Waking up in winter

♪♫♪ We got no money, but we got heart…


The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was pull on a second layer of socks with my gloved hands. I zipped up a jacket over my sweatshirt, pulled a hat on my head, and hobbled to my bathroom like a sleepy penguin (except I was probably shivering).

It’s pretty safe to say that I am not built for cold Chicago winters! Every year, as soon as it hits December, I am wrapped in as many layers as possible because I fear the biting cold so much. So far, I haven’t gotten sick yet (knock on wood), and I am doing my best to keep it that way. And of course, with all the talk of the Polar Vortex this year, I am especially bundled up from the moment I get up until it’s time to take shelter under my heaps of blankets at night. Even though I keep the heat in my room on high, I still feel cold in the morning! It might be because my room in Courtyard res hall happens to be right next to an exit, and people coming and going lets a lot of cold air in. Usually a hot cup of tea can warm me up though!

Aside from this crazy weather, I am quickly getting back into the bustle of school and work for this semester. I had the best winter break over in Japan and Taiwan by spending all my time with family and loved ones, and it wasn’t easy having to say goodbye for another unknown amount of time. I really hope I get to go back to see them all soon or they’re able to come visit me here! I kept telling them all about Chicago and how I’d love to show them around. Unfortunately, while I was there, internet was harder to come by than I anticipated, so I wasn’t able to blog regularly, but I’m glad to finally be back. I definitely want to share more about my experience and seeing my family (some who I had not seen in 5-10 years) in the coming weeks, and I’m still gathering all the pictures that were taken together. Stay tuned for some pictures of Tokyo and Taipei!

It has been a while since I last traveled, and I almost forgot how much jet lag can hit me. I was living on a pretty dysfunctional schedule for a while, and even though I tried to adjust in the few days I had before classes started, I was still sleeping at unconventional hours, usually waking up around 3 AM every morning. The temperature here is also about 50 degrees lower than it was in Taichung, so I quickly pulled out my thickest winter jacket from home to take to my room here on campus! Since I only had about one day at home before having to come back to school, I was in a harried state preparing my things for school. I had hoped to be diving smoothly into my work, but it feels like I sort of fell into the pool of work instead. This semester, I am taking (in order of increasing trepidation) Psychology 100, Russian 104, Physics 105/106, and Organic Chemistry II. The first two I am less concerned about—I have always been on my game for Russian since I love the language so much and I have taken some psychology before, even though this is my first real class in it because I have decided to switch to a Neuroscience major. I’m regretting not taking AP Psych in high school now to get out of the 100 level class, but I never expected that I might do something other than Biology or Biochemistry. I think this is the right choice, though, because looking at the course list, I find that the science classes for neuroscience fascinate me a lot more. However, I’m pretty anxious for orgo 2 and physics! I have heard some intimidating things from many friends, so I am trying to go in as prepared as possible. I already have quizzes for both classes coming up even though it feels like we are just starting to cover material. I really hope my retention from orgo 1 and high school physics doesn’t fail me. In the meantime, I’m just going to try to stay warm, set my circadian rhythm straight, and get back to the gym!


We’re gonna rattle this ghost town / This house is falling apart! ♪♫♪

(Anna Sun – Walk the Moon)

10 things you didn’t know about me as a UIC student

1. My favorite place on campus (besides my room) is the green space between Stevenson Hall and UH. During warm weather, so many students lay in the grass or play sports there. It’s such a great space to relax in between classes or after a long day. I’ve been going there since my freshman year and still find it relaxing as ever.
2. I’ve lived in Campus Housing (to be specific, Courtyard) for the past 2 1/2 years. It has been great to have a place to call my second home on campus, and I love how close I am to all of my classes. Thanks to housing, I have met some amazing people and have had such a successful time academically. Even though there are many different buildings and different building options, I have strictly been in Courtyard since freshman move-in day, and I couldn’t have picked a better place for me to live.
3. I knew I wanted to go here since i was 11 years old. When we dropped my sister off at Commons West (one of the residence halls) on move-in day, I fell in love with the campus and the idea of going to school in the city. After years of visiting my sister and growing up, I found that my opinions on what college I wanted to attend were all only about UIC. My senior year of high school, I only applied to UIC, and I did this as early as possible. Then, out of a panic and fear of rejection, I applied to one another school as a “back up plan”. When I received the admission letter from UIC, I felt as though everything was falling into place, and I was right.
4. My favorite building to have class in is Douglas Hall. I love the views from the building (and, of course, the new construction). This building gives you a great view of the rest of the buildings on campus.
5. I had never been to the Art and Architecture Building until the last week of fall semester. As I’ve said a million times, I am an English major, so this isn’t that out of the ordinary, except for the fact that this building is nearly feet away from Campus Housing buildings, so I felt that this was something I needed to explore. While I was confused once inside the building, I loved the beauty inside of it, and the staircases leading to nowhere were fairly Harry Potter-esque. I suggest everyone explores this building during their time here.
6. I can navigate BSB with ease and have never been lost. I realize that there are running jokes about the building, long-running memes, and an agreement that the building is tricky to get around. However, in 2 1/2 years, I have managed to not only find my classes, but other classmates and friends’ classrooms as well. This is  challenge I am always willing to take on.
7. I’ve been in SEL even though I am an English major. I had to fill my LAS gen ed requirement, which meant I needed to take two science courses. I signed up for Phys 112, which had to do with astronomy. I was thrilled to have this class since I wanted to be an astronomer at an early age. Every week, I needed to navigate my way through SEL to get to my lab room.
8. I have seen the sunrise from multiple locations on campus. It is absolutely breathtaking to watch the sun come up over the city and to see the light reflecting off of the buildings. Because I take on so many responsibilities, I have had far more than my fair share of all-nighters, which often wrap up with a glimpse of the city as it is engulfed in a sea of light. No matter where you are, if you have a nice view of the city/skyline, the sun rising in the morning is something you should see.
9. I have taken 18 credit hours almost every semester that I have been here, and I am tired out. It is difficult to repeatedly take so many hours as well as hold so many responsibilities within Campus Housing and the university. Because of my overloading in previous semesters, I have been able to focus on my 12 hour course load as well as make time for my obligations.
10. I couldn’t imagine myself at any other school. After falling in love with such a traditionally different university, I knew UIC was the place for me. It is so different from other campuses, and this makes it such a unique place to study and live. Every day I am here I am reminded that I made the right choice in choosing UIC, and I am more than thankful for that.

The little wins

I’m a fan of the little wins we have each day, like helping out another classmate get to their next class or getting through a chapter in a textbook. Perhaps insignificant on surface level, but each time we perform these “little” acts, I can’t help but feel good about myself and hope for the future. Even replying an email can feel fulfilling. In general, just getting work done feels awesome. It’s exhausting and probably not worth it in the long run, but that’s just our transient mind talking..

I’m listening to some old tracks ranging from the first year of college to back in junior high and it got me thinking. We might forget these “little” wins, but if it ever does arise or come back in the future, you won’t ever fully forget ‘em. It might be the music talking to me, but each time I hear a song, I always link it to the moment that resonated the most with  me at the time I heard that song (especially if it’s a song I badly needed during a dark time). Even R. Kelly’s voice brings a light to my face (popping fresh out the kitchen). I hope these artists know how much their music means to their fans and haters!

All right, what’s new with me…well besides getting killed with all my obligations, not much. So far, Polish has been doing pretty well. I’m surprised I still remember so much, but there’s still a lot to improve on like listening and responding. I get practice during class, but I’m not good at responding on the spot! Genetics is pretty fun. I am really happy I chose biological sciences as my major. (:

Anatomy and physiology II has been fun as well! We are studying the brain and special sensory systems like visual-auditory. Not a fan of the smell, but not the first time I’ve had awful fumes enter my nares. Hopefully by the time I am 90, a better treatment for cancer will be around. Research has been good but I haven’t been in for awhile. I gave a presentation on the background of my research project a few weeks ago so that was really good! It helped me understand more thoroughly my own study and how I generated this chronic wound diabetic environment. Woop woop.

Scribing has been taking a lot of time of mine that I would spend MCAT studying or studying for classes in general. We get weekly quizzes in almost every class I have and when I do a 5pm-2am shift, I’m super dead the next morning. I have Polish at 10am so it’s not TOO bad, but I always feel crappy when I come back, especially my skin.

My mom has been bugging me a lot about it and it makes me sad. I thought she’d be proud of me and more encouraging, but she and my dad are both telling me I’m crazy and going to kill myself in the end the more I work at this job. While maybe true, it’s also the only job that serves to tell me if medicine is really what I want to do in life. And here’s what I see as a scribe in the ER:

  • You’ll only eat, drink, or go to the bathroom if you let yourself. Personally, I trained myself to not do any of the above during those 9 hour shifts. And sometimes the doctors don’t either. I try to encourage them to take breaks because the work is so demanding and I want to make their lives easier…
  • You need to talk fast, type fast and move fast. There are so many sick people to attend to and they all want to be seen, and usually at the same time…and you’re just one person! Mad respect for ER doctors who make it happen.
  • Good night, I’m going to go pass out now. While it is definitely necessary that we have emergency rooms, it must be incredibly exhausting to do graveyard shifts all the time (or mixed with morning ones that totally screw things up). I see the same security guard in front of my residence hall working and the same Red Car drivers who have to stay up for 8 hours each night to make sure students are safe. And yet I still complain about things. I’m pathetic…

So, what about the actual content of the work? Did I take anything away from that? The pathology of disease? I actually think I gain more of that during research and reading papers, but these physicians are all well-kept in reading the latest research on treating diseases so it’s actually pretty cool and will probably continue to remain cool as we study and uncover human disease.

Ah. Super dead each day. I feel I work 24/7 as well as a student, researcher, scribe, blogger, tutor, web designer, organization president/leader/social committee chair etc…the list goes on and while I wish it could stop, I also wish to continue this crazy road. Maybe when I’m 50 I’ll finally take the hint from my mom that yes I am crazy and need to stop, but until that happens I’ll keep making my little wins that make me exhaustingly happy.

Back to School

Last week was the first week back to school.  It’s also beginning of my last semester of classes for my master’s degree.  I remember a couple years ago talking to my adviser and telling her how I felt like I was never going to finish.  And here I am one semester away from student teaching and less than a year away from having my master’s degree and my Early Childhood/Special Ed teaching license.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

However, the problem is now that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I am totally sensing myself check out at times, and it’s hard to focus.  Senoritis, they call it.  Good thing I have my preschool practicum this semester.  The little ones will keep me on my toes.

I look back at the person I was two years ago and I can’t believe how much I’ve changed.  My first semester I was totally clueless.  I had no idea what my teachers were talking about.  Now, I’m two years older (well, duh), I am in the Golden Key International Honor Society, I write a blog every week for UIC, I hold down multiple jobs while being in school, and when I am assigned pages and pages to read, I don’t read them just because I have to.  I read them because they are interesting and I want to learn as much as I can. I am really proud of where I am because I worked extremely hard to get here.  But I’m not done yet.

So, instead of counting down the days until this semester is over, I am going to try to embrace it because I don’t want to miss anything.  It’s not going to be easy, but isn’t that the point? I’m actually thinking about getting my PhD.  Nah, not really.  Well, maybe :).

I hope everyone has a great spring semester!

14 ways to improve academically in 2014

Welcome back!

We’re officially in the first week of school. New classes, professors, and schedules allow us a prime opportunity to start anew and excel in our courses this semester. If your fall semester was a success, you’ll be continuing with your techniques and study habits. If it didn’t exactly go that well for you, now’s your chance to start over and get those A’s. Here’s how to make that happen.

1. Get enough sleep! Countless studies have shown that getting the correct amount of hours of sleep helps you to stay focused and do better. Instead of pulling countless all-nighters this semester, maximize your available time to ensure that you are sleeping around 8 hours a night.

2. Work on your time management skills. Notice I only said to work on this. Obviously, this isn’t something that can be changed overnight, let alone within one semester. Self control in any capacity is difficult. Try to get work finished before you complete other, more exciting activities.You’ll thank yourself down the road.

3. Eat healthier. Your brain and body function much better when you give them the nutrients they need (duh!) When doing homework or studying, snack on healthy alternatives like vegetables or fruits to sharpen your mind.Chances are you’ll notice an improvement over the semester.

4. Exercise. Even if you aren’t into working out, taking a little bit of time out of the week to clear your mind and focus solely on exercising is beneficial. Working out lowers your stress level and will make you feel better about yourself.

5. Read books. Read just one book if that’s all you have time for. Having alternative reading material to textbooks and your friends’ Facebook statuses will give your mind something else to use as a form of relaxation. Plus, reading totally makes you a smarter person.

6. Make time for friends and family. Life without some type of social interaction isn’t life at all. Being with friends and family will help to make you less stressed out and will remind you of some of the most important things in life.

7. Read your textbooks. Whether you paid 5 cents for them on Amazon or $150 at the bookstore, it’s ridiculous to waste a resource that you paid for. Textbooks exist to facilitate our learning, so make sure you are reading them. They also almost always come with tons of studying tools throughout the book- use those, too!

8. Take notes unlike your usual way. I would say take notes, but I’m pretty sure every college student understands the importance of taking notes. Instead of starting another semester in the same exact way as every other one, switch things up; write your notes in a different way. Make sure they are still thorough and useful to you.

9. Write down tests and papers on a calendar (and actually look at it!) I can’t imagine life without my 4 calendars. Writing these assignments down along with appointments, important dates, and work schedules really help you keep your life on track. Instead of trying to remember everything, give that brain a rest and create a point of reference.

10. Study with a friend. Instead of studying in a group, which usually just turns into a large group of people talking to one another, pick one classmate or friend to study with. Chances are you’ll be more focused than you would be in a group setting, and you’ll get more out of the session.

11. Join an extracurricular. UIC has thousands of organizations for its students. Try to get involved in something if your schedule allows it. This will give you an outlet, help you meet other students, and sometimes even give you an opportunity to be in an organization facilitated by a professor.

12. Stay away from your bed. You should never study or do homework in or on your bed. Take it from me- it’s always trouble. Never have I ever been able to get my work done on my bed without getting distracted, tired, or overly comfortable, usually causing me to nap. Make yourself a study space somewhere, whether it’s your desk, a table, or the library.

13. Use UIC’s resources. If you need help, there are countless people willing to help you. Get that tutoring you’ve been wanting, go to the gym to clear your head, or get the counseling you’ve been putting off.

14. Have fun! I hope this is self-explanatory…

Sacrifices that we make

Happy first week of school everyone! I hope you all chose the right classes and started meeting with the right people to make this semester your best one yet! I started freaking out a bit one week before because I received an email from the Slavic department that my section of Polish 102 was being cancelled due to low enrollment, and that if I wanted to take Polish 102 I would have to take the 10am class. I have never had this sort of thing happen to me before (I’ve had it where I am planning on taking a class but then it closes up so fast that I need to pick another one…but that’s during the time everyone is scrambling to pick classes), especially just a week before classes start! Unbelievable. I was crushed. I have been waiting to take this class for the past 2 semesters now. Polish 101 was so awesome, but I had to really focus on studying for my MCAT and do well in those three science classes I took (biochemistry I, homeostasis and genetics). I was so happy to get all A’s that semester and do well on my practice MCATs leading up to the real thing, but I guess I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was (hence, I am restudying for it now).

The restudying isn’t going so well, but it’s probably because I’m not in that “oh-my-god” AHHH mode yet (oh don’t worry, it’s going to hit relatively soon). Anyway, my dilemma for this upcoming semester was if I should take Polish by moving all of my classes around (and those classes fill up fast), or take something else that will keep me full-time and engaged. I pondered other classes and I dabbled in my emotions toward each one that I read the description of. While there were some that were interesting, I already made the decision in my mind that I was going to take Polish 102 this semester and freaking kill it (um, yeah we’ll see Milie…). So, as you probably guessed, I moved all of my other classes around (thank goodness there were still sections open) and made sure it did not conflict with my schedule that was already made for scribing at Rush. This new schedule will reduce my hours at research a bit, but at the same time it increased my mini-time gaps so that I could keep tutoring at the Writing Center! The schedule I had before had no clear spaces in between classes or after classes that I was willing to use for tutoring, but this new schedule has a ton of spaces that I can easily fill up with at least an hour of tutoring! I’m so excited about my semester now.

Because this is my last semester, I am really going to strive and push myself and others around me to work to maximum potential. Not sure the clear cut steps yet, but knowing me with my Google Calendar, it’s going to happen.

How do we choose what to give up and give in to? That’s up to you to decide what is most important, whether it may be education, family, love, art or you. My thoughts is that all of the above are important, so I always say do what makes you happy, even if that means reducing time from all of them…

Dedicating your whole life to that “one thing” is a tough decision (can you tell I’m starting to allude to your future career?), and the road ahead will continue to be a long and difficult one to go. Personally, I’m convinced enough of what I want to do and be, but not that convinced it’s the only thing out there for me. Explore your options, regret some and learn a bit more about yourself (because once you figure that out, everything else will seem so much easier). :D


Also, don’t forget that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is next Monday! No classes, but I work that evening at Rush (then I have to wake up early to go to Polish 102…I hope I’m not too sleepy). Enjoy the nice weekend.

Where do I go from here?

If you read my post from last week, you know that my uncle passed away the week before.  It has probably been one of the most difficult times for my family.  After it happened, I took a couple days off from work.  I did it because I probably couldn’t handle all three boys all day.  I hadn’t been sleeping well and my patience had been wearing thin prior to his passing, so I knew I had no energy for it after.  The parents of the kids were very understanding.  I felt like I needed to do absolutely nothing.  I needed to grieve.  I needed to paint because it relaxes me.  I needed to lay on the couch.  So, I did.  The time off came and went and I found myself upon Monday dreading going back to work, but knowing I had to.

You never really get over the death of a loved one.  You just learn to live.  You learn to continue your responsibilities and obligations.  But the hurt never truly goes away.

After the boys got two extra days of winter break due to the extreme cold that hit Chicago, I couldn’t WAIT for them to go back to school.  Then I realized, “Oh man! That means I have to go back to school, too!”  Usually by the time the new semester is on the brink of beginning, I’m ready to go back.  It’s my last semester of classes at UIC and I thought I’d be ready to get on with it.  But I’m not. It could be the loss of my uncle, it could be “senioritis,” as they call it and I’m just ready to be done, or it could be a combination of both.  I just go between needing to be around my supportive family and friends, to wanting to be alone.  Where do I go from here?

My family and I are planning a “Celebration of Life” for my uncle at the end of February.  It helps to know there will be something that could give us a sense of closure.  However, it’s not for another 7 weeks.  So, in the meantime I plan to keep myself busy but also allow myself to paint, listen to music and take part in the things that make me happy.  My uncle would not want me in mourning for him, so I’m trying my hardest to think about what an amazing life he lived, how much he accomplished, and what he stood for and believed in.

John Lawrence Muellner April 26, 1948 – January 1, 2014

2013 at a glance

Even though I write here every week, I feel like I’m only ever giving you the smallest bit of information about my life. I’ve been blogging since October. The year was winding down, but much more was still in store for me in the last three months. 2013 was most definitely not the best year of my life; in fact, I would go so far as saying it was a highly unfavorable one for me. Regardless, there was still a lot of good in the year. Here’s a look at my year……

The beginning of 2013 wasn’t particularly eventful. I trucked along in my sophomore year as a first time resident assistant, learning to be both a better student and resident assistant. I finished the semester with another notification that I had made the LAS Dean’s List, making me one happy kid! I also won two awards at the Campus Housing Banquet- NRHH’s Commitment to Recognition Award (an award given to the NRHH chapter member who is most dedicated to the recognition pillar of NRHH) and Rookie of the Year (an award given to a first-year RA who has excelled.) I finished up my first year as an RA with a pocket full of tricks and lessons learned, ready to take on the challenge the coming semester. During finals week, a lifelong best friend of mine passed away. This was the absolute hardest point of my life, and I had an impossible time imagining life going on without her. Since her passing I think of her constantly, and so much reminds me of her. Because of this, I have thought so much about life in general and the purpose and significance of those given to us. Her passing is a huge part of the reason why I don’t look back on 2013 very fondly.

Much of summer 2013 was spent reminiscing about days past and visualizing my friend everywhere I looked back home. It was a quiet, often solemn summer. Luckily, I landed an incredible internship that took my mind elsewhere during the week. The internship was so fulfilling, and I loved every minute of it. I was finally able to realize that my career path is the right choice for me-such a great feeling. We spent the day at a White Sox game- a passion we share.My boyfriend and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary in first few weeks of break. In the beginning of the summer, I discovered a baby turtle in my backyard. It was far too small to take care of itself, so I spent the summer raising the hatchling. This was something I’ll never forget. It reminded me of the small miracles all around me in life. When it was time to go back to school, I passed the rapidly growing turtle on to the Chicago Herpetological Society. They plan to find the turtle a good home. A huge part of summer was watching the Blackhawks on the road to the Stanley Cup. My house is certainly a Hawks household, so we had a great time watching the games and attending the parade together. I finally got around to entering the world of Stephen King novels (I don’t know what I’ve been doing with my life…) This gave me some amazing reading material for the summer. My reading has been nearly stalled due to school since…. The end of summer brought about another terrible death. My boyfriend lost his grandma just days before his birthday. Having dated him since 2007, I had grown to become another of her grandchildren. Her passing was so difficult for me. She was the absolute sweetest and happiest person I have ever met.She was an absolute inspiration, constantly serving as a reminder of how to live life, even at 89 years old.

This fall and winter didn’t get any easier. I started my junior year, ignorantly welcoming my hardest semester yet. It was a total struggle for me to keep up with academics, my extra-curriculars, and my job, but I knew if I could get through Fall 2013, I could do just about anything. During this time, I survived my first (and it better be my last!) 8am class at UIC. This never got any easier for me as the semester went on. I attended and presented at a leadership conference-the most stressful thing I have ever done. I have successfully figured out my minors and am excelling at them. I finally entered the 21st century with a smartphone and am even almost understanding how to use it! I turned 21 years old in October and have been enjoying the perks ever since. I began blogging for IAMUIC, something I’ve wanted to do since I discovered the site my freshman year. This has been so wonderful, and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity. The following month, my boyfriend took me to see Paramore- one of the best experiences of my life. I got to see Wicked for a 3rd time. No words can accurately describe how happy this makes me. I cut 12 inches of hair off of my head over the course of the past 4 months and am never looking back. My whole world- my 11 year old dog- passed away over Thanksgiving break. I grew up with her and still feel lost without her by my side. Being at home for break has been so difficult, but I get signs that she is with us here all the time. I had the same surgery I have already had done again over winter break, and I am confident that this time will be different. My sister and mom took me along on their tradition of seeing Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert- an amazing way to close out 2013. Such an incredible experience!


Overall, I am grateful for the blessings I have been given during 2013, and I am ever-mindful of the losses I and my loved ones have endured. 2014 is sure to bring about even more changes, and I am eager to share them with you along the way.

Let’s see how much I can cram before we start class

I never thought cramming was effective for me as it was for my brother, but looks like it genetics has funneled through and proved to be helpful in these environments of chaos that come at me out of nowhere…

Okay, so maybe I put myself in this position…or maybe I was peer-pressured by society to go to college and be insane like stereotypical Asians should be because that’s what I thought I had to do. HAH! I’m totally nothing like that (yet, still, why do I feel like it?).

Bernie Mac Sarcoidosis

The allergy clinic was moved from the first floor of 1801 Taylor Street to the third floor with pulmonology this past November. I am still adjusting to the new change since I only go once a month for my allergy shots now (only second visit so far). This is my first time seeing this part of the clinic and it gave me a bittersweet feeling. I remember when I was in elementary school, I saw The Bernie Mac Show on Fox television and really liking that show! I didn't know I was so ignorant in knowing that he is from the south side of Chicago. I knew he passed away young as well, but did not know it was from this disease (sarcoidosis). I thought it was really nice this memorandum was here in the clinic. RIP.

It’s weird when the message your parents gave you all the way from kindergarten to high school is WORK HARD and STRAIGHT A’S ONLY becomes “You don’t need to work that hard and long…just be a pharmacist! All you have to do is count to 100 and you make lots of money!” I’m pretty sure there is more to it than that, but I’m also just not interested. This parallel reminds me of what it’s actually like in Asia in regards to the educational system. I took AAST 270 (Love, Sex and Marriage of Asians…quite a crazy and interesting class) and discussed how all grades/years up until college are largely the most important academically because it places you in college and determines what you can do or can’t do in the future (not like America where if you can dream it, you can do it…for the most part). And, once you get to college, you get the enjoy! Apparently college is a lot easier because you already worked so hard to get there when you were a youngster living it up in the library and isolation at home. The problem is, once you’re set, you are set! No change in careers is possible (it’s shameful, so they say). You just deal with what you got and make it work. While it sucks, it serves the community well knowing that only a certain number of people can do X, Y, Z and these people can do A, B, C so we’ll never have a shortage of X, Y, Z, A, B and C.

Thai Bowl Jade Noodles

I got to catch up with my friend Alaina after work! We went to eat at Thai Bowl and both got Jade Noodles. I got mine with chicken and she got hers with beef. Thai Bowl is seriously the best Thai food on this planet (okay, well maybe if I went to Thailand I could actually confirm it). SO DANG GOOD. ALL THE TIME! Love.

I was excited about this whole Obamacare thing, but it sure is going to flop if people take on this insurance and then their PCP doesn’t accept it. And, lots of people in medical school don’t go into primary care. They want to be psychiatrists, neurologists, cardiologists, dermatologists, radiologists, anesthesiologists…so many specialties! To fill the gap, there are NP’s and PA’s…but you’re still going to need the MD around. Don’t know how the system became this way, but I also think it’s odd to go from this doctor to this other doctor and then back to my PCP here and there for things that the other doctors can’t treat. Realistically though, the PCP can’t do everything…and for everyone…that’s insane. They’d never sleep! Or eat!

Working in the ER, I have come to see the physicians as emergency PCP’s. There are many things that people come in for that could be healed in a matter of a few days if they just waited or took over the counter medication. And there are some that definitely need to be admitted or watched over, but the majority I’d say need a primary care provider and to make appointments with them! The cost to go to the emergency room each time is way too great. I’m so thankful that I can get appointments at the Family Medicine Center at UIC near my residence hall. It’s amazing! I call the day of sometimes and get an appointment on that day. They always try to do their best to see you, and I don’t even have to pay because of Campus Care insurance. Ah, thank goodness for insurance.

Snow Fall Blur

I was taking the Red Car after I got out at work around 3am and there was so much snow outside! It was really pretty, although deadly...can't believe we've had such strikingly low temperatures this week! I hope it gets better once everyone is back to school on Jan 13. I know it's blurry, but you can make out UH and the nearby trees. (:

Anyway, sorry for the confusion going from cramming to the education system in Asia to Obamacare. I’ll be honest…I have no idea how my brain works (hello neuroscientists…don’t steal my brain please), but however it does I am blessed and happy to have one! To put it to good use, I’ll be sure to exercise as many parts of it I can stimulate with learning a gazillion things at once. While on the way, I’ll probably learn 2x gazillion things about myself that I could not even imagine.


  • Research – I’ve been qPCR-ing like a madwoman. Call me qPCR Queen.
  • Scribing – Worked two holidays already. My eyes are frying up from staring at the screen for 9 hours straight. PHEW, THAT’S OKAY BECAUSE I LOVE THE EXPERIENCE.
  • Blogging – Dear readers, I cannot thank you enough for reading my posts. I can’t believe I have been doing this since the summer before my sophomore year! Please continue to follow me until I am deceased. Thank you.
  • Housing – Even though it was crazy expensive to continue living with housing, I am very happy that I did. I have also been working on the website and coming up with new ideas before I graduate and leave…so sad.
  • MCAT-ing – UGH why is it still not happening. Someone needs to kick this into gear for me because I am having so much trouble!
  • Club stuff – Go away. :( I’m tired. Okay okay fine I’ll get up…
  • Other things on my mind – just occupying space! -__-

Welcome to Spring 2014 UIC! Keep using your brain and listen to your intuition (because that’s actually your brain talking to you).

Rest In Peace, Uncle Larry

Last week, at the start of the new year, I lost my uncle to liver disease. He fought until the end as hard as he could.  His spirit was in it but his body just gave out.

He was an actor, director, musician, and a decorated war veteran.  But above all, he was an amazing father, husband, son, brother, uncle and cousin.  He was a huge influence on my life and encouraged me to explore my passions.

Sitting here, stricken with grief, I wonder what he’s doing right now in heaven.  He was an extremely talented human being, always entertaining, always making people laugh. I’d like to think he is up there cracking jokes.

After hearing the news, countless people began sharing their memories of him with us on Facebook.  It was amazing seeing how many people’s lives he touched.

Even though my heart is completely broken, I am trying to remember him when he was vibrant, healthy, and full of life.  I loved him so much and he was so incredibly important to me.

I will never forget him. Rest in peace Uncle Lar.

He is survived by my Aunt Maggie and my cousin Zoe.

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