Saturday, January 08, 2005

Welcome to the Backwater

I recently commented at SpaceWaitress' place about blogs, and how they provide a skewed prism of a person (a persona, really). There's a discussion there about people "in real life" who get ahold of one's writing, or stumble across it subsequent to the ending of the actual acquaintance, and use it to build a mental bridge that allows them to think they know the writer. Not unlike fans who have "connections" with famous people.

Sometimes readers actually do know the writer, so friends and family who read a blog can participate in one more way in that person's life. This is undeniably cool. We've learned that Spacey's mom is even cooler in her head (and via her keyboard) than she's always seemed at those brief times when we've talked in person. We've seen evidence of why people are such good friends to one another, and it's always heartwarming (or, since it's kind of an intellectual thing, maybe it's "brainwarming") to see an affirmation of people who get one another so well. I had been impressed by Spacey's group of friends, and their loose-knit ability to stay connected and in synch, but now I have another view of that quality, and I have a sort of observer's affection and respect for it.

My contribution to the thread over there was the awareness that as I plod through the process of various applications -- to postbac (done!), med schools (the plan is for the 2007 app cycle) and eventually, residency programs (2011, god willing and the crick don't rise), I'm going to be asked to write and talk about a lot of stuff... which in many ways, I am thinking and writing about now.

Part of being a good tech is anticipating the need, and having the whoosit ready by the time it's asked for. The ambulance is due to arrive in five minutes; we're all gowned up standing around the cart and saying hello as though it's the first time (which it sometimes is). We're looking at each other's name tags. The ultrasound is right behind you, doc, and it's booting up now. The nurse's documentation sheet has the Hollister sticker and my signature on it, and it's in the bin ready for other paperwork to join it. Empty blood tubes are arranged like a multicolored pan-pipe by the phone, and my gloved finger will jab any speed dial you need. We're all set.

So, okay. Is this mental processing here at the humble little pseudo-blog going to be useful later on? Or will it just be one more thing I can be evaluated on later? And, if it makes me look like a clueless tool with delusions of competence, wouldn't that evaluation actually be more like what in the liberal arts we like to call "judging?" Ay, there's the rub.

But you know what? This is public, but it's primarily for me right now. Convenient, that, since almost no one else comes here. Still, that may change with time. The work so far is not on my own C: drive because I do want some elements of a conversation. I don't want to talk only to myself. And in the long run, even though it might bring some of the complications that Spacey notes now, giving over the ability for people to jump in to this place from various points in the future or past, I think it's worth it. There could be value in helping other non-traditional students get on the road. It might be amusing or interesting. There could be some worthy insight. And best of all, there's the chance that it might help establish a pattern that corroborates something positive a decisionmaker thinks they see in me at some point.

And really, everybody else has a blog. Maybe in the 2007 application cycle, it will be weird not to have one. And you gotta believe that a person's true colors show over time. Whether this is a footnote or the Lake Itasca of one segment of my eventual doctorhood, welcome to it. It might provide clues about letters to the editor I'll write in 2024, or things I'll argue about at national conferences, or how I'd give feedback as chief resident.

At the very least, yeah, it proves I am actually like this, and not just at interviews.

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