146 – Today was interesting.

Today, half of U of T was locked down because apparently, there was a man with a rifle near the ROM.

This resulted in a flurry of “do we have class today?” comments and posts on our course facebook group. I didn’t get much of a resounding answer from Facebook but decided that since this was UTSG, which never closes down even when the other two campuses are closed for snow days, that class was probably on.

The lockdown, coupled with the soccer thing that started at 3pm (I’m clearly out of touch with football), resulted in a fair number of people missing class. Our professor was ruthlessly kind enough to gift is with a mini in-class quiz anyway (though to be fair, it’s only worth 1%). The class is interesting and all, but I’m still irked by the fact that our final exam falls on the first day of exams, only three days after our last lecture. Not nearly enough time.

After class, I went over to the Psych lab I’m RAing in and started prepping for a session. I’m finally getting used to the process, but I started to get frantic when my partner didn’t show up twenty minutes before the session. Turns out the session was rescheduled to Wednesday due to the uncertainty of the lockdown. I must’ve appeared horribly awkward to the new RA that was in the lab tabulating data. Silly me for not checking my email, right?

Nevertheless, this awkwardness pales in the face of the recent tragedies in Orlando. Both the night club shooting and the murder of Christina Grimmie, a YouTuber and singer I loved and had spent hours watching, have left me flabbergasted with US gun policies and wholly disheartened. These events are indicative that something needs to change. Counselling needs to be more accessible and gun security needs to be more tightly regulated. However, in the face of the current state of American politics, little change is likely to occur.

The lockdown today comes in clear contrast to American policy – the simple appearance of a gun has a good chunk of downtown Toronto in lockdown. It should never be okay to wield a dangerous weapon in a public area when you do not have the authority to do so. Sure, you can have your guns for hunting, for private property (home) self defence, but the moment you bring it into a public venue, you should be locked down. No one should feel in danger when at a concert or a club, but these recent events express otherwise. My heart aches for the family and friends of the deceased.

On a happier note, my Facebook feed has been flooded by photos of friends graduating. These photos remind me that this time of the year is supposed to be joyful and a breeding ground for new beginnings and new adventures. Although this cannot erase the shadow of these recent tragedies, the thought of my friends going off into these diverse paths and making their mark onto this world leaves me with a serene feeling of hope. Maybe change won’t seem as impossible of a task in the incoming generations.

141 – I slipped today.

It really fucking hurt.

Two huge bruises and a million scrapes later, I picked myself off the ground.

Didn’t help that the more slip-proof of my boots were soaked from yesterday’s endless rain.

Rain + slow (today) really makes the sidewalks shitty.

I hate Toronto.

Just another reason why I wouldn’t want to live here forever.

[Not that weather wasn’t the main reason before…]

140

Got a long day ahead of me tomorrow, but rather than thinking about it, I’d like to do a little reflecting.

Reading week went by so fast. Spent a lot of it playing league, sleeping, eating, and generally ignoring the whole ‘reading’ bit.

Went to the ROM with Alina last Tuesday. It felt really good to get lost in history, art, and really cool objects. I *love* dinosaurs. It’s fascinating to think about what the earth would be like if they never went extinct. Of course, we probably wouldn’t be around if so, but still. Dinosaurs. ❤

Well at least that’s one destination off my list. 🙂

Kind of wish I had done more studying during the break, but I also understand myself enough to know that it’s almost impossible to find myself doing work when I don’t have to be doing work.

Bad habit. Working on it. Kind of.

If I do badly on tomorrow’s assignment, I’ve got no one to blame but myself. Meh. I can live with that.

Found myself constantly refreshing the information page for the internship I really want for this summer. Got worried they weren’t going to be having any this year when I checked the interviewing period for last year. Sent an email to the person in charge and luckily, they responded with an indication that it will be happening this year. I know it’s bad practice to be placing all my bets on this one opportunity, but I really didn’t want to be doing research this summer. Worse comes to worse, I’ll go home for two months and take studying for my MCAT retake seriously.

Starting watching anime again recently – though I’ve been trying hard to stay away from ongoing series (they really take a toll on me via the constant anticipation and checking for new episodes). Did start watching Erased (boku dake ga inai machi). Liking it so far. Really hoping for the happy ending for the protagonist – he really deserves one. Will write my thoughts on the anime when it completes (only 5 more episodes according to the wiki).

Recently finished Gate (meh, too happy) and Mirai Nikki (main protagonist too cringefully stupid) and working on Another (scary, but interesting).

Also picked up Shingeki no Kyoujin (the manga) and The Gamer (the web series, tons of fun to read). The Attack on Titan plotline is so complicated that sometimes I get confused, but reading people’s theories on it have got me thinking and really wanting to read more. Apparently the author had decided to change his ending (which apparently was all the humans dying or something to that effect) since it was too depressing and unsatisfying to the readers. Will be interesting to see what he has decided to do in place of that.

I feel my inner otaku emerging after months of not really paying it much attention (and indulging in korean dramas in its place). Sometimes I feel like I should get some hobbies that don’t involve in lying in bed in front of a computer screen. Other times I feel like I should just be me.

Maybe I should find a balance. But that’s never easy. Will try anyway.

Oh. One more thing.

>Insert reminder here to write about some of the games I’ve really enjoyed over the past year.

Will probably do it after I finish Danganronpa so I can lump all my gaming reflections together.

Nothing makes me happier than finishing a really satisfying video game and I’d really like to get some of those thoughts down so I can look back on it years later as a good dose of happy nostalgia.

131 – and so life continues.

It’s been a long while.
Not sure why it took me so long to get down to writing this.
Wasn’t too busy to write.
Just chose to do other things instead. Maybe I was wrung dry of words. Maybe that’s just an excuse.

A million things to talk about. Not sure where to begin.

Maybe with some closure.

At the end of August, the Chemistry department held a poster session for undergraduate summer research projects.
As I’ve mentioned, I wasn’t proud of what I had accomplished. But I grit my teeth, finished my poster, and attended the damn thing. It went alright. The judges were sympathetic to the anguish challenges I encountered throughout the project.  I actually received a letter of commendation for my poster a few weeks after (apparently myself and two of my friends were pretty close to winning one of the poster prizes – $100 + recognition – and one friend was pretty cheesed because of that). So I guess I learned something. Even if the project failed.

Took my MCAT two weeks prior to that. The CARS section was really interesting – not so philosophy heavy and lots of art/history/psych/literature that I like reading. Apparently Chem/Phys is my worst section (according to mock exams I did) and I think it might end up being the worst on the actual. Bio/biochem was a challenge as well. I think it’ll be easier when I retake it next year after talking Bio,  Biochem, and Biological Chem courses.
Chem/Phys though…I really should not be struggling with that (not enough review I guess).

After an end of summer barbecue at centre island, I went back to Vancouver for two weeks.
Had so much good food that I can’t help but miss it now. Was nice seeing friends that I haven’t seen in a long time.

Rach and Tiff gave me this little guy (although not that little):

image

Although I couldn’t bring him back with me (I returned to Toronto with twice the stuff I left with),  he’ll live forever as pixels in my phone.
Always brings a smile to my face.  And a reminder to download Tsum Tsum.

Went to Banff for a few days. Saw a lot of nature and a lot of rain. Food was kinda meh though.

Went hiking with my brother by Lake Louise. Turns out that’s something we both enjoy. Didn’t get to hike to where we want due to time constraints ): Really wanted to see the Tea House.

In any cause I’m now back in Toronto for another year of academic agony.
Super busy already. Although my procrastination continues.

There was more I wanted to talk about but I think I’ll end this entry here.

Here’s to hoping that this year will be better than the last.

120

Feeling weary and tired.

No doubt due to numerous nightmares I had last night.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t dream so vividly.

To make matters worse, I had decaf coffee this morning (I wanted to try it). It tastes better. But doesn’t give me the zing of energy I get from regular coffee. I didn’t even get much of a placebo effect (probably because I knew it was decaf and that only works when you think it’s regular coffee). I think I’ll stick with regular coffee. The caffeine is what has me hooked on the stuff – not the taste.

Anxious about my presentation on Thursday. I don’t know if what I have is even presentable material. It feels too simple. I feel like I’ll just get a “Oh, good” reaction rather than an “Ah, cool!”. I could live with that. I guess.

Was vortexing my samples when I noticed a drawer labelled “Fried chicken and watermelon”. It’s nice to know that whoever was making labels for these drawers has a good sense of humour. Maybe FCW stands for something. Not sure.

Wasn't even kidding.

Wasn’t even kidding.

I did check inside the drawers though. No fried chicken nor watermelon. Only some petri dishes and fluoropel. Yeah, not so exciting.

Can’t wait to get home and snuggle in my bed. Rain always makes me want to just curl up and read a book. Awful weather lately (thunderstorm last night resulted in subway delays this morning). Actually, screw “lately”, awful weather all the time in Toronto.

Welp. Just gotta make do.

119 – Oodles of Doodles of Happiness

I just think oodles is an adorable word.

Work was good today. I changed my procedure a bit so it can be done with minimal errors. It’s amazing the amount of technical expertise you can gain from google (not really, but I learned how to pipette ethers without losing half the quantity). The samples we ran yesterday have decent peaks so it seems like my sample prep is working. Just need to test it on lower concentrations now (*fingers crossed it works and I don’t have alter it again*).

Went to the sushi place by University and Dundas – the one I went to often last year when I was living at Chestnut. The sushi is cheap (4.99+tax! :D), service is fast, and the quality is decent for what I pay. Haven’t gone back there for months now, so I was surprised to see little paintings on their walls.

There were these little animals and pokemon under the takeout menu and they totally made my day. They’re the kind of critters I draw when I’m bored in class. Couldn’t resist taking pictures, of course. 🙂

Just got off the phone with my mom (not really, she said like two sentences to me before passing the phone to our family friend and then saying she’ll call me later cause her phone is running out of batteries), and feeling just a twinge of homesickness. Usually when family friends are visiting, that means a lot of good food. I’m. So. Missing. Good. Food. T_T

Other than that, I can’t really complain. I think I’m finally getting used to living here (like two years late, but whatever), but living here is definitely not preferable to back home.

As a little moment of the inner spoiled me speaking: I miss good internet and playing games on an actual computer and flaaffy my stuffed sheep and my mokona’s and playing on my wii and all my friends of course and weather that doesn’t change from hot to cold to hot again and trees, there just aren’t as many here and my family and the city itself….

Whew.

I’m glad I got that out.

108 – Tests ruin learning & My biggest fear.

My happy mood from Monday was shortlived. I thoroughly enjoyed studying for my PSY290 midterm on Tuesday, learning a lot about the brain that I thought would be perfect supplementary material to share with kids during my Brain Day presentations (I’m doing one tomorrow….alone because the association doesn’t read their emails or offer any support when your partner cannot make it).

The midterm itself was crushing. Every question made me feel worse and worse. As an inherently indecisive person taking a multiple choice exam with options from a) to e) with e) often being “both a and b”, every decision I made on that exam stressed me out. This is probably the reason I would not consider a Biology major – purely MC exams cause me unwarranted amounts of anxiety. The questions picked at details and were sometimes very vaguely phrased. I didn’t feel like I was being tested on the main concepts I learned in class. I felt like I was being tested on knowing every single little detail found in the lecture slides and in the textbook. The questions were so focused that it was difficult to see the point of the test. To make matters worst, I didn’t find out about the past test someone posted up on Facebook until 5 minutes before the test. I know he probably reused some of those questions. Ugh. That test was not an accurate measure of my learning. Not one bit.

I’m starting to feel a bit better after that crushed my mood. Hopefully I can get over it by tomorrow when I have to talk about the brain for a few hours in front of children. I don’t want to come across as someone who doesn’t have enthusiasm about science – this neurobiology course (PSY290) is just really pushing me down.

Tests suck. They really do. They take the joy out of learning – especially if they’re not written well. I do enjoy learning neurobiology. In fact, biology itself was very interesting to me. The way I’m tested in these courses though? Nope. Just nope.

Starting watching House (from the first season!) last night, having heard about what it’s about in my abnormal psych class, and already I’m hooked. I wish I had started watching earlier. A couple of my friends in high school used to watch it avidly. I feel like I would’ve really had something to talk about with them. As someone who wants to get into med school and who loves Sherlock Holmes (one of the inspirations behind the Dr House character), I find the show intellectually stimulating, funny, and interesting. Looks like I found a new source of procrastination. Opps.

But watching House really put me in a better place. I’m thankful for that.

Was chatting with a friend about how my biggest fear is not being able to return home. It really is. If I somehow get accepted into a grad/med school here or somewhere else far away from home and I don’t get accepted back home, I’d be stuck here. Stuck in a place that won’t give me a break from illness and stress and depression. This is not good for my long-term health. He called it a bit of a first world problem: “being accepted into a good grad school but not the one I want”. True, but still my problem. I miss my family lots. He asked why, if this was my biggest fear, I didn’t study harder for a better GPA. I told him simply that this city has made me sick and unmotivated (and oh how it has). He understood, wishing me well. I appreciate the support, but I just wish I could have what he and so many of my friends have – an adaptiveness towards this city and a disposition in favour for what it is. Maybe I’ll find something this summer. After all, I did go back last summer and didn’t really see this whole other possible side to the city. Maybe this summer, I’ll be able to find that which I’m looking for.