Thoughts on my 2-year journey to medical school

Coffeeshops are a perfect place for introspection and neuroscientific musings.

"I'm trying to see the future in a tea cup and a saucer, but I'd rather be drinking coffee with my cigarette foster." -- Aesop Rock, "Water"

"I'm trying to see the future in a tea cup and a saucer, but I'd rather be drinking coffee with my cigarette foster." -- Aesop Rock, "Water"

So much for using this blog as a chronic chronograph of my academic and social endeavors. I originally planned on the next post being an outline of my initial thoughts on the first day of spring term. Then it became a recap of the first week. Now, with the beginning of the 3rd week of the term only 2 days away, the next few posts are going to have to be protracted summations of many things that I have encountered since my last entry, divided up among broadly defined facets of my personal experiences.

I am currently sitting in Backspace, an ultra-hip internet cafe that prides itself on representing the urban technological culture by showcasing several artists that implement so-called “geeky” themes, an XBOX room, a bank of PCs dedicated to online gaming, a pool table and a constant stream of musical artists that play until the joint closes at 2am every night. I have been avoiding this location for several months now, previously operating under the misinformed notion that Backspace charges for their Wi-Fi services and making the moderate trek to Floyd’s Coffee Shop for all my internet-related needs. Backspace is definitely a major player in the social establishment scene, and while I prefer to patronize the underdog, I can’t overlook the fact that I can literally lob a tennis ball out my bedroom window and bounce in through Backspace’s front door. Yes, I can definitely see myself taking up a more permanent residence here.

On a somewhat related note, I have noticed that the aesthetic factors that draw me here are the same for many who fall into my demographic. On the whole, I don’t think my tastes in clothing, hobbies and interests completely define my identity, nor are they reflected in friends I have. I am pretty unique in the context of my social circle, and have therefore ignorantly believed that I am uncommon in the whole of the Portland populace. Now, sitting in this desirable environment, it is very strange indeed to see actually TWO people across the room wearing similar clothing and glasses, on the same model laptops and constantly checking the same model iPhone that I possess. For once I think I see myself the way strangers see me. Maybe I am classified as a “hipster.”

I have brought up this revelation, and others like it, with other people since I started experiencing them in high school. It is usually met with tepid indifference. These reactions fuel my theory that, as a by-and-large introvert, I am emotionally cut off from the context in which I reside. I have constructed an illusory bubble around myself, unaware that I am actually an internal and external product of my environment. This subconscious behavior is observed in people suffering from Autism, and in the off-chance I may be endowed with a mild case of the affliction, it may explain why so many people do not find these discoveries as startling as I. You never know.

Enough of that. Self-diagnosis doesn’t get lab reports written.


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