Saturday, November 21, 2009

oooh, burn

In yesterday's inbox:

We have begun our review of applications for possible interview invitations at [prestigious medical training program]. We have over 700 applicants and can only offer approximately 250 interviews. We have reviewed your application but are unsure at this point if we will be able to offer you an interview. We would like to finish our review of applications and see if we have enough space left to schedule applicants on our "hold" list. We hope to be able to extend you a firm offer to interview in the near future.

Ouch, I'm on the hold list! I wonder, is that like the blacklist? Or the sh--list? Evidently not at all like the wishlist. Hmph.

Friday, November 20, 2009

oh hey

I'm totally going to start greeting people like this.

Monday, November 16, 2009

waxing poetic

Ohio, how do I love you? Let me count the ways:

I love you for your changing of the seasons.

I love you for your prices within reason.

I love you for your waving fields of corn,

...and 'cause you are the place where I was born.

I love you for your Krogers and your Meijers,

...and for your pleasant lack of wildfires.

rain has to be good for something besides agriculture, right?

I love you 'cause your traffic's not a mess.

I love your honest unpretentiousness.

likely to be understood only by Ohio State Fair attenders... here's an explanatory link for the rest of you

(I even love your icy winter streets...
And that, you must admit, is quite a feat.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

veterans day

Also, just feeling the need to mention the day. According to the VA, the United States has had 48 million veterans, 23 million of whom are living.


One problem often faced in medical education is that, when seeing a particularly rare, serious, or classic presentation of a disease, the first impulse for students and residents is usually to say, “Oh, cool!” …after which, the immediate second impulse is to feel like an insensitive jerk.

I’m guilty of this myself. Of course I don’t think it’s cool that the patient who was admitted with anemia is discharged with a diagnosis of soon-to-be renal failure. But following the course, and observing the lines of reasoning, and then watching the pathologist point out the problem on the biopsy? That’s pretty exciting, from a learner’s perspective. (The resident, looking at the slide, exclaimed, “Wow, that’s so cool! --Well, I mean, it’s not cool for the patient…”)

On my Ob-Gyn rotation last year, a fellow student and I were discussing this problem. We were both killing time in the pre-op area, and I was animatedly describing the surgery I had just seen, in which the middle-aged woman who went in for a hysterectomy (she had endometriosis or something, I think) was discovered, on the operating table, to have what looked like cancer.

And all of a sudden we looked at each other and realized how much that sucked, and how weird and kind of disturbing it was that we were smiling and chattering about it like football fans reliving a particularly thrilling touchdown. So right then and there we coined a new word for such situations: learnful.

Not that I actually say “learnful” in most situations… because really, almost no one would know what I meant, they’d give me weird looks, and I’d be no better off. But still, it’s a good way to think about it. The best way to learn about disease is by seeing it, and yes, learning is cool. But we’re still talking about real people here, and real lives being ruined. And that is definitely not cool.

Friday, November 6, 2009

jargon, the sequel

Check it out! Answers!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


So I've noticed that in Southern California, the lingo requires that you put a "the" in front of all highway names. So whereas in Ohio, we say "take I-75 until you get to the exit for 475"... here people talk about "the 5" or "the 101."

Why is that? And is it strictly a SoCal thing-- as this Wikipedia article might lead one to believe-- or do people do it elsewhere too?

It's kind of a hard question to Google.

And now, a slightly-related video! (Song introduced to me by my youngest sis-in-law when she burned me a pair of birthday CDs. Thanks, Clare!)


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

knit one

I've been knitting fairly steadily for over 7 years now... a variety of hats, scarves, socks, gloves, mittens, baby clothes for the nieces & nephews. But I never got brave enough to tackle an adult-size sweater.

UNTIL NOW! (Dun dun dunnnnn...)

I'm working on knitting this cardigan. I started it back at the end of September... at first I worked on it a lot, so it was going very quickly, but since I started this rotation in SD I've been going much more slowly.

Here's the sweater as it was just before I left Ohio (so, maybe 3 weeks ago).

Sadly, I'm not much further than that. The second sleeve is a few inches longer now, but I've still got a couple inches to go.

Here's a close-up of the "pintucked" panel on the front. The other picture is much more accurate in terms of the color of the yarn, though.
It's this yarn, in the colorway "Cordovan," which is #863 (far right in the second picture from the bottom, if you click the link). It's this very dark brown with reddish undertones. Pretty. (It's much prettier than the picture in that link, actually. Which goes to show that it's almost impossible to accurately photograph yarn for some reason, because I never would have chosen this color from that picture alone.)

What I'm most nervous about is that I'll finish it, weave in all the ends, block, and it'll still turn out looking amateurish and awful and not something I'll ever want to wear.

That's the problem with knitting... it's such a time-commitment for something you can't see the results of until you put in the time! So you just have to keep going and trust in a wish and a prayer that it'll be worth it. (Of course, I do enjoy the knitting itself. But it does kind of suck to put in a lot of effort and have nothing to show for it.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Seals (not the Navy variety)

My resident this month really, really wants me to have fun during my rotation here in San Diego. She keeps making suggestions and giving me ideas of fun things to do and saying things like "If it's 4:30 and nothing interesting is going on, I want you to go home." Since she doesn't know me very well, though, she gives me suggestions all over the spectrum, from the coolest places to go out and experience the night life, to winery tours, to beaches and parks, to restaurants, etc.

Last weekend (the one a week ago, not the most recent one) Jack and I took her up on an idea and drove up to La Jolla to see the seals.

First we went to the nearby La Jolla Cove beach.

We climbed down (there were stairs, no worries) and got sand between our toes.

We may or may not have thrown caution to the wind and let our jeans get soaked with saltwater. (Okay, we did.)

We messaged pictures like these to our friends and family back in Ohio:

Then we walked over toward the Children's Pool area. We spotted some pelicans along the way:

Then we came up to where we could see the seals lounging and frolicking on the beach.
I don't think I've ever seen seals in real life... not in a zoo or anything. And certainly not in the wild as these were (though they didn't seem to mind our close presence).

They're so funny-looking, really! All long slippery torso, with tail and flippers added on almost as an afterthought.

But pretty, too. They were so awkward on the sand, hoisting themselves up and squirming along, but so graceful in the water. And so cute in their weird, unfamiliar way.