feel like I'm strong enough to even think about competing for a spot in medical school.

Sorry for what I said. I think there is still a good chance for you to get an A. But for you, the chance is not good enough. You need it to be an A, 100%.

I understand. If I were in your position I would probably feel the same way.

I just want to say that high expectations could lead to too much stress on us. You set very high standards for yourself, which is a good thing, because we definitely want doctors with high standards for themselves. But there are a lot of important exams and challenges ahead of you. I just hope that you could take it easy.

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6 hours ago, Silverlining said:

Sorry for what I said. I think there is still a good chance for you to get an A. But for you, the chance is not good enough. You need it to be an A, 100%.

I understand. If I were in your position I would probably feel the same way.

I just want to say that high expectations could lead to too much stress on us. You set very high standards for yourself, which is a good thing, because we definitely want doctors with high standards for themselves. But there are a lot of important exams and challenges ahead of you. I just hope that you could take it easy.

I actually think you bring up a good point. I've been in this rut recently, and I think a large part of that is that I've just tried to do too much at once. 13 credits while teaching 2 classes, attending bible study, volunteering at hospice and training for Rainier is a nightmare, and I just can't seem to find a second to breathe right now. I don't know if it's all the brain power I'm using every day or the fact I'm not eating enough, but I can sleep super early and still feel completely exhausted the next day. Because of this exhaustion and the stress from all the stuff I have to do I can feel myself falling behind on every commitment. It seems like I'm doing all the things I need for medical school, but nothing particularly well.

I'm starting to realize that I do have a limit, and that limit was exceeded long ago. There are some absolute beasts in this world that can seemingly reach for the heavens while carrying the entire weight of the world on their shoulders. I don't think I'm one of those people.

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Got every point (including the extra credit question) on my Neurogenetics midterm for a total of 155/150. Let’s go!

I highly doubt Hematology went that well though...

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On 2/26/2019 at 7:37 AM, Deku said:

There are some absolute beasts in this world that can seemingly reach for the heavens while carrying the entire weight of the world on their shoulders.

Those people don't function at the top of their game for all their lives, though. Olympic athletes retire very soon. High level managers have no social lives and are often dicks. Everybody is only human and nobody can be like Beyoncé (and even SHE was cheated on, fought on camera with her man, and so on...). There's only 24 hours in a day 🙂 keep that in mind 😉 

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11 hours ago, Deku said:

Got every point (including the extra credit question) on my Neurogenetics midterm for a total of 155/150. Let’s go!

HELL. YES.

Congrats!!!

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@Phoenixking well said, although there certainly are people that are incredibly successful and productive even in their older years (see Bill Gates and Warren Buffett). Though those guys think and operate at such a high level that I don't think they could be called human anymore...

I've been making really good progress with hospice volunteering in the last month. My assignment is to provide companionship and assistance for an elderly woman (we'll call her L) with terminal cancer on Wednesday mornings while her daughter (J) attends a class and runs errands. It was really awkward at first, but L has really warmed up to me over time and actively looks forward to our visits now. J has grown to trust me more as well; she used to always ask one of her sisters to come over as well during my visit but now she lets me spend time with L alone. L's dog is also quite friendly to me despite normally being aggressive to strangers; in the past few weeks he's jumped into my lap quite a few times. I feel really good about the decision to do hospice volunteering this semester. It is definitely a significant time commitment, but being able to spend time with L and her family has really shown me a different side of medicine than the one I'm used to. I've spent so long learning about the human body and the various biochemical mechanisms that keep us alive, but it's only through this opportunity that I've learned that medicine is about treating people, and not biological models. The decisions that physicians make have to be tailored to individuals and their idiosyncracies, and those decisions have real consequences on lives and families.

It was really a great revelation to have and one that would serve me well if I ever became a doctor. We'll find out if that's still the case when the Hematology exams come back tomorrow though >_>"

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2 hours ago, Deku said:

@Phoenixking well said, although there certainly are people that are incredibly successful and productive even in their older years (see Bill Gates and Warren Buffett). Though those guys think and operate at such a high level that I don't think they could be called human anymore...

I've been making really good progress with hospice volunteering in the last month. My assignment is to provide companionship and assistance for an elderly woman (we'll call her L) with terminal cancer on Wednesday mornings while her daughter (J) attends a class and runs errands. It was really awkward at first, but L has really warmed up to me over time and actively looks forward to our visits now. J has grown to trust me more as well; she used to always ask one of her sisters to come over as well during my visit but now she lets me spend time with L alone. L's dog is also quite friendly to me despite normally being aggressive to strangers; in the past few weeks he's jumped into my lap quite a few times. I feel really good about the decision to do hospice volunteering this semester. It is definitely a significant time commitment, but being able to spend time with L and her family has really shown me a different side of medicine than the one I'm used to. I've spent so long learning about the human body and the various biochemical mechanisms that keep us alive, but it's only through this opportunity that I've learned that medicine is about treating people, and not biological models. The decisions that physicians make have to be tailored to individuals and their idiosyncracies, and those decisions have real consequences on lives and families.

It was really a great revelation to have and one that would serve me well if I ever became a doctor. We'll find out if that's still the case when the Hematology exams come back tomorrow though >_>"

This warms the heart...

Also bonus points for the use of 'idiosyncracies'. Lovely word.

I do think that people like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet are outliers. They either have well developed instincts or high IQs or some edge that most of us don't. But they're still human. It's hard for me to admit that it's probably not possible to achieve such feats because I believe in a world where you actually can. If you apply yourself, make the right moves and remain steadfast, anything is possible. I've seen and done crazier things than what most tv shows show us.

I'll also check in tomorrow again to read what's up with your Hematology results! I'm rooting for ya, bud!

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Looks like my premed dreams aren't done just yet. I got a 61/70 or 87, which wasn't a very good score, but it was good enough to be second in the class and only a couple points shy of first. I've been given another chance, and I won't let myself down this time. I am going all out on the course material from here on out, and I'll hit that second exam with everything I've got. Whichever person got the 63, know that I'm coming for you.

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