the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?

I feel like every time I blog, it’s either because I’ve just finished another co-op term or another school term. Well this time it’s because my 3rd year just ended. I’m sorry – I swear I’ll update more frequently (god knows how many times I’ve said that 😛)!

Aka why I continue to blog

AKA why I continue to blog

Somehow, the older I get and the closer I get to finishing school (and entering the job market), the more scared I get. It helps that I get a chance to reflect and think about all this while I run (for the uninformed, I’ll be running the Tough Mudder in a month and have been training for it for a while – support me!). As a side-bar, here is an AMAZING comic by the ever-hilarious Oatmeal that a friend linked to me about running and eating Nutella straight from the jar.

So as I do with anything that I’ve been mulling over, I put it down on paper here in this blog:

How I feel about my next few years.

I wonder whether someday in the future, there will be one moment where I think to myself – today, right now, I just started living [what my 18-year-old-self labelled] ‘the real life’.

To the 18-year-old-me, ‘the real life’ consisted of many important, daunting responsibilities. This list included fun things like: filing my own income taxes, paying property taxes, figuring out how to get the best [automobile] insurance rates, planning out my savings (stocks? mutual funds? GICs? I DON’T KNOW!) and contributing to my RRSP, planning out my financial future so that I would be able to fully buy my own property, etc… etc… etc…

You can tell I wasn’t that excited for the real life.

18-year-old-life was simpler. All I had to do was make sure I continued making top grades, making new friends, and keeping healthy. Even back then, I wondered whether it would hit me one day (but one day that was far far far far off into the future) that I had transitioned into real life. Or would it rather be a shift so slow that I wouldn’t notice.

Saddest part is, even now at 23 and one year away from graduating pharmacy, I still don’t think I am ready for the real life. How pathetic is that. I thought for sure, by 23, I would have my shit together. But perhaps my scale is off – it seems like in my generation, real life is starting later and later for a variety of reasons.

1.) Job market. Let’s be dead honest here, boys and girls. The job market in general is shit for our generation. Between the current labor force retiring later and later, and the huge influx in University-trained grads, it is now basically a prereq. to have a bachelor’s degree before even THINKING about applying for ANY job (that’s right, ANY job, not even jobs related to your discipline). Heck, if you are a science undergrad and you want to find a job related in your field, good luck – you’re probably better off trying again after you get a Masters!

2.) Property. As we become more and more developed and the housing bubble continues to expand, the price of property is simply too high for fresh grads to reliably purchase. We all know that the ultimate investment is in property (not stocks, not mutual funds, NOPE) because it always demonstrates a positive ROI. It only makes sense for my generation to live with our parents (cost-efficient, allows us to save money and hopefully invest it wisely) until we accumulate enough to maybe purchase our own place.

MA THE MEATLOAF

So the whole moving out and property tax part of real life definitely starts much later for my generation.

3.) Over-protected. This one’s hard to explain, so I will let the organization ‘Young Leaders’ phrase it more eloquently:

Where did we go wrong?

• We’ve told our kids to dream big – and now any small act seems insignificant. In the great scheme of things, kids can’t instantly change the world. They have to take small, first steps – which seem like no progress at all to them.

• We’ve told our kids that they are special – for no reason, even though they didn’t display excellent character or skill, and now they demand special treatment. The problem is that kids assumed they didn’t have to do anything special in order to be special.

• We gave our kids every comfort – and now they can’t delay gratification. And we heard the message loud and clear. We, too, pace in front of the microwave, become angry when things don’t go our way at work, rage at traffic. “Now it’s time to relay the importance of waiting for the things we want, deferring to the wishes of others and surrendering personal desires in the pursuit of something bigger than ‘me,'” Elmore says.

• We made our kid’s happiness a central goal – and now it’s difficult for them to generate happiness — the by-product of living a meaningful life. “It’s time we tell them that our goal is to enable them to discover their gifts, passions and purposes in life so they can help others. Happiness comes as a result.”

In conclusion, I feel overwhelmed because where I am now and where I want to be are so far apart. 

Lots & lots & lots of work.

Lots & lots & lots of work.

I think this is a good place to be, because now I have the next 4 months of co-op to work on life.

For those who are wondering how to tackle this, let me share a secret – ask your Dad.

Because while you were still in diapers, he was already trying to figure out ‘the real life’ world 2.0 – having a kid. If there is anyone who would know everything about life, it would have to be him. Big shout-out to Pappa Tsang!

If running has taught me anything, it’s that if you’re faced with a long, arduous journey, the best way to tackle is to just focus on hitting it one step at a time. Because when you’re faced with what seems insurmountable, it’s easy to just quit it and fall victim to the bleurgh right away.

But if you just focus on small steps, the next thing you know, you’re done.

Go Team Victor!

pz out for now.

Music Mondays! (erghmagawd it’s actually Monday this time!):

I thought I was done with kpop, but B2ST releases a pretty awesome song – catchy and haunting:

Shadow – B2ST

Vicetone is an artist I am very excited about. Their style is EXACTLY the kind of genre I’m looking for in EDM – fast-paced, strong base-line, and always huge drops into a sweet chorus:

Hold On (Remix) – Vicetone

ARGH so excited to be seeing them soon. Even if they’re just the opening act for Nicky Romero.

Of achievements and appreciation and skills

It’s been a solid 2 months since my last blog – and life is good. Finished another co-op, school in the summer term, chilling out maxing relaxing all cool while shooting some b-ball outside of school…what could be better?

If that didn’t make you laugh and remember how awesome the Fresh Prince was, then you’re too young 😛

On a more serious note, I’ve read a couple of pretty insightful articles (CREDITS: the material in this post comes from David Wong at cracked, and Gregoris Kalai at Huff Post) this past year that I have been meaning to blog about, but never got the chance to until now. So LGI baby lets get it lets go (David So fan here :P)!

Take a second, and name five impressive things about yourself. Write them down or list it in your head. But here’s the kicker: you cannot list anything you are (e.g. I’m a nice guy, I’m honest, I’m funny), but instead can only list things that you do (e.g. I can cook a mean eggplant dish, I am good at basketball, I made the 99th percentile on the MCAT).

Done?

Did you find it hard?

Welcome to life. Confused? Well imagine this scenario…

Your dearly beloved mother has just been shot. She is lying in the street, bleeding and moaning in pain. A guy rushes up and says, “Step aside. I will handle this.” He takes a look at the open wound, and flicks open a pocket knife – he’s going to operate right there in the street.

boom gutshot

boom gutshot

You ask him, “Are you a doctor?”

The guy replies, “No.”

You’re worried now, but you say, “But you know what you’re doing, right? You’re a nurse, or a paramedic, or…”

At this point the guy becomes annoyed. He tells you that he is a nice guy, he is honest, he is always on time. He tells you that he is a great son to his mother and has a rich life full of fulfilling hobbies, and he boasts that he never uses foul language.

he's a NICE GUY.

he’s a NICE GUY.

Confused, you say, “How does any of that fucking matter when my mother is lying here bleeding! I need somebody who knows how to operate on bullet wounds! Can you do that or not?!?”

Now the man becomes agitated – why are you being shallow and selfish? Do you not care about any of his other good qualities? Didn’t you just hear him say that he always remembers his girlfriend’s birthday? In light of all of he good things he does, does it really matter if he knows how to perform surgery?

CAN YOU DO SURGERY OR NOT

CAN YOU DO SURGERY OR NOT!?!?

In that panicked moment, you will take your bloody hands and shake him by the shoulders, screaming, “Yes, I’m saying that none of that other shit matters, because in this specific situation, I just need somebody who can stop the bleeding, you crazy fucking asshole.”

Welcome to life.

Where everyday YOU are the confused guy with the pocket knife, and all of society is the bleeding gunshot victim.

POCKET KNIVES

POCKET KNIVES

Society is full of people who need things. They need houses built, they need food to eat, they need entertainment, they need this and they need that. Either you will go about the task of seeing to those needs by learning a unique set of skills, or the world will reject you, no matter how kind, giving and polite you are. You will be poor, you will be alone, you will be left out in the cold.

You are defined not by who you are, but what you are able to do. Because family notwithstanding, no one gives a shit who you are. They care about what you can DO. That is why surgeons make the big bucks – their job is hard to do. That is why TTC drivers make good money too – no one wants to put up with godforsaken hours and rude public. And that is why unemployed people are unemployed – they can be the nicest and greatest people ever, but if they have no marketable skills, no one wants them.

Does that seem mean, or crass, or materialistic? What about love and kindness – don’t those things matter?

Of course.

As long as they result in you doing things for people that they can’t get elsewhere. Are you smart? Are you funny? Are you nice? Ambitious? Creative? Romantic? That’s great. Now, what do you do to demonstrate those attributes to the world? Don’t say that you’re a nice guy – that’s the bare minimum. Pretty girls have guys being nice to them 50 times a day. What you are on the inside only matters because of what it makes you do.

The patient is bleeding in the street. Do you know how to operate or not?

You always hear “How can I get a job?” when it should be “How can I become the type of person employers want?” It’s always “How can I get pretty girls to like me?” instead of “How can I become the type of person that pretty girls like?” See, that second one could very well require giving up many of your favorite hobbies and paying more attention to your appearance and God knows what else. You might even have to change your personality.

“But why can’t I find someone who just likes me for me?” you ask. The answer is because humans need things. The victim is bleeding, and all you can do is look down and complain that there aren’t more gunshot wounds that just fix themselves?

Alec Baldwin brilliantly explains all of this in this little clip – warning: lots of vulgar language so definitely NSFW.

“Nice guy? Who gives a shit? If you want to work here, close.”

Couldn’t have said it any better.

So, can you name 5 impressive things about yourself – things that you can DO?

Music Mondays – sick remix.

pz out for now.

perspective

In my head, this was supposed to be a Valentine’s Day post. Looking back at 3 years worth of posts, it seems like my Valentine’s Day posts tended to be quite popular.

Forever alone.

Forever alone.

However, I actually wanted to blog about something a bit more important and a bit deeper than your usual attraction/relationship/melodramatic blog that I tend to churn out on Singles Awareness Day (LOL). With that said, I can’t simply not blog about Valentine’s though, so in a compromise, here’s a short bitty on it.

First, you gotta watch this video:

This is a very new video, and it’s by a brand new group on Youtube – so I’m not sure whether you guys have seen this or not. It is very reminiscent of WongFu production’s earlier material (see Strangers Again). I personally really like this video, and I think it is quite nice that it came out on Valentine’s Day.

(COINCIDENCE? I THINK NOT!)

A plan so intricate that I can't even follow

A plan so intricate that I can’t even follow

The theme underlying this video is very similar to my own personal philosophy, which is something I’ve blogged about previously. To recap, I would rather live a life of ‘oh wells’ than a life of ‘what ifs’. Everything in life is an opportunity – wouldn’t you rather have tried and failed (laugh about it later, and take that experience away as a learning one), than to not even try at all and wonder what could have been?

Opportunity is knockin' at your door // But you never left a welcome mat // it doesn't matter anymore...

Opportunity is knockin’ at your door // But you never left a welcome mat // it doesn’t matter anymore…

Of course, this is a philosophy that can and should be applied to every aspect of life. Whereas this video romanticizes the concept and applies it merely to approaching a girl. With that said, however, there are some nice lines in this video: “But you let doubt consume you. And those perfect moments can only be mere thoughts, and not memories.”

So what is the issue I have with this video? The problem with this video is that it subtly implies being single is bad. Near the latter end of the video, they show clips of what the guy’s life is like since he missed his chance – lonely, the lighting is gloomy, and he subsists on a diet of beer and pizza.

Really?

Now, I do understand the artistic direction here – parallelism contrasting what could have been, to what is; all because the guy doubted himself (or as pick-up artists would call it, approach anxiety :P). However, the message is tainted because it basically tells viewers that to be happy, you have to be in a relationship.

However, the reality is that until you are capable of finding happiness with yourself on your own, how can you expect to be in a relationship and keep somebody else happy?

So next topic:

Perspective.

Specifically, I want to blog about an oft-overlooked perspective that we healthcare professional students often miss.

Sometimes, being a pharmacy student feels a little bit like acting. We have lines to memorize: we say hypertension instead of high blood pressure, or salbutamol instead of your blue inhaler. Then there are the props: we learn how to use stethoscopes, attempt to interpret a patient’s lab tests, and wear white coats.

professional

professional

The first “patients” we see are, in fact, professional actors, trained to mimic a specific constellation of symptoms depending on what the subject of the day is (uncontrolled COPD? newly diagnosed heart failure?). After all, it makes sense that novice healthcare practitioners can’t expect to be working on real patients without some practice first.

Pictured: the solution to heart failure

Pictured: the pathophys of heart failure

So I was eager to move on to the real thing. The first time I ever took a full medical and medication history was doing a medication reconciliation with a patient in the emergency department. He had been hospitalized because his legs were very swollen (full of fluid) due to his uncontrolled heart failure (it’s called edema for all you keeners) – and he was a real patient. But the fact that I was no longer playing a part didn’t hit me until later.

“What brings you here today?” I ask. Legs swollen to twice their normal size, he said. He attributes it to overeating during the holidays (the holiday salt). We share a chuckle at that. I think to myself: building rapport with patient, check.

Running through a mnemonic in my head, I walked the man through the major questions necessary to flesh out their best possible medication history – I like to use HAMS (thank you nardine) as my mnemonic (History of medical conditions, Allergies, Medications, Social history). I didn’t interrupt the patient; I spent time with him; we share some chuckles. I listened to what he said and wrote it down.

With the help of the pharmacist, I reconcile the patient’s medications and identify some drug therapy problems, and leave some recommendations for the physician in charge. As for the interview, I had, the pharmacist said later, “done great.”

A few hours later, I left work on something similar to a post-workout adrenaline rush. Pulling out my phone, I text some close friends telling them I officially worked up my first real patient in real life. I practically dance down the street.

victory dance

victory dance

Only when I got back to my room and change into comfy clothing did it sink in: the old man I’d met today was not an actor. He was not one of my classmates, pretending to be a patient and rattling off symptoms so that I could practice patient interviewing. He was real. He is the kind of person that I will be able to take care of, years of study and post-grad education from now, when I am a real practitioner.

Just then, the patient might have been sleeping in his hospital bed, happy for a reason completely different from mine: he was going to be ok. This was the true joy of the day. And for a few moments neither of us will ever forget, I got to share in it.

Anyways, this brings me to the end of this post. Although this experience happened last year, I didn’t really find the words to express it until more recently.

Music Mondays!

So I am going to see Zedd live in a couple of weeks. Obviously, this music monday is gonna feature one of the top songs by this guy:

I absolutely cannot wait for it to happen. SO EXCITED! enjoy =)

pz out for now

stuck on me

I knew I wanted to blog today, but I wasn’t sure on what. I pretty much sat here after dinner, staring at my laptop screen and thinking. I figured I might as well just start writing, and see what comes out of my mind.

"the mansion of your mind // just an oversized cell"Props to anyone who recognizes these lyrics.

“the mansion of your mind // just an oversized cell”
Props to anyone who recognizes these lyrics.

So this past weekend I went on a snowboarding trip up at Blue Mountain. I think it marked my 4th visit to BM this season. Last year, due to a variety of ankle and knee booboos and the lack of snow, I only went snowboarding twice. So clearly, I had to make up for it this season.

forum or against em

forum or against em

I’m not sure exactly what it is about snowboarding that gets me so addicted. There’s definitely that adrenaline thrill as you carve down a steep mountain. Then there’s also that surge of happiness you get when you successfully land a move (buttering? frontside 180? backside 180? faceplant?). All I know is I can spend 10 hours snowboarding by myself as long as I have my music with me – there aren’t many activities I know of where I can go 10 hours without talking to another person and feel perfectly content about it. And they call me an extrovert…

And then there are those tasks where I most definitely cannot go 10 hours straight – like studying or tedious working. I find that I am most efficient in the morning. There are times where I get more studying/work done between 7 AM and 2 PM than from 10 PM onwards. Part of this comes from taking breaks – I can chug it straight in the mornings with barely any breaks, but come evening, I find myself taking random breaks every 45 minutes or so (facebook? youtube? NBA? food runs?).

What determines when I decide I need to take a break, and when I have the gusto to chug it through?

too pro

too pro

So I did some quick research (or procrastination, depending on how you see it :P)

There is actual research looking at how people decide when to keep going and when to take a break. What they conclude is that this crucial decision apparently hinges on a specific neural signal that at its peak (e.g. when your muscles are screaming that you can’t do another rep) prompts you to quit. And when you’ve rested up a bit, the signal quiets down and gets out of your way.

"Man I regret going to the gym" said no one ever.

“Man I regret going to the gym” said no one ever.

However, the peaks and valleys that trigger these decisions are not pre-set; they’re influenced by how much effort you’re expending and how big a reward you expect from the work. The bigger the reward and the smaller the effort required, the more likely you are to keep going. As you work, your brain continuously calibrates your breaking point in relation to your expectations of gain.

The studies also suggest that situational factors such as music, stress or the presence of an attractive potential mate (holla!) also affects how much pain is seen as tolerable. That probably explains why people tend to study/work better when they’re listening to their favorite music. Or when cute girls are nearby 😉.

Makes me wonder just how packed the Hogwarts library  must have been....:P

Makes me wonder just how packed the Hogwarts library must have been….:P

The authors hypothesize that the pain regions of the brain are adjusted depending on expectations. Essentially, it is the pain region sensitivity that is altered – great expectations tend to desensitize the pain region, allowing you to push yourself through the pain then when you expect great gains.

So what’s the bottom-line?

For that last bit of motivation to finish the last rep/bit of studying/work task, think of your big picture gains and that should help you push through the pain. Or just listen to good music 😛

Speaking of music, I guess it’s time for Music Mondays.

This one is a nice ballad-style song by Youtube sensation David Choi. If you look at the comments, everyone is calling it the friendzone anthem. Take a look at the video, and I’m sure you’ll see why it’s basically the ultimate friendzone song.

Anyways, pz out for now!

the beginning of the rest of your life.

It’s been a while. I feel like all my posts usually start with that, probably because I end up updating quite infrequently. I must say, I’ve never been so busy in my off time as I am right now, which probably factors into the slow updates. Well better late than never, so here we go.

I draw hearts like this now.

I draw hearts like this now.

So I’m on my 3rd co-op, and it’s at Women’s College Hospital in downtown Toronto.

Lifestyle-wise, downtown Toronto is amazing – literally anything I could ever want is at my fingertips. The gym is only a walk away, and everything else is just a streetcar away. I can see why people would consider paying so much more just to live downtown.

Speaking of the gym, I’ve recently made a pretty significant decision: I just signed up for the Tough Mudder. For those who aren’t familiar with it, well here’s a Youtube link:

Essentially, its a 10-12 mile run up and down mountains (think of the black diamonds on ski hills…) with 25 obstacle courses along the way. The obstacles are designed by the British SAS, so they’re all pretty intense (e.g. running through fire, swimming through ice-cold water, crawling under electroshock wires, etc…). It’s all pretty much designed to test both your physical fitness, as well as your mental grit.

8 months of training. LEGGO.

8 months of training. LEGGO.

So why am I doing this? I thought about it:

1.) It’s for charity. Tough Mudders is associated with the Wounded Warriors charity. This charity is awesome because it helps the brave soldiers (those putting their lives on the line to serve their country) who come back with less than what they left with. For some of these soldiers, they will never be the same again (whether it is physically, mentally or socially) – but Wounded Warriors is there to make sure they will get better.

2.) It gives me focus. Tough Mudders will be hard. No doubt about it. It’s not even a competition – the goal is simply to FINISH the course. As such, I’m training for it. There are still 7 months until the actual challenge, so lots of time for me to whip myself into Tough Mudder shape.

For anyone who’s interested, I’ve swapped my usual gym routines for more body weight exercises and cardio, especially inclines. The goal is to train my body in the motions that I will be using the most during the actual Tough Mudder. 

The bottom-line for me is that because I am committed to this grueling, 3 hour marathon in 7 months, I am more focused than ever on whipping myself into peak shape for this competition. As Kanye would tell it in Paris: I’m definitely in my zone.

3.) Satisfaction. This one is very plain and simple: finishing this challenge will give me an enormous sense of personal pride. That’s really all there is to it.

Attitude is everything.

Attitude is everything.

If you’re still reading by this point, then I thank you. This post is more for me than anyone else – to document exactly how I feel right now, going into this challenge.

As I AM doing this for charity, I do have a donation page. My goal is to raise $200 for the Wounded Warriors charity. If you can take the time (and kindness, and also to support me in my crazy endeavor), please consider donating $5 (https://register.toughmudder.com/tm/#event/18015/page/donate/fundraiser/r8376052).

5$ is like the price of a bubble tea.

mmm bbt....

mmm bbt….

I would really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. As you can probably tell, this challenge means a lot to me (probably more than anyone suspects haha).

Also, I have an Excel spreadsheet to track donations, so that I can send each person an awesome awesome message thanking them for their awesome support when I finish the Tough Mudder.

Thanks for reading guys.

So Music Mondays: Disturbance by Boa.

Wow. Boa is on a roll here – first ‘Only One’ was awesome, and now this? This song is an awesome R&B ballad with a sweet melody, catchy drum beat and harmonious vocals. What is there not to love?

As I am going to the Swedish House Mafia concert at the end of Feb., I MUST end this post with a SHM song. What better than this one:

pz out for now!

end of another era

Finally done exams. FREEDOM!!!

LOL. There's actually a funny story about this quote.

LOL. There’s actually a funny story about this quote…

Funny story: even though we know marks don’t really matter where we’re going, for some reason, we love to calculate our marks and try to figure out exactly what mark we need to get on the final to pass the course/get 80% overall average. During one of these discussions, I remember telling a friend: “Don’t aim to just pass the course! Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll still land amongst the stars!”. Haha I guess this image puts that into perspective 😛

So as always – reflections: 

This semester, we learnt all about diabetes and cardiology, amongst other topics. It made me realize something: for some of these topics, ALL we’re expected to know as true professionals, we’re learning now. For example, we’ve covered diabetes exhaustively – and for the rest of our education, we won’t be going back into it in depth.

Diabetes master! Aka recommend metformin :P

Diabetes master! Aka recommend metformin 😛

That says a lot to me. It tells me that I need to retain this knowledge, that if I want to be the kind of professional I want to be, I need to work on making sure I remember and can recall this knowledge.

It also tells me that since I’m a third year student now, that I’m basically half-way to being a professional. To be perfectly honest, that scares me a bit because sometimes I don’t feel like I’m ready. There’s so much that I expect from myself, and sometimes I don’t deliver to my own standards, and then I feel like I’m disappointing myself.

But.

Who I am now is not who I’ll always be, and far from who I’ve been. It may be an indicator of who I will be, but that is always subject to change. This is just the beginning of the journey.

Some day, when I’m a legit professional (the awesome kind), I want to be able to look back on this post and think: Man, 3rd year Victor was stressing over nothinggggggggggg :P.

Anyways.

Related food for thought:

TRUTH. Depressing though.

TRUTH. Depressing though.

So what’s the bottom line? Simply graduating as whatever profession you’re in may not garner the respect, the responsibilities and the satisfaction that you feel you deserve. And god knows how deserved we feel, what with our generation brought up to feel entitled. At the end of the day, it’s all about how well you express yourself, and how well you demonstrate your capability. If you can do that well, and you are legitly good at what you do, then you will be successful.

Simple equation? – I hope. Otherwise, all that I’ve worked for will be in vain! Haha.

Unless your definition of success is dating one of these girls. In which case: good luck.

Unless your definition of success is dating one of these girls. In which case: good luck.

Anyways, Music Mondays aka what music did I loop while studying:

Good-sounding vocals. Also, kinda interesting premise for the song/MV. Essentially, the song is about how sometimes, when you meet someone and you feel like you would be great together, it may only take 60 seconds to find out if you really would be great together :P. Doesn’t make sense entirely (but it’s basically a Korean drama-in-a-song, it doesn’t have to make sense).

BEST ANIME MOVIE I have ever watched :P. Keep in mind I was probably 12 or 14 when I first watched this, and I’ve seen this movie maybe 20 times now? So I may be biased. Plus, I grew up watching Gundams haha. Simply put, the music, the premise and the depth behind Gundam Wing Endless Waltz, Gundam 00 and Gundam Seed are all pretty awesome.

For those who are interested, the song is Last Impression by Two-Mix. Great song.

Anyways, time to catch some much-needed snoozles.

pz out for now!

constant maelstorm

Time really flies by – just a while back, I was on co-op, and now I’m halfway done another semester! I haven’t added a blog post in a while, although I did write a short blurb on cool breathing exercises, which is in the Health and Wellness section of my blog.

time flies but don’t forget that you’re the pilot

The title of this blog is maelstorm, which is eerily appropriate as I have just come out of 2 months of whirling midterms and projects, and the weather outside right now as I am writing this post is stormy rain. Of course, the next day after a storm is always beautiful, and this applies to more than just nature’s storms; I feel life is pretty balanced right now, even though the craziness restarts again in a week (#IPFClife).

Over the past two months, I’ve accumulated a ton of cool things I wanted to share on my blog, so this blog post is just gonna be a red carpet roll of things with narration? 😛

story of my love life? 😛

Sometimes I meet people that I get along tremendously with, but life often has different ideas and we drift apart as time goes by/people relocate as per career/life. It’s sad, but sometimes I think it’s better to be the perpendicular lines than the parallel lines because even if it’s only meeting once, every person we meet has some indelible effect on our life. Whether it’s positive or negative, it’s still an experience.

So when you ask me whether I would rather ‘have loved and have lost’, than ‘to never love at all’, I would pick the former.

Speaking of love (and neurotransmitters), I found this awesome sketch:

if our IPFC slides were cute like this, I think I would study better 😛

As I’ve blogged previously, I’m a member of the camp that believes love is an emotional state triggered by a unique mix of neurotransmitters and associated chemical impulses. Different types of love (romantic, friendship, familial) are triggered by different permutations/combinations of the same neurotransmitters.

So when you ask me if I believe in the concept of soulmates, I would have to say no. Because once the environment is right and the timing is good, then odds are there will be more than one person who can trigger that unique mixture of neurotransmitters in you. The probability lies in meeting those people when all the other factors align. #foreveralone

Switching topics: compared to my undergrad experience (FYI I was in microbiology and immunology at McGill aka I majored in partying with a minor in slacking off), I find pharmacy school more difficult than undergrad (#understatement-of-the-century?).

HYPER CHARGING STARRRRR

Part of this definitely stems from the fact that our curriculum is extremely clinically-based, with our modules centered around disease states and how to use drugs to treat them rather than just the drugs themselves.

I like that.

But it definitely does not prepare us for the PEBCs. Because the PEBCs just want pharmacists who memorize drugs and nothing else. Pathetic.

I think even though our curriculum may not prepare us adequately for the PEBCs (which have barely changed their testing strategies in the past 10 years despite the profession’s niche changing drastically), it helps us become better clinicians.

Because at the end of the day, passing the PEBCs just gains us a piece of paper (and the certificate looks so amateur too, something out of a low quality laser printer). But becoming a better cliniciana more complete practitionera true professional – that’s something that you EARN.

YOUR knowledge.

And you don’t need a goddamn paper to tell you that.

There’s a layer of proud ownership over everything you possess that wasn’t merely given to you.

Of course, getting there requires hard work. No one said that being exceptional was easy. I believe that hard work goes a long way, because at the end of the day, hard work trumps natural talent. Lots of people are talented.

But not everyone has the discipline to delay gratification and put in those hours of hard work.

Looking at this from an outcomes-based point of view (the Naggs would approve), being talented and not optimizing it leads to the same result as not having that talent at all.

You are lucky enough to be blessed with something. Now what are you going to do with it?

articulating your own limits is powerful.

As soon as you say it, you’re that much closer to making it true.

I guess this is a call-to-action to myself, on my blog, to work harder.

Anotha day anotha dolla :P.

Wow I love these graphs.

For those who have noticed, I’ve really gotten into this whole hashtagging thing – I just think it’s so fun. And that’s because I’ve JUST started a twitter account – get at me at ‘t3_victor’.

Music Mondays (man when’s the last time I actually blogged on a monday?):

Augustana – Last Mistake. I just started getting their discography again, it’s good stuff.

pz out for now.