Updates and changes

Hello wonderful readers.

I wanted to let you know that I will be revamping this blog a bit in the coming week. My blog has what some would call schizophrenia when they mean to say “multiple personalities” or dissociative identity disorder. To be fair, schizophrenia is a break from reality that makes it difficult to think logically or behave “normally” in social situations, and my blog also has that.

My blog also likes to use “unnecessary” quotation marks. My blog is so clever.

Anyway, there will be some reorganization (or merely a start to any kind of organization at all), perhaps some design changes (that is to say, some initial thought toward using any design at all, rather than haphazard use of whatever available theme), and I will be rolling out one or two new sites in the coming months to parse content into more meaningful/useful/relevant categories. Right now it’s all over the place, which is an accurate reflection of the author, but I think it would be best for everyone if it were more focused and readers could easily find the content that interests them without fishing through the content that interests someone else.

What will be the fate of medzealot? Feel free to comment or email me with your suggestions. So far, the best-liked content on this site has been humor, creative writing, personal details, and my ideas on how to not suck as a person. Aside from the funny med school interview stories, the med/premed content hasn’t garnered a lot of views, and I don’t plan on writing much more of that so it will be sanctioned out of the blog and into a static page where it can build its own readership without getting in the way. I think this blog will chronicle the rest of my education with intermittent reflection on my upbringing, providing a space for me to share stories, brain dump, comment on various phenomenon I encounter along the way, and hopefully host a discussion or two among readers. This may involve a name change or it may not; I will keep you all posted, especially if the URL changes. In fact, I may poll you or email some of you individually for your opinions if you don’t just offer them up freely 😉

I am creating a 2nd blog to focus on education in general: how to teach and learn, how the human mind works and how to leverage it, and updates on relevant research regarding education, learning, improving memory, teaching methodologies, and other more objective topics, sans personal overtone.

Thank you all for reading, and thank you for bearing with me through the changes.


Mostly written by my brother

Everybody’s got their excuses
for why and when.
“Learn to fly and then we can talk, boy.”
Before flight comes advice,
“Move slow, take time.”
All your hang-ups, not mine

are holding me back.

If I were a smart man
I might move slow.
First you see, then you know where to be.
I’m supposed to know,

but not really to live.
Not to play, just to give
to the world.

The world hasn’t shown me shit
but my eyes were covered.
I accepted it all and never wondered
why you’d hide my eyes,
like it’s all so bad.
I was too young to see, too young to even be
alarmed by it all.

Maybe you should’ve let me look,
so I could stand tall now
and realize how I’m to make my mark.

“Advice, like youth,
probably wasted on the young…”
You forget what you’ve done
and demand me a man.
Without warning I’ll come to it
in bloodshot highway fashion
I digress in my passion. I feign maturity.

How am I to be of use
when I don’t know my heart,
can’t see the part I’m supposed to play?
This screw-all game of luck and trust,
to live you must be free of it all.
To be free you must say “no”
to what you know, else you’ll crack.
I’ll leave you and then come back
to you, a man.

How am I to be of use
to your ideals that are dying,
when my heart is screaming, crying
for the trails I have not run?
I’m as deaf to your ideals
as I am to your advice.
I’m uncertain as dice
rolls, my life.

My life to date is blank.
A space to write and fill.
A place for heart and will
to be a man?

I could just move on and pretend
and be as useless now as then,
asking “Just when will I be a man?”
A matter of hours has broken
years of thought and practice,
of life and trying to act as if
I cared about any of it.

I need to run into the night,
to practice love and sin,
fuck it up and try again
to be a man.

I can’t take your path.
When I try, you stop me.
I’m just supposed to find the spirit of a man.

The man I haven’t learned to be
mocks me, laughs and gestures,
a smile but no answer to my questions
and points at my trail.

Step aside and I’ll walk.
I’ll come back and we’ll talk
together as men.

To be a man takes practice.
You can’t smile and teach.

Your goal I can’t reach

without time and pain.

The man I haven’t learned to be
is patient, and waits for me
to do whatever it takes to come back
to you, a man.

Tentatively titled “To you, a man”

Awesome writing I found today. Check out the author’s blog to see this in its original format; reblogging it removed the paragraph breaks.

My narcissism is bipolar

What the hell is blogging, anyway? I mean aside from the obvious cases where people are either talented writers, have something useful to say, are hilarious, or some combination of all three.

What about the other 99.9% of us who brazenly post the written equivalent of our verbal diarrhea on the interweb? What are we doing? What are we thinking?

Jeffrey Parks wrote an excellent post about this, especially relevant to medical, or medicalish, blogs that talk about patient encounters. For a minute he looked like he was going to throw in the towel on his blog. When it was Jeff (who didn’t, and still doesn’t, know me), I was sitting there thinking, “damnit man! You can’t stop writing!” I sent him an email saying “I understand how you’re feeling (and basically, you’d be a major turd if you didn’t feel this way), but you probably shouldn’t stop writing. Your blog is great, people love it, and you’re getting new readers every day. Unless you’re at a point where you’re going to start producing lousy, uninspired content, you should keep writing.”

They guy even wrote me back, thanking me for my “well-honed thoughts.” A truly awesome blogger. But what about the rest of us? What about the people who write about every boring thing they do on a given day as if the whole world were starving for their opinions and melodrama? Should we keep writing? God, why would we?

I started this blog thinking I had something to say that people might enjoy reading. That was arrogant.

I stayed away from this blog for months, thinking I should give up writing because how could I ever have anything to say that would be worth reading? That was insecure.

Insecurity and arrogance are both forms of narcissism. Blog for your ego, avoid blogging for your ego…you’d think you end up at the same place at the end of the day. But you don’t.

For one thing, people read this stuff. Whoever you are reading this, thanks for stopping by! I don’t know who you are, but you show up in my stats panel. And I genuinely appreciate your taking the time to read this drivel, whether you think it’s good or you think it’s crap. If you ever feel inclined to say something, please comment. It makes the blogging experience better for me, you, and other readers.

Secondly, inaction, or some emotional/paralytic avoidance of action, has completely different results than action, even if the motives for both behaviors are essentially the same. I could avoid blogging to preserve my ego, or blog in an attempt to feed my ego. Action takes courage, and cultivating courage is a good thing.

If you’ve thought about blogging, just do it. It doesn’t matter what you write (your best posts according to readers won’t be what you expected anyway). It doesn’t have to be perfect (and it won’t be). All it takes is a little chutzpah. Write for yourself. Develop a healthy indifference to what your potential critics might say. Come to terms with the inevitable: some of your writing will be crap.

Some of it could be good, but you’ll never know if you don’t write anything. The only thing you learn by not writing is that you didn’t have the balls. At least, that’s what I learned. And then I hit blog puberty.