Jumping Back in the Writing Ring

colored pencils and water color beside picture frame

Today I did something I haven’t done in awhile. I submitted my writing for publication.

It’s another thing that I’ve put on hold for so long because of my writing name worries. I was in utter paralysis about my work because of it. I still submitted worked occasionally (like, once or twice a year), some under Emilia Jordan, some under my real name, and worried how it would complicate things if anything ever got accepted under either name.

But I’m ready to move forward again. Over the last couple of months, I did deep revisions on two of my personal essays, “Reasonable Doubt” and “Distant Light.” These are the two essays that felt the closest to publishable, and though I’d put off revising them for awhile, sometimes years, because it felt so daunting, I finally undertook revising both of them (thanks quarantine?) and got both to a place where I felt they were ready to be sent out.

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April Julia – Same Me, Different Name

Screen Shot 2020-05-13 at 5.17.42 PMAfter years of wanting to change my author name, pen name, pseudonym, whatever you want to call it, I finally did it.

I wanted April as my first name like a day (if that) after I went forward with my old name Emilia Jordan back in 2012 and it only took me about eight years to admit I still wanted April Something as my writing name and to actually change it. I wanted both first and last names to be female names, so here you have it…

April Julia

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Name Quandaries – Reprise

saymynameIn some ways, I feel like I’ve been struggling with my name since I started this blog, and probably beforehand. I posted about that in 2015, and almost five years later, I still feel completely stuck on the name thing.

What I’ve come to admit, pretty soon after writing that post, is that I just don’t like this pen name I’ve chosen. I liked Emilia Jordan as a whole but I never stopped to ask myself if I liked Emilia alone, if I could get used to being called that, and the answer ended up being no, I don’t and I couldn’t. It was a bit rash at the time – I so badly wanted to launch my site and get things off the ground that I didn’t let the name sit. If I had, I think even for a week, I would’ve gone with something else. I had almost immediate Pen Name Chooser’s Regret over not going with April as the first name.

So, it has left me stuck now, for years. Do I go with my real name? Do I forge ahead with Emilia Jordan even though I don’t really like it? Do I pick something new with April as the first name? I’m still mulling it over, and still feel like I can’t submit any writing until I decide, coalesce everything into one name.

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My Medical School Application Journey (So Far)

pre-medimageI had my first medical school interview a few days ago, and I feel like cataloguing my experiences here, as a way to both share the experience I’m going through in applying to medical school as a non-traditional applicant with a disability, and also as a way to collect some of my impressions in one place.

To back up a little, I applied this summer. After my final final exam as an undergraduate (physical chemistry), later that afternoon I started filling out the application. No rest for the determined. I submitted my application in July, applying to 19 schools. This sounds like a lot (and it is) but I know people who’ve applied to double that many. In September 2016, I sat down with my finances to plan out how much I needed to have saved for each step of the process and had determined that if I met those goals, I could apply to ~18 schools. So pretty much on target.

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It’s Been Awhile

writingI just thought I’d give a quick update.

I originally started this blog to write about writing, and TV, and disability issues, and science, and music but I also struggle with blogging. Sometimes it feels more like a duty than something I enjoy doing. That’s especially true when I’m so busy with school and my job, and just trying to find time to write is a real challenge.

This year, I set a goal to write at least 4 days a week for at least an hour. That doesn’t add up to a lot, just 4 hours a week, and yet it’s still been difficult to find that time. Most weeks, I’ve met that goal, but there’ve been a few weeks I didn’t. There have been lots of weeks, like this last one, where I spent as much time writing as I would on a full-time job.

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MCAT Results

I just realized I never updated my site with the results.

Scores for my test date came out on Oct 27th, a little bit after noon and very soon after I got off of work. I was still at my workplace (a tutoring center) and everyone was busy, so I was just walking around the office, pulling up the scores on my phone.

Here are the results:
IMG_1239Needless to say, I’m over the moon about my score. And hugely relieved that I don’t need to tackle this beast of a test ever again.

I’m also really, really grateful to all the people who helped with this, and all the events that fell into place, like winning a prep course I never could’ve afforded, my boss letting me basically take the month before the test completely off, the people who helped me get accommodations, all the people who helped me understand physics better, all the people who were understanding when I wasn’t all that available this summer and early fall, the people who knew exactly when a much-needed break was mandatory and invited me out to do things, all the encouragement and support that people around me offered (via text, long phone calls, emails, conversations), all the professors that gave me a solid background in the sciences, and whatever luck allowed me to get a verbal score that was better than my practice tests.

When I got my score, I was in shock. I won’t lie, I expected to get a good score, I knew I had solid understanding of the subjects (tutoring a lot of them was a major help), but there seemed to be so many factors in all of the sections that I really was preparing myself to get a lower score than predicted, and had told myself I would not retake anything over a 510. So  to get a score that high, I was kind of in shock. I still remember after I first checked it, trying to write my first text to tell someone and my hands shaking so much I couldn’t get the text out right away.

This past weekend, I celebrated with a karaoke party, which was a total blast!

Who knows what will be next?

~EJ

MCAT Postmortem

mcatimagesI’ve finally emerged from the all-consuming world of studying for the MCAT and wanted to give a little overview of the whole experience, including the actual test, and the study process.

I took the test on Wednesday, September 23. It was harder than I expected in some areas and easier in others.

Chem/Phys

This was consistently my best area in practice, from the time I took the official Sample Test right after signing up for the exam, to the Official Guide which I took a week and a half before my test (and got 100%!) to the official question packs for chemistry and physics. I took a year of biochem ending this June, and have been tutoring gen chem and o chem for almost four years, so I felt like I had this section in the bag, just had to work on physics, which I did a lot this summer to strengthen some weak areas.

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