Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oh no!, Its, its, ...retrospect!!! AAHHH!

And so we come to the end of another weekend. A real one though, not one spent studying or working or doing anything remotely stressful. I watched a lot of basketball, did some relaxing, both by myself and with friends, and had an all-around good time.

I'm just about done with my first year here, and it was a nice night, so I was just sitting on my front porch relaxing, and I had a couple thoughts I thought I would share.

First, I've got it pretty good (not to brag, I just forget that sometimes). In reality, my biggest problems in life right now are things like "oh no, I have to study ALL NIGHT", or "I have to read all of that by WHEN?". And there's nothing stopping me from imagining a whole other set of problems as well. But in reality, it could be SO much worse.

Second, I need to relax... I spend so much time studying and obsessing over my grades, and studying all the time, that, well, its just not healthy. Moreover, I don't think that it helps all that much. I mean of course I need to learn the stuff, but does that last hour spent going over the material for the 18th time really help that much more than if I spent that same hour doing something else like (heaven forbid!) sleeping? I think not. (But of course, I say this now, in one of my "sober moments", at the end of a weekend--its a lot harder to say that the night before an exam)

So in the future, I plan to work had to finish out my last class of first year (I mean its only 3 more weeks, right?), but I don't plan to kill myself with overstudying. Maybe I won't get an "Honors Pass", but then again, maybe I will. What I am going to do is learn as much as I can, as well as I can--not because of a grade, but because it's important.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

And the sign said...

There's a few signs near my place that just don't sit well with me. I thought I should share...

Apparently, the permit that you get is a permit to NOT DIE! I'd like to get one of those.

This one bothers just bothers me. There's a giant face on it, and its not reassuring, its acutally kind of unnerving, especially if you're driving by at 2 in the morning...

And on another note...

...in case anyone wants to move in next door!

You wouldn't hit a kid with glasses, would you?

Well, today has been quite the day... It all started out with the big Immunology final. No big deal, I just memorized everything, so it shouldn't be a problem, right? Well, I guess it all depends what you mean by not a problem. Did I ace it? No. Did I pass? Yes, without question. Which is really all that matters. Because sme of the things that we had to learn for that test may never come up again. Like which ligand for which receptor is downregulated is what reaction under what expirimental conditions, bla bla bla... lymphocytes...phagocytosis...macromolecules...DNA...Guillain Barre Syndrome...

Well I guess I better really know about Guillain-Barre Syndrome. That could be important.

After the test, I spent some time making my apartment clean again (time well spent). Then I had to do a Standardized Patient Interview this afternoon, which unfortuantely was not the greatest. Apparently performance suffers due to lack of sleep. But you knew that already, right?

After that, I watched some basketball at home, went out and watched some basketball with friends, and had an all-around good time. Good, first and foremost, because there was no studying involved.

So that was my day. In addition, today I became a "maverick non-conformist", deleted Windows from my computer, and installed Ubuntu linux. Because my old computer stopped working properly. So I decided that now was the perfect time to stick it to the man and start running linux, the open source operating system. In fact, I'm using it was we speak to write this post, and it is AMAZING!

By the way, the penguin is the Linux mascot.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

In some ways, I'm a lot like Forrest Gump

Today has been a day filled with lots of studying, and not a whole lot else. Actually, this whole week has been... same story as always, right? I guess I haven't just been studying, I've been doing some running, in preparation for the 5k that's a week from Saturday.

I've been pleasantly surprised, actually. I mentioned that I wanted to run one this spring to a couple of friends, and they both said they would like to run one as well, and so we decided to see if we could get more of our classmates to run with us, and so we've got quite a few people (i.e. more than just me) who're going to run a 5k together. We're like the medical school cross country team. I've never been on a cross country team before (there's a reason for that...)! So I'm looking forward to that.

Something out of the ordinary did happen this week... so, my school is located "on the campus of the University of Notre Dame", but really its across the road from the main entrance. So there's a pretty well-trafficked street there. That's fairly important to the story.

In addition, there is a group at Notre Dame (some sort of acting group or theatre thing) that's putting on the play "The Vagina Monologues". Well, being the Catholic university that ND is, there was some opposition. The local (arch?)-Bishop said that it was not allowed. But the president of the school gave the group the go-ahead anyway. Anyway, its been the "hot topic" around campus for a couple of weeks. Anyway, there were some people out protesting it on the corner by our building on Tuesday. They were very offended by the play, they see it as "immoral".

Actually there was a pretty general consensus among the people in the medical school that these protesters were being ridiculous. One of the graduate students that I know was leaving early, and he stopped and talked to a few of the protesters on his way out and one of them (oddly enough named Matt), told him that they were from Pennsylvania and they were protesting because they felt that the play was immoral and vulgar and shouldn't be put on, especially not at a well-known Catholic university.

Well, I guess I didn't realize that it was such a big deal. First of all, I never really knew what "The Vagina Monologues" was. I looked it up and got the general feel of what it was about. I guess (after just reading the plot synopsis) I just didn't see what all the fuss is about. I mean, obviously I'm all for morality and personal responsibility and doing what's right and all of that. I'd be interested to hear what you all think... (i.e leave comments!)

In other news, the local high school told Hillary Clinton that she couldn't come speak there on Friday... that was a GREAT idea. Nothing like NOT participating in politics...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I've created My(own)SQL!!! (actually I haven't)

I had a quiz this morning. It was no big deal though. Just 20 questions, multiple choice. Not that grades really matter... I just spent all weekend studying for it. Actually, I know how I did already, because right after we took it, we then went over all the questions as a class and what the right answers were and everything. Unfortunately, I didn't count how many I missed, so I don't REALLY know how I did. Again, it's not like grades actually matter or anything.

After that, I went for a jog over at the fieldhouse. Then I spent a lot of time studying this afternoon. This evening, I decided that I wanted to try to be an IT professional and make my computers work. Well, really just the old one. It went crazy. So that's what I'm doing as we speak. Backing up files, and hopefully reinstalling the operating system. I just hope I get EVERYTHING backed up that I would ever need.

On a related note, I bought this big external hard drive at Best Buy (it was on clearance) so I could do all this "backing up", and it said on a sticker on the packaging "500 Glorious Gigabytes"! Which I thought was funny.

For the record, I DO realize that backing up files doesn't make you an IT professional. For that you have to do things like talk about proxies and "server downtime"... And get paid for it!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Happy Easter everybody! (don't worry, I won't be telling you what easter means today...)

I hope you all are having a great easter. I am spending the day studying... like always. I'm halfway done with my Immunology class, but its only 2 weeks long, so I have to have half of immunology memorized before tomorrow!!! No big deal though, I pretty much have it down. Seriously. The only problem is that, like everything else I've learned in school, I'll probably only remember about 20% of it for more than 1 week after the class is over. Oh well, I guess if I ever need it, I'll just have to look it up.

So, on to the question of the day...

The question:
Should Bobby Knight go back to coaching at IU?

The answer:
Yes, and I will give him as many chairs to throw as he wants.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Madness

Its also the start of March Madness! I can't believe its already here!!! Can you? I have to admit, I haven't followed basketball AT ALL this year, and so my bracket that I filled out may get broken later on tonight. I mean, basically, when you pick Notre Dame to win it all, you're taking a gamble. Which is what I did. Hopefully they won't be the 5 over 12 upset this year.

Also, I've got a 3 day weekend! Due to Easter and Good Friday, we don't have lecture tomorrow. Unfortunately what that really means is that I just have more time tomorrow to study. But at least we won't be getting pages and pages of new material. So maybe I'll get caught up (or get ahead...wait that couldn't possible happen!) However, tonight I plan to watch a lot of basketball. In honor of Maundy Thursday.

Which brings us to the question of the day. Today, the question is:

What does Maundy mean?

The answer:

Maundy, which sounds an awful lot like 'Monday' comes from the old English words "mawn" and "dein". "Mawn" means "before" (loosely), but the use of the 'w' denotes that the thing that is "before" also comes first in a number series. Who knew the old English had such crazy words (for the record, the alternative spelling replaces the 'w' with 'gg' and changes the meaning of "maggn" to "before" in a "causal sense"). "Dein" is simply an old English word roughly equivalent to "Friday".
So the real meaning is Mawn-dein, or "Before Friday in a number series". Thus, Maundy Thursday literally means "Before Friday in a number series Thursday". Which doesn't make a lot of sense and is quite redundant. However, in some languages, repetition denotes emphasis, especially with regards to royalty and religious topics, therefore this refers to the day before Good Friday.

And you don't have to take my word for it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maundy_Thursday

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Have Antibodies

I decided now was as good a time as any to write my post for the day. So, I'm just taking a little break from studying to write about how I've been studying all day, and answer the most burning questions about the universe. So here goes.

Actually, I did more than just study today. I also went for a jog (training for my 5k in a couple of weeks), and after that, I got a phone call from the medical school's "professional assistant", saying "Can you make it back in? We have a thing that this afternoon that we forgot to tell you about."

It turns out the "thing" was the "Council of Elders", and while that may sound like something that you would see on Survivor, it really was a part of my Intro to Clinical Medicine class, and they had these older folks come in, and a 'Geriatrician' from Indianapolis was here, and we talked about issues that these older people had had to deal with in their encounters with the medical profession.

Then after that, I studied all day. For my 2-week-long Immunology class. At least at the South Bend center its a 2- week class. In other centers they have a longer time with it. But we all take the same final exam, so I kind of think they have an advantage, as far as grades go... but, oh well. I guess that happens.

And now, on to the burning question for the day:
(Still on the subject of dreams, and not really an original question)

The question:
How do we know that 'dreams' aren't our real life, and this 'real life' isn't just really a bunch of dreams?

The answer:
Well, I guess we can't really know that for sure. But I think what we can say is that if 'dreams' are in fact our real life, then we do a lot of sleeping (at least I do), because I rarely remember my dreams. Or at least we do SOMETHING so that we don't remember anything. And maybe that's just what happens. They say that nobody gets enough sleep anymore, so it would be nice if this non-sleeping "real life" wasn't real, and we got plenty of sleep in our REAL real life.

I hope that cleared it up for everyone. Of course maybe this could answer the last question (at least if we assume that dogs are real) because if we have dogs in this "real life" dream-world, then of course they do dream.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Saint Patrick's Day!!

Actually I forgot to wear anything green. However, I did start the first day of Immunology. It was like being in a foreign country, where they speak a different language. I've never had Immunology before, and although I know a little already about the immune system, I can't say that I've ever studied it in depth. So I was a little lost today. Hopefully we can remedy that tomorrow. I spent all day studying, so I hope that that will help. Of course I didn't study what we're going over tomorrow, so then again maybe not.

Now, on the the first of my series of questions about the universe. I spent the better part of 2 minutes thinking about what to write here, so bear with me.

The question for today is this: Do dogs dream?

I forgot to say this, but I also plan on answering these questions as well. So my answer for today's question is as follows:

Like all scholarly pursuits, the first thing we have to do here is define our terms. Most importantly, what is a dog? Based on my personal experience, a dog is a mammal. It barks. It has teeth, and is also known as "man's best friend". Now, what is a dream? We could say that dreams are what you do when you're asleep, the bedtime stories that everyone tells themselves. We could say that. But we could also say that dreams are the things that you would like to do in the future. And in that sense, we then have to rephrase the question:

Do these barking, toothed, mammals that we love so much have things that they would like to do?

I think the answer to that question is yes. They want to eat. They want to chew on shoes. They want to beg for food. They want to chase squirrels. And most importantly, they desperately want someone to teach them to "roll over". At least that is what I have been told.

In conclusion, dogs dream. What Freud would have to say about their dreams remains a mystery, and my Superego won't let my Id make up lies about what he would say if he were here to ask.

Speaking of Id, The Wizard of Id is one of my favorite comic strips ever.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Start of Something Huge

I have decided to add some spice to this lame excuse for a weblog. For the next several weeks, I will be writing about the questions of life that keep me up at night. Things like: why do we write from left to right, why is alphabetical order in that order, why did the chicken cross the road, and what time is it when the clock strikes thirteen?

Of course this doesn't mean that I won't be including all the exciting details of my life. Have no fear. My burning questions about the universe start tomorrow. Today, I rearranged my apartment, and it looks AMAZING.

Also, today is the last day of spring break. And school starts again tomorrow, bright and early with Immunology.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday, Part 2 of 2

The question:
"Do you realize how many holes there would be if people would just take the time to take the dirt out of them?"

My answer:

Saturday, Part 1 of 2

First, let me say how disappointed I am that no one else's favorite show is Lost (aka "the news"). I really thought that you all had better taste, and that you all cared about what is really happening in the world. So, how disappointed am I? Very disappointed.

Second, I am running a 5k in a few weeks, and in the spirit of that, here is something I have thought of. Everyone who's anyone has seen the movie "Chariots of Fire". And if you've seen the movie, you remember the quote "God made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure." Well, God made ME slow, and when I run, I feel Him LAUGHING at me!! (its only funny because its true)

Third... Bronze metal.

Friday, March 14, 2008


So, as it turns out, a week is not that long. Its already Friday, and I think I could use a whole other week of break. However, I guess that would be asking for too much. I still have a few days left though, and I plan on using them mainly for sleeping, although I might do some other things as well...
Then it's back to the books. Of course that isn't really anything to worry about. Obviously my next block will be easy, I'm going to have tons of free time, even though I'll still learn everything. Wait a minute, I think that I've heard that before. And it wasn't true.
But I guess that's life. I'm still on break now, enjoying the weather. I have to be honest, I have been looking forward to spring since it started getting cold last fall. Maybe the days of scraping car windows are over for the year. And I don't just mean scraping the outside of the windows, I'm talking about BOTH sides. For real though, winter is a great season. Except for the cold and having to drive in the snow.
I suppose that's about all I have to write about. I hope everyone is having a great day. I plan to enjoy the rest of mine.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Real Super Tuesday

Today I am enjoying SPRING BREAK 2008!!! (its a lot more exciting if you type it in ALL CAPS)

What is Matt doing on spring break? Not a whole lot. Sleeping about 18 hours a day, not studying at all, playing Halo, watching American Idol (which I hate, but its on so...). Actually I didn't do completely nothing today. I out up some window trim with my dad today. So that was something. Unfortunately though, he must not have worn his glasses when he went to the lumber yard, because all of the wood that we were using was really, really warped. I mean it pretty much was shaped like a spiral. Not even joking.

So that's pretty much what happened today. To close though, I will leave you with the following utterly serious quote:

"Two fish were in a tank. One said to the other: 'You man the guns, I'll drive!'"

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Studying my life away

That's right, I'm still at it. While the 2nd years and the rest of the Notre Dame students are on Spring Break, I'm still here studying... I have to tell you, its a really great time. Of course, the only thing that makes it all ok is that I know that next week, while they're all in classes and studying, I know that I'll be on break. At least that's what I've been telling myself so that I'll keep studying.

I have found plenty of ways to keep myself from studying though. For example, I spent about a half an hour earlier looking at 5K races in the area this spring. We're trying to get some people together from my class to run one. And I guess it was kind of my idea so its up to me to find out all the details. Such as, are there actually any 5K's around (there are--I spent a half hour looking for them), and when are they. So that was fun. In addition, I have this problem where I get really distracted from studying by checking my email about every 3 minutes or so. Its more of an addiction than anything, but at least I know that I'll never miss that important email (or the one from Facebook telling me that I'm the #7 "Most trustworthy" person in my friends list--whatever that means).

Finally, I for one am glad that the election is still going on. In fact, I'm hoping that it will still be going on when it comes time for Indiana's primary. I think I might even register as a Democrat.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Inside the computer...?

Earlier today, I had a physiology test. I got my grade back, and apparently it went pretty well. Unfortunately, I have another physiology test (the final) on Friday. Its another NBME Shelf exam, so its really kind of up in the air as to whether its going to be easy or hard, or if whether or not its a hard test means anything when it comes to what grade I get on it. What that means is, its a standardized test, and its graded based on how everyone in the country does over several years, so if its a hard test, and nobody does real well, and I don't either, then I could still get a good grade on it, but if its an easy test, and everybody does well on it, but I do mediocre, then I wouldn't get a good grade. In summation, my grade is based on how everyone else does.

Also, I got a new computer today. Its pretty much a supercomputer. I think if I ever wanted to do any really really big calculations, I could definitely do it. In addition, it can also talk to you. And you can talk to it. In fact, I'm talking to it right now. Unfortunately, it's harder than you might think to get to your computer to listen to you. In fact, its not working all that well, and I think can actually type faster than it can. Oh well.

Well, that's about all that I have to say today.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Why yes, I DO have time for a garden

That's right, I have a garden. In fact, I'm growing onions. I guess this is what happens when you buy too many. In my defense, though, the onions have me outnumbered (and they're multiplying!!!)

Just for the record though (and in spite of the foliage) they're still pretty tasty...

Did I mention I have a physiology test tomorrow? Its gonna be a good time.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Let me tell you about my day.... I studied pretty much all day. Until about 8 o'clock, when I gave up.
Just another great day. Not too long ago, though, it wouldn't have been anything "to write home about". However, thanks to Al Gore and his modern miracle that is "The Internet", my boring day has become something that I can write about online for all to see. That's just one of the many reasons I love the 21st Century.

In case you're interested in what else I love about the 21st Century, here's a list:

What I Love About the 21st Century (in the order that I think of them)
(yes, I am seriously doing this...)

E-banking (even though I can never remember my password)
Homeland Security
Ice being all over the roads
Jack Bauer from 24
Kiterunners (I don't know what they are, but apparently there's a book and a movie about one)
Lupus (because its NEVER lupus...)
Not having to be afraid of Y2K anymore
Owing Sallie Mae my firstborn
Power windows
"Remember Dale Earnhardt" stickers
Saving big money at Menard's
Unbelieveable gas prices
V for Vendetta movie previews (never saw it, but the previews were cool)
Zildjian cymbals (they got a lot better after 1999)

Now, that's just a smattering of things that I love about the 21st century. I may have forgotten a few. Remember, I just put them in there in the order I thought of them. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment.