Sunday, September 12, 2010

In another life...

...I would be a writer. Once I wanted to write a Quixotesque screenplay about a guy who spends all his time watching reality TV until he becomes crazy and thinks he's in a reality TV show. It would be to raise awareness of how dumb that stuff really is.*

Today I want to write a George Orwell type novel. I don't think I really like Orwell's writing, but the idea I have would definitely be something he would have done. Here's what would happen: twenty years or so in the future a company will invent something called an iBrain. You can carry it in your hand and it remembers everything for you. Faces, names, conversations, pictures, everything. Within a matter of years everyone has one, from small kids to adults. Over the next hundred years or so people forget how to remember things. They only know how to find them on their devices. There would have to be a main character who either becomes aware and chooses or is forced into the strenuous process of reversing his/her mental atrophy. I'm not sure yet if I would let this person actually achieve mental independence or if he/she would die trying. The purpose of this one would be to get everyone to stop letting their tech gear to get in the way of living their lives. At the football game yesterday there were tons of people texting during the entire game. It wasn't the most interesting game ever, but still. I think it's healthy to turn off the phone every now and again. Does this make me a hippie? Or was I just born ten years too late? I think I would have loved Van Halen in their heyday.

* Turns out that the original "Don Quixote" was written to make fun of the "novelas cabellerescas" (knight novels) that were as ridiculous as they were popular in Spain during the 17th century. Cervantes wanted everyone to see how dumb the current trend was, so he wrote a novel to make fun of novels. Thanks to some modern playwrights, we've taken the story and made it about idealism and free thinking.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


A recurring theme at church today seemed to be: “why do bad things happen to good people?” A valid question, especially when one considers oneself to be a “good person” (which most people seem to do), however, I wish people wouldn’t get hung up on it so much. I propose that in this age-old conundrum there are two superfluous adjectives: bad and good. Remove them and you’re left with “why do things happen to people?” I feel like this is a more appropriate question to ask, and it’s way easier to answer too. It’s tough to say if something that happens to me is good or bad. Some of the biggest crises in my life at the time seemed like very bad things but in hindsight they taught me some of the best lessons I’ve ever learned (and actually increased my happiness in the long run).

Why do things happen to people? The answer is pretty simple: because that’s why we’re here. God wants things to happen to us and so do we. We wanted things to happen to us before we were born, which is why we chose to come to earth in the first place. Chose to come and were stoked about it. Sometimes things are brutal and sometimes they’re awesome, but do we really have to classify them as good or bad? After all, they’re just things. There are a billion different analogies that are all related to life being like a ‘refiner’s fire’ that burns out impurities and helps us become stronger. It’s a good analogy but maybe at some point we could stop trying to compare it to something and look at the situation as it actually is. Things happen to people. All sorts of things. Some things we want to last forever and others we wish had never happened, but if we can see that they all happen to teach our immortal souls to be more like our Heavenly Father then they don’t seem quite as earth-shattering.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I geeked out my classmates.

Medical students are an interesting group of nerdy overachievers. We are the people who wrecked the curve in your science generals and destroyed it in your 'Family Economic Issues' upper division FCS class. Type A grade grubbers who think jokes like "a sodium ion and a chloride ion got into a fight and got arrested for a salt," are funny. The good news is we generally understand each other pretty well. Yesterday, in histology, I started up a lively conversation of "if you could be any type of cell, which would you be?" (I would be an astrocyte or a macrophage, by the way). A few minutes into the conversation someone expressed surprise that we were talking about our favorite cells. I must have been tired because I heard myself (I couldn't stop) tell them about the time I made a diagram of a cell using my Café Rio salad on a date. It got kind of quiet. "You what?" asked the engineering major from the Y. "Ooooooo," said the obsessive video gamer, "that's pretty bad." "Wait, do you have a girlfriend?" asked all the girls in unison. "I know," I said, "but in my defense, she asked me to do it and she did go out with me again." I hope I saved face, but I'm afraid the secret's out--I'm the biggest nerd in the whole class only not smart.