First Poster Presentation, Ninja Style

I made my first poster presentation yesterday for Global Health Day. On behalf of Stony Brook’s Alumni International Fund, I spoke about my experiences this summer at the Regional Cancer Center, India. Doctors, residents, and medical students walked around the Galleria, listening to people’s research abroad, including Nicaragua, Botswana, India, China, and Taiwan. I did not do research, but my experiences in the clinical setting deserved merit and attention. My presentation goal was to educate people on differences in health care between the United States and India. There’s the prevalence of rare, advanced cases of oral cancers due to the popular usage of betel nut chewing. Then I went into the Singapore-India Conference in Breast Cancer right before I left. Most of the information came out fluidly. Yes, I was nervous and jittery from my coffee, but I tried to stay calm as I presented to the few doctors rotating over at a time. I was very proud of my poster session, speaking I wrote a whole blog series this summer and copied select information and pictures to my presentation =) It sucked to wake up super early and drive in at 7:00 am, but it was rewarding to get used to public speaking.

Too bad I couldn’t stay for the talk on HIV/AIDS by Dr. Jaffe from the CDC. I had mandatory small group for neurology right after my poster.

So, funny story yesterday. At Stony Brook, we’re playing a Ninja Assassins game called Darwin, “Survival of the Fittest.” Participating first and second years make up a code name and have a 24 hour mission to ‘kill’ their target. How do you kill? By chucking a sock. There are safe zones like the library, lecture halls, anatomy labs, student lounge, etc… but no one is really safe.

I’ve had two previous unsuccessful games of Assassins. Freshman year in college, there was a Weinstein hall-wide Assassins game. I tried sneaking on my target, who was an RA on the A-side of the building. I got my friend to bait her out of the room so I could get a sticker on her (that was the method of killing back then) without anyone seeing. But she was suspicious from the start and I wasn’t fast enough before she ran away and shut the door. Even sitting at the coffee shop downstairs wasn’t going to work in my favor. Fail #1… Last year for first year, I did the Darwin game too. I stalked my target on Facebook and proceeded with my ninja moves. I carried a sock in my pocket. He also happened to be an Anatomy TA. Except I forgot that Anatomy lab was class time, hence, a safe zone. He came to our Anatomy table, and I threw my sock at him. Well, now he knew I was after him, of course he was going to run when he sees me. I had another chance earlier in the computer lab, when he was printing. Totally safe, but I chickened out because I didn’t want to look like a stupid fool throwing a random sock at a guy. Fail #2. Both times, I never met my assassin. It would’ve been fun to come face to face with my sniper and escape, ninja-style.

This year, I was going to make it farther than I ever did before. Earlier on Monday, I nailed my target by surprise, who happened to be a student in my Foundations small group class. I was in morning lecture and walking to my locker to retrieve my sock in preparation for my day. Then I saw her with a crowd of white-coated first years at the cafe tables. I believe they were reading up on Foundations or something. But I saw my chance. I speed-walked to my locker, sock in hand and pocketed, heart thumping, ready to make it past Level 1 of Darwin. I sneaked up and threw my pink sock. She turned around, “Oh hey, what’s up?”… I was like, “Uh, I just killed you” and pointed to my wimpy sock on the ground. She was totally out of it and dazed, shook her hand and head “Oh” and turned back around. It was an awkward kill indeed.

So yesterday, I was in my red blouse, black pants, and 4-inch wedges for my poster presentation. I had my new target, one of my classmates Greg. I had been finding the best time to throw a sock at him since Tuesday, but he was camping out in the back of the library. As I expected, he knew I was after him; of course he was going to watch out for my sneak attacks. And I suspected my student told him after I nailed her, because it’s been pretty obvious they might be dating. So now I had to work extra hard to corner the guy. In class, I sat a few rows behind him; out of my peripheral vision, I saw him look back at me.

I had a whole plan in case I couldn’t get him after class. Since he knew I was after him, I had to do a sneak attack. My plan was to hide behind the fire door in the hallway right outside his small group classroom. I was going to skip 1pm lecture on Palliative Care and squeeze myself behind the door. I’m Asian, I can fit. I’ve watched enough action dramas to map out my sneak attacks, just without a gun between my legs. Then, as I saw him approach (he’s a tall guy, not too hard to miss), I would chuck my sock point-blank. Done. Dead.

Fancy idea blueprinted, but not used unfortunately. After class, I saw him quickly pack and casually walk out the front door. Of course, I was keeping an eye on him, pink sock ball in hand. As soon as he turned and saw me coming down the steps, he bolted, like bolted. So I bolted too… but not so easy with 4-inch wedges! As I ran, I lost a shoe and limped forward. Then I was like “Screw it!” and threw off my other pair and ran barefoot. Some cleaning ladies looked confused, like “What the hell are crazy students running around like mad?!” He disappeared, but I heard a door close by the lockers. I walked into the staircase that led to a dead end, the locked library door. I walked up slowly, and saw him peak his head out. Cornered and helpless, he surrendered. He was like “How did you find me in here?!” I said, “Ah, I heard the door closed silly!” Success!!! For only 2 minutes. As I caught my breath and walked back to the lecture hall to retrieve my stuff (and shoes somewhere along the way), I got socked. Aish~~ That was the beginning and end of my assassins career… Fun while it lasted!

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