Towards the end of 2013, Facebook highlighted some of my major events of the year. I thought it’d be interesting to reflect and comment on a sample of the pictures they showed me. I know it is super late, but as usual, medicine got in the way! I would like to offer a warning, however: the quality of this post is like a CIN grade II; the deeper you go, the more dysplastic it becomes. (i.e. it becomes crappier the more you read.) I didn’t realize that commenting on 20 photos would be so hard. It’s been way too long since the start of the new year so I just wanted to publish the post!
Hello again! It looks the promise made in my undergraduate days to write blog entries was not fulfilled. Just two entries?! That drive did not last long. (In fact, I forgot that I even had a blog set up – it was only after I tried creating a new account and saw that someone had already created a profile with my username that I realized this blog still existed.) I can think of multiple reasons why I stopped: I wrote those two entries while working at the gate in Binghamton, so I must’ve been super bored. I probably did not see the point of writing publicly in a space that will hold the attention of only a couple people, myself included. Or I may not have seen the value in writing about my feelings and reflections. I did seek an avenue for logging the happenings of my days, but for that I resorted to word processors and apps. Now, however, I feel the urge to contribute to this blog again!
While there were many reasons that I stopped writing, there are many reasons why I’d like to resume writing blog entries. For one, Alan, a classmate for whom this entry is named, maintains his own blog and updates it frequently. I enjoy reading about how other people experience life – his blog is especially intriguing since we are fighting through school together.
Another inspiration comes from Dr. Atul Gawande, a renowned surgeon and author. In his book Better, he describes a speech he gave to medical students. One of the topics was how to contribute to and propel medicine, a field that is already filled with spectacular people caring for millions of patients. Medicine is so vast that one may feel like a “white-coated cog in a machine.” Dr. Gawande lists five actions that we can take – one of them is writing. The odds are that I will not write a masterpiece that will shatter conventions. However, I hope to contribute at least slivers of ideas that will allow glimpses into medicine, as ordinary as it may be.
I also hope that writing blog entries will allow me to become more expressive and to hone my writing skills. I have always been a quiet person. I still remember my high school advisor warning me that I would not succeed as a medical student or doctor without becoming less introverted. My status as a medical student refutes that idea, but I think there is still merit in what he said. I rely on my ability to absorb and integrate information, but that skill is wasted if I am not efficient at relaying my thoughts. In this blog, I hope to provide a clear interpretation of my experiences. In addition, I have noticed that my writing ability has plummeted since graduating from college. Hopefully blogging with halt that decline.
At this point, I don’t have a clear direction of this blog in mind. But I will try to provide frequent updates of my experiences in medical education, ramblings about life and stories about fun stuff, whatever that may be.
A kind gesture can go a long way.
I forget for what product or service, but there is this commercial floating around that shows how just one exemplary deed can create a cascade of noble acts. Even though the people in the commercial were not connected in a close way, simply witnessing a moral deed made them more inclined to perform a moral deed. This process can happen subconsciously. Warm-hearted thoughts can spread drastically from just one simple action. Sounds pretty corny, right? That idea is showcased in a lot of movies, but can never be worn out. It is an elegant fact that I experienced first hand tonight.
The Binghamton University main entrance booth was once again my home for five tiresome hours. As any other night, the vehicles that passed spent a maximum of maybe ten seconds at the window. For three hours, I looked up at license plates, held up a habitual thumb, and then waved unemotionally as the patrons passed. Then along came a taxi driver.
This taxi driver was not like the other cab drivers in Binghamton, (Cheer up dudes!). He pulled over, opened the trunk, and took out a Wal-mart bag that contained a handbag and purse. The purse contained many credit cards and cash. He inquired that I help get these belongings to the rightful owner. He also refused to accept any rewards and even gave me his number for the police to call and inform him that the items were returned. This was a man who said paying for a new license was too expensive. Instead of staying anonymous and hoarding the stuff for himself, he decided to give it back.
Needless to say, I was smiling a lot more to the subsequent vehicles. Those drivers even smiled and waved back. Who knows that great deeds they will do today?
As I sit in the Binghamton University entrance booth, I can’t help but think, “This is what prison must be like.” The time is 1:38 A.M. I look outside and realize that the sky is starless and pitch black. The only light comes from the the numerous street lights hugging the roads. However, they serve little purpose. The bulbs illuminate empty streets. The roads are usually bustling, but not on this cold night. It is a very lonely evening indeed. No sign of company except the virtual voices of my friends (friend) on AIM. This is a pathetic existence; I am waiting for cars to enter. Each vehicle that arrives at the intersection up ahead is a tease. Yes, this is definitely a prison.
Who am I kidding? I have created this prison. Here I am with my laptop, which has Internet access and Katy Perry songs on repeat. A two inch thick MCAT study book sits nearby, slowly collecting dust and looking neglected. The pages are barely rippled and the cover is still glossy as it was on the day of purchase. But instead, I chose to open a blog.
What will I write? When will I write? wILL i WriTe CoRRECtly? I have no idea. It has been twenty long years, and yet I have have never kept a diary of any sort to trace my humble legacy. I guess my goal is to try and be more expressive, both in person and in writing. This blog will help me with the latter.
Right now, the name of this blog is “Just another wordpress.com weblog.” For the time being, I think that will do. Hello World!