Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

... I am grateful...

"For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Birthday parties, funerals and political campaigns

Since my last post, I have been busy attending birthday parties, funerals and political campaigns. Here is a summary:

My nephew turned one. My brother's wife decided to have a fabulous birthday party. Missing your nephew's first birthday party may make you a bad aunt. Since I did not want to be a bad aunt, I attended my lovely nephew's birthday party. I am trying to forget all the annoying little details but I endured my in-laws rather well. I enjoyed the party mainly thanks to a seven year old boy, who decided to show me a hilarious interpretive dance.

One of my granduncles passed away. He had a sudden heart attack. Missing your granduncle's bereavement services may make you a bad grandniece. Since I did not want to be a bad grandniece, I attended the week-long bereavement services. I am trying to forget the little annoying remarks but I endured my extended family fairly well. Despite being in mourning, my mother's cousin could not help but to tell me that I, unlike my siblings, am not gregarious. So what? Some are gregarious and some are not!

One of my second cousins, who is also a very good friend, was campaigning for a friend of a friend to be elected as a board trustee of a community college. He is a hardworking community organizer. Missing your cousin's community rally may make you a bad cousin or, worse, a bad friend. Since I did not want to be a bad cousin-friend, I attended one of the political campaigns he organized. I had a fantastic time with some of the funniest clowns in town.

Most social functions could be fun even when they are done out of duty.

Picture: black tie cartoons, black tie cartoon, black tie picture, black tie

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stay foolish. Stay crazy.

I have been fascinated by the "7 rules of success" of Steve Jobs ever since I saw it on ABC's Nightline. Lately, I have been trying to apply it to my own journey, a journey which may seem foolish and crazy to many. Throughout the years, I have applied rule #1, #4, and #6 regularly. I have to consider applying the other rules with more focus and determination.

1. Do what you love
... Passion is everything...

2. Put a dent in the universe
... Don't lose sight of the big vision...

3. Make connections
...Don't live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields...

4. Say no to 1,000 things
...What are you saying no to?...

5. Create insanely different experiences
...What are you doing to enrich the lives of others?...

6. Sell dreams not products
...Help others reach their dreams...

7. Master the message
...You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can't communicate your ideas, it doesn't matter...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

MCAT Blues

This past May, I promised this to myself: I would review all the sciences, practice verbal reasoning passages, and take the MCAT in September. 2011 was going to be the year in which I would follow my dream.
If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans - Woody Allen
It all started well. My review began in mid-June. I found inspiration in a couple of my favorite bloggers who were in the same boat and found time to write about their experiences. July came and went. So did August. To my astonishment, my progress was excruciatingly slow. Spending the dog days of Summer studying for the MCAT would have been delightful if it had not been very time-consuming, especially to a non-traditional pre-med. I have been out of school in a very long time and I have forgotten how to study and manage time. I was mostly surprised to find out that I was only able to complete half of the questions in the allocated time. That would not have been surprising if it had just been for the verbal reasoning section. But that was the case for the physical and biological sections as well. After a long analysis, I could not convince myself that I was fully prepared and I did what I dreaded to do the most. I postponed.
Indeed it is better to postpone, lest either we complete too little by hurrying, or wander too long in completing it - Tertullian
I am already looking forward to 2012 hoping it will be a fruitful year!

Picture: Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Oslo on my mind

Oslo on my mind
The home of most of my maternal family

Bombing News
Panic and terror thousand miles across the ocean

Phone calls and Facebook messages
Assurance and peace of mind

Oslo, the sleepy quiet town, in mourning!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I went. I lived. When will I become?

I watched 'Va, vis et deviens' (Go, live and become) a few weeks ago. I cannot believe I waited this long to see it. My siblings had recommended it to me a couple of years ago.

‘Va, vis et deviens’ is a French film about an Ethiopian boy who is airlifted from a Sudanese refugee camp to Israel during Operation Moses (1984). Shlomo, the boy, has two big secrets: he is neither a Jew nor an orphan. He is just a son trying to fulfill his mother's request to "go, live and become". The title refers to a common phrase of aspiration uttered by Ethiopian parents to their children.

The story is as much about the unconditional love of the women (his birth mother, his Falasha mother, his French Jew mother, and his wife) who guide him in his journey to “become” as it is about the Shlomo in all of us. I loved the young Shlomo, the multiple languages spoken (Amharic, Hebrew and French), the music, the depiction of Médecins Sans Frontières, and, most of all, the message. Apart from a couple of scenes that I would have deleted, I found the movie extremely moving. At the end, I found myself asking, “I went. I lived. When will I become?”