Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Med School Interview

My Neuro exam went okay, my mock interview went well, and I currently need to prepare for my next Practical - right after the Fourth of July weekend (they have no sympathy!) - and then my final, which is the same week, the immediate Friday following that (not only no sympathy, they wish to kick our ribs in while we're down.)

BUT! my most recent hurdle: I had a real, live (yeah, as opposed to dead) interview today at one of the cooperating med schools we're looking into transferring for our last two years when we do the fun stuff: clerkships, rotations, clinical experience, etc. :)

I was nauseous yesterday night and spent hours reading up on healthcare system and ethical issues just in case the interviewer decided to pick my brains apart.

Except what happened was ...

Morning comes, I roll out of bed and into my business suit (my, as in my cousin's suit, as in I have no real clothes of my own. Actually, do you know how hard it is to find a good skirt-suit in size 0-2? Macy's smallest was labelled a "2" but was probably really a 4 since I drowned in it. I don't understand. I'm so ... small-boned. I tried to gain weight before and ... let's just say I wish I can gain weight that would actually build up and give me curves as opposed to just congregating in my thighs.)

So off I went, baking in the summer heat in my suit, checking every two seconds to make sure my skirt didn't do its lil circulation dance around my hips until the slit in the back migrated to the front. Got on the train, basked in the frigid AC, and then made the transfer to my next train that would take me to the medical center!

Only I got on the wrong train. Oh yes, can you have faith in the future of medicine or what?

I sighed when I realized and moved off the train only to wonder where the uptown connection was. Damn it, was it one of those stations I had to get out of and cross the street to catch the returning train? I asked a lady and she pointed me in the right direction. She also had the most adorable son who clung excitedly to his mom as he stared at me with wide eyes, "Mom, she's so pretty! The lady's so pretty!" LOL. So I thanked both his mom and him and as I scrambled to head down the steps, I heard him continuing, "She has such pretty shoes! I like her shoes!"

Thanks, kid. You're my fav guy now.

Anyhoo, I made it to the station where I had to get off and I got out in not one of the most nicest neighborhoods. But it's okay - bright daylight. A distinguished Indian gentleman with glasses and a messenger bag approached me and asked if I needed any help with directions. He pointed the right way to me and then advised me to be careful around people in the neighborhood since it's not the safest place and I could potentially get mugged.

Thanks, nice person! *wobbles off in high heels*

So I had my interview with a doctor who specializes in the pediatrics department and it was nice. He didn't really go over my app before the interview though so he basically asked me what was listed on it, my hobbies, my study habits, and he told me about the school and the rotations system and the hospitals students get to work in. Then we talked about President Obama's healthcare proposals. I brought it up and for some reason, by that time, it felt more like I was interviewing him. I'd say something, ask him something, and he'd explain, continue into another topic, and hmm ... Somehow, there goes an hour. It might have been a bad thing that he talked more than I did, but that was how it went down and ... sighs. All in all, I hope it was a satisfactory interview and that the doctor would at the very least remember me in a positive way.

Went back to the train station except this time, it was one of those funky stations that the uptown and downtown trains run separately. So I stood at the corner peering around for a while since the uptown is generally located across the street. Except it wasn't. So I was convinced it was in camoflauge. Behind a van or something.

Third friendly person of the day came to my rescue. A young man asked me if I needed any help and I kinda mumbled, still peering around, "Yeah, I don't quite know - where the heck is the uptown station?"

"The uptown? Oh!" And he looked around too.

So we both glanced around us and I grumbled, "Isn't it generally across the street?"

"Yeah, right?" He laughed and then told me to wait while he jogged across the street. He then waved me over and directed me down the block. "I think it's down the street there and then you make a right."

"Okay, thanks!" I wandered off and lo and behold, the station was indeed nearly two blocks away from its brother. Weird.

Whew, I've been really exhausted these days but I feel pretty unproductive. I haven't done anything particularly strenuous ... just the norm. Hmm.

Anyway, I'm working on the next chapter for TM and I hope to finish the story soon. Not next chapter, but I'll try to get the rest done sooner than later. About time.

And ...

R.I.P. Michael Jackson. What a legend. What a legacy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Through Me 27 Update

Through Me Chapter 27 has finally been posted! It's incredibly long - 22 pages - but I figured you guys would kill me twice over if I didn't offer up some answers after the long wait. Thanks for the patience and support, all!

Now that this is over ... I'm going to fail my second Neuro exam. Oh boy. And friend is probably gonna slap me five times for saying I'm studying when I've been writing instead. I'm sorry!

Exam's coming up this Monday, the day of my birthday. Ugh. I can feel the old age creeping up on me. And this completely shoots celebratory plans over the weekends to hell since I'll be busy cramming and not sleeping.

And friend's gonna slap me again for not using this day more productively. When people expect me to study early in advance, so that I can have a carefree weekend before the exam ... yeah, I don't know why, it never quite happens.

But I hope you guys have a great weekend! And an awesome Father's Day! :)

What I've recently learned in Neuro:

- Most people know that there are five tastes, but not many of them can actually list them out. Do you know what they are? And spicy does not count. (It's actually a pain reflex. But it's so good.)

- Too many people have landed in the hospital - and died - for taking an odd mix of ecstasy, Viagra, and Red Bull. Don't do it.

Oh yeah, I'm so ready for this exam. Heh.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Say What?

I wasn't going to mention the whole plagiarism incident again, but the girl who plagiarized my story didn't take the initiative to remove the story of her own accord so earlier in the night, I went and signed up at Winglin to ask the administrators for their help.

And that led to me going through the comments left on "her" story just to see what exactly has she been saying and how the readers have been responding. At first, you know, it was kinda amusing in a "Are you for real." kinda way seeing the way she responded to readers, thanking them and telling them to comment more because it'll give her ideas, but the more I read, the more, ah, pissed off I got.

Because instead of the attention-seeking young girl I imagined her to be, she started to come off as this high and mighty writer who was encouraging people to write and continue their fanfics and noting how sad that some writers never update and abandon their works and ...

Oh, for god's sake. Hypocrite, much?

One of her many gems of wisdom:
Katrina -- 24 May 2008 at 12:13 a.m.

I encourage other fanfic authors to finish their work too. I have seen a lot of kimerald fanfics out there but only a few got updated and finished. After a couple of chapters they were just left forgotten. It was sayang cause some stories had a very good and unique plot and some started out really well. I hope some authors will read this and have a little inspiration to finish what they started. I also encourage other fans to write fics too. I know you guys got lots of creative ideas.:)
And ...
Katrina <email address removed> -- 24 May 2008 at 12:03 a.m.

thanks again for reading.
angelica, crimson rose and tanya- thank you for the comment.
pink_butterfly and bisangni- yes crazy love will be ending soon. I know you guys hated being bitin, sad but this has to end. I don't have a new story right now to replace crazy love. I can't even promise that I will have the pleasure of time to write another one since school has been taking most of my time. I am actually very glad that you liked this story, my first ever fanfic story. Thank you all for reading . Till my next update.
Katrina -- 22 April 2008 at 6:41 a.m.

thank you for the comments.
angelica- wow, you really got the whole story printed on paper? thank you for the kind words. :)
hope you like this chapter.
HAppy Birthday Kim Chiu!
So now her dear readers have printed copies of "her" story. Good going, plagiarist. Thanks.

Sighs, I'm sorry, please put up with me. I know I should go the high road and just stop thinking nasty thoughts. You know, cleansing breath, good karma, all that jazz.

Still. If I ever find out who this girl is in real life ... heh.

Anyway! I still need to get the rest of the lab stuff down for my practical on Friday and prepare for my mock interview with the Dean that's immediately following my exam.

But in response to some concerns that I might remove False Facades, rest assured. I probably won't be doing anything to the story. I removed it once before, remember? And during that time, I realized that it wasn't fair to suddenly wipe out what had been left on the site, free for your eyes and comments, for years. Especially since the plagiarists probably had saved copies on file while the readers who really deserved to read the story were just left hanging.

I also realized that just because I removed the story, it unfortunately doesn't mean that certain readers, again, haven't already made personal copies and that some of them might have them ready at hand to distribute and share without my consent. Case in point, I checked the dates of this recent plagiarism case and I believe this girl actually posted up the story during the period of time False Facades had been removed. I think by having the full story back up, it might perhaps help me in tracking down more plagiarists; i.e. there's more of the original story bits to match with copies out there in Google searches.

More importantly, unlike the works of many other authors who have been hit with plagiarism, False Facades is nowhere near polished. It was written when I was very young and while I'm dabbling in revisions in private, I think this draft, which retains its rough and fluffy state, will always have this nostalgic appeal to me and some readers. Without its bizarre, over-the-top sort of humor, the story just wouldn't be the same and I feel that no matter how embarrassingly written certain areas were, I'd like to keep this draft out there. Just for fun. It was the original that had started me off on Fictionpress and drew the attention of most of my readers now and I think it deserves to be kept around to show how far I've developed and how much further I still need to go.

Plus, unlike the authors who are actively protecting their works for publishing interests, I definitely know that while False Facades might make for a light affair, some wacky sitcom, or even a cartoon, I doubt it will ever see the light of day in the hardcore publishing industry. (I'm sorry, FF, but it's true. Don't fret, I still love you the same.)

Thus, I came to this realization that this story is perfect to be left open and free for your perusal and entertainment. Nothing serious, everything at the whims of the characters. While I might still finish up revisions (yeah, some day in the far off shiny future) and self-publish it on LuLu.com, I'm more interested in doing so in order to attain a better copyright on the story so the draft will most likely always be around on Fictionpress.

What this does mean though - and I've been thinking long and hard about the future of FP - is that I probably, sadly, will never be able to post anything with more original ideas. I still want to write for fun and hone my writing (though I wonder how the fear of plagiarism's going to ultimately affect my posting, if I'll ever hesitate over a chapter one day and worry "I need to protect and hide this from the world."), but I'll probably stick to revamping cliches and we'll see how things goes. Do you guys have any favorite cliches you particularly enjoy?

Until then, I'll stick to finishing up Through Me and after that ... we'll see.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

FF Plagiarized. Again.

Happy news: I had time to get down 8 pages for Through Me Chapter 27! So I hope to get it out pretty soon, yay!

Bad news: I was informed by McQuinn of The Fictionpress Watchers that False Facades was plagiarized. Again. On Winglin. Again.

This time, the girl not only took the time to change the locations, features, and names, she also managed to translate pages of the dialogue into another language - Filipino, I think?

By now, there's been so much plagiarism incidents, I'm more astonished by the level of dedication some people have in stealing stories than I am really upset. Of course, I'm still ticked off, but it wasn't to the point where I got murderous furious like last time, when the girl actually impersonated me and answered readers with a flippant, "Yup, I'm the same Maeven from Fictionpress! Totally not plagiarizing here!" Uh huh.

Like before, I left a message on her comments page to give her a chance to remove the story herself. I generally think the plagiarists who steal my stories are pretty young and their purpose is to get whatever comments they could. Hopefully, she'll realize this is a very serious crime and won't do this again. If not ... I'll have to set up a Winglin account tomorrow and post a message to the administrators. Sighs.

Bright side? I found out how kickass The Fictionpress Watchers are! Holy crap, I really don't think I would have ever found this plagiarist. Even though it seems like there's a sudden increase in plagiarism incidents, I think it's more because we have these new Watchers and their dedication to uncovering all these incidents that have been floating around unnoticed these past years. Even though the message was bad news, I'm in total fangirl mode and if I wasn't such a mess these days and so website/technologically bleh, I'd totally leap into LiveJournal territory and sign up just to worship join their community. I don't know how they do it, especially since this person actually changed a lot of the dialogue into another language, but they found it and I'm eternally grateful. I bow down to their sleuthing skills.

And now ... I have to study for my practical. I went to bed at 6am on Sunday to study for my written exam, oh lord. Good thing I had a monstrous iced coffee earlier in the day. Otherwise, Neuro seems to be going well and I'll be posting the next chapter pretty soon. I sent it off to my cousin for her perusal first and I'm going to hammer down some more details, maybe add some extra scenes, before I get it out there. Once again, thanks for your support and your patience!

(Is it sad to get so used to plagiarism incidents that most authors' reactions these days are "Oh damn, not again. Link, name, administrators, please?"? I honestly thought I was lucky enough to have my story finally go under the radar and escape all these recent issues. Thank goodness it's just one recent case and it's on a site that I had dealt with before. Here's to hoping plagiarists will go extinct sooner than later.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Air France 447 & TM Non-Update Update

Yes, I know. I know. I suck. Thanks for all the recent reviews and PMs about Through Me and I'm sorry that they all also include variations of "WHERE THE HECK IS THE NEXT CHAPTER, EVIL ONE! I KNOW YOU'RE BUSY, BUT! Please. Kindly stop the torture."

Deepest, DEEPEST apologies about the wait! I know it's horrid of me and if I was the reader, I'd want to slap me too - though none of you have been so mean as to threat that. Yet. I love you.

Anyway, here's the deal:

My first Neuro exam is this Monday, followed by the practical on Friday. I currently have no idea how to study for it - the textbook reading list is basically "Read Ch. 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 for tomorrow. Godspeed." No joke. I'm not even exaggerating. Those are literally the exact specified chapters I have to plow through for ONE day's worth of lectures since we have lectures straight from 1 to 5 these days. The professors have to do a sort of tag team thang, switching off every hour or so. By the end, our brains are mush.

Thus, I am basically pretty much screwed. Give me at least the time until I finish the exams and then I'll try my hardest to complete the next chapter. I have three pages written so far and I'll slowly but surely churn out the rest when I'm not drowning. So perhaps, in two weeks?

That being said, the recent news about the Air France tragedy is utterly heartbreaking. I can't imagine what the family and friends of the victims are going through, especially those who arrived at the airport waiting to pick up their loved ones only to hear that the plane went missing and then presumed lost with little chance of survivors. It's like a cruel joke. My deepest condolences and sympathies to the families. Even though the chances are beyond low, I keep hoping that I'll come across a new headline that a miracle survivor clinging to life was rescued somewhere from the middle of the ocean. May they find the rest of the plane debris soon and uncover the mystery of what exactly happened before the plane went down so suddenly.

My mom is officially freaked out by planes now. Coupled that with swine flu ... bad.