Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I am back!! 

I know, I know. . .it's been awhile but my period of stress and hell is over. After I recovered from a severe cold, I had three tests to study for within a week and it was freaking me out. I have a month until my next and last round of testing. Yeah! 29 days. . .696 hours. . .41,760 minutes. . .of no school stress.

I can almost remember what it was like when I was in college. I see the trend where I start off the semester doing great and then, as the weeks go by, I get tired of the studying and become unmotivated and then my grades drop. Then I spend the latter part of the semester trying to make up for it. Yes, this sucks. I don't like classes because trying to get a good grade interferes with my initial enjoyment of the class. I love learning as long as grades aren't in the picture. I do not like how they are used to determine intelligence or how they are used to judge a person's level of education and understanding within a subject. For instance, biological science classes are usually based on learning a bunch of facts. A student who makes an A in these classes does not necessarily have to understand the concepts or know how to apply these concepts to the outside world; all the student needs is excellent memory. A kick-a** memory will get you an A on a test, only to be later forgotten and never applied as it should be. Now, this does not happen with every subject, but it is pretty common in the sciences.

I have a great admiration for those that take these concepts a step further in understanding and application. This most likely explains why I enjoy research and its environment. Why I have a great respect for research scientists that dedicate a huge portion of their life to question, explore, and educate while exhibiting patience and fortitude; and withstanding frustration and discouragement. As I am writing this, I am thinking of Tsukasa, a fellow co-worker at the CBI who came to the U.S. three years ago and has since, done some amazing work in cancer research for our group. He is reluctantly returning to Japan to resume clinical practice in oncology surgery but he hopes to return to research in the future. I hope he will be able to because it is what he wants more. Others and I will surely miss him.

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