2018 Goals: March Update

Hello everyone!

This was an amazing month. Here’s a list of what I set out to do this month:

  • 3/5: Finish MPH Personal Statement
  • 3/10: Have my personal statement read by at least two people
  • 3/15Turn in MPH Application
  • 3/17: Renew my CPR Card
  • 3/26: Take my Ambulance Driving Exam
  • Apply to EMS Jobs
  • Hike up Mt. Tam?

WowI was able to accomplish everything that had a deadline. It was raining most of March, so hiking was never an option. As for applying to EMS Jobs, I only got my ambulance driver certificate 24 hours ago, so that didn’t happen.

But okay, I still accomplished quite a bit this month! I turned in my MPH application in full, and, AND, I was accepted into the MPH program at USF! Additionally, I passed my ambulance driver certificate exam, thus completing the last step of being eligible to apply for EMT jobs on ambulances. I also renewed my CPR card, which ended up being a really fun experience. And although this isn’t a task related to my large year-long goals, I officially started volunteering with Rock Medicine!

This month was wild: I dealt with a rejection, I was sick for 10 days, I had midterms, I went to Los Angeles to visit friends and professors, I made new friends, celebrated my birthday and my accomplishments multiple times. This month was wonderful and I’m grateful I was able to be resilient through the pain (all the different kinds), and see the outcomes of my hard work.

Here’s what I have planned for April:

  • 4/12Officially submit my enrollment deposit
  • 4/15: Check in with letter writers
  • 4/29: Hike Mt. Tam
  • 4/30: Finalize MPH Application
  • Apply to EMS Jobs
  • Sign up for an MCAT Prep Class

Tasks in bold are newly added tasks that need to be completed.
Tasks in italics have been modified or pushed back.

So interestingly enough, in December, the only tasks I had set for April were related to my MPH application because I didn’t think I would turn in the application early. Jokes on me because I’m already admitted!

So instead, the priority for April is to apply for jobs and commit to enrolling in an MCAT Prep class!

I’ll see y’all at the end of April!

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2018 Goals: February Update

Hello everyone!

It’s the end of February, so now it’s time to assess my progress on my goals. Yikes.

Here’s a copy of the list I posted last month for what I wanted to accomplish in February:

  • 2/9: Schedule a physical exam for ambulance driver’s license
  • 2/12: Pay for my CA EMT License! 
  • 2/15: Finish MPH Personal Statement
  • 2/28: Have my personal statement read by at least two people
  • Renew my Driver’s License
  • Renew my CPR Card
  • Take my Ambulance Driving Exam (ADL)
  • Hike up Mission peak

Tasks in bold are newly added tasks that need to be completed.
Tasks in italics have been modified or pushed back.

Ahhhh. Okay. This month was tough. Like last month, I completed some things and didn’t get to others / they are in progress.

Let’s start with the things I did complete:

I was able to schedule and complete my medical examiner’s physical exam this month! This took a while because I was on Jury Duty, so I lost a week of productivity because I just wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it to my appointments any earlier. But as of today, all testing should be complete. And as long as I get passed by the Medical Examiner, I should be cleared to take the ADL test in March!

I also officially paid for my CA EMT License as well as renewed my CA Driver’s License. Both of these items just required me to have enough money to pay for both of them. I tutored and saved money and was able to get both of these things done!

And although it wasn’t a task I planned for February, I did hike up one mountain and got myself to the top of Mission Peak with two friends!

Now for the things I did not complete:

I didn’t finish my MPH personal statement, but I am almost done with it! I work best under pressure… so sometimes I purposefully wait for a while before I fully complete a task. As of now, I have 2 weeks to get it done to meet the early consideration deadline. And I’m definitely feeling the pressure. Obviously, I cannot have someone read my personal statement for the purpose of editing if it’s not there yet.

I will be renewing my CPR card next month! I’m going to sign up for a class through my volunteer program, and it’s set for March 17.

Assuming that I am granted the Medical Exminer’s Card, I will take my ADL ASAP. I’m aiming to complete the test the week of March 26 since that’s when I have break. Also it’s my birthday!

Here’s to looking forward to progress in March:

  • 3/5: Finish MPH Personal Statement
  • 3/10: Have my personal statement read by at least two people
  • 3/15Turn in MPH Application
  • 3/17: Renew my CPR Card
  • 3/26: Take my Ambulance Driving Exam
  • Apply to EMS Jobs
  • Hike up Mt. Tam?

Tasks in bold are newly added tasks that need to be completed.
Tasks in italics have been modified or pushed back.

Looking back on my monthly-goals post from December, I didn’t actually have any other tasks for March except potentially hiking up Mt. Tam. Also apparently, renewing my CPR card was always scheduled for March, so I’m right on time!

Also, I didn’t make volunteering part of my major goals list, it was originally on my list of things I wanted to get done this year as a smaller goal. I started volunteering at a local hospital as well as with the organization Rock Medicine! I’m just getting started, but I look forward to giving back to the community.

I’ll see y’all again at the end of March!

Why I still participate in Lent even though I’m not religious

After having been out of Catholic school for over 8 years, I still choose to participate in Lenten practices year after year. For those who don’t know, Lent is the period of about 6 weeks prior to Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 14 this year. It’s supposed to be a time of penance and preparation for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

I think it might surprise people that I still participate in Lent because I don’t attend mass or really acknowledge any other Catholic practices, and there are certainly pieces of Catholic doctrine I wholeheartedly disagree with. In fact, I don’t even really identify as Catholic as much as I just say that I was raised Catholic. I even went through Penance, Eucharist, and Confirmation as part of my schooling. (FYI, my Confirmation name is Cecilia, after the patron saint of music.)

My idea of what “religion” is has evolved throughout the years. In the United States, you belong to one religion, and only that one religion. And if you realize you want to practice a different religion, you convert or denounce you current religion. However, this idea changed when I was in college.

When I was taking a Japanese class at my college, my professor told us that if you asked a native Japanese person, “What religion are you?” the question simply would not make sense culturally. Less than half of the population actually identifies as part of an organized religion. In Japan and other parts of the world, there is no singular religion. For example, in Japan, individuals may practice Buddhism, Shintoism, and even Christianity, and this is not seen as “conflicting.” Instead, individuals will choose to practice portions of each religion as appropriate, using religion to serve themselves as people instead of people serving the religion as an institution. For example, one might visit a Shinto temple on New Years, but also have a Christian wedding.  I’m sure there are many more poignant examples, but this is what my professor explained to my class.

So I took this idea of being able to hold multiple religious and spiritual practices in my head, and applying the practices or doctrine that resonated with me the most. After all, the formation of religion was meant to serve the people, not the other way around. So instead of feeling like I have to attend mass every Sunday, I participate in parts of Catholicism that best serve me as an individual. And one of those things is Lent.

Lent, for me, is a time to practice self-restraint, control, and is a time to intensely focus on personal inner transformation. Many people practice self-constraint in the form of certain foods, as a way of imitating Jesus’ fast in the desert for 40 days during which he was tempted by Satan. I still do this, though my rationale for abstaining from certain foods is not based in religious doctrine as much as they are based in health and science.

For those who are curious, here’s a pretty complete list of what I challenge myself to do during Lent, starting from most challenging to least challenging (aka what I do every year). I have also added my rationale for each item.

  1. Abstain from eating out with friends. I wanted to do this for two reasons: 1) a financial incentive to spend less money and 2) to connect and bond with my friends in genuine and creative ways, such as cooking together, hiking, or simply just hanging out.
  2. Abstain from wearing any face makeup. As I have gotten more invested in my own skincare, I’ve wanted to continue making progress. While makeup is not inherently bad as long as you wash it off, it can still be counterproductive. Additionally, this is way of me becoming more comfortable to showing off my imperfections. Did you know: I actually wear face makeup not to hide my skin flaws, but actually because I blush a lot and very extremely? Now people will really know when I’m embarrassed or nervous, and that’s what the challenge is really about.
  3. Abstain from red meat. This one is actually hard to me because as a Filipina, a lot of my favorite dishes have red meat in them. However, I am painfully aware of the effect the beef industry has on climate change. Did you know that methane gas is over 20X more impactful on the Earth than CO2 from your car? Yeah. The best way to fight climate change is actually to just minimize red meat consumption.
  4. Abstain from feelings of being trapped by my parking space. I get so much newly-developed anxiety from leaving my parking space around my own neighborhood because of the recent influx of college students and tech professionals. So much so, that I’ve refused to go out and have almost cried because I was more concerned with my mom losing her parking spot than picking me up at the BART station late at night. So I’m really trying to let go of those feelings.
  5. Abstain from the usuals: chocolate, chips, carbonated beverages, coffee. Clearly anything that begins with a C?

I have other personal, inner transformation goals, but I will not share them publicly.

Now you might be wondering, “Marjorie, couldn’t you do these at any time of year? Lent is technically an arbitrary set of dates.” 

And you would be correct! I could just set up a “30 Day” Instagram challenge and be done with it. But Lent is an external deadline, and I know there are hundreds of millions of people across the world who are participating with their own struggles and challenges as well, regardless of their rationale being based in religion or something else. For me, Lent is a powerful time. I was born during Lent, so maybe that’s why this practice resonates with me so much.

So even though I don’t identify as religious, Lent is a practice that serves me as an individual, for personal growth, financial control, and self-restraint from unhealthy behaviors. You won’t be seeing me in a church on Easter morning, but I will certainly be celebrating my own accomplishments surrounded by people who support me.

2018 Goals: January Update

Hello everyone!

As promised, Here is my monthly update about how my 2018 Goals have been going. I wrote in this post all the tasks I wanted to complete for the month of January:

  • 1/15: Acquire GRE materials*
  • 1/15: Ambulance driving license
  • 1/18: Acquire state EMT license
  • 1/20: Acquire county accreditation*
  • 1/25: Choose MPH Application Letter of Recommendation writers
  • 1/30: Apply for jobs
  • Acquire MCAT Textbooks from my friend

*These items are asterisks because I realized they are no longer required tasks.

Okay so… I wasn’t able to complete all the tasks I wanted for January, but I wasn’t exactly slacking off either:

For Ambulance Driving License, I realized I needed a physical exam plus I need to get finger printing! And while I definitely could have done the former task earlier, I didn’t because I was sick and that could impact my physical exam. For the latter, that costs money! So I need to work a little bit so I can pay off all these fees.

The same goes for my state EMT license. I needed to make more money in order to pay for this license. However, I foresee all of this getting done by mid-February!

I haven’t chosen my MPH Letter of Recommendation writers yet because I’m still deciding. I will reach out probably within the next week or so. I just completed an application for something else, so I will ask that person if they can modify for an MPH program!

did apply for jobs that I was eligible for without my EMT license. And I did acquire my MCAT textbooks from a friend! Whoohoo!

Here’s to looking forward in February:

  • 2/9: Schedule a physical exam for ambulance driver’s license
  • 2/12: Pay for my CA EMT License! 
  • 2/15: Finish MPH Personal Statement
  • 2/28: Have my personal statement read by at least two people
  • 2/28: Register for the GRE*
  • Renew my Driver’s License
  • Renew my CPR Card
  • Take my Ambulance Driving Exam
  • Get hired by an EMS agency –> Move to Early March

Tasks in bold are newly added tasks that need to be completed.
Tasks in italics have been modified or pushed back.

I can tell that as the year goes on, I will continue adding more and more tasks to this list. Of course as I begin delving into the goals I am trying to accomplish, I acquire more information on the ins and outs of what needs to be done, so I’m able to for much more accurate to-do list! I’ll check in with y’all again in February!

Marjorie

 

 

14. Before the end of 2017, plan to put your workspace in order: clean, neat, well-organized. It will help get started with enthusiasm, and enjoy your work more.

“If you drive for work, clean out and organize your vehicle. if you have certifications to maintain, schedule training and recert as soon as you  can. Interpret this to-do however it makes sense for you.”

Oh god. At home, I have no designated work space. I just work at a dinner table. There’s very little I can do about this living circumstance. However, I do try to keep it as clear as possible, and my mom knows exactly where I work and is respectful of that.

When I get back home (because I’m currently in LA), I would like to take down my posters in my room, and hang up my certificates and diplomas because it’s super inspirational to me… like I inspire myself with my own achievements.

Additionally, in terms of certifications,  I need to get my CPR card re-newed in April! I’m going to add that to my previous monthly post right now!

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here.

13. Habiticans: Look at the Short Term Accountability guild and the Long Term Project guild, as well as (if you like them) the Pomodoro Playground guild. If you haven’t tried pomodoros and you have trouble staying focused, give them a try!

“Find communities relevant to your goals and join them. Find encouragement wherever you can–and think about how Habitica can support you in making 2017 an amazing year!”

Like last year, I’m not super social on online forums. However, I am social on Instagram and I’m trying to become more social and interact with more people by commenting on things.

I do not do Pomodoros, but I do use apps like Forest which force me to stay away from my phone in order to plant a forest. It’s a really great app for fighting phone addiction, so I will continue to use it!

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here.

12. If any of these goals involve behavioral changes (like quitting smoking or cigarettes, losing weight, getting fit, etc.), it’s essential to look into what will help you be successful and what will undermine you, and make plans and changes accordingly.

“Write a short plan for how you will address these challenges. If this doesn’t apply to you, feel free to just check it off. For this one in particular, consider doing some research–or,if appropriate, see a doctor or counselor. Take good care of yourself!”

This year, none of my goals require a change in behavior! I just have to keep doing what I’m doing and stay motivated!

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here.

11. Schedule monthly planning sessions, and monthly check-ins now, for the whole year.

This one is hard to do because I don’t have consistent contact with professors or advisors.

However, I will make a commitment to doing monthly check-ins on my Instagram (@anatomy.ace). I have a following at least from my personal friends, and a lot of people have given me positive feedback about how they enjoy seeing what I’m doing and like to see my celebrating all the little victories. I will choose to do smaller monthly updates at the end of every month.

I will also do a mid-year check in on June 30, and then an end-of-the-year update in December.

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here.

10. Create a general monthly plan for the year, so you know what you need to accomplish each month in order to be successful, and so that you have to clear ways to monitor your progress and identify problems.

January

  • 1/15: Acquire GRE materials
  • 1/15: Ambulance driving license
  • 1/18: Acquire state EMT license
  • 1/20: Acquire county accreditation
  • 1/25: Choose MPH Application Letter of Recommendation writers
  • 1/30: Apply for jobs
  • Acquire MCAT Textbooks from my friend

February

  • 2/1: Finish MPH Personal Statement
  • 2/15: Have my personal statement read by at least two people
  • 2/28: Register for the GRE
  • Get hired by an EMS agency

March

  • 3/15: Re-new my CPR Card!
  • Take the GRE
  • Hike Mt. Tam

April

  • 4/15: Check in with letter writers
  • 4/30: Finalize MPH Application

May

  • 5/14: Turn in MPH Application
  • 5/15: Sign up for an MCAT Prep Class
  • Hike Mt. Diablo

June-July

  • Start MCAT Prep class

August

  • Begin MPH School (If I get in)
  • Hike Mt. #3

September

  • 9/1: Register for the MCAT
  • Take continuing education classes for EMT school

October-End of Year

  • Hike Mt #4

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here.

9. Make a list of barriers, challenges, and tasks that consume your time.

“Include responsibilities and projects you’ve taken on–list as much as you can. Think about each one and be honest with yourself about whether you need to do them and whether they actually benefit you and help you reach your goals. What can you eliminate? But remember that friends, family, and a social life as absolutely essential!”

  • School: I’m not as busy as I was last year, but I will still have to write papers. Being at home, it’s a lot harder to focus here than it was at college. Now that I’m at home, I also have to take into account travel time between my campuses. I’m trying as hard as possible to not drop any classes, but it might happen!
  • Work: When I start working, my schedule will likely fluctuate a lot and I’ll just have to deal with it and play it by ear. A typical EMT shift is 12 hours, and it can be during any part of the day or night. 12 hours alone is already super time consuming.
  • Dance: Right now I’m only taking one dance class per week, so it’s definitely not too bad and honestly it’s good for me. It’s a great work out and distraction and it forces me to get out of the house. I’m not dropping this

That’s really just it. That’s my life right now and my life is nice and bearable. For once.

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here