Sunday, March 25, 2007

Blog Niblets

1. Because it Does, That's Why

As an add-on to the rant about grammar and troublesome job titles, I should have mentioned that at the end of my academic tour of duty out East last year, I arranged a visit to a PA program in one of those New Englandy states. It was a nice, if twisty and time-consuming, drive from the Farmhouse, and the town was small but cool. A minor-league baseball team plays there, which pushed my Bull Durham goodwill button and made me want to like the program.

I wound up taking it off my list of "maybe" schools, for a few different reasons. The whole school occupied one building, a squat office-type space that might have just as easily housed an insurance firm. The PA program had been added four to seven years prior, yet the signs in the parking lot still read "_____ School of Pharmacy and Nursing," which I took to be one of those small things that can signal a school's lack of attention to other, more important things. And most importantly, because in the talk about the cirriculum, the faculty member in charge had gone back and forth between the terms "Physician Assistant" and "Physician's Assistant" several times.

I just thought that was thoroughly weird.

2. Who's The Ringer?

This weekend, we attended a housewarming party. The couple hosting have a PS2, and got Guitar Hero a few weeks back. I had told Teslagrl that I would probably not play much, since I had my obsessed period and beat the game, etc., and basically I'd gone through that progression a month or so ahead of where the host was in his own GH journey. If you've had this game wreck your bedtime, you know what I mean. If not, just imagine I've read the new Harry Potter book before he's had a chance. I didn't want to be all showin' up the host or giving stuff away. I was going to let him enjoy his game, his way.

That is, until we arrived and his 16-year-old nephew was shredding it up on the Hard level. I sort of got appointed the grownups' representative.

We started out being social, and I stuck with my intentions. I took over only to assist with some kiddoes who wanted to play, despite being younger than the recommended age on the box. I think the peanut in question is about four or five, and she recruited me to push the fret buttons while she strummed the notes. I set up the two-player mode, so she and her sister could play (with me as "special rock advisor" to the younger one). The older one revealed herself to be genuinely good, which is a little eerie. I thought people under 10 were supposed to lack the hand-eye skills for that. You can't actually fail a song in that two-player mode, which made it a good choice for them.

Parents and friends watching tiny girls rocking out to the Ramones is a very amusing scene, let me tell you. There are, I trust, some good photos.

But that set up the two-player face-off paradigm. Much later, after a lot of controller-passing, did the nephew and I had our inevitable rock battle.

I crushed him.

I've liked games well enough for a long time, but never been good enough at one to beat a real live teenager. It was a big moment.

3. Nice of Me to Notice

I'm writing up my notice letter for work. I like to say it's my retirement from the nursing assistant/ medical assistant world. There might be a party, or at least a happy hour. Potentially AARP-themed.

Does anybody need any scrubs? I have a couple sets I'll keep for anatomy lab, but I have several and can't imagine I'll have a lot of use for maroon ones. Maybe I'll sell them to my co-workers, or outfit some of my new classmates.

4. Bio-Synthesis

Last week I did the biochemistry chapter on the TCA cycle, aka the Krebs Cycle. This is the core of it, everyone's least favorite part of their least favorite class. It's reassuring, and kind of fun, do ask working doctors what they remember about it, which is what I was doing a week ago. Now that I've finished it, I'm finally starting to feel like I'm going to be okay at this. Chemistry plays fair, after all; stuff that's true stays true, and once you get something, you can use it to make sense of other things. And I'm lucky in that this class is geared toward people who will practice medicine, and stuff that's chemically interesting but clinically irrelevant is skipped over.

Most crucially, biochemistry answers the implicit question that has historically stood in the way of my love of this kind of class: why should I care about this crap?

Because, my dears, if these processes don't work, you effin' die. It really puts oxidative phosphorylation in a different sort of a light.


Kristen said...

I missed you taking on my nephew at Guitar Hero but glad to hear that you humbled him. ;)

If you can't get rid of all those scrubs I will take a set to use as PJs. Almost took home the set I wore when I spent a day in a Cath Lab.

Finally, I have to sadly admit that I have misused the term PA and included the 's. I stand corrected and will not make that mistake again. Thanks for the clarity in the matter.

I'm going to miss you and Teslagrl!

Febrifuge said...

Oh, it's nothing to apologize for. It's needlessly confusing. The guy at the PA program was another story, though. I can't expect anybody to know the difference... except people who are part of it.