Sorry about the silence the past couple of days. In between furious spring cleaning, brunching with friends, and staving off a panic attack (OK, not exactly a panic attack, but close), I wasn’t any good for blogging.
As it turns out, my room is getting cleaner. And less cluttered.
(The blue garbage bag has shredded study notes from one class. Bye bye, Immunology!)
And, my summer project plans? They are coming together. But not without the I-think-I-need-a-drink anxiety. (For the record, I did not have a drink. I went to the gym, and called my sister furiously spazzing like a spazz, because that’s how I roll sometimes. Me, and every other medical student alive.)
Anyway, I’m not sure that it was the summer project planning that was making me anxious. I actually think it was all of the issues from last summer finally catching up to me, now that I have too much free time on my hands. But, I’ll save that particular gloom and doom story for another post. Here's what I was working on!
Life List #3: Go on a medical mission trip to a Spanish-speaking country (and be able to speak Spanish fluently while there).
My aunt and uncle have lived in the Dominican Republic for probably 30 years now, but my aunt and my mother were never close and no one has ever really visited them in Santo Domingo. My uncle is Dominican and whenever he visits, though, I’ll always understand his Spanish communication with my cousins and he will turn to me and say in English, “I know that you can understand, but you refuse to respond!” Umm..yep. That’s pretty much me in a nutshell. I fear making mistakes in front of a native speaker. Oh, perfectionist tendencies.
I knew my uncle would have several hook-ups in the city, so I wasn’t surprised when he informed me two weeks ago that he had a hand surgeon who was eager to have me work with him. I’m not really considering becoming a surgeon, per se, but if there is some eager Dominican surgeon who actually wants me to tag along with him everyday, I think I can make that work. Said surgeon also wants me to help him with his English, which should be interesting, because I was sort of looking for someone to help me with my Spanish. I’m sure we’ll figure it out.
Life List #13: Take a tour of Europe.
OK, I’m still working on this one. I’ll be in London (I think! Any surgeons in London want an over-eager medical student following around their post-op patients? Yes? No? Please! I’m so adorable in scrubs and have steady hands!), and might be able to take some short trips elsewhere when I'm finished.
About those other trips, though....
International travel is fun for me, in theory. In practice, I always worry about being that dumb, American girl to get into a stranger’s car at the airport and disappear forever. (No, this has never happened. I would never get into a stranger’s car…or travel internationally by myself to a country where I didn’t speak the language…but you know, FEAR! This is what my mother has done to me.)
The nature of my project sort of dictates that I speak the same language of the patients that I am working with, so unless I want to go to Spain (I think a month in the Dominican Republic might be enough), London could be a great place to be. I was looking through the opportunities database at school and it looks like there are also a few doctors in London willing to work with American medical students. I’m working on it.
Bonus of going to London? They have a Gold’s Gym!
The second reason I don't like (long-term) international travel is because I don’t feel well if I get off my workout routine. One of the (many) reasons I am not looking forward to residency is that I won't be able to workout consistently. I’m not a marathoner or anything, but I guess working out is my natural benzodiazepine. Without it, I feel stiff, mopey, and sluggish. With it, I’m calmer, more rational, and more toned. So, hello, London’s Gold’s Gym. You have no idea how excited this American is to know that you exist. I’m hoping that I can use a US travel pass to use their facilities, but if I can’t, I’ll just buy a summer membership. Yes, it’s that serious. I need my gym facilities.
Life List #15: Publish Something Scholarly
Well, if I’m going to go all the way to the Dominican Republic and to London, I might as well make it meaningful. Am I right?
I sent an email to a lecturer/professor/physician who I think would be a great mentor for my project. I’m hoping that he wants to share his enthusiasm for his particular field of research and mentor me. I get the impression that he’s kind of hardcore, though, and this may backfire. Who wants to be studying for Boards and simultaneously running regression curves on their data because their mentor wants them to? Not me!
Anyway, I still want to know what he has to say, though. If he scares me, I have other options for mentors. I just think that he would be the best.
Life List #16: Procure Scholarship to Fund Summer Travel
Yes! I need me some moolah to pay for all these plane tickets, so I’ve been furiously working on this one. My medical school offers a certain number of scholarships, but you have to have a pretty compelling proposal of how your project will contribute to the scope of medical knowledge, as well as having a mentor to sponsor you (ahem). As with the revolving theme of this post, I’m working on this.
And, cue the panic attack.
I never intended to try and knock out four Life List goals at once, but that's how things are playing out. Don't worry, I'm going to North Carolina tomorrow, where there are mountains and fresh air and hiking and cultural things. Oh yeah, my sister and brother-in-law live there too. Heh. So no, I'm probably not actually going to have a panic attack...yet.
(Also, I will be subletting my apartment for the summer. So, if you are clean and non-sketchy...female only; medical professionals preferred...please hit the "Contact" tab at the top of the page and email me.)