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Listen to Cam and James Discuss eSports In Episode 2 of Gaming the System!

Deku

Journey to my white coat

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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.

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Good to hear you're doing things to give you more time to get things done! A sign you're getting out of the rut you described in the post before it. Keep working hard and good luck!

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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

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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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I dunno if it was the new diet of superfoods I’m trying out or the fact I finally got a frame for my bed, but today was a pretty good day at work. I do feel that I’m adjusting to Stanford, and the job feels easier each week. I’m also getting to know the people in my lab better, and realizing that they’re a bunch of very cool and fun loving individuals. I’m feeling a little happier to be a part of their team.

There’s some other stuff I’d love to post about (I really think I had a mental breakthrough today), but I have to sleep for now. It’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning!

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Man I had this wonderful post all thought up, and then today happened. How quickly fortunes can change.

I made a number of really stupid mistakes at work today, the most serious of which involved messing with other another lab member's samples. It was a complete accident and honest mistake, but I know I looked stupid and am already walking on thin ice as a new lab member. I guess I'm a bit careless, and in the rather repetitive and monotonous environment of lab it's a bit easy for me to turn on autopilot mode and make some fuck-ups in the process. Obviously this is something I need to address now, because if I became a doctor this could cause people to undergo some serious suffering or even death. Maybe in the future I'll carry a small notebook or stack of post-its to write reminders in, and double check my work thoroughly to make sure I didn't make any faux pas? I guess it's something worth trying.

I still feel horrible and I don't know how I'm going to face that lab member in the future. But I guess what's done is done, and all I can do at this point is use this experience as an opportunity to improve and humble myself. I don't really know what else to say.

studied on the train streak: 5

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It was a pretty good day today. Didn't have to go into work which was a nice break after the shitshow that was yesterday. Ended up doing some data analysis at home, and ran a few errands as well. Also ran into some very friendly strangers today, one of whom randomly offered a hug after seeing the "Jesus loves you" lanyard on my backpack. Those experiences were definitely the highlight of my day--in a world where so many awful things happen on a daily basis, it's awesome to see that qualities like gregariousness and kindness are still quite common. 

Thank you to @BrassWolf for sharing the article! Spending 15 minutes a day to improve my attention span is well worth it imo, and I will definitely try to incorporate it into every day. Today I got some practice in while running errands, as I tried to pay attention and focus on my walking/driving. My mind was completely and utterly exhausted after getting home, so I guess I must have been doing something right! It's amazing how it's so hard to get the brain to stop working.

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I thought today was going to be a bit uncomfortable, but it was not that bad of a day at all. Knocked out all my experiments in the morning, so I had a pretty chill day just reading papers and doing some FACS analysis. I'm starting to get a lot better at compensation now, but still need to work on my gating. It's something that I think will come with experience.

I took the time to apologize to the lab member I screwed over a few days ago, and although it was quite embarrassing I'm really glad I did it. She was much friendlier and more helpful to me today, which made me a bit uncomfortable because I know I didn't deserve it, and I definitely feel a lot less hated now. But more importantly, I'm glad I made a formal apology because I know I took a step towards becoming a better person in doing so. I'm glad because I know it was the right thing to do.

No work tomorrow, so I'm headed to hospice volunteering in the morning, and I'll be attending a class to get my top rope certification at the school gym in the afternoon. Should be a fun day!

Studied on the the train streak: 6 (I'm almost halfway through the Biology review book now!!)

Focus training streak: 1

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It was a really long and challenging day today. I've started my training in the FACS core at Stanford now, and if successful I'll be able to use the multi-million dollar machines in there without supervision, which would be huge for my project. Unfortunately, that adds 3 hours to each work day now for the next two weeks, and as a result I didn't get home until 9 in the evening today. I suppose that's my karma for having two shortened workweeks in a row. 

Studied on the train streak: 7

Focus training streak: 0

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One of the many competencies that medical schools look for in applicants is resiliency, and I feel like mine is being pushed to the max right now. I've had a couple of very long, very exhausting days at work, and to boot I made yet another big mistake when I could least afford to do so. I'm not sure how it happened--I honestly have been making my very best effort to triple check everything and ask as many questions as possible--but I have to face the consequences now. Maybe these are meant to be wakeup calls that I need to improve myself much more before I can become a physician, where dumb shit like this can literally cost people their lives. Either way at this point, all I can do is learn my lesson, keep my mental from getting tilted to oblivion, and overcome. 

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Life continues, and it honestly feels more stressful than ever. I've come to the full realization that this really is my last chance at going to med school, and it's really doing a number on my anxiety levels. I'm still eating well and sleeping a good amount, but I do get very panicked if I'm not actively working on something, like my personal statement or studying for the MCAT. My current plan is to finish my personal statement by 8/20, send it off to my recommenders, and work on it with my school's career center while I shift fire to the MCAT. I have plans to climb Mt. Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48, with my mom on the 24th, and after that...it's all MCAT and research until the summer of next year, when I hopefully will have enough to apply.

That's the plan. The light at the end of the tunnel is there. It's so faint, but it's there.

I finished the 3rd out of 4 classes for my FACS training. My last class is tomorrow, and my certification test will be on Thursday. My lab shelled out several thousand dollars to get me the certification and I actually do feel pretty good about the content, so fingers crossed I can pull through here.

I have a date tomorrow night. It'll be my first date since leaving the cult, and it's with one of the prettiest girls I've ever asked out in my life. Oddly enough I'm not super excited for it though. All I can really think about is the night that will be wasted on getting dessert with someone, when it should be used on wrapping up that personal statement. ._."

Studied on the train streak: 12

Edited by Deku
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7 hours ago, Deku said:

All I can really think about is the night that will be wasted on getting dessert with someone, when it should be used on wrapping up that personal statement.

In other words, your stress levels are so high, it's encroaching on your quality of life. You might need to either take it down a notch and be kind to yourself, or keep it up but find a better or more frequent way to recover your lost energy.

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Yesterday was a really good day at work. FACS training was actually a breeze for once—the multi-million dollar machines definitely didn’t feel as scary and confusing during session 4 as they did during session 1. The certification is tomorrow morning, and although I’m nervous I definitely know that I have the skills necessary to pass!

I did end up going on that date, and it was actually a lot of fun. We had a wonderful conversation over the most revolting looking Asian dessert ever (grass jelly noodles with taro shaved ice and three flavors of bean). I doubt it’ll lead to anything (turns out she’s headed to Hong Kong for six months in a couple weeks) but it’s always nice to be able to get some private time with a cool person. She did text me to thank me for a great time, so maybe we’ll go out again before she leaves.

Day off from work today (thank god) so I’m going to hospice volunteering this morning. Should be a good change of pace!

@Phoenixking I think you’re absolutely right that I’m a little too stressed right now, and if I’m being honest it is affecting my ability to enjoy life. I can’t really drop weight right now though so I guess I’d have to find some other activities to keep myself more or less centered. I’ll definitely do some soul searching to see if there’s anything fun I can incorporate into my life. Thanks!

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Stood on top of mission peak (2500 feet) last night. Hopefully next weekend I’ll be on top of Mount Whitney! 

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Passed my FACS certification!! I now have free reign over all the million-dollar machines in the Stanford FACS core.

Its an amazing feeling because I was a masters student in a PhD/Postdoc level class. The course was taught at a really fast pace and I was confused and stressed out only all the time. But somehow it all worked out in the end!

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