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
[Tuesday, February 28, 2006]
This is the state of our healthcare today.
The first "new patient" appointment available for a family doctor isn't until late May. And for girly appointments? Forget it. First available is July. And if I have a problem right now? My only option is the ER. And people wonder why our healthcare system is bogged down and running in the red.
Apparently, my medical student health insurance doesn't cover me for much. I walked in to Planned Parenthood today so I could get birth control pills. Is it strange that I don't use birth control for their intended purpose? I like BC because it regulates my periods (no more 56 day cycle!) and minimizes my PMS symptoms so I can actually be a functional adult the week before I get my period. This is of the utmost importance during pre-exam period when I need all the reserves of energy possible to focus on my studies, not on the leakage evidence of my fertility. With Planned Parenthood, I can walk in today, get a pap smear done, and have birth control when I leave. And thus you have the children of upper middle class upbringing using PP as their primary caregiver. My mother would be horrified. With my health insurance, the birth control is $30 per pack. Without health insurance, I can purchase the birth control directly from Planned Parenthood for $20 a pack. And it comes complete with a set of free condoms, which I didn't notice were novelty condoms until I got home. They're the same colors as the lollipops you get at the bank and at the doctor's office, which makes me think they might be dangerous to keep around the house if you have small children that will try to eat them. And on the front, it says enigmatically "Electronically tested and universally trusted." Electronically tested, eh?
It's nice to know that if I have sex again, it'll be with a penis that's either fluorescent red, green, or blue.
Posted by ink |
[Sunday, February 26, 2006]
I forgot how much I loved classical music until I allowed my itunes to select a playlist for me, and I ended up with Brandenburg's concert #1 and Bach's Double Violin Concerto Vivace. It's amazing how these composers wrote the music for all the instruments - not just one. I'm not sure how much my own training in violin has given me an appreciation for the complexity of a piece, or whether it's my advanced age. And somehow, concerts at the music hall are an altogether different experience than a rock concert. Rock concerts make me feel alive. Like my heart beats in rhythm to the wailing guitars and flutters in tongues with the other hundreds of concert goers. A rock concert is more about the group experience. Multiple disciples come to the sacred ground of Wachovia Center to worship. Rock concerts remind me of cults a bit. The band preaches through their music and their followers watch on in rapture. Sometimes hurling their bodies as the spirit moves them. Classical concerts remind me more of the eastern religions. I leave classical concerts feeling elated, lifted, and somehow more at peace. And filled with wonder and this awesome sense of good. Rock is more raw. Classical overwhelms me. I'll have to find time to see the Philadelphia orchestra at some point.
Posted by ink |
[Thursday, February 16, 2006]
He says we could be an ipod commercial. I say we're not trendy enough. We're just overworked med students.
Sometimes I wonder why Motorcycle and I continue to do what we do. Is it out of loneliness? Mutual need for someone, anyone, to hang on to during this strange time? Is it like military boot camp, where the unlikeliest of friends are made because of shared hardship, or in this case - the unlikeliest of pairings, since I'm not sure we can call ourselves a couple. He's a strange study of contradictions. Twenty five years old and in medical school. A seeming slacker, a public butt-slapper, a new-hair-style-after-every-exam type of guy. And this isn't limited to the hair on his head either. I can now say "Never have I ever hooked up with someone with mutton chops." Thankfully, that one didn't last that long. The mutton chops predecessors were a mohawk (I liked this one), a shaved head, and a molester moustache. He's a motorcycle rider, surfer, snowboarder, South Park fan. Also a nervous personality who used to hate driving the ambulance as an EMT. Partly because he'd rather be in the back with the patient because that's what he wanted to do, but mostly because he has a horrible sense of direction and lived in perpetual fear of getting lost on the way to the hospital with a patient dying in the back. He inhales books (historical fiction and thrillers being his topics of choice), has 70 gigs on music, and unexpectedly cares a lot about studying. His idea of a love-tap is to flick me on the ear when he sees me, and he has this horrible terrible fear of commitment. Despite the public butt-slapping and image of being a hook-up only type of guy, he secretly likes to cuddle. He does surprise me consistently. Like fungus, he's grown on me a bit. Perhaps its home court advantage. After all, I do see him a lot more than I see the other guys. Every day in class. Every evening in the library.
So what do I and a guy who burps the alphabet have in common? Pretty much nothing. Why do I like him? I'm not sure. Is he just something to pass the time and break up the monotony of studying? Have we clung onto each other because we draw comfort in each other's physical presence? I don't know. I do know that without medical school, I'm not sure the pairing of Ink and Motorcycle would have ever happened. He wears a trucker hat. I wear stiletto boots. I have a Dali print in my bedroom. He has a framed poster of the Garbage Pail kids in his bathroom. And I don't get his sense of humor. At all. Apparently, being a good kisser goes a long way with me.
And yet somehow - none of that seems to come up when we sit on a bench, he hands me an earbud, and we share his ipod during 15-minute study breaks (just enough for 5 songs). Its comforting to sit together and listen to music. We do best when we don't speak to each other. This way, our differences aren't as glaring.
Posted by ink |
[Monday, February 13, 2006]
Still grieving over the my former life.
I'm tired of this. I'm tired of the cycle. How can I be pre-exam AGAIN? This every-3-week cycle is killing me. I don't even get my period this often, and that I can only stand because I know the future joys (meant utterly ironically) of pregnancy await me later. I was studying the gastrointestinal in the library when I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of the window, and then I suddenly felt mad. I am so lame. Two of my girl friends just got engaged, another one is getting married this April, and two of the biggest forever-single playboys that I know from college are going on a Hawaiian vacation with their two newly found girlfriends. And all I have are chief cells (cells found in the oxyntic section of the stomach that secrete pepsinogen to help with the break down of food).
I thought eating a cookie would make me feel better. But 3 cookies, 1 bag of sunchips, and a sandwich later, I just feel fat.
All I want is some assurance that in the end it will all be worth it, and it won't just be a buttload of insurance paperwork to fill out and malpractice lawsuits. And that I won't die alone. Can't God just give me some sort of assurance that I'll be okay?
I miss happy hour. Someone tell me I'm doing the right thing. And yet even in my misery, some part of me rocks back and forth in glee and reminds myself at least I'm not on some business trip or in some cubicle or sweating in a suit on the NY subway on the way to a client site.
Posted by ink |
[Sunday, February 12, 2006]
Today is Sunday, February 12, 2006. My first Physiology exam is on Friday, February 17, 2006. On Saturday, February 18, is my friend's bridal shower, which I was super-excited to be able to attend, because it's after my exam. Or so I thought until I received an email today from her thanking everyone for attending the shower, and attaching a cake recipe for those who wanted it. I checked the Evite invitation again - and realized that the shower happened on February 11. And I had somehow missed it. My life is obviously completely falling apart.
The foot of snow outside is a false testament to peace. There's no peace in this world (though, I was surprised and relieved to see that it was the Danes who published that Mohammed cartoon as I fully expected it to be another American idiot), and no peace in my mind as I write out my study schedule for the next 6 days. By my calculations, I'll have to cover 75 pages of material per day to get through all of it before the exam. I wrote out a small plan of what I wanted to cover per day. That took up about 20 minutes of procrastination this morning. I was still feeling hopeful this morning, because I had the whole day ahead of me and I was confident I could blaze through the material with my whippersnap sharp mind of steel. 10 hours and 50 pages later at 9 PM, I find myself facing a new dilemma. Should I go work out? Or study and get fat?
I'm fully aware of how ridiculous this dilemma sounds. Sometimes I get bummy that my life has become so one-dimensional, but I try not to think about it too much. I've taken to chewing gum so I don't snack constantly when studying, and I've stopped fretting that my growing pooch may be pregnancy and accepted the fact that I'm simply gaining weight. It took 3 boxes worth of pregnancy tests over a period of 2 months for me to finally accept that. I learned a few things: 1) pregnancy tests are pretty expensive 2) my irregular period is likely a direct result of stress and 3) it's still hard to get a doctor's appointment, even as a med student. I'm also not sure I want to see a doctor here - as any one of my classmates will be able to access my medical records as soon as we're on the wards during our third year.
I've chewed so much gum over the past two days that I woke up with sore jaw muscles. It hurts to eat.
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.