Sometimes, you spend your whole life building up to one moment.
Fifteen years ago, I walked into a research lab for the first time. Our family didn't have a babysitter around, so I tagged along with my dad where he worked.
Then I took my first biology class in high school and loved it so much that I swore to everybody I knew that I would become a doctor. All my life, I have worked to achieve this dream.
Three months ago, I got in to medical school. A good, top-tier medical school.
tl;dr I decided not to go.
Like the haphazardly flying shards of glass that once was a discernible wineglass, the seemingly ordered life that I tried so hard to protect went all sorts of places.
Because the one dimensionality of the story above does not capture my life.
Because thirteen years ago, I also walked into my first programming class, in C++, because my mom was taking classes at a community college. And I stayed. Then I read Deitel and Deitel's C++ How to Program, the old textbook for the class which I still have today.
And then in high school, I skipped classes and homework to play the piano, my passion since I started learning at five. I applied to conservatories and colleges, thinking that I would fit music into medicine.
Fast forward many years, I did a lot of things in addition to living the premedical life. I've become a(n):
- Computational biologist, with 7 publications out there currently, most of them first-author
- Class-A chess player who frequently holds blindfold simultaneous exhibitions
- Avid hiker who hiked the Dartmouth Fifty
- Private dance instructor
- Serial Entrepreneur dabbling with everything from cryptocurrencies to computational biology
- A linguist
- The author of a book about how to cheat at poker
- The founder of a non-profit
- And yes, the occasional concert pianist still.
Because of all of these reasons, and many more.
So why am I writing this blog?
I want to connect the dots.
No point exists in isolation. What does being a linguist have to do with poker? Why would a cryptocurrencies enthusiast start a non-profit? Interdisciplinary thinking takes up my brain 24-7, and it has brought me endless joys.
Whether bringing computational linguistics into the biomedical sciences, or bringing number theory into dancing, I see tremendous beauty in the combination and synthesis of interdisciplinary ideas.
Random stories, thoughts, and ideas in seemingly divergent paths come together here. Connective insights you wouldn't otherwise expect become commonplace. Stay tuned.