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Hey dudes!

Figured an update from my LJ wouldn't go amiss. I don't seem to use this thing nearly enough (except for commenting on hilarious things in communities). Also, I have an exam later today, and I've run out of other ways to procrastinate.

Yeah, this week is insane. Exam later today in Mycology (which is fungi, or more specifically fungal pathogens). A whole bunch of lectures on different types of fungi like Candida (yeast infections mostly), Aspergillosis, and Cryptococcus. These are not fun exams because the lectures were full of really stupidly specific things and the exam will certainly test on the most minute details. Biology classes are like that.

Also have a paper due in that same class on Friday. My topic is Blastomyces dermatitidis in canines. Reading lots of papers that talk about dogs dying or being put down... pretty depressing. Didn't take that into account when picking the topic. It doesn't help that I have my Spring Concert on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Did I mention that I haven't started the paper? And that I have two more exams Tuesday and Wednesday next week? Free time is a myth.

In much, much better news, it looks like I'll have an internship this summer. I'm (tentatively) accepted into the Community Health Internship Program in Milwaukee. Tentatively, because they wanted to see if I would indeed be free for all the days of the program and to ask if I'd have a place to live/transportation. Which, you know, I do! So I'll be in Miltown from mid-June to late-July and maybe a little more... make plans, because I want to see people while I'm in town. Summerfest? All my roommates will also be in the Milwaukee area, which will be fun because they're awesome people. For her Kohl's Engineering internship, Carla is staying in the UWM dorms. Exciting!

Also may attempt a super awesome Europe trip with Mom this summer. We're thinking an Eastern Mediterranean cruise. It was to be my graduation present, but since we don't know how busy I'll be next summer and (more importantly) we don't know how well Mom will be feeling next summer, it's gonna have to happen early. She gave me all her high heels the last time I was home. On the one hand (and how I play it out in real life), awesome, because we're the same size and she had some great shoes. On the other, it's because her back gives her so much pain that she can't wear heels anymore, and that terrifies me on a level that I find hard to even begin to deal with. The cancer has essentially liquified some of her vertebrate.

I'm trying to write more, so I think I might start by updating this thing more frequently. Sorry if I attack your friends pages.
You know how sometimes people on your friendslist post about stuff going on in their life, and all of a sudden you think "Wait a minute? Since when were they working THERE? Since when were they dating HIM/HER? Since when???" And then you wonder how you could have missed all that seemingly pretty standard information, but somehow you feel too ashamed to ask for clarification because it seems like info you should already know? It happens to all of us sometimes.

Please copy the topics below, erase my answers and put yours in their place, and then post it in your journal! Please elaborate on the questions that would benefit from elaboration. One-Word-Answers seldom help anyone out.

You know you're curious...Collapse )
Holy crap.

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Holy crap.

<lj-cut="Cut for lengthy rant concerning bioethics">
So, I'm in my history class right now because I literally can't even handle this discussion. It's a class on 20th century American medicine and we're today discussing bioethics. We're watching a movie about a case from the 1970s.

In this case, a child was born with 2 problems: Down Syndrome and a condition which meant that he had no opening from his stomach to his intestine (duodenal atresion or something). Without surgery, this is a fatal condition, as it means the child can't eat, but surgery was easily possible.

Now, keep in mind, that this is 40 years ago, and that attitudes towards those with genetic/mental conditions were not nearly as liberal as now. In the movie, they refer to the condition as "Mongoloid features" or being a "Mongol", which was common at the time.

Still, the doctors left the decision up to the parents. What decision, you may ask? Why, the decision of whether or not to operate on their child.

They chose no.

And so for 15 days the doctors and nurses were forced to watch as this infant starved to death.

Holy fuck, dude.

I am vehemently pro-choice. I would go so far as to say that I am pro-abortion. I am also pro-contraception and pro-sex education and pro-any number of liberal reproductive choices. Hell, I'm pro-assisted suicide in cases of painful and terminal diseases. But I am also smart enough to realize that abortion is a tricky issue. The definition of when life begins will never be concrete. There will always be moral questions to be answered.

But this was a child. Yes, it was one who had a problem, a mental illness, but people with Down Syndrome can and do go on to live decent lives. They can be happy. No, it's not an easy road, for them or for the parents, and I would be lying if I said that I don't hope that it doesn't happen to my children someday. But... holy fuck.

The only saving grace is that obviously things have changed since then. Except.... have they? When parents are allowed to watch their children die as they "pray" over their easily treatable illnesses, is that any better?

Damn, dude. This is way too intense for a Tuesday morning.

Is it wrong that I find the swine flu thing absolutely fascinating? Love it! Tracking shit like this and being one of those people on TV that's all like "DO NOT PANIC" is pretty much my dream job.

14 probable cases in Wisconsin, and 7 of those in Milwaukee county. Wonder if Franklin will close its schools? I want some cases in Dane County so that I can get out of finals.

Cosmo (one of the roomies) told me that he talked with someone who was like "yeah, if we close down school we want students not to fraternize, to keep contact to a minimum". As if they could ever give us a day off of school and NOT have us throw the most massive, hysterical party ever. Beer would run like water.

So I'm gonna go play more Pandemic 2 (fun game, Google it), read more info at http://pandemic.wisconsin.gov and just generally soak in all of the awesomeness. Time to start stocking up on bottled water and canned goods!
Anyone want two tickets to the Saturday night UW Band concert? My family is lame and dropping out in favor of working/hunting/whatever. You'd have to sit by my mom, but she's cool shit anyway. Floor seats, which means they're awesome.
Time to get all boring on your asses.

A few weeks back I posted a link to my shiny new blog (Crayola in Africa). If you haven't, you should check it out. My latest post was on all my sweet-ass vaccinations and all the crazy information you get when traveling somewhere like South Africa. For instance: no going in fresh water anything because you can get Schistosomiasis. Which, of course, is caused by parasite larvae that can penetrate your intact skin and live there. Let me repeat that: parasite larvae that penetrate your skin. Yeah.

But that's not the real reason I'm posting. The real reason is that while in Africa I'll be staying at a place called Ingwavuma Orphan Care (IOC), which helps (either directly or through grants) about 4000 orphans.

4000 orphans.

To help me feel like less of an asshole for living in America and throwing away food because I forget about it in my fridge, I've started trying to raise some money to support the orphan camps we'll be providing. I've never really done this before--asked for money for a cause--and frankly I usually don't like it. Things like girl scout cookie sales were the bane of my damn existence way back when. But this is something that I REALLY believe in (enough to get three damn shots a week ago!), and if you would like to support that I encourage you to check out my donation page here. It is tax-deductbile (yay?), and would mean really a lot to me.

I had a dream last night where I broke out of jail. I was fucking SMOOOOTH about it, too.

Look at my post title. LOOK AT IT. Yeah, I don't need a reason for it, I just AM a ninja.

So let me explain this. (LAME ADVENTURE OF A COLLEGE STUDENT INSIDE)Collapse )
Ugh, trying not to do work that needs to be done.

This weekend has been pretty damn fun. First I got to go get vaccines on Friday for my Africa trip which, while hurting, was cool because I love stuff like that. Hence my major? Yeah. My arms hurt but the whole time I was like "ow! coooooool" Because now I know WHY they hurt (it's necessary to cause an inflammatory reaction like that in order to basically wake your immune system up so it can do some fucking work)

Then it was my roommate Matt's 21st birthday, so we went out to the Gritty and then barhopping. Hit Wando's, Brat's, Dotty's, Brother's, and the Big 10. If you know anything about Madison geography, then you know that it was a pretty poorly thought-out route... back and forth and back and forth. Finished 4 fishbowls at Wando's, macked on the Statue of Liberty outside Brat's, finished 2 boots at Dotty's (and got yelled at for pounding on the table... oh no, we were loud in a bar!), was bored at Brother's, and then finished the night up happily at the Big 10. Good times.

Yesterday was Briski's birthday (he's an older trombone), so again I went out to the Gritty. Yay the Gritty? We stuck around from dinner (7) until power hour (10) because... power hour = $1 rail mixers! Good deal on a Saturday. Played a lot of simple drinking games. From there it was to the Church Key which, if I haven't mentioned it, is just a really fun bar. It straddles that line between classier (see: Dotty's, Great Dane) and college (see: Brother's, Big 10) Talked with Dan Backes (graduated trombone) about really nerdy stuff like Left 4 Dead and Ubuntu, lol. Then we hit the Big 10 again, mainly because it's pretty much on the way home. Finished the night by talking a lot with Furby and Endres about... various interesting things.

So now I'm finishing up my weekend by ignoring my homework and watching far too many episodes of Supernatural online. TV has taken Tyler's place in my life... in that it keeps me entertained, haha. NOT LIKE THAT, YOU SICKOS!

Basically, awesome weekend. I should be going home next weekend... it's mom's birthday soon and my grandpa is in the hospital. So, yeah, Franklin. See you guys there?
I can't believe we just got beat by IOWA, the Land of Nothing But Corn, to the punchline. Wisconsin is officially less advanced than a hunk of land with no features other than corn fields. Have I mentioned that Iowa is nothing but corn?

Their supreme court struck down their gay-marriage ban today, essentially making gay marriage legal there.

Ugh, I am so upset by Wisconsin sometimes.