Archive for the Neuro Category

#nerdlife.

Posted in funny, hobbies, Life, Me, Nerdyness, Neuro, randomness, ugh. on 02/18/2011 by asante

Hello world.

My name is Asante, and I am a self-proclaimed certified nerd.

I often find myself researching for fun. I read ahead in text books. I know weird facts and words that normal people don’t care about. I’m going to graduate school to study MORE random facts that only I care about (as far as my friends are concerned, anyways). I read. A LOT.

BUT… I know when to turn it off.

You know, like that self-awareness kicks in at some point and I realize there is more to life than showing people how intelligent I am. I’m realizing now that in this regard, I am an anomaly.

I’ve spent the past 3 weeks getting to know quite a few nerds as I navigate the uncomfortable realm of grad school interviews, and let me tell you: in 3 weeks of these there have not been more that 4-5 “normal” applicants per pool. Seriously. The rest are charmingly, but blatantly socially awkward. To the point where I felt awkward for NOT being awkward. How twisted is that?

I mean I appreciate a person who can really delve into the significance of a single cell patch clamp response. Or the consummatory dopamine circuit. Or even the molecular significance of a missing post-synaptic transporter. (Getting away from you there? I know, fear not, I’m coming back. And yes, your eyes are supposed to be glazing over.) But for the love of everything that is good, approachable and non-awkward, give it a rest sometimes! I love my work and I love the brain and all that, but if you can’t find a balance between your academic motives and your personal life, I don’t know what to say for you.

Even the professors I’ve met, after I  ably describe/discuss the complex parameters of our study and what I do within it, have asked me “What else do you do? Like, when you’re NOT in the lab?” It would surprise me if some of these folks had an answer to that question. Like, seriously.

I love being a nerd, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being in the company of such intelligent and driven people. But when the professors are gone and the grad students are offering you a beer, TAKE IT. And then relax. We all know you’re smart. Now show us that you can be a normal person. At least until the beer wears off.

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Ph.D. bound…

Posted in college, Life, Me, Neuro, randomness, rant, The Future, Uncategorized on 11/10/2010 by asante

…Well, I will be. Eventually. Once I complete my 4-6 years of indentured servitude, commonly known as Graduate School.

Blech.

Yep, through the grace of some persistently misfiring synapse in my brain, I have the unfaltering desire to go to graduate school. *gulp*.

You could very easily call this story something along the lines of “For Colored Girls who Considered a Doctorate when a Bachelors’ Wasn’t Enuf.” lol.

(I’m silly.)

I’ve heard all sorts of horror stories and naysayers, and even some current grad students who good-natured-ly coax me to run as far as possible in the opposite direction, I really do want to go.

But these applications must DIE.

Applications of any sort just make me painfully anxious. I’ve put these off for months because they just make me twitch with terror. The possibility of making a mistake on one of them that will cost me the possibility of that option, or just the simple fact that someone will be judging me on paper (and I’ll be honest, my academic career thus far doesn’t look so hot on paper…. eek.) It makes me cringe and twitch and want to crawl underneath my desk into  a little ball and drown in unbearable freaked-out-ed-ness.

Tons of people tell me I don’t need to worry too much, because I’m a super minority. A.) I’m black. and B.) I’m female. Not to many of me applying for doctorate Neuroscience programs. So I do have that w0rking in my favor.  But I just don’t like the idea of having to prove myself to somebody. And then the COST of sending these all out? Don’t even get me started. It makes me want to cry a little bit. $380 in application fees. $207 to send test scores. About $100 to send my transcripts. And I only end up going to ONE of these schools, where tuition will be free. #WTFBelanie. Why are they so intent on taking my hard earned money from me?!

Well, I just needed a place to rant. Impending graduate studies matriculation is making me crazy. *Crossing my fingers for a Northwestern interview…….*

Scratch that. Power of positive thinking in this beeyotch!! I WILL impress Dr. Chiao. I WILL get in to Northwestern. I will move to Chicago and be fantastic (with a side of grad-student-broke). I will defy/rebuke anyone and anything that stands in my way. Haters, back up. Future doctor right here.

Just think… Asante K_________, B.S. M.S. Ph.D.

Yes please.

I am SUCH a nerd… but I’m ok with that.

Posted in Nerdyness, Neuro, TV on 09/15/2009 by asante

So yea, proof that by choosing the brain, I chose the right field of interest: I’m watching an episode of House that is literally one of the COOLEST cases I’ve ever seen. Three words, people:

Alien. Hand. Syndrome.

What is that, you ask? Well before you go wikipedia it (because I know I would, lol.) here’s a quick rundown: for one of some understood (and MANY not understood) reasons, the left and right hemispheres of your brain “disagree” about what your intentions/desires/likes/dislikes are. Let that boggle your mind for a second. lol.

Your left and right brains deal with two different parts of your whole; The Right brain is more creative, impulsive, and uninhibited, while the Left brain deals with more reason, logic, and constraint. People tend to lean one way or the other, with the other half regulating due to connections that go back and forth between the two halves. But what if those connections are interrupted, for instance in a Split Brain patient? (patients with a severing of the connections between the two halves)

In this episode, this man is a split brain patient (to relieve seizures) and his right brain HATES his girlfriend (which is sad, but resulted in a HILARIOUS display) so much, that while he’s gushing about how grateful he is for her help in this time of need, his left hand slapped the sense out of her. WTF??? lol  And while his left hand (right brain) hates medical procedures, it can be distracted by playing air guitar. Then his left brain makes him button his shirt, and the right makes him undo it. I just think that’s endlessly interesting. Imagine disagreeing with yourself on such a basic level that you can’t control it??? This goes waaaay deeper than indecisiveness.

One of the doctors on the show brought up a crazy thought too: Imagine if everyone really has two distinct personalities in them, we just manage to control them? So who’s normal? the AHS or MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder) people who let those “extra people” loose every once in a while, or those of us who are constantly restraining our other selves? What makes the dominant half dominant? What if that other person is more interesting than you are? More fun? More successful? Should all of us Right-Brainers go Left for a while, just to see what happens? Who knows. I’m going to keep pondering for the next 28 minutes lol.

Yea, I know, I’m a nerd. but c’mon this stuff is cool lol. Yes, I am the type of person who used to read my big purple Neuro text book for fun. Don’t judge me. lol.