Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Internship Update

Welp, it's time about time I gave an update on my current status on the internship. After weeks and weeks of hassle, trying and hoping, the internship coordinator finally took at a look at my application to see if I'd be able to join the program.

I've been through a lot, such as nearly being kicked out of my degree and the constant stressing out. And so:

What's the final verdict?

Come on...


Rejection because I was over the course limit by about 3 courses.

I tried to discuss this with the coordinator and from what I can understand the reasoning behind this is that if a student didn't like their internship by having enough courses they could still potentially adjust things in the future and change their degree.

I'll be honest, I don't care if I get the worst internship ever, I just want the experience and the money. I'm pretty sure most people are like that at this stage in life. But this didn't matter to her, decision is final, and that's that.

So where does that leave me?


Well right now I'm trying to find other internships and job opportunities within my city. See, the nice about the Internship Program that I was vying for was that there would be the contact information for several dozen employers just sitting there, waiting for me to contact, no searching for me to do. Everything is nicely labelled and organized.

Right now, I've found barely a handful of potential jobs. Not surprising that Psychology Internships are hard to find, that's why that program was created, to help students like me. I've sent a few emails and applications, not holding my breath but what else can I do? I've already been turned down again for a few of them.

At least they were quick about it.

I don't give up easily but I'm starting to reach my breaking point here. I have 1 term left until I graduate, no viable career opportunities, I had no intentions of entering Graduate school until I had something to bolster my chances but right now maybe I should consider writing the GRE and then hoping for a miracle.

But we know how many miracles I've been getting.

Yeah, if you can't tell, I'm still kind of disheartened. I was better but after I started looking for other jobs and internships I realized how sparse they were. And then I started feeling miserable again.

And then I became even more so when I realized almost everyone around me seems to be advancing their careers just fine.

Hey guys, can I join?

In one of my earlier posts, I voiced my concerns about my peers being successful while I lagged behind. And it has just becomes more apparent with each passing day. The Med students are adjusting just fine to their hectic schedules, people are getting interviews to whatever positions they applied for whether it be medicine or grad school or job interviews. Even my younger sister recently got a job working at a Veterinary clinic which is perfect for her because she's going to Vet school in 2 years.

And then you have me. The guy who got rejected from 10 different places (5 if you only count the interviews), couldn't get into a program designed for students like him and no foreseeable future options. Back in August I was hoping for some answers or reassurance by this point but now I'm even more unsure of the future than when I started this blog.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong, I'm not sure how to proceed, and I feel like crawling into a corner and being depressing for the next 24 hours. And I'm sorry for being so depressing. I'll try and have something more positive for Friday.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Pygmy:This Book is Awkward

It's about time I got around to doing this book review. I mean I finished this thing back in January and look, almost the end of Febuary until I get around to talking about it. Better late than never I guess.

But yes, the book I'm going to be reviewing today is Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk. You may recognize that name because he's the same guy who wrote the Fight Club.

I've never actually read Fight Club and I've only seen half the movie.

The book takes place in present time and follows the story of a boy from an unnamed totalitarian country which feels like a mash-up of the USSR, North Korea and Communist China. The boy has been trained as an elite spy and with his colleagues have been "adopted" by various families in an unknown small town in the United States.

Their goal is to perform an act of terrorism only referred to as "Operation Havoc" and kill as many people as possible.

Meanwhile, my readers are questioning my tastes in books.

The book is narrated by the boy who is called Agent 67 but later goes by the name Pygmy, a nickname given by his adoptive family. This is where the book for me was very painful to read. Imagine if a robot with a poor grasp of the English language and understanding of Western culture and objects was giving reports on his how his day was. That's what Pygmy feels like.

Pygmy often refers to himself as "Operative Me", goes into long and descriptive comments on even the most mundane of tasks and occurrences. He gives unique phrases for various thing for example, crying is "bleed eye water". The grammar and the syntax of all his sentences are like that. Short, concise and but colorful. He also describes his environment in the same way, able to identify specific chemicals and compounds simply based off what he smells or sees.

I wasn't even aware you could smell Viagra off someone's breath...

It's a contrast of two cultures. The decadent, materialistic and free USA compared to the strict, militaristic and controlled Unknown nation. I didn't really enjoy this aspect either, it's kind of cliched, and felt really forced to the point where it was cartoonish.

Oh and as with any of Palahniuk's books expect violence and sexual content, this book is not for children. Not that they'd be interested, I also found the text to be kind of dense. Probably just because of Pygmy's speaking quirk.

It's not a bad read, but it certainly wasn't my favorite book ever. I've actually had this book for years but stopped reading halfway. Now I remember why.

And I'll be honest, I only bought it because I heard good things about the author, and the cover looked hilarious.

Best weapon ever.

So that concludes my first book review, any comments or suggestions for things to do in the future? Or even other books to read. I generally prefer dark humor or satire.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Me Not Healthy: Always Tired (Part 5)

Does anyone still remember this ongoing arc of mine? I've lost and gained a lot of followers since the last post so for those of you who are just joining here's a link to Part 1 for my story on dealing with sleep apnea.

And for those who just need a refresher, I've finally been able to see that doctor, months after the appointment was booked.

Damn those long wait times.

The guy was apparently really high in demand. I'm not sure if there was a scheduling issue or if the last patient was taking too long but I sat there for about an hour until he finally showed up.

But no matter, I still got to see the guy and he takes a look around. He suggests that maybe I get the special mouth guard that the other specialist mentioned. A lot of people do not have the correct jaw structure for it but I was one of the few lucky candidate so yay for me?


And then I see what the mouth guard will look like. And, it's kind of bizarre. I can't remember the exact name so use your imagination here. Basically, it's two mouthpieces (one for the top and bottom) and on the top there's like a hook that fits into a slot in the bottom mouthpiece.

The purpose of this is to keep my jaw from falling onto my windpipe (and thus causing me to choke, gasp for air, briefly wake-up, ruin my sleep, etc. etc.) and also prevents me from grinding my teeth together because well, now they can't even touch.

And if your imagination (or my description) sucks, here's a picture.

So we'll see how this goes. I'm going for the fitting in a few weeks so expect hopefully a conclusion to my sleeping problems.

Link to Part 6 here.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Belated Valentine's Gifts

Valentine's day was last week. Also happening last week were the crapload of exams, group projects, presentations, and meetings that Theresa and I had to endure.

Needless to say, we barely saw each other let alone had time to do anything.

Oh yeah, so romantic.

Fortunately, we have a week long break right now to catch up and relax. Also due to time constraints and being a poor student I wasn't able to get her much this year.

I managed to grab her a charm that resembles her favorite Team Fortress 2 hat from Fossil. As well as a new computer mouse because her current one is absolute garbage. Now we can properly work together in whatever computer game we chose.

Probably more Team Fortress 2.

I also got her a copy of Bridesmaids because it's the kind of movie I think she'd enjoy. She loves watching movies together and now that I think of it, we have a massive backlog that we still need to get over...

And if you've been paying attention that's only 3 gifts. And if you know anything about me, I love the number 4.

I need a 4th gift.

I however, will.

Usually I like having a food related theme as one of the gifts. I know a lot of you asked why I baked brownies if I don't like them, and if no one in my family likes them. Theresa likes them, that's why I tried to learn how to bake these. I'm considering trying another brownie recipe sometime this week, expand my repertoire.

Taking her out to eat isn't really an option because she considers finer dining to be "overpriced" IF I'm paying. When she's paying, then it's suddenly ok to be eating there. Yeah I know she's looking out for my wallet but a gentleman doesn't let a lady pay, simple as that.

Lastly, I could try and cook for her. Not sure what I'd cook and how I'd be able to do it. Be slightly odd to burst into her house one day unannounced and go "HI DARLING, I'M HERE TO GIVE YOU FOOD POISONING COOK YOU A DELICIOUS MEAL."

Looks legit.

Anyways, I still have time. I'll figure something out. I'll see you guys on Wednesday.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Midterm Post #2

I'm finally nearing the end of my midterms, it's been a long and fairly uncomfortable week but I'm getting by. I'm certain the rest of you are having a better time than me, if not, feel free to trade. Who else wants to learn about memory techniques and infant development theories.

Both my midterms can be condensed to this.

Japan is home to a lot of neat stuff. I was there once but didn't see this unfortunately:

One day, this will be my Halloween costume:

And lately I've been playing A LOT of Starcraft 2. I think Asians are just naturally drawn to this game. My last video will only appeal to fellow players who enjoy commentaries. When Cheese Fails is easily some of the dumbest (and funniest stuff) I've seen in a long time:

And that's all for now, I'll have a normal post by Sunday.


Monday, 13 February 2012

Midterm Post #1

It's midterm week. Yep. Tons of exams and stuff to do. As usual, I'm just going to dump a ton of videos and then head back to studying.

Hard at work.

First video shows exactly why I want a corgi. They seem to have a tendency to do things like this:

Portal 2 has been out for about a year now but some of the promotional videos still make me laugh. And this one is relevant to current holidays:

Lots of talk of The Hobbit movie coming out. And the first thing that came to my mind was this video:

And now if you'll excuse me, I have a ton of Psychology to be reviewing.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Courses Update

Before we begin I'm going to apologize for not getting around to everyone's blogs this week. I've been busy and really stressed as I run around trying to fix things up. If you're not sure what I'm talking about just hop over to this post and skim it over.

Actually, can we pretend that that incident never happened?


So its been a hectic week to say the least. I've been running talking around to several coordinators, getting documents filled out and signed and of course, attending my new courses. I'm helping a psychology experiment with the lab I just joined and I've been reading papers for the other. Like really dense papers that are anywhere from 20 to 60 pages long.

I still need to prepare for 2 presentations and 2 midterms for next week though. Not looking forward to that.

Let's get started.

A big thank you to the head of the Undergraduate Psychology department. She wrote a letter to the Science department on my behalf explaining my situation and this probably went a long ways in getting me into these two courses.

In the meantime, this means my internship application can finally proceed seeing as I am still part of the Specialization program. I'm not completely safe yet. If for some reason I start failing my courses I could fail to meet the minimum GPA requirement. It's unlikely but who knows? I've never joined two courses half way through a term before.

Either way, this term got a lot more interesting, and a lot more difficult.

Let's hope I can stay conscious.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

I Messed up Again

Who remembers my horrific scheduling mishap a few months ago? Nobody? Thank goodness. Because maybe now my second and even more horrific and stupid scheduling mishap will not look as bad.

And when I say bad, I mean, I screwed up my degree bad.

What am I even doing?

So to reiterate, I'm in the Psychology Specialization program. Unique to this Specialization is an Internship program which I'm also trying to get into. However, I exceeded the course limit for the Internship, so to compensate, I try to reapply and reduce the number of courses I'm currently taking per term so I don't exceed the course limit as much. Hopefully to increase my chances of getting the internship because they tell me the number of exceptions they make are quite high.

What I forgot though was that the Specialization Program had a minimum course requirement per term.

And I no longer met it.

I didn't have the requirements for my degree.

Out you go.

Let's be honest here. I'm kind of screwed. Everything I've worked for has been for naught. I've already missed the deadline for graduating, the deadline for adding courses was way back in January. The best I can hope for is graduating with a Major in Psychology in the Fall and scramble to find a minor in something else. The internship is like some distant dream at this point.


Unless I wanted to do something that most people would consider crazy.

This will be be fun...

The coordinator gave me the following option:
  • Talk to professors who you've worked with in the past. 
  • See if you can take on a second research course with one.
  • Join the class of another one.
The coordinator was willing to pull a few strings for me and make an exception again if the profs were willing to.

Note this would be in addition to everything I'm taking right now. Midterms are in less than 2 weeks, I have to start studying for my current 2 courses and prepare to launch an experiment for one lab. On top of this I'd have to catch up on everything taught in a new course and start running an experiment in the other lab.

So what did I do?

Of course I took her up on the offer. What choice did I have?


This is do or die. I have invested too much time and effort into trying to get this internship to fail now let alone my degree. Employers want people who have actual work experience, if I want to have a chance at a job when I graduate, I need this internship. And to even have a chance to get the internship, I need to remain in the Specialization program.

I will succeed in taking on all of these courses or kill myself trying.

And it's going to take a lot more than a bloody course limit to stop me.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Who Wants to Know More About me?

Before I start this post. I'm certain most of my fellow Canadian bloggers are aware of Bill C-11 or Canada's version of SOPA. If you haven't already, sign this petition and send a letter to your MP. I prefer my internet uncensored.

So I can browse freely through the night.
But no one wants to learn more about me? Dang. Well then you might as well just gloss over this post. Feel free to leave a generic "LOLOLOL GREAT POST" comment if you so desire. But Fang has decided to ask me a bunch of questions so let's try something a bit different today.

  1. Put the rules of this Tag on your blog.
  2. Everyone tagged should tell 11 things about themselves, answer the 11 questions asked by the person who tagged you, tag 11 other people and ask them 11 different questions.
  3. Let the people whom you tagged know you've done so.
  4. Don't tag anyone who's been tagged before.
  5. Really do tag 11 others, and don't go all "if you want to, take this tag".

That's what I thought.

I'm not that obnoxious to make you listen to me ramble about how (un)awesome I am. We're reducing the number of "facts", questions and tagged people to 4. Why? Because:
  1. I like the number 4. Whenever possible I try to incorporate it into as many things as possible. Yeah, I know it's unlucky in Asian cultures due to it sounding similar to the word for death but I'm still alive and relatively unhealthy.
  2. I have synesthesia. I'll see a letter, number, or a word and it'll have a color involuntarily attributed to it. My name "Damian" appears to me as navy blue with hints of poppy red but the name "Robert" is brown. The number "267" is a pumpkin orange whereas "241" is baby blue.

    My variant of synesthesia is fairly common. Other people experience certain tastes when they hear a sound or when seeing a color they'll have a smell associated with it. Tons of types out there.

  3. My wardrobe is kind of pathetic. It consists of nothing but dress shirts, graphic t-shirts and jeans. I seriously dress myself everyday by just grabbing random combinations of the above.

  4. I'm abnormally tall for an Asian person at over 6 feet. No, I do not play basketball. No, I am not related to Yao Ming.
 What compels a man to make this face...

 Now to answer 4 of Fang's questions:
  1. Do you collect something?

    I am guilty of collecting virtual hats and items in Team Fortress 2.

  2.  Weirdest dream?

    I fall a lot in my dreams. And most of the time it's because I'm jumping off of high places to begin with. I always hit the ground and I usually climb back up and jump again multiple times.

  3. Do you have any neurotic/OCD tendencies?

    Any time I'm a moving car and look at the door I have the greatest urge to just open the door. These thoughts seem to happen more often when going down a highway.

    I end up locking the doors just in case my willpower breaks.
  4. How was your day? Anything exciting happened?

    I've been up since 7AM on a Saturday and I want nothing more than to go back to sleep. I have a date with Theresa later on though so maybe she can help wake me up. 

And my questions for those unlucky enough to be chosen:
  1. For unspecified reasons you have just acquired $40, 000 in $20 dollar bills. For other unspecified reasons you have 10 minutes to hide all this money somewhere in your home where no one will ever find it. Where would you hide the money?

  2. You have been abducted by aliens that are undecided in destroying the planet. What are you carrying in your pockets that will either convince or deter the aliens from doing so?

  3. An eccentric billionaire wants to hire you for a year to act as her personal dinosaur. You will be assigned a dinosaur costume, be expected to act and sound like said dinosaur at all times, only be allowed to eat whatever that dinosaur ate, get equipped with a saddle, as well as many other requirements. You will receive benefits and at the end of the year be paid handsomely. Do you take the job? Why?

  4. You have been granted the ability to give the worst superpower possible to your worst enemy. What does he/she gain?
I think this is the most appropriate response to my questions.

Ok, time to tag 4 people. I have no idea if you guys have done this before but either way you can decline.
  1. JOutlaw
  2. Ipenka
  3. Nathan
  4. R.gers
Anyone not tagged is more than welcome to answer any of those questions in the comments below. I'll have a normal post for Tuesday.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Resolutions Update

I was actually serious when I said I was going to keep track of how well I've been following my New Year's Resolutions. An update at the beginning of the month should be enough, let's see how I've been doing.

Goal 1:

So I've been following the push-up guide and it's coming along I think. I'm a bit behind schedule because I'm kind of a weakling and some days, I just can't do the required number of push-ups.

It's been way too long since I used a picture of Byran.

Thus I've had to repeat some days until my puny body is capable. If my math is correct I am currently able to do 100 nonconsecutive push-ups. This is coming from the guy who started out barely able to do 20 so that's an improvement. It's really not that hard to commit to this, I tend to do a set after a round of Starcraft, a chapter of studying, etc. etc..

Goal 2:

I found this goal of trying to earn more money to be too vague. I'm working twice a week now at my part-time job but I don't that really counts. I'm adding on paying back my parents for my tuition. At my last count it was at $5500. I have less than $3000 in the bank. I need to find a way to pay them back and still be able to buy things for myself.

I haven't been sitting around in January however, I've been reapplying for that internship and right now, it's pending. The application is sitting in some bureaucratic nonsense and the job list opens up in two weeks. I was told I'll probably get in but that's not helping my nerves, at all.

This van is "probably" legit.

Goal 3:

This goal has been going well. In January I not only tried to make a different soup, but I also semi-successfully baked brownies. I know a lot of people have asked on my progress on the hollow book and all I can say is that I'm almost done cutting.

If you find a neat guide or recipe feel free to suggest it on the comments. I seriously look through these and consider doing the ones that are within my ability.

Goal 4:

Believe it or not, I did read a book in January, I just never got around to doing a review of it. Expect a post on it sometime in the near future.

No it was not this book but I wish it could have been.

And that's my update so far, I'm on track at the moment. Yeah, my goals may not be the most amazing "I'm going to change the world and become the next Ghandi!" types, but they're realistic, and I'm actually following them.

How are the rest of you fairing?