On the Go

I'm riding the Chinatown Bus up to New York City for the third time in the past eight months. I would actually consider this one of my more successful trips, because we didn't change routes and drive to the Eastern shore, and nobody's luggage has been stolen. Not yet, anyway. There has, however, been a yelling match between one of the passengers and the bus driver... but let's be honest, that's only to be expected.

Anyway, I'm just excited that there's internet available on this bus. Gee golly willikers, what'll they think of next!? I'm not quite sure how it works, but I'm going to assume that it involves either black magic or Rebel from Heroes.

UPDATE: Our bus just got heckled by an SUV full of high school girls. I don't know what's happening in my life anymore.

Call of the Wild

Dwight, James, Katie, and I went hiking today at Crabtree Falls. The weather gods smiled upon us and held back the rain in spite of the 80% chance of precipitation forecast. Take that, weather.com!

During the hike, we met a dog with no collar or tags that will henceforth be referred to as Spirit of the Mountain. Spirit would randomly appear in front of us during the hike, run around with Titan for a few minutes, and then disappear again. He would appear again out of nowhere, without fail, in a matter of minutes. It was like Spirit was guiding us to our destination, not that we needed it on the extremely well-blazed and well-maintained path. Still, it was nice to know that the mountain was looking out for us.

On the drive home, we stopped and got ice cream from a local shop. And that's how we gained back the 2000 calories that we burned during the hike.

Proof That I'm on Spring Break

My mind has officially shut down. I went to the U-Singers Banquet this afternoon to celebrate the end of the year with them as the cool/creepy alum, and I purposely ate there so that I wouldn't have to cook dinner tonight. Then I came home, talked to Nosheen for awhile, realized it was pretty late, and decided to make some shrimp stir-fry. It wasn't until I had finished the entire bowl and decided to move on to some leftover Qdoba chips I had in the fridge when I remembered that I had, in fact, already eaten dinner. What is wrong with me??

Foxfields: Disney for Big Kids

Foxfields has come and gone. I would have posted about it earlier, but I literally spent the entirety of yesterday recovering from what transpired. There was drinking, there were horses, and there was more drinking. I spent the majority of my time at the Med School plot, since Nosheen and I were in charge of the event this year. And there was really no reason to leave: we had Raising Cane's chicken tenders, Subway sandwiches, a DeWalt boombox, and shade from our glorious canopies. I legitimately do not know what I would have done without those tents, because I would certainly have had a heat stroke and died.

All in all, it was a pretty solid weekend and a great end to M1. Here's to a new school year and a new layout to go with it!

The Greatest Day

Tomorrow is Foxfields. Nothing can prepare me for what I am about to experience. God, I love UVA.

Loading: 25%

As of today, I am a second year medical student. Well, pending the release of my final exam grades, of course. I can't believe that I'm a fourth of the way to being a real, live doctor! I am the greatest! RAWR!!

In other news, I have yet to see Crank: High Voltage, the new Jason Statham movie that I've been hankering to see. Luckily, he already has another one in the works. Lindsay, this one's for you:

Great Success!

Titan just ate a bug. I have trained him well.

New Things

First of all, I was reading through the packets we have for Human Behavior today when I came across a section that we didn't have to know. I read it anyway because BOY DO I LOVE LEARNING and I found out that I suffer from yet another disease: Narcissistic Personality Disorder. According to Dr. Hobbs, it is indicated by the presence of five or more of the following:

1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance, e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements (I'm the best pianist in the world... check!)
2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love (One day, this will all be mine... check!)
3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associated with, other special or high-status people or institutions (That's exactly why I want to be a doctor... check!)
4. requires excessive admiration (Umm... Have you ever spoken to me? Check!)
5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations (The rules never apply to me... check!)
6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends (I'm going to deny this, because admitting it would make it harder for me to take advantage of you... check!)
7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others (Here's an idea: Why don't you try to recognize or identify with MY needs and feelings? Check!)
8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her (I'm going with the latter, because you don't have anything that I envy... check!)
9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes (Okay, you're just saying that because I'm better than you and you're jealous... check!)

Second of all, a new roommate Stephen just moved in. Here's to new adventures!

Third of all, and most importantly, both I Watch Stuff and Catherine have brought to my attention today that the folks over at Warner Brothers have released a third trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Rohan and I bailed from the library tonight to go hang out with Stevie and Jim. I know, I shouldn't have, but I just couldn't help myself. And I obviously made the right decision, because Jim had a plethora of stories to tell us. The most memorable one being about his friend Ryan, who got married today.

Ryan is a fifth year finishing up his Master of Education degree. He is currently student teaching a class of second graders. One of the boys in his class is named K'knowledge (pronounced "kuh-knowledge"). No joke. Even better: one of the girls in his class is named L-A (pronounced "la-DASH-a"). Seriously? SERIOUSLY!? I can't believe I used to make fun of my friend Hy for being named Hydrogen.

This is a whole new ballgame, guys. I'm totally naming my kid S& (that's pronounced "Sampersand," duh).

Free At Last

For better or for worse, I am done with Physiology. The exam took an epic 3 1/2 hours for me to complete, but at least it's all over with. Here's to hoping that I passed and don't have to take another Physiology test for the rest of my life.

That's the good news; the bad news is that it's Saturday, it's 75 degrees and sunny, Jim is in town... and I have to stay in and study for my upcoming Human Behavior and Neuroscience exams. The only thing that made me crack a smile today was this sticker that I saw on a car parked in front of Student Health that said, "No Fat Chicks: Car Will Scrape." Haha, fat jokes are always funny!

I'm Impressed

This is a drawing I just received in my e-mail inbox from John, under the subject "I changed my mind." John, I commend you for your excellent time management as well as your talented use of what appears to be MS Paint. May you be a source of inspiration to all of us as we struggle to learn Respiratory Mechanics.

On an unrelated note, I'd like to congratulate Josh on his first Asian buffet meal. A bunch of us went to China King Buffet after our last class of first year today (sniffle), and it was, in a word, magnificent. We came, we saw, we devoured. My food baby lasted for a good three hours, and my post-prandial nap threatened to do the same. FML.

Thoughts That Crossed My Mind As I Studied Physiology

- Does that book say "Brotastic" on it? No, wait, it says "Biostatistics."
- I wonder if the myth of Hercules is based on a real person.
- Hmm. I haven't showered in over 32 hours.
- Don't fall asleep. Don't fall asleep. Don't fall aslee...
- Crap! How long have I been asleep? I really need to stay awa...
- When is the Wolverine movie coming out?
- The roof of my mouth hurts.
- I hope Titan hasn't found another way to escape from our yard.
- I wish it would thunderstorm.
- Which animal is more powerful: a bear or a shark?


Today's neuro lecture was given by a doctor who, I swear, looked 28 years old. Then she told us that she was born in the late '50s, graduated in '87, and had two teenage daughters. Shocking.

Anyway, she told us that back when she was a child (in the '60s!), pregnancy tests were done by injecting rabbits with women's urine. If the patient was pregnant, the rabbit's antibodies would react with the hCG hormone in the specimen, leading to the furry animal's untimely death. Well, according to Snopes.com, this story is a lie that was perpetuated by movies and TV shows at the time. I can't believe she lied to us! As John so eloquently put it, if I weren't in love with that woman, I'd be pissed.

Also, check out this clip from Britain's Got Talent. It will warm your heart and perhaps even bring you to shed a tear. But not me. Because I'm brawnier than the Brawny Man.

Snakes on a Plane

I went grocery shopping yesterday but managed to forget half of the things I needed to buy, so I had to go back to Harris Teeter today. I ended up seeing everyone while I was there: Nosheen, Sunny, and Neil as I was walking in; Kelly from the music department as I was shopping; and Lauren as I was checking out. Which sets me up perfectly for the following story.

Just as I was walking towards the cash registers, I heard a series of shrieks coming from the front of the store. Curious, I walked over, and I found Lauren and her parents waiting in line. Lauren told me that some guy had been walking around the store with his pet snake wrapped around his neck. Apparently one of the cashiers saw the snake and started screaming, which set off a chain reaction amongst the store employees.

Ah, the crazies of Charlottesville. May you never be farther than a stone's throw from me at all times.

Happy Easter

I just got back from the Easter Sunday service at University Baptist Church. As always, Pastor Leland gave a challenging yet inspirational sermon, and today's was on what it means to be "Easter People." The service was really nice, and it was nice to see so many people in church, but there was one thing missing: we didn't sing my favorite hymn, Up from the Grave He Arose. For those of you who don't know the song, its verses are very slow and somber, but the chorus sounds extremely gallant and triumphant. It's like the song has bipolar disorder... and I love it. The song became even cooler after after Caroline told me about her friend, who thought the words sounded a lot like the phrase "Up from the gravy, a rose!" and made a drawing of it that I tried to replicate on the left. Hmm. On second thought, maybe I oughtta stick to playing the piano.

And now, to celebrate this beautiful Easter afternoon by studying hepatic histology. Why? Because if one organ could resurrect itself from the dead, I'm pretty sure that it would be the liver.

In the Doghouse

I went house-hunting with Joseph and Jordan this morning. We drove all the way out to Ruckersville to pick up a doghouse for Titan so that he would have shelter in the backyard. It's actually really nice... it has vinyl siding, shingle roofing, plywood flooring, and it's even double-insulated. In other words, it's better constructed than the house that I live in. Anyway, now I won't feel guilty if I have put him outside while I'm at school. More importantly, I can leave him home alone without him whining when he's crated or destroying things when he's not crated. Everybody wins!

Everybody except for my chapstick, which I accidentally put through the washer/dryer today. Now my chapstick is destroyed, all of my clothes have weird smear-marks on them, and I have to do my laundry over again. Man, Saturdays are awesome!

Postprandial Nap

I normally sleep through our first two Physiology classes and show up just in time for Neuroscience at 10am. But, seeing as how today was our last Histology lecture and our lecturer was the venerable Dr. Moyer, I decided to suck it up and show up at 9am. It was nice going into lab and knowing what I was looking at. Maybe I should have gone to class more often this semester...

Waking up so early does come with its price, though. After lunch, I tried to study the histology of the male reproductive system, but within minutes, I felt the onset of an inevitable postprandial nap. I laid down in one of the comfy couches in the quiet area of the library and proceeded to sleep for AN HOUR AND A HALF. My life is absurd. During my nap, I dreamt that I was sitting at a desk at the library trying to study, but instead all I could do was surf the web for new Lolcats and FAIL Blog posts. How is it that I have lost all motivation, not only in my real life, but even in my dreams??


I had to go to the Travel Health Clinic today in order to prepare for my trip to South Africa and Lesotho this summer. The presentation was a little long, and just when I thought we were free to go, I was informed that we would be getting our immunizations immediately. I needed the Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccines, both of which left my arms feeling very sore. I would complain more, but given my history, I should just be thankful that I didn't pass out. That would have been embarrassing...

So I think I finally came to the decision that I didn't really enjoy Watchmen after all. The story just didn't do it for me... and apparently it didn't do it for this guy either, who shot himself in the theater halfway through the movie. I should probably show some sensitivity here, but let's be honest: your movie has to be pretty bad if a man decides to shoot himself while watching it.

Titan Nicholas Zhao

I recently decided that Titan needed a middle name. I got this idea the other day when I heard another dog owner yell a three-part name at the dog park in order to get his pet's attention. "That's so cool!" I thought. "I want to do that too!" After agonizing over it for an entire day, I decided upon the name "Nicholas." This is, of course, to honor my totes bffaeaeae Catherine Nicholas, who was there when I adopted Titan, as well as my roommate Nick, who helps take care of Titan while I'm at school. Talk about two birds with one stone!

Speaking of the dog park, I saw a dog there yesterday who looked exactly like Titan. In fact, their body size, physique, color, and face all looked so much alike that when they were running together, I couldn't tell the two of them apart. It also didn't help that they were even wearing the same blue Easy Walk harness. The only thing different between them was their eye color; Titan's are a dark brown, and the Charlie's were yellow. I asked Charlie's owner if he knew what kind of dog Charlie was, hoping it would shed some light on what kind of dog Titan was, too. Unfortunately, he had no idea, either. I guess I'll find out when I'm willing to shell out the money to get Titan's DNA tested... which will be... never.

Binge and Purge

For a long time, I was friending all of the Sam Zhaos I could find on Facebook. I'm not really sure why, but I guess I thought it would be fun for some reason. Some of them accepted my friend requests, some of them denied them, and worst of all, some of them left me in limbo. As a result, every time I search for "Sam Zhao," a few show up having the dreaded "Friend Requested" phrase in gray text next to their name.

I was surprised to find that a few of them wanted to know more about me. Several of them sent me messages asking me about my life and what I did and why I friended them (I thought that part was pretty clear), and I actually corresponded with several of them. Most of the ones I talked to lived in either China (shocking) or Australia, where apparently there are a ton of Chinese immigrants.

Anyway, I took the leap last week and defriended all of them. This was in part because I was beginning to feel weird and creepy friending high schoolers that I had never met before, but it was mostly because I wanted to tag videos of myself on Facebook, but when I typed in my name, it would only give me five options, and none of them would be me. What's wrong with you, Facebook? Why are you trying to get in the way of my narcissism??

You Got It, Jobin

And thus ends one of the most epically unproductive days of my life. It began with a Jubilate Alumni Association Meeting, segued into a 10-mile hiking trip with Jon, Ellen, and Titan, morphed into ice cream from Splendora, and ended with a cookout at the 520 house. After eating a delicious hot dog and four scrumptious (that's right, I said "scrumptious") kebab sticks, I finally came home to do some work. Within ten minutes, I received a Gchat from Matt asking if I wanted to go see I Love You, Man. An hour later, I found myself driving to the movie theater with Josh, Matt, and Sean. Why, why do I have no self control??

I swear, I'm actually going to get work done tomorrow. Maybe.

Say What?

I just took the Medical Specialty Aptitude Test that Anjie sent out to our class. It involved answering 130 (very repetitive) questions about my personality, and at the end, the results showed that I should go into either Emergency Medicine, Ophthalmology, or Radiation Oncology. I am pretty surprised at the results, since I have never considered any of those fields as possibilities. I still haven't even figured out how to properly use the ophthalmoscope, which I think might come in handy when I'm inspecting a patient's eye. Meanwhile, Family Medicine and Psychiatry, the two fields I'm most interested in right now, came in at #14 and #32, respectively.

Maybe I should give up my dream to be a doctor and instead pursue a career as a flight attendant. Why? Because this is the coolest guy ever, and I want to grow up to be just like him.

Playing Doctor

Today, I completed my preceptorship with Dr. Gazewood, the guy who shows us how to do all of the physical exams in our online POM modules. I had requested somebody in Family Medicine, and he was definitely a good match. During both of my sessions, he let me conduct a few of the patient interviews and perform a few of the physical exams on my own. Highlights from this afternoon:

While interviewing a patient alone:
Sam: So tell me about your anxiety. Have you had any trouble with it lately?
Patient: Well, not really, although I guess the economy has been causing me some stress. You know, I have to pay $497 a month for my COBRA.
Sam: [thinking that he was talking about a Ford Mustang Cobra] Wow, that's pretty steep! Is that a recent purchase?
Patient: [looking confused] Well, I had to start paying for my own insurance after I had to leave my job due to my health.
Sam: [realizing that he was actually referring to the Consolidation Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act] Oh, I'm so sorry... I thought you were talking about the car... I guess you know where my mind usually is!

While taking a History of Present Illness
Dr. Gazewood: Do you ever have headaches with that?
Patient: No, I don't. I've never had a headache in my life, I don't reckon.
Dr. Gazewood: Okay, what ab...
Patient: But I sure have had a hangover! HAHA!