Tuesday, February 27, 2007

a day in the life....

tomorrow ends this rotation; I've had a good time doing peds genetics this month - I've seen things that I'd previously only read about, re-discovered my love of pediatric medicine, and this has been a month filled with good news (and therefore I'll always associate it with doing this rotation!).

Elisa challenged her readers to share pictures of what "a day in the life" or "a day in the neighborhood" looks like. I tried to post these pictures the other night (without success) but sharing them tonight seems almost more fitting as I'm about to change neighborhoods.

(for lack of time I'm going to leave them captionless. These things fall into two categories - one is pictures of things I've seen on a daily (weekdaily?) basis on this rotation, the others are things from a neighborhood near to where I grew up.)

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Things took a turn for the (much, much) better here, and I am giddily happy about how things are continuing to fall into place (the list goes on and on, and now I can add "passed computer based boards the first time and with my highest score yet" to the list). There is still a lot going on behind the scenes and as I hear more I'll let you know.

That being said, my motivation has gone down the tubes. I'd like nothing better than to sit in my pjs all day, knitting and watching The Muppets with a cup of good tea, all followed by a nap with a cat (or two). Scheduling conflicts are keeping me from starting my next rotation right away so Thursday starts a 10 day "break" for me. I intially thought the break would be a bad thing (my brain said "keep on keepin' on! Just get everything done and out of the way already!") but now I can't wait for time to do all of the above things. I'm headed out of town to see some people and will end the time off with a weekend on the beach at an inn with other female medical students and doctors - it's a time for mentoring and a chance for me to see (again) that it is possible to be a doctor, a mom, an activist, and, above all else, remain me. I attended this type of weekend when it was "started" two years ago, and think it'll be a great touchstone for my last two rotations.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

blogger hates me.

this'll be my fourth (fifth?) time tonight trying to post...sufice to say, blogger has a healthy appitite tonight and I don't have the energy to try and recreate everything (again.).

Overall...things are good.

Better than good. I'd even say great.

In fact, everything is falling into place as I had hoped it would.

(it's a bit scary actually. Things haven't looked this good in...(months? years?)...a long time.)

14 weeks and 6 days until graduation - that (almost) appears do-able now.

(I thought I graduated on June 3rd; imagine my surprise when I learned that I graduate on June 2nd!)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Wednesday Poem

Roses are red,
and violets are blue,
it snowed and snowed and snowed today,
and the wind was blusterly too...

Daffodils are yellow,
tulips can be white,
next month's rotation fell through,*
but so far this week's been alright...

Clover is purple,
and usually grass is green,
I matched into my first choice program,
and you know what that means?

It means I'll have a place to live,
with cats or rabbits of my own,
my future in in family practice is reality,
now all I need is a home!

* = this is not good. My fingers are crossed that something will work out and I'll know where I'm going to be soon.....(I'm looking into a few more ideas but time is running out and things need to fall into place!)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

happiness is...

- 16 weeks until graduation
- 15 weeks until Cummington/Mass Sheep and Wool
- 1 week until SPA
- less than a day until the residency match
- the "Wicked" Original Broadway Cast Soundtrack
- "Enslaved By Ducks" by Bob Tarte

Craziness is abound in the life of this knitting med student - tomorrow I find out where I'll do my post-graduation training and later this week other things will start to solidify. The rotation I had scheduled to take place next month fell through due to paperwork issues but with any luck something else will fall into place.

Some noticed that my "match" is early - there are two seperate matches for residency that I could have been a part of (actually there are several matches - one for the military and a few for subspecialties); the osteopathic students have the option to match in either the osteopathic match (do) or the allopathic match (md). All of the programs I considered have spots "open" in both matches so I chose to be a part of the earlier (DO) match. (The allopathic match is just over a month from now.)

The whole match process sounds more complicated than it is - here's a primer: The summer before a med student's fourth year the electronic residency application process opens for registrations. The application is complex and takes time to fill in and go over. Once everything from the student and school is complete it can be "sent" to the programs that a student chooses.
The programs review the applications (all processed electronically) and choose who they are interested in interviewing. Interviews are done during the fall and winter and are by "invite" only; the programs that a student is invited to are generally the program that they'll consider when it comes time to "rank."

Ranking is something that both the program and student do - the lists are submitted via another electronic process and have to be "certified" (with a supersecret password that is mailed out just before the process starts). Students rank the programs with the goal of being chosen by their top program - it can be a balancing act of location,location,location vs. the training and other aspects of "higher" med education. At the same time the programs are ranking the students that they are most interested in, playing a game of "how many to rank" vs. "who is ranked where (high on the list or low on the list?)." The student's goal is to match with one of the programs on their rank list; the program's goal is to fill their spots with students that they are interested in.

Once the lists are "done" (ie once the deadline has come and gone) a computer program starts sorting the lists. There are plenty of sites out there that can better explain the whole process of how the lists are arranged but the jist is that the student's choices are held above the program's choices and a computer does the lists only because it would take people much longer to do all of the paperwork.

If a student doesn't match with a program they fall into the "scramble" category - they then do the whole apply/interview/wait to be accepted process in an accellerated fashion and match with programs that have empty spots.

The DO match doesn't have the same sort of scramble period that the MD match does, so at this point I don't know anything "official" yet. I have a hunch that I won't have to scramble, but I won't know anything for sure until tomorrow after noon, eastern standard time.

(sufice to say I've been fairly nonproductive this weekend and any knitting that was done has since been ripped due to gauge issues or pattern mistakes. Reading has been a much better way to pass the time!)

in other news: while at MamaCate's my laptop fell prey to a single well intentioned drop of coffee that took advantage of gravity after I opened my computer up. The drop (half a drop, really) took up residence in the space just behind the first layer of my screen and after settling in it decided that the single line of pixels it had intially messed up wasn't enough - and so my entire screen went black.

I still haven't gotten anything off of that computer, but am now working on a "new 'reconditioned'" laptop that, tonight (for the first time and thanks to an external wireless adapter) decided to connect to the internet. The way technology and I have been (not) getting along, its no wonder that my palm pilot has been acting up and my camera cords went missing. At some point it'll all be in the same place at the same time (and, perhaps working?) and then I'll share pictures of what is on my needles.

(because by then I'll have things to take pictures of. For my own safety I'm going to avoid the needles for the next 14+ hours.)

Friday, February 02, 2007

To Celebrate The Feast Of St. Brigid

a poem in honor of the bloggers (silent) poetry reading - one of my favorite poems. (I have highlighted my favorite part in another color, as I know that this is a long poem and some might be more interested in why I chose it.)

Birches, by Robert Frost

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-coloured
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground,
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.

But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm,
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows--
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father's trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.

So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

I am thinking good thoughts for Baby Bookish's family and can't wait to hear that she is officially "here." Traditionally Groundhog Day is when my hometown "local" ice cream place opens, and people line up waiting to taste the confection as cold as it is outside - however you choose to celebrate 2/2, I hope you have a fabulous day.

(the boards! are! over! and I couldn't be happier. I'm trying to not make predictions about how they went, but do hope that I won't have to take them over. If I had to guess one way or another I'd say that I'm in the clear, but I don't want to jinx the goddess of exams and I'd rather say that I'm unsure, and probably will have to take them again....pleasantly surprised trumphs disappointment.)