15/15

Wow. I did it. This was definitely a journey. 15 posts in like three days. Was it a journey I wanted to go through. Hell no. Were there more efficient ways of getting to my final destination. Yes. Did I use that to my advantage? No.

The thing about writing these blog posts is that it allowed me to be myself. I didn’t have to be formal, add a thesis statement and I didn’t have to use an oxford comma in this sentence.

Ha. Made you look.

Anyway. I think these posts allowed me to share my feelings about this class, the difficulties I faced working on the experiments, and the problems I experienced in the final project. It was a great haven to share anything I wanted to, whenever I wanted to. I just wish I would have done it in a more spread out way, this way I could see my progression throughout this course.

The smelly smell

This is pretty much a part two to the previous post I made, The only reason why I made it into two posts was that I decided to do 15 posts in like three days. Honestly, I need good grades or I will definitely not getting into med school, so guess I have to grind it all out.

The last thing I did in my trip to Detroit was something I completely forgot to do in the beginning. As I was returning my friend back home, I was on I-75 South. As I was getting closer to one of the bridges in Detroit, I decided to crank down the heat. My father always did that. I started to think why, then it hit me! I realized I was going past the refinery! The one place I definitely needed a picture of. I yelled at my friend to take a video or picture of the refinery and he did so. As he was doing that, I started to get this weird smell in the car. I realized I didn’t fully crank down the heat. This led to an increase in refinery odor in the car. I had to honestly hold my breath because it was that bad.

Right when we passed the refinery, I took a large breath of fresh air and thanked God the smell wasn’t in the car. I started thinking for a bit and thought of the thousands of people that live by the refinery. Not only do they have to smell that stuff every day, but they also have an increased risk of gaining certain diseases and complications.

I was just thinking, “man, this sucks.” My friend had the same feeling, and I just wanted to understand why nothing has been done to help these people. I mean, someone has to do something, right? Then I realized that this refinery has been here for a century. It hit me that these big refineries value money and wealth over survival and health. In fact, the refinery was just recently hit with a $100,000 fine for not following environmental and health concerns.

These are good people and they are living in a toxic environment. This trip taught me a lot about Detroit and the problems it has been facing.

I guess if no one is going to do anything, then I’ll do it myself.

My experience with the final project

On November 23, 1999, the best thing that has ever happened to this world occurred. My birth….

No No No. Just kidding. Yeah no.

20 years later, I was going to Detroit with a bud to take pictures of Detroit for the final project. I thought that it was a perfect gift for myself, as it allowed me to be productive and procrastinate at the same time. Anyway, I literally visited all parts of Metro Detroit. The hood, the rich parts, the downtown, as well as some abandon houses! Yeah, the last one isn’t the most exciting place to visit on your birthday, but the look at my friend’s face when he realized we were taking pictures there was priceless.

Something I verified when I went to Detroit was the distinctive difference between classes. As you got closer to downtown Detroit, you would see more whites. To me, this was odd, as I have always learned that downtown Detroit was struggling and through my research with the previous experiments, I was expecting more blacks. This is when I came to the realization that I was literally in the tourist areas of Detroit. As I walked farther from those areas, there were more blacks appearing. When I got to poorer areas, there were more blacks there as well, and when we went t the richer areas (GP), there were more whites.

To me, I was astonished by this divide. It showed me the economic differences between the two races.

When I drove from GP to downtown Detroit, that’s when I noticed my project might actually mean something.

The top picture is Grosse Pointe. It isn’t that clear, but if you look really closely, you will notice that Grosse Pointe starts right after that Stop sign. The bottom picture is Detroit. Immediately walking into the city (GP), there was the sound of Christmas music, and overall, it just seemed like a great place. Everything was kept tidy and organized, while Detroit didn’t. Another thing was that I saw more whites in Grosse Pointe, and none of them would even cross that street to see the other side! It is literally like 5 steps! It as clear this difference in economic prosperity was real, and it has lead to the divide in health.

Although it isn’t something like a guitar (I got a guitar for my birthday. Was low key kinda happy), the trip was overall humbling, as it gave me evidence of what people are actually living through. It also showed me that I can actually make a difference in this community.

Ranking my experiments

I think the experiments were the best way to understand how my genre worked. Through these experiments, I realized there was one that was better than them all and one that wasn’t. Here is my ranking

  1. Experiment 1
  2. Experiment 3
  3. Experiment 2

The funny thing is, the final project is a mix of experiments 2 and 3. Now you might be wondering, “da what?”

Honestly, same, but there were many things I took into consideration when choosing my final project.

The first thing was obviously reality. I knew for my first project (a game), I would need to look into much more other accurate estimates of costs and livings. This was something I knew I would lack. As there isn’t that much information accurately estimating certain costs in certain areas. For example, if I were to look into costs in Melvinville and Grosse Pointe, then I would have to look at almost everything. I found that challenging and I thought it was distracting me from what I really wanted to achieve.

The second thing was the audience. Everyone can relate through words and pictures. It is how we learn and adapt to society. When we grow up we watch TV. We analyze it. Our own memories are distinct photos from the past. So making my project a mix of a documentary and photography was something that could engage all types of people from all age ranges.

So yeah. Hopefully, that clears things up. I grew up playing video games so I thought it would be fun to make one. Did I have fun making it? Yes. Was it difficult to make? Uh-huh. Is it effective in a way? To a certain extent. Did I really want the extra stress of bugs and glitches during the last few weeks of the decade? No. So this is why I decided to do utilize Experiments 2 and 3 for my final project.

Writing 220: A reflection

Not going to lie, I didn’t expect the gateway to be like this. I was expecting this to be an English class, which is what I thought I wanted.

In the end, I realized that I didn’t want an English class. The purpose of writing to me isn’t to just write but to speak. I want the words that I write to speak for myself. I was surprised by our professor’s teaching methods, but I am grateful for I would have never have realized the true meaning of writing.

The experiments allowed me to dig deep into different genres and see how effective and accessible they were to people. It showed me that a really long article isn’t going to get people to get up and want to change the world. It takes a more efficient way of writing. A more emotional, connective type of writing to get into the minds of the audience. Through words, an idea can spark a connection that can be created and this, in the end, can create a realization.

I learned more about myself in the process as well. I learned that I do at one point of my career want to be able to combine writing techniques and biological techniques together, in hopes that I will inspire the lives of many, and change the lives of the unfortunate.

Being a good doctor is something I envision of doing when I get older, but changing the lives of many is what I ambition and dream of doing all my life.

When do I work my best?

I don’t really talk that much, so I haven’t really explained what I do aside from this class and maybe my position in Detroit. I am majoring in Cellular & Molecular Biology and I’m currently taking 15 credits. Aside from that, I do research, work for my org, work as an SLC facilitator, and other stuff.

Personally, I am not sure whether I have worked to the highest levels of efficiency and productivity. I say this due to all of the time I spend outside of school. I would think that if you removed all of these things, I would focus more on classes, and thus work much better.

I think for this class, I worked as hard as I could given my current situation. It was hard to balance schoolwork, studying for MCAT, and then doing all of the other activities I have. With this in mind, I believe I could have worked better if I wasn’t’ studying for the MCAT or doing these activities.

In terms of environment, it is a whole different story. I can’t study at loud places like the UGLI because it’s too loud. I need a quiet place like the Reference Room or the Law Library. In high school, I used to study in my room, and I still can; however, sometimes it is difficult due to distractors like my laptop or my guitar. So in summary, in order to work my best, I need to have a quiet place (no music and no talking) and I have to be solely thinking about the subject. Nothing else.

At what point will I learn how to use my time wisely.

Am I good with time management? No. Have I improved on managing my time in the last three years of college. Maybe. Unfortunately, being pre-med requires you to create a schedule that allows you to study for all of your pre-med stuff like MCAT, Bio, physics, and etc; however, I totally forgot about placing time for myself.

In a way, I think I am good at managing time, but I am not great at making it efficient and consistent, which is something college students should definitely know how to do before coming to college. So when will I learn how to use my time wisely?

Honestly, I am not sure. I don’t think anyone has a perfect schedule. Everyone lacks one little thing in there schedule like no time for conversations, or studying for other classes, or even sleep! So, overall, I believe that time management is a learning process. It takes mistakes and progression, and an acknowledgment of those mistakes and progress.

The hardships of Detroit that I never knew about

It is hard to imagine what it is like being impoverished. In a world where people are buying the newest iPads and the next Google Pixel, we tend to forget about the unfortunate. Detroit is an area that, in the last two decades, has suffered from economic, environmental, and social problems.

After joining my organization’s board, I became more interested in making Detroit a better place, as well as making Detroitians healthier and more health-conscious; however, I never really understood how difficult it was for these people to not only survive but thrive. It didn’t come to me until starting the first few experiments.

I started to learn more about the hardships that some of these people had to face. Most recently, I found out that only 13% of people in Detroit have received a flu shot! A flu shot! It isn’t because of laziness or tiredness. It is because they cannot afford it. When I finished my first experiment, I realized how impoverished the lives of these people really were. It was devastating to read that the average per capita income in Detroit was $20,000. With that much money, (taking into account food, insurance, car, gas, taxes and etc.) you would be lucky to afford a flu shot for just yourself. If you had a wife or a child, you wouldn’t even afford it!

I never knew how hard it was for these people to become more health-conscious. Hopefully, my final project will make sense of what is going on, and at the same time, enlighten the minds of those who can change our society.

The essence of communication

When I tell people I am pre-med, they say,

” Wow, bro that’s rough. I would hate to major or minor in something science-related. Swag.”

Well, although it is rough, the pre-med track doesn’t necessarily require a student to choose a science-related major. In fact, you can pretty much study anything (to an extent). You still have to take science courses to prepare for the MCAT, so you’re not completely off the hook. I am studying Cellular & Molecular Biology, and I am minoring in Writing (obviously).

I decided to minor in writing after my experience with the health system last year. I had become under the weather (more like a tsunami) and had to go to UHS. Not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting to be healed right away (it was UHS); however, at the same time, I wasn’t expecting to go to the hospital for SiX mOnThS straight. I am not going into specific details, but something I learned from this experience was that the physicians and nurses had poor communication with me. They had been communicating with me, but were they really? The essence of communication from certain perspectives is to just inform others.

This can be seen as good if you are providing information relevant to the situation. For example, if you are shopping at Toys R Us (RIP) and you bought a toy, you might want to know if they accept card or cash, or how much you owe for the toy. Other information, like the cashier explaining every little thing he/she is doing, is irrelevant, and okay to leave out of the conversation. Other conversations, where the communicator may view some information as irrelevant to him/her, require a statement/explanation on some of this irrelevant information.

This is what happened to me, and why it took 6iX mOnThS for the doctors to tell me what was actually wrong with me.

Returning back to the main point, the essence of communication isn’t to just inform but it is to inform others with the knowledge essential for their well-being or sanity. I don’t to be just a doctor,I want to be a good one. To me, communication is really important and I want to be able to communicate clearly in a verbal and written manner.

Over and Over again.

Phew, not a smart move waiting till the last week to post these posts, but a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. Anyway, writing all these posts one after another reminded me about the question we were asked a couple weeks ago: “What song would you listen to over and over again.”

Honestly, I was hearing all these artists and I was just sitting there thinking, “man I listen to everything. I can’t even listen to one song over and over again unless it’s by Yeezy (A.K.A. Kanye West). I think I said “Good Morning,” which is true, 100%. I started thinking about it after class and I realized there is group that I can listen to over and over again. Now before I say this, please keep in mind that I was raised by my Iraqi, fresh off the airplane, didn’t know any English, mother. Growing up, my mom and I kind of learned English together. She learned English much faster than I did. Then again, I was a baby during the time my mom was learning the language.

Anyway, so during my childhood, I got most of my feelings about things like music, clothes, and certain events from my mother. In a way, I was an American-born child but I dressed like an Iraqi child. Meaning I wore weird Russian graphic tees and had corduroys pants most of the time. Now, I love my mama. She is the world to me, but I wish she kind of kept up with the culture because not a lot of people understood Russian. Over time, I started to get bigger, I saw how my friends and cousins were dressed and spending their time, so I changed myself.

I did keep a few values and traits (which I will not discuss), but this group has a few songs that I would listen to over and over again, and is a group that I still listen to ever since I heard them a while ago. Wow, I really don’t want to say this.

So the group is ABBA. I’m just going to end it there since I think I explained myself, so if you see a Chevy Equinox driving by, boom blasting “The Winner Takes it All,” then it is probably me.