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Journey to my white coat


Deku
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I think it's the 10th day now since my relapse? I see why people count days now on their journals...

Life's been pretty good of late. I met with my Hematology professor and he RAVED about my resume and transcript--in his opinion, with a good MCAT score and stellar letters of recommendation I actually have a pretty good shot of getting in med school. He also asked if I wanted to be his TA for Hematology next Spring (though I unfortunately had to decline). It's incredible to hear all these things because the man is a department legend, professor emeritus and most importantly a former medical school admissions committee member. After our talk I can just make out a light at the end of the tunnel now--it's very faint, but it's there.

 

Edited by Deku
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  • 3 weeks later...
2 hours ago, JustTom said:

You only relapsed for one day and bounced back immediately, I think that's pretty incredible. 

Yeah I agree with Tom, it's pretty incredible for you to bounce right back. My last relapse was over a month ago and I jumped right back into gaming and didn't look back and it's only day 2 for me yet.

Keep at it, you'll beat this!!

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Agreed with Tom. Even if you relapsed, just look back at your past months that you've spent posting on these forums and count the number of days you've been productive and moving towards your goals vs the number of the days you've spent gaming.

Pretty clearly a win. You've got this!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys, I'm finally back. Hopefully for a while this time.

For nearly a month now I've been back in the gaming hole. I think what's made it especially hard to get out this time is the fact that my life has been pretty good even while gaming. My grades are excellent (my lowest grade is in Hematology, where I also have the second highest grade in the class), my extracurriculars are going well, and I even have a girlfriend. It wasn't like when I started this journal 6 months ago, when I had my back against the wall and absolutely had to quit my gaming habit if I wanted to succeed. I guess the difference now is that I'm no longer quitting gaming because I have to, but because I want to. I'm realizing that while my gaming addiction isn't horribly messing up my life it does greatly hinder how much I can get done each day, and I feel I could do so much more without it gobbling up my free time. I want to do things like work out, eat healthy, maintain a clean living space, stay on top of myself, and just do more than be good enough every day. I don't want to plateau at age 23.

It's pretty late right now so I'll set some goals for myself tomorrow. For now my only goal going forwards will be to spend at least 15-30 minutes daily on this forum. 

It's good to be back!

Edited by Deku
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Day 1

Mondays are generally a pretty crappy day because I have to be on campus for a meeting by 8 in the morning, and don't get home until almost 10 at night. Today was especially a pretty tiring day with a pretty significant downer--the patient I've been visiting through my hospice volunteering unfortunately passed away today after fighting late-stage cancer for almost 4 months. It's crazy how I knew this was coming (honestly she was circling the drain in the last couple weeks), yet the end still hit me pretty darn hard. She was so sweet, bright and funny right up until the very end, and it was a tremendous pleasure to be able to talk to and spend time with her. I'm surprised that even though I only knew her for a few months I'm still experiencing minor symptoms of grief, as though I lost a good friend.

My Tuesdays begin at the crack of dawn with the wonderful 7:30 am Hematology class, so checking out now. Good night everyone and I will be back tomorrow.

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Got my Hematology midterm back today, and I absolutely got smashed. I frankly don't know how I did so poorly-clearly something wasn't quite there with my understanding of the material-so hopefully the midterm review at 6 am on Thursday will clear that up for me.

On the bright side, got my Neurogenetics midterm back today and that was much better--99%, good enough for the high score among all sections of the class.

I also helped teach the Immunology Lab lead section today (largely relegated to teaching the kids how to use the FACS machine), and assisted with advertising for our bible study's seminar this Saturday. It's a huge event, with almost 200 people already RSVP'd, and I'm couldn't be more excited that we're giving the gift of faith to so many people. ? 

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On 4/8/2019 at 7:52 PM, Deku said:

I even have a girlfriend.

Ooh interesting. How is it? ?

It's good to see you again, it's been long since I read your journal since I was bogged down by both business and laziness.

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On 4/10/2019 at 11:55 AM, JustTom said:

Do you know Sam Harris by the way? I think you should consider his view on religion, and Christianity in particular. I was raised catholic, but a very modern and reasonable version(to the extent that it's possible) and remained religious until I was about 18 despite my parents falling off of the religion a bit. And throughout my life, I've more or less converged to his opinion. 

Hm, I did look into his teachings, and I can see how they would make sense. I too thought that that was the only true explanation before I started attending bible study. But after hearing the word laid out plainly and clearly, I'm starting to gravitate away from the Sam Harris teachings. There's just too much unity, too many coincidences, for there to not be some kind of supernatural presence behind the bible.

On 4/14/2019 at 8:53 PM, Lea said:

Ooh interesting. How is it? 

It's good to see you again, it's been long since I read your journal since I was bogged down by both business and laziness.

It's great to hear from you, always a blessing to log in and see 10+ notifications from all your reacts. I'm glad you're back!

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9 hours ago, JustTom said:

I really wonder what made you convert?

 

I guess for me one thing was learning that the books of the old testament aren't meant to be taken literally as an actual historical account, but rather serve as shadows of God's plan and prophecies for the future. That was huge for me because the biggest problem I had with the bible is that it's objectively impossible--we know Earth isn't 6,000 years old, that there is no garden of Eden, etc. Finding out that the bible isn't meant to be taken literally, but rather spiritually, was a huge relief.

More importantly, however, was learning about the many prophecies and fulfillments in the bible. In John 14:29, the bible says: "I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe," basically saying that prophecy and fulfillment is the proof that God is alive and working. I certainly feel that this is the case. There are way too many for me to talk about in detail, but every single prophecy of the old testament aligns perfectly with the gospels and Revelations, despite the languages, nations, and thousands of years of history that separate the writing of the bible's books. There's just too much that coincides for there to not be some kind of divine oversight involved. I honestly get chills just thinking about it.

Edited by Deku
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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

I'm back now! Holy cow that was a long hiatus.

A lot of stuff, both good and bad, has happened since I last posted over three (?!!) months ago. Time for a looong overdue update.

Shortly after my last post, I foolishly decided to queue up for a fateful game of bots in League of Legends (because it doesn't count if it's against the computer right? >_>) which ended up kickstarting another rough patch of gaming. Fortunately, I had so many nonnegotiable commitments in place, what with two teaching jobs, bible study, and hospice volunteering, that it didn't end up taking over too much of my life. I did piss away quite a bit of money on RP though, so that was definitely unfortunate. I did an alarming amount of eleventh-hour studying towards the end of the semester, but luckily most of the buffers I had already built held up and my final grades ended up being okay--I got a 3.93, with my only A- coming from Hematology, which brings my GPA at state college now to somewhere between a 3.97 and 3.98. I also got two professors (Dr. Abramson and my Neurogenetics professor Instr. Logan) to agree to write me letters of recommendation, so as long as I can find a couple more in a timely fashion I'm in a pretty good spot to apply.

That was the extent of the good news, time for everything else:

--I did go up to Washington state to attend my mountaineering trip, but because of my inability to budget my time and execute my training schedule I had an overall awful experience. I spent six miserable days camping on snow,  backpacking ridonculous loads that my body was not at all conditioned for, and enduring horribly cold weather that my clothes were not equipped to handle. In the end I did end up making it to the 10,800-foot summit of Mount Baker (attached below!), but bowed out of the Rainier portion of the trip. It was an incredibly humbling experience, and it will serve as a reminder for the rest of my life that I need to be able to back up all of my big words and lofty-sounding goals.

IMG_0123.thumb.JPG.cde6bdcc796cf135129455a8f4738159.JPG

--I've moved on from San Jose State and I'm currently on the second portion of my Master's program. It consists of a 12 month hands-on internship at an approved stem cell lab, and I'm fulfilling it by working at the Czechowicz Lab at the Stanford school of medicine. Going from the slow-paced teaching environment of state school to the dizzying, high octane culture of Stanford has been a gargantuan transition. Everyone is stupendously busy, and so the onus of learning everything has really fallen on myself. I'm truly glad for all the extra effort I made over the past year to not only excel in my program's classes but to also take extra electives and teach Immunology lab. I have had to rely on every single ounce of the knowledge I gained over the past year to not fall behind.

--Finally, my incredible "bible study" turned out to be a religious group called Shincheonji. You can read all about them via the magic of Google, but the Tl;Dr is that they're a Korean cult that believes that a 90-year-old Korean man named Manhee Lee is the second coming of Jesus. The purpose of all the bible study classes I took over the past year was a sort of brainwashing to convince me that their beliefs were the truth. It took me an embarrassingly long time to see them for what they were, and even then I didn't have the courage to leave the group until it became clear that I would have to quit my med school dreams in order to help the group full-time. The sad part is that after I left the group leaders viciously denounced me to the all the members, and almost overnight I lost a good amount of friends, and even my girlfriend. My experience with this cult honestly still haunts and traumatizes me even now, nearly a month after leaving.

That's all the major stuff that's happened to me over the past few months. I apologize because I know it was long, but I feel it was important to write all that out to tie up all that time neatly and help y'all understand my current situation. At the present moment, with all my other story arcs completed, I feel that I'm ready to begin the final push to medical school applications, and I hope that all of you will be able to follow along and lend me your support over the course of this next big arc. Posting on GameQuitters really helped me stay on task and push through some truly tough times last year, and I know it will help me again moving forwards. 

Largely, my focus over the next year will be on:

1. Excelling at my research job in the Czechowicz Lab and securing an outstanding letter of rec

2. Preparing for the MCAT--this time for real. I've put it off for way too long and it's truly the biggest wall standing in the way of me and medical school.

3. Keeping up with hospice volunteering, and hopefully securing a letter from there

4. Finally, keeping up with hygiene, health, and fitness. I know I'm not going to become Chris Hemsworth over the next year what with everything else that's going on, but I truly understand that these things will form the base for success over the next year. So I want to make these a priority as well.

5. Most relevant to this forum, over this next year I want to not only detox gaming, but also the other distractors in my life--Youtube, Netflix, even my beloved anime ? I turned 24 just a couple weeks ago, and I've realized that it's time for some hardcore fucking adulting. This next year will undoubtedly be extremely tough, and I don't think I can make it without getting serious and making some sacrifices.

Once again I apologize for the length of this post. There was truly a lot to write about! But I hope that y'all can join me for Season 2 of this journal. It'll be a good ride, I promise!

Thank you for reading!!

-Deku

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Welcome back Deku! I'm happy to see you escaped potentially harmful environments and you're already prepared to take on new challenges. 

You're young, more self aware than a lot of people and with a good brain on your shoulders. A lot of paths which were previously foggy because of addiction are now clear ahead of you!

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After my huge post from yesterday, it feels a bit weird to say that today was a bit of a quiet day. Largely just errands and tying up loose ends in preparation for the madness next week. Did some cleaning and laundry. Finally got around unpacking and storing my gear from the Washington trip. Called my dad. So all in all not a monstrously productive day, but one that will hopefully set me up for work mode next week. 

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Oh cool! Great to see you back!

The mountaineering, damn, that's an awesome achievement. You had to really bite down, but you did achieve something pretty cool. And it's cool to see that your academic career seems fine, I look forward to learning from what you accomplish. Honestly, the amounts of work you manage to do, it's inspiring.

Sad to hear about the cult, though. But DAMN. Did you dodge a bullet or what?! I mean, it obviously sucks hard to see your friends and partner turn their back. But if I'm being really cold, I wouldn't want any cult-friends, I'd prefer real ones that are able to think critically in a time like this where we get slapped around the head with sourceless, unchecked info all the time. It's crazy that this happened to you, though. I hope that in time, the wounds will heal over and you'll be able to use this odd experience as a stepping stone to other, cooler stuff.

On a side note, I just binged Boku No Hero Academia. I see now what the value of your forum nickname is.

Also, don't be too hard or too demanding of yourself! You sound ambitious and you pull off crazy shit that I couldn't even dream of! But don't make the classic ambitious people mistake: biting off more than you can chew and trying to chew it anyways. I'd prefer it if you'd get to keep all your teeth ? 

Good luck in your season 2, bud! 

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21 minutes ago, Phoenixking said:

Oh cool! Great to see you back!

The mountaineering, damn, that's an awesome achievement. You had to really bite down, but you did achieve something pretty cool. And it's cool to see that your academic career seems fine, I look forward to learning from what you accomplish. Honestly, the amounts of work you manage to do, it's inspiring.

Sad to hear about the cult, though. But DAMN. Did you dodge a bullet or what?! I mean, it obviously sucks hard to see your friends and partner turn their back. But if I'm being really cold, I wouldn't want any cult-friends, I'd prefer real ones that are able to think critically in a time like this where we get slapped around the head with sourceless, unchecked info all the time. It's crazy that this happened to you, though. I hope that in time, the wounds will heal over and you'll be able to use this odd experience as a stepping stone to other, cooler stuff.

On a side note, I just binged Boku No Hero Academia. I see now what the value of your forum nickname is.

Also, don't be too hard or too demanding of yourself! You sound ambitious and you pull off crazy shit that I couldn't even dream of! But don't make the classic ambitious people mistake: biting off more than you can chew and trying to chew it anyways. I'd prefer it if you'd get to keep all your teeth ? 

Good luck in your season 2, bud! 

Aw this was so nice, thanks for bringing a smile to my face at work! Can't wait to read more about what you've been up to recently.

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I’m gonna be honest guys, today was supposed to be a day where I got stuff done, but it just didn’t happen today. I spent so much time off task, browsing the internet, talking with friends etc and just couldn’t be productive. It’s scary because I know this is the time I’m supposed to work the hardest, but I’m still not able to overcome my own inertia. All I can do now is get some shuteye and home that tomorrow is a new and better day.

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Started taking the train to work and using the time to study for the MCAT. It’s a longer commute, but I can add 5-6 hours of quality study time a week for free doing this. Going to try and make this a daily habit going forwards.

FEE88B36-EA43-4BAA-AE4D-13DFCFBC4E32.jpeg

Edited by Deku
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It was a busy day today. Went on a tour of the "barrier" (ie sterile) portion of the animal facilities as part of my training. After that I spent several hours doing cell culture work in the tissue culture room. We are trying to generate a humanized mouse model of a disease called Fanconi Anemia using CRISPR, and part of my job involves raising the CRISPR'd cells with the goal of eventually sequencing them to find which have the desired disease mutation and which ones don't. Pretty straightforward stuff, but I find that I make an alarming number of silly mistakes that I should honestly know better than to make. Hopefully that gets better as I adjust to working at Stanford.

I also found a little bit of time to begin writing my first draft of my personal statement for medical school! It's hot garbage, but at least it's happening!!

Studied on the train streak: 1

Edited by Deku
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And life at Stanford continues. It's been over two weeks now and I still haven't quite adjusted to work on a full-time schedule. It's funny because I was working a comparable amount of hours each day last year, but it feels so much harder and more tiring now that I'm doing it here. I guess that's what happens when you start working in a place without a coffee shop just a couple minutes away. Oh how I miss you, my beloved medium iced americano.

Studied on the train streak: 2

 

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My mentor and I worked from 9 to 3 straight yesterday doing 98 DNA extractions. 98!! By the time I had finished "lunch" and cell culture work, it was well past 7. My friend's grandmother passed away unexpectedly as well yesterday and it was incredibly sad to see how much it devastated him, so I decided to take a night off, drink some Smirnoff and sprites and watch lord of the rings with him.

No need to go to work today, so I think I'll use the time to run a few errands and visit my own grandmother.

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I regret to inform everyone that it's been a very unproductive 3-day weekend so far. I didn't game, thank god, but I pretty much did everything else I said I wasn't going to do: Youtube, Netflix, anime, the whole nine yards. It's funny because I can be incredibly productive pretty much anywhere, from the train to the library to even my toilet, but put me in my room with a computer and I'm a goner. In the future I might head to the library to get work done, since I've historically been pretty successful there.

 

 

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22 hours ago, Deku said:

I regret to inform everyone that it's been a very unproductive 3-day weekend so far. I didn't game, thank god, but I pretty much did everything else I said I wasn't going to do: Youtube, Netflix, anime, the whole nine yards. It's funny because I can be incredibly productive pretty much anywhere, from the train to the library to even my toilet, but put me in my room with a computer and I'm a goner. In the future I might head to the library to get work done, since I've historically been pretty successful there.

 

 

It happens, man. You are luckily aware of that behaviour and willing to step in and change it in time.

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