Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there! And potential fathers... And sons and daughters of fathers, which is all of you! I would be willing to take on anyone in a competition for the best father in the world... I love you Dad!

Some updates:

I got my loan money. It's a bittersweet feeling. I am happy because I don't need to worry quite so much about where I am going to get the money to buy groceries and pay rent, but at the same time, a new chapter of my life has begun, one of having debt and no or little income for many years!

I survived orientation without falling asleep once! A feat in and of itself... As a bonding activity on Tuesday, we did a crazy 2.5-hour Amazing Race around Boston, and I was put in a group with a couple of hardcore runners, so it was pretty intense! Here is a picture of the group after we came in second! Notice that we are drenched in sweat?!

I met my cadaver! A very tall (probably over 6'3''), very built male (still has ripped arm muscles) who was not too old when he died (probably around 65-75). I am anxious to begin the dissection course that will consume my life for the next 2 months!

I have an official Harvard Medical School Identification Card! Every day that I go to school, I feel like I don't belong, the campus is so incredibly beautiful and the entire experience is just so surreal. I really feel like a foreigner! I guess when I put on my scrubs and lab coat I will feel a little bit more comfortable.

I have been exploring the Charlestown Navy Yard (of which my Institute is a part of) quite a bit more! It is so cool!

I am getting to know a lot of people out here. This ward is very social, with multiple activities most days of the week. I will have to cut back on the number of activities I go to and start really focusing on my schoolwork. But, I have a good little structure of friends that are fun to hang out with!

I love Boston! I just found out Harvard Medical School is right by the Museum of Fine Arts! It is just one stop on the T. I hope to be able to go right over to the MFA on Wednesdays this summer, since Wednesdays are free after a certain time in the evenings. That will be so much fun! I also found out that the beach is just 30-40 minutes away by T, so I am hoping to head out the beach this weekend! Hopefully the weather will be nice.

Till next time! Hope all are well.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Some Pictures

Here are a few pictures from my adventures this last week:

This is a picture of the lovely Noah's Ark wallpaper that is on the walls of my bedroom.

The Harvard Medical School campus. Beautiful white marble and stone everywhere. They were setting up for graduation, which would take place in the white tent in the middle.

The walking bridge between Brigham and Women's Hospital on the left and Children's Hospital on the right. These two hospitals are in the Longwood Medical Area near Harvard Medical School.

A beautiful walkway in the Charlestown Navy Yard, where my school is. I love this place!

The Admiral's Quarters at the Navy Yard. Currently for lease!

View of one half of the cool bridge, TD Banknorth Garden (where the Celtics play), and some of downtown. My school is close to here. You can also cross over to the other side of the Charles River (downtown) using the moving sidewalks you see in the foreground.

Some really funny signs on newspaper stands.

More adventures and pictures to come!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Beginnings of a New Beginning

So I made it to Boston! I had quite the trip, taking a redeye and having to travel across the country with three large, heavy bags and a back pack stuffed as much as possible. A young student that goes to Tufts was nice enough to help me carry my bags on and off buses, so one of my first interactions with a Boston native proved wrong the warning from many that most people will not help you out here . I was very thankful for his help and was also quite embarrassed by the extremely difficult task he got himself into when he volunteered to assist me in the beginning!

My apartment is the upper two floors of a very nice house in Somerville, which is the city that borders Cambridge (where Harvard is) and Charlestown (where my school is). There is a Target about 5-10 minutes on foot from our house, which is absolutely WONDERFUL! I went there yesterday afternoon after catching up a little bit on sleep, and it felt good to be in a place I semi-recognized. It is about a 3-5 minute walk from the bus stops for 4 buses, which go to all different areas of Boston. Unfortunately, it is pretty far from a T-stop (the T is what Bostonians call the subway, people look at you funny if you say the subway...), so you have to take a bus into one of the main squares near us. The closest T stops are Sullivan Square, Union Square, Kenmore/MIT, and Lechmere. I have been warned and have already become a believer that the green line of the T is the worst line ever, even though it is the closest to us. It goes down to Harvard Medical School and would probably be the shortest distance commute for me in the mornings, but it has a TON of stops and drives really slowly. I am still researching to find out which route will be the best to take.

Our house has 2 rooms downstairs, a very large and nice kitchen, one bathroom, and a good size living room. We are planning to convert one of the downstairs rooms into an office space. Upstairs, there are two rooms which will be mine and my roommate Nicole's rooms. I am a little bit wary of having only one bathroom with three girls, but it hasn't yet been a problem with only two of us in the house. And the bathroom is really nice. Everything is in really good shape in the bathroom and kitchen (they have very obviously been remodeled), even though the rest of the rooms all definitely show their age. My room has lovely Noah's Ark wallpaper on it, which makes me feel like a kid every time that I see it! So I'll probably leave it... NOT! As soon as I can, I plan to talk to the landlord and ask if I can remove it. I am not sure if my queen bed will fit into my room, as my room is just about as big as a queen bed, so I will probably sell it. Anyone looking to buy a really nice bed? I just love the style of the house, lots of wood paneling, wooden floors throughout, it is absolutely beautiful.

Right now I kind of feel like a little fish in a huge ocean, but I am becoming more and more familiar with my surroundings and understanding a little bit more of what is required in order to travel and live efficiently and cheaply. People have been giving me tips and teaching me a lot, especially my roommate Nicole. My other roommate, Janna, just got back from a trip home to Utah today, so I am excited to get to know her better! Last night, I went to my new singles ward's FHE activity and got to meet a couple of really nice people! One of the guys in the ward is from Rancho Penasquitos in San Diego! He is a few years older than me, but it is fun to talk about familiar places to the both of us, both in San Diego and in Provo (he did his undergraduate study there). I met another great girl who is doing a graduate program in Biology at Harvard! Right now she is doing an experiment that analyzes the mechanics of bird flight! The experiment is hoping to shed more light on how man-made flight machines can be more efficient, as let's face it birds are a lot better at flight than us humans! It is so interesting to talk to her about it! There really are so many different applications in the field of biology!

I really love the fact that the church is a comfortable place for me to go to, where I can find people similar to me in religious beliefs, academic discipline, and moral standards. Last night, I got invited to go and play some soccer with a group of people from all three singles wards tonight! I will be playing on the Hahhhvaahhhd Yard fields with a bunch of crazy smart Harvard nerds! :D Whoda thunk I'd ever be doing that?

This morning, I went to a really cool exhibit at the Mary Baker Eddy Library, a Christian Science Library dedicated to the life of Mary Baker Eddy, one of the developers of homeopathy and one of their most revered disciples. The exhibit is an ENORMOUS map of the world! You walk into a room that is surrounded by a three story map made of different colored stained glass! The map was made back in 1935 and so it is the world as it was back then, with all of the borders and state lines as they existed in 1935. It is also to scale, with one inch equal to 22 miles! Here are some pictures I stole from their website, since we weren't allowed to take pictures while inside:

Well, I miss being at home a whole lot but I am having such a blast and I am excited to keep exploring the city for a few more days before my schooling starts!