ALUNSINA HANDBOUND BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of months ago, sometime in the beginning of the year, my cousin asked me if I could ask my dad if he could make leather journals because he wanted one that looked tattered and frayed or something to that effect. I asked my dad and he said he would try but he wasn’t sure and that it depended on the kind of leather my cousin had in mind. 

A few days later, I was looking through the pages one of my friends (Jannie) liked on facebook, in the hopes that I would find a nifty online shop..and I did. 

I happened upon Alunsina Handbound Books on facebook and looked around. I absolutely fell in love with everything they had in their albums and the idea that this would be the perfect gift for my cousin. 

Handbound Leather Journals, made in the Philippines. How can I go wrong with that?

I bookmarked the page and completely forgot about it because of school until about a month ago when I was skimming through my bookmarks and remembered that I had to place an order. 

Prices are not posted on their albums because they are subject to change, BUT when you do ask for price lists and send your email address, you are given not only a catalog that gives you a run through of all the things you need to know about how to place an order but also a few quick facts. 

I have had a lot of bad experience dealing with online shops online because of the confusion of responses, the messed up orders, delivery and the bad quality of the products that I received considering they looked so good in the pictures, but dealing with this shop was a totally different experience altogether. 

They responded with clear explanations whenever I had questions about their products and  gave me a lot of options on how to further personalize the journals I was ordering. They were organized with the orders and realistic about delivery dates. They were more than pleasant and I really enjoyed ordering from them. 

I would like to go on and on but I would rather the pictures did the talking because the journals I received were amazing. They were crafted beautifully and skillfully. So here are a few photos and deets at the bottom. 🙂 Post is short because I have exams and Maximus is dying on me. 🙂 

Oyeah, I was wrapping them when someone asked me if I got them abroad and when I said they’re made in the Philippines the lady was shocked and asked me where she could get them so I wrote it down for her. It’s nice when people appreciate local crafts. 

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Description:
Size: 7.5 x 5.5 inches
Cover: genuine leather (tan and/or dark brown)
Binding: long stitch, handbound, 100% non-adhesive, journal can be opened flat at 360 degrees w/out
damaging the spine
Paper: acid-free blank ivory paper w/ distressed edges
No. of pages: 240 back-to-back

They also sell smaller journals, leather accessories and 2013 planners which are new releases. 🙂

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Alunsina.Handbound.Books

Tumblr: http://alunsinahandboundbooks.tumblr.com/

 

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MY TOP 5 FAVORITE MOVIES

I have always wanted to do a list of my favorite movies somewhere in my blog but I have never had the time to do it, so while waiting for the (upcoming?) release of Kaichou wa Maid-sama Chapter 70 online, I have decided to race against the laptops battery and make a post about my top 5 (because 5 is my favorite number) movies. 😀

A persons preference defines who they are. I judge people based on the kind of books they like to read, the kind of movies they listen to, the kind of music they watch (or vice versa), their personal beliefs about particular ideas or whether they can tell the difference between crayola crayon colors simply by tasting them.

I have decided to put the movie poster, as well as a synopsis stolen from somewhere online, my favorite quote from the movie, my favorite character and my personal reaction. 😀 It’s putting a lot on my plate, which is why I only picked 5, but I actually like quite a lot of movies both mainstream and indie.

So here goes:

1. Girl Interrupted (1999)

Synopsis:

Susanna is a young woman of eighteen, and her life isn’t exactly what a “normal’ eighteen-year-old’s is suppose to be like. To her, any kind of sex is casual, and it doesn’t matter who she does it with or when, as long as she gets it.

At graduation she falls asleep, proving she has little interest for the norms of prize-givings or anything to do with what’s accepted by society. At her father’s birthday party she is underdressed and is of course moaned at by her hypocritical mother. Here we learn that her parent’s friends are just as false as what is accepted by everyone. And then it becomes clear that Susanna has been sleeping with her mother’s friend’s husband.

This drives her to try to commit suicide with asprin and a bottle of vodka to get it all down. At the E.R. she claims that she doesn’t have bones in her wrists anymore, and tells the psychiatrist at home that the bones grew back by the time she got to the hospital.

So she is shipped off to a local mental institution and put in the ward for women only. Here she meets a multitude of people who really do have problems: an anorexic, a girl who was burned as a child, a lesbian, a bulimic, and her roommate, a compulsive liar, to top it all off.

The ward is run by Nurse Valerie Owens, who is very clever, but is unable to become a doctor due to her race. All the nursing staff and the patients are kept marginally sane by Valerie, and she and Susanna have a complex relationship. Susanna is questionably diagnosed with having a Borderline Personality Disorder.

Things really get started when the sociopathic run away patient, Lisa, returns to the ward and turns Susanna’s world upside down and inside out. She is a force to be reckoned with—she is magnetic, rebelious, doesn’t take her meds and is unhealthy for the other patients as she breaks down their self-esteem regularly. Due to the fact that her last best friend, Jamie, couldn’t hack it when she ran away, Lisa befriends Susanna and together they start a world of trouble.

Favorite CharacterLisa played by Angelina Jolie.

Favorite QuoteSusanna: Crazy isn’t being broken or swallowing a dark secret. It’s you or me amplified.”

Personal Reaction: Nothing I say will sufficiently describe how much I love this move. I have always been drawn by the psychological problems the characters have and the peculiarity of everything that occurred during this time frame. I have always been drawn to the darkness in people and all the characters in this movie have a dark side. I like the discussions the characters have about the mundane and how it becomes reality. I never get tired of watching this movie and I don’t think I ever will. If you have not seen this movie yet, I suggest you give it a try, although it takes maturity to understand the concepts and the dark and deep undertones of the film. Another thing is that the concepts are pretty heavy so you need to pay close attention when your watching it.

2. Donnie Darko (2001)

Summary:

Troubled adolescent, Donnie Darko, receives a disturbing vision that the world will end in 28 days. With the help of various characters, including a 6 foot rabbit called Frank, he slowly discovers the mysterious physical and metaphysical laws that govern his life and that will lead up to the destruction of the universe.

Favorite CharacterFrank

Favorite Quotes:

Gretchen: Some people are just born with tragedy in their blood

[Donnie to Pommeroy, about the Graham Greene story] Well, they say, right when they flood the house and they tear it to shreds that, like, uh, “destruction is a form of creation,” so the fact that they burn the money is ironic. They just want to see what happens when they tear the world apart. They want to change things.

Donnie (during a class discussion of Watership Down): Why should I mourn for a rabbit like he was human? The rabbit’s not like us. It has no… keen look at something in the mirror, it has no history books, no photographs, no knowledge of sorrow or regret. Don’t get me wrong, I like rabbits and all. They’re cute and they’re horny. And if you’re cute and you’re horny, then you’re probably happy, in that you don’t know who you are and why you’re even alive. And you just wanna have sex, as many times as possible, before you die. I mean, I just don’t see the point in crying over a dead rabbit… who never even feared death to begin with.

Personal ReactionI love Donnie Darko because it’s peculiar. It’s a mixture of weird and strange. It plays with your mind taking you into the dark twists and turns of the mind of Donnie Darko and his friend Frank. I like the wit of Donnie and the fact that he speaks his mind. I like the circular narrative of the film and the way everyone is, in some way, interconnected. In the end, you feel like you get it but you don’t but you do because the symbolism of time travel sounds acutely precise yet imprecise at the same time. I guess, after the movie, you feel like you know more than you did but not really. 😀

3. Prozac Nation (2011)

Summary:

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Wurtzel is a teenager accepted into Harvard with a scholarship in journalism. She has been raised by her divorced mother Mrs. Wurtzel since she was two years old, but she misses her father and feels needy and depressive. When she joins the university, she lives with a roommate Ruby and has her sexual initiation with Noah. Her article for the local column in Crimson newspaper is awarded by Rolling Stone magazine. Lizzie becomes abusive in sex and drugs, and her existential crisis and depression increases and she hurts her friends and her mother that love her, while dating Rafe. Mrs. Wurtzel sends her to an expensive psychiatric treatment with Dr. Sterling, in spite of having difficulties paying for her medical bills and therapy sessions. After a long period of treatment under medication, and suicide attempt, Lizzie stabilizes and adjusts to the real world.

Favorite Character: Elizabeth Wurtzel played by Christina Ricci

Favorite Quote:

Dr. Sterling: Have you had any drugs in the last 24 hours?
Elizabeth: No. Well… I guess I snorted some coke and smoked some pot but uh, you know, that was just to make the ecstasy last longer.
Dr. Sterling: Sure you’re not forgetting anything?
Elizabeth: Maybe a few beers?
Dr. Sterling: Did you ever think you might have a substance abuse problem?
Elizabeth: The only substance problem I have right now is that I need you to get me some trank so I can come down off this fucking coke.
Dr. Sterling: And then what happens?

Personal ReactionI like the fact that I can relate to it. It gives you a peak at the life of people facing depression. I liked the fact that Christina Ricci was in it and I liked that fact that it was both from a personal and medical perspective. I just really liked this movie. It helped me explain what I was going through to the people that mattered and it helped me understand that there are other people who go through it as well.

4. Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Summary:

Clarice Starling, a young intelligent FBI trainee, has been sent to the Baltimore state hospital for the criminally insane to interview an inmate Dr. Hannibal-the cannibal- Lecter. A brilliant renowned psychiatrist turned infamous psychopathic serial killer. She must match wits with Lecter -who has the darkest of all minds- and trust him to give her clues in the search for “Buffalo Bill”. A nick name for a loose, unknown, unstoppable psychopathic serial killer.

Favorite Character:  Dr. Hannibal Lecter played by Anthony Hopkins

Favortie Quote:

Hannibal Lecter A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

Personal Reaction: Need I say more. If you have not seen this, go watch it already! 😀

 

5. Sleeping Beauty (2011)

Sleeping Beauty

Summary:

Beautiful college student Lucy has just begun dabbling in sex work when she accepts an interview with Clara , the proprietor of an elegant prostitution business which caters to a wealthy clientele. Accepting the opportunity with the understanding that the job is to be handled with the utmost discretion, Clara’s job is to consume a sleeping potion that will render her completely unconscious, at which time the clients are permitted to enter her chamber and indulge their prurient desires. Though actual penetration is strictly forbidden, anything else is fair game.
Favorite Characternone
Favorite Quote
Clara: Your vagina will not be penetrated. Your vagina will be a temple.
Lucy: My vagina is not a temple.

Personal ReactionI like the elegance of the movie considering it is about a student drawn into prostitution. I like the art-porn, the occult rituals in the sex industry, the tenacity of the leading character and her feelings towards sex, which are surprisingly not in the movie. I like her complex relationship with this agoraphobic alcoholic, I like the blankness of her expressions, the indulgent necrophile-rape fantasy, and the stomach-turning “sex” scenes that show the aged human body. There is an originality to this movie that I have never encountered before. I liked it.

Well, there you have it. My 5 favorite movies wrapped up in a nutshell. Looking back through the post, I realized they were all psychological movies. I barely even noticed while I was writing it. 😀
I guess I have to do something else because I wanted to incorporate some of my favorite films like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Across the Universe, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, Romeo and Juliet, The Man in the Iron Mask, Blood Diamond, Gifted Hands, House of a Hundred Corpses, Quentin Tarrantino films… *sighs* maybe next time.
For now I will have to make do with my top 5 Psychological Movies. 😀

I COMMEND YOUR IGNORANCE: THE TRUTH ABOUT MEDICINE

It seems to me that Medicine is starting to become a trend a lot of nurses seem to want to get into, but for all the wrong reasons. I’m blogging about this because it’s summer and I have nothing to do, and because I am becoming increasingly annoyed over the tidal wave of messages I have been receiving from people regarding medicine because of the excessively wrong notions they have in their head from only God knows where. I actually don’t mind answering and I like to help whenever I can, but sometimes, people cross the line and I find their ignorance overbearing.
I find it extremely bothersome, having to correct the wild assumptions people make about med school.
A couple of those include the following:

1. Medicine is one of my options because I don’t know what to do right now.
First things first, medicine should never be merely an option. It takes years of careful planning and thought before one can even begin to consider taking up medicine because it is a lifelong commitment. I am plagued by people who tell me medicine is just one of the options they’re considering because they are unsure of what to do after nursing. My fellow batch mates and I took years to come to the realization that this is what we wanted. It isn’t something you decide to do on a whim. It entails years and years of hard work and sacrifice to even come to this stage. Admittedly, the idea of becoming a doctor is something that is conceived easily, but the notion doesn’t end there, it must evolve into a calling fueled by desire, burning into a passion. It is not something you consider along with other things. Its something you have to want really bad. Really really really really bad. So if you have other options in mind, you might as well junk medicine from the list, because it isn’t something you’ve thought enough about. For us, it’s Medicine or Bust.

2. Medicine should be easy because I took up Nursing as my Pre-med.
I hear this a lot. People think that being in the healthcare profession means there is some sort of marriage between the two. I am here to tell you that there isn’t. There may be a handful of similarities, but having the mindset of a nurse while in med school disrupts potential avenues for learning. By having your mind set in a specific way brought about by being taught to think in a specific manner, you end up boxing yourself in and setting limits for yourself. There may be a familiarity of concept or theories but medicine will never be “easy” because of nursing. By having this sense of familiarity, you will let your guard down and eventually settle for what you already know thinking that past knowledge will sustain you and you will begin to assume you know what you’re talking about. Nursing can only take you so far in medicine. In order to fully embrace the higher school of thought, the nurse has to be switched off from your mind for you to begin to tackle the different approaches in learning.

3. Medicine is a good choice because there are no jobs for nurses in the Philippines at the moment and it’s difficult to land a job abroad or Better take up Medicine so you’ll earn a lot of money.
Money is never a good enough motivation to do something. Those motivated by money make the worst kinds of doctors.

4. I’m/You’re smart. Therefore I/you should proceed to medicine.
This is one of the most common misconceptions with regards to medicine. If I remember correctly, my boyfriend’s workmates were encouraging him to proceed to medicine because he’s smart. I have also heard a lot of people encourage their friends or relatives to take up medicine for this reason. Time and time again, I tell my boyfriend not to listen to the people around him who give foolish advice because they don’t know any better. Besides wanting to proceed, it takes more than intelligence to be a good doctor. There is no use filling a person’s head with notions to take up medicine, using their Intelligence Quotient as ammunition because it isn’t good enough. People do not know the damage they do when they push their friends or relatives to pursue medicine for this reason. I have seen a lot of my friends, including some of my batch mates, who are all very smart; drop out because medicine was not what they expected it to be or their performance was not to their liking despite the fact that that they were highly intellectual people. What I’m driving at is that the idea of pursuing a medical career is a very seductive idea when you have the brains for it and especially when you have people around you egging you on to give it a try. The thing is, these people around you will not have to go through what YOU will go through when you take up medicine. For them, there will be no losses, no damages done, no consequences. I am telling you, that if this is the sole purpose as to why you plan on pursuing medicine, then it would be a smarter choice if you stayed put and took the time to reassess yourself before you blindly jump in. Medicine is exhausting. Not only mentally, but the strain of what you will go through will affect you physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially. The course itself requires a certain degree of intelligence but also diligence and willingness to sacrifice anything to achieve your purpose. You need to be in love with what you’re doing.
5. After 4 years, I will be a doctor, so it’s worth a try.
You might mean something like 10 years. If you have no plans of specializing, you might as well not proceed at all. It defeats the purpose of taking up medicine if you plan on being a jack of all trades but a master of none.

6. After 4 years, I will be earning a lot of money.
After 4 years, you’ll be reviewing for the board exam, and if you pass that, there’s internship, residency… SO NO. 😀

7. Being a doctor is one way of becoming rich fast.
Only if you topped the board exam and you are one of the best at what you do. With the influx of people aspiring to be part of the medical profession, it is difficult to establish a clinic or begin working without either being the best, taking over a family practice, of having a lot of connections. People have difficulty trusting new doctors regardless of skill. There have been doctors who, after 5-6 years post grad, have yet to find a job in a hospital or have yet to open up their own clinic.

8. It’s easier when you’re a doctor.
Trust me, it’s not. Can you imagine the gravity of your position and the impact you will have on the lives of other people, and how what you do or say can affect them and change the course of their lives for better or for worse? Personally, as first year medicine student, people have been coming up to me consulting me about what’s going on with their body and what medicine they should take, or if the lump they have is unusual or if they have cancer. I am constantly overwhelmed. I try to be confident in what I have learned and try to begin to apply that into practice but a part of me constantly holds back and is constantly frightened. Frightened by the thought that what if something goes wrong, what if I made a mistake. So after I give my opinion about anything, I always encourage them to consult a doctor. I know that at the moment, I lack the knowledge and skills to be able to advise them accordingly, but years from now, there will always be the fear in me that something can go wrong and the knowledge that I am dealing with another human being. The life of another person is literally in my hands and there should be no room for error because one wrong move and everything goes downhill. That is the fear I have to learn to live with as a doctor. So no. It’s not easier.

9. I don’t need to like to read to take up medicine.
You have got to be one of the biggest idiots ever. To be in med school, reading will become your life. You will spend 10-16 hours a day reading and you will spend the remaining time resting so you can keep reading. There will be nothing left for you but to read.

10. You’re school is easier than mine.
My school? Is easy?! Whatever gave you that idea? My school is in the same league as UP considering both schools have a consistent 100% passing rate every single board exam. From an initial 200 freshmen students, the cuts are so steep, once you graduate (if you even graduate), you’re left with only 50 students or less. We have exams every week and there is no room for rest. Everything is fast paced and nothing is spoon fed. You are expected to know the topic for every module before you come into SGD (Small Group Discussion) and books are not allowed in class. your participation will be graded during SGD by a facilitator who may or may not contribute to the discussion. You will learn as a group and what you learn depends on what other people have learned. You will tackle body systems this way and because everything is so broad you will need to learn as much as you can the best way that you can about a specific topic from the vantage point of 4 major sub-subjects (Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry and Histology. You will have 3 hours of discussions daily. During laboratory, you will dissect an actual cadaver and identify body parts yourself with the aid of your atlas without help from the facilitators. You will need to read before you come in to know where the nerves and blood vessels are, as they are to be preserved. You will need to know how to identify a certain cell, epithelium, connective tissue or whatever else part of the slide of a specific organ at a glance. You will need to know the purpose of each structure and what is unique to that specific slide.
You will have 4 kinds of written exams: 2 long exams after every system, 1 unit exam after every 2 systems, 2 written bimonthly exams (1 exam per system). You will have practical exams in histology and anatomy every unit exam and bimonthly exam. Each practical exam is 40 items per subject and is a moving exam with 45 seconds per number. You will need 75% to pass.
Oral examinations occur during bimonthly exams and consist of 24 topics based on any of the systems you have previously discussed. During the day of the oral examination, you will be assigned to any of the facilitators and you will be asked to choose 3 questions to answer and explain in detail. The facilitator has to be satisfied with your answer for you to get a good score. You only have 10 minutes.

Final exams consists of 4 days of written exams based on the 4 subjects from cover to cover because technically, all books HAVE been read from cover to cover. Failing any exam will mean deficits. Deficits mean you need to catch up not only to pass but to get scores high enough to cancel out your deficits. An accumulation of deficits means failing. AND THIS IS ONLY FIRST YEAR.

So my school is easy? Please. Your school can’t even cover the basics well enough for your graduates to pass the board exam. You’re trying to fly when you can barely walk.

11. What’s the passing rate of your school so I can apply? Wait, what’s PBL?

Seriously? You shouldn’t go around asking people about the passing rate of the NMAT without knowing about the school. That is a very dumb way of school hunting. You are an idiot. Don’t bother.

 

 


THE 7 PEOPLE ON OMEGLE

My cousin introduced me to Omegle last night.

But FIRST. What is Omegle?

Omegle is an online chat website that allows users to communicate with strangers without registering. The service randomly pairs users in one-on-one chat sessions where they chat anonymously using the handles “You” and “Stranger”. (source: wikipedia)

Omegle is actually very interesting, because compared to most chat rooms, it’s just you and someone labelled stranger. You can choose to leave any time you like and if you begin feeling uncomfortable with whoever you’re chatting with, and they can do the same. I’m sure everyone has an idea of what a chat room is like, because I don’t want to waste my time discussing how it works.

When I chat, I try not to take everything so seriously. I hate the “hi, asl” thing and apparently most people do. So, along with my cousin who is also named Patricia, we ended up starting really strange conversations, pretending to be unicorns from unicornland, penguins in antartica, or just being really really really major trolls. Like I said, nothing serious.

First person who actually sounded cool and didn’t leave the chatroom when we told them some random thing was this guy who started off with saying “‘sup?” and we responded by saying “hi” and he asked “dude or duddette?‘ and i said “duddette. 🙂and he was really cool. He was like, “Oh hi duddette!” and I said “So, are you a dude, dude?” and he said yes. then before we could continue the conversation, my cousin accidentally clicked the mouse and ended the conversation. Which was bad because he sounded really cool. But it did give us hope that somewhere out there, there were people like us.

So we tried again.

After even more run ins with horny teenagers which we evaded by telling them we cannot have sex because we are unicorns in search for virgins, after which they proceeded to leave, we bumped into a 25 year old Brit named Arthur who was taking up Marine Biology. First thing we said to him was “please don’t be a horny teenager” and he said “Don’t worry, I’m not. My name is Arthur, it’s a pleasure to meet you” and with that we began our conversation. I asked if he finally found his sword, and he told me he was still working on it. (King Arthur) It was an interesting conversation considering how polite he was and how “gentlemanly” his questions and answers were. Besides taking up Marine Biology, he also works at a radio station, which was intriguing because I have always wanted to work as a DJ for Killerbee, but they only wanted me for the morning because my voice was too high pitched and “perky” for the evening shift. After talking about college and tumblr, he told me to give him 2 seconds and we magically got disconnected because of a technical error. He was nice. Strange and quiet, but nice.

The next person I met was this guy below. I just wanted to post it because I had so much fun with this guy or girl. I mean, this is how I am. I say random things and wait to be surprised by whoever is on the other end.

I guess he/she was looking for something else. But I had a blast being surprised by the replies. 🙂

I bumped into a few ASIANS.

The first is from Taiwan, but moved to Australia for school. Her name is Maggie and she was really nice. She told me she wanted to be a nurse and asked me about what nursing is like because I told her it was my pre-med. 🙂 She told me she was extremely shy and had to overcome that first before she even expected to become a good nurse. I told her that nursing will help her with her shyness and will teach her how to talk to people especially to her patients therapeutically. She asked me if nursing was hard, and I told her all things in life have some level of difficulty but if she really really really wanted it, then it wouldn’t matter because it would be worth it. The conversation ended early because of the time difference and she had school the next day. She asked for my facebook and added me and I guess we have Asian pride, because we talked about Being Asian a bit and how Awesome we are (ASIAN ftw!)

Next Asian I bumped into was Jake. We discussed school mostly and he asked me about Medicine because he plans on proceeding to Med school after college. He is majoring in Cellular and Molecular Biology and wants to become a neurologist. I told him we were living the Asian dream. haha.

I got into a chat with this girl who talked to me about this guy she liked but was too afraid to talk to because he already had a girlfriend. So I told her about me and Elmer and how we started out and how I always had this gigantic crush on him and started talking to him and we became friends ’til it got to a point where his having a girlfriend was no longer an issue because we were both in relationships and how our friendship was enough at that point in time, but evolved into something else after being together on a daily basis. I told her I talked to him about random things, which he liked extremely and I always had the uncanny ability to surprise him with the things that came out of my mouth and the things I was willing to do and try just because I thought it was fun. She was surprised it worked and she told me she was extremely shy and that is difficult for her because of different cultures. So I asked her what culture and this is what she said:

I couldn’t stop laughing because we were both from the Philippines and all this time, we both thought the person we were talking to was from America! 🙂

I got into a debate on the possibility of either Creation or Evolution with a 20 year old who spoke to me about DNA replication, translation and Protein folding, about the Bacterial Flagella and Darwinism and the genetic code. Admittedly, I felt stupid. Considering we took all that up in Biochem, what he was talking about was on a whole different level and I could not relate. He was very nice about it and apologized if he seemed rude. I proposed the Prime Mover theory which incorporates both Evolution and Creation. When he asked what I though Evolution could not explain the only thing that came into mind was “THE BEGINNING”.

The last person I talked to was a 27 year old “gardener” (more like landscaper) from Belgium who talked to me about the guy he was previously chatting with who had to go because his wife caught him on Omegle and she was throwing things around because she thought Omegle was a gay site. After a while, we talked about the Philippines and I mentioned that we call the girls with the retired foreigners “ISLAND SOUVENIRS” and he found this hilarious. Apparently, there is a reality TV show in Belgium called Exotic Love  which is about the relationship of Dutch men with Filipina women. He asked me why women in the Philippines, have to go for older men when there are some who are really beautiful, I told him about what the women here go through and that they see these men as opportunities to leave the country or opportunities to be taken care off. 🙂 Then after a few exchanges he said:

And he did. He intended to stay for 15 more minutes but it was longer and we talked about travelling and medicine, and music. Apparently, we both have the same tastes in music which is funny.  He told me he had a beard and told me not to disconnect because most girls leave when they find out he has a beard, I asked him if he had a lumberjack beard, and he showed me a photo, and IT WAS A LUMBERJACK beard! hahaha! After he professed the possibility of falling in love with me, I told him I was with Elmer and said Goodbye, then disconnected.

I have not been on Omegle since because I get tired of the bantering but it was refereshing to meet a lot of young, fresh intelligent minds. It’s nice to pretend to be a unicorn sometimes and it’s nice to say random things to people and realize you aren’t so weird after all 🙂

SO WHERE DID I GET THE TIME TO DO ALL THIS? HAHAHA! I DO NOT KNOW.

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior by Amy Chua

A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it. Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:

attend a sleepover

• have a playdate

• be in a school play

• complain about not being in a school play

• watch TV or play computer games

• choose their own extracurricular activities

• get any grade less than an A

• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama

• play any instrument other than the piano or violin

• not play the piano or violin.

I’m using the term “Chinese mother” loosely. I know some Korean, Indian, Jamaican, Irish and Ghanaian parents who qualify too. Conversely, I know some mothers of Chinese heritage, almost always born in the West, who are not Chinese mothers, by choice or otherwise. I’m also using the term “Western parents” loosely. Western parents come in all varieties.

All the same, even when Western parents think they’re being strict, they usually don’t come close to being Chinese mothers. For example, my Western friends who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments 30 minutes every day. An hour at most. For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It’s hours two and three that get tough.

Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, there are tons of studies out there showing marked and quantifiable differences between Chinese and Westerners when it comes to parenting. In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that “stressing academic success is not good for children” or that “parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun.” By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way. Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be “the best” students, that “academic achievement reflects successful parenting,” and that if children did not excel at school then there was “a problem” and parents “were not doing their job.” Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.

What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something—whether it’s math, piano, pitching or ballet—he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more.

Chinese parents can get away with things that Western parents can’t. Once when I was young—maybe more than once—when I was extremely disrespectful to my mother, my father angrily called me “garbage” in our native Hokkien dialect. It worked really well. I felt terrible and deeply ashamed of what I had done. But it didn’t damage my self-esteem or anything like that. I knew exactly how highly he thought of me. I didn’t actually think I was worthless or feel like a piece of garbage.

As an adult, I once did the same thing to Sophia, calling her garbage in English when she acted extremely disrespectfully toward me. When I mentioned that I had done this at a dinner party, I was immediately ostracized. One guest named Marcy got so upset she broke down in tears and had to leave early. My friend Susan, the host, tried to rehabilitate me with the remaining guests.

The fact is that Chinese parents can do things that would seem unimaginable—even legally actionable—to Westerners. Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, “Hey fatty—lose some weight.” By contrast, Western parents have to tiptoe around the issue, talking in terms of “health” and never ever mentioning the f-word, and their kids still end up in therapy for eating disorders and negative self-image. (I also once heard a Western father toast his adult daughter by calling her “beautiful and incredibly competent.” She later told me that made her feel like garbage.)

Chinese parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents can only ask their kids to try their best. Chinese parents can say, “You’re lazy. All your classmates are getting ahead of you.” By contrast, Western parents have to struggle with their own conflicted feelings about achievement, and try to persuade themselves that they’re not disappointed about how their kids turned out.

I’ve thought long and hard about how Chinese parents can get away with what they do. I think there are three big differences between the Chinese and Western parental mind-sets.

First, I’ve noticed that Western parents are extremely anxious about their children’s self-esteem. They worry about how their children will feel if they fail at something, and they constantly try to reassure their children about how good they are notwithstanding a mediocre performance on a test or at a recital. In other words, Western parents are concerned about their children’s psyches. Chinese parents aren’t. They assume strength, not fragility, and as a result they behave very differently.

For example, if a child comes home with an A-minus on a test, a Western parent will most likely praise the child. The Chinese mother will gasp in horror and ask what went wrong. If the child comes home with a B on the test, some Western parents will still praise the child. Other Western parents will sit their child down and express disapproval, but they will be careful not to make their child feel inadequate or insecure, and they will not call their child “stupid,” “worthless” or “a disgrace.” Privately, the Western parents may worry that their child does not test well or have aptitude in the subject or that there is something wrong with the curriculum and possibly the whole school. If the child’s grades do not improve, they may eventually schedule a meeting with the school principal to challenge the way the subject is being taught or to call into question the teacher’s credentials.

If a Chinese child gets a B—which would never happen—there would first be a screaming, hair-tearing explosion. The devastated Chinese mother would then get dozens, maybe hundreds of practice tests and work through them with her child for as long as it takes to get the grade up to an A.

Chinese parents demand perfect grades because they believe that their child can get them. If their child doesn’t get them, the Chinese parent assumes it’s because the child didn’t work hard enough. That’s why the solution to substandard performance is always to excoriate, punish and shame the child. The Chinese parent believes that their child will be strong enough to take the shaming and to improve from it. (And when Chinese kids do excel, there is plenty of ego-inflating parental praise lavished in the privacy of the home.)

Second, Chinese parents believe that their kids owe them everything. The reason for this is a little unclear, but it’s probably a combination of Confucian filial piety and the fact that the parents have sacrificed and done so much for their children. (And it’s true that Chinese mothers get in the trenches, putting in long grueling hours personally tutoring, training, interrogating and spying on their kids.) Anyway, the understanding is that Chinese children must spend their lives repaying their parents by obeying them and making them proud.

By contrast, I don’t think most Westerners have the same view of children being permanently indebted to their parents. My husband, Jed, actually has the opposite view. “Children don’t choose their parents,” he once said to me. “They don’t even choose to be born. It’s parents who foist life on their kids, so it’s the parents’ responsibility to provide for them. Kids don’t owe their parents anything. Their duty will be to their own kids.” This strikes me as a terrible deal for the Western parent.

Third, Chinese parents believe that they know what is best for their children and therefore override all of their children’s own desires and preferences. That’s why Chinese daughters can’t have boyfriends in high school and why Chinese kids can’t go to sleepaway camp. It’s also why no Chinese kid would ever dare say to their mother, “I got a part in the school play! I’m Villager Number Six. I’ll have to stay after school for rehearsal every day from 3:00 to 7:00, and I’ll also need a ride on weekends.” God help any Chinese kid who tried that one.

Don’t get me wrong: It’s not that Chinese parents don’t care about their children. Just the opposite. They would give up anything for their children. It’s just an entirely different parenting model.

Here’s a story in favor of coercion, Chinese-style. Lulu was about 7, still playing two instruments, and working on a piano piece called “The Little White Donkey” by the French composer Jacques Ibert. The piece is really cute—you can just imagine a little donkey ambling along a country road with its master—but it’s also incredibly difficult for young players because the two hands have to keep schizophrenically different rhythms.

Lulu couldn’t do it. We worked on it nonstop for a week, drilling each of her hands separately, over and over. But whenever we tried putting the hands together, one always morphed into the other, and everything fell apart. Finally, the day before her lesson, Lulu announced in exasperation that she was giving up and stomped off.

“Get back to the piano now,” I ordered.

“You can’t make me.”

“Oh yes, I can.”

Back at the piano, Lulu made me pay. She punched, thrashed and kicked. She grabbed the music score and tore it to shreds. I taped the score back together and encased it in a plastic shield so that it could never be destroyed again. Then I hauled Lulu’s dollhouse to the car and told her I’d donate it to the Salvation Army piece by piece if she didn’t have “The Little White Donkey” perfect by the next day. When Lulu said, “I thought you were going to the Salvation Army, why are you still here?” I threatened her with no lunch, no dinner, no Christmas or Hanukkah presents, no birthday parties for two, three, four years. When she still kept playing it wrong, I told her she was purposely working herself into a frenzy because she was secretly afraid she couldn’t do it. I told her to stop being lazy, cowardly, self-indulgent and pathetic.

Jed took me aside. He told me to stop insulting Lulu—which I wasn’t even doing, I was just motivating her—and that he didn’t think threatening Lulu was helpful. Also, he said, maybe Lulu really just couldn’t do the technique—perhaps she didn’t have the coordination yet—had I considered that possibility?

“You just don’t believe in her,” I accused.

“That’s ridiculous,” Jed said scornfully. “Of course I do.”

“Sophia could play the piece when she was this age.”

“But Lulu and Sophia are different people,” Jed pointed out.

“Oh no, not this,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Everyone is special in their special own way,” I mimicked sarcastically. “Even losers are special in their own special way. Well don’t worry, you don’t have to lift a finger. I’m willing to put in as long as it takes, and I’m happy to be the one hated. And you can be the one they adore because you make them pancakes and take them to Yankees games.”

I rolled up my sleeves and went back to Lulu. I used every weapon and tactic I could think of. We worked right through dinner into the night, and I wouldn’t let Lulu get up, not for water, not even to go to the bathroom. The house became a war zone, and I lost my voice yelling, but still there seemed to be only negative progress, and even I began to have doubts.

Then, out of the blue, Lulu did it. Her hands suddenly came together—her right and left hands each doing their own imperturbable thing—just like that.

Lulu realized it the same time I did. I held my breath. She tried it tentatively again. Then she played it more confidently and faster, and still the rhythm held. A moment later, she was beaming.

“Mommy, look—it’s easy!” After that, she wanted to play the piece over and over and wouldn’t leave the piano. That night, she came to sleep in my bed, and we snuggled and hugged, cracking each other up. When she performed “The Little White Donkey” at a recital a few weeks later, parents came up to me and said, “What a perfect piece for Lulu—it’s so spunky and so her.”

Even Jed gave me credit for that one. Western parents worry a lot about their children’s self-esteem. But as a parent, one of the worst things you can do for your child’s self-esteem is to let them give up. On the flip side, there’s nothing better for building confidence than learning you can do something you thought you couldn’t.

There are all these new books out there portraying Asian mothers as scheming, callous, overdriven people indifferent to their kids’ true interests. For their part, many Chinese secretly believe that they care more about their children and are willing to sacrifice much more for them than Westerners, who seem perfectly content to let their children turn out badly. I think it’s a misunderstanding on both sides. All decent parents want to do what’s best for their children. The Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that.

Western parents try to respect their children’s individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions, supporting their choices, and providing positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment. By contrast, the Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see what they’re capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits and inner confidence that no one can ever take away.

—Amy Chua is a professor at Yale Law School and author of “Day of Empire” and “World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability.” This essay is excerpted from “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua, to be published Tuesday by the Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright © 2011 by Amy Chua.

 

So I finished reading Battly Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. EVERYONE HAS GOT TO READ IT! 🙂

Einstein’s Intelligence Quiz

Einstein wrote this quiz last century. He said that 98% of the people in the world cannot solve the quiz.

There are 5 houses in 5 different colors
In each house lives a person with a different nationality
These 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet
No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same drink.
Here’s the question: Who owns the fish?
The Brit lives in a red house
The Swede keeps dogs as pets
The Dane drinks tea
The green house is on the left of the white house
The green house owner drinks coffee
The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds
The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill
The man living in the house right in the middle drinks milk
The Norwegian lives in the first house
The man who smokes Blend lives next door to the one who keeps cats.
The man who keeps horses lives next door to the man who smokes Dunhill
The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer
The German smokes Prince
The Norwegian lives next to the blue house
The man who smokes Blend has a neighbor who drinks water
With these 15 clues the problem is solvable.

ORGAN TRADE

During founder’s week, one of the presentations was a Bioethics Symposium on the Organ Trade entitled If the Price is Right. As first years, we still have the Bioethics as one of our ‘classes’ – though I am not sure that is the right term for it because we are under the PBL curriculum and technically we aren’t graded for Bioethics which is called Fundamentals of Medical Practice (FMP) – so we were asked to do a Reaction Paper on the Symposium. My work previous essays having been already read in front of the class as an example, have set the bar a little high for me, this going hand in hand with our discussions on hematology. What the medical technicians take 2 years to learn, we had a week to understand. 🙂

So this is a rough draft of my essay.

 

A REACTION PAPER ON THE BIOETHICS PRESENTATION

“IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT: TAKING SIDES ON THE ORGAN TRADE”

By: Patricia L. Anastacio (Group 9)

 

 

“Human organ sale or trade, by its very nature is morally unacceptable. It is contrary to the dignity of the human person, his or her authentic autonomy and the essential equality of all persons… [The] body ought not to be treated as a commodity or object of commerce, which would amount to the dispossession or plundering of the human body.” – ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, DD

 

Today’s generation has become a day and age where the art of commercialism thrives by laying waste to the impoverished and impecunious. We live in a world where everything is up for grabs and labeled with prices and where the repercussions are great.

The organ trade is of no exception. From a mere myth, it has metamorphosed into a lucrative underground multi-million dollar business, flourishing through the black market as tidal waves of body parts are harvested and put up for sale not unlike meat.

The black market in human body parts knows no limits, abusing and exploiting the powerless to feed the need of the desperate. The shortage of available organs is a global feature of organ transplantation and has been a challenge almost since its inception. This shortage is what fuels the avenue for organ trafficking.

The brainchild of the organ trade is what is now known as Transplant Tourism, which is rapidly becoming an emerging trend that is escalating to a concern on the global level. It occurs when foreigners, who for reasons such as not being prioritized in a transplant list, seek the organs they need elsewhere, more often than not in less developed countries where the people, driven by poverty, are willing to sell their organs which are the machines of their life, unbeknownst of the possible consequences.

Despite stringent and fine tuned laws, most jurisdictions are not able to curtail organ trafficking and neither are they able to supply organs to the needy. The presence of loopholes in the law further contributes to the illegal trade of organs. Unlike in other countries, no law explicitly prohibits the sale of human organs from live donors in the Philippines.

In 2006, 41.4 percent (286 of 690) of transplantation operations in the Philippines were done on foreign patients. The following year, the number of foreign patients in transplant operations outstripped the number of local transplant patients. 536 or 51.2 percent of 1046 recorded transplantations that year were done on foreign patients.

In 2008, a total ban was ordered in the transplantation of kidneys from Filipino non-related donors to foreigners to stem the illegal kidney trade, however data from the Renal Disease Control Program (REDCOP), which is mandated by law to collect information on kidney transplant operations in the country showed that only 3 of the 536 foreigners who visited the country in 2007 to get kidney transplants done, sourced their new organs from blood relatives. From the 124 in 1996, the number of organ transplant operations in country ballooned to 1046 in 2007. Data revealed that the influx of transplants was fueled by the influx of foreign transplant patients.

As evidenced, the flames of the black market are not easily extinguished. The question of prohibition versus regulation remains. Is it even practicable in the Philippines when simple statutory laws cannot be implemented and reinforced?  With the leniency of the government, I fear that the Philippines will continue to exist as a back door avenue clinic for the market of fresh organs. We cannot address the permanent dismantling of the black market, but what we can address is the regulation of organs to alleviate the pre-existing shortage. There are three possibilities; the first would be to increase voluntary public donations for transplant organs or making transplant donations easier, the second would be a legislation making it government policy to compel society members to compulsorily donate their organs during special instances, and lastly is to open up a free market for transplant organs allowing them to be bought and sold like any other commodity.

Commercialization should be curbed, not by depriving a needy person of his genuine requirements but by making the enforcement agencies efficient.  Regardless of the procedures involved in organ trafficking, at the end of the day, it is still the healthcare practitioners involved in the procedure that have the final say.

I believe that driven by unethicality, these healthcare practitioners, particularly the doctors, have forsaken their oaths for the seductive lure of prehensility. It is the corruption of the medical field that can be reined in with intense scrutiny and proper documentation.

The black market is something that will inevitably forever exist in probably any country, however with proper regulations – which our government cannot accomplish – can be hindered to a mere trickle. It entails first and foremost proper education of the masses, proper documentation and follows through in all government and non-government healthcare sectors, proper compensation and the insurance of safety for both parties. If a free market existed, the ceiling prices of the transplant organs would sky rocket to the roof, and thus there will be a loss of equal prospects. Money will dictate the distribution of an already scarce resource. Will the market even be regulatable? The whole health care system will be subjected to market forces.

The legalization of the free trade of organs would categorize the human body as a commodity, commoditization so to speak, something that is bought and sold. A free market for transplant organs would make human organs a commodity and that would be intrinsically morally wrong.

The integrity of the human body should never be subject to trade. The basic ethical principle involved in organ transplantation is whether a person has a right to enjoy life on the basis of organs belonging to others. Our body is our own. It is the one thing that is intrinsically ours, however, punishing people for trying to sell their organs infringes on a right to decide what to do with one’s body.

The premise for organ donation that is permissible by the church is the donation out of altruism and beneficence expecting no compensation in return. Whether the organs come through donation, gift, or sale is a matter of individual choice and circumstances. Even if a person gives his organ willingly and without any thought as to recompense he suffers harm to his body.

Morality is highly contextual. How do we even begin to measure the moral content of a particular act? “When a person sells an organ he or she acts both selfishly, in advantaging him or herself, and altruistically, in contributing to a public good.”

Ideally, I would like to believe that the Philippines has hope, that one day we will no longer be enslaved by the enticement of money and of a better life because of the bonds of poverty. I would like to believe that someday, the government will finally do something right and address the problems of the Philippines instead of worrying about things like electoral sabotage cases. However, I do not feel like there is a glimmer of chance that any of the aforementioned will be feasible in the Philippines let alone practicable. There will always be a welcome banner for foreigners to exploit Filipinos for their organs until the government makes a stand. Until education is disseminated, until healthcare practitioners practice their oaths and until the Filipinos take a stand united as one country.

 

Now, this is just the first 3 pages. I have not included the rest because it would be tedious to read plus, i didn’t take a side simply because it would not be practicable in the Philippines. Actually, we were asked to do a minimum of 1 page, i overdid it.