Friday, March 13, 2009

I Can Live with My Decisions

"A leader must be able withstand hostility and not back down on her position if she thinks she is doing the right thing," says a faculty member during our current conversation. That statement totally alleviated the little doubts that I had about my recent difficult decisions. For the most part, I believed that I was making the right choices, but that confirmation put my mind to rest. I will continue to live with angry people (at least for another week), but I am glad I did not trade making the right decisions in order to make others happy.

Standing up for myself is my new friend and our relationship is at best awkward, and leads to many negative reflective moments and emotions. I feel extremely blessed, though, to be at UCSF, an environment where that relationship is nurtured.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Human Relationship is A Work of Art

"I'm going to remove myself from the mass and live in the wilderness someday," I told my good friend as we were dreading the need to make small talks. I discovered that my art of language is not really as refined as I would like for it to be. I let emotions get in my ways and hurt others with my words and actions. Many times, I also do not say what I need to say in order to make my intention known in a gentle way. As a result, I get stuck in awkward relationships that takes months, sometimes years, to semi-normalize. Hurtful words are like knives; once it pierces the flesh, there aren't many ways to restore it to the original condition. A scar will form after the healing process, serving as a reminder of the unpleasant experience.

My Parasympathetic System is Not Working!

It's the last week before finals. I have not studied for any of the six exams that I will have to complete by the end of next week. I am dealing with angry forces in my apartment. I lie in bed at night, obsessed with negative thoughts. I can't focus in class or in my study because I am too sleepy. My bowels are not moving as they should. When will my parasympathetic system work again? After finals...perhaps? That would be too late. I don't know what a mess I will be by then.

Universal Healthcare

Health Policy is one of the classes that I really enjoy this quarter. I find the topics presented in class extremely thought-provoking. We learned that adopting a universal healthcare system for the United States can potentially reduce healthcare costs (currently 16% of GDP), lead to better access and quality of care and eliminate the 16% uninsured population. Proposals for universal healthcare has been tried and failed. However, the lecturers for our class seemed confident that if any big changes in healthcare were to happen, it would be more likely with President Obama in office.

Although I really hope to see a universal healthcare system in the United States, I would not be surprised if it does not happen during my life time. I think most Americans are too individualistic and capitalistic to think about the big picture. Unless there's a push with the magnitude of the Civil Rights Movement, our healthcare system will remain to be dominated by different players, each seek to maximize their own benefits.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Although I'm excited about finishing up another quarter of my pharmacy school experience, I have to admit that I am slightly worried about next quarter's curriculum, which includes a 6-unit course in therapeutics, where we need to integrate all the knowledge that we've accummulated for the past five quarters and memorized many different medication dosages, side effects, indications, drug-drug interactions, etc. I hope I won't fail the first therapeutics exam like the majority of the members of the class of 2010 did during their first quarter of therapeutics. It sounds very scary!!!

Insomnia, My Stupidity and Lessons Learned about Human Nature

It's 1:30 AM and I can't even get a wink of sleep although I'm physically and mentally tired. My mind is clouded by a huge decision to make: to continue digging the hole that I have made for myself and make everyone happy or to go with my gut instinct, which has been tainted by a prior financially costly experience due to trust, and piss everyone off?

To the people directly involved in this sticky situation, my definition of "digging a hole" is really no big deal at all. They would say: "You are shooting yourself in the foot with this stubbornness. People don't play by the rules all the time. There's nothing to worry about." If I was 24 or even 28, without the nasty lessons that I had to learn the hard way, I would agree. However, this situation is obviously causing me enough stress to stay wide awake despite my physical and emotional fatigue. Contracts are there for a reason: people want to protect themselves against others. Humans are irrational creatures and their behaviors are not predictable. In addition, with very few exceptions, people usually look out for themselves before others. I don't believe that my concerns are invalid...

What has this mess taught me, once again? For one, I am truly not made for finance management and I will try my best to avoid them in the future. I will be happy if I can keep my checkbook balanced. Secondly, I need to assess things carefully before committing myself to any responsibility, thinking that I can do great things. It's too bad that I am beginning to question the purpose to the "great thing" that I had set out to do in the first place.