Monday, February 28, 2011

Athletic Medicine Internship

My first day as an athletic medicine intern went surprisingly well. The first half hour was mind-numbingly dull and entailed a lot of standing around by the cabinets trying not to get in the professional's way. But after most of the athletes had evacuated the athletic medicine room, the trainers had more spare time to show us the ropes. I basically learned how to operate most of the machines in the room and make an ice pack.

Surprisingly, there is a lot more technique to packing a bag of ice than I previously thought. To prepare an ice pack, you have to place one scoop of ice into a plastic bag. Then, you suck out all the air from the bag (yes, using your mouth) before tying a knot on the bag approximately three inches above the ice. You place the ice on the athlete's body part of choice and wrap it with clear tape. Oh, except if the athlete needs to place the ice bag in a more awkward body part, have them do it themselves. My athlete needed an ice pack on his groin...

There were a few USC football players in the athletic medicine room preparing to train for the NFL combine. The head trainer asked me to wrap a football player's ankle (to prevent severe ankle sprains). Only problem is that I had no idea what that entailed. The football player saw my hesitation - "Coach, she's scared of me, huh?"

No, I'm not scared. Okay, maybe just a tiny bit. It's a little unnerving when your patient stands about 6'5", is approximately double your weight, and possesses a set of ankles that are twice as thick as your own. Not to mention a set of freakishly bulging biceps.

Despite the long hours I have to put in for this program, I'm excited to be in athletic medicine! I'm even excited for the start of spring football season despite the fact that practice starts at 6am on Tuesdays and Thursdays (I thought it was bad enough that I have a shift once a week from 5:45am - 8:45am).

One of the perks of working for athletic medicine is that you have access to the weight training room at Heritage Hall. I accidentally walked into the weight training room this morning instead of the athletic medicine room and all of the big, beefy guys in there laughed at me. "You're in the wrong room" they informed me as they continued lifting. The weight lifting coach was nice enough to direct me to the right room afterwards. But before I left the room, I saw a few 200lb weights sitting on the rack. 200lbs??!?!?!!?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bath and Body Works Haul

I'm a big fan of candles and reed diffusers. They look nice, smell nice, and feel romantic. Sometimes, I think about telling the boyfriend to buy me candles instead of roses. But that might be asking for a little too much.

We went to The Row for the CASA Culture Show after party last night at the Beta house. Somehow in my mind, I thought it would be a fun way to kick back and dance. A little alcohol, dancing with the bass down low, and hanging out with friends. The event turned out to be a bust - there was no room to dance (I was literally sandwiched between three couples grinding intensely), insufficient alcohol, and all of my friends in APO decided to be extremely clique-y (essentially ignoring everyone that is not in APO). So the boyfriend and I left the party early. I was reminded about why I used to avoid frat parties at all costs. So there is a reason to my madness.

But the slow burning candles sitting on my table refreshens my mood. The smell of lilac blossom is floral and subtle, exactly how I love it. The Caribbean blossom is potent and sweet. The fresh lemon is crisp and citrusy - extremely refreshing.

Bath and Body Works also brought back (for a limited time) items from their discontinued signature collection. I fell in love with the Night-Blooming Jasmine scent three years ago during USC orientation. I was rooming with a journalism major from Ohio who just happened to be using the Night-Blooming Jasmine body spray. Two weeks later, I took a trip to our local Bath and Body Works to buy the fragrance only to find that they had discontinued it.

Naturally, when I saw it on sale at Bath and Body Works online, I couldn't resist. The smell is simply exquisite and intoxicating.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dental School Blog and Buttons

I logged onto Facebook today to see someone publicizing their new dental school blog. This comes a week after I started the blog for our pre-dental honor society. This comes approximately 9 months after I started my own dental school blog on Tumblr.

My reaction was twofold - 1) they are totally copying my idea and 2) wow, I started a new trend among people at USC. I'm probably taking too much credit for this but I still think its kind of cool. Nevertheless, my blog is different. It's personal. It's centered on pictures and stories. It is thoughtfully written. That's why you should read my blog.

You should keep reading because I ordered a pair of Urban Outfitter slip-ons last week for $15. They were kind of drab looking, so I decided to sew a few buttons onto them. The final product:

There are 9 girls in the apartment and nobody seemed to have a sewing kit. I had to make an impromptu trip down the the 99 cents store and grab a sewing kit. I'm actually proud of my sewing, not that sewing buttons takes a lot of skill and effort. But still, I've never sewed anything substantial in my life before.

And my shoes are very cute now! I've been wearing them around the house all afternoon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BISC 307 and the Amazing Midterm Curve

My general physiology class at USC is best described in one word: contrary. It's the hardest/most challenging/most time consuming course I'm taking this semester but its the course with the most lenient curve.

The way the professor curves the course is jaw-dropping.

My friend Richie was right - you get an A/A- as long as you score two or three points above the average. At the end of the day, I quite like this curve because my 79/94 wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Now if only all my other classes curved like my physiology class!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Knee Injury

I am probably the most ungraceful person playing sports. Ever.

I was barely back at my first ultimate frisbee practice of the semester when I hyperextended my knee. I don't know when I'll be back on the field again but I hope it's soon. Let pray my ACL is alright.

On the bright side, Leavey Library is gorgeous at night.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

I’m not the mushy, romantic type of girl. In the past, I couldn’t even care less about Valentines Day in the past. In my mind, it was a useless commercial holiday to make all the singles out there feel ostracized. But then this came in the mail today - an enormously tall rose adorned with a crown and a card written in French (the most romantic language ever). It was so perfect I couldn’t help but smile.

Happy Valentines Day / Single Awareness Day everyone!

Go Hellions!

2010 End of Year Awards - Los Angeles Organization of Ultimate teams

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You Guys Actually Burn Rubber in the Country?

Most people who know me well know that I am an avid blogger. Few people know that I am also an avid blog reader. My Google Reader account tells me that I am following 129 blogs, not including the people I follow on Tumblr. A few days ago, I came across this blog entry on Google Reader and posted the link on the Boy's facebook wall: How to Load Hay On Your Feed Truck.

He's from Oklahoma. I thought this would give him a little something-something to make him feel more at home. He might reminisce about hay bales, herds of cattle, and hydraulic arm clamp thingamabobs.

Photo Credit: Pioneer Woman

Look at the cows. Aren't they adorable?

Well, he labeled me as a secret country girl from California.

"You even listen to country music!", he exclaimed.

So I proceeded to blast some Miranda Lambert song in his car - "Famous in a Small Town".

We get to the point in the song "And we'll just spend the weekend burnin' rubber, and we'll let em point and stare in disbelief."

"You guys actually burn rubber in Oklahoma?" I asked.

"Yes", he replied, in a matter-of-fact manner.

"Doesn't that...smell bad?"

He looked over at me in disbelief. "You actually thought we literally sat there and burned rubber?"

"Maybe", I added.

"We're not hicks, you know?"

Then he proceeds to explain the colloquial use of the term "burning rubber" to me. I believe it relates to driving and something about the rubber of the wheels. Oh well...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Behind the Scenes of Physiology Lab

I'm taking general physiology (BISC 307L) for kicks this semester. I don't actually need this class to graduate but (1) I heard Dr. Herrera is a brilliant professor, (2) this class will be useful in dental school, and (3) it supplements my anatomy course fairly well. This is what we did in our first real physiology lab.

Remember general biology when we dissected animals that had been fermented in formaldehyde? The animals that we dissect in physiology labs are quite... alive. It was nearly as bad as dissecting a live earthworm (which I had to do two years ago). At least frogs don't have the ability to voluntarily detach portions of their body that are pinned down to the dissection tray. Needless to say, one whole squirming earthworm turned into 5 pieces of squirming earthworm body parts.

The heart of our frog was still beating when we cut it open. If you have any qualms about dissections, blood, guts, beating hearts, or animal cruelty, don't scroll down any further.

Here's a video of the beating heart of my friend's frog. Everything is the same except that their frog's heart is just about 6 times the size of our frog's heart. It's got to be on steroids.

The apparatus that we had to string the frog's heart on. It measured the frequency and amplitude of the heart beat. 
The experiment itself was pretty cruel. According to our TA, we didn't have to physically do the experiment but my lab partner and I did it anyways. We gave up halfway through the experiment because it was just a little too much for us. My partner has a soft spot for frogs and as for me, thank god I have no intentions of becoming a surgeon.

Our frog.
Our frog was a female, as evidenced by the black blob of unhatched eggs in her stomach area. My lab partner initially wanted to name the frog but I gunned down that idea. There's a little too much attachment/sentimentality when you actually name the organism you're about to dissect, which is no bueno.

The lab experiment itself was kind of cool (in a sick, sadistic way).

Next up, extracting the frog's sciatic nerve.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mounting Teeth

We learned how to mount plastic teeth in plaster today. Students from the USC Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry came up to the dental hygiene lab to help us with the process.

Mounting teeth

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Have You Ever Eaten Tortilla Chips on Crack?

On the corner of Jefferson and McClintock, there's a relatively cheap supermarket frequented by students. Well, just the students who believe in bargain shopping. Other students prefer to shop at the Ralphs on Adams, which is significantly more expensive.

Everything they sell here is quite standard. Everything except for their tortilla chips.

They are wonderfully good, exceedingly addictive, and probably extremely unhealthy. Us college students like to call them "tortilla chips on crack".

Best of all? You can get a enormous 48oz bag for only $2.50.

Pair it with some salsa (I prefer the "hot" one - I bought the wrong one this time) and you've got yourself an awesome Superbowl snack.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The 6 Crappiest Interview Questions

(reblogged from The Oatmeal)

There's a reason I stopped using Tumblr. I hate excessive amounts of reblogs for meaningless posts. But sometimes, I find posts that are so awesome I have no choice but to reblog it. Today seems to be one of those days - this is the second post of the day that I've reblogged on here.

"The 6 Crappiest Interview Questions" comic strip is so relevant to my life at the moment. Well, not at the moment exactly. In about half a year when I start interviewing for dental schools, this post will become relevant. But its not like you haven't been through an interview before where the interviewer has just asked you stupid questions. My person pet peeve - "So, tell me about yourself". My second personal pet peeve - "What is your biggest flaw". Obviously, the guys over at The Oatmeal agree with me. So without further ado:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Tutee, Grace

Remember when I talked about tutoring elementary school children through the AATP program last week? Well this week, my tutee obliged to posing for my camera. She is adorable, well-behaved, extremely smart, and a great dancer. I feel like a proud Asian parent beaming with pride when I tell people that she finished both the second grade homework packet and the third grade homework packet within one hour. (It normally takes the kids one hour to finish one homework packet)

Meet Grace
Basically last week, I received the opportunity to shadow an oral surgeon. I turned it down and I'll go into the nitty-gritty details of the shadowing fiasco later. But I'm more relieved now after I politely turned down the offer. It also means that I get to spend my Saturdays with Grace.

She's 7 going on 8
She is in the second grade and is a pro at UNO
She also takes ballet
My boyfriend still makes fun of me for volunteering at AATP.

"Only Asian kids believe in going to school and studying on a Saturday. All the other kids just stay home and watch TV," he says.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Spread the Smile

My favorite part of Delta Delta Sigma is our weekly Spread the Smile campaigns at local elementary schools. As much as I hate to admit it, I love little kids. Sure they have the attention span of a goldfish but at such a young age, everything in the world is still fresh and exciting to them. I miss such youthful exuberance.

This semester our target school is Dr. Theodore T. Alexander Jr. Science Center School, located right across the street from Tuscany.

Spread the Smile Campaign
Armed with our giant toothbrush, typodonts, and a handful of laminated posters, we were prepared to educate Kindergarteners about oral hygiene and good nutrition.

Our giant toothbrush
Posters on dental caries for the kids
We broke the volunteers into four groups - brushing & flossing, cavities, oral anatomy, and nutrition. Kindergarteners are cute because what they lack in attention span they make up for with pure enthusiasm.

Flossing activity on a typodont 
Teaching dental anatomy to elementary school children. "This is the crown of the tooth"
Teaching the children about nutrition
Teaching the kids about the "plaque" and "sugar bugs" that cause cavities. 
And a group photo before we departed (sans me, the photographer). I can't wait to return next week!

Delta Delta Sigma Spread the Smile volunteers

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ringing in the Year of the Rabbit

Happy Chinese New Year!

Year of the Rabbit
I called home last night to wish my brother a happy birthday and my family a happy Chinese New Year. As I was scarfing down a microwavable hot pocket and a bowl of spring mix, my family was regaling in nine dishes of hearty Chinese food prepared by my grandmother. There was 珍珠丸子, 鱼, and of course my favorite dish 梅菜扣肉.

All of my classes were cancelled today. It was like an unintentional Chinese New Year Holiday break from my American professors.  But who's complaining? I'm not.

I've been sitting in my room all morning, tinkering with Kubota and Photoshop CS5. I'm addicted.

And it's freezing in Southern California again. After the brief stint of summer-like weather, it has returned to perpetual coldness. I set the heater in our room at 80 degrees last night but my roommate thought it was too warm. I bet if I had a roommate from Arizona, she wouldn't mind the room being 80 degrees.

The weather should return to this:

Sunny day at the La Brea Tar Pit
Small consolation, but at least Los Angeles doesn't look like this at the moment. The snowpocalypse has arrived in Chicago.

Snowpocalyse in Chicago (photo credit: Jessica Chou)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Chinese New Years Eve!

It's Chinese New Years Eve today, or 除夕 in Chinese. It's the day when the family gathers to eat a hearty new years eve meal and children receive red envelopes. Chinese New Years is simply not the same in college.

But alas, it is also an important day for other reasons:
  • Today is also Groundhog's Day. In Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow, effectively predicting an early spring. Thank goodness!
Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney, PA
  • Today is also National Signing Day, which hopefully means good news for the USC Trojans. Despite the sanctions and whatnot, we have still compiled a relatively top-notch signing class.
  • Last but not least, today is my little brother's 3rd birthday. Happy Birthday Sean!
Happy Birthday Sean!!