Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mediocre is... OK?!?

This past week I've been coming to grips with mediocrity. I've always been mediocre is some (or many, depending who you ask) areas of life. But, I've usually been pretty well at the top of my classes. Now, I'll be honest, I enjoyed that quite a bit, and it made me feel real good about myself to know that if I put in the work, that I could do pretty well on whatever I was doing. Well, I think those days may be over...

In the past three or so weeks since school started, I have been made acutely aware of the fact that I am not (in fact) the smartest or most brilliant person in the world. I mean, I already knew that, but what I mean is that I feel, sort of, mediocre (at best). And I guess that's OK, but it is a little bit of a change. Especially for someone who has put so much emphasis on getting the "best" grades, and wanted to "win" competitions with certain people (you know who are probably), to be the "average" is sort of disheartening.

The thing is, I was warned that this would happen. I went to an interview at Baylor last fall, and even though I'm not going there, I think what they told me still holds true. They said that we would need to get used to being in the "middle of the curve", because there were so many smart people there. I definitely feel in the middle of the curve right now. And I think that I'm just finally starting to understand just how frustrating it can be to not be the one getting A's or High Pass, or whatever standard you want to set.

I think that one of the things that I need to do going forward is to forget about being competitive, and remember that I'm not competing with anyone (well, I guess kind of I am), and I shouldn't let it get to me that someone else knows, say, the branches of the axillary artery, better than I do. I need to not get upset about it, or get mad at them, or myself. I need to just do what I need to do to get me to learn what I need to know, and not worry about what my classmates think about me, or what I think about them. Of course that's easier said than done. But to quote my uncle, you have to act your way into feeling, not feel your way into acting sometimes. And what that means for me is that I need to stop acting like it bothers me when people know more than I do, and hopefully it will cause me less stress in the long run.

In addition, I'm hoping that I start to settle into a groove in my studies and in living in South Bend before too long. I think that will really go a long way toward making me a happier, and better all around person. Hopefully a good nights' sleep will also help. Goodnight.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The benefits of exercise

Earlier this evening, I went for a jog. I was very pleased with myself. I enjoy jogging, but when I get busy, I usually tend to put it off. Consequently, I hadn't been out since last Thursday--not the way to maintain any kind of physical fitness. Be that as it may, after I got back, I was thinking about jogging, and I think it has benefits in addition to just being "good for you".

First, it lets you "get out", and see new parts of the world. Or possibly just different parts than where you usually might be. Second, it let's you become more familiar with you surroundings. When you drive by something, you can't really LOOK at it. But when you jog by, you go slower (at least I do), and you can really look. That may not sound too important, and it may not ever be that critical to survival, but I think that it is important to be aware of your surroundings, and going for a jog allows you to that better.

Some more thoughts on the day are that:
  1. I think I pretty much failed my anatomy quiz. It wasn't that it was so hard, it was just over a lot of things, and I think I just emphasized studying the things that weren't on the quiz.
  2. I went to the laundromat today, and I rediscovered how much I hate doing laundry.
  3. There's a guy that comes around my neighborhood on a bike and goes "dumpster-diving" (actually this is about Saturday but oh well) at the house across the road (they're remodeling it so there's a dumpster there), and on Saturday, I was sitting on my porch, and I watched him pull this big tank out (like an air compressor tank), and I thought he was going to carry it away on his bike. He didn't, he just took it apart and took part of it, but it would have been funny to see a guy riding around with that on a bike. In a related note, you can probably imagine why he's doing that in the first place.
  4. I think I may be the world's slowest reader.
On that note, I retire. To my study. To study.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I know the brachial plexus like the back of my, umm...brachial plexus?

This morning I went to the church of Behavioral Science. Which means I read for Behavioral Science all morning. Thus far, my Sundays in South Bend have not included going to church. I could attribute that to having too much work to do, but I think the real issue is a combination of laziness, and the fact that it is actually a daunting task to find a new church. Anyway, I'm sure I'll find one soon.
Today has been a day of more, mixed in with more studying. In addition to that, though, I signed up for Pandora (the internet radio website), and it is pretty sweet. So I enjoyed some music while I was studying. Plus it's free.

A few random thoughts before I draw this to a close. First, I can't wait until football season. Second, I like sleeping, but recently, I've been having some really weird dreams.

A slight change of pace

Being Saturday, today was little different from the routine. I woke up a couple of hours later for one thing. So that started the day off right. I was supposed to be getting my internet connection set up today between 10am and 1pm. So I got up for that, and waited around at home while I studied, until the guy from Comcast finally showed up at 1:35pm. I guess that's what you expect.
Anyway, after he set up my internet, he left, and then I went on over to the med school building to do some dissecting that my partner and I hadn't finished yesterday. For about 4 hours... It wasn't really that bad, but it was a lot of time to spend dissecting when I would have like to be either a) studying, or b) going to the laundromat. I did end up studying later tonight, but not going to the laundromat.
Now, that may seem like an insignificant detail to you, but its a bigger one to me. I haven't had to worry about GOING to do my laundry before. Now, doing laundry is kind of a big time commitment. Anyways, I still need to do it. It just takes some getting used to.
One thing that I have not mentioned as of yet is that pretty much all I can think about right now is studying. If I'm not actually doing it, I'm thinking about it. I even woke up dreaming about arteries and veins and what not this morning. I never had to study so hard before, except one time, we had a big animal biology lab exam, and we studied like crazy for it. Like days and days, and we knew it backwards and forwards. I've got to tell you, I got a 100 on that exam (my shining moment). So far, school is like that, except every day and night, and I don't think I know anything backwards and forwards, and I don't think getting a 100% is even a remote possibility.
It is nice to know, though, that I'm finally doing what I've been planning and hoping to do for 5 or 6 years. I guess I'll probably feel differently in a few months or something, but I am really happy to finally be starting in medicine, as opposed to biology.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I have been studying all night up till now. On Friday... How lame is that? That is all.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Human lab rat

I spent the better portion of my day in the anatomy lab. After I draged myself out of bed and over to the school, we had a real quick "lecture", and then we headed down to the lab at about 9:30 am or so. We were looking at the forearm, and it was pretty sweet. It was a long time though. I didn't leave that room until about 2:10 pm, when I went home real fast for lunch, and then came back real quick to do some more in the anatomy lab, and then have Intro to Clinical Medicine (a class) dinner. So I had those things.
My thought for the day is that anatomy is hard. I had to get up in front of the class and ID some structures from a wrist X-ray this morning, and although I got some things right, there were some I had no idea. That is emblematic of anatomy in general, and I think the only way for me personally to learn it will be to spend even more time with the material. Oh well.
Since I'm so smart (not), I can have two thoughts for the day (wow!). My second thought is that people who think they know everything are just about the most irritating people in the world. Not that I know any of those people. And also, if you think that that is me, I apologize, I had no idea it could be like that. I have become aware of that in the past two or three days, and I am now working to try and not be like that.
Goodnight. I am going to go and "seize the night", which in latin might be carpe noct, or carpe nocti, or something like that...

Day One (actually day 8)

Today is my eighth day of medical school (if you don't count the weekend). Actually, technically the ninth, if you take into account that it is now after midnight. Anyways, today has been quite an eventful day.
Today, I started out by dragging myself out of bed after about 4.5 hours of sleep last night (I was catching up on reading from Gray's Anatomy because the bookstore didn't have it and I just finally got ahold of a copy). I then had breakfast and took the short drive from my place to the medical school. Upon my arrival, I had class, and then after that class, we waited on our professor, who overslept by about an hour and a half. Anyway, that was a little frustrating, but I got some studying done during that time. It was a telltale sign that we actually care about what we are learning, because nobody in the class was really even thinking about leaving or the "15 minute rule". Either that or everybody is still too timid to actually skip class. I'll go with the former, but only because I'm feeling optimistic.
Anyway, Dr. Dave finally showed up, and so we had class. After the lecture, we went down to the basement for lab, where we were dissecting the axilla. As it turns out, it takes a long time to dissect the axilla, but I really enjoyed the very end of lab, when we finally got to see what we were looking for. It was just really cool. I wouldn't way I love the brachial plexus, but its close...
After that, I ran home really quickly, ate dinner (which really means I threw some food together that may or may not have made any sense), then went out looking for the books that I still need, and the campus bookstore. I found one. But the other one is still on order, and I 'm not sure when it will get in. The whole situation with the books is very frustrating, because I just feel that the bookstore was told that all 16 of us were going to be buying these books (they can't really be done without for this class), and that there are in fact 16 of us, and they were told in time, and the books exist, and so why couldn't they just get them, and make everyone's life a little better. Oh well, I guess it's not the end of the world, but its just the latest in a long string of things that this school does that are completely disorganized.
But I am glad that I came here. I guess I could be in Texas right now, but somehow I just don't feel like that would have been the place for me. I am glad to be here. I like what I'm doing so far, I like being in Indiana--being a resident, and having similar background to everyone else is great. My final thought is that med school is a lot of work. I kind of feel like med school is (in terms of work) what I thought college was going to be like before I started (i.e. studying all the time, no time for fun or anything but school). So in some sense I'm glad its a lot of work. But at the same time it is tiring. So much so that I may fall asleep right here. So I'll bid you all adieu. I don't know what that means, but people say it when they're leaving. Which I am. So goodnight.