Aspie

I have made one good friend here, and his nickname will be Aspie because he definitely falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. We get along because he’s a bit of a neurotic cultural jew, one of the only jews I’ve met here actually. Yeah, not too many jews or mexicans here in minneapolis, but there’s a large somali and hmong population. So yeah, we’re friends I guess. When we went to orientation, I vaguely recall talking to him a little bit and he seemed to have a good sense of humor. On the ride back down, he sat next to me which was good because the Asian girl who sat next to me on the ride up was a major bore. She was a microbiology major who didn’t have a favorite microorganism, and she thinks I’m the weird one.

Anyway, on the way back it turns out we’re both PC gamers. I asked him if something about the way I composed myself just screamed “PC Gamer” and he said a little bit. Good enough. So that was how we met. Although I could tell from talking to him that he wasn’t the most focused person in the world and he had awkward pauses because I honestly believe that he has Asperger’s even though it doesn’t exist IMO. He just has weird social behavior.

He has a repetitive stress injury in his left hand (and he’s left handed) so he’s been trying to write with his non-dominant hand, and his writing sucked to begin with. So, there’s that. Also he did chemistry in undergrad (he’s 24, so he graduated two years ago) but he kinda sucks at chemistry. We get into a lot of arguments about random scientific facts and he accepts my challenges and we have a running tally of who is right about what.

Mystique, Part 2

Mystique is my favorite roommate here. She’s 29 or 30 (although looks significantly younger) and she was married last year. Her husband comes up once a week and he’s a really cool guy. He’s really big and he upholsters stuff, which apparently means covers them with foam and cloth. Not too many people do this anymore so apparently it’s in demand. He’s kinda big but in a good way, like a lumberjack. Apparently he just bummed around places for skiing (mountains? I dunno) for a long time, and I vaguely recall Mystique did a stint related to winter sports, so I guess that’s where they met.

Also Mystique is from Washington state so we’re both west-coasters. Also I think we’re similar SES because her dad was an engineer and significantly older than her mom which makes me think in my internal narrative that some nouveau riche engineer manager whose coworkers hate him gradually made a bunch of money and then divorced his wife for a much younger woman to satisfy his gender-normative desires imparted upon him by a traditional baby-boomer childhood spent playing sports and boy scouting while the traditional cultural standards were rent asunder by the upheavals of the ninteen-sixties. So I think we have similar worldviews. Hamburger Helper and Dacia both actively go to church, which is a sign of intellectual mediocrity. Sticks doesn’t as far as I can tell. I think he’s a cultural Lutheran.

Uh… also she’s into photography and japanese stuff and dresses well, so those are all out there. Oh, also there are two frats here, and I think she might have joined the lame one. The cool one tends to be filled with younger kids unable to accept that their undergraduate days are over.

This is unrelated but there’s this fobby ass retarded girl in my class. She’s one of those boring Asian girls except she’s extroverted so she likes to be boring to your face. Also she talks real fobby, the kind of fobby where she thinks its cute so she tries to accentuate it. Like, when she posts shit on facebook, she types with her accent. Like “tomolo” instead of “tomorrow”. Also I bumped into her one day and I noticed that she had glitter on her face. I was like, “You have glitter on your face.” Then Aspie discussed it for way longer than socially mandated. She and Dacia were talking to each other loudly about biochemistry, and it sounded like the holocaust. It was horrible. Dacia says the word “yes” like “YEKSFF”. It’s fucking painful. Anyway, just felt like mentioning that.

My grad student friend

For a class I had the last semester of my undergrad, I worked in a group with a grad student who was pretty awesome because she reminded me of me (like… academically) and it’s always nice to reaffirm your worldview.  Anyway, we were supposed to continue with the group project to turn it into an actual paper but two of the other group members just sort of fell apart after the semester (one of them stood up a professor, although he was going into postdoc so maybe he has more laurels than I do.) Anyway, I was working on the project over the summer and then I notice that I’m the only one who was updating anything… so I stopped. Anyway, she started working on it again because she’s taking a meta-analysis class and that’s one of the components of the paper. So I started to work on it again, but she just called me today with the message that the meta-analysis was going to be maybe impossible because the studies aren’t right (which I knew they weren’t right) for a proper meta-analysis and none of us want to do just a boring old review where we go through the literature because that’s no fun.

So she told me to put it on hiatus for a while. Oh well.

But she also gave me a pretty good pep talk after I replied that Minnesota kind of sucked. She’s cool that way because I think she can empathize feeling that you’re stuck somewhere you don’t belong because that might have been her entire undergrad experience. She was like, quit if you don’t like anything about the field… but I’m sure you can find something you like in it. She’s confident that I’m not going to be a retail pharmacist. Anyway, she might be the closest thing I’ve ever had to a mentor because I learned a bunch of stuff about grad school from her. AAH SARAH!!!!

We were hanging out one day before the Society of Toxicology meeting. I went to get yogurt. She was more of a coffee kind of person. She looked at the little cafe across from the way from the yogurt place and she was like, “aww man, they changed it”. The place held some sentimental value because she was in there with her parents the moment she decided to attend Berkeley. It was Cal Day and it started pouring when they ducked into the cafe. It’s kind of a nice thought in a rustic kind of way, like the pleasant beginning to an episode of House. My own decision to attend was sealed the day I received my rejection letter from Stanford.

Also she told me that Nina (perfectionist German professor) was impressed by me. That’s probably for no other reason than I needed filler units so I enrolled in a random graduate level class, and she’s not used to seeing undergrads take graduate classes for filler units and perform better than some of the graduate students. So that was a high compliment.

I’m not insecure apparently

I just had an hour and 40 minute phone call with June. She’s a really insecure person apparently. I am actually secure apparently. Also she’s 26 and unattached and that bugs her. She’s going to start online dating because even though she doesn’t have any shortage of dates, she doesn’t meet any acceptable suitors in northern California apparently. She’s complex.

Walked to the county hospital again today

Believing that my one map-aided round trip across the river entitled me to a complete knowledge of local geography. Well, in my cartographic discombobulation, I confused a street going south for a street going west. So I was half an hour late but that’s okay because I didn’t really miss anything.

I went on rounds with a resident and it was fine, I guess. He was really nice. I also sat in the poison control center for a while and that was… also fine, I guess. They actually track a lot of info about poisoning. They get a lot of calls about kids doing dumb shit or people killing themselves. Also sometimes, seasonal stuff like glowsticks (which are nontoxic) during the fourth of july. So that’s cool.

Also apparently my Mentor’s wife is a pharmacist in industry and flies around the country and makes bank. But his son flunked out of college and sits in the basement and playing video games. So you can’t win them all.

Tibet or not to bet?

That is the question. One of my classmates is a tibetan dude and half of his activity on Facebook is posting stuff about Tibetan people immolating themselves to protest repressive policies of the Chinese government. Also all his friends are named after the Dalai Lama. I really didn’t want to be friends with him because I had a feeling he’d be really into tibet in a culturally awkward way. He doesn’t have too many friends and hangs out with a bunch of black people from Africa.