Archive for the 2009 Resolutions Category

reflections on human will and ‘The Force’

Posted in 2009 Resolutions, Health/Fitness, Personal Life, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , on January 6, 2009 by drevolutionary1

Oh George Lucas, thank you for Star Wars!

I think one of your best creations are the Jedi. I love what they represent. Jedi can access a supernatural essence called ‘The Force’ that can allow great mental and physical enhancement by using:

  • patience
  • calm
  • equanimity
  • control
  • discipline

I think these are all traits for which we strive. Contrast this with the Sith, who can also access the force, but using:

  • anger
  • fear
  • disorder
  • chaos
  • hatred

We all have a little Jedi and Sith inside of us.

The question is, to what extent are the two balanced? To what extent is it healthy to follow each set of values? Somehow using the dark side always ends up in someone’s hands being cut off:

Goshdarnet Dooku, that smarts!

"Goshdarnet Dooku, that smarts!"

But I digress. Of course Star Wars draws it’s concepts from other mythology and belief. I’m thinking Yin and Yang here (many others I’m sure).

So how do I want to harness ‘the force?’ I think the force is analogous to our spirit and willpower. I could focus my being and energies on chaos and incite mass destruction and achieve great results. On the other hand I could employ great control and discipline and channel my intelligence to creating a cure for diseases.

I want to be more Jedi-like because I sometimes have a problem with discipline and will power. There are several goals I have for 2009 for which developing Jedi-like habits will help:

  1. learn to love myself more: some housekeeping is in order!
  2. lose weight: I’m currently around 300 lbs. Let’s set a modest goal of 30 lbs loss before graduation (May 9, 2009)
  3. develop healthy sleeping patterns: bed by 12 at latest
  4. change what/when/why/how often I eat: to supplant my plans to lose weight. Modifying these factors can really have an effect on metabolism
  5. finish off my last semester: so I can graduate
  6. finish a short term project of my research at school
  7. achieve acceptance into a post-bac program
  8. get a 30 – 35 on the MCAT
  9. complete MD/PhD applications

It is most important however, in any endeavor to have balance. Both the Jedi and Sith were extremes of ideals. This was never mentioned in any movies, but in the Star Wars universe, there also exists the Jensaarai. They mixed Jedi and Sith teachings. I think they are more accurate presentation of how one may control or use the force. In my goals I will keep balance in mind.

Now. Let’s get crackin’!

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a new year brings an exit strategy

Posted in 2009 Resolutions, Personal Life with tags , , , , , , , on January 2, 2009 by drevolutionary1

I’m at an interesting point in my life. I’m a senior in college and I just turned 21. Now my journey into real independence begins. I’m still at home–something I really need to work on… NOW. I can’t take the complaining and whining about me living my life on my own terms.

Last year I was giving much thought to how I would execute my plants to achieve my future goals. I definitely had goals, though somewhat unstable. Freshman year it was MD, sophomore year it was MD/PhD (the PhD in some biological science), junior year was just PhD, and now at senior year I have resolved to go the MD/PhD route. My decision really came down to the simple fact that getting the best of both worlds will open many opportunities to me. The eventual degrees wont narrowly dictate my career choice. It may take a little longer, but I’m up for the time (7-8 yrs). I think of it this way: the things I will be doing in grad school—like learning good basic science—will be the things I’ll be doing for the rest of my life. Moreover, I’ll be learning to balance the private life and career/academics so that when I do get out of school, it won’t be such of new thing for me.

However, this decision was a little too late for me to go on to school right out of college… Med school apps and MCAT administrations have already taken place. My option right now is to do what is called a ‘post-baccalaureate‘ program. There are several types of this program, but the kind I want to do allows me to do research with a Principal Investigator working on a topic of interest to me (I’m hoping something in cell biology, cancer biology, or virology) for about a year or two before I apply to medical and/or graduate school. I’ve done summer research experiences, but this is really good because I get the experience of what it’s like in a real research environment for an extended period of time. And my eventual goal is to publish in that year (or two?). This looks really good to the MD/PhD admissions committees! Of course, this is much to the chagrin of my folks. They want me to go straight into my graduate education because they think I’ll get ‘distracted’ or ‘caught up.’ But I didn’t want to rush into something without all the facts or preparation.

I am starting on the applications for these programs TODAY. They will bring one step closer to getting out of this house. Time is of the essence as I’m on break for another week. When I get back, I plan to be bogged down by academics, research, extracurriculars, an MCAT class, and most important… GRADUATION!

These post-bac programs are paid, and as such I’ll be getting an apartment wherever I go. The prospect of my own place is thrilling. A place where I can actually live my life without restrictions! Perhaps I shall keep this thought in my head as I plan my exit strategy.

I just need to get recommendations and an essay together. My plan is to do all that I can in my power before I go back to school next week. There are a lot of little loose ends I’m worried about, but I hope they will take care of themselves.

Now, time to munch on birthday cake! *num num num num*