A Fresh Perspective on Life

Today My brother Vicky came, and gave me gifts, from himself and Dawn, Cookie Monster Cupcakes and a brand new laptop computer. A Dell Laptop Computer Intel Celeron 1007U.

I was blown away.

This is my first post using this new laptop device and it feels amazing. Granted, the feel of the keyboard and some features are different, so I’ll have to get accustomed to it, but this feels fantastic!

When I asked, what was the occasion, one was that they won’t be here for my birthday coming up, and the other was because I did well enough on my MCAT to apply.

This new laptop comes with Windows 8 and it’s full of so much potential. I can foresee myself doing all sorts of interesting things in the future with this. I’d like to learn how to code HTML, I can read books and Mangas, like I always wanted. It’s a bit overwhelming, because a lot of these things, I would like to do over time, but now with this new laptop, I can do all sorts of things, even things I couldn’t do before, it’s just practically endless!

But, what do I do with my old one? I’m a sentimental man, if nothing else, and my previous laptop was a gift from my late-father, I don’t want to get rid of it, for any reason, but to sit there with 2 laptops is being greedy, is it not? Logically, I can obviously do LOTS more things with my new laptop than with the old one, due to the latter’s experience of being in the ringer I call “LSU”. It’s pretty slow, the battery doesn’t charge anymore and it’s seen a LOT of information. But I cannot see myself really parting with it, there’s just so many things between this laptop and myself, it’s seen me start a great many things, this journal being one of them. Not to mention that no matter how long it’s been, since I’ve used it, the familiarity will always remain. I can type and move faster than even the computer can recognize, but that might be because it’s a bit slower now, heh heh.

I still don’t know. There’s really nothing on my previous laptop that I cannot put on my new laptop, maybe the NF and ThinkGeek stickers on the lid, but that’s roughly it. Yet, it’s going to take some convincing to really let my old laptop go. Gah, This is one reason why I only try to live with so little, because if I allow myself to collect things, for any reason even remotely recreational, I’ll wind up on one of those Hoarders shows, Heh, it’s a good thing I don’t have any income at the moment, otherwise all my money would be gone.

But at this moment, I have a new laptop, so I’m going to enjoy it and everything it comes with, until my Pterygium starts acting up, and I’ll have to rest my eyes from staring at such a marvelously smooth screen.

This is going to be Fun!

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These Frequent Dark Days

Yesterday, I went to my Uncle’s funeral, I saw his picture, and now I have a face to put to his name, as it turns out it was someone I recognized after all.

There was a Mass in his honor, and we all went to my cousin’s house for food and to catch up with relatives, at the end, they showed a 13-minute movie and last words and memories for him. It was interesting seeing and hearing about a man I never got the chance to know personally. The tears shed by the family and friends spoke untold volumes of memories, respect, and love, all of which, I’ve never seen before, or at least not from him.

But it was really nice hearing these stories filling in the empty spaces I have about the man. I’m glad to see that the silhouette I have in my mind, is getting fuller and fuller of tales about a man who loved to sing, loved his family, loved going out of his way for others. The funny nicknames he had, the songs he loved to sing, the wise words he told to others to help guide them, this is a man I wished I had known personally.

This is my second funeral in a span of 3 years.

There’s a fine print that comes with being born as one of the youngest member of the family: Dark Days Lie Ahead.

I’m going to see the deaths of MANY people within my own family, whether it was natural or not, expected or not, hopefully all older than me, because nothing brings pain to someone than seeing someone else younger pass away, that’s assuming I don’t die in advance, but that’s besides the point.

I’m curious as to wondering how all of these events and future events will affect me, will I grow colder in the light of constant deaths? Will I push others away for fear of having pain enter my heart when they leave? or will I develop a sense of being able to let go when I get attached to people?

That last one is what I think I’ve already developed quite a bit.

Is it strange that I’m able to seemingly to have a social Out of sight, out of mind take on my friends unless there’s a situation that calls them to be on my mind after we’ve part ways. But when thinking about other people, I don’t ever see myself thinking, “You know, it’s been a long time, I should talk to this person again.” My conversations with people don’t seem to be affected with time, I remember talking to my little sister only to find that several events have passed with several people when the last thing I remember was that these were people she barely knew. I was shocked, Me:”Wait, I thought you didn’t like Guy Y!” Her:”Oh yeah, I didn’t at first but we got along now.” Me:”How long ago was this?”… And so on.

I’m only concerned that when a girl asks me can I live without her, I’m going to be an idiot and say, “Well of course I could, I lived before I knew you and so on, there’s no evidence that I still cannot do the same even when you’re gone.” Heh, see how romantic I can be?

It’s strange to not feel attachment like the ones I would hear about from friends, I mean it’s not like I treat people terribly or simply don’t care about them, it’s difficult to explain. I feel independant. I know there are ties I have to family and friends, but in terms of my life being attached to people, I feel like I can keep going regardless of who’s with me or whether or not they’re there. My morals and beliefs are simply my own, I’m subject to changes and slight alterations, but I don’t think there’d be anyone who can come by and completely change my entire perspective on life. I’m bound to make mistakes, and learn from them, but I’m aware of that, and am willing to adjust to whatever situation that comes to it, which is probably why I feel this way. Also being the youngest, I’m aware that I have a deep seeded desire to go out and make a name for myself, breaking free from the title “Baby of the family” and other such degrading names.

It wouldn’t be the first time someone in my position has done such a thing. Maybe I’m preparing myself for all of the times I will stand alone, I’m almost certain that I’m going to face a LOT of things on my own despite my family, and friends who offer me their support. This experience with the MCAT felt like a foretelling of what lies ahead in my life. I’ll always have people who have my back, and I’m truly grateful for that, yet, there will always be a gap between what I know is troubling me and them seeing me troubled, so their abilities to help me are always limited, if not applicable at all. I sound like a real jerk for saying that, but sadly enough, it’s going to be the truth, heh, it’s the truth right now, actually.

But I guess, that’s my problem. I should see this as a sign that I need to explain my situation better when someone asks me what’s bothering me. I mean, it’s not their fault that they don’t understand what’s going on in my world. Hmm… Guess that means that my feeling independent has it’s downsides, I would have to deal with this so that those who want to help me can help me, if only by listening.

Hmm… So I guess we’ll see how in the darkness of these future days, my true character will be revealed.

It’s Time…

I got my results for my MCAT back… And it’s 25!

I’ve nearly doubled my score, and that’s a good sign. Progress is always a good thing to see.

So then, now comes the fated hour where I will start my application for Medical school. Heh, I know I’ll be refused by a LOT of schools, they have various process and formulas that will weed out MANY students. but there’s always hope that I can get in.

Hope. The last thing anyone should lose.

I know I can get in, I have to just expand my search, I just need to keep an open mind about where I can go and what I need to do. I mean, when thought about logically, thousands of people with worse situations than my own have been accepted, and thousands of people with much better qualifications than my own have been rejected. It’s both discouraging and inspiring at the same time!

I have a few schools in mind already, so I’ll start my application as soon as I have everything set, and then we’ll see where I wind up. I’ll be both excited and freaking out at the same time as I go through important points in the process.

Now it is time to see what I can do. It’s time for me to see if I’m worthy of the Trails of the Doctor! Or rather, if I’m even worthy of getting in!

Just around the Corner

It’s almost been 30 days since I took the MCAT again, and I’ve gotta say that I’m a bit stressed as that email will come. I wasn’t confident leaving the place, despite my best efforts, and I felt true defeat the first time around, needless to say, I don’t want to feel it again, or in this case, it’d be amplified because it’s the second time, and I took time and money to prepare for this.

I know that my fate is in God’s Hands, and I’ve no doubt that whatever it says on that email, I can always adapt and adjust my life to whatever situations it’s going to call for. But still… I won’t really have much peace of mind until it comes.

And everyone is being supportive about this! Ha ha ha, oh man, I’m glad they don’t see how much their support is adding to this stress. I’d feel bad if they knew… Come to think of it, I think I’ve told them, at least not directly how much their support would kill me if I didn’t do well this time.

Sigh… I can’t let these fears get the better of me. There’s too many things for me to do, I still need to volunteer and get that final Letter of Rec, I’m going to participate with the Knights of Columbus more, thus increasing my volunteering hours and experience, Josue and Norm are each going on various trips to different places, so I have to prepare for what that entails, mainly, doing more things than usual.

But, it still remains in the back of my mind… Just right around the corner! It’s there, the score that I’ve been both anticipating and dreading. I don’t know what’s going to happen! Geez, for something that’s only 5-7 hours, it sure has a pretty unfair hold over the rest of my future!

Well, I guess ranting about it, isn’t going to do anything… Well, it makes me feel a bit better… Monday, man, that’s in 2 days…

Well, I’ve never been one to back down from the future, might as well face it head on.

Facing the Beast once again

Thursday, January 24th at 8AM

I flew to San Francisco on the previous Monday, to get used to my new environment, and to do my final preparations for the MCAT, the monster of a test that I faced before, and found only defeat in it’s wake.

Now after the MCAT Prep course I was ready to face it again, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday found me in either my hotel room or in the Public Library studying, taking practice tests, and getting used to the format of the test, leaving it only to find a place to eat, but studying none the less.

Then Thursday came, I was ready, I woke up on time, grabbed my essentials and walked out the door, being completely terrible with directions, I found myself walking away from the location of the Cable car for roughly 10 minutes, so I almost ran back in the opposite direction to try to catch up. Luckily I made it with time to spare, other than being a little sweaty, I was fine and calm. I walked in there knowing full well that the MCAT Prep course teachings have left me in a far better state than before, I wasn’t just walking in blind like before, I felt Ready.

I left around 11:30AM, only taking 1 of the optional breaks, but when I walked out of there, I was full of dread, stressed, something went wrong, I felt it, I had no idea how I did, my head was hanging somewhat low leaving the tall buildings, I didn’t even feel the relief that I was done until much later on in the day. I heaved heavy sighs and simply couldn’t shake off the depressed feeling from my mind.

So now looking back, I can still feel it, that lingering feel of doubt, it’s not a complete “I know I failed” but it’s not “I performed marvelously” either. To be quite honest, I don’t know what it is. Yet, if anything, I would call it most likely a… Humbling feeling.

Humbling… that’s as close a label as I’m going to get for this feeling. I am humbled by the MCAT.

Calls from my Mother and my Sister both included the fact that if I did not performed well this time, then it was God’s plan that I did not, He needs me elsewhere and that’s just it. Being informed of that, helped me deal with the humbling feeling, but some part of it still remains. It’s not completely a bad feeling, but it’s not a happy one either. I just feel… I don’t know.

But I’m remembering how I acted when taking the first MCAT, I was uplifted, prideful even, I made a really big deal out of it, told everyone who’d listen that I was taking the MCAT and joke around about it, and then I felt a severe blow from reality and walked away defeated. This time, I hardly told anyone save for family and some friends, I guess my defeat left my tongue in check and I didn’t elaborate on it at all, but they made a big deal out of it, they came to me concerned about how I did and how I felt, and I would respond in roughly the same form to all of them.

Heh, on the one hand, this is a sign that I’m truly supported by people near and far, on the other, with all their support, it would kill me to disappoint them! Man, there’s just no winning with my mentality…

The Beast has really helped me, in more than one way, that’s for certain. My eyes and views are now different than the first time  I took it, one could even dare to say, I’ve matured a bit, heh heh…

But, whatever happens, I must be ready for it, whether or not I did well, I must be prepared for the actions needed to be done, plans and back-ups for each scenario. Man, I really hope I did well enough to apply to medical school with, I just need a solid score; a chance, that’s all I need, just a chance to get in there and show them what I’m made of!

Well pondering over it now, isn’t going to do anything except make me lose more sleep. I’ve still got 23 days left before I can find out how I did. Well… 22 days now…

“It’s Not About How Fast You Can Get Them Wrong”

This was a quote from my Verbal Reasoning professor. It stuck with me when I first started my MCAT studies. It made me think about all of the times I’ve made a decision without taking all the time I had at my disposal.

During the MCAT, one is bombarded with questions of varying degrees of difficulty on no particular order, and each question despite the level of difficulty is worth the same amount of points.

In my case, I’ve always been an unusually fast test taker, often taking a fraction of the amount of time given to complete whatever exam I’m taking, not really sure why my mind speeds up in such a manner but I’m stuck with it. And now I have to make sure my mind at a quickened pace does not cause me to attempt to blow through these simple questions where they ask one thing in an abstract manner

But taking this to a more broad spectrum, I’m curious as to how many decisions one makes in his life, without using all the time given to him to make it with. Like the MCAT questions, each decision made is worth the same as any other, despite the fact that each decision can vary from the most difficult decision ever made to the easiest.

But one thing is for certain, every decision has some degree of right and wrong choices, it’s just according to whatever the person believes in, who is making said decision. So ultimately, it’s at the end of it all do we find out whether out not we made the right choice or the wrong one, but one thing is for certain, Life isn’t about how fast you can make a lot of wrong choices, but about how many of those choices we the right ones.

Mentor

There are, I’ve learned, 2 ways to learn something:

  1. Learn it by yourself
  2. Have someone teach it to you

I’ve learned, in preparation with a lot of things, one needs to have a combination of both. For a lot of people, having a teacher is probably the best way to learn. A teacher has been where you are currently, so they already have been through some of the obstacles you have faced, and can help you find the ways they’ve discovered in overcoming them.

Months ago, I thought I could handle the monster that is the MCAT, while studying on my own, however, that proved futile as with the resulting score. So when in the midst of dusting myself off and starting back as Square One, I have to think of what I did wrong and how I can improve on my next attempt. So, when just trying to teach myself didn’t work, that means that I have to try a different approach: Someone else has to teach me.

A teacher, a mentor, a Sensei… Well maybe not that, but someone who has authority, if not mastered the subject, and can show me how to walk the path in terms of successfully utilizing the knowledge to my advantage, especially in a test as unique and difficult as this.

It’s interesting to be a student, it’s a humbling experience, because you’re listening to someone who (should, sometimes not always) knows what they’re talking about. But it’s invigorating, because your mind, or at least mine does, is creative in trying to find new paths, and the shortest, creative path to find the right answers, and this always satisfies my curiosity for how the mind works in random situations.

But all in all, to actually learn something, one needs a balance of both, Teacher-based and self-learning in order to truly master a subject, the teacher introduces the subject and the information that must be learned, however the integration into memory is solely dependent on the mind of the One.

It can be difficult though, there are just some things that will not stay in the mind, or will not translate perfectly into the mind, and that’s particular to the individual, but I believe that everyone with enough practice can master any subject, from Biology to Electronics to Philosophy to Poetry. All it takes is a good teacher, whether it’s you or someone else.

Yes, Sensei?