Monday, July 25, 2005

Worst. Summer vacation. Ever.

The truth is, I love being here, in the abstract but also in the quotidian details and the busywork. I love learning this stuff, it's very cool, and even the most odious of tasks, which loom unpleasantly on the "to do" list, become something interesting, and even fun, once I'm actually into the work. What's new today is that the anaesthatizing thrill that came from the newness of it all has begun to wear off. Now this is my job, just like I knew it would be. And I'm at work at quarter to nine in the evening.

I have a junior migraine with big ambitions, more than I myself feel just now. I have some oddball lower GI deal going on. I have a sleep debt running from the weekend. But I have a huge paper due tomorrow. All things being equal I'd rather be in bed, at home. If I listen to my inner voice, I hear the Miami-tinted voice of one of my EM resident cohorts, good-naturedly saying "enjoy it now, bee-yotch, because it gets WORSE." And then laughing. I guess you'd have to know the guy; he somehow makes that seem encouraging and sympathetic, because he's right there with you.

This is just a momentary break. The paper is actually not such a huge project; actually, whittling it down to ONLY five to seven pages might turn out to be the tough part. And the PowerPoint for Thursday will be very much in the vein of those med student lectures I sat in on, so many times. Booya.

Everything I am assigned to do for class turns out to be cool. (Ask me about my slime mold!) But there's just so damn much of it, sometimes. Plus, the super-compact five-week version of the courses that comes with summer term is a hell of a way to get started. It's like, muscle fatigue sets in after the cells run out of energy from ATP stores, and after respiration has shown that can't make enough available quickly enough, and on top of that the anaerobic route is running out of glycogen from fat stores. It actually takes quite a bit of exertion to do it, but once you're there, you can stimulate that cell all you want, it's not doing anything.

Come to think of it, I'm nowhere near that point yet. And my paper is obviously calling me. I should go.

Oh, and the reading room is in the wireless cloud for the computer lab. Which very kindly has half a bazillion songs on their iTunes. So I'm fine. I'll sleep when I'm dead. Thank you Cell Biology, may I have another.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Harry Potter and the crappy AMCAS application

So, there's the "Ultimate Workout," there's my not-excellent first official letter grade here in postbac, and then there's Harry Potter. I'll try to keep it intelligible, but I need to be speedy too.

Many many thanks to my dad and family for the gift card from Wal-Mart; this is a way for me to obtain goods without so much giving the big nasty mega-retailer my own money directly. And thanks to the mega-gigundo-chain for having a big stack of HP6's when I walked in, looking for a nice pair of $25 running shoes.

See, there's a lake in town, about 2 or 3 miles or something from the house on campus where we live this summer, I really don't know, and some of my housemates have been doing this thing where they run to the lake, jump in and splash around for a while, and then run back. This has been dubbed the Ultimate Workout 2005 (I suspect there may be exclamation points involved), and eventually I have to go along, because there's a fat guy inside me just dying to get out and, y'know, basically eat a lot of stuff. Hence my need for shoes, hence my being in the store I have decided I will now call Volde-Mart.

Hence my buying "the book" today, even though not 48 hours ago, I had been lamenting the idea that I would have a tough time staying spoiler-free, what with the very real and immediate need for me to study. To study a lot, actually. And more than that, to study in some way (yet to be figured out) that is more effective than what I had been doing that first five weeks, which seem so long ago but actually ended last Friday.

Mostly because if you get one grade on one course like the one I just got, it's no big deal, really, especially if it's for the first course and besides, you haven't touched chemistry or algebra for, no shit, about 15 to 20 years (shudder). But if you get a whole raft of grades like the one I got in this one course, you don't so much get invited to interview with the Mayo Med School, now matter how nice a guy you are or how flat your abs are supposedly going to be.

Anyway, staying spoiler-free will still be rough, because now my studying is going to work something a little more like this: get as far through Chapter 7's Chem problems as I possibly can, having read Chapter 7 but not yet having been to the class where we will be talking about it. Then, read some Potter. Re-read the Bio stuff we covered last week, since it's going to be on Tuesday's test. Then, read some Potter. Go through all the little figures in the Bio book and re-draw them myself, as a way to get more familiar with what stuff is and why I care. Then, read some Potter. Oh yeah, plus eat and sleep. Sometimes.