Mail and procrastination

My good friend Alba is going through a tough time so I decided to mail her a care package. My parents were in town last weekend, so we went shopping for the care package goodies. Dad brought the package back home to FL to mail so I didn’t have to deal with the post office during the holiday season.

I just checked on the package status and it made me inordinately happy to see its path from FL to CH. It boggles my mind how interconnected our world has become. At a higher level, I know that globalization has connected the world both in space and time. But seeing the path of the package somehow makes that more real.

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Also, I’m majorly procrastinating for next week’s exam. There’s so much to learn and I am paralyzed by the amount I need to memorize.



I had a moment on Friday. It was a feeling of nostalgia for a moment that I was currently experiencing. In the moment, I thought to myself, “in the future, I will feel nostalgic for this moment in time.”

After the genetics and evolution exam, Kristin, Sara, Bonnie, Kaki, and I went to Cacao in Virginia Highland for hot chocolate. The store reminded me of a European chocolate store. Clean walls. A glass display with beautiful handmade chocolates. A long bar with seating. The lights glowed a warm yellow and big windows faced the street. The windows framed the gray day. Autumn clouds hid the sun such that only a cool gray light snuck through the sky. The trees were on fire: golden and chestnut. Inside the chocolate boutique enveloped us in a feeling of warmth, highlighted by the grayness of the world outside. The warmth came from both the yellow lighting and the company of good friends. It was a feeling of fullness in spending time with good people, good conversation, and (of course) good chocolate. I wanted to freeze that moment, that autumn afternoon, that feeling. I wanted to save it like a clip from a movie so that I could revisit it (watch it from an out-of-body experience if you will) in later years.

Capture, save, revisit. Like a “feeling vault.” I’m imagining a hall (like the hall of prophecies in Harry Potter). The hall would have little orbs glowing all sorts of colors. The orbs would be lined neatly on shelves and there would be rows and rows of shelves. Each orb would hold a memory and it would be labeled with a feeling. And when I need to feel that feeling again, I could pick up the orb and revisit that moment in time.

Why medicine?

Friends, it’s been a rough week. The election really threw me off and I’m still in a stage of denial. Given the past week’s events, I want to take a moment to reflect on something unrelated to politics and something positive.

One of my favorite parts of Emory’s curriculum is what we call the “Patient Interview.” For every module we study, we have a patient interview during which an Emory physician brings in a patient who has a condition relevant to the unit we’re studying. The physician interviews their patient in front of the class, the patient describes what it’s like to live with their disease, and we are allowed to ask the patient questions. It’s a good reminder as to why I spend the large part of my day on my butt instead of outside exploring. This week, a patient came in to talk to us about living with a genetic condition called Fabry disease. It’s a condition that affects many systems. The patient said during the interview, “finding a doctor who was interested enough to find out what’s wrong with me was the most important thing.” And even if we don’t know what’s wrong, at least be willing to try different things.

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Whitewater kayaking as a metaphor for life

Life has been so good these past two weeks. My small group came over for dinner on Friday night, friends came over for homemade yogurt on Saturday, I FINALLY climbed at Stone Summit, went on some runs (the weather is a bit cooler in the AM), heard the Vega Quartet play Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 7 and (last but not least) spent some quality time with Neil Gaiman on Friday and Saturday night.

But that’s not what I want to focus on for the rest of the blog post. I want to rewind to last weekend. I’ve been itching to write about last weekend’s trip to Bryson City, NC where I went whitewater kayaking with some other med students. Seven M1s and two M2s went on the trip. Right after our exam, we left for NC. Three hours later, we pulled up to our cabin. That night, Maddie and I slept in her tent. It was a wonderfully clear night so we didn’t put the fly up and we could see the sky and stars.

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Labor Day Weekend: Amicalola Falls

Saturday morning I drove out to Amicalola Falls in Northern GA. I left Atlanta at 6:30 am to beat the traffic. Driving on the country roads reminded me of North Carolina. They were like the roads that I drove on to get to Maple view or the pumpkin patch farms. The trails around Amicalola reminded me of the forests in NC. It reminded me of my trip with Ang to Chimney Rock and Asheville. It reminded me of the Duke Forest trails. Where NC 751 cuts through the forest. It reminded me how in the fall, the leaves would coat the ground in a layer of crinkly loveliness that glinted under the afternoon sun. It reminded me of the countless runs I ran after taking tests or after doing problem sets all morning and afternoon. Oh, the wonderful influx and rush of air. It’s sharp. It’s fresh. This is what it’s like to breathe. While at Amicalola, I felt jealous of Duke students and how lucky they are to have the Duke forest in their backyard. Of how they have access to those wonderful trails in 10 minutes by running while here, it takes 1.5 hours of driving.

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Cochran Shoals

I drove out to Cochran Shoals, a state park bordering the Chattahoochee River, on Sunday morning. I got to the parking lot at 7:10 am and snagged one of the last parking spots. there were tons of trail runners and cyclists. The temperature had cooled down, but a mile into the run and I was hot and sticky and drenched in sweat. Although the humidity was still miserable, the temperature was (ever so) slightly cooler–I could almost imagine the crispness in the air. My thoughts drifted to apple cider and cinnamon and pumpkin spice. It drifted to cold, gray mornings in Paris that were nevertheless magical because the gray was punctuated by glimmering golden orbs of light glowing from cafes and apartments and tree branches. My mind drifted to the colorful lights swimming in the water around the Montreux Christmas Market. To memories of bundling up under sweaters and scarves and gloves, ready to brace the sharpness of the air, but feeling warm and happy from the lights, window displays, colorful candies, hot fondue, and roasting chestnuts. It drifted to the beautiful red, orange, and yellow foliage and to a feeling of rejuvenation. More thoughts on fall are sure to come.