International students: the rising tide of garbage

International students are desirable because they pay lots of money to the university (as undergrads) or work 70+ hours a week like slaves (grad students). The trade off is that the rest of the student body has to tolerate shitty international students. Apathyfactory’s fourth axiom is that international students are actually mediocre people with shitty personalities, you just can’t tell because their true selves are hidden by a thick veneer of foreignness.

Anyone with experience in undergrad will know that the more foreign Indian students are fucking intolerable people. There’s a cohort who are idiots with really abrasive personalities. I think they’re Dravidian, like they’re the darker southern Indian type. The northern Indians tend to be nicer but quiet and shy. They seem to be alright people but very ignorable.

The Chinese students are a problem. The breakneck economic development has resulted in a lot of affluent nouveau riche corrupt communist officials. They tend to have provincial tastes and send their children (with the selfsame provincial tastes) to universities in the US. They also have a one child policy, so their children are all selfish as well. They are awful when they’re assigned to your group for groupwork. They usually do not carry their own weight. Often even when they want to, they are incompetent. For presentations, they are worse than having no help at all because they are unable to effectively communicate. They’re not in school because they want a degree and a good career — after all, they usually have so much money back home that it doesn’t matter. They’re here because it grants them status in China.

I see a lot of Chinese international students here with luxury cars. I saw one in a GTR and I’ve seen several Porsches. They have money, but that’s about it. They’re not really people you can hold a conversation with.

On Transience

One of my roommates is a frumpy masters student in some theater program. She’s not particularly gifted in any way but she works hard. She has an unfortunate habit of saving garbage, like she scans in old assignments and handouts for class. She complained about Snapchat, “Why take pictures,” she asked, “if they just go away immediately? I like storing my pictures.”

Being a dick, I responded hastily with, “I believe transience is part of the human condition.”

I think she has a lot of hangups about her brother’s death.


I think transience is an underappreciated aspect of the human experience. It has a minimalistic beauty all its own, and a nice inevitability too. You don’t need to seek out transience. It will find you.

a brief history of pharmacy school, part I

I am writing a short reflection of my time in pharmacy school to give context to my career choices and to document some of my current thoughts. While it is not my primary intent to demonize anyone, I am going to go ahead and do it.

I remember when it happened. It was the first week of junior year and I was sitting in biochem section. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I then I saw an advertisement for the pre-pharmacy club and I had a thought that went like, “Pharmacy. I could be a pharmacist. Yeah, I could do that I guess.” I applied to pharmacy school because everyone else was applying to pharmacy school. I had never worked in any capacity or dealt with anyone outside academia — I didn’t even pick up my own prescriptions. I just went into it blind.

What is the endgame for a BS in Toxicology? Lab tech? This is during the recession and nobody had an endgame other than going to school some more or getting a shitty bench bio job. So I got my pharmacy tech license and my 99 PCAT score and applied to five good school and two safeties. I got my acceptance from here in October due to rolling admission, so I went.

Most pharmacy students here are quickly disillusioned by incompetent professors who teach unnecessary classes. The curriculum is useless and fails to teach necessary aspects of pharmacy practice. Most students just roll with it and get jobs as interns. I did apply to a few jobs, but my lack of interview skill and chilly demeanor are not appealing in a candidate. Although, knowing who was hired in my stead, I know that several of my interviewers are wholly incompetent. Many pharmacists in management are hopelessly lost because the skills that get you promoted aren’t the skills that you need to be competent.

First year, most students are interested in hospital. Some of them get retail jobs for a few months only to quit as soon as they get a hospital job. I’m too loyal for that. It’s one of my weaknesses.

The summer after my first year, I went on my rotation and the preceptor there failed me. It was a godawful experience at a boring and quiet grocery store pharmacy. We did not get along, mostly for personal reasons.I just filled all day and it was boring and awful. She had salt and pepper rat’s nest hair. Her husband had a ponytail with six previous children. We did NOT get along. I was somewhat passive and she was VERY passive. We would spend long amounts of time not talking to each other. She was weird and off-putting so I never talked to her. The only other thing I know about her is that she plays harp at church, so she’s like that caricature of that weird unpopular girl in high school. This experience is what made me stay far away from retail pharmacy.

So then I decided that I’d try research.

I wanted to try bench research ever since undergrad, but decent lab positions at Berkeley were really competitive. So I was satisfied doing research and even made a fair amount of money from grants and scholarships. It was an environment that I liked because grad students don’t give a shit about professionalism. I could say whatever I wanted and nobody would care if it was holocaust jokes or whatever. That’s why I stayed. That, and I liked learning all about the benchwork. It was actually awesome that the professor took me because I had very little chemistry experience. It was a really good situation for both of us. He was new to faculty, having joined a couple years before I joined and he was still young and ambitious — tenure track but not yet tenured. He was hungry for it, and it also helps in medicinal chemistry to show that you’re involved with the rest of pharmacy school in general.

I had a lot of fun doing research and learning how you do chemistry stuff.

Korean Food

I have never liked Korean food. I remember I was shittalking kimchee and my really white roommate made a comment like, “I’m sure their food isn’t that bad.” He’s really white, the kind of white where all he eats are sandwiches and potato chips and pretzels and stuff. Most of the food he eats is white-colored. He never had sushi or pho before I dragged him to those restaurants.

So he was thinking that Korean food had some theoretical value, and I challenged him to eat it. So yesterday we went to the closest Korean place, which had 4.5 stars on yelp. He had a shitty tofu soup that all the yelp people raved about, it was definitely gross. It was seasoned with the same shit they season kimchee with. And they brought out four of those little sides, it was like random shit flavored with kimchee spices. Also kinda shitty salty vegetables. It was overall not good just as I told him.

Korean food is like, someone took the ingredients for better, fresh food and decided to ferment that shit and make really bad food with the ingredients. It’s intentionally bad.