John Gallagher Jr: yezz

2013: the year in review

It's January 1, 2014 on my side of the world, so HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!! I can't believe another year has come and gone. Time truly waits for no one. Looking back, I now realize that 2013 was a great year for me, or maybe it just feels that way since I had two straight meh/not-so-great years (2011-12): 2011 had the whole delayed graduation issue, and 2012 had leftover bitterness from med school related decisions, leading to inner turmoil (dramatic, but true hah). But in 2013 I finally got closure and was able to properly move on. Sophomore year of med school has brought on an entirely new set of challenges and disappointments, but overall there's been more good than bad so I'm not complaining. I feel like I'm kind of settling into a good groove - a bit late in the school year, but better late than never. And so before I wax poetic about the coming year, let's look back on the year that was Collapse )

Happy New Year, everyone!

I have a feeling 2014 is going to be

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John Gallagher Jr: yezz

Apo Reef

Things Not to Miss in the Philippines! A ridiculously short list missing a lot of things!

I've done 12/16, well 13/16 if we want to get technical. But I just wanted to post the list since one of the numbers was "Apo Reef". I went to Apo Reef last summer and it was amazing! Hands down the most awesome dive ever and possibly my favorite place I've ever been to. Seriously amazing 1000000++/10 and I would go again (heck I'd go every year if I could).

I'll probably (hopefully) post about it during the break.

Only 6 exams, 1 SGD session, 3 papers, and 1 intense research session to go til freedom! Seriously so excited for the break. Even though I've already been sleeping too much this past week.
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Beautiful Pathologies

Second year in medical school is no joke. I've survived so far (thank God) but I can't say that I feel like I've actually accomplished much. We have an average of 3 exams a week - and as book chapters, notes, preceptorials, SGDs, sports, practices, and everything else piles up each week I can't help but feel like a robot that's just going from one exam to the next, one lecture to the next, one week to the next, etcetcetc. But that is a rant for another time. Luckily, clinical exposure more than makes up for the school work we have to slog through in Roxas Hall. Yes, as cheesy as it sounds, seeing patients, interacting with them, and learning from them lightens the load a little bit. You get a glimpse of what you're working towards.

This afternoon's preceptorial session was one of the best so far (I might be biased because I like IM a lot more than pedia and derma). Dr. U. was a great mentor and I really learned a lot from her. As we reached the end of our discussion about patient PA, we were all tasked to come up with diagnostic tools that could help clinch patient PA's diagnosis and, as a group, narrow it down to just three. The group was entertaining the thought that patient PA might have pancreatic cancer, so the top 3 diagnostic tools the group decided to "order" were CA19-9 (a serum marker for pancreatic cancer), CT Scan and/or ERCP (to determine location and extent of growth of the tumor), and serum bilirubin (patient was jaundiced). To finish up, Dr. U. scanned patient PA's chart and read his results out loud, eventually announcing to the group that the patient's CA19-9 levels were at least 10 times that of the normal. Boom. Diagnosis clinched: Pancreatic Cancer. BUT as it turns out the patient actually has ampullary cancer (serum levels of CA19-9 are also elevated in this cancer, and it presents with symptoms similar to that of pancreatic cancer). Still bad, but at least prognosis is better after surgery (provided tumor hasn't penetrated past the mucosa yadayada). Cancer is cancer. He needs to raise 70k for a CT scan and the planned surgery. And with a monthly income of at most 2k things aren't looking so good.

It weirds me out to say that this was one of the best precepts so far when the end point is that someone just got diagnosed with cancer. I found the patient visit after the session to be particularly hard since we all knew the diagnosis and the patient was lying there thinking that this was just a case of gallstones gone bad :( Patient PA has a 5% chance of surviving for the next 5 years. Some things just remind you of reality.

His story isn't over and he can still have his happy ending (and I hope he does). I'm praying that he can get the funds he needs and that he defies the odds to be part of the 5%.

I got the title of this post from this article. An interesting read for med students (and non med students as well).
Big Pete: AWOOGA

Couch Potato Mode: Activated

So this happened. That tweet was roughly 9 hours and 4 movies ago - bringing my grand total for today to a pretty respectable 5 movies. Its one of those days where you just feel like vegetating and watching movies or TV all day.

1. Silver Linings Playbook - I really liked this, although I feel like the romance could've been developed a bit more? Great acting all around though - no wonder they bagged nominations in all 4 Oscar acting categories.

2. Save the Date - This movie is kind of slow in the sense that nothing really major happens. I read some reviews that said it lacked plot, and I kind of agree. Its very much character driven and focuses on the relationships between the main cast so there's a lot of talking and little action. This makes it sound like I didn't like it, but I did haha this movie has its charms. What really kept me from liking it was the ending. Open-endings/cliffhangers can be great depending on the execution, but here it just felt like the movie abruptly ended.

3. Ruby Sparks - A fun movie about a writer whose literary creation comes to life. Its also a great story about people in relationships and their expectations or delusions about their partners. Bottom line: Relationships are hard, yo. (also, Chris Messina sighting no.1)

4. Celeste and Jesse Forever - Ugh this movie (or rather the ending) was so sad. Another one about how hard relationships are, this one with the added bonus lesson that just because you're best friends doesn't mean you will live happily ever after (sometimes things just don't work out *sob*). Bottom line: Relationships take work, yo, and you should appreciate what you have. (also, Chris Messina sighting no.2) Annnd the soundtrack for this movie is awesome (like, Garden State-level awesome).

5. Safety Not Guaranteed - What can I say I'm a sucker for anything time-travel related. Its not your typical romantic comedy and it even has a coming-of-age subplot in the mix. Plus this stars Mark Duplass (who I love, basically) and he sings in it. I mean, c'mon.

I was contemplating watching Your Sister's Sister next, but I'm thinking I might call it a night. I have to get up early to make up for lost Biochem time (fingers crossed I wake up early).

OH AND, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Let's make things happen this 2013! :D
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PSS - Post Sembreak Slump

Somehow, this video captures what I'm feeling right now. My mind is filled with all sorts of thoughts - unfortunately, none related to my research exam tomorrow - that can only be summarized as blarghghehgahghdg. In fact if you asked me about it right now I'd probably pull a Nigel Thornberry and 'blargh' at you (flailing hand movements and all) and then change the subject.

You'd think my being in med school (a move that basically maps out my life for the next five years) would keep thoughts about what I'll be doing in my life and where I'll be in the next few years out of my head. But that's just the thing. Its somehow made me think too far into the future and about what I want exactly.

I dunno. I guess the thought that the decisions I make today will impact the rest of my life has got me all worked up. It feels like my decisions right now are definitely in the big-league you're-an-adult-now category. They're not just high school or college level - not to discredit the importance of my major decisions back then, but we're talking about my foreseeable future here. The rest of my life, so to speak.

That I want to be a doctor and that I will be doctor someday, that much I'm sure. Its... everything else that's got me thinking too much. I'd explain further, but I'm having a difficult time articulating my thoughts and feelings about everything. CHOS.

Bottom line, I've been overthinking and now I should really get started on thinking about research (ugh at everyone who voted that the exam be held after sembreak).
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John Gallagher Jr: yezz

♪ UP naming mahal, pamantasang hirang ♪

UPCAT weekend feels as good a time as any to finally write about graduation. I still remember the day I took the UPCAT in Melchor Hall six years ago (to the day! But August 5 was a Saturday back then), although the actual test itself is a blur. I remember feeling anxious and wanting to get it over with. Nervousness came in January when the results were about to come out. I had already gotten into other schools, but UP was an entirely different thing. Coming from Pisay, where everyone is required to take the test, the UPCAT is a Big Deal. Teachers were aiming for 100% passing and I definitely did not want to be one of those who didn't pass. But luckily, I did. And I got my first choice, too! Fast forward four-and-a-half years later, I graduated with a degree in Biology. :)

Graduating is one of the times I've been most proud of myself (let's be real, its the proudest I've been of myself). I had my share of ups and downs throughout college and my stay in UP Diliman and the Institute of Biology - "down" moments such as the hell that was second year and the whole Bio 120 situation come to mind. But with a combination of determination, hard work, optimism (and probably a whole bunch of divine intervention + mystical workings of the universe) I came through it a better and stronger person (or so I'd like to think hah). So yeah, graduating was a Very Big Deal for me.

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And now, sleep. We've got a softball game tomorrow and assembly is at the ungodly hour of 6:30.

Me when I get up to bat tomorrow
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Suburgatory: tessa

Writer's Block: Learning Curve

It's said that you learn something new every day. What did you learn today?

Today I found out that Sonny Moore (previously of From First To Last) is Skrillex! I find this very amusing. I can't even begin to explain just how hilarious, ridiculous, awesome, and random I find this whole thing :)) The last time I heard of him he still looked like this and now he's a producer and looks like this. This is so random and funny to me! I know, I know, people grow up yadda yadda. The whole "scene" thing was a passing fad anyways. Its just, I can't really reconcile my mental image of Sonny Moore with how he looks now. God, I'm having flashbacks to my 14 year old self and the lj communities of yesteryear. Auughhh this whole thing is wrinkling my brain. And as if him transitioning into dubstep wasn't random enough, he's actually pretty good. He's up for 5 Grammy awards! File that under Things My 14 Year Old Self Would've Never Seen Coming - and while we're at it, let's add "Sum 41 being nominated for a Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Grammy" (my bbs have come so far *wipes tear*). I actually like his remix of Levels (dammit that song's catchy) and a bunch of his other stuff. At first I was determined not to like him on principle - but I have a soft spot for dubstep he won me over.

My friends and I went to a club (ugh I knoww - but tbh it wasn't that bad) last month and if the dj played more songs like this (or just better songs in general) instead of that damned house track that went on for-fucking-ever, I would've been more enthusiastic about dancing. But as it happened, that song just had a repetitive beat with no variation whatsoever and I was not intoxicated enough to dance around to it for 5++ minutes (my own fault since I'm too cheap to buy my own (overpriced) drinks haha).

Anyway, I just wanted to get that whole Sonny Moore thing off my chest. Its still so hilarious! He even has a song (and album?) called "Bangarang" - more ridiculousness - that samples Dante Basco's voice. It made me want to watch Hook again :))

Flawless movie
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Shcotsch Road, Singapore

Hello, I'm still here :) I haven't abandoned LJ yet (never!). I'm hoping this attempt to update more often actually succeeds. I feel like I keep promising to update more often, but I never follow through :))

General life update since my last post (which was way back in February gahd) - I'm officially a college graduate! But I'll save all the graduation hoopla for the actual graduation ceremony in April (I'm excited!). I graduated in October and I'm on an extra long vacation until I start med school in June. I had a lot of stuff scheduled since October, but I don't have a lot scheduled for January to May (bum life). After months of pretty much doing nothing, I'm sure school will be a welcome change in June (we'll see how long that lasts).

My mom and I just came back from a trip to Singapore to watch Wicked and visit my brother. We stayed for a week and even went to Malaysia for two days, but watching Wicked was pretty much the point of the whole trip. :))

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tl;dr. In short, the trip was
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John Gallagher Jr: yezz

GRABE LANG :)) fangirl mode: ON

Hello, I'm still alive. I guess I just haven't felt like writing much. BUT I'm breaking my hiatus to write about the Yellowcard concert. At the start, Ryan said something about them waiting all day to play the concert - they were excited and antsy. But then he said that it was nothing compared to the years we spent waiting for them to come to the Philippines. GAH SO TRUEEE. I mean, I've only been waiting seven years :))

What can I say about the concert? It was awesome, perfect, amazing, and the VIP ticket was so worth it. Sulit ang 3,605 php. AS IN. I was so close I could've climbed on stage if I was crazy enough. Audience banter between songs was awesome. They played my all-time favorite song in the world (Only One) and it was perfect. Seriously. Those four minutes were amazing. And when they started playing Way Away I got a flashback of my 13-year old self hearing it for the first time. AGH sooo many memories tied with this band and their songs. AND AND they unexpectedly played Gifts and Curses. AND AND AND the Empty Apartment sing-a-long. Just everything GAH :)) They threw some of their stuff into the audience - water bottles, guitar picks, LP's drumsticks, and their set lists. GAH so jealous of whoever got the set lists and drum sticks. When LP threw his sticks into the crowd, for a half-second I hoped that I'd have a Jam-Peter Criss moment like in Detroit Rock City (and can I just say that if that DID happen, it would have been the most perfect thing EVER and I would not have been able to control myself) HAHA I can't eloquently describe the experience, though I think that if I had less ~feelings~ I could. It was just so. WORDS CAN'T EVEN. I CAN'T EVEN. Basta. :))

They were awesome live - I guess now I understand why some people love concerts so much. There really is just no comparison between hearing the recording and hearing it played live. The ~concert experience~ makes all the difference. I ended up going by myself since my cousin couldn't go because of exams. YES, I love them that much that I commuted to some place in Makati I've never been to, to watch their concert alone. There were times when I wish I came with someone - particularly during the idle waiting time before the actual concert. BUT once the lights dimmed and they started playing I was all, YEZZ I'M ALONE AND NO ONE I KNOW IS AROUND TO JUDGE MEHHHHH!!

I was tempted to have my shirt signed, but I had to catch the last train home. PLUS I'd just be bummed if their signatures faded off in the wash. Ohwell, NEXT TIME. And yes, there will be a next time because Ryan himself said that they'll definitely be coming back. Ryan talked about how surprised they were at the amount of fans that went to the meet-and-greet. Awwww NAMANNN - now I wish went (BUT the concert was more than enough - have I already mentioned how much I loved it? haha)

I didn't take any pictures or videos. My dad took the camera, and my phone's camera sucks. PLUS I was busy enjoying myself. I'm sure the internet will provide - lots of people had cameras.

I was standing close to the speakers, so my right ear was pretty much ringing after every song. Keri lang. I was screaming/cheering and singing along to every song, so I didn't realize how hoarse my voice had gotten until I went out and asked the security guard for directions. K LANGGGG

No voice and slightly deaf in my right ear, pero K LANG. I will never ever outgrow Yellowcard. They will always be my favorite. Suuuuper sulitttt GAH
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