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Just another day

So… I went skydiving yesterday. Check it out.

Q- Hey Seth, how are you and what have you been up to?

I’m “good”.  I am going to school at BYU taking some really fun classes such as cell biology, physiology, and Chinese. I quit my job this semester so that I could focus on schoolwork since last semester I never had enough time to get everything done. I’m doing mentored research with Dr. Stark in the PDBIO department, the project is to try and come up with a better way to introduce specific mutations into the chicken genome, it is a lot of fun!  I’m also volunteering at the hospital as a Spanish interpreter and at an elementary school teaching first graders Chinese. Other than that I’m getting ready to take the MCAT this summer and go live in China for a year starting in the fall.

Q- So, let’s just get this out of the way…Are there any wedding bells ringing in your ears lately? Just kidding, you can reserve the right not to answer that if you don’twant to. I’m sure we’d all be interested to know though : )

Uh, not that I’m aware of? Don’t worry though, like any good Chinese I’ve got a five year plan and marriage is probably on it somewhere.

Q-Seth, do you remember when you used to press your extra-tough forehead against my rather soft head until you gave me a migraine? It was when you were about 3 years old. I think you should recall… Why do you think you liked to do that so much? It must have been painful for you too. What is your pain tolerance anyways?

You are making that up. No, but really. I have no idea what you are talking about. I have a pretty high pain tolerance though since you brought up the subject. Have you ever seen the movie Lawrence of Arabia? There is a scene near the beginning where an officer lights a cigarette and Lawrence takes the still burning match out of his hand and then just holds it as the flame burns up to his fingertips and then goes out. It’s really hard, but I’ve done it.

Q- How is school going? What are you studying? Do you find you have had anylong-term effects from pressing your head against things as a toddler?

School is going well, I’m double majoring in Chinese and neuroscience. I’m planning on going to medical school and earning a PhD at the same time. But I probably won’t apply until 2012. I was a very conscientious toddler and would never press my head up against things.

Q-How was your trip to China? Tell us what your favorite part was please?

China was absolutely fantastic. Picking a favorite part is going to be hard, there was the time that we hiked yellow mountain and did Taiqi moves on top of big rocks in the fog, there was our trip to the world expo in Shanghai, there was running at night with my roommate at the outdoor track, there was salsa dancing outside in the rain. I don’t know, I can’t pick a favorite.

Q- Tell us a favorite memory of Mexico would you please?

Favorite Mexico memory: catching frogs in the showers.

Q-How are you liking living on your own? Do you miss all the kids at your home?

It’s nice, but having to cook for myself is somewhat less than ideal. If you saw the enormous collection of empty pop tarts boxes that we have in our kitchen you would agree that my eating habits could use some help. It’s not that I mind cooking, it’s just so dreadfully inconvenient. I get to go home a lot so I wouldn’t say I really miss all the kids yet.

Q-Do you still rock out to Keane? What are some of your other favorite bands?

Keane fell into disfavor after their latest album, but I still like listening to their older stuff for sure. My new favorite bands are include: Feist, The Innocence Mission, Missy Higgins, Passion Pit, Phoenix, Sufjan Stevens, The Temper Trap, Two Door Cinema Club, The Weepies.

Q-You just had a birthday. Don’t you think November is the best month for a birthday and especially the 11th day of the 11th month? What did you do to celebrate it?

Well, my birthday was now a while ago, but it was sure good. We went to Pirate Island Pizza which was just incredible. I got to wear a pirate hat, Adam got to wear a pirate hat, the pizza had a piratey taste to it… basically everything was ideal. And then we played at the arcade and thanks to Adam’s luck, skill, whatever you want to call it, we amassed enough tickets to buy an enormous pirate flag that says “surrender the booty” on it. Classic. It is now hanging in our apartment. 11/11/11 is going to be such a big party this year. I can’t wait.

Q- I will be interviewing other relatives of yours in the future. Do you have any interviewing advice for me?

Hmm… nah.

…and that means it’s time for a blog post.  So to start things out here is an awesome picture.  I took it with my phone while I was driving down University Avenue on my way to work.  Um… I wouldn’t recommend that as being very safe. But it was a great picture opportunity and sometimes they don’t last you know?  Anyway, it’s November.  I’m not particularly happy about the fact but it is what it is, and what it is is not October and also just sort of a dreary month all together with the exception of Thanksgiving break.  Even that though is normally ruined because there is so much homework to do.  My roommate Hudson had his one Monday class cancelled and he doesn’t have classes on Friday he will get 10 days off for Thanksgiving this year. If I were him I’d probably forget to come back.

I went to the NCAA cross-country regional meet in Salt Lake City today to cheer on my best friend Alden.  I don’t go to very many of his races which I feel bad about.  He did very well and BYU placed 3rd overall so they will be going to nationals a week from Monday.  Well, the siren song of biochemistry is calling me back to the book that’s laying open on my lap and I can only resist it for so long.

Goals.

I’m overwhelmed by all the work that I need to get done. Moreover, the sobering fact that despite the tireless efforts which I feel must represent the hardest I’ve ever worked, the ostensible results of said efforts without fail fall well below my expectations for myself. Is it possible that I’m overreaching? Should I scale things back so that I can perform better?

I don’t think so.  Here’s why:

So what if I can’t handle everything I’m trying to juggle? I’d rather feel assured that I’m pointed in the right direction with respectable goals than to lower my sights and my expectations until they match my limited current capabilities. The later seems like it would preclude the possibility for progression, no? If not through stretching myself to the edge of a complete mental breakdown, how am I ever going to improve?

Perhaps I’ve seen my potential clearly for the very first time. Is it any wonder that I feel so incapable when I try to go it alone? I may not really understand what level I can ultimately hope to attain to, but I’m sure that whatever that is, I will need someone up there to reach down for me—my reaching up won’t be enough otherwise.

…and actually posted on my blog.

The best thing that happened this week so far was that I discovered that the write-up for my Ochem lab is not due today as I had previously thought.  I have until Tuesday to finish it, big sigh of relief…  So, now I’m contemplating what to do with my free hour and half which I had not planned out.  When I first got back from my mission I was rather OCD about planning out every hour of my day.  Actually, I still am, but the difference is I no longer write out back-up plans.  I was a weird RM.

I just finished 2 hours of 1-on-1 Chinese tutoring (I’m being tutored, not the other way around) as part of the flagship program that mandates 7 hours of tutoring a week.  That on top of class time and a not insubstantial homework load.  It’s a good thing I’m not busy enough this semester right?  ha ha.  There are really too many things that I would like to get done and my brain often refuses to work as hard as I typically require.  Fortunately I have an iPhone, and fortunately there is doodle jump to amuse me.

It’s convenient that there is a word counter at the bottom of this page.  They thought of everything didn’t they.  I have decided that if I’m going to blog I need to set a limit for myself on how much I can write.  Otherwise I will just go on and on and waste precious time that I don’t have enough of and could (certainly!) put to better use.  So if I’m going to start blogging I will use it as an exercise in being concise.  If I can’t say what I want to say in 200 words or less than I will not say it at all.  Or perhaps I will just stop mid-sentence.  I have no aspirations to be a writer and that is the only reason I can think of that I might want to use more than two hundred words to say… anything really.  Well, it’s been real.

To blog or not to blog?

After deliberating for quite some time, less than two minutes but more than one minute, I have decided to consider picking back up with the blogging that I started in China.  But only if a certain critical mass of people (six) are interested in reading it.  So, if you are someone that is awesome enough to be reading my blog, and if you think there is a possibility you might read my blog a second time, and if you are brave enough to potentially let other readers know that you have read my blog.  Then please comment on this post.  If in the next three weeks I get six comments I will start anew to chronicle the mundane details of my extraordinary life.  Feel free to comment multiple times with the names of fictitious people if you find that you are alone in responding to this.  I myself will comment with at least six assumed personas (mostly female) so as to conceal how few friends I actually have.

“Hello?  Is anyone out there?”  This feels like the Pioneer probe, being sent out into the great emptiness of space with very little possibility of being seen by anyone ever again. ” If you are reading this, I am out of cheesecake and need your help!”