Sunday, May 13, 2012

Journal on my bookshelf.

Rice's 99th Commencement was yesterday and I feel like I'm closing a chapter of my life here. My last official day at work is coming up, my birthday, my trip to Korea, the big move to the northeast (leaving the south), dental school...

I think now's a good moment to make the blog transition.

Abandoned blogs are a little sad but think of this xoxo blog as a journal on my bookshelf. I'll be (hopefully) keep writing on the D is for Dentist blog throughout dental school. I'm thinking about focusing more so on my everyday life as a dental student & writing about issues that are relevant to my career.

Read about Rice's 99th Commencement over at my new blog.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Run. You're meant to do it hours.

Daniel Lieberman and Dennis Bramble in 2004 found that the human body is designed to optimize long-distance running. Homo sapiens are not meant to outrun the deers and mammoths- they are meant to outlast them. Humans can cool down by sweating. The Achilles heel acts as a spring. This made the cover of Nature.

So running a marathon (or the desire to do so) is biologically natural.

I think I need to work on the psychological part of running. Here's my thought process when I am running: This is hard. I really want to stop. I could stop for twenty seconds. Okay, whew, that feels better. Why am I even doing this? I could walk a little bit more. Ooh, that guy just passed me. What? I'm gonna outrun him then walk a bit more. Yes!!! Oh, I'm tired... 

When I actually stop whining and examine myself, I'm not even that tired physically. So the trick is to keep going (in my mind). I imagine this is harder when you are doing this for four or five hours. I did cut down on my time last Saturday although I stopped and walked four stretches. It was awfully hot in Houston and I'd underestimated just how humid it would be at 8AM. 

But this kind of self-discipline must be useful in other aspects of life. For athletes, their greatest achievement isn't just what they do physically, but that they can push themselves in training and in competition to give their 110%.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Life with or without $965 million dollars

Three weeks of this life and I am peacing out to Korea. About ten years ago we flew halfway around the world on Baby M's birthday. He ended up having two birthdays and got to pick out chocolates on our flight. Then we learned English. Then we ate too many Cheetos and began the life cycle of American-style over-consumption.

About my break home-home: I asked my dad if I could visit another neighbor country up north (you know the one) and he said "NO!". So what can I do? I could learn how to roller blade. Travel around. Learn Korean fan dance. What do you do when you have nothing to do?

This weekend my task was to come up with the answer to this question: What would I do if I had $965 million dollars? My initial answer was: pay for dental school, of course! But wait, really?

Would I still become a dentist if I had enough money to do whatever the heck I wanted? If I was set for life financially? There has to be something else I want to do. Travel and see beautiful scenery. Swim all day in my private pool. Go to auctions to bid on all my favorite Matisse pieces. But at the end of the day, I could never "just" do this. My answer remains the same: with that $965 million dollars, I would pay my dental school tuition. Actually make that my entire classmates' tuition. The rest? I'd probably give it away to everyone I care about (this includes you if you are reading this).

This realization made me unbelievably happy. No matter what my circumstances are, I would still go to dental school and pursue what I'm pursuing now. I can't imagine doing anything else for the next four years.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Bed early for Cinco de Mayo

Last time I went to bed this early was for the Chick-Fil-A opening. Today I go to sleep early for the opposite reason: Sprint for Life 5k tomorrow morning!

Am I confusing you with the two blogs? I am confusing myself too. It is Children's Day in Korea (instead of the adult-appropriate Cinco de Mayo) and Appa says yes to #6 on my birthday list. He says he'll make one next time he goes rat-hunting (???).

I think Fifi would definitely approve:
The chicest rabbit you've ever seen.

My No Spend Month is going wonderfully. Instead of going shopping like I always do on Fridays, today I played baseball with the boys and sewed up some old clothes. Also met with my med school friend (at Chick-fil-A, of course) who got me excited about my upcoming move to Philly.

(I am so excited about HEB's Primo Picks. I love Houston.)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Houston Museum of Natural Sciences outing

I dropped by Houston Museum of Natural Sciences this weekend. But perhaps more importantly, Saturday morning I went out of the loop! I live inside the loop and rarely venture out. I was out for the first time since... spring break when I drove people to the airport. That's about two months living inside the loop. Whoa.

Since I'm on my No Spend Month, I parked on campus and walked over to the museum. I didn't mind too much because the scenery en route was beautiful.

Sam Houston statue
The Reflecting Pool
I wandered around the museum. I liked the Wildlife Exhibits because there is no other way we would actually observe these scenes in real life. The animals would run away three miles before we got there. Many of the animals were donated from zoo's... which made me picture zoo's as stuffed animal factories. Look at this Circle of Life in action.

I made my way to the Gems and Minerals, where I actually recognized and appreciated the minerals and gemstones displayed (thanks Petrology!). I went inside the Gem Vault (probably the most popular exhibit here- so many ladies ooh, aah-ing). The jewelry pieces were beautiful, but I thought it was fascinating that these gemstones- rocks, really- have no intrinsic value. Humans have arbitrarily assigned them to have value, mean something, cost $$$$.

My favorite exhibit was the Energy Hall especially the Geovator. We went down 7,000 underground into an oil well with a guide! I learned what fracking is (Hello, I was down there when they used it- boom!) and learned a bunch of interesting information I never thought about (How do we find oil? What does it look like when we drill into it? How do we get oil out?).

I feel I have come in a full circle. About a year ago, Lo and I went on a field trip here. I had decided to take a gap year but had no definite plans. By the time I came back from the field trip, I had a job.

Look at this shirt- I want. This reminded me of the "dinosaurs find life's meaning" cartoon I wrote about a while back.