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A Word of Gratitude

gratitudeI had a meeting with the PI (principle investigator) of my lab today, not about my project, but about my plans for the future, and for the first time, I mentioned my intentions of applying to medical school this upcoming fall. Training students like me in various lab techniques takes up a lot of valuable time and money, and so usually labs prefer to hire students who are able to make a long term commitment to the lab, in order to make the time and money spent on training worthwhile. Despite my news of early application (meaning I would possibly leave his lab earlier than planned), he was incredibly supportive and gracious. Reflecting on my time in the lab, words cannot describe how grateful I am and how privileged I feel to be part of this lab. The PI along with the rest of the lab members have been nothing but patient in their teaching, supportive of my goals, and understanding of my mistakes.  And believe me, I have made my share of mistakes. One night, I left a 20mL bottle of reagent for a experiment out at room temperature overnight , when it was extremely temperature sensitive and had to be stored at -20 degrees. That little bottle of 20mL had a price tag of 600 dollars. Needless to say, I was horrified, but during my talk with the PI, he was nothing but forgiving. (In the end, by the will of some external magical being, the reagent still worked  and wasn’t degraded).

Working on my medical school application has really given me the opportunity to look back on my life, and truly see how fortunate I have been in terms of the support and guidance I have received from the people in my life, many of whom I have yet to openly thank.

First and foremost, my parents. As part of an immigrant family, I have seen first hand the struggle and sacrifices my parents have made for my education, and for my personal growth. Even at a time when they were only making minimum wage, I was enrolled in piano class, art class, and other classes they felt were beneficial to my growth. Thank you, mom and dad, for giving me unwavering emotional support, love and guidance for the past 19 years.

If I have learned anything over the years, it would be that our accomplishments are never just our own. Our success is the additive sum of our efforts and also the support, guidance, and sacrifices of our parents, teachers, supervisors and other people in our lives. I think it’s immensely important, at various points in our career and life to reflect, acknowledge and thank the people in our lives that have helped us get to where we are. Gratitude is lost too often in a sea of ambitions and constant pursuit of the next goal.

Now I challenge you now to take 5 minutes, think of everyone in your life who has helped you get to where you are right now in your career, in your life, and ask yourself if you have ever openly thanked them. If not, what are you waiting for? 

Working as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

teaching

As I have previously mentioned on the blog, I had the privilege of working briefly this summer as an undergraduate teaching assistant for Organic Chemistry 2. This was arranged of through the Tomlinson Engagement Award for Mentoring program (http://www.mcgill.ca/tpulse/tomlinson-engagement-award-mentoring), which selects qualified students who had previously taken the course, to work as a undergraduate TA and assist with the course alongside the instructor and an graduate TA.

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Be Safe!

Well, I’ve got a lot to catch up on in terms of what’s going on for work.  (more…)

Sharing Creative Wealth

crMany would argue that information is the new currency in our day and age. Targeted advertisement and acquiring customer information is very important to many companies and that’s why corporations, advertisers and online forums aim to get so much information out of online audiences. Protecting our privacy online was the topic in my previous blog, but now I would like to shed some light on protecting our online creations and work. As I continue my educational growth here at McGill, I find myself constantly publishing my grad projects and research findings online. I am just beginning to see how important it is to protect and additionally, share my own work with those around me and those in my field. I began pondering, “what goes into the whole process of copyrighting something?”

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Group work in the professional setting

group_work

More often than not, when on the topic of group projects, there are groans and complaints of unequal work sharing, frustration of incompatible personalities, and the development of some sort of drama amidst big egos and hurt feelings.  Confession, I used to hate group work as well; often looking at it as a task harder than the project itself. However, fueled by more than a few difficult group projects and teamwork situations, I began putting in some time and effort in reflecting about past experiences, striving to improve my approach to group work, and in doing so, have really developed an appreciation for the amount of effort involved in established a truly efficient and functional team of group members.

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OMSAS is open for the 2015-2016 application cycle!

'Actually, you're my second patient if you count that cadaver in med school.'

Hey guys! Sorry I have been totally MIA lately. I have been super swamped with work and sorting out my schedule.  So OMSAS (the association through which you send in your Ontario medical school applications) just opened up for the 2015-2016 medical school application cycle yesterday. Needless to say, I created an account and am super excited to start preparing my application. For those who are unfamiliar with the process, you are required to fill in/upload your university transcripts, MCAT scores, an autobiographical sketch, as well as 3 references; all of that are sent by OMSAS to the Ontario medical schools which you are applying to.

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How to Protect Your Privacy in our Public World

protect1Last month I began explaining the ever-present issue of online privacy when navigating the Internet. I’m not sure whether I should call it a coincidence or just really bad luck…but just yesterday, I was put in a very sticky situation where my privacy and personal information was put at risk. It began when I was in the midst of navigating through different sites using my iPad, then all of a sudden a pop-up I had never seen before emerged and informed me that ‘adware or spyware’ may be present on my device. I wasn’t really convinced by this message and planned to ignore it. Normally, clicking on the exit button (x) would make it vanish; however that was not the case this time. The message kept popping up over and over again and prompting me to call a 1-800 number, displayed as an apple customer service number. Basically, I was not able to remove the pop-up until I called the number because this was blocking my access to navigate through Safari.

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Online Privacy: Something to Think About

prWhile spending almost a year teaching and researching about digital citizenship in the education sector, I have come across many interesting facts and recurring issues related to this matter. In the 21st century, we are irrefutably living in two worlds that are closely connected: the virtual world and the non-virtual world; however, for many, these two worlds are strongly bound and make up one ultimate reality.

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Summer of Paint and Books

art-books-cats-paint-painting-Favim.com-286808 After ample quality time with paint, I am much more confident about painting walls, wood, and large metal objects. Keeping the paint away from smearing all over my clothes? Not so much. (more…)

Summer update 3: new project and medical ethics

miceI cannot believe it is June already; summer is passing by so fast! I got a new project for the summer at my lab, centered around myofibrillar myopathies. For the project, I will be working extensively with mice (I will be removing specific muscles and various parts of the brain), which is why I spent 2 mornings this week in an animal workshop. In order to work with animals at McGill and the MNI, you have to get certified through a written test and participate in a designated workshops  relevant to the techniques you will be using for the experiment.

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