Money has gotten a little tight around here with MPH tuition soaring, marriages of even pets (or so it seems) to attend, and a lady friend to keep happy. Naturally, I decided to take the initiative and look for avenues of supplemental income. This pursuit took me straight to the announcement board outside the bathrooms near md labs (this is synonymous with the study dungeons where loud vents pump what you hope is air into a room that echoes the barks of research dogs pleading cries as desperately as the gingerbread man in Shrek). There I found destiny: a two-drug study of an anti-retroviral and an anti-tuberculosis medication to see the pharmacokinetics of the two drugs’ interactions in healthy patients. “How perfect could this be?” I wondered, thinking of my interests in infectious disease and this possibility of “adding” to the body of knowledge about treating HIV+ patients infected with TB.
Though my “dream” opportunity has arisen to make a fast $1,225, I’m stuck here wondering, “Is it worth it?” Is it worth yet to possibly pee orange? Is it worth it to possibly build resistant to some of the most potent drugs available (aka am I setting myself up for trouble if I ever do get something pretty nasty in the future)? Is it worth it to take charge and clutch what seems to be a good fit without first consulting Him?
The pastor preached about the difference between the world’s reaction to life’s difficulties and the disciples reaction the other day. His sermon illuminated many things for me and convicted me that, like this study, I often rush to do what I think should be done, to plan for the challenge, to prepare for adversity. But I forget to pray for His will….
The promise: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8 (The global solution: A God for all)
Awe-struck: “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.'” – Acts 1:9-11 (sometimes it takes Godly interventions to prod us out of inertia, into action)
Godly “planning” = praying: “Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath’s day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” – Acts 1:12-14
I’m attempting to memorize Deuteronomy 6, fellas, and would appreciate your encouragement/accountability. Here’s what I have so far:
“These are the commands, decrees, and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to inherit, so that you, your children, and their children after them may fear the Lord your God…”
It’s not much, but it is a start. Test on Friday, so pray for God to still come first (please).
I’ve been meaning to share this wonderful photo with ya’ll from my trip to the Taj Majal this summer. Besides being comic relief, it’s a friendly reminder that what we know as “the Bible belt” is quickly being replaced by our brothers and sisters in the East and Africa seeking to make His “kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.”
The other day at my public health rotation in Harlingen, we decided to play some ultimate frisbee after lunch in a big open field next to the University of Texas School of Public Health at Brownsville. My buddy Kuei threw the disc, and like a well-trained dog, I took off after it full speed. Unfamiliar with the surroundings, I was sure to note the cylindrical, metal light poles that posed a significant hazard. Eyes locked on the disc, I sprinted – it was man.
I felt blood dripping from my chin and examined my bloody knuckles and knees. I had collided full force with a baby tree standing about 10 feet tall.
Congrats, DClark. You’ve performed another act of brilliance!
Here is the first collaborative post on Via Chicago compliments of Bobby, Dan, Amy and Zach. We have spent the last week in nostalgic bliss in what we have labeled as the ‘warm-up’ reunion. Unfortunately, the only thing missing happened to be the most important: Adam. We miss you bud and hope you are enjoying France (as if it could hold a candle to North Little Rock, Arkansas?!?) We are going to do our best to fill him in on all he missed by listing the top 10 memories of the week. Here’s the music to get you in the mood…
M. Ward– Never Had Nobody Like You
10 / Damgoode Pies and Dan’s Margaritas – Listen, the four of us spent significant amount of time in Chicago. We’ve had plenty of deep dish pizza. Yet somehow, this little Little Rock pizza joint makes it way better than the Chi Town boys ever could. Also…Zach showed us why Parmesan cheese jars have lids that unscrew. Giddy up, cheese monster! (DClark felt like he had Giardia in Afghanistan again the next morning. I’m guessing that’s some sort of sad sickness that inclines one to read 3 magazines at a time while sitting on a certain porcelain chair.) Luckily D Clark’s Passion Punch came thru in the clutch to settle everything back down. Or did it…
9 / Damn good Food! – For some unknown reason, Little Rock is home to some of the most amazing restaurants. We all spent about half of the week in various food comas taking siestas on Bobby and Amy’s over sized couch. We also got our favorite Amy dishes: Queso, Enchiladas and the best home made salsa we have ever had. Lastly, we had the amazing privilege of having Wednesday dinner at the Chino’s. If you have never had the opportunity to try Alison’s cooking than you should do whatever it takes to get invited over: offer free baby sitting, beg, send bribes etc. We promise it is worth it.
8 / Pranay Argarwal – Who knew Daniel’s freshman year Indian roommate got invited to the reunion? Well…at least our best efforts at his amazing accent made the trip! Dan, you like your brown friend again? That is one impression that will never die.
7 / Trivia – We were planning on heading to the minor league ballpark where Bobby’s dad did play-by-play while little Bobby was just a boy, but there was a massive southern thunderstorm that caused us to look indoors for shelter. We ended up at a local bar’s trivia night, where our team showed up halfway into round one, but still managed to barely miss out first place on the entire night by only one wrong question! Great times to put great minds to use. College may have been years ago, but the brains are still sharp!
6 / Bobby’s Show – Bobby’s second performance as a professional musician included an obsessive screaming fan, his mom’s plea for him to enter American Idol and a packed out cafe. Oh…and the chance for a few people to say “I was there before he made it big…”
5 / High School Friends – Coming back to visit our friends from the Crossing had many highlights: chilling with Michael Hall at Bobby’s show, Blocking Dillon’s shot repeatedly in basketball, watching Bobby drop some knowledge on them at Wednesday night service and hanging out during lunch, video games with Hayden (Zach dominated!) and some one-on-one time with Big Phil. It also included the very sweet, but sad moment of saying good bye to our good friend Jose. We will miss you!
4 / Zeke shows Bobby who is Alpha– As Bobby began to wrestle with his dog Zeke, he got a nuzzle and a lick in response. Pinned underneath, Bobby gave up the fight. Zeke responded with a pole to pole display of dominance.
3 / Pingus Pong – Four years ago, Dan and Bob collaborated to create one of the greatest sports known to man: Pingus Pong. As the name suggests it is a mixture of ping pong and tennis. Dan ‘the beast’ Clark dominated this years competition with a nearly undefeated record. Bobby endured a healthy dose of frustration. Zach faked a shoulder injury and took a nap.
2 / Front Yard Wiffle Ball – Bob’s front yard. Old beat up wiffle balls. Some small trees serving as Wrigley’s Ivy or Fenyway’s monster. Having to stop for cars coming down the street. Game on.
1 / Home run derby- A sunny Friday Afternoon, a bucket of balls, a couple wooden bats fortradition’s sake and a metal bat for distance. We even had Zeke nearby to finish off the recipe for the sequel to the Sandlot. The contest ended when Zach broke an aluminum bat in half the first swing after his one and only home run. **Bobby can now expect a new bat from Wilson for his birthday next week**
Something special happens whenever all of us come together: we are reminded of how blessed we are that God has a greater purpose for our collective lives. I am completely and utterly convinced that God brought us together for a purpose and will continue to use us in a way that is greater than any of us on our own. This post is a tribute to our missed friend Adam, to future reunions and to unforgettable memories.
Dan’s post (from his homework for the first day of med school tomorrow):
Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.
I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don’t see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.
Fifty-four years before I could see
Rouen cathedral is built
of parallel shafts of sun,
and now you want to restore
my youthful errors: fixed
notions of top and bottom,
the illusion of three-dimensional space,
from the bridge it covers.
What can I say to convince you
the Houses of Parliament dissolves
night after night to become
the fluid dream of the Thames?
I will not return to a universe
of objects that don’t know each other,
as if islands were not the lost children
of one great continent. The world
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow
and white and cerulean lamps,
small fists passing sunlight
so quickly to one another
that it would take long, streaming hair
inside my brush to catch it.
To paint the speed of light!
Our weighted shapes, these verticals,
burn to mix with air
and change our bones, skin, clothes
to gases. Doctor,
if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.
Cutting to heal is a technique I don’t think I’ll ever master. Check out my my slicing job on my left ring finger. I forgot the first rule of cooking: always make a block with your free hand at a 90 degree angle to the cutting board. I did confirm that the new knife cuts well though…thank goodness for the nail because it slowed me down to about the bone. Otherwise, I probably would have been one wound closer to really becoming Lt. Dan