Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mid-terms have come and gone. Through no extraordinary effort of my own (nor a single extra minute spent outside of the lecture hall), I did well. The grade sheets posted outside the classrooms show that some people have managed to score as low as 2% on some tests. It seems statistically impossible, even by guessing all C's. Getting over 100% on my anatomy and physiology practicals felt amazing because it really affirmed that I am good with medicine and medical-like things.

Had my first VA appointment since coming home last week and got a lot of things done. Had an MRI on my knees, got some medicine to sleep better with, some medicine for knee pain, and scheduled follow-ons with psychology, physical therapy, ophthalmology, audiology, and orthopedics.

I try not to watch or read the news much, especially about health care and Afghanistan. The indecision by the leadership of this country depresses me greatly and puts me in a mood I try not to be in these days.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


"In the battle for Combat Outpost Keating, the men of Bravo Troop 361 Cavalry
lost every possession they had, save for the clothes on their backs. Following this blog posting is information on how to donate to the Combat Outpost Keating Relief Fund. These men havelost friends, their outpost, and all their belongings. One soldier who made it out wrote that "most people back home dont even know, no one gives a shit". Well, many of us do. And you can prove it by giving whatever you can. These guys need things like running shoes, and other essentials, as well as some comfort items like iPods and DVD players. The American Legion has kicked in $1000 to start the fund, ANY amount you can give, no matter how small will help us prove that we care."

Forward Unto Dawn

COP Keating: Is this what it's come to? Are we so strapped for men that 50 dudes with a bunker and some constantino wire at the bottom of a valley is considered a provincial strongpoint? Did we not learn from Wanat, 13 months previous and 20 miles down the fucking road, where 49 dudes were attacked by the same amount of Taliban and also forced to abandon their COP? How many times are we going to let this happen?

The worst part is that almost no other American knows about this. The volunteer drive by the American Legion and Tankerbabe to get those guys clothes and laptops and stuff was simply amazing. However, it only represents a handful of dedicated countrymen.

I sit in algebra with 40 other people. When we are given time to work on homework in class, I sit with the two Saudi guys in the class. We speak Arabic together. I feel more in common with these brown, bearded men then I do my own kinsmen. When the TA asks if we've seen such and such equation before, they shout out "Yes, in middle school!" The majority of the class has no idea what is going on. The Saudis tell me they loved our presence along their border and they were so happy to see us protect them in the first Gulf War. Everyone else in the class leers at us. I wonder how many of them could find Saudi Arabia on the map, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Nuristan province. Where is Kabul? Kandahar? Bagram? Mazari Sharif? How many of them can find America on a map of the world? I remember 12th grade geography where some people couldn't find our state on a map of America. Some couldn't find America on a map of America. You don't know where the fuck you are on a map, congratulations. Good luck in college, you've made it. The TA goes over an example problem. Four or five kids don't understand how she got 36 from 4 times 9. The Saudi guys laugh out loud. I hang my head.

I wanted to go on a great adventure, to prove myself, to serve my country. I wanted to do something so hard that no one could ever talk shit to me. In Athens or Sparta, my decision would have been easy. I felt as if I had been born too late. There was no longer a place in the world for a young man who wanted to wear armor and slay dragons.
-Nate Fick: 2 PLT CO, Company Bravo, 1st Marine RECON, OIF I (2003)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Are you sure?

Welp, the first of the month came and went. Certification for 1606/1607 takes place at the end of each month of school, theoretically. Realistically, not only is my GI bill not upgraded, I'm not even in the system now. When I log onto the website to submit my certification, there's no option to certify at all. Whatever. Maybe by the time I have college-age kids of my own, the system will work and they can use my GI Bill since I can't. The VA rep from school sends out e-mails every week that start with "Sorry everyone" and end with "I have no idea when anyone will get paid."

Speaking of college, I'm not sure what happened to American teenagers while I was gone, but these kids are depressingly stupid. A guy in my philosophy class interrupted our presentation on universal health care to tell us that he would be disgusted if he had to wait in line to see a doctor alongside disabled veterans or people that made less money than him, or no money at all. My sociology professor took a vote on whether or not to hold class on fridays (a M-W-F class) and now instead of class, we have to submit 300 word opinions on the class message board about topics that the professor wants us to discuss. These opinions are public, but not personal, and anyone can view them. We have until Friday evening to post them, and logging in this morning, I see that half the class posted them late. I'm sure some will be posted tomorrow, or the next day, and they will be counted because when a vast majority of the class is mediocre, you can't fail everyone. Let's look at some, shall we? The topic for this week was to discuss the statuses you hold in society, such as being a male doctor of Norwegian descent. Keep in mind the minimum is 300 words and right on top it says to type your responses in Microsoft Word first to spell check and word count. Here we go:

Face book is a website that everyone gets on and that is something that I make sure I check every day as soon as I get on a computer I type in face book right before I do whatever else there was I had to do. Also on face book there is a status bored where people put down what they have did today or what they have to do or how they feel about something. But face book is known for people statuses. That is like the most important part on face book besides the pictures that people upload on there. Most people have like three statuses a day posted on face book but it be some interesting stuff on people statues. My roles that I take part in this statues is to it make sure I go post me a new statues up on face book and to make sure I look at other people statutes.

158 words of academic diarrhea in no way related to the question. I'm not sure how discuss your societal status means talk about the status option on Facebook.

With my mother and step-father my statuses was to study hard and get good grades. It was hard to do what they expected me to do. Till this very day it is the same but i do it! Now my roles are to go to class, study hard and get good grades. Also keep in touch with my parents, and continue to talk to my family. After all through high school, the different statuses of my parents it made me the person I am today.

85 words. Random. periods. are. random.

Some might call me OCD, but anyone can easily see I get my organizational skills from my mother. The status symbol that goes along with that, would be how everyting I own, in my room or car, is organized in a certain way. Along with this status there is a role. The role being that if someone uses my belongings or property and doesn't put it back in the certain spot i had it in, I freak out on them

80 words.

Peers? Not to me.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Online GI Bill advance payments? Now we're talking!

It's almost like it's actually supposed to be! Go online and get your GI Bill money. Who woulda thunk it?!

Well played Secretary, well played. We'll call this a wash in exchange for the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams. You still owe us for the fucking black beret though. If you can get it so that we can substitute the black/green fleece beanie with any required wearing of the black beret, we'll be in business.