Plato believed that we lived in a world of
images, three-dimensional shadows of the true one. What we see with our eyes is nothing more than a cheap imitation of its true state.
example, the chair we see before our eyes is nothing more than a shabby image of the true chair that exists. We carry on everyday with
flawed perceptions of the true ideal form.
Life After College:
Year 3 - In Transit
[Sunday, August 19, 2007]
New beginnings, new start, new rotations, more changes.
I haven't had a pager since the 1990's. Remember, back when they were used for other purposes besides buying weed? When it was cool and hip to have one slinging from your belt? And pager language was a thing all of its own, with 41 (hi), 143 (i love you), and 177337 1773 47 743 177411 (meet me at the hall) now replaced by LOL, BBL, and ROFL. So when I received a big envelope today in Surgery orientation, I was a little startled to see that the big hard lump at the bottom was a pager. And it wasn't just any pager, it was a ghetto pager. If I'd been sporting this back in 1995, I would've been laughed out of high school. Black, stodgy, and with the Motorola insignia emblazoned on it, the pager screen was on the short edges, so I could only see a word at a time. Not on the longer flatter edges. I suppose I'd really only need to see phone numbers. There'll be no teenage romance over number language on this beast. Only heart-stopping moments when it goes off and I realize that someone somewhere expects me to do something. Some nurse will page me and expect me to know something. It's exciting and terrifying at the same time. Exciting mostly because to me - the pager is the badge of being a doctor. I've made it! Terrifying because I'm not really qualified to be hauling this thing around. And because it's the equivalent of an electronic leash. I'll never be able to turn my cell phone off again.
Tomorrow is my first night of being on call. I'm the first one to go. I'm on call the night before my first day of surgery on Wednesday. I'm not sure how this is supposed to work or why they organized it this way, but I'm hoping the resident I page will realize that holding my hand through everything will be more trouble than it's worth and send me home.
Posted by ink |
[Friday, July 06, 2007]
Dry. Sort of.
I start my first rotation next week. Surgery (insert dramatic booming drums here). Not only is it Surgery, but it's surgery at the mothership - our own university hospital. People not interested in Surgery usually end up requesting one of the affiliate hospitals. After all, why torment yourself if you don't want go into it? But I'm at the mothership. Why? I know I love seeing people's insides. There's something about it that appeals to the engineer in me. Like opening up a robot or a machine or a computer. All the parts are in there, they all have a function, they all connect to each other and fit together and do something. And this might be the only time I'll get to see Surgery in my life. Because as much as I think I'll love it, what I know I won't love are the hours. I'm too much in love with life and free time and leisure to go into Surgery. This is my only chance to really make it worthwhile. So I entered the lottery with Surgery at the mothership as my top choice. To temper it, I also asked for it as my first rotation. I figured expectations are lower on the first rotation. You're not supposed to know anything since it's your first time in a hospital. And voila! The Gods of Rotations granted my wish.
Of course, this means 12 weeks of getting up at God-awful hours of the morning (4:30 AM) and trying to be peppy and a "team player" when all I want to do is pass out face down on a desk - but hopefully it won't be too bad. There was a Surgery open house last week for all the people who were doing it at our hospital. My friend Lee gave me a sobering look as I left the library to attend. "Have fun in the lions' den," he said. He has Surgery in the suburbs.
As I looked around at the Open House, I realized that I shouldn't be worried about early mornings or late night calls or being yelled at by surgeons. What I should be worried about is being thrown under the bus by one of my classmates while we're on rounds. The most intense people in my class were all clustered in one room. The hungriest people. The ones who never complain about missing family events, or cry about cancelling a trip to Ecuador, or gripe about spending all day in a library. And when the Chief of Surgery asked who wants to be a surgeon in here and all the arms shot up, I raised mine hesitantly too. Just to avoid attracting attention.
Luckily, there are 4 girls on my rotation with me, and 3 of us are Asian. If I just linger around the other 2 Asian girls, they probably won't be able to tell us apart and I'll be able to avoid any problems.
In the meantime, I've gone to the local Whole Foods to check out their selection of Clif Bars. I figured I should try each flavor and slowly transition into the Clif Bar diet that I'm sure I'll be on for the length of the Surgery rotation. I feel like I should know whether a bar constitutes a complete meal, nutrition-wise, but I took my boards on Monday, and my brain is currently in the process of forgetting everything I've learned.
Posted by ink |
[Friday, June 29, 2007]
I'm moving this weekend. From the Washington Square West to Above Broad Street. Above Broad Street is technically called the Rittenhouse area. But in my mind, Broad Street is this psychological barrier. It puts me into a new neighborhood. Away from school (yay!), away from my usual coffeeshop hangouts and the Italian Market (boo), and into a more commercial area (bigger boo). Rittenhouse is where all the professionals live. The lawyers, the people with families. It's where all the stores are - the Arden B's, the Kenneth Coles, the Ralph Laurens. I sort of loved the fact that my old neighborhood abutted South Philly, with all its Italian bakeries and its tiny little BYO's. Susanna Foo's is in my new neighborhood. How is it that just a few years ago, all I wanted was to move up in life. To live in a building with a doorman in a uniform and eat at fancy places. And now I find myself reluctant? I don't know.
My new apartment is marginally more expensive than my current one - but it's a downgrade. Probably because the neighborhood up there is a bit more expensive. I'll go from having my own bathroom to sharing a bathroom. From a townhouse with my very own stoop to drink beer on and watch the world go by, to a highrise building. From a newly remodeled apartment, to a super old one. With radiators. But that last bit doesn't bother me as much. In fact, I sort of love radiators. My current landlord decided to raise the rent on me by $200, and after extensive googling, I realized with dismay that Philadelphia does not have any rent control laws. So, as my school year ended and my boards studying began - I also started to look for housing. Considering that I won't be home much during my rotations, it made sense to look for a roommate situation.
You would not believe how many weirdos are looking for roommates. The whole housing thing is a huge interview process. Most people with a room open have to 1) like you 2) like you better than they like everyone else they've seen and 3) be willing to live with you. I like looking for roommate situations because 1) seeing your place as it is currently gives me an accurate idea of how you live day to day, cleanliness-wise 2) I can see what furniture you already have and have an idea of what I need to bring. As you can see, I like making lists. And, as someone who was looking for a roommate herself just last year, I had a fairly good idea that I'd have an edge for getting a room, just by virtue of the fact that I can make myself relievingly blandly normal.
Three weeks later, I was still looking for housing and at my wits' end. My grandmother had died and I had a funeral to attend, plus I had to study for the boards, so I decided I had to make a few compromises. I prioritized a roommate and apartment over neighborhood. And so when Susquehanna called me and said I was her top choice roommate, I jumped for it. Even though it was Above Broad. I told myself it'd only be for 2 years until I graduated, and then I could move anywhere I wanted.
Funny, this started out as a blog about moving my blog. Let's get back to that. So, with my 1 week off between taking the Step and starting rotations, I decided that I should get a few things in line. 1) I had to pack and move my apartment. 2) I need to redesign my blog. Like my apartment, my blog has been neglected for the past 3 years. I initially started to redesign it back in 2003 when I was still working in New York as a consultant. And then never finished it when I started my grad program in an effort to get into med school. The results are what you see here. Broken jpg's, incompletely side bars, and outdated menus. I have a mental picture of the layout I want, and I just need the time and energy to sit down and do it. And since many of my friends are also bloggers, I've been looking into possibly moving my blog off of Blogger to something else like Typepad, where Fisher lives, or Wordpress where Tom resides. The problem is - I think I have to pay for those services. Is it worth it? I've been blogging since 2001 now for free. The other thing is - I'm very protective of my space. My physical space as well as my online space. Xanga repulsed me because of the cookie cutter templates that everyone had. So, I guess what I should do is make a list of the things that I like about Blogger that I'd like to be preserved in my new bloghost.
1. Ability to custom design my own template. I really like how I can put Blogger tags anywhere I want in an HTML template that I've made, and my blog will just appear there. Can I do that with these other services? It looks like they too, are template based, and you can make modifications within the constraints of that template.
2. Cheap. Free is ideal. But - if something offers me enough features, I may be willing to consider paying a small fee per month.
Hrm. I guess that's really it. I was thinking that I was an impossibly picky and hard to please blogger. But I suppose what's really important to me is that I have control over the look and feel of my blog. I already have an idea of how I want it to look. And a name-change may be at hand. Away from Eidolon to something new.
Speaking of which, did you guys know that you can publish your blogs into little paperbacks to keep on your bookshelf? I live in half terror that Blogspot will delete Ordered Chaos, the blog record of the first few years of my life post-college and my FIRST BLOG EVER, due to inactivity. So, I stumbled across blurb and thought this might be a smart idea. Their software is far from polished or convenient, but with enough patience and copying and pasting, I may be able to preserve Ordered Chaos forever on my bookshelf. And Blogger servers be damned! If anyone knows of an easier way to get blogs into paper form - let me know.
Posted by ink |
[Tuesday, June 26, 2007]
On Sunday, I was studying at the Barnes and Noble near my parents' house. A girl sitting behind me chirped up, "Are you studying for the Step 1?," she asked curiously. "Yup," I said. Wasn't the red, yellow, and blue book a dead giveaway? This led into a 45 minute conversation which consisted 90% of the following:
-Oh my God, like, stop studying now. There's no point! They ask you stuff you've never heard of before! -I mean, everyone was so upset when they came out. People wanted to kill themselves and stuff. -I cried during the test, and then I cried afterwards too. It was awful.
I stared at her. Why is she telling me this, I thought. I'm taking this TOMORROW.
But she was right. I wasn't crying, but other people were at different times of the day in the break room. And not just girls. Some of the boys looked moist-eyed and a little shocked and scared. I was too clueless to know whether I had something to cry over. I was guessing on 50% of the practice exams, so it wasn't anything new for me to be guessing a lot on the real thing too. I didn't know how to work the computer properly, so I couldn't figure out how many sections I had done and how many I had left to go. So I kept anxiously pressing forward. My tummy kept churning and I wasn't sure whether it was because of the test or because of all the caffeine I had.
When I was still awake at 5 AM this morning, I decided it must be all the caffeine. It's now 9 AM, and I'm done with board exams. Done with everything until next week when my rotations start. And I'm marvelling at the fact that I'm still managing to be sleep deprived. Today: a haircut, packing, and picking up the key to my new apartment!!!!
big change, the choices we make
in life, gut instincts, on-the-whim
hairpin turns, the search for truth, the desire to be happy, the journey to finding out what
makes us happy.
being young and clueless, hoping
that we're not blindly leading ourselves to our own demise with every
tentative step we take, the pitfalls of dating, the trials
and travails of being a young woman in the post-feminist era.