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17th January 2006

i never learn

I honestly need to stop saying that “such and such was the worst day of my life” because invaribly, something will come up that will completely and thoroughly dethrone the title. Today would be one horribly example.

I discovered today–when it struck me that today was the deadline for my rank link and it might be a good idea to confirm that the SF Match had received the packet mailed last week (overnight of course)–that the address provided to send the Rank List to, was no longer accurate. And my rank list is sitting in some unknown place in San Francisco waiting for “somebody” to pick it up.

In other words, on Match Day (Jan 26th) when everybody else finds out they’re going to the place of their dreams, I would be SOL and without a place to be next year.

I’ve faxed my rank list (thank goodness I thought to bring it with me!) to SFMatch, call my sister to verify where I sent it, called my dad and had him call SFMatch (he only got voice mail with the promise that they’d return the call at “their earliest convience”. Still haven’t heard a word from them), faxed a copy of my match list to my dad and had him fax it (in case it didn’t go through because I’m international), emailed them myself high priority, emailed my student affairs office who also emailed and called them, emailed my programs who very promptly wrote back with numbers (alas the same ones that I had) and I can’t think what else. I’ve been on the computer for hours (since about 3 in the afternoon here), trying to fix things, and waiting to hear from somebody who knows anything. There’s nothing else that I can do now. The deadline is in one hour. Either they got it, or I’m still SOL.

This has just been such a nightmarish process, the entire application thing. I thought that everything went wrong when I was applying for med school, but that was just a transcript that wasn’t declared official the first time, and a letter that arrived a little late. It’s been nothing like the constant mess that this has been. If I didn’t know that I really really wanted to do this and that it was the right decision for me, I would so give up. Because, right now, it does not feel like it’s worth the stress and heartache and continual worry.

I’m really irate at the Matching Program right now for not having any kind of accessible contact information in case something goes wrong, and for providing the wrong address in the first place. I did not invent that address–I distinctly remember printing off the address sheet and writing the address out in the post office, exactly as they had it. But of course, once (if) I hear from them, it will be labeled as my fault for not submitting the list earlier.

I just didn’t need this.

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17th January 2006

The Keyna Experience: The Early Days

(copied from email. It’s easier that way)

Hi everybody!

Well, I made it safe and sound to Africa, with only a mild (ha!) case of air sickness to spoil the trip. Of course, I forgot quite a few essentials—medical tools (I really could use my reflex hammer. And my pin light), medical books, gloves, a watch and the Wireless Access Card for the 15 pounds laptop that I lugged all over 4 international airports. So now, I have a computer and no way to hook it up to the internet — the precise reason that I brought it. Luckily, there are some (albeit incredibly slow) desktops provided here, I just have to compete for them. It’s not going to make match day fun (but that whole experience is just not fun period), but I guess I’ll figure it out. And when Rachel’s husband comes in ten or so days, he’s willing to bring the card. So, Karin, if you could look in the green computer bag and see if there happens to be a small card, I’d greatly appreciate it. If not, dad, the computer’s a Compaq Presario 2100. I have no idea how old it is. If there’s more information that you need to see if you have a card that works, let me know.

So I’m typing this out on the internet-less computer, with the hopes to transfer it to the desktop (I did remember to bring my memory stick! Yay for me!), and as it takes a while, I’m making this a group email to everybody. I promise individual emails soon — especially if I get emails back (hint, hint).

It’s hard to believe that I’m halfway across the country. Actually, it’s not. There are some very obvious differences — the first being that it’s probably 70 degrees and sunny and there’s blossoms on all of the trees!

We arrived in Nairobi on Saturday night and all except for our attending’s, luggage managed to make it with us (not to worry, his came the next morning). We spent the night in a very posh hotel — except for the fact that the beds were very hard and the power flickered (while I was 7 stories up in the air, trapped in the elevator, I might add) and the place had 13 feet gates around it with guards, and the ZEBRAS in the field across from the hotel, one might have thought Dorothy was still in Kansas.

More African experiences

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