A lowly undergraduate climbing toward the light.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

On moderate lifestyle change

The secret to life is apparently moderate lifestyle change. If you have any problem, any problem at all and live the United States, it's because you're living incorrectly.

What they say:
Have eczema? Change your lifestyle you itchy bastard.
Obese? Change your lifestyle you fat bastard.
Diabetic? Change your lifestyle you...sugary or
Unedcuated? Change your lifestyle you dumb bastard.
Greedy? Nothing wrong with that.

I could go on. These cure-all books admonishing us for becoming one way or the other, or try everything can give some of us headaches. Not to worry, headaches can be eased out with you know what.

I suppose they are not such a bad thing, because sometimes these moderate lifestyle changes actually work for people. And living with any sort of problem is difficult. We're the society that tries to treat everything in the world, and I like it more than I hate it. It means we're striving to relieve almost everyone of any type of pain, pain which makes us cry, itch, and hate life. In this sea of happiness that we've created, we see a need to bring up those who are not feeling the enthusiasm endowed to us.

We care about you manboy with eczema who writes a blog to simultaneosuly avoid crushing amounts of schoolwork and relieve stress.

This may be a form of procrastination but it's a healthy moderate lifestyle change if only for a few minutes.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Midst of a situation


It's already October. School has been back in full force for six weeks and a lightened load has opened up many new dilemmas. Instead of being so busy that I madly rush to finish every piece of work, I now have time to ponder each assignment, with all of my tender love and care. It really is like it's freshman year again. I am doing extremely well in school, but I do not like the sense of accomplishment that it gives me anymore.

I suppose what I am saying is currently, getting an A does not hold a candle to receiving a paycheck. I hope that this is not because I am a greedy person, but because I am not doing what I like to do. My major is great and a wonderful mind-expanding tool and all, but having time to think about it really makes me want to do other things, like watch movies, or read The Economist.

It is that dilemma which pesters old people. What percantage of humanity is doing what they actually want do to?

Monday, August 28, 2006


In a sense, being in college is all about freedom. There is no point in time in anyone's life where anything is as variably as important. Sure, you read the New York Times, and see all of the insanely prestiguous couples getting married, and make a mental note to yourself saying this is why you're making an effort, so that you have a shot at getting your nuptial intents published. But everyone gets a college degree. Everyone. -- Okay, maybe that's not true.

I come from Montgomery County, Maryland where this is true. You've failed if you have not graduated from a four-year school and done something with yourself. Life is just too simple otherwise. You go to a great public high school and have to do something with that.

I love this and I hate this. Somedays I just want to kick back and do absolutely nothing. And it's not like I don't. I have fun, I'm not claiming to be el niƱo perfecto. But I do want to not have to justify that. I want to blissfully be able to shut down at anytime. I want to be able to enjoy looking and feeling good. Enjoy it in every sense that the word enjoy can provide. I know that I can, but my conditioned mind won't let me. I've gotten this far.

I feel that this is an intense ramble. But I've calculated out that I only have 50-60 good years left. --If I am lucky I will die sometime in my 80's in the 2060's. It's really not at as far away as it seems. So here I am trying to record every single word that I can, and when I'm older, look back at what my thoughts were, and how life was different.

College was fun. College was when none of your friends were married, life was boundless and if you wanted to live, you could really live.

I believe that this is me telling me to live. Or in more vulgar (testosteronal) terminology, stop being such a pussy.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


My, how 24 times 6 hours pass by. But I've found a chunk of time to write you guys. I've been working real hard on my research over the past week. I've been doing a lot of hormone extractions and isotope experiments. These entail me sitting down and mixing chemicals and then analyzing them on machines whose cost exceeds the amount of money that has passed through my hands in my lifetime.

The thing is it's paid off! My summer was not a waste! Now I can return home in celebration.

So what I've done is taken a weekend trip down to Chicago, which like Minneapolis-St. Paul, is heaven in it's own right. And I think that I've decided I would really enjoy going to medical school in an urban setting, by going to places like NYC, Minneapolis for the last 6 weeks and now here, my suspicions about what I enjoy have turned into reality.

I finally got to go inside the damn Sears Tower, still the tallest building in North America. It was worth it. It's probably worth at least two trips, One at day, and one at night. It really is an incredible view. Today, with a buddy from my Mexico trip, I'm planning on going to Millenium Park, which is one either of Frank Gehry's notable achievements, or one of his notable monstrosities, depending on your point of view. And we're also going down to Navy Pier. Have a good day!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Yellow bird on the tree, you better fly

One of the millions of projects that I have before school starts up again is to begin to build my family tree. My family has never been really big on family. The most contact that I've had with my maternal cousins are the sporadic Christmas cards chronicling new births and extremely big events that occur in the lifetime. I don't know the name of some of my father's sisters, which is shameful and just beyond pathetic if you ask me.

I forsee this being a difficult project, but difficult in the best way. It will force me to connect with family members with whom I've never spoken a word to, learn a bit about them, maybe even get to see pictures of what they look like. Hell, if everything goes smoothly, maybe I can assert some kind of inverse patriarchal command and put together some kind of family reunion in Louisiana.

Even though my knowledge of the paternal side is unforgivably shallow, I believe that that part of the family tree will be easiest to fill My father is from Lagos, Nigeria, thus my last name. The history should be less foggy as I pave through it.

I'm stirring up some strange thoughts. Should question my father's reasons for not attempting to teach me of the members of his family? Is my father afraid to tell me? Could he possibly believe that I wouldn't be interested? This is a big issue that we haven't discussed, and one of the benefits that I see this project providing. Or is it all my fault, because I didn't ask as I grew up? He and my mother are kind of loners when it comes to family, so I suppose it's to be expected. However, my mom has done a better job at educating me about my relatives, 98% of the crumbs of information that I know comes from my mother. But I want to know who's around.

Anyway, my mother is from Missouri. And my grandmother is from Louisiana. And my grandmother's grandmother was a slave. I've been praying that there were at least some kind of records kept, and praying even harder that they still exist in some capacity. It should be interesting as I try to unravel the mystery of my maternal side. I think my maternal grandmother is going to be my most valuable source of information. It'll be a good bonding experience.

I think one of saddest things about life is that we're so locked into our own time periods -- everything is wiped away unless an effort is made to document it. I feel lucky that we have the tools to try to uncover the past, but as a half-african, We have short memories. I can't remember everything that happened two days ago. Will I be remembered fifty years after my death?

So right now, I am not going to think about that, and try to revive the memories of my ancestors so that I will be able to teach my children where they come from.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Twenty-five percent

Hee hee hee. So I finished the AMCAS application the other day. For all of those uninitiated in medical school applications, AMCAS stands for the American Medical College Application Service. Most of the 120+ schools in the United States use this service, and it's a way to serve the blanket. I've been complaining about it somewhat, but it's good to get this thing in. Now I just have to wait for the AMCAS verifiers to make sure what I put in my application is true.

I did my best to avoid any lies. I applied to around 18 schools, which is a lot (I believe the average is 12-15). It's also quite expensive, since I also have to pay each school that likes me for their secondary application besides the $700 I just laid down to send in my AMCAS application. So for a little bit (say 30 years), I won't be able to get anything new. But perhaps I will begin to total the cost up so I can begin worrying about my future.

To date:
Kaplan MCAT course: $1500
MCAT: $200
AMCAS: $730.00
North Atlantic School 1 Secondary Application: $100
North Atlantic School 2 Secondary Application: $75
Mid-Atlantic School 1 Application: $100

And this is just twenty-five percent of the way there. I anticipate about $1400 in further costs with applications, and I'm thinking $2500 more then with schools that give me interviews. Of course, this money is nothing to what some kids may pay for tuition and room & board (or gasoline). And this is nothing compared to what I will be paying for medical school, I seriously got light-headed when I looked at one school's estimates of tuition plus living expenses.

I suppose the purpose of this post is to tell anyone who is thinking about becoming a doctor, you had better be serious, and you had better be seriously prepared to pay for it.

No school has said "OTHAN, YOU'RE IN. CONGRATULATIONS! "No school has even said, "Hey Othan, come talk to us for a bit. This is still a competitive process, but you have a better shot." At this stage I'm just waving outside of the their window, hoping that they'll see me, and let me in.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

She's capital

Last week, Natalie sent me a link to the The Hill's 50 most beautiful people on Capitol Hill. Let's just thank Flying Spaghetti Monster for digital cameras.

I was tempted to send an angry letter demanding the segregation of males and females to that my lustful gaze could continue down each page uninterrupted. Is this how they do it in People?

So it's not that kind of newspaper. Some of these people are attractive yes, but it is less of a "most beautiful" article then it is an encomium to workaholics who thanklessly slave away in the offices of representives and senators, giving them the ability to serve their constituency with ease that we've all seen on West Wing.

"Hey indentured intern, type up a thirty-four page memo on the history of the evolution of sea otters. Then summarize it for me and while you're doing that, get me a grande Mocha with whip. Where's that speech you were supposed to be drafting? Never mind, I have to vote against gay marriage now."

In my reworked version of the 50 most beautiful people, Kimberly Hunter, the twenty-three year old assistant press secretary of the DNC is the winner. It's mostly because she is from Alabama and claims that she lost her southern accent. I find the southern accent enormously charming, and I would do everything in my power to make sure that she got it back. I'm serious y'all. Kimberly, call me.