Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I got an A on my Genetics paper. And I emailed Trash, using M. Small as the test subject in a little thought experiment about the topic. It's fun to be a science nerd, especially when your friends are, too.

TeslaGrl thinks I should just post the whole thing. I hesitate (although she's awesome, and furthermore very bright) beause I think I can make the whole thing shorter, and funnier, if and when I explain it here. It's a shame; I never got the extra points I was seeking for bringing the funny, and in terms of academic applications, I just stopped trying.

I know I'll be at The Perfect Program if, in the interview, I get a question like "how would you make cell respiration more, I don't know, snappy?" or "I'm a studio executive, and you're a director who wants to make a movie about the citric acid cycle. Pitch me."

I'm also working on my "Personal Statement." This is the essay one writes, when one is hoping to gain admission to one of the competitive graduate programs that prepare one to practice medicine. In other words, it's the "why you should accept me, rather than the other 15 to 300 peeps who want that same spot" essay.

It's going okay. So far I've written the previous blog entry, and some emails.

Did I mention there's a limit of around 400 or 450 words? Yeah, this will be interesting.

UPDATE: Ha! An opening paragraph. It sucks, but hey, it's an opening paragraph. (You can read the finished product as soon as I'm accepted to a program.)


Clearly, a particular Minneapolis inner-ring suburb is the new epicenter of cool. I'm putting out the call to my crew back home: someone else needs to make a movie, or a computer game, or design a personal jetpack or something. Because right now, the Busey-Hunt household is walking away with the 1000-meter freestyle "create bitchin' pop culture" event.

I am presently in the computer lab, listening to the new Silvergirl album on headphones. I have no fewer than two Jon Hunts plus a roomful of Jon-powered instruments going. It's a Jon-a-copia over here.

The talent-to-technology ratio on this record is exactly the inverse of what you'd find in an Ashley-- no, a Jessica Simpson project. It's just that good, and that genuine. And just to name one strong point, there are more graceful, lovely bridges on this album than in California itself.

Go. Listen. Become smitten with the sound.

I listened to it last night. This was me, at a key point: "Is that... I think he... oh my god! BACKWARD GUITAR! BACKWARD GUITAR! Sa-weeeet." Even if I only sorta liked the rest of it, Jon would earn a Big Gulp of good karma just from that.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Working. Can't post.

Yo. Welcome to any curious onlookers who may have flipped over here from Diablo's lil' blog. I wish I had something to say about my sex organs... actually, I was talking earlier about prostate issues, come to think of it... but anyway.

So the deal is, I'm an old dude (same age as Jon, so in other words, not really old at all), but I'm back in undergrad for a bit, finishing up requirements so that I may go forth and be a healer. Except not one of those obnoxious, over-educated ones. Well, I mean, yes I'm obnoxious, but more in a lovable way than an "I know better than you" way. I live in New England, but the year is almost over, so I'll be back home in the Twin Towns soon.

I'd love to say more, only I'm giving a presentation on a monkey virus and its possible role in human cancers, in about an hour. I'm done with the hard stuff, but I need to choose which cute monkey photos go into the PowerPoint presentation.

I'll say more soon, about the career, about the crazy state of health care right here and now, and about weird stuff like left-handedness and whether it's genetic. (Hint: yes it is. And there's a thing about which way the whorl on the back of your head goes. Very cool, but then I'm in like Nerd Boot Camp now.)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

In Which I Am Visited by My Old Friend, Sleep Disturbance

Funny dreams, lately.

There was the one where my program director was leading a few of us up a rickety old wooden staircase, like the one in Vertigo. She was happy and social, which matches well to the reality of who she is as a person, but poorly to her persona (we decided long ago it's more fun, and somehow more emotionally accurate, if her persona is about calling us fat and making us cry). There was something at the top of the stairs she wanted me to see. And of course, I woke up before we got to the top.

(I have a theory that the brain can actually work backwards in dreams, and then rearrange the narrative in memory, sort of like the retina sees an upside-down image, but that's a tangent. It does, however, explain some things.)

Last night, I worked until I lost my mental sharpness; then I puttered around until I felt tired; then I puttered a little more until I thought I was physically wiped enough to sleep.


But then again, when I thought it must be 2, it was 4:15. So it was a good night. But the good REM sleep doesn't hit me until it's just about alarm time. This morning, I had a poignant and sad little dream. It was even in black and white, which my brain uses for mood purposes.

Somebody I haven't talked to in a while had, in the dream, died. Not right then; she'd been dead for a while. But in Gaimanesque fashion, it wasn't a big deal. We spoke on the phone every now and then. But since I had to change phones after I dropped mine in down a storm drain during winter break, I didn't have her number (in... death-land I guess) in my phone. And I couldn't find the slip of paper which held it. You can't just look that stuff up, y'know?

And so I got to go through the frantic-looking phase, then the coming-to-terms with having lost the thing phase, and finally the acceptance that those days are gone phase. All before waking up.

Which in some ways is really refreshing. But I did just email some people I haven't touched base with in a while. Message received! Thank you, Messrs. Hypothalamus and Brainstem!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


The Mayo Clinic (quite possibly the very best medical practice anywhere, anytime -- and one of the schools I'd love to attend, why no I'm not sucking up pre-emptively, thanks) has just published an interesting new paper, which one of my classmates sent around today. It aims to identify and describe the qualities that patients are looking for in their providers. My response to it is one part "duh"-based affirmation of common-sense things, one part quietly impressed at the things patients notice and react to, and two parts relief that The System is paying attention.

For good or ill, and I happen to think it's mostly good, this whole idea of "customer service concepts have important ramifications in the medical world" has become quite mainstream. As a patient, this makes me happy because it affirms the times I've felt slighted, or felt the doc's style had a negative effect on my care. As an emergency medical paraprofessional-slash-hospital flunky, it makes me happy because my jocular, light touch might actually be noticed and appreciated by somebody. As an applicant, it makes me happy that I:
  • Have a relatively heavy run of patient-care experience on my resume
  • Have done a boatload of shadowing (and not just for the letters, either, but for the experience and perspective)
  • Am such a freak about communication skills
  • Used to friggin' teach customer service in the corporate world
Hey, anything that can ward away the panic and desperation of application season is a good thing. I'll be reading over this again fondly, long about August and September. Stay tuned.