Sunday, August 07, 2005

happiness is...

- kind words on encouragement left by people I know, and some I don't (thank you all!)
- being "home" after a strange and not-so-happy weekend away
- Lorna's Laces sock yarn
-the outstretched paw that Tiger (the youngest and most "kittenish" cat here) uses to gently touch my check when he wants me to continue scratching his ears
- central air conditioning
- getting my pictures off of my camera and onto my laptop (next step is from the laptop to the internet, with any luck it'll be tomorrow)
- tomorrow's dinner plans with the friends I think of as my extended family
- not having given away my board review books (yet)

Friday afternoon I set out for a regional retreat for medical students. I'd heard from people who had attended in the past, and each said that they felt as though they'd found a community that supported them and offered them a chance to "be themselves" with other med students. I applied several months ago, and was excited when I found out that I was chosen to attend. The weekend wasn't what I expected and I'd place the whole experience in the "waste of time/money" category. The people were interesting but weren't very open to new people and though you can take a med student out of a position of control, it's damn near impossible to take some peoples NEED for CONTROL out of them. I'm happy to go with the flow (which is uncharacteristic for med students) but I do like to know what is planned for my days; this includes letting me know what time lunch is going to be when it's 1:30 and we're still in "program" time with no end in sight. I was seen as a bit of a problem participant but eventually they accepted me, and my knitting.

I knit all weekend. I knit by the light of the fire, I knit during "experiential" learning, I knit while others described their most joyous moment and their sacred objects (my size 2 bamboo dpn's were my sacred object, but instead of placing it in the middle of the circle (as I was directed to) I continued to knit with them).

I knit when I was woken up by people coming and going at midnight, 2am and 3am the first night (by the light of a flashlight because we were in a very rustic location with no electricity after 10pm) and again last night when I made friends with the mouse I found in my water cup at 3:30am. (after hearing scurrying I felt around for my flashlight and once it was on a mouse butt was staring back at me. The mouse saw the light and turned to look at me before running off under my bed. I'm not afraid of mice, and in the wild, I don't mind them...but I didn't get a whole lot of sleep after that point. (and nevermind that once I had fallen back asleep I was woken up by one of our retreat "leaders" (I used the term loosely because she could have used some more leader training) letting me know that it was 8am. My watch said 6:30am, and I let her know that. After a short argument she said she'd be back - she returned to say that yes, indeed, it was only 6:30am and I had another hour and a half to sleep!!!)

Needless to say the sock in progress right now (Lornas Laces Shepard Sport yarn in "River" - it produced a great striping effect that I really like) is knit up a bit tight. It's almost done though, and I'm hoping that I can get four socks out of the two hanks I have.

(I shudder when I think about how much yarn I could have bought with the money I spent on the weekend....)

I've started studying again, and will make the most of my last week of the summer. Next Monday I'll start my first rotation, and from then on it'll be as though I hit the ground running!

(I'm still very behind in blog reading, but slowly and surely I feel like I'm catching up. I'll be here in Albany for the rest-ish of this week and will need to think about returning northeast at some point...)


Anonymous Dianna said...

Medicine is full of control freaks, but always remember you have the ability to control how much those people control your personal life.

I am a couple of decades ahead of you on the trek through medicine as a female. In those decades, I have had four kids, completed two residencies, and even managed to pass boards while entering the terror of domestic violence when I separated from my paranoid schizophrenic (late onset) husband. Knitting has gotten me through it all, and you sound as though you have a head start in that regard.

As EZ said, knit onward through all life's crises.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

I posted you a package before I realised you were moving... did you ever receive it? It should have arrived before the end of July.

Keep up the good knitting!

5:02 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Te-heh-heh! (that is supposed to be a laughing noise?!). Yup... I was your back-tack person... the blogosphere is a tiny place after all! I wasn't going to let you know, but as the package that my person sent to me has gone missing... I was worried mine to you had too.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Cordelia said...

Oh, I'm sorry your weekend didn't go well. It sounds like it should have been a good experience (bonding, etc.). It's so much more frustrating when those expectations aren't met.
Good luck with your first rotation, and with your socks!

10:22 AM  
Anonymous mamacate said...

Oh Kristen. I've been out of town and am just catching up. I'm so sorry about your boards. I remembered something from your archives and went back to it--do you think that whether you know the name of the middle of a spermatazoa is a good assessment of your knowledge and ability? I don't either.

Don't let this make you question your ability. I don't care whether my doctor knows the parts of a sperm, unless he's an andrology lab guy (not MDs, AFAIK, anyway) and frankly I don't give a crap what he calls them as long as he can find the ones that know how to swim, grin. Heck, call 'em Fred for all I care.

You're getting the practical knowledge as fast as anyone, you CARE, you're great with kids and you're a kind & smart person who knows her stuff and I think that's the point. And I think your lack of control-freakiness is a great skill, because you're going to know what you don't know, and when to refer, and that is the #1 thing I look for in a primary care doc. That, and the ability to communicate like a normal human being, which is often educated right out of MDs.

Don't let this stop you. Show them you can pass the stupid test and STILL speak English to patients, with compassion no less. What a concept.

Hang in there. See you at Rhinebeck.

12:39 PM  

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