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29th November 2005

Interview fun part 2 or The Fast Decline Into Madness

Well.

Buffalo got back to me this morning on my confirmation. They interview on THURSDAYS and not Fridays–my interview is scheduled for Dec. 1, the day that I fly out of here. I wrote it down wrong in my calendar. If there ever was a “D’oh!!”moment, this classifies! Sometimes there aren’t words for my idiocy.

I’ve spent the morning, calling Stony Brook Medicine back up (they were the ones who woke me this morning, saying they had a spot in January available, of course when I was going to be in Kenya so I couldn’t pounce on it), meekly asking for my slot back this Friday, and then spending $400 to change my tickets to tomorrow, with a flight to Hartford on Thursday night.

I guess everything is fixed now. Maybe. I hope. If I hear back from SB Neuro saying that I didn’t need the interview after all, there will be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth and I personally will usher in the apocalypse.

Stay tuned.

ETA: SB Neuro just emailed back: “Dear Julia:  Have no fear, Medicine said they will make an exception and see you on Monday.” *grumbles, grumbles*

Now I’m doing the fun stuff of figuring out how bus/railroad/ferry systems work and if it’d be worth it to rent a car while I’m there, or just wait and rent one to go up to Dartmouth, trying to contact my cousins who I hope to stay with, etc. Oh joy! What bliss!

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28th November 2005

Interview fun continued or The Reason for Discontention

This day hasn’t been the most pleasant, I must say.

I’m interviewing the New York this coming week. In fact, for the past few weeks, I’ve had three interviews scheduled on Friday. One in Buffalo for a Med/Neuro position–but I wasn’t sure how much I liked their program, one in Rochester in Medicine in hopes to convince them to create a combination program just for me (I am so optimistic). And the last, for Medicine in Stony Brook, NY. I also have an interview schedule in Neuro on Monday in Stony Brook (from now on, SB)–they have a combination program, and they are the ones who are the cause of all of my problems. A couple of weeks ago, I scheduled the SB medicine interview, and then called the neuro program to confirm with them that I was scheduled. The program coordinator seemed surprised when I told her that I had scheduled the medicine interview–because she had apparently arranged for me to meet with the medicine people on Monday. Perfect!

Rochester wrote me and told me that they couldn’t do a combination program. Fine. I canceled the interviews with both Neuro (I was supposed to be there today) and Medicine there, did a little more research on the Buffalo program, decided that it wouldn’t hurt if I interviewed there, confirmed my interview, and bought tickets Saturday night. (Follow the story so far?)

Today, of course, I get an email from the Neuro person at Stony Brook saying that I needed to interview with the Medicine program separately after all. And of course, the medicine department no longer has ANY available dates to interview. And my tickets are nonrefundable/nontransferable. Lovely.

I hate it when things just fall apart. HATE IT.

It’s put me in a mild despondent mood today, where I’ve had little motivation for anything.

There. There’s my gripe for today. I’m done now.

I’m getting ready to teach first years the physical exam. We had a review today and someof it has definitely become routine–but there’s parts to the physical exam that I haven’t done in ages and still find difficult. The thyroid exam. Percussing the lungs, etc. You start to rely on lab values and chest xrays, it’s sad. Hopefully, I won’t look like too much of an idiot. I remember being a first year and absolutely in awe of how much the fourth years knew… Perspective.

I’ve been locating my Christmas music collection–I removed it from my computer because I had sooo much. It’s making me teary–there is some gorgeous music out there that never fails to make me emotional. I get very irritated listening to Christmas music on the radio–mostly because it’s that pop crap or worse, oversentimental (does The Christmas Shoes play on your radio stations? If not, you’re lucky! There’s not another song on the planet that can get me out of the Christmas mood faster), but there’s so much that’s good. Expect a Christmas music sharing post from me in the future!

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28th November 2005

Book Meme

Snagged from angel_grace

Bold those you’ve read. Italicize those you haven’t finished/have only read excerpts. Underline those you own. And then add a few of your own 🙂

The books

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14th November 2005

Four years too late…

They can’t cancel Firefly! They can’t! Where can I sign a petition to keep it online??

I watched the last episode today, and almost started crying. Because that’s it. No more. That should have been a seven year series!

I am curious as to why, after seeing all the episodes, why the die hard fans were upset with Serenity? Because I do believe that Joss did a pretty good job for interpreting the series into a pretty good movie. I think (and I hate to be so unfaithful), but he probably did a better job than the X-Files creators at making a movie that fans and nonfans could enjoy.

My interview here at the U went really well today. There are reasons that I love the program here so much. The first person I met with was the program director at one of the hospitals who I’ve worked with on several occasions, so it really was just a relaxed conversation where he complimented me on all of my accomplishments (LOL!). And then the other was a doctor who had done a double residency in Medicine and Psychiatry, so he gave me some really good advice about doing a double residency, looking for the right programs, etc. He was very encouraging, and seemed to think (as do most of the doctors that I’ve talk to here) that my plans are solid ones and that I could really fit in a niche that would be worth the effort. It was nice to finally receive some positive affirmation.

I did receive two emails from the University of Iowa (the first school that I interviewed at last week), saying that they were glad to meet me and that they would love for me to “highly consider” their program, even though they are unable to create me the combination program that I wanted. I’m tempted–it’s nice to know that the interviews went better than I thought–but as nice as it sounds, they’re not going to give me the training that I really need. I hate feeling absolutely positive about my decision one minute and completely doubting myself the next.

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12th November 2005

My prayers have been answered!

A Long and Painful Reign of Terror Will Come to An End

This has honestly made my day. I can’t recall ever getting better news!! (I’m ignoring that bit about the threat of a spinoff. Don’t bring down my good mood!)

(Sorry to the Arrested Development fans–I myself could never get into it, but I know it had a following.)

On the home front, I had my “Here’s What to Expect in Kenya” meeting on Thursday. I don’t know if it made me more excited or more terrified. 🙂 Probably both. I’ll have a lot of opportunity there to do tons of procedures (spinal taps, chest tubes and drains, abdominal fluid draining, blood gases, etc.) that I’m really looking forward to–it will really make things in intern year just a little better if I have some practical experience. I’ll see a lot of bizarre and interesting diseases that I’ll never see here, and I’ll have a lot of autonomy with my patients. But as thrilling as all of this sounds, there’s the downsides–such as not having residents and attendings around to be of help when I really need it, seeing a lot of death, not having a toilet in the hospital (!!! Apparently there’s a hole in the ground. They did build a new pediatric building next to the hospital, with running water and a toilet, so all isn’t lost, but … ) The living conditions in the student dorms leave something to be desired–no hot water, no toilets, bugs and mice (shudder), but I was willing to endure it, until I found out that nobody else is staying there. The other medical student and the residents are staying at the “Compound” where they have wireless internet and three meals a day, as well as all the basic necessities listed above (hopefully, minus the mice). So I think I’ll be upgrading. Maybe. The cost for the dorms is less than $100 dollars, that for the compound is over $400.

So I have to start getting my vaccinations next week (yellow fever, tetanus, typhoid, polio booster, meningococcal, pneumococcal – and the flu one, which I keep finding excuses to put it off. I know, I know, I was so sick last year and with the threat of bird flu, I should be doing my part as a health care worker, but I hate shots!). Then malaria medications, and antibiotics for the unavoidable “intestinal distress” that comes with traveling to a third world country. Permethrin to soak my cloths in. Etc.

Anybody been to Amsterdam? Any ideas of what to see? Where to stay? I did figure out my tickets so that I could afford to go down to South Africa, but it meant a two day layover in Amsterdam, rather than London. When I told Chris, his first response was that I was NOT to go out at night, or I’d be seeing things that I wouldn’t want to see. LOL! I had hoped that there would be time to take a train up to Denmark and see my extended family whom I’ve never met, but uh, Europe is a little bigger than I thought and it’d take me a day to get there. But I might pop over to Germany. We’ll see. In Europe, if you cross country borders, do you get a stamp on your passport, or do you have to fly into the country?

I have my third interview on Monday–but it’s my first internal medicine interview (the last two were neurology interviews). It’s here at my school, I know everybody well, so hopefully, it’ll be a better experience than Minnesota. I have dinner with the residents tomorrow night, the casual “get to know the program dinner”, where I get fed for free. NICE! Then on Wednesday, I fly to Wisconsin for two days of interviews. They are one of the four schools that have the combined program that I want–the five year Medicine/Neurology program–and theirs looks the best of them all–well organized curriculum, good patient mix, three hospitals, etc. I’ve been excited about their program for a long time, so I’m really praying that it goes well. Wish me luck, guys. I really could use it!

I saw Elizabethtown with Chris this week, and I gotta admit–I was horribly disappointed. I mean, I didn’t have grand expectations–I had read the reviews and realized that it wasn’t going to be more than mediocre. But I expected some attraction between the leads, and some plot and dialog! Instead it was 2 hours and 18 minutes of random music that didn’t really fit with anything. The last 1/2 was good, and if the rest had been like that, I don’t think I would have been so utterly disappointed. Orlando was cute, but I think that was it’s only redeeming quality.

My sister finally bought Firefly, so I’ve been slowly making my way through the series. Wow, what a fantastic show. It’s witty and brilliant and everything that everybody has been saying about it! 🙂 I LOVE IT! The more I watch though, the sadder I get at the thought of there only being 14 episodes! If there was ever was a show that needed to be resurrected, that would be it. !4 episodes, and we got ten years too many of 7th Heaven. It is an unfair world, my friends.

BTW, I got my fanfiction generator fixed (I keep forgetting how wonderful my web host is. I sent them my code and within 5 minutes they had fixed the problem – apparently I had some “windows only” code. If I had done that when I started having problems!). So, for the LOST fans, try it out here and for the Gilmore Girls fans, I made a special one just for you right here. I think that some of the minor characters might be a little too minor, but I’d like your opinion. Use it! Promote It! Be Inspired! Write a story that you never thought you would! Write Jess! Do It! You know you want to!

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12th November 2005

Literature Abuse

Literature Abuse: America’s Hidden Problem Self-Test For Literature Abusers

For Your Own Good, Take It Immediately!

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9th November 2005

My nerdiness knows no bounds!!

I am a Superhero at procrastination. I should make myself a big cape and sew a P on my chest. But I’ll probably find other things to occupy my time.

Consider how I spent my day.

I woke up early to take my friend to the airport (she’s flying down to Uruguay to beg the government to let her fiance get a Visa, so they can be married). Looks like a productive start to the day…

And I continue to be super productive by following it up with a 35 minute workout at the gym–something I haven’t done in months (as the flab on my belly is so eloquently reminding me)! Go Me!

I have a list of errands to do. Finish Visa Applications. Work on paper that resident has been bugging me about since July. Study for big freaking boards that I take on the 20th (of December).

However, after I finish my shower, I decide that since I went to bed earlish last night, I’d check my email and LJ. Read eponine119‘s fantastic short stories and clicked on the link to the inspiration/challenges. There, I read a comment about how she wished that she knew a script to randomly generate names… Hey! I could do that! I used to know HTML and javascript, and since I’m really, really, really wanting to finish my webpage by some point, it would be fun to figure out how to do it. It’d only take an hour or so… I tried javascript–didn’t work, too many variables. So what did I decide do? Wipe my hands of the project and say, “well, guess that’s it” and move on? Oh no. I decided that since all of the help that I could find recommended using PHP, that that’s what I would do.

So, it’s now about 12 hours later. Granted, I haven’t spent the ENTIRE time trying to figure it out (I did cook dinner. And watched Lost. And an episode of Firefly.). And it still doesn’t work. There’s something wrong with the code that I can’t figure out and blah.

Now I have everything that I didn’t do today to look forward to tomorrow! Yay!

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6th November 2005

Well… I’m back

I am going to write a long entry about my interviews, visiting Iowa and Minnesota and meeting Becka (bjorks_defender)!, but I am road weary and world weary, and just slightly queasy to my stomach. I guess that’s what I get for only eating Starbursts and Goldfish today… Ugh.

Meeting Becka was wonderful, guys! *HUGS Becks* I totally recommend doing it. I think I was a little more subdued than normal, because the interviews did not go exactly well (they didn’t go horribly either–just more of a letdown), so it kinda put me in a little bit of a funk, but she was wonderful and we had some great times. But I shall describe everything in more detail, tomorrow. And hopefully I’ll get it illustrated with pictures!

shirerain and claidheamhmor, I do have some bad news. The program got back to me on how much the tickets to South Africa was going to cost… and it’s more than double what they were willing to cover. And I don’t know if I have the money to fund that much either. I’m trying to do some internet searches, see if I can find it for any cheaper or if there other options. But. I don’t know. It’s all very frustrating, after thinking that things were set in stone.

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