prissi: sempai notice me pls

the sandbucket list

  1. Complete the wedding album
    • by March 6th (Groupons expire!)
  2. New website!
    • Design
    • Content
  3. Dub a clip from Sailormoon
    • Decide on clip
    • Prepare clip
    • Script
    • Cast
    • My lines!
    • Music & SFX
    • Mixing
  4. Dub half an episode of Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar
    • Cast
    • Script
    • Music & SFX
    • Mixing
    • ... maaaaybe dub the other half if time permits?
  5. Create at least one new song
    • Writing
    • Recording
    • Mixing
  6. Complete Sugar cosplay~
  7. Eat breakfast five days a week
  8. Put pink in my hair
  9. Eternal Sailormoon cosplay
  10. Swim with dolphins
Adding as I think of things~
prissi: sempai notice me pls

"we will not be worse because of the worst. we must be good because of the best."

I can think of little else today but one Norwegian's commentary on the Utøya massacre and Oslo bombing:
In the safest, most boring country, the worst lone gunman shooting happens. The worst in the world, in history. But it will not make our country worse. The safe, boring democracy will supply him with a defense lawyer as is his right. He will not get more than 21 years in prison as is the maximum extent of the law. Our democracy does not allow for enough punishment to satisfy my need for revenge, as is its intention. We will not become worse, we will be better. We lived in a land where this is possible, even easy. And we will keep living in a land where this is possible, even easy. We are open, we are free and we are together. We are vulnerable by choice. And we will keep on like that, that's how we want to live. We will not be worse because of the worst. We must be good because of the best.
I was so humbled when I read this today. This person has the amazing vulnerability to admit that we all have it within us – the thirst for revenge when someone has wronged us. The desire for the ability to stand up, head held high, as we watch those who have wronged us suffer, smug with the knowledge that we were right all along, ha ha. If only we could forgive like this. If only we could carry on, choosing to be vulnerable, choosing to be better, choosing life and love instead of bitterness and revenge.

If only this had been the cry of our nation ten years ago when a similar tragedy struck our shores...

We are open, we are free, and we are together. We are vulnerable by choice. And we will keep on like that, that's how we want to live. We will not be worse because of the worst. We must be good because of the best.
prissi: sempai notice me pls

but a hope so true will be there for you if one star shines clear and strong

Fireflies. Flickering, flashing, fascinating; words & a dance I can't hear or understand. I have never seen then before, but as I catch sight of a few of them scattered on my walk home from the library, I stop short and stand there and watch them. They are so pretty, sparkling and twisting like laughter. They are so very tiny, but they are still little lights, a brief flash against the gathering, growing dusk.

I suppose they are not so different than I; I am small, I am only one, I do not know much, but maybe I can sing hope long enough to light the way for someone to take a step.
heaven: living under the kiss of heaven

I'll say of the Lord: You are my shield, my strength

Written across the tops of the eight whiteboards in the path lab:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

-Isaiah 41:10

which I adore because it was the first one I saw, and also because it comes in the chapter right after the entire chapter that I love, the one about walking and not growing weary and running and not growing faint, the chapter Arise and be Comforted was based on.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

-Matthew 6:34

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I will trust."

-Psalm 91:1-2

I will not be moved. I'll say of the Lord:
You are my shield, my strength, my portion deliverer
my shelter, strong tower, my very present help in time of need

and finally,
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? the Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

-Psalm 27:1

which made me laugh most because right next to it, in huge letters:
Not Step 1! =)
I truly love the medical school I'm at, the people I'm surrounded by, the way we encourage each other and share notes and tips and for the most part, work to see each other succeed.

I will be okay.
prissi: fairy doctorperson(-in-training)

teach me to smile again

Snow Angel is returning. I have to try.
She wore Snow Angel the first time she held a scalpel in her hand, the gift of a kind woman who sent her a tiny vial of the desperately sought-after oil even though she had little to offer her in return. It made her smile. Light and bubbly, sweet and playful, exuberant, a girlish smile -- just like her.

She wore Snow Angel on her twenty-first birthday, the gift of beloved friends who had decided that the scent had been created by distilling the essence of her soul and so gathered up enough money between themselves to buy her a bottle, tracking down a person willing to give up theirs in the process. She smiled so hard she cried.

She wore Snow Angel to the most important interview of her life. She walked through the hospital and into the pavillion housing the school of medicine, head held high, reminded of the unconditional love and support of her family and friends with every sniff of her wrist. Her interviewers asked her about her vulnerability. Her interviewers questioned her on how she would handle death. Her interviewers backed her into the wall and asked her about ethics and how she'd handle insurance companies and decisions and lying. But at the end of it all, her interviewers smiled.

She smiled, too.

She was wearing Snow Angel when the phone rang a few days before Christmas. "The Admissions committee met recently," said the dean of admissions, "and we have decided to extend an offer of admission for you to join our freshman class next year. Merry Christmas." It wasn't a white Christmas, but it was the most beautiful Christmas she had ever known. She smiled so big, she thought her heart was going to burst.

She wore Snow Angel to her white coat ceremony the next year. She stood there among her fellow student physicians, clad in perfectly starched white coat and stethoscope, smiling so big that her cheeks hurt as she took the Physician's Oath. Twenty one years and a childhood dream, years of hard work and tears, and she had finally arrived.

She wore Snow Angel to her dedication ceremony later that winter, standing as one with her classmates and professors, fellow physicians all -- student and teacher, mentor and mentored. Dedicated with a prayer; dedicated for service and love and learning and wholeness.

She smiled. For she knew what it meant. Love and caring and pain and tears and stress and late nights of cramming. But she knew the story was so much bigger than her. It was the miracle of life and birth on OB-GYN; how things went right so many times, more often than thing went wrong. It was death and the frailty of the human race staring her straight in the face on PICU. It was the righteous anger that crept into her heart when she heard them say "possible NAT" as she stared at the impossibly colored bruises. But she was there. She would be there. She would love. She would fight even when the odds seemed impossible. She would go on even when she thought that she couldn't give any more.

But most importantly of all, she would always smile.
prissi: fairy doctorperson(-in-training)

baby, when I see you I get the atrial fibs

listen to my heart (the auscultation song)
Uncle Lenny & the Stethophones

S3 can be heard in high volume states
when in early diastole the extra blood creates
a situation where the ventricle inflates
beyond what the heart can handle on its plate

my heart overflows with so much blood
it's coming back down through the mitral valve just like a flood
baby, I need you, this much I know is true
through all of systole this blood flows for you

bored one day and I want to get ill
so I went to the clinic and palpated a thrill
the septum was bad and she had cyanosis
a VSD was my diagnosis

chronic aortic regurg murmurs are thick
early diastolic, midsystolic, Austin Flint
with wide pulse pressure 'n' waterhammer pulse
hyperdynamic is the apical impulse

listen to my heart but don't lose your head
baby, just take a breath, remember what I said
please don't think of this with nothing but dread
baby, I know you'll pwn auscultation instead

S4 is the sound of atrial contraction
against a stiff ventricle -- myocardial infarction
give it up! S4 needs a-on-v action
down in late diastole, here comes HOCM

ejection sound, yeah? baby, reasons I have two
vascular, valvular? semilunar valves through
pulmonary hypertension -- turns out, who knew?
or too much blood through a stenotic valve flew?

baby, when I see you I get the atrial fibs
I got dibs to hear stenosis between your first and second ribs
crescendo, decrescendo, that's how we roll
this aortic valve creates a turbulent flow

so the left ventricle has hypertrophy?
Valsalva enhances the sound in this disease
a well-filled ventricle keeps the patient awesome
one more time let's hear it for HOCM

listen to my heart but don't lose your head
baby, just take a breath, remember what I said
please don't think of this with nothing but dread
baby, I know you'll pwn auscultation instead

baby, you're my MVP
and not the three sounds in systole
now I've got DOE from my left V getting squeezed
can't you see, this tamponade is getting to me

listen to my heart but don't lose your head
baby, just take a breath, remember what I said
please don't think of this with nothing but dread
baby, I know you'll pwn auscultation instead

O-snap! yeah, hear the AV valve open
stenosis of the valve makes the sound bolden

mitral stenosis gets the rumbles mid-diastolic
'cause the right ventricle's gettin' mighty thick
usually begins with an opening snap
up to the carotids, right next to the straps

listen to my heart but don't lose your head
baby, just take a breath, remember what I said
please don't think of this with nothing but dread
baby, I know you'll pwn auscultation instead
piano: a million colors in your mind

there is no higher calling, no greater honor than to bow and kneel before Your throne

I want to do this, but I don't feel ready.

"Why not?" He asked.

I can't sing. I can't sing alto. I haven't been keeping up with my lessons with Terri. I just haven't had the time or the energy. I feel so musically incompetent.

He waited, silent as I stood there wrestling with myself, with Him, with my insecurities and fears. Then finally: "There is another reason..."

Mm. I don't feel like I'm ready to stand up there and lead people into worship. I don't have much of anything worth saying at this point. I'm struggling so much just to keep my heart set on You and You know how many times I've failed and failed to put You first in my life. I don't even do half the things that I know I should. How am I supposed to get up there and be an example for everyone when I'm falling on my face every time I take two steps in any direction? I'm not ready.

"When will you be ready?"

When I've perfected keys. When I've perfected my alto. When I'm a better musician. When I know what I'm doing. When I've got more time. When... when I've perfected my life and how I come to stand before You.

"Which will be..."

... never, I finally admit. I'm too much of a perfectionist.

"Do it," said God. "And never forget why you sing."

It will always be a journey. It has always been a journey. Though I've known it for a long time, it took me even longer to realize that I would never be ready. I could never be ready. With my faults enough to fill at least the Indian Ocean, if not the Pacific, I would never have felt ready enough to stand up there looking like I had it all together. For that matter, I would never have it all together, and even if I did, what difference would it make? Would that have made my worship more authentic and whole? Certainly not. The point of leading worship is to lead people, wherever they are on the path towards God, all of us, inperfect and unholy and unrighteous together, to a place where we can all sing and dance and embrace grace full in the face. I'm so unworthy and imperfect and that's precisely why I should stand up there and be the first to admit that I am not yet who I want to be, but God can fill me and use me even if I'm empty. I suspect that I'm not alone in feeling this way, and it's always helped me to hear from someone who's been there.

Maybe the fact that I don't feel worthy to do it is precisely why I should.

That day I wrestled with God, I also realized that I would never have the time for music if I didn't make it myself. I've been putting it off each time, telling myself that I'd get back to it when I was ready, when I had more time, when things were easier and I would have a definite chance to look at everything and really immerse myself in it, and not end up like the last three times when I'd just go for two lessons and then stop due to Terri's schedule and mine conflicting. I know where I want to go, what I want to do -- it makes sense to move in that direction instead of letting my insecurity and fear get in the way. Furthermore, I know that in order to not let medicine consume me whole, I need to force myself to find the time to do something I really want to do, so I've resolved to let that be my thing: to have at least a little bit of music in my life every day.

And so it was that the next day, after chapel, I dragged myself over to Dr. Lamberton and told him I'd be okay with leading worship next week. I'd emailed him the week before, telling him that I was definitely interested in leading worship at some point, but didn't feel ready at the time and would far rather help someone else out for the time being, but if he couldn't find anyone, that I would try to do it. He informed me that if he wasn't mistaken, someone had already agreed to lead worship, and it might have been me, but he wasn't sure -- but in any case, would I be willing to do special music? And in a moment of insanity, I agreed.

I chose Please Come, a song with intensely personal meaning to me, both because it was something I knew how to play and could sing reasonably well and because it fit in with the theme of what the speaker was going to talk about. Of course, much hilarity and stress ensued around organizing it, not to mention the emotional havoc and the usual insecurities and such flaring up again. "Special music" includes the word "special", which implies that something is special, meaning that your talent is "special", and could I honestly say that my talent was special? I'm not the most amazing singer or pianist; my voice doesn't invoke chills like Andi's. Baring it all, my insecurities and my inperfections, before my entire class, was something I was terrified of -- for most of them, their first insight into who I was would be of me singing a song written by an insanely amazing singer-songwriter who I can never hope to even come close to. It took me a lot to remember who I was doing this for and why, and that I was only the messenger.

Then came the realization that I had practiced on Sunday standing up at a keyboard, and that when sitting down at the grand piano in chapel on Tuesday afternoon while practicing, I sounded nasal. When I inquired, Taylor first said he didn't think that there was anything wrong, but when I complained that I felt nasal, Taylor admitted he thought I was getting sick. Great. I practiced long and hard into the night, focusing on keeping my voice in the right place. I was exhausted the next day, and didn't feel like I'd nailed it, but people thought it was awesome; most importantly, I had given my all and my best and I had brought this sacrifice to my Father -- my pride, my fears, my insecurity.

It was almost unreal. I've never performed in front of that many people like that. Oh, I've done the piano recital here and there, but it's never been this many people or in quite the same way. I hadn't written the song, but still, the song was so much of me, and here I was, I was baring my soul to 200 people I didn't know, 200 people who were my classmates and professors and people who would likely only know me by this.

I've never sung my soul out in front of 200 people. But it was amazing. Especially our vocal harmony. The part after the bridge where we're all singing "Come" in four-part harmony fills my heart in a way very few other things have.

I was happy. I felt full, fulfilled, and so, so alive. For there was truly no higher calling, no greater honor, than to bow and kneel before His throne. And no less importantly, I was doing what I had always wanted to do. It was an amazing high.

I wish I can say that I spent the remainder of the week floating on air, but it didn't last long. For one, I've been rapidly falling behind in anatomy. The overused expression "drinking from a fire hose" comes to mind here. I've never had anatomy before, much less human anatomy, and I've never been one much for learning muscles and bones and the rote memorization required to do so. Still, God somehow managed to teach me yet again that it was not at all about me -- it was all for Him, and if brought my all I would please Him somehow.

And so it was that in yet another moment of insanity, when Gaby called me and asked if I was willing to lead worship next week, I said yes.

I chose songs reminding me of how much I need God, of how I can depend on God when I feel like I've got nothing left to give. Bethany Dillon's amazing "All I Need" for the pre-chapel song. "Blessed Assurance", "You are my All in All", and "Enough" for the worship set. Three years after I first burst into singing "all of You is more than enough for all of me, for every thirst and every need" while walking towards the bookstore to purchase a scantron during exam week, it is still a powerful reminder for me, a powerful calming feeling and the knowledge that everything will be okay, because God is in control. It's become my exam song and anthem, the song I pull out when I need reassurance.

You're enough for me.

We practiced last night at my house, all of us except Taylor. Out of the four or so hours we spent working together, we came up with such gems as ending "You are my All in All" not only acapella, as I'd wanted to, but like this -- which left me in complete fits of laughter and completely unable to sing.

I've been dreaming of this moment since I was fourteen.

for there is no higher calling, no greater honor
than to bow and kneel before Your throne
I'm amazed at Your glory, embraced by Your mercy
oh Lord, I live to worship You

I live to worship You.
prissi: sempai notice me pls

You shall love your neighbor as You love yourself

RELR 701: Orientation to Religion and Medicine
Week One Reflection: The Good Samaritan
August 15, 2007

Too Busy

To be honest, I’ve never paid much attention to the Good Samaritan sculpture. I’ve walked by it more times than I can count and hurried by it even more, and yet I would probably be hard-pressed to tell you exactly where it is, except for a vague “Oh, it’s over there, kind of near the dental school.” I think it may have even gotten to the point that I don’t even see it anymore; I’m too busy. I must have passed it this afternoon as I ran from the shuttle drop-off to the chapel, late for practice, but even now as I sit here and try to visualize it in my mind, I can only remember a few spots of muddy grass, two bees I nearly collide with, and the feel of the springy grass under my feet as I run. The last time I can recall actually noticing it was on the first day of school, when I gave Vicky a mini-tour of the campus as we walked to the tables near the dental school to wait for Gordon to pick us up. I stopped then, despite being overloaded with textbooks and folders and three bags full of papers and my personal effects. I saw the stones and the metal and the fence and the plants. I pointed. “And that’s the Good Samaritan sculpture.”

Odd, that.

In that moment, aware that Vicky wasn’t familiar with the campus, I allowed myself to break through the haze of thoughts and ponderings and impossibly long lists of things to do that usually fill my mind in every waking moment. I noticed because I allowed myself to become aware; I noticed because I let myself see the world through someone else’s eyes.

I noticed because I took the time to pause and see.

As I sit here now, I almost start to wonder if that’s why the priest and the Levite didn’t stop to help the man lying helpless on the road. Maybe their minds were clouded with thoughts about the oppressive situation the Jews were in. Maybe they walked that road, deep in prayer, begging for God to show himself, for God to return to them, for God to save them, unaware that God was right there in front of their eyes, prostrate on the ground, bleeding and helpless. Maybe they were late for the evening sacrifices or their robe fitting or an examination of a house with mildew.

Maybe they, too, were too busy.

It’s a sobering thought. Too busy. Too busy to notice a dying man. Too busy to notice a work of art. Too busy to notice that my sister needs to hear an encouraging word from me. Too busy with labs and memorization and exams. Too busy to note the slight trembling in Mrs. Jane Doe’s voice as she tells me that really, everything is fine, and yes, isn’t it a lovely day out? Too busy with writing progress notes and pondering differential diagnoses and properly presenting the case to the attending to notice that what Mr. Smith over in room 380 really needs right now is someone to talk to, not someone to fix him.

Is that really the kind of doctor, no — doctor, daughter, sister, and friend — that I want to be? Too busy to perceive other people’s needs?

Is that what the story really means? To slow down, to stop, to listen, to notice, to understand?

If so, I just have to laugh at how God, knowing His creation’s tendency to forget, placed such a powerful lesson in the middle of the school as a constant reminder to never be too busy to help my neighbor.
prissi: and You call me beautiful

to be real is to be vulnerable. to be vulnerable is to be free.

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child really loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joins and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly."

   - excerpted from The Velveteen Rabbit.