Thursday, April 26, 2012

Medical School and the Future!

Howdy Y'all,

Today I am both excited and nervous! At 5 o'clock, I'll meet some of the people I will be spending my days and nights with for the next four years...Today is the first day of Pitt Med's Second Look.
Second Look is a program that most medical school offer to their accepted students. It provided the students with an opportunity to meet current students, faculty, and staff. It also gives the accepted students the chance to explore the area with their soon-to-be peers. Thus the nightly outings planned for us by our upperclassmen. They should be fun!

For the past 9 months, I have been working in a hospital and I've realized I have not been around people my age. What do young people do and like?! Will I understand their new slang and handshakes. I don't even know the songs to which they "jam". It seems that if I want to fit in, I'll have to update my iPod from the Top 100 of every year in the 90s.

In all seriousness, I am nervous to meet new folks, it's like I've become an adult this past year and left all the college chums behind. Maybe that's an illusion though. I could quite possibly blend right in with my new peer group without missing a beat.

Besides all the worrying, I have news to share! I will soon be half way to procuring my cello!!! Three thousand dollars (see how I wrote it all out there) is a lot of money. Tilts your head to the left now doesn't it. I worked 5 days last week to get overtime pay. It was exhausting coming in so many shifts, but I do like the check that's coming my way. I wonder if I'll be able to go back to my old paycheck... I feel like once we go up in pay it feels like an affront to our person to receive something lower. But it's directly connected to how much I am at the hospital..... where, honestly, sometimes I would rather not be. I dearly missed sleep these past 3 weeks.

Well, I've decided that if I'm to have all this fun this weekend and procure a cello swiftly through overtime, I must rest. Goodbye fair princes and princesses.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Triumphant Return

Hello Internet World,

A lot has changed in the two years since I returned from Japan.
Bands have broken up and gotten back together, celebrities have been in and out of rehab, "Winning" became a catch phrase -but I digress.
Since coming back from Japan, I have graduated from college (UPitt to be exact) with 2 majors! Chemistry with a Bioscience focus and Japanese with a certificate in Asian studies. And while I'm tooting my own horn, I'll say that I got departmental honors in Chem while graduating Magna Cum Laude. Woot.

After graduation however, I went into school withdrawal. I spent many an hour on my apartment floor in the vacuum of essays, labs, and equations. "Who, who is evaluating my performance now?" I thought in anguish, "Who?"

Now that I've graduated, and left my room, I've found that Pittsburgh has many different places to visit besides Oakland, Squirrel Hill, and the Waterfront. I also got a job!

Since July, I have been working as a Nursing Assistant on a Neurosurgery ward. You do lots of things as an NA: check patients vitals and blood sugars, bathe, walk, toilet, and feed patients, deliver mail, do extra work the nurses ask you to do, chat...
A few months after starting, I took a class in Phlebotomy (blood drawing) and Patient Care Technician training (a class to build upon my skills as an NA), where I learned dressing simple wounds, catherization, and reviewed drawing blood. Then I became a Patient Care Tech!

Finally, mounting the last rung of the Patient Service Tech ladder, I took a heart monitoring class (Basic Life Saving) in February. There I learned how to recognize heart rhythms and how to respond to them. My favorite one is Atrial Fibrillation.
Normal Heart Electrical Flow Breakdown: Electricity usually flows through the heart starting at the SA(sinoatrial) node, down through the atria (causing them to contract), to the AV(atrioventricular) node, down the middle of the ventricles, and up the Perkinje fibers which spread out the rest of the ventricles(causing them to contract). However with Atrial Fibrillation. There's multiple signals coming from different spots in the atria and many don't make it to the AV node. Finally one makes it and the signal is sent through the ventricles.
This year the song "Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO has become a chart-topping hit. Blasting through clubs from here to Timbuktu. Therefore, when I saw the unusual pattern of Atrial Fibrillation, I could not help but associate it with the iconic words "Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, yeaah". It makes sense, look it up.

Anywhoo, I've been gaining some wonderfully useful experience at the hospital. I've also applied to medical school. I got accepted into University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as well as New Jersey Medical School. Now I will sit back and wait for them to battle to the death over me. JK, but I do hope that the scholarship offers will come rolling in. ....please.
Lol, So anyhow, I'll try to start writing on here again. And I'm trying to do a Japanese word of the day so today's word is: hanasu はなす;放す
  1. to release;  to let go;  to free;  to set free;  to let loose;  to turn loose


Monday, August 9, 2010

Golden Week!

Ohh the week of gold, running down from Mt. Fuji to warm the hearts and bellies of Japan. Golden curry of course.
Ah, I jest. Although Golden Curry sounds quite delicious. Actually, Golden Week is a set of consecutive national holidays that make up about 5 days of no work or class for the people of Japan. In other words, the whole country is on vacation (more or less).I got to do a lot of wonderful things during Golden Week!! Including: sleeping! and sleeping!!!! and not leaving the house!
I also went to Nagashima Spaland!!

Two of my study abroad chums and I got pretty close to the Judo club at Nanzan and 8 of us went Mie-ken (prefecture) and rode the rides. Twas great fun! We even watched a comedy act performed by a balloon wielding dancer(?). At least that's what his shoes told
My friends, Tana and Vivi, and I learned a great game called "Iseisei". It's a little complicated at
first but once you get into it, it's a fun game. Iseisei is a guessing game where the winner is the first person out. Out of the totally number of thumbs, you have to guess how many will be put up. If you guess correctly you get to take one hand out of game. Once you get that second hand out, you win! And then, as Iam told, you cheer everyone on.

Look very closely at the picture to the right. Do you see it?

We also went into a haunted house where I proved how much of a scaredy-cat I really am. I sought refuge with a variety of T-shirt holding, hiding behind, and involuntary climbing. My friend Tana thought it would be funny to actually push me towards one of the ghouls, which
earned her many a "tomodachi ja nai yo!!" (you're not my friend!!) I must say the craziest part was when I tried to climb the smallest member of our group, who weighs considerably less than me. Needless to say, lulz were had.
Luckily, the guys like me enough to semi-protect me :)

Next on the Gooruden-uiiku train, I went to two historical cities on the Nakasendo with my research class. And my friend Corey!! We went to Tsumago and Magome! These cities were post towns where Daimyou used to stop on their way to and from Tokyou. These towns died out when the Japanese government got rid of the law requiring the Daimyou to travel to Tokyo. The source of these towns' income dried up. The townspeople had to return to living off of the land and the wood business.

Here's a super old table!!!

Sidenote: Back in the day, wood was so important that if you were caught taking bark or branches without permission they would be executed in front of the town and their families!!
O.o! Sadly, the towns fell into disrepair.
some people, noting that these towns were part of

the Japanese history and should be saved, started rebuilding and restoring these towns. Tsumago was made into a historical site. Not just one building, but the whole town! Pretty impressive ne! We also saw a never-been-used toilet made for the emperor!!
Now the town runs off of tourism. The town sold many wood products, things I never saw made of wood. Quite interesting. Now that I think back, that town was known for soba, uhh so hungry!
Here is a sign post where the where news from the Emperor was posted!

We then traveled by bus and by foot to Magome! Another town that was keep in it's old-timey ways! Except they sold chuhai in the stores. (Chuhai is a soda/juice like alcoholic beverage)The highlight of this trip was our stay in a Buddhist temple.

We ate dinner at the temple which was quite nice and watched the un-traditional Shaun of the Dead. A classmate walked into a wall behind me at a crucial moment during the movie, scaring me (literally) half under the table. And there was no explanation for the noise for some time after. Sadly,
everyone knows I'm scared easily now. We all slept in the temple and awoke the next morning for group meditation! I need to work on my balance and leg-folding abilities! And concentration...
After that we slowly made our way back to the bus. As we waited for our train back to Nagoya, I felt like I was backpacking my way across Japan, kimochi wa yokatta (it was a good feeling).

Until next time,

Next time: (rewind to Ise Jinju)


Thursday, June 17, 2010


Next we went to Yoshino. Gotta say, longest wait in traffic ever. Up and down the winding
hills, through sakura(cherry
blossoms) and plum blossom trees! It was at least scenic.
We made it to our ryokan, to which we had to climb to reach.It was a very nice
traditional place. The one thing that was significantly different
from the other ryokan that we have stayed at: there was no room
What??!! No shower you say?!?! showe
Yes, there was only the Women's bath. We had been through so much together in the last 4 months, we might as well get naked together. (^o^;) <-sweating face
So the great majority of us girls
ventured down the the outdoor onsen (hot spring) and set to being comfortable with our bodies.
We ended up singing Disney songs very loudly. We go shushed
after song 3-4. Apparently, people could hear us down the m
We had a great time cooking away in our hot water.
The next day we climbed the Sakura covered mountain. (The Yoshino mountain Sakura bloom later than those in Nagoya). We are professional mountain walkers/climbers but this mountain
beat us down. We did not find the map telling us the real distance to the top. We only found markers
p of the mountain, dashed our spirits and we quit ~4km from the top of the the next big temple on the mountain. Needless to say, mistaking
every marker for the to
But it was still quite a work out!
After our trek up the mountain, we decided to go in the opposite direction and check out the shops of the town. We got some tasty food and ice cream (there's green tea and sakura flavored ice cream in Japan, I got a
mix). We also followed a parade, which was a reenactment of the Diamyo returning from Tokyo after visiting the Emperor.
Yoshino was very nice! Check it out if you're in Japan!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fancy colors!

Check out the new design, suckas! \(^3^)/




I respect each and everyone of you, my readers.
Thank you for your continued support.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Ok, I know that this is super late, but let's pretend it's still the beginning of May and I am still living it up in Japan.So the cherry blossoms have come again this spring to Japan and the IES gang and I went to Nara and Yoshino (one of the most historically filled towns and one of the nicest Sakura viewing places in Japan).
This is a two day weekend trip so we actually hit up the big spots in Nara before heading over to our Yoshino ryokan (Japanese inn).We met up at Daiichi Fuji Hotel (the place we met up when we first got to Japan and for a lot of our trips) by Nagoya Eki (Station) in the early morning for our nice bus ride!
Our first stop was this nice temples where we had traditional tea and lunch. It was a very nice and we all had the great privilege of eating purple rice! It was all very tasty, I wish I had some now!
We then went to the famous Nara Kouen! (Nara Park)!It is the site of the largest wooden house (anywhere) and the largest indoor Buddha!
Inside the gates is a very nice layout leading up to the house, with ponds, grass, and, once again, deer! (>.<) Let's just say I don't like deer very much. Especially these pushy ones! First we enter through the gates which have their ah and om guardians. The first indicator of grandeur. Gigantic! So We make our way up to the house and It. Is. HUGE! It's crazy big!! I then enter the temple directly in front of The huge Buddha (Daibutsu= Big Buddha)! It's realllllly big and you can walk all the way around him!!!! There are guardians inside surrounding him, which are also huge. I'm surprised that such a famous place also functions as a temple as well. It's really interesting. You can buy amulets on the way out as well as stamp your "I've been all over Japan" stamp book. There was a miniature of the whole building in there which I really liked. It was really intricate and I bet it was handmade! I took a picture of my hand by a butterfly sculpture at the right side of the Daibutsu for reference if you didn't believe me! Which would be pretty to scale w/ the Daibutsu. So there you go doubters! There was a big pillar with a square hole cut out of it, that if you pass through you would get good luck. One of the older gentleman standing around suggested it to me, but knowing my hip measurements, I decided to forgo getting stuck in a wooden hole. My other friends went through though, which I'm glad about: accidentally left the house without obtaining my stamps, so I promptly returned (through the exit)and ran into my friend from Pitt, Corey!! He was living in Kobe and had suddenly decided to visit Nara Kooen with his host-parents! It was totally guuzen(coincidence)! His parents really wanted to meet me and had invited me to visit them in Kobe, but I couldn't. I was really happy that it worked out! The deer are highly loved in Japan and at the Kooen, they actually sell crackers to feed the deer. Corey's host-father bought some for us to give to the deer. But as drivers in the Northeast (Drivers in the NE dislike deer) we declined. The deer, however, were not put off by that fact that I held no food. One cheeky one snuck up on me and bit me right in the buttocks! Needless to say, I turned around in outrage ready to hit whoever had pinched my butt, only to be surprised by those huge deer eyes right looking up at me~!! So, I made a weird sound and ran behind Corey's host mom. Next: Yoshino

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Update Shimasu

So I gotta get to tellings you guys about stuff.
Liiiiiiissstt time!

Nara and Yoshino
Golden Week, Nagashima Spaland, Nakasendo
Judo Club
Last Nomikai
Return home

I will get on that!!
Sorry for the delay!!!