Category Archives: General

Morning rituals and GoT

5:45 am awakening | 6 am yoga | Game of Thrones and Black Coffee

Little did I know at this pictured scene what was to unfold…kind of. I mean, a character is never safe in Game of Thrones because it is a Game. Of. Thrones. Moreover, I now know that I should have read those dense, enthralling books just to be one of those smug people who gets pleasure out of watching their GoT illiterate friends squeal, yell and gasp at their screen.

The day is starting off just right y’all :-)

I am so tired and you should be too.

Let me vent? I am so tired of race. I am so tired of all these racially charged articles despite their good intentions, ill-formed arguments, and their relatability all over my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I am so tired of telling white acquaintances what it feels like. I am so tired of being told it doesn’t exist. I am so tired of “adults” voluntarily shoving fingers in their ears. I am so tired of this country and its constant perpetuation of stupid, mindless things to keep us distracted and sedated.  I am just so tired of being black. So. Tired. This is totally normal actually. You could give a man a heart attack with the amount of cortisol that oozes through my body on a daily basis…and I have a GOOD life, hmph. This is basically how I feel—>

princeton privileged kidFirst, there is this bold kid who decides to be that white guy who stands up for being ‘that white guy’ unapologetically only to be schooled by the unprivileged and rejected from white guys due to his unorganized arguments and the who-had-it-worse game that should NEVER be played. Sir, sit down and reassess your private high school, Ivy league life that we know you had to jump through less hoops to get despite your hard work. That is the point. Duh. Second, there is this woman who decides to make breeding and rape…entertaining? Laughable? Funny to white people? No ma’am, do not reduce Lupita Nyong’o’s achievement as People magazine’s most beautiful (a feat nearly impossible for someone darker than a brown paper bag) only to use her extremely realistic and honest Oscar winning role as a slave master’s mistress only to boast about how you could breed athletes-the new, subtle form of slavery. *Cough* Sterling *Cough* No surprise there. Ma’am, you need to go somewhere and sit down. Take a seat. BYE FELICIA. Actually, this is really sad that the second black woman introduced on SNL this year had to be a stereotype like this, but I digress…

cowardsThird, apparently black people are cowards. I am not even going to hyperlink the retorts and rebuttals. That’s just too much for one day. Good grief. We just can’t handle anything these days without pointing fingers, huh? “We” meaning Americans. “We” meaning us. Us hooligans. Our childish selves. Americans don’t know what to do and don’t know how to fix things. Do Americans actually want to fix things? Who knows. All I know is that everyone is angry, no one wants to be the bad guy racist when they are unintentionally, and many of those who don’t feel it want to bury it or diminish the value, advances and set backs this country has had due to its entrenched racism and prejudice.

Things are institutionalized. It is the same thing I see when the stats come out for graduate school, law school and medical school. In medicine there are more black women doctors/applicants/matriculants than black male counterparts. Why? Institutionalized racism and bad circumstances propagated through ignorance, lack of access and lack of positive exposure. There is enough blame to go around, but that isn’t the issue. Blaming is just fun and easy to do and takes the responsibility and guilt (for lack of a better word) off you, right? So blame is beside the point.  There is only what IS and what IS present is an unequal opportunity ladder that hovers over a landing where those of color can’t even get to climb the ladder because it is too high above ground to begin with. I can say this a multitude of ways until I am “blue” in the face.We know what it should be, but can’t agree on what it already is. Those who are white need to understand what IS as much as those who are not because we throw around whatever someone else has put in our hands, whatever someone else has said is the problem without thinking. So no, we aren’t cowards. We aren’t self righteous. We are confused and hurt. We are hurt because we are born in or out of privilege and don’t know how to deal with it when we see the result. I don’t have any remedy for this madness besides broad, sweeping actions like vote, be aware, and read ALL angles…but…VOTE, EDUCATE YOURSELF, BE CRITICAL, THINK, ACT, and throw away the excessive pride that impedes progress. A little pride goes a long way. Ugh, I know. That sounds like effort. Yuck.

Flashback Friday: Kathleen Cleaver

 

Kathleen CleaverIn honor of Flashback Friday, I would like to bring to the attention of unaware specimens, Kathleen Cleaver. You may recognize her name from her affiliation with the Black Panther Party. However, this is a minor point in my opinion. Kathleen Cleaver was (is) a very intelligent andOld KCleaver knowledgeable woman. (Um, more like a boss with her glittering Ivy League degrees. Yes, degrees. Plural.) Anyhoo…

I am thrilled to notice that an old interview has been floating around my Facebook news feed because you know, I am Facebook friends with some really intelligent and aware Black (and yes, white and Latino, etc. too, duh) men and women, huzzah! The video floating around brings to light some very old battles of women of color. I will not dive into the the thick of it as it can be observed in said interview.

All I can say is yes, yes, and yes! I regret nothing about the enormity of tresses. The only small regret I have is for you when you sit behind me during a lecture or try to take a cute, group close-up picture. If you can’t see the front of the hall, sit in front of me. If you can’t be seen, make yourself seen. I really can’t help it.

Happy Friday Y’all. As-salamu alaykum. السلام عليكم

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Coffee Chronicles: Have coffee, will study

I have been wanting to write this for such a long time. In order to get acclimated to the sunny city of San Diego I have been finding coffee shops and cafes where I can set up camp and knock out a couple hours of studies. I have been very fortunate to be able to do this (thanks Mom and Dad) and I get some work done! Here are a few of the places that I absolutely adore and frequent from most often to least! Coffee? Free Wi-Fi? Food? I’m all over it. I explore stomach first.

YOUNG HICKORY

IMG_20140223_090018CYMERA_20140331_125936I absolutely love this place. I have studied here countless times and am officially a regular (the baristas know my name and my life pretty much). They have tabs that can go as long as 8 hours if you need a temporary work space or need to do a crazy study bender (guilty). Nestled in the hip North Park area, it’s the most Austin-like, garage door, hipster place to hang out and have a beer with espresso, chat it up with randoms (which frequently happens), or put your headphones in and WERK IT. Also, they have quite a few healthy options like steel cut oatmeal and acai bowls!

CAFÉ BASSAM

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This is one of the first places I tried considering I was anti-coffee early in the fall quarter (HAHAHAHAH) and was looking for a darn good soy-chai latte. Welp, this was the place to get one! I frequented this place before I stumbled upon Young Hickory. Here, the vibe is Europe circa 1920 with the antiques and the music to go with it! (A good chunk of the music was in French) The whole entire place is covered in classic knick knacks and they have an extensive tea collection. Win.
Their food was delicious and the vibe was great! Small tables were the only issue, but this place is still a favorite!

 

PAPPALECCO

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Ciao, Bella! This is the common greeting you receive upon walking through the door of this cool place! Take me to Italy NOW. Okay, I haven’t frequented this place. In fact, today was my first day but I loved it! A brunette Fabio was super friendly as he explained that Starbuck’s does coffee wrong (not his words per se). He insisted I stay and dine in for an authentic Italian experience (yeah, right but he was like, CYMERA_20140416_111213Fabio, so, like, why not?)  He corrected every word I said and I couldn’t continue until I said words such as CYMERA_20140416_112020macchiato and mare with Italian flare and pizzazz. I just couldn’t get over how nice everyone was and how did they find so many Italian people to work at one location!? If you want some good old Latin flattery, charm and just plain old nice people, go here. Their food is amazing and the coffee tasted so much better than Starbuck’s, DUH. They have free Wi-Fi, plugs, and nice sized tables for spirals and paper. I also hear their happy hour is quite the treat along with the gelato.

LESTAT’S

Messenger_5797445606978404207_13822187449464538This was the placed that popped up most frequently when searching for a coffee shop to get some work done. It was okay and very crowded despite the large area. It was great for a couple of times, but that was all I needed! Excuse the selfie. According to my picture library, I wasn’t a fan of this place.

 

 

 

 

 

TWIGG’S

I have come here multiple times with a group. It is small and sweet and the baristas are friendly! It was a good alternative to Lestat’s which is down the street and always hippin’ and hoppin’. It is quieter and the people are less agitated. I don’t have a picture of the full place, but there was an awesome mathematical clock on the wall!

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FILTER’S

This place was pretty cool. In the heart of rainbows AKA Hillcrest, the place was all open air with loads of sunlight and quite a few big tables. I only came here twice, but I enjoyed both times. The people were friendly and the beverages were great!

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Well that’s all folks! The first three options are pretty much my go-to’s for the remainder of time I am here in San Diego. I would love to do one of these for all the restaurants I’ve tried, but there’s Yelp for that.

Ciao.

future doctor

What is a post-baccalaureate program?

Ah, the infamous question that pops during small talk of all kinds because people just genuinely want to know what you’re doing in life because they are nosy they care.  Post-baccalaureate programs are essentially intense focused programs that gear their participants (usually those who have already acquired a bachelor’s) into or toward a certain field. It could be for medicine or it could be for a certificate to teach or for something else. Each program is different. Sources of the increasing number of these programs, specifically pre-medical programs, have been credited to the economy or to the overall shift of the culture of medicine itself. Medical schools are tapping into those students that upon successful completion of these programs tend to do well in medical school due to their non-linear paths (not coming straight from an undergraduate institution). I guess you can call it…resilience? Tenacity? Determination? Perseverance? Whatever, it doesn’t matter. You get my point.

Despite my understanding that many people don’t know what these programs are, I find myself constantly tempted to shout “Google it!” when asked, but instead, the conversation usually goes like so:

In the grocery store:

“What are you up to today?”

“Nothing really. Just studying!”

“Oh, so you’re a student! Are you at the medical school or the college?”

“Um, I am a post-bacc student. So, I am in-between college and med-school.”

*Awkward smile and silence*

At the coffee shop:

“What are you studying?”

“The cardiovascular system”

“Cool! Are you a medical student?”

“No, I am a pre-med post-bacc student. I already have a bachelor’s degr—“

“OH MY GOSH I WAS THINKING OF DOING THE SAME THING. I am really into studying how the body works and you know…helping people.”

*Feigns a sincere smile*

At multiple family/friend gatherings:

“Why hello there, honey! How is medical school!?”

“Oh, I am not in medical school. I am in a post-bacc so, I am trying to get into medical school.”

“But you’ll be a doctor eventually, right?”

“Hopefully.”

“Oh of course you will! You only have like four more years of school and training right?”

“Eight or so excluding applying for medical school which I am not in yet.”

“Oh, stop! We should start calling you Dr. Willies!”

“Please don’t. You’re jinxing me.”


For lack of my complete description of said post-baccalaureate program, here’s the AAMC description:

“The purposes of these programs vary. Some are designed for persons wishing to change careers; these individuals have not yet completed the science courses required for medical school application. Other programs are designed for persons wishing to enhance an existing academic record; these students have taken the requisite courses, but need to improve their GPAs to increase the competitiveness of their medical school applications. Still other programs are specifically designed to assist persons from groups currently underrepresented in medicine or from educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds.”

In a nutshell there it is! Everyone does these programs for different reasons but for the same goal. The program I am in encapsulates all of these reasons so yes, every program is different. All of the students have bachelor degrees and are getting molded into the country’s future doctors.

To get a better idea, here are some clips from an old NYtimes article:

“What a student misses by going alone, however, is the support provided by an academic adviser who will act as sounding board, guide and writer of the all-important letter of recommendation to medical school committees.”

Of the programs listed on the A.A.M.C. site, about 40 identify themselves as for “groups underrepresented in medicine.”

But in the past decade, it has been the older student looking for a second career in medicine that has driven the growth in the number and profile of the pre-med post-baccalaureates: about 80 programs are listed specifically for career-changers who lack science prerequisites; about 80 are labeled “academic record enhancers,” for recent graduates who took math and science but did poorly, or failed to get into med school the first time around. The programs are not interchangeable: programs intended to enhance grades assume a second pass at the material, and undergraduate and post-bac grades in those subjects are usually melded to present to medical schools.

As Ms. Grassini notes, the time and money needed for a post-bac is worth it only if you are getting into medicine for altruistic reasons. “Health care as a career choice can be good if you want to help people,” she says. “If you are looking for notoriety or the big bucks, that’s a tougher road and maybe you should have been a doctor at a different time.”

future doctorThese programs have been known for their positive voodoo on medical school admission, but not all of them come with a guarantee of admission. Nonetheless, if you are able to do so, post-bacc’s are a great way to become not only a more competitive applicant, but a more competitive medical student.

The post-bacc program I am currently in has done nothing but better myself as a person, a student and potential physician. So, if you’re interested in making a change in order to do medicine I would check the growing number of post-bacc’s popping up around the country. There are more than you think.

Mipsters, Blipsters, Hipsters

Ahhhh shooooooot. Here’s another one! We have hipsters. We have blipsters (black hipsters). Now, we have mipsters (Muslim hipsters)! I was procrastinating last night on studying and stumbled across this video from Mipsterz:

It was featured on this Buzzfeed Article and this Huffington Post Article . It has been received with mix reviews…

hijab 4hijab 3hijab 2hijab 1

Now, I am not Muslim and do not know the culture and customs that go along with the religion (thank you, America, ugh) and therefore have no say in the matter, but as an outsider looking in, superficially, I see women who look completely at ease with who they are. They are beautiful. Like, all of them. HOW!? They also look normal. This “normalcy” of the hijab and what it stands for is another critique of the video, but to me, an outsider, I think it is wonderful that so much confidence exuded from the short clip considering what I have seen associated with hijabs has more often than not been in a negative light. I have no opinion on the matter except that I thought all of them looked cool, funky, and fresh.  So you go, Mipsters, You go, girls!

White Girls by Oh Lordy: A Parody to “Royals” by Lorde

First, check out this parody below

I thought it was hilarious and ironic considering what these ladies are talking about are kind of what Lorde is speaking against/about in a way, but it is funny nonetheless and makes fun of what a ton of people in my newsfeed gush about and do.

What’s even funnier is that I am low-key guilty of some of these antics:

Pop chips

popchips pop chips

Y’all come on. Everybody eats those! They’re super cheap and I love that they are 100 calories and satiate my craving for french fries. It takes effort to be healthy or attempt to be healthy!

Crossfit

crossfit

No, I don’t do crossfit because it is expensive as all get out but I do do high interval training. It’s like, the newest way to be like, fit, but like, not skinny! Haha.

Veggie Pizza

veggie pizza

It better be thin crust, too! All dat bread goes straight to my thighs and booty and kills the 500 crunches you did that week. Plus veggie pizza makes you feel less guilty because it has the least amount of calories next to cheese pizza and you get to slide in a serving of veggies.

Painting Toenails

nail polish

What girl doesn’t do this when they can?

The cup song

cup song

Everybody and their mama did this. Just last week the cup song was turned into a drinking game at a gathering I went to. Plus, it takes some coordination. Don’t knock it till you try it. PS: I loved Pitch Perfect

Perfect Hair

perfect hair

Um, more like easy hair. I am just gonna boast about my hair for a bit excuse me:

I have gotten the biggest compliments on my hair when I haven’t done it in DAYS. I can rock three different lengths without cutting my hair or using extensions. My hair can hold curls like nobody’s business sans humidity. Also, everyone expects my hair to look messy so I never have to put effort into it…FALSE. But basically I win. #notsohumblebrag

Which white girl antics are you guilty of? I know you are guilty of some…I mean everyone does selfies…

No pain no gain!

Alright y’all.

I did Day 15 of the 30 Day challenge with the crazy, Canadian (I think) body rockers! I haven’t been doing them everyday because 3 days a week I have a crazy class schedule that spans 12 hours of the day so four days a week should be fine. Let me tell you that I have seen a difference mostly in my energy and stamina. I am only tired after exams because you know, the brain is a wonderful muscle BUT today is different. Today I woke sore from yesterday’s leg day and then I jumped into this insanity. UGH.

However, it hurts so good! I am so happy to be making progress. Now all I have to do is not eat French fries and I should in the best shape of my life since being a dancer! Whoooo, but seriously, these workouts are no joke. I am toning up while eating the same. Just imagine what would happen if I watched what I ate? If you go on the website there are tons of people who are seeing phenomenal results and are starting at a multitude of levels. Jump on it. PS: This is great stress relief/anger management. Now to put this dedication to Biochemistry! Off I go!

So, what did YOU do today?

30 Day October/November Challenge: That Natural Buzz

I just had to show everyone this. For those who don’t have a gym membership or who don’t want to pay a personal trainer, here is your FREE solution!

Day 1 Thirty Day Challenge

There is this group of fitness maniacs I follow on Facebook called Body Rockers and they have their “channel” called Body Rock TV. I absolutely love their workouts and they have challenges all the time.

The one I am obsessed with now is their 30 day real time challenge. “Real time” meaning they do it along with you instead of showing you what to do and you doing it on your own time. I just finished this bad boy today but could only do 30 minutes for lack of time. It doesn’t matter. I still got that buzz and I will probably feel this on day 3 like she said. I am trying this out for a week to see if my energy can hold up with classes and am super excited. (Let’s see how excited I am after day 2, haha)

I think this is awesome and these videos have always toned me up pretty quickly when I stick to them. I am by no means a fitness/health addict whatsoever, but man these things work. No lie.

Day 1 of the challenge is below. Days 2-4 are on the website and Facebook page. Have fun!