Paul Tominez, Senior (4-Year Oar)
B.S. Pharmaceutical Chemistry (2020)
Over the past weeks we’ve been sharing Alumni Stories during the current pandemic. This time, we have the opportunity to hear from Senior and 4 Year Oar Paul Tominez and his experiences related to the seasons, his senior year, and future plans, all while living back home in Guam.
Coach Des described Paul’s rowing career at UCD:
Raced in the 2nd Novice 8 his first year. Raced in the 2nd and 3rd Varsity 8s his second year, and then in the Lightweight 4 at stroke seat at ACRA. Raced in the 2nd and 3rd Varsity 8s his 3rd year, and then raced to a 4th place finish at ACRA in the Light 4, at stroke seat. Only 130 pounds, he might have transitioned to coxswain, but proved too valuable with an oar in his hands. Raced in the 2nd Varsity 8 in the fall this year, and at the UC Cup. Served as team Fundraiser for 1 year, and as Vice President in 2020.
What have you been doing during pandemic?
I left Davis after finals ended for Winter Quarter to come back home (Guam) for the time being. I was in self-quarantine for about two weeks which took up Spring Break and went into the first week of Spring Quarter. Since then, my main focus is on school and working on my medical school application. Once I got into the swing of things, I signed up with a free online tutoring service (StudentSphere) that offers help to students ranging from kindergarten up to 12th grade. I have also started volunteering with Guam Red Cross and am currently in the process of training to be a Red Cross liaison to Guam’s Emergency Operations Center during times of disaster (typhoons, fires, pandemics).
What have you learned from classes at UCD that has prepare you well for this work/service?
Self-motivation – A lot of the courses that I have taken at UCD rely heavily on self-studying to be successful in the class. Trying to find the motivation to do self-study during the school year while trying to balance other commitments (rowing, other classes, research) can be hard at times. Today, finding the motivation to continue to do well in my studies, work on my applications, and maintain a workout schedule is a little harder than usual with everything that’s going on. I find myself getting a bit distracted at times since I’m not following as consistent as a schedule that I would have had if I was back in Davis. However, I am finding motivation to finish the school year strong by the lack of crew. One mantra that I’ve been telling myself the past couple of weeks is that “I can’t change what has happened in the past but I can make an impact on what lies ahead for me.” Being able to control how I finish off my last few weeks of undergrad has kept me focused for the most part and I’m looking forward to fully committing to the med school application process.
What have you learned through distance classes that you wouldn’t have in person?
Before things went online I always wondered how it would be to take online classes. I’m finding it a lot harder to retain the information. I also don’t enjoy working at home because it’s mixing my “home space” with “workspace” so I find that I’m spending more time on the computer than usual. So basically I learned: online classes suck, I miss in-person human interactions, and if I had the choice I would not opt to do online school again.
How have you maintained your connection with crew team during pandemic?
Every so often I’ll message people on the team to check on how they’re doing. We’ve had a couple of team zoom meetings and after those are finished, a couple of us will pull aside and talk for a bit. Coach Des also started a workout log for everyone to list the workouts that they’re doing for the quarter. It’s nice to see what other people are able to do workout wise and get some new ideas.
How have you been maintaining your fitness levels during closure?
Since I don’t have access to an erg, I’ve been following a two month body weight program and then supplement with running to keep aerobically fit. I actually feel like my strength to weight ratio has gotten better than it was during crew over the first couple of weeks doing the program. However, I definitely feel my motivation dwindling to stay active. Compared to other years, I had strong motivation to stay active and get stronger since I was looking forward to another year of rowing but now that I’m graduating, I have to find a new source of external motivation to keep up with fitness.
How has your work during the pandemic solidified or changed your future goals for crew and work?
Seeing the impact that healthcare workers have on combating coronavirus and supporting our society has definitely solidified my desire to become a physician. Watching the drained healthcare workers has shown me that a successful career in medicine is not going to be comfortable/easy and I have to be ready to fight the uphill battle. Being locked up at home has shown me that the work required to help those who are unfortunate is not accomplished from the comfort of my home or any other “comfortable” place. I was also notified a couple of weeks ago that I was accepted into the Army Health Professional’s Scholarship Program which will allow me to practice medicine and serve in the military while doing so. Through the military, I would not only make an impact through medicine at the local or national level but on the global scale.
As for crew, if I had the chance I definitely would have taken a fifth year to be able to compete in the spring racing season. I had originally thought I would be moving to Washington while I was going through the application cycle but changed my mind to stay in Davis for the next year and work at UC Davis Medical Center. Hopefully I’ll be able to help with the team in some capacity when I have the time.