Doctor How?

I’ve never seen a life more petrified. Both emotionally and physically, the despair that I saw in my father was certainly conspicuous. The shimmer I saw in his eye as it met with my eyes paralyzed me as if I had seen the serpents on the head of Medusa. For that instance, I could feel the fear–a fear that would make a father tremble with hopelessness. The father is the provider: the trunk on a tree that holds his branches together. I could sense the agony that was subtly embedded in his head.

“What’s going to happen? How will I go a few months without working? What do I do?”.

The atmosphere was definitely familiar with an aroma that you could recognize right away, a reclinable bed, a TV, two chairs, a restroom, an IV, Osteoarthritis.

“Osteoarthritis, a disease that affects the joints”, the doctor said in the typical 50-year old doctorly monotone.

That word was bitter. That word brought a sense of restlessness into the room. I didn’t know what to think, what to do, or what to say; understanding my father’s condition was a start I guess.

Osteoarthritis, broken down by definition, means inflammation in the joints. Finding this out, it didn’t sound that bad. My intuition was telling me otherwise, because in my head being diagnosed with anything reminds me of death. But eventually,I was blessed enough to know that my father’s arthritis wasn’t the chronic and serious one of the several different kinds of arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis was more chronic and whimsical as one’s own body would put up a fight against its own immune system: “ In addition to causing joint problems, rheumatoid arthritis sometimes can affect other organs of the body — such as the skin, eyes, lungs and blood vessels.”. What was hard on not only my father but my family was that he was barely able to produce any major movement: this meant that he’d only be able to be at home which means he wouldn’t be able to work. Osteoarthritis, or just arthritis in general, has no known cure. As horrendous as that may be, there are several different kinds of treatment and ways to make the best out of arthritis, as contradictory that may sound.  The arthritis that my father has is caused by the overuse of one’s own joints. As the cartilage in our joints is used as a cushion and a shock absorber, the wear and tear of our joints  and this reduces the cushioning effect causing pain whenever two bones rub against each other at a joint.



Learning more about my father’s condition, my perception was more vastly influenced. Next thing I knew, I wanted to learn all about the human body. I frequently went with my father to visit the Orthopedic specialist, Dr. Cheatum M.D. Speaking to Dr. Cheatum M.D was like speaking to a monk who has been on the Earth longer than any other human being. The amount of knowledge Dr. Cheatum M.D possessed was immense. I always left the doctor’s office lavished with knowledge.

And before I could even tell, a huge interest to study medicine grew within me. But what would it take to become one?

Inspired by my father’s condition, I found an interest in orthopedics. But choosing a career at an early age is like trying to hit a bullseye on a dartboard, because you might get an idea of what you want to do but it isn’t quite on target.

Even at this point, I’m not quite sure, but exploring different careers in the medical field is always a start.

Two major areas of study that interest me are orthopedics and optometry, the study of the eye..



From Dr. Cheatum, I got exposure to first-person experience on the road to becoming an orthopedic specialist. He definitely emphasized that it was no easy task and reminded me that it has now only become even more rigorous to become a doctor.

All doctors and other different specialist have to start with a Bachelor’s degree at an undergraduate school. But not only do you just have to pass your classes, you have to excel in them. And this is because the future doctors of America should know that becoming a doctor means that you are not like the average student, rather one who is extremely hard working and has a passion to learn some more. For high school students, this means that you have to have to be already excel in all of your classes because its important to set yourself apart from the beginning. In undergraduate school, it is ideal to major in a science course such as biology, where I plan to major in, or chemistry and that is because of the background knowledge that you gain as it relates to the human body. Now from here is where there is a difference between becoming an orthopedic specialist and an optometrist. For orthopedics, after undergraduate school, you have to pass the MCAT(Medical College Admissions Test), which is an extremely difficult test to pass. Considering the amount of competition is an important detail because passing the MCAT is required to go on to Medical School and getting accepted into Medical school is probably one of the greatest obstacles to overcome. “They come in two rounds, a preliminary and secondary, and follow with an interview if competitive. Entrance rates vary, but schools usually admit about 5-10% of applicants.”  So after 4 years of undergraduate school, you go to medical school for 4 more years. Upon finishing with medical school, you have to take the National Board Exam which is actually not the hardest part on the path to becoming a doctor. Passing the National Board Exams, means you can be now known as a doctor. All that is left is one year of internship unless you want to become a surgeon, in which you’d have to add on another four years of internship instead of the one year. Overall it takes about 9-13 years to become a doctor. “Students who enter medical school with high debt levels, low scores on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) or who are non-white are more likely to face difficulties that may prevent graduation or hinder acceptance into a residency program”Although doctors are paid pretty well, it can extremely difficult to become one.

Why is it different with Optometry? For one, dealing with the eyes is something that a handful of the population has to deal with. Anyone who wears glasses or contacts probably had them prescribed by an optometrist. So after obtaining your Bachelor’s in a science, you take the Optometry Admissions test(OAT) for admission into Optometry school. Getting into Optometry school can be just as competitive as going into medical school. You go to Optometry school for four years and similar to medical school, you have to take a National Board Exam for optometry. You then do residency for a year or two afterwards.  Becoming a specialist, you also have to keep your license current so you might have to have a certain amount of school hours per year because there is always new things to learn in an area of study. So if you’re considering joining the area of medicine, it is important that you are determined from the start. This includes high school, college , and then medical school.

Doctors are important to society because they are like the white blood cells  in our own bodies. As white blood cells help heal a wound,  doctors ensure the well-being of people.

Works Cited   


Reading Evaluation

My reading goal for the beginning of the year was to read 8-9 books. Being distasteful to reading before, I probably averaged reading 2 to 3 books a year. This year I met my goal by reading 10 books.  This year, I have read Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, How to Catch a Psychopath, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Portrait of a Killer, To kill a Mockingbird, The Book Thief, Room, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, Little Bee, and The Dew Breaker(in order of difficulty). Some books were more difficult than others because of the way the books were structured. Such as “The Dew Breaker” where every chapter goes to a different point in time. Or in “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time” or “Room” where the writing is coming from a kid and the writing is more complex due to their gap of knowledge.

The book I enjoyed reading the most was “Portrait of a Killer” and “How to Catch a Psychopath”. I enjoyed these two books because they contained a large amount of micro-tension and they appealed to me because of my interest. The whole crime scene investigation idea intrigues me and makes me want to read more.

I abandoned one book this year and it was because it was just too boring for me. I give a book about 50-70 pages before I abandon it. And I know to abandon a book when I realize that I haven’t really paid attention and given some thought to the story.

The book I enjoyed discussing and reading “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time”. This was helpful in my own craft because this author had a unique craft and it was a new style to me. The author used a lot of description and imagery as it was described by the curious main character.

Reading this year has been important, because I’ve never read the amount of books that I did in the span of a year. As reading helps you understand different cultures, through reading, I’ve been able to look at the different points-of-view that are possible in a given situation. As we discussed different literary pieces in the Socratic-seminars, I’ve learned that people can interpret pieces in a whole different way. This applies to life itself because life itself will throw different ways that a situation can be looked at and you’ll have to work with others who share those points-of-view. Reading is essential in understanding how others think and contribute to the melting pot of society.




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Courage is the feeling we get whenever we know that there is nothing to fear, nothing to run away from, nothing to threaten our sense of security.

Courage is there when we see those who are having an internal battle. Like a warrior who wants to win a war, a cancer cell hopes to win a war by spreading throughout the body, and people who go through it know that courage is important in getting through an illness such as cancer. When nothing but devastation is brought and there is everything to fear, it is important to have courage because it truly enlightens a positive attitude which is vital in combating a disease such as cancer.

When else has courage been important? Well for one, it has shaped the cult of domesticity in America. Where reformers, such as Martin Luther king Jr., had courage and used this courage to fuel a determination and to accomplish goals. Courage played an important part in Martin Luther King’s role in the Civil Rights Movement because he would have to face a danger out in the public everyday. Becoming a prime example of a leader, he encountered criticism and hate from several other people. Through courage, he faced it and marked the world with a paint so strong that he will forever be remembered as a courageous reformer.

The thing about courage, is that sometimes others find it as a threat. Such as Malala in, “Malala’s Yousafazi’s Courage”, an article by Leanord Pitts, where she became a target because of her courage. Martin Luther King and Malala became disliked because of their opposition to regulations. Although, courage, like adrenaline, is the reason we, as a society, are able to overcome obstacles. Courage is the fuel to determination.





Responsibility is something we’re taught from the beginning. Homework in the second grade serves the same purpose as it does now.

In the article, “Who’s to blame for Justin Bieber’s bad behavior?”, Leonard Pitts states that Justin Bieber is, in fact, irresponsible; people defend him still, but the truth is that in order for him to be responsible for his actions is for us to be responsible by not giving him an excuse to commit such crimes.

Responsibility is taking ownership of one’s actions, even if they aren’t intended, and taking care of what needs to be done.

How does one take ownership of one’s actions? Simply, whenever you learn from your mistakes, you are taking responsibility for your actions. People like Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet Union leader, didn’t become one of the world’s most known politicians by coming up with his own philosophies that worked one hundred percent of the time. Surely, he conducted several different experiments with the government in the Soviet Union and some did well for the country while others, completely bombarded the economy. In the beginning as a leader, he didn’t care as much about his people and he states in an interview how that was his mistake during the Cold War. Learning from that he established new forms of democracy in Russia that involves the people and it has worked to strengthen the country from before the Cold War.

Taking care of what needs to be done is what people primarily think of when they think of responsibility. Martin Luther King in the Civil Right Movement knew what had to be done. He knew that there had to be change in the structure of the Justice System. He knew that blacks should be sitting anywhere they wanted to sit on the bus. He also knew that his children deserved to go to the same school as anyone else. Responsibility ties in with leadership because a wise leader is responsible. Martin Luther King was a responsible leader because he knew it was up to the average black man to do something about the situation. He faced all the hardships of the average black American during this era and he came out with something that got done. And that was Justice.

Responsibility is woven in the depths of leadership. Now, whether or not Justin Bieber learns from his mistakes is completely up to his amount of leadership.


What are humans without a little surprise, a little romance, or as Leonard Pitts stated in “Getting the last laugh on Grim Reaper”, a little laughter? Humans are dealt with endless amount of qualities and a vital quality in humans, is the determination to succeed.

If one were to be offered a million dollars, of course they’d take it. And it’s the same way with success. And that’s because, for one, nobody will hand you a baton of success. You have to go out there and do something to get it. People like Julius Randle, former Prestonwood high school basketball player, didn’t get to Kentucky University on a full ride scholarship by sitting around. He practiced every single day because of his determination to succeed. Whenever he came by to talk to me when he was playing basketball in high school, he would always come after practice–now, he is going to step foot on the basketball court in the Final Four in the NCAA. This meant that every little practice accounted for the abilities that he gained to do what he does today.

Another prime example of determination in society was the admittance of equal  rights. Humanity has come a long way as black rights and other ethnic group  rights have been justified. Yes, it is still a problem in the world today, but it isn’t as popular as it used to be. Humanity has let people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and  Susan B. Anthony fight for their rights simply because people knew that it was fair. Humanity has let things come to piece law after law brought us to equal justice. The determination in humans has come a long way in shaping our society.

Humanity is complex as everyone one is different in some way. But overall, we all have a drive. A drive that pushes us for success and that is our determination.



Synthesis essay rewrite (extra credit)

“Read. Read. Read.”. Growing up, you always get told that reading is “golden” and that somehow it is good for you. But as most students do, they disregard the truth behind reading. High school students need to make reading a priority because it helps you become a critical thinker, it is healthy for you, and it can ultimately be a factor on scholarship opportunities.

“In Pakistan, children living in extreme poverty who participated in Literacy Boost were 91.6% more likely to stay in school with their peers who are not in the program.”(Source A). Even as an early learner, reading helps you improve your vocabulary, increase your writing skills, and increase your knowledge as well. How does this happen? Well reading is like a sport. The more you practice in a sport, the better you get. The more you read, the better you get. This reading exposes the reader to new vocabulary that the reader is able to unravel through context clues and even direct definition. This then ties into your writing skills because you get to incorporate ideas that you get from reading previous pieces and use them to come up with your own. Reading and writing are like the Yin and Yang of English. You can’t have one without the other. As what you read is writing, writing is reading. And let’s not forget what the most important part about reading. Knowledge. You learn from what you read. A textbook is a book full of information that is strictly meant to teach a certain subject, so knowing that alone, reading can teach you about all kinds of things.

In source C, it states that reading “helps fight depression”. How is that even possible? Well the brain doesn’t make much of a “distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life.”(Source E). Instead, reading “produces a vivid stimulation of reality”. Basically, reading a book helps you learn about things that you would never be able to learn about, so it develops a whole new way of thinking in the process. Because reading reveals all of these parallel worlds, the brain is able to feel and think differently. This “bibliotherapy” works because doctors prescribe books that would reflect a patient’s condition. For example, in depression, a doctor might prescribe a book that will somehow increase one’s self-esteem. Who knew books were good for your health?

Reading can help define who you are. If you see a man reading “How to Build a Bomb”, you can assume he’s up to no good. If you see a man reading “Divergent”, you can assume he has read or seen “The Hunger Games”. Scholarship materials, as seen in source B, require the applicant to write what they have valued reading. And that’s because they want to know the kind of person you are. A book could make a huge difference on whether or not you qualify for a scholarship. So it’s important to know that you should read because you can get money. How exciting is that? Reading equals money?

High school students. You should read because it could only benefit you. Whether it makes you wiser, or smarter, or even aware of what is happening through a newspaper. Reading is golden.





In “No, it’s not kidding– it’s plain cruelty”, Leonard Pitts Jr. speaks nothing but the truth.

Being imperfect shapes us into our own unique character. But the thing is, the majority of the people in today’s world are quick to talk about what is different from them– in a negative way. This kind of judgement is unacceptable simply because it is not an ethical thing to do.

But when do you know if it’s ethical? When do you know to draw the line? When is it ever acceptable to allow this judgment dictate who people are?

We are all to blame for such savage acts. Because at some point in your life you watched the “different” kid get tossed around like a football into the manipulative hands of your peers. Maybe it was at an early stage of your life in which you saw it happened. Maybe you are the one doing it. Maybe you don’t even care about what goes on. But one thing is for sure and that is that you can always do something about it.

And I’ve learned this now. I remember Clayton from elementary school as he swung on the swing as if at that moment, he had nothing to worry about. But recess brought all kinds of disaster. Kids approached him with harsh words and even physical contact. Him alone could not do anything to prevent it from happening. And people thought that something was wrong with him, even I did at the time. I thought it was a mental issue: being too young to even understand anything. But after all, he was a human being like all of us.  All I could do is watch and before I knew it, I never saw him again–not until I came to high school.

I talked to him whenever I did see him through the halls and asked why he left. He told me it was because of the bullying that was going on. Words that are sharp like a sword pierce a veil that isn’t visible.

People will be different from who we are, but that gives no one the right to tell them what they believe is the “correct way”. Our judgment is not needed to critique others.