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Monday, January 21, 2008
lumps and bumps

My mom has to go in for a biopsy on Wednesday. She found a lump a couple of months ago. As she is wont to do, she ignored it for as long as possible -- to the point that it hurt to raise her arm. She finally scheduled a mammogram, and they found that it's a solid mass, not just a fluid-filled cyst. Thus, the biopsy (which literally means the process of viewing life under a microscope).

This is pretty scary. Her father's mother and sister have both died from breast cancer. Well, actually, the liver or brain cancer is probably what killed them... but it started as breast cancer and metastasized. So, she is at an increased risk, because there is a family history. I think it's even tougher for her, because she watched both of them die. She was by their bedsides when they passed, and she saw the hell that this disease causes.

So she's in a pretty freaked out state right now. I'm trying to be as understanding as possible. But, sometimes, she just pisses me off. And then I foget that she's scared and she might have cancer and I just flip out.

I'm so annoyed with her though. She always pulls this crap. She finds something, worries about it for a while, finally makes a doctor's appointment, has to go in for extra tests which make her worry more, and then it's always nothing. Meanwhile, she probably increased her chances of heart disease by 200% because she spent so much needless time worrying. Ugh. It's just so frustrating. Especially now -- this time -- when there is a very real chance that this lump is malignant. If it is, it was probably detected fairly early. But if she'd gone to the doctor as soon as she had found it, it would have been found even earlier...

I guess we'll see what happens. I'm going with her to the biopsy, whether the doctor wants me there or not. If nothing else, I can count it as shadowing hours...

Currently listening to:
Living Hard
By Gary Allan

Friday, January 18, 2008
tired of coming up with witty titles...

I'm finally finished sending in secondary applications. There are a few that I didn't complete, but they were for state schools who probably wouldn't accept me no matter how awesome my scores were. I completed and sent probably about 25 supplementals. The fees on these suckers ranged from $30 to $150. Outrageous, especially considering I already paid $1360 in AMCAS application fees. They charge you $150 for the first school and $30 for every additional school. Then, the individual schools send you their secondary application and you pay their individual application fee. Everything is by computer now, so why is it so expensive? I understand that they don't want Joe Blow applying to medical school and creating more work for them... but seriously? I'm not poor enough to qualify for fee waivers (although I might be next year, since I blew all my money on this years applications...), but I'm certainly not rich enough to fork out all that money.

Now that I've completed the applications (and my depressed attitude won't show through on any essays), I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I most likely will not be in medical school next fall. As soon as I've taken a little break from it all, I'll start studying for the MCAT again. Hopefully, I can take that by March. Then, I can start applying to schools in June, when the AMCAS application reopens. It will be nice to not be so rushed, like I was this year. I can take some time writing and revising my personal statement. Plus, I already have letters of recommendation, and I know that I can crank out supplemental essays quick.

So even if I don't get it, I guess I'm glad I did the process this year. Even though it was really stressful. And even though I wasted about $3000. It will only get better next year, right? As long as I score above a freaking 7 on physical sciences.

The spring semester started last week, and I am beyond frustrated about my stupid psychology internship. I am not getting any help whatsoever from my advisor or from the College career services. I applied for a volunteer position at the Community Health Center a month ago, and they have yet to call me back or return any of the five messages I've left for them. So I contacted the local clinic's psych ward, and they didn't return any calls. So I called the Community Mental Health Center, and I was led to believe that there would be no problem for me to complete an internship there. When I called to check on the progress, however, I was informed that it just wouldn't happen. Seriously, what the hell? I have unitl Thursday to complete the internship contract, or I don't graduate with my psych degree. How bogus is that?! I am doing everything that I possibly can to find something, and I would appreciate a little help from the College...beyond them giving me outdated contact names and phone numbers. I have one last resort. If this one doesn't pan out, I'll have to complete my internship in the summer, pay double the money for the credits, and get my diploma sometime in the fall. Ugh.

In other news, I get to go to the Brad Paisley concert tonight. I'm so excited! I miss him every time he comes to the fair here. This should be a fun concert.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Election 08: Townhall Meeting

I completely stole this from Rob Wells over at Six LDS Writers and A Frog.  But it's so funny, that I had to share it! He has a great sense of humor.

With the Iowa primaries just around the corner, I thought it would be a good public service to our readers if we offered them a little more education on the candidates and their platforms. Consequently, I've brought the top six contenders together in a townhall format to talk about the issues facing America right now.

Without further ado, I'd like to present our esteemed guests: Ebenezer Scrooge, The Grinch, Heat Miser, Hermey the Elf, Donna Reed, and Edward Cullen.

ROB: Our first question is for you, Mr. Heat Miser. It was emailed in by a viewer in Des Moines. It reads: "Heat Miser, in these troubled times, what's your stance on the War in Iraq."

HEAT MISER: That's a good question, and I'm glad you asked it. But I think we're a long way from answering that question. First, America needs to answer this: what's the deal with that stupid John Lennon Christmas Song? You know, "So This is Christmas"? What the heck?

SCROOGE: As the only British candidate in the room, I must say that I'm appalled by Heat Miser's hatin' on the Beatles.

HEAT MISER: But it wasn't the Beatles. It was stupid John Lennon. "So this is Christmas, and what have you done?" And they always play it during commercials showing starving kids in Indonesia. In other words: "So this is Christmas, and you suck, with your iPods and your Guitar Hero."

DONNA REED: Speaking of iPods… [Donna Reed subtley point over to the Grinch, who is looking at his video iPod.]

ROB: Uh, Mr. Grinch, this next question is for you. It's from Doris in Vermont. "You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch. I was wondering if you would use some of that meanness to kick out all the illegal aliens?"

GRINCH: [Looking up] Did you know that you can download whole TV shows on this thing? Last night I got the entire third season of The Office. What is Jim thinking dating Karen?! And what's the deal with Creed? SO. FUNNY.

SCROOGE: You know what Christmas song I hate? Barbra Streisand's "Jingle Bells". Seriously, if I'm elected, I'm going to outlaw that crap.

DONNA REED: Have you ever heard that Jingle Bells with the dogs barking? It is so adorable. Woof woof woof. Woof woof woof. Woof woof woof woof woof.

ROB: The next question is for you, Hermey. It was emailed from Chicago. "Hermey, what do you think of Mr. Scrooge's stance on healthcare? He was quoted as saying 'if they're going to die, they'd better do it and decrease the surplus population.'"

SCROOGE: Slander!

HERMEY: I was once the indentured servant of one S. Claus, before I threw off the chains of his capitalist sweatshops. If I'm elected, I'll ensure common ownership of the means of production. The elves will run the workshop now, Santa! A vote for Hermey is a vote for in-de-pen-dence!

DONNA REED: Woof woof woof, woof woof woof woof. Woof woof woof woof woof.


ROB: I have another question for the Grinch. "What is your stance on capital punishment?"

GRINCH: I'd like to answer that question with a question: Remember in The Office when Dwight went behind Michael's back and tried to get promoted? And then Michael found out and disciplined him by making him do his laundry for a year? So, my question is: who's hotter: Pam or Karen?

HEAT MISER: The handbag girl.

GRINCH: Crap, I forgot about her. She was way hot.

DONNA REED: She was also the girl in Enchanted. And she was nominated for an Oscar for some artsy movie a couple years ago.

SCROOGE: And she was in Catch Me If You Can, with Leonardo DiCaprio.

HEAT MISER: Which leads me to my next question: why are people always making fun of Leo? He's actually a really good actor. I think that people just hate him because they think he's just a pretty face.

DONNA REED: I like George Clooney. Like, a lot.

GRINCH: Quick! Six degrees of separation: Donna Reed to George Clooney.

SCROOGE: Ooh… that's a hard one. Can we connect to Rosemary Clooney, since they're related?

GRINCH: Oh, come on. This is easy.

SCROOGE: So, we'll start with either Jimmy Stewart or Lionel Barrymore… I think they were the most famous people in It's a Wonderful Life.

DONNA REED: I was in 42 other movies, you know. And seven TV shows.

GRINCH: Got it! Jimmy Stewart (It's a Wonderful Life), was in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance with John Wayne, who was in El Dorado with James Caan, who was in The Godfather with Al Pacino, who was in Ocean's Thirteen with George Clooney.

DONNA REED: Awesome! Do any of you have his number?

ROB: Getting back to the debate, my next question is for Edward Cullen: "With test scores in America lower than many other western nations, what are you going to do about education?"

EDWARD: [You can see his perfectly sculpted muscles through his tight shirt.] Dear America, I want you to know how much I love you. Enough for forever.

DONNA REED: Oooh… maybe I'm voting for him.

HEAT MISER: Can we get back to the important issues? If I'm elected, I will abolish the BCS and implement a playoff.

SCROOGE: Oh, here we go again.

HEAT MISER: At the end of every season—but this season in particular—we realize how stupid this bowl system is. And yet we never do anything about it.

HERMEY: If I can interject something, let me just say that slaves are bought and sold only once, but the working man is bought and sold every hour of his life.

GRINCH: Who invited you? Okay guys, cage match: who would win in a fight between a ninja and a knight?

SCROOGE: Do you mean a literal cage match? Or a figurative one? Because a real cage match would go to the ninja.

EDWARD: [Edward's skin sparkles like a million diamonds.] Dear America, do you ever think that life would be easier if you weren't in love with me?

DONNA REED: Does the knight get his horse?

GRINCH: No, just his armor and his sword.

SCROOGE: What? A knight has to have his horse, or he isn't a knight.

GRINCH: The fact that you can imagine a knight with or without a horse implies that they are two separate things.

DONNA REED: This is lame. The ninja would win.

EDWARD: [His chiseled features draw you to him.] Dear America, if I could dream, it would be about you.

SCROOGE: Does anyone have any holy water? Because, seriously.

HERMEY: There you go again, oppressing the minorities.

SCROOGE: A vampire is not a minority. And does anyone have a small box? Elf sized?

I think we're running out of time.

HEAT MISER: You're so full of crap. This was only, like, five minutes long.

ROB: But I have the on/off switch for the microphones.


EDWARD: [Edward winks at you, and your legs turn to jelly.]

Monday, December 24, 2007
The Christmas Story

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Luke 2:1-20

Silent Night (c) Liz Lemon Swindle

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
AMCAS Here I Come!

Well, after many tears and chaning minds, I have finally submitted my AMCAS application.  My MCAT physics score was less than stellar (7), but verbal reasoning and biology were good (10s), and writing was okay-average (O).  Still, my advisor advised me not to apply because I wouldn't be competitive.  So I decided not to apply.  Then, a doctor friend told me that I should apply, because certainly somebody would want me.  He even offered to help me with my personal statement.  So, I decided to apply.  Then, I talked to my advisor again.  Without me even telling her that I thinking of applying, she had me thinking I was a loser that would never get in, so I decided to not apply.  Then, about 2 weeks ago, doctor friend came over and again convinced me to apply.  So, here I am.  1 day before the November 15th deadline (although I am ahead of the December 1st and 15th deadlines...).  Paying $1360 to apply to 41 medical schools (Thanks for the MasterCard dad. I promise I'll pay you back. Someday. When I'm a doctor.).  I basically applied to any school whose deadline hasn't passed.  Crazy?  Probably, but doctor told me to.  And, man...I cannot wait to see the look on my advisor's face when I ask her for a letter of recommendation for a medical school secondary application.  I should at least get that far, even if I'm not offered any interviews or places in the 2008 entering class.

In the meantime, I should probably study to retake the MCAT as soon as possible.  Like maybe March.  This time around, I know I can't use a calculator on the physics section.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

My grandma passed away on September 20.  She was 91.  I took a week off from school and went down to Panguitch, Utah, with my dad for the funeral.  I'm glad I went, because I really needed the closure.  But it was tough, as funerals usually are.

She was a pretty amazing lady.  Stubborn as anything, which must be where I get it.  She's lived the last 10 years as a widow.  I think she was really lonely, but she didn't complain about it.  She just moved along.  I learned all sorts of things and heard some great stories while I was down there. She and Grandpa bought the lot their house sits on for $250, an outrageous price back in the day, and they built their house as they got the money.  They paid cash for everything; they never borrowed money.  They had 5 sons (6 counting a stillborn baby) and 1 daughter.  She was almost 45 years old when she had my dad and his twin in 1961.  They were premature babies and weighed less than a pound.  It's a miracle they both lived.  She apologized more than once to my dad for his parents being so old. 

I'm sad I hadn't seen her for years.  But, I'm happy she isn't suffering anymore.  We'll all miss her.

Maxine Richards Crosby, 91, of Panguitch, Utah, passed away September 20, 2007, in Milford, Utah. She was born July 14, 1916, in Tropic, Utah, to Thomas E. and Blanche Ott Richards. She married Jay Mond Crosby, September 7, 1941, in San Diego, California . The marriage was solemnized in the St. George LDS Temple October 24, 1942. He preceded her in death January 5, 1998.

Maxine served on the Garfield County Hospital Board for several years and was active with the Pink Ladies. She was the Chairman of the American Cancer Society in Garfield County for over 20 years. She enjoyed serving in the DUP and Homemakers Club. Maxine was a member of the LDS Church serving in various positions. She was known and loved by her grandchildren as "Grandma Panguitch".
She is survived by her children, Richard J (Betty) Crosby, Yorba Linda, CA; Norman D. (Sheryl) Crosby, Pleasant Grove; Jaynell (Philip) Bailey, Milford; Lynn (Amy) Crosby, Billings, Mt; Layne Crosby, Panguitch; daughter-in-law, Dana Crosby, Sandy; 20 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; brother, Floyd Richards, Tropic; sisters: Helma Haas, Tropic; Elaine Henderson, St. George; Kathleen Shumway, Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

Preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jay; son, David Evan Crosby; grandsons, Aaron J. Crosby and Randy Norman Crosby; brothers and sisters:
Nile Richards, Norma Dalley, RVean Sheets,

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, September 25, 2007, at 12:00 Noon in the Panguitch 3rd LDS Ward Chapel, 200 N. 400 E. Friends may call at the ward chapel in Panguitch on Tuesday from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Burial will be in the Panguitch Cemetery. Funeral directors, Magleby Mortuary, Richfield. On line guest book

I think this song summarizes her life well.  She lived through all the seasons of life.  And I have about 5 pregnant cousins, so I guess they're spring.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Be Stong. Believe.

So it's been 6 whole years since 9/11/01.  I thought I should take the time to write about my experiences, because I still remember what this country was like on September 10, 2001, and what it became on September 12, 2001.

I was a junior in high school. I had an early morning American History class that started at 7. I really didn't like the teacher; I don't think anyone really liked her or the class. That morning, she and a (very outspoken, sometimes obnoxious) student got into an argument, and the student ended up leaving class before it was over. A little bit later during class, a woman from the office came in with a worried look on her face, and she handed the teacher a note. We all figured that it had something to do with the student who had left a few minutes earlier. The teacher read the note, looked at the class, and said "A plane crased into the World Trade Center." Um...ok. Who cares, so what, big deal. Let's get done with class, because we all want to get out of here.

Class ended at 7:52. I walked into the hallway and headed toward my next class, chemistry. I heard people talking about a plane, but I really had no clue what was going on. Planes crash. Sure, it's sad, but probably just a pilot mistake. Right? By the time I got to chemistry, the teacher already had a tv in the room and students were watching it with these shocked looks on their faces. That's when I began to understand that something was really, truly, horribly wrong. This was not a pilot was so much bigger than that. From the tv screen, the World Trade Centers were pouring smoke. There was so much smoke. I asked a friend what was going on. She told me that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center and one had hit the Pentagon. Three planes. No way is that a mistake. But we still didn't really know what was happening. But, whatever it was, it was on purpose.

My chemistry teacher told the class how he had been at home watching the initial report after the first plane hit...back when we all still thought it was a stupid pilot who somehow missed the giant towers. They were showing live feed of the crash scene when he noticed another plane flying in. He thought the plane was flying awfully low. And then it crashed into the building. He actually saw the second plane hit.

Cameras zoomed in on the buildings. We could see people standing at the windows. We could see people jumping from the windows, as if falling 100 stories was somehow safer than staying in the burning building. There were so many people who were jumping... What were they thinking about? Did they know they were going to die, so they figured they may as well die by their own hand? Or did their minds assure them that they would survive the fall. Were they thinking at all, or did they just walk off into the air? Those images will be burned on my brain until I die. People jumping from the burning, gaping holes left by the planes.

I don't think I saw the first tower collapse, but I can't remember for sure. I remember a classmate saying "I only see one tower. Where's the other one? What happened to the other one?" I guess that means I didn't see the collapse of the south tower. As we were searching the tv screen for some evidence of that missing tower, the north tower collapsed. I swear my heart stopped as I watched that massive tower crumble as though it were nothing more than a house of cards. It didn't seem to even have the strength of a tower of legos. It just dropped. And there was so much smoke.

We started hearing reports that a plane had crashed somewhere in Pennsylvania. It was headed for the White, it was headed for Camp, it was going to New was going to DC... United Airlines Flight 93 was aimed for every government building and landmark that was still standing. We were all wondering how many more hijacked planes were out there, flying around over our country. During those moments, we were all very happy to be living in Nowhere, Montana. No one remembers Montana.

International flights that were coming into the country were landing in Canada. All domestic air traffic was already grounded. I can remember my chemistry teacher making a joke. "Canada's letting all our international flights land there. Whoever's doing this will hit them next. 'Crazy America lovers'." This was complete with plane and gun sounds and actions, as he demonstrated that Canada would be the next target (by whoever was behind this) because they were letting American planes into their country. Looking back now, that was probably very inapporpriate. But we laughed. And it helped a little. We needed some kind of a break from the hell we were watching unfold live on television. His little comment eased just a little bit of the tension we were all feeling.

Second period was French class. We were supposed to be traveling to France for 3 weeks that summer. Those of us that were going had already paid our deposits. Madame assured us that this would not affect the trip at all. I couldn't believe what she was saying. There were no planes flying in the country right now. At least three planes had been hijacked and delibrately crashed into important American buildings. And United Flight 93 was totally headed for the Statue of Liberty before it crashed in Pennsylvania... And she thought the international trip wouldn't be affected? "It'll blow over. Just like Desert Storm did. That was over in 2 weeks, and we still went to France." Seriously? Desert Storm happened 5000 miles away. Desert Storm was nothing. This is us being persoanlly attacked, on our own land. We don't know who's attacking, we don't know why, we don't know what else is planned. But we'll still go to France in a few months. Because this will all blow over. Her exact words. She told us a week later that the trip was postponed for a year. I ended up not going.

The entire day we sat and stared open mouthed at the television. Not one of my teachers even attempted to teach any kind of a lesson. We all just watched. Unmoving. Unbelieving. Why is this happening? What is going to happen next? Why? We saw new images and video as the news stations received it. The pictures of people running away from collapsing towers, covered in dust and smoke and the bones of the people who were trapped. They kept showing video of people jumping, of the second plane crashing, of the towers dropping to the ground. There was this huge, smoking hole in one side of the Pentagon. Other buildings near the World Trade Center twin towers were on fire and falling down throughout the day. Rescue workers are marching into Ground Zero and not coming back out. Everybody on tv is crying. I'm crying, my classmates are crying, my teachers are crying. The firefighters are crying, the police are crying, the President is crying.

On our way into work, a friend and I joked about how we were safe, because our boss was probably in cahoots with the bad guys. We really didn't like her. Again, not very appropriate, but we needed to do something, anything, to get a break from the hell. So we made little jokes. I went to work that night and listened to WWII veterans talk about Pearl Harbor. Some of them were actually there. They rememberd the shock, the terror, the confusion. They compared and contrasted events. And I realized that this would be my Pearl Harbor. I might not remember the exact date of the Pearl Harbor attack (I know it's sometime in December), or the anniversary of D-Day (June something), but I would forever remember September 11. I wondered if it was the beginning of World War III. Or Armageddon. Would the next event be Jesus descending in his chariot of fire?

It was like walking through a nightmare. I truly understood hate that day. I had been so safe and protected in my little USA cocoon. Life is good. Bad things happen, but nothing really bad ever happens here. Oh, sure. There was Oklahoma City, and the crazy unabomber (who lived in Montana), and Columbine...but really, it's not so bad. Everybody loves America. How could they not? I didn't understand how much hate people could have. On September 11, I understood. There is someone out there who hates me more that I will ever be able to grasp. Me, personally. He hates me, and he hates my religion, and he hates my country, my ideals, my very life. I never did anything to him. I was simply born in the land of the free and the home of the brave. I breathe, so he wants me dead. How is that possible? Who can live with that much anger?

Planes were grounded for a while. That was pretty surreal. You don't realize how accustomed you are to the sound of planes droning overhead until it's gone. I think it was about a week before I heard a plane again. I was driving and I heard a sound. I honestly wasn't sure at first what it was. When I finally realized it was a plane, I rolled down my window and stuck my head out and looked up to see it. Hello plane. It was a hospital life flight. Even now when I hear a loud plane, I run outside to look at it. Why is it flying so low? Sometimes, it's a military plane and so it's just loud. Sometimes, it's a plane coming in to land at the airport. But, I hear that loud sound, and my heart speeds up, and I think about the possibility that it's happening again. They're doing it again. I watch that plane until I can tell what kind it is and where it's going. Then I can go back inside. But I never feel completely safe. I go to the airport, even the small, laughable "international" one here, and I am looking around. Is that guy a bad guy? That chick has shifty eyes. He's a little too tan to be white... Racial profiling is very bad. But sometimes you just can't help it. You try to push it back, but you compare suspicious looking people to the hijackers. It's not right, and it's not fair, but there are certain people we think will attack us again.

My secure world was completely shattered in less than one day. And maybe I deserve that. I probably do. But that doesn't mean I can't wish for things to be different. That I could return to my blissful ignorance. That this never happened. That my leaders had stopped it, since they obviously had some previous knowledge. I don't hate them for letting this happen, but I don't consider them blameless; I can't totally forgive them for ignoring the warnings.

It's been a long six years. Are we better off? Did we learn anything? I really can't say. But, we have to make sure that we never forget. The 2800 people who died deserve to be remembered every day. We owe them that much.

by Yellowcard

Think about the love inside the strength of heart
Think about the heroes saving life in the dark
Climbing higher through the fire
Time was running out

Never knowing you weren't going to be coming down alive
But you still came back for me
You were strong and you believed

Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Be strong.

Be strong.

Think about the chance I never had to say
Thank you for giving up your life that day
Never fearing, only hearing voices calling out
Let it all go, the life that you know
Just to bring them down alive

And you still came back for me
You were strong and you believed

Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Be strong.

~Again today, we take into our hearts and minds those who perished on this site one year ago, and also those who came to toil in the rubble to bring order out of chaos, to help us make sense of our despair.~

Wanna hold my wife when I get home
Wanna tell the kids they'll never know
How much I love to see them smile

Wanna make a change or two right now
Wanna live a life like you somehow
Wanna make your sacrifice worthwhile

Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Be strong.

Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Everything is gonna be alright
Be strong.

Think about the love inside the strength of heart
Think about the heroes saving life in the dark
Think about the chance I never had to say
Thank you for giving up your life that day

~The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here~

Monday, September 10, 2007
Still No Scores.....

I'm still waiting for my MCAT scores. I think they're "officially" released on Thursday or Friday, but that doesn't stop me from checking the score site every time I'm in front of a computer...They just might release them early...

Classes are starting their third week. I have a lot of psychology classes. It's difficult for me to keep them all straight. Am I in behavior management? No, wait. This is experimental. What are we doing? My first p chem lab is supposed to be today, but we'll see if he has labs set up for us to do. I'm hoping not...but that's just because I hate labs.

I'm also tutoring general biology and chemistry this year. I'm supposed to be in the library for 2 hours 2 days a week. I've been there twice so far, and I haven't had one person show up for help. There are 3 gen chem tutors and 2 bio tutors, and not one of us has had anybody to tutor in those subjects. It's not so bad, because I'm being paid $8/hour to do my homework...which isn't much, but it's enough to make me study. But, I'm sure once midterms roll around and people realize that they are stuck in those classes, it'll get busy. I can't wait...I'm wishing I hadn't taken this on, but I'd feel horrible if I tired to back out now, so I'll stick it out at least through the semester.

Monday, August 27, 2007
Stereotypes Turn Girls Off to Math, Science

It's so pathetic that women are still not equal with men! Seriously, what the frak? This is a very interesting article. As I read through these myths and realities, I tried to compare them to my education. I've added my own emphasis and commentary to the article below. Take the time to read it; it's quite interesting. We really need to do something to fix these stereotypes.

The 5 Myths About Girls and Science (according to

Myth 1: From the time they start school, most girls are less interested in science than boys are.

Reality: In elementary school about as many girls as boys have positive attitudes toward science. A recent study of fourth graders showed that 66 percent of girls and 68 percent of boys reported liking science. But something else starts happening in elementary school. By second grade, when students (both boys and girls) are asked to draw a scientist, most portray a white male in a lab coat. Any woman scientist they draw looks severe and not very happy. The persistence of the stereotypes start to turn girls off, and by eighth grade, boys are twice as interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers as girls are. The female attrition continues throughout high school, college and even the work force. Women with STEM higher education degrees are twice as likely to leave a scientific or engineering job as men with comparable STEM degrees.
  • It's pretty dang depressing that I'm more likely than a man to leave my scientific job only because I'm a woman. I wonder if that's also true for graduate school -- are women more likely to leave scientific/engineering graduate programs, too?

Myth 2: Classroom interventions that work to increase girls' interest in STEM run the risk of turning off the boys.

Reality: Actually, educators have found that interventions that work to increase girls' interest in STEM also increase such interest among the boys in the classroom. When girls are shown images of women scientists and given a greater sense of possibility about the person they could become, the boys get the message too -- "I can do this!"

  • That whole "anything you can do, I can do better" mentality.

Myth 3: Science and math teachers are no longer biased toward their male students.

Reality: In fact, biases are persistent, and teachers often interact more with boys than with girls in science and math. A teacher will often help a boy do an experiment by explaining how to do it, while when a girl asks for assistance the teacher will often simply do the experiment, leaving the girl to watch rather than do. Research shows that when teachers are deliberate about taking steps to involve the female students, everyone winds up benefiting. This may mean making sure everyone in the class is called on over the course of a particular lesson, or asking a question and waiting 10 seconds before calling on anyone. Good math and science teachers also recognize that when instruction is inquiry-based and hands-on, and students engage in problem solving as cooperative teams, both boys and girls are motivated to pursue STEM activities, education and careers.

  • This totally explains why I panic about experiments. I can't really do an experiment by myself, and if I run into problems, I expect the (usually male) professor to walk me through it step-by-step (essentially do it along with me). This is how I've been trained! I can totally remember junior high and high school science teachers (again, usually male) taking over the experiment for me. My previous education, that was supposed to be the building block for higher education, has basically set me up for failure. It takes a lot to overcome this one.

Myth 4: When girls just aren't interested in science, parents can't do much to motivate them.

Reality: Parents' support (as well as that of teachers) has been shown to be crucial to a girl's interest in science, technology, engineering and math. Making girls aware of the range of science and engineering careers available and their relevance to society works to attract more women (as well as men) to STEM careers. Parents and teachers are also in a position to tell young people what they need to do (in terms of coursework and grades) to put themselves on a path to a STEM career.

  • Thankfully, my parents have supported me. Teachers have as well (I had some great science teachers in high school), but I think they have also handicapped me to a certain extent -- espeically concerning Myth 3 above.

Myth 5: At the college level, changing the STEM curriculum runs the risk of watering down important "sink or swim" coursework.

Reality: The mentality of needing to "weed out" weaker students in college majors -- especially in the more quantitative disciplines -- disproportionately weeds out women. This is not necessarily because women are failing. Rather, women often perceive "Bs" as inadequate grades and drop out, while men with "Cs" will persist with the class. Effective mentoring and "bridge programs" that prepare students for challenging coursework can counteract this. Changing the curriculum often leads to better recruitment and retention of both women and men in STEM classrooms and majors. For example, having students work in pairs on programming in entry-level computer science and engineering courses leads to greater retention of both men and women in CSE majors. In addition, given that many students (including men) have difficulty with spatial visualization and learning, coursework in this area has helped retain both women and men in engineering schools.

  • I totally freaked out my freshman year of college when I got B's in general biology and chemistry. I stuck with the majors mostly because I'm too stubborn to quit something once I start it, but there were a few other girls in the biology program with me who switched majors. Although, at my current college, it seems that there are more girls than boys in the biology/chemistry programs. Take that, rest of country!

Sunday, August 26, 2007
Be True to Your School

Classes resume tomorrow. How unfair is it that my private college starts before the local public school district? That is such crap! But, only 9 more months, and I'll finally have my 3 BS degrees. I'll be just chock full of BS. It's so fitting.

I would love find the moron that decided to put an upper division chemistry class at 7:45 in the morning and punch him right in the eye. It was probably the stupid registrar, who I'm sure has never taken a chemistry class in her entire life. The morning is not a productive time for me (really, is it for anyone?). And I don't have Katie to fall back on this semester for notes. I know that I will oversleep and miss a few classes, so I have to buddy up to someone new to get those notes. Suck it all.

The really good news: this one semester of physical chemistry is the last class I need for the chemistry major. After this semester, no more chemistry classes! Ever! (Hallelujah!) Well, no more undergrad chemistry classes, anyway. Unless I really, really, really love physical chem, and I decide to take the spring semester just for fun. But the chances of that happening are, like, a googleplex to one. So, yeah, this is my last chemistry class. I'm a little nervous, because the college just hired a new professor to teach it. It's sometimes beneficial to be the guinea pig class, but not always. I hope I make it through alive. It's my only "hard" science class (besides my research internship) and it's my only lab class, so I should be able to devote a lot of time. Whether or not I actually spend this free time on the class is anybody's guess.

Almost done with:
Eclipse (Twilight, Book 3)
By Stephenie Meyer

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