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apple picking!

Back in July, my parents and I went on a failed adventure to Morgan Orchard. Yesterday, we actually made it there. It turned out that we gave up and turned around only about half a mile away. I am super sad about those would-be berries, but…I got a little over 4.5 pounds of Fuji + Golden Delicious apples for under $5, so that kinda makes up for it! :D!

Long long ago (7 years), at one of my three times as a camp counselor at Walden West, we were teaching our kids to leave zero waste. So we taught them to eat the cores of their apples. Technically, it’s biodegradable and all that good stuff, but we were practicing the art of “leaving no trace behind.” I’ve basically adopted this into my everyday lifestyle because having a core sitting around is really annoying when I can’t get up to go to the trashcan, and it also reinstates my lifetime membership to the Hardcore Club. Yes, I really did just go there. I’m a dork. So sue me. This had nothing to do with Sunday other than the fact that it’s related to apples.

This was half (all the Asians, haw haw) of our group!

We affectionately captioned this picture as, “Diversity.” These are all the Asian females in our class of 216.

And here’s the other pictures from our biking adventure the day before. This was seriously one of the most chill weekends I’ve had in a while. I had a lot of trouble shaking the feeling that I should be doing something productive. :'( I also apparently automatically wake up after 3 hours now. It sucks.

All our bikes loaded up at the back of Merrick’s car.

Our biking group!

The helmeted crew. I was the only one who ended up wearing a helmet for the actual ride. Safety is cool, kids. I borrowed Camilia’s sunglasses but my head was too big so I eventually took em’ off.

Pictoral evidence of us on the trail/at the river. Please note that I am no longer in any way, shape or form capable of running a half marathon. I question how I ever managed to complete one in the first place. There may be a day where I decide to try for another one, but it’ll probably be a long way away. I like my type II muscle fibers more. :X



Warning: This is a freakishly long post because I’m in this whole super-grateful-happy-peaceful mood right now.

We finished our first course in medical school yesterday. It’s been a little difficult to describe to people what classes I’m taking when they ask, because officially, I only really had 3 courses: “Foundations,” “Clinical Skills Lab” + “OPP Lab.” But Foundations covered everything under the sun, including, but not limited to physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, fungi, bacteria, viruses, immunology, communications, etc. My short answer when people asked was, “Everything.” Suffice to say, all of us have been blowing off steam since we finished the test. A lot of people went down to the pub to get drunk last night, and our dean made it a point to tell us to be careful when celebrating. I opted instead to go cat-shopping for Kitler, clean my apartment, and to put my pole together, because it’s finally here! My neighbor was going to take it in for me because it looked like it was going to rain, but it’s probably a good thing that he did not. :P

It’s in my bedroom for the time being because my front door opens to my living room and I am still slightly iffy about letting people know about my freakishly awesome but often wildly judged hobby. The living room has a lot more space though, so I may eventually decide that I don’t give a shit and move it over there.I saw a supah cute lionhead bunny (shown above), a sugar glider, a blue & gold macaw that kept saying “Hello,” tiny hamsters, spotted guinea pigs and 2 ferrets at the pet store (shopping for Kitler). :O

I feel like I’ve been incredibly lucky with how everything has turned out here; I think God’s been looking out for me every step of the way (throughout my life too, but for our purposes, I’m talking about my life here right now), since before I even moved in. I love the place I live in. It’s a little farther away from where most students live, so I’m slightly worried about ice and snow on the giant hill in the winter, but my neighbors are both from here (well, central WV) and have been great about giving me advice and basically taking care of me, in a sense. If I were an arachnophobe or just afraid of bugs in general, I would probably be having some terrible times over here, because where I live is akin to being on an extended camping trip (with all the amenities I want/need), but since I don’t give a crap and don’t mind the random woodland creatures we happen upon (Adam found a tree frog in his bathroom the other day and we also have a pet skunk), it is a-okay.

My landlord is super nice and fixes stuff practically instantaneously if anything goes wrong (I had a problem with turning off the bathroom sink and shower faucets because it just stayed…on…; they like to joke that it’s because I’m too strong). Although he had initial reservations when I asked if he allowed pets (I wanted to get a cat), he actually okayed me to get one (more on him later! <3 he arrives at the end of this month + I’m super excited! :] ). He calls me every now and then to make sure I’m doing okay, and came to our White Coat Ceremony to stand in as my family since I told mine not to come (too expensive/inconvenient).

Although I live alone, I don’t actually feel like I’m living alone. This is probably due to the fact that my neighbors are so amazing. One of them is my landlord’s grandson and the other two are fellow first years and both of them are full of all kinds of awesome (understatement of the year). We frequently accidentally refer to each other as our roommates, even though we all live alone. This is likely due to the fact that both of them have an open-door policy, as in, they keep their doors unlocked in case any of us ever need anything. For the most part, I leave mine unlocked whenever I’m home unless I’m sleeping, partly because it’s a force of habit (but mostly because I’ve re-adopted 6F policies in terms of how much I wear when I’m at my own place).

I’ve already mentioned here that people are incredibly nice here. I honestly feel like this is a cross-section of a different world/universe that I’m living in, and when I describe it to my friends back home/in NJ, they wonder how it’s possible. Case in point: my neighbors. I study with one of them almost every day, and came upon the realization a couple days ago that I actually spend a crap ton more time in his apartment than I do in my own place. On Wednesday, I was there from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. (let’s not forget the fact that both of us had also been studying on our own throughout the day). I’ve been treating school like it’s my job and then some, because it basically is. Other than the fact that I’m paying them, but anyway. Granted, not every second is spent studying since we inadvertently end up talking about everything under the sun, but those are treated as our study breaks.

Adam cooked us omelets stuffed with all kinds of veggies the other night while we were studying, and I dumped some sundried tomato sauce that he made over em’. This is the good life. *-*

Our other neighbor (Dustin) cooked dinner a couple nights ago and brought it over for us. Although he’s on the paleo diet, he knew that I was a fan of rice (how can I not be when I’m Asian, right?), so he actually made me some and brought that over too. They were telling me about their hometowns the other day and from what I heard, I’ve deemed the mystery of the day to be this:  how my neighbors turned out to be such amazingly nice people despite everything I’ve heard about what they’ve grown up with. It’s mystifying. My parents met one of my neighbors (the one I study with who lives downstairs) while they were here and apparently, before my dad left, he asked him to “make sure that I don’t die.” (I didn’t hear my dad say this, but my neighbor told me, haha.) I guess he indeed agreed to look out for me, because he’s been making good on this by way of feeding me (yes, my neighbors seriously cook me dinner, and they’re both hella good at making food), picking up stuff for me or for my future cat whenever he goes to the grocery store, knocking on his ceiling/my floor to wake me up on test days (or when I am likely to oversleep). Sometimes, I come home to small bags of candy or other treats on my porch. :O At one point in time, I would never have believed that it’s possible for people to be this nice, but apparently, I was all kinds of wrong.

One of my friends won a free shuttle down to the Greenbrier River Trail (which I’ve posted about before). It basically stretches 70-80 miles down, so she asked me and a couple other friends if we’d be interested in biking it, and seeing as how we have an ongoing “Adventure Time” thread on places to explore/things to do, who were we to turn that down? We figured, what better day to go than after our test? Blow off steam, get fresh air + exercise, rid ourselves of vitamin D deficiency, explore WV…win-win, basically.

I rented a bike from Merrick at Hill & Holler again. (That bike shop is awesome. :D I still wish I were hardcore enough to ride to/from school. I do not know how my neighbor does it.

We opted for the 20 mile bike ride, so Merrick drove us out to Renick and we started at roughly mile marker 23 (a little before that) and went on our way to meet him at mile marker 3. There was basically on phone reception for almost the entirety of the ride, but I brought mine along to take pictures. :D

We ate lunch at the first swimming hole we stopped at. The water was chilly, but our days to keep swimming are somewhat numbered because it’s probably gonna get kinda cold soon (it’s worse January through March, but I can’t imagine the water being very forgiving/us being free to swim in it for too much longer).

So pretty. :D I’m still in continual awe over how gorgeous it is out here.

We’re going apple-picking tomorrow!


I ran off to Carnegie Hall yesterday evening to audition for the Greenbrier Valley Chorale since the meeting I was in ended half an hour early. I had an awesome time trying to figure out where to go, but managed to find the entrance after a nice older gentleman opened the door for me (I thought the doors were locked and I was too late and they’d all left :'( ). Technically, I could’ve gone on Saturday morning, but I was kinda scared that I’d miss it  since I’m hella not a morning person. (it’s only an hour before church, so I have every reason to be up already, but work with me here. I was kinda paranoid. :[ )

I haven’t really done any regular singing since maybe…college, unless you count singing in the shower and in my car, in which case I belt it out like nobody’s business. (Just kidding. I am incapable of actually belting it out.) During my last year of high school, I discovered that I needed a fine arts to graduate, so I auditioned for Mrs. Glover and she threw me into Treble Ensemble, which was easily one of my favorite classes that year (that and Journalism 2 <3 Smokie love!). For two years at Davis, I functioned as the secretary and pitch pipe for Dames & Fellas A Capella, a group we formed that was the only no-audition a capella group on campus. It was super fun, but we disbanded during senior year due to billions of classes/responsibilities/other goodness (basically, life got in the way :[ ).

Suffice to say, there’s been somewhat of a hole in my life ever since, although I still had music (fortunately). I really like singing though, even though I don’t think I’m that amazing at it. (I lack the ability to project, is the thing. :[ Which is especially hard when your mom can project so well, you can hear her singing when you’re not even to your across-the-street-2x neighbor’s house yet. :[ But I did take a couple group voice lessons and slowly but surely started to learn this elusive art of using your diaphragm and being heard. (Part of it was probably also that I was just self-conscious about my singing.)

She said I had a very pretty voice, a very good ear (which I better have ._.), and good musicality (which I also should have, considering that I majored in music :X ). There is an inherent breathiness to my voice that she wants to work to eliminate, and I basically sound like a little girl when I sing, which she said could probably be attributed to the fact that I sang in an all-girl group and haven’t really done regular singing/training, so my singing voice just goes back to the way it was back then. However, she seemed to like me a lot and said multiple times that she was really glad I came to audition (I think my S2 status, ability to pick out harmonies, and my major in music performance helped). lawl. :X All in all, my audition went really well! :] I am in! :D!

And seriously, how many people get to say that they get to perform in Carnegie Hall (this December!!!)? Tis a musician’s dream!  ;) ;) ;) Brag rights and one more thing to cross off my bucket list! I’m super excited! <3 <3 <3

Completely unrelated, but someone apparently nominated me to be treasurer. It went something like this:
Kosina: Hey Farrah, you’re running for treasurer?
F: What? I am? Since when?
K: Your name’s up on the board.
Rachel: Yeah, I saw your name there and was like, “Farrah’s running? I’ll vote for you.”

Why would anyone nominate me? I can’t math, you guys. :O But thank you?

blue bend

This first picture has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the post, but…behold, my box of bones!! I don’t get to keep-keep it, but better than nothing! It’ll be good for studying. :D!

I don’t have much to say for the rest of this post, because frankly, I think the pictures speak for themselves. A couple weekends ago, I went out to Blue Bend since I’ve wanted to know its whereabouts ever since the mentor outing that never was (because of weather + the fact that we got out super late that day). One of the guys from church graciously offered to show me the way on his motorcycle, so I followed along with Cordelia and bam! It was breathtaking. There are definite reasons as to why I kinda feel like I’m on an eternal camping trip/vacation here (y’know, when I’m not holed up in a room somewhere studying). This is one of them.

It took a short hike and there is absolutely no cell phone reception out there, but look at this pure, unadulterated wilderness. :O

(Sorry as usual for the red glow of my phone case… :X ) Here’s the swinging bridge!

This is the part of the river that I waded across. :O

And here it is! Blue Bend! This part is deep enough that you can jump off the rocks and cannonball (or flip if you’re super skilled) and go swimming. :D I didn’t go swimming that time since I hadn’t planned on going there and didn’t have a towel with me/didn’t want to dirty up Cordelia, who I’m still babying like no other, but we came back today! There were pockets of freezing cold water and also some pockets of warm water, so that was pretty interesting, haha.

an elbow to the face

Jason had a test on Tuesday morning, so he wasn’t in on Monday. (I usually roll with him because he’s closer to my size than Dan, and then Dan can throw me all kinds of pointers while we’re rolling.) But! It’s good to practice with different people anyway, and Dan’s an awesome instructor. He says I’m picking up things really quickly. (I managed to break out of back control during both our drills.) :D! He’s also started to actually throw me [lightly] so I can get used to it/practice my breakfalls. As the title suggests, he accidentally elbowed me in the face while we were practicing something (it’ll be a good while before I actually remember the names of everything I’m learning). Since it was an accident, it was a lot more painful than it normally would’ve been, since they’re very good about checking their blows when they’re actually trying to hit me, but I am a-okay. Learning to be more durable. And accumulating a hell of a lot of bruises. My face is fine, so meeting with my standardized patient went well. (No “what the hell happened to you? I’m not sure I want you as my physician” comments. In fact, he said I was very personable, thorough, did a really great job and was the first one to actually extract a pretty vital piece of information from him. Score!)

I like what Dan said: “It takes a special kind of crazy to actually like coming in 3 times a week to be thrown around and beaten up.”

At least if people see my bruises now (it’s basically all over my left leg; I don’t know how my right leg escaped everything, but there’s always next time), I can say BJJ even if, in the future, it’s from pole, since it’s a conservative community and all that goodness. Speaking of poling, I still need to obtain one. :[ There’s one in our one and only club (it’s also a restaurant), but apparently people aren’t allowed to dance on it, so I’m not sure why it’s there. :/

What better way is there to get to know people than when you’re straddling them and pretending to punch them out? (Or choking them out.)

Truth be told, there are many other ways. (For instance, stripping every week in OPP lab and having people palpate you to find somatic dysfunctions.) We’re basically going to know our class a little too well by the end of this [and next] year.