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Veronica Mars

Sunday, May 17, 2009
holy crap!!!!!!!

Last Friday afternoon -- after working with dark, depressed, obnoxious, teenagers -- I went to lunch, pulled out my Blackberry, and had an email from the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.  Holy crap.

The most I could read was "We are pleased".  Then my eyes hurt.  But that was all I needed to see.

Today, I Priority mailed my letter of acceptance back to the University.  I'm going to medical school!  Squee!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009
4 and counting...

 So now I have four interviews! Utah, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Washington.  I'm super excited, but the anxiety is starting to set in.  Trying to book all my flights was a pain.  I haven't even thought about hotels, which I will for sure need in at least two of the four locations.  And rental cars! I can barely get around Billings... I'm not sure how I'll do in other cities, but I really think I need to drive myself and not rely on others or public transportation.  But it's getting expensive, too. Suck.

But I'm stoked for the interviews.  If I can nail them (which means know health policy and sell myself), I think I'll have at least one acceptance.  Hooray!!

Thursday, January 08, 2009
Viva La Vida!

It's been a stressful few weeks. Work has been enough to almost make me cry on a couple occasions. I must learn to better utilize my coping skills... But I think I might be finally moving through the crap. And there is an amazingly bright spot amid the anxiety: I have my first invitation to interview!! The med school applications were not a complete and total waste this year because I actually have an interview! AHHHHHH!!! I still can't believe it. Hopefully the invitations will start pouring in now that the holidays are over. It could actually happen... I've only received rejections from 2 schools I sent secondaries to. So the other 16 might still want me...

And Happy New Year.

Sunday, November 09, 2008
food for thought

Select quotes from Edward Murrow, American journalist. This man said some amazing things during his time. I'm continually discovering that many of his quotes are relevant to America today.

"The politician in my country seeks votes, affection and respect, in that order. With few notable exceptions, they are simply men who want to be loved. "

"The politician is trained in the art of inexactitude. His words tend to be blunt or rounded, because if they have a cutting edge they may later return to wound him."

--Edward R. Murrow--
Address at London Guildhall (19 October 1959)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I finally got my mcat scores, even though they weren't posted at 5 pm EDT on 9/23 like they said. They weren't posted until sometime the next morning. Which meant that I had nightmares all night. No joke. Worst night ever. In one dream, I scored a 12. I don't even think that's possible, but it was sure a horrible dream. I woke up crying once too, because my dream scores were so awful. Not a good night. And every time I woke up, I went to the internet on my new phone to see if they were posted, but they were never up. Not such a good thing to sleep next to a phone with instant internet access, I decided.

So anyway, I did actually get my scores finally. Physical Sciences: 10; Biological Sciences: 11; Verbal Reasoning: 11; Writing: M. Remember when I wrote I thought my writing was better this time around? Obviously the two judges who spent 30 seconds each reading my essays did not agree, and I actually dropped two scaled points on that section. Seriously, what the hell? A stinking M isn't even at the 50th percentile. No, no. It's 10.5 to 32.0 percentile. Suck. I'm hoping schools won't focus much on that part, and look closer at my personal statement, which is totally coming close to rocking. But crappy writing score notwithstanding, I'm totally amazed at my score! A 32!! I would have been ecstatic with a 30. I hardly know what to do with the 32. Even the low writing score didn't deter me from my happiness of the 32. And I can't stop thinking that wonderful number (A 32 when I'm 23? It was fate). I go back to the AAMC website at least once a day to double-check that my score hasn't changed. I'm seriously in a panic that they somehow gave me the wrong one, and the 32 is actually the score of the girl that sat behind me that graduated valadictorian in my high school class. Nah, she probably scored higher. Good for her. I love my 32.

So now I actually have a real honest-to-goodness chance of getting into med school this time! I'm working on whittling down my personal statement (300 more characters to lose), picking my schools (I think I'm at 16 right now, which will be way cheaper than the 45 I applied to last year), and contacting all my references for new letters. Amazing. I'm actually excited to apply this year, because I feel like it's not the waste of time that it sorta was last year. I can't wait to start!

Sunday, September 21, 2008
tired of waiting for yooou!

I was a lonely soul
I had nobody till I met you
But you keep-a me waiting
All of the time
What can I do?

It's your life
And you can do what you want
Do what you like
But please don't keep-a me waiting
Please don't keep-a me waiting

'Cause I'm so tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you...

Well, there are less than 2 days until I receive my 2nd set of Medical College Admissions Test scores. I pray that they are better than last year's scores. After I took the test this time, I felt great about the Physical Sciences portions (the part I didn't do well on last time). I felt better about the writing portion, too. I think I did fine on the Verbal Reasoning. Biological Sciences... I'm not so sure. I'm going to be beyond pissed if I bomb on the biology portion. I hate this waiting game. I think it's ridiculous that there is still a 4 week waiting period when 3 of the 4 sections are scored by computer as you finish them. If I do well this time, I'm go for applying. My personal statement is just about finished... I just need to cut about 1000 characters before it fits of the AMCAS application. I think my statement is better this time around, too. I just hope I get the chance to use it.

I also finally got a new job. After 3 months of applying to the same place, I interviewed and was offered a position at a psychiatric center. Hello patient experience for med school!

On Tuesday, I'm going to MSU to have dinner and see a presentation by Gemini and Apollo astronaut Frank Borman. I am so stoked! He was the commander of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the moon. So, to get me really excited to meet him, I bought When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions on iTunes and I'm on my 3rd go-round of watching it (I saw it when it was on tv this summer, and I've already watched it once on iTunes). All the stories are amazing. I'm blown away at how brave all these astronauts are. It makes me so sad to realize that our country is so used to spaceflight... that we think it is a routine, normal thing. Every shuttle launch, I am awestruck at what we are doing... that we are able to put people into space and bring them back alive (with the rare exceptions of Challenger and Columbia, whose stories I still bawl at). Such inspiring stories... makes me feel like I can do anything.

Monday, June 30, 2008
Both Sides Now

I haven't posted anything in a long, long time and saw this around, so I decided to steal it. I'll post something about life later. This was fun.

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, MP3 player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write that song name down no matter how silly it makes you look.
4. Title this blog what the answer to your last question is.
5. Take luck and have fun!

She's Got a Way
You Get Me

Love One Another

The Rising
Read My Mind

If You're Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band)

English Girls Approximately


He Walked a Mile in My Shoes

Stella's Theme

On My Feet Again
Bittersweet Symphony

I Could Not Ask for More

Pictures at an Exhibition: Tuileries

Both Sides Now

Saturday, February 02, 2008
God Be With You Till We Meet Again

God be with you till we meet again;
By his counsels guide uphold you;
With his sheep securely fold you.
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
When life's perils thick confound you,
Put his arms unfailing round you.
God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet,
Till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus' feet.
Till we meet,
Till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;
Keep love's banner floating o'er you,
Smite death's threat'ning wave before you.
God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet,
Till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus' feet.
Till we meet,
Till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

I feel so empty with President Hinckley gone. I cannot begin explaining the amazing love I had for that man, nor the great loss I feel with his death. His passing has left a hole in my soul that I believe will never again be filled. He will always be "my" prophet -- even as I love and follow the future great men that will be called -- and his memory will always have a special place in my heart. We miss you President Hinckley. We are all so grateful for your many years of service and sacrifice. God be with you till we meet again.

"His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
--Matthew 25:21--

Friday, February 01, 2008
Threads of Honor

How proud I was as each member of the flight crew took the time to check the Official Flight Kit and touch my stars and stripes. As the countdown continued, and the engines roared to life, I felt the same inadequacy which had nearly overcome me when first I rose the Capitol flagstaff. The noise and vibration were frightening, but my crewmates seemed to take it in stride, so I tried to relax and accept the rough ride.

I never knew what actually happened. There was a tremendous explosion, and it became very hot. The medallions that travelled next to me in a separate container in our locker melted. Once proud symbols themselves, they became only memories and mere lumps of metal. I feared for my own life and wondered if I, too, would become only a memory. Then the vibration ceased, and an eerie silence ensued. For an instant, I saw my crewmates as they were released from earthly bondage, standing together, outlined against the sky, and united in purpose for one last moment. Then, suddenly, they were gone.

I had the sensation that I was falling. My vision dimmed as the waters of the ocean closed over my vacuum-packed, air-tight container, and I drifted gently downward for a long time. Finally, I felt a jolt, and I came to rest.

I was in the dark for a long time. Weeks turned into months. One day, light broke through my plastic wrapping, to find me back in the preflight area at Kennedy Space Center. When I learned that I was going home again, I thought of my crewmates...and I wept.

from the book Threads of Honor: The True Story of a Boy Scout Troop, Perseverance, Triumph, & an American Flag (p. 41-42) by Gordon Ryan

December 18, 1986, the Challenger flag is returned to Troop 514 by astronaut Guy Bluford (second from right) in a formal ceremony at Falcon Air Force Base, Colorado.

Apollo 1

Challenger STS-51L

Challenger Monument at Arlington National Cemetery

Columbia STS-107

Columbia Monument at Arlington National Cemetery

Sunday, January 27, 2008
Beloved Church President, Gordon B. Hinckley, Dies at 97

President Hinckely was greatly loved and he will be sorely missed by his faithful Saints.


President Gordon B. Hinckley, who led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through twelve years of global expansion, has died at the age of 97.

President Hinckley was the 15th president in the 177-year history of the Church and had served as its president since 12 March 1995.

The Church president died at his apartment in downtown Salt Lake City at 7:00 p.m. Sunday night from causes incident to age. Members of his family were at his bedside. A successor is not expected to be formally chosen by the Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until after President Hinckley's funeral within the next few days.

President Hinckley was known, even at the age of 97, as a tireless leader who always put in a full day at the office and traveled extensively around the world to mix with Church members, now numbering 13 million in 171 nations.

His quick wit and humor, combined with an eloquent style at the pulpit, made him one of the most loved of modern Church leaders. A profoundly spiritual man, he had a great fondness for history and often peppered his sermons with stories from the Church's pioneer past.

He was a popular interview subject with journalists, appearing on 60 Minutes with Mike Wallace and on CNN's Larry King Live, as well as being quoted and featured in hundreds of newspapers and magazines over the years. During the Salt Lake Olympics of 2002, his request that the Church refrain from proselytizing visitors was credited by media with generating much of the goodwill that flowed to the Church from the international event.

In recent years, a number of major developments in the Church reflected President Hinckley's personal drive and direction. In calling for 100 temples to be in operation before the end of the year 2000, the Church president committed the Church to a massive temple-building program.

In 1999 169 years after the Church was organized by its founder, Joseph Smith the Church had 56 operating temples. Three years later that number had doubled, largely because of a smaller, highly practical temple architectural plan that delivered these sacred buildings to Church members in far-flung parts of the world. Many more Church members can now experience the sacred ceremonies that occur only in temples, including marriages for eternity and the sealing of families in eternal units.

President Hinckley was the most traveled president in the Church's history. His duties took him around the world many times to meet with Latter-day Saints in more than 60 countries. He was the first Church president to travel to Spain, where in 1996 he broke ground for a temple in Madrid; and to the African nations of Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Cape Verde, where he met with thousands of Latter-day Saints in 1998. In 2005, he traveled nearly 25,000 miles on a seven-nation, nine-day tour to Russia, South Korea, China, Taiwan, India, Kenya, and Nigeria.

At a general conference of Church members in April 2001, President Hinckley initiated the Perpetual Education Fund an ambitious program to help young members of the Church (mainly returning missionaries from developing countries) receive higher education and work-related training that they would otherwise likely never receive.

Closer to his Salt Lake City home, President Hinckley announced the construction of a new Conference Center in 1996 and dedicated it four years later. Seating 21,000 people, it is believed to be the largest religious and theater auditorium in the world and has become the hub for the Church's general conference messages to the world, broadcast in 91 languages.

Even before his term as president, President Hinckley's extensive Church service included 14 years as a counselor in the First Presidency, the highest presiding body in the government of the Church, and 20 years before that as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

President Hinckley was born 23 June 1910 in Salt Lake City, a son of Bryant Stringham and Ada Bitner Hinckley. One of his forebears, Stephen Hopkins, came to America on the Mayflower. Another, Thomas Hinckley, served as governor of the Plymouth Colony from 1680 to 1692.

President Hinckley's first job was as a newspaper carrier for the Deseret News, a Salt Lake City daily. After attending public schools in Salt Lake City, he earned a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Utah and then served two years as a full-time missionary for the Church in Great Britain. He served with distinction and ultimately was appointed as an assistant to the Church apostle who presided over all the European missions.

Upon successfully completing his missionary service in the mid-1930s, he was asked by Heber J. Grant, then president of the Church, to organize what has become the Church's Public Affairs Department.

President Hinckley began serving as a member of the Sunday School general board in 1937, two years after returning home from missionary service in Great Britain. For 20 years he directed all Church public communications. In 1951 he was named executive secretary of the General Missionary Committee, managing the entire missionary program of the Church, and served in this capacity for seven years.

On 6 April 1958, while serving as president of the East Millcreek Stake in Salt Lake City (a stake is similar to a diocese), President Hinckley was appointed as a general authority, or senior full-time leader of the Church. In this capacity he served as an assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles before being appointed to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 5 October 1961.

President Hinckley received a number of educational honors, including the Distinguished Citizen Award from Southern Utah University; the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Utah; and honorary doctorates from Westminster College, Utah State University, University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Southern Utah University, Utah Valley State College and Salt Lake Community College. The Gordon B. Hinckley Endowment for British Studies, a program focused on the arts, literature and history of the United Kingdom, was established at the University of Utah.

President Hinckley was awarded the Silver Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of America; was honored by the National Conference for Community and Justice (formerly the National Conference of Christians and Jews) for his contributions to tolerance and understanding in the world; and received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 2004, President Hinckley was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in the White House.

In March 2000 President Hinckley addressed the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He also addressed the Religion Newswriters Association and the U.S. Conference of Mayors and twice addressed the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.

President Hinckley wrote and edited several books and numerous manuals, pamphlets and scripts, including a best-selling book, Standing for Something, aimed at a general audience. In it he championed the virtues of love, honesty, morality, civility, learning, forgiveness, mercy, thrift and industry, gratitude, optimism and faith. He also testified of what he called the "guardians of virtue," namely traditional marriage and family.

President Hinckley married Marjorie Pay in the Salt Lake Temple in 1937. They have five children and 25 grandchildren. Sister Hinckley passed away 6 April 2004.

Gordon B. Hinckley, the longest-serving president of the Mormon church who presided over one of the greatest periods of expansion in its history, died Sunday, a church spokesman said. He was 97.

Hinckley, the 15th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died because of complications from age and was surrounded by his family.

"His life was a true testament of service, and he had an abiding love for others," said U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican and fellow Mormon. "His wit, wisdom, and exemplary leadership will be missed by not only members of our faith, but by people of all faiths throughout the world."

Hinckley had been diagnosed with diabetes and was hospitalized in January 2006 for the removal of a cancerous growth in his large intestine. In April 2006, he told a church conference he was in the "sunset of my life" and "totally in the hands of the Lord."

By unfailing tradition, at a church president's death, the church's most senior apostle is ordained within days on a unanimous vote of the Council of the Twelve Apostles. The most long-serving apostle now is Thomas S. Monson.

The church presidency is a lifetime position. Before Hinckley, the oldest church president was David O. McKay who was 96 when he died in 1970.

Hinckley, a grandson of Mormon pioneers, was president for nearly 13 years. He took over as president and prophet on March 12, 1995 and oversaw one of the greatest periods of expansion in church history. The number of temples worldwide more than doubled, from 49 to more than 120 and church membership grew from about 9 million to more than 12 million.

Well-traveled leader
Like his contemporary, Pope John Paul II, he became by far his church's most traveled leader in history. And the number of Mormons outside the United States surpassed that of American Mormons for the first time since the church, the most successful faith born in the United States, was founded in 1830.

Hinckley began his leadership role in 1995 by holding a rare news conference, citing growth and spreading the Mormon message as the church's main challenge heading into the 21st century.

"We are dedicated ... to teaching the gospel of peace, to the promotion of civility and mutual respect among people everywhere, to bearing witness to the living reality of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the practice of his teachings in our daily lives," Hinckley said.

Over the years, Hinckley labored long to burnish the faith's image as a world religion far removed from its peculiar and polygamous roots. Still, during his tenure the Roman Catholic Church, Southern Baptist Convention and United Methodist Church the three largest U.S. denominations each declared that Mormon doctrines depart from mainstream Christianity.

"We are not a weird people," Hinckley told Mike Wallace on "60 Minutes" in 1996.

"The more people come to know us, the better they will understand us," Hinckley said in an interview with The Associated Press in late 2005. "We're a little different. We don't smoke. We don't drink. We do things in a little different way. That's not dishonorable. I believe that's to our credit."

Church became his life's work
Hinckley's grandfather knew church founder Joseph Smith and followed Brigham Young west to the Great Salt Lake Basin. He often spoke of the Mormon heritage of pioneer sacrifice and its importance as a model for the modern church.

"I think as long as history lasts there will be an interest in the roots of this work, a very deep interest," Hinckley said in a 1994 interview with the AP.

"Because insofar as the people of the church are concerned, without a knowledge of those roots and faith in the validity of those roots, we don't have anything," he said.

In 1997, Hinckley seemed to drive that point home in his orchestration of the lavish sesquicentennial celebration of the Mormons' arrival in the Salt Lake Valley. The yearlong festivities featured a TV-friendly reenactment of the dramatic Mormon exodus from the Midwest by handcart and covered wagon.

Born June 23, 1910, in Salt Lake City, Hinckley graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in arts and planned to attend graduate school in journalism. Instead, a church mission took him to the British Isles.

Upon his return, he became executive director of the newly formed Church Radio, Publicity, and Mission Literature Committee at $60 a month. Hinckley always worked for the church, except for a brief stint during World War II as a railroad agent.

Hinckley was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie Pay Hinckley, whom he married in 1937. She died April 6, 2004.

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