Sunday, April 29, 2012

A New Beginning

Hey everybody sorry for my absence in the blogging world. I checked my blogger stats and was surprise to see that everybody still check for my updates. I felt horrible for leaving everyone waiting with anticipation. I told myself to stop blogging during med school because of the course load, but I realize that I can’t stop blogging. It’s horrible to know that there’s so much going on in life, but no one to share it with. I realize how much I miss blogging and talking to all my readers that I decided to start updating again, and replying to everyone else. You guys probably wonder what happen to me or what I’m doing right now, so I’m going to give you guys an awsome summary:

Before jumping in the plane to an Island that I have no idea about, I remember eating lunch with my friends and family. Everyone has warned me about the consequences of living in an island. I receive one of the most outrageous warnings such as cannibals lurking in every corner waiting to devour tourists to acidic hurricane that can burn ashes through your skin. I didn’t take any of these warning seriously, after all they came from old Asian people trying to imitate the wise old man with the long white beard. Well I believe wisdom comes from experience not from age old philosophy or trying to act wise. I ignore all their warnings and hop onto the plane to my destination, Medical school in the island.

When I arrive to the island, I stupidly looked around to check if there were any actual cannibals, but thank god there weren't. The island was not what I expected, it looked nothing like the brochure, kinda reminded me of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Part of me was extremely frighten and kept repeating "go home, and listen to the wise man pretending to have the long white beard."  but the curious part of me screams “yay Jacky Chan Adventures.” Walking around the island was like walking in those shady allies of Bangkok. I had to pretend that I was a ninja or Jacky Chan searching for criminal masterminds behind those rusty doors in order to suppress my fears and anxiety. I was curious as to what I was getting myself into. A billion questions were spinning around my head like: what can I possibly learn in this place? Will I get kidnap and be sold as a sex slave? Are there such things as cannibals?

The wise man and my friends warn me  that knowledge and experience should be gain at known territories, like your own home. However, I was too compelled to explore beyond the little world I have in California. As time goes by, maybe two semester later, this underdeveloped island kind of grew on me. I was not afraid of the allies or the locals anymore, I walked down the streets alone and with confidence, maybe because of my trusty pepper spray. I lived in Boston before, where everyone walks around with a deadline and no one cares to stop to smile or lend a helping hand. The vagabonds were always hiding somewhere behind the busy Boston streets hoping to snag some poor ladies' purse. In the island, the locals are different, they were always eager to help and to brighten up your day. Everyone knows everyone so it's kind of difficult to get away with murder. I wasn't use to the welcoming atmosphere because of the mean streets from the east coast, but I eventually gave in to the island's charm.

As for the medical school, it became a blessing in disguise. I remember in the US, the teachers emphasize on    whether a students is born with the academic gift or not. They praise gifted students and tell regular or failing students to give up on their dreams. I guess that is why a lot of determined students from my old undergrad institute gave up on becoming a pharmacist or a dentist. It's all because of the nice little word from the school counselor that they should not waste their time. Fortunately, the teaching style in the island was completely different. We experience something called "tough love", where professors actually push you to work harder, and to keep your dreams alive. They grill you with questions that only a pH.D level candidate or an establish MD can answer. All you can do is try to logic it out and hope you get it right or close to right so you don't get humiliated in class. At first, the humiliation seems very unsettling, but at the end it helps you realize that a dream is worth fighting for. I notice that a lot of students here are eager to become physicians no matter the cause. Some have to strive harder due to academic difficulties, but they still didn't give up, and that right there deserve a million respect. Unlike the US institution where an F means failure in life, here in the island, an F means to "fight" harder for your dream.

Before I leave, I would like to share a memorable quote form my favorite book:
"Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine."
 ~The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas