Saturday, March 26, 2011

Snippets from Spring Football

Today marks the end of the first week of Spring Football at USC. We were at the field since 9am setting up for practice and we just finished around 2pm.  Here are some things I have learned in my first week in football:
  • If your squad is doing a drill and you have no idea where to stand so as not to get stampeded by 300-lb football players, your best bet is to stand directly behind football players on the sideline. This way, if anything happens, you at least have a 300-lb shield in front of you.
  • He is the sweetest, most considerate guy on the football team. He fully embodies everything that a Trojan should be.

  • Avoid getting in the way of Coach Ogeron. He's not afraid to get into people's faces and yell at them. Heck, I don't think he's ever uttered a sentence without using profanity.

  • The defensive line was doing very well in practice today, making me extremely proud. As their official water girl, I feel slightly involved in their success. I mean, they couldn't do well during the scrimmage without ice cold water, right? I watched the scrimmage versus the offense and I witnessed approximately 5 sacks and 2 interceptions. The whole defensive unit was going wild with celebration.

Friday, March 25, 2011

One Last Thing To Get Off My Chest

It's Friday.

As in the "it's end of the week" Friday and not the atrociously autotuned and awfully annoying song by Rebecca Black.

I hope that the weekend allows me to turn a new leaf because this week has just been awful in every sense of the word. But before I turn the page, I have a few last bones to pick with people.

  1. Dear Lab TA - what do you mean the amount of points we received for our lab presentation does not directly correlate with the grading rubric?! If you are going to assign me a grade for a presentation, you better have evidence to back up your judgement about which sections I got points docked off on. You cannot freaking stand there, smiling at me, and tell me that you assigned points by arbitrarily breaking down people into three categories: good presentations, average presentations, and not-good presentations. It's slightly deceiving when you told me that I did a good job on the grading rubric but then give me an average grade for the presentation itself. I hate it even more that when I confront you about the grading, you agree with me that the grading was somewhat arbitrary. For crying out loud, do something about it! "Well, I don't really remember your presentation anymore" you say, "but I'll keep this in mind for next year". I'm incensed right now - someone is going to get a failing grade on their TA Evaluation in the category of "fairness in grading" this semester.

  2. Dear DDS - I'm frankly interested in how next year is going to play out. By all means, good luck...

  3. Dear Athletic Medicine - you're kind of cold, I don't know how to explain it. There's a ton of people on the field yet it's still kind of lonely.

  4. Dear Ultimate Frisbee - I hate feeling perpetually confused and sometimes, I avoid practice on purpose because I feel like I'm on the outside looking in. You're kind of cold too...

  5. Dear USC Dental School Research Professors - is it too much to ask for to ANSWER YOUR EMAILS? I'd appreciate it if this doesn't consistently feel like a one way e-conversation. When people email you, it's proper etiquette to respond to the emails every once in a while. And if you don't want me to continue in your research lab, please tell me so instead of leaving me hanging on a cliff. That would be very much appreciated. It's making me reconsidering my inclination towards attending the USC School of Dentistry.

  6. Dear Kinesiology Professor - likewise, answering your email would be very much appreciated. There is a LOR request waiting for you. If you would prefer not to write it, please email me back too. I hate being left hanging, alright?


Thursday, March 24, 2011

In Hindsight, I Would Probably Be a Terrible Politician or Business Major

Ever since elementary school, I've abhorred election day speeches and the concept of "elections" in general. Election is simply a more formal term for popularity contests and campaigning for people's votes. The best candidate for the position does not necessarily get selected - those who can give great speeches or make witty Powerpoint presentations are often elected.

You can sense the bitterness dripping through my teeth at the moment. The problem with elections is that people don't actually see what the candidate does behind the scenes for the club. One candidate may be consistently late for meetings while the other one is consistently on time. One candidate goes to most of the service events while the other one is not present most of the time. One candidate takes initiative to complete tasks while the other candidate fails to even complete what is required of him or her - details that only insiders know. Yet when election rolls around, one candidate makes a presentation promising the extravagant impossibles and the intangibles and wins the election.

In hindsight, I would be a terrible politician or business major. It would be against every moral fiber of my being to promise things during an election that I can't fulfill 100% of the way. That's tantamount to lying.

For the most part, I'm over the whole election fiasco now. I've had therapeutic talks with a close friends and I realize that this twist of fate might have been for the better. For one, being Vice President is a relatively easy yet high ranked position. This will free up a lot of my time for other pursuits such as ultimate frisbee, athletic medicine, and research. Secondly, I won't have constant stress on my shoulders to make sure that meetings/events go as planned.

I might actually just relax and take the back seat for once in my life. Hey, if there is some incompetency in the club and things don't go as planned at meetings, it won't reflect badly on me right?

Okay, I need to stop being so bitter.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Nuclear Fallout and Other News

Spring break is drawing to a close. Despite the one week "vacation" that we had, this blog is completely forlorn. In truth, I haven't had much time to sit down and blog since the start of spring break. I've been too busy fulfilling my shadowing hours, gathering all of the materials necessary for the dental school application process, and working on a project for my research lab. Hence the fact that I put "vacation" in quotes.

It's been exactly one week since the monstrous earthquake hit Japan. According to (highly reliable... *cough*) news reports, radiation from the nuclear fallout at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors was scheduled to hit the coast of California this morning. Last night, my dad received an email from his company stating that although low levels of radiation was scheduled to permeate onto the California coast Friday morning, employees were not permitted to skip work simply because of the radiation. It was a last ditch attempt to prevent runaway truancy from work.

Meanwhile, I braved the hazy radiation-filled air outside (though I'm sure breathing normal Los Angeles smog is just as carcinogenic) to go to my shadowing gig at an orthodontist's office. I don't know how to sum up my experiences at the orthodontist's office besides - "AMAZING". He was even gracious enough to agree to write me a letter of recommendation for dental school. I got the opportunity to make alginate impressions, watch the insertion of miniscrews, witness the process of putting on and taking off braces, comfort a little kid who was terrified of getting braces, and other very cool procedures.

Okay, I promise I'll make a better post another day.

One day I'll have enough time in my day to sit down and blog again.

Until then.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Heart Goes Out to Japan

Spring break started as of now and I was planning to use my newfound free time to post about my week. I have some interesting stories about the Pac-10 basketball games, working with football players on the field, and being pulled over (on a bike) by an officer. But after seeing the news about the magnitude 8.9 earthquake in Japan, these stories started to seem a bit trivial.

Sadly, I didn't even hear about the earthquake until this morning, about 10 hours after the fact. I woke up this morning, turned on my computer, started surfing Facebook, and saw statuses warning people in Taiwan that they had less than 2 hours to seek refuge on high ground because of a potential tsunami caused by the magnitude 8.9 earthquake in Japan striking Taiwan.

"There was an earthquake?!" I thought.

Sure enough, it was on the front page of Yahoo! News.

An 8.9 earthquake sounds terrifying. Heck, my mother was so shaken by the magnitude 5.4 earthquake which hit Chino Hills in 2008 that she wanted to relocate to a different state!

One of my friends from the athletic medicine program is an international student from Tokyo. She told me that she was on the phone with her mother the entire night because her mom was freaking out. My lab partner is also stranded in Hawaii at the moment because all flights are canceled as a result of the tsunami advisory.

It's really disheartening to see tweets that say "I can't get in touch with my grandparents in Japan" and I truly hope that everything turns out for the better. I remember many years ago when the magnitude 7.3 earthquake (named the 921 Earthquake) struck Taiwan. All of us in America were terrified because we couldn't get a hold on our relatives in Taiwan at the time. Thankfully, everything turned out to be all right.

I'll keep everyone in my prayers.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Waking Up Before Sunrise

I made it. I'm alive.

I actually made it to Heritage Hall for my 5:45am shift.

I could talk about how I knocked out right after my early morning shift. I literally fell asleep for the duration of my Introduction to Health Promotion course from 9:30 - 11am. I somehow managed to wake up as everyone was packing their bags to leave the classroom and I realized that I had completely slept through a mock quiz.

Or I could talk about how much fun my 5:45am - 8:45am shift had been. Today, I was stationed in the weight room at Heritage Hall. The football team was completely their early morning weight lifting workout and I was literally standing three feet away from Matt Barkley. I've never seen a group of guys with that much energy at 6:30am in the morning - everyone in weight room was screaming and getting pumped up for their workout. The energy was intoxicating. It made me want to work out with the guys.

I also had the opportunity to drive the Gator cart around campus today. It's the green cart that the athletic trainers will use to transport a player who has sustained a spinal injury off the field. The cart is pretty intuitive to drive, albeit slightly jerky. After watching other people drive the golf carts and segways around campus for all these years, now it's finally my turn!

I'm thoroughly exhausted. I might wind up knocking out again until ultimate frisbee practice tonight.

Athletic Medicine, Day 2

Second day at the athletic medicine internship. The only difference is that I was scheduled to work at the Galen Center instead of Heritage Hall. I almost feel as though I'm on a medical school rotation schedule, except that it involves less hours and the work I do is significantly more relaxed. No jokes - I got to the athletic medicine room at 9:30am and they had nothing better for me to do than fold towels for half an hour.

I actually like the athletic medicine room at the Galen Center a lot better than the one at Heritage Hall. The facilities are a lot newer, the atmosphere is more relaxed, and all the athletes in there are nicer and more approachable. I think I'm biased because I like the sports that train at the Galen Center (volleyball, basketball, and tennis) a lot more than the sports that visit Heritage Hall (football, track, swim, soccer).

I spent over an hour hanging out with the women's volleyball team - meeting the players, watching them do drills, watching them play an actual game, and feeling like a midget (because the majority of girls on the team are over 6ft tall). I ended up taking to Falyn Fonoimona for a while at the sidelines and later, Alex Jupiter came to shake my hand and introduce herself. They are definitely more approachable than the football guys.

Tomorrow marks my first 5:45am - 8:45am shift. Hopefully I will be able to roll out of bed in time. I do feel like it's slightly immoral to assign people shifts that occur before the sun even rises.