Sunday, September 23, 2007

Today's excuse for not blogging more: pancakes!

Yeah, I'm fine. Sure, school is busy, but I've survived our first couple of "weeks in which you will have several tests, in various classes." I'm falling into something like a groove.

And within a short drive, there are a few places that have really good pancakes. This, above and beyond the most excellent little greasy-spoon diner a couple of blocks away. So really, it's a matter of being busy with school, then busy staying away from school.

I'll try to add to the body of work this week, though. We started our EKG class, I'm already doing well on my research project, and I have a few early responses to "save the date" emails I sent to post-bacc classmates -- which begins to give a window into their med-school experiences so far.

Finally, I'm coming to Minneapolis next weekend, for a whirlwind 36-hour visit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Do you know Juno?

It's time once again for me to fluff the cushions on which I sit, here in the front section of the Juno bandwagon. (It's not that I'm special, it's that I got on early.)

With the regularity of tornado-siren tests, I've been nattering from time to time about my friend's movie -- about how awesome it is, about how nice it is that someone talented and deserving gets some of that sweet Hollywood money, and about how holy crap it's really being made. And while it was fun, in a vaguely "I told you so" hipsterish way, to talk about this little screenplay written by a member of my Minneapolis drinkin' buddy assemblage, I'm afraid that has to end.

Because this action has gone mainstream, people. Feast your eyeballs on some links as fresh as anything Jimmy Dean has to offer:

The official Fox Searchlight JUNO page

Roger Ebert (yes, THAT Roger Ebert) from Telluride, saying wonderful things (which incidentally jibe very well with my thoughts, and how nice it is to say that).

Juno's Rotten Tomatoes page (100% with 5 reviews, 91 days before the opening).

...and that's that. There's nothing more for me to say, particularly because Fox has a whole publicity machine that reaches, I kid you not, easily twice as many people as read this blog. She belongs to the ages now.

So I'll pretty much just talk about myself all the time, now. You poor suckers.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Thanks to Trash, plus Latest Goofy Blog Meme

Trash was kind enough to point out that grad school grades don't matter. And she's even more right than she knows, since for all intents and purposes, med school is a lot like culinary school. When I'm done, I study for (and take, and pass) a certification exam, and then I'm on a level field with everyone else. Nobody cares what my grades were -- nobody even cares about my GPA, which puts me in even better shape than Trash herself -- they just care how well I can cook.

And apropos of nothing except me being too tired even to waste time properly, here's the latest fun thing I found on the list of blogs I check: courtesy of Shamus from 20-sided (who got it from someone who likely got it from someone, and so on...)

Enter "[your name] needs" into Google, and see what it is you supposedly need. So simple, it's elegant. I see it out there (now that I look) as a list of 10 short bullets, but I'm going to stay in character and make it five things that natter on for longer.

For those of you who were wondering, here's what it is I* seem to be very much in need of:

1. I need aid in regaining my title, lands, and children, stolen from me by my treacherous brother.

2. I need to be seen less on MySpace and more in person, preferably in a bar.

3. I need to jump across the electrical field, and climb up the ladder.

4. As much as we don't want anyone in Iraq or Afghanistan, I need to do my duty.

5. I need to grow up.

* As always, I'm hiding my secret identity, if only because my real name will be linked to my school, my hospital, my practice, etc.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

the Patron Saint of my Grade Sheet

I am no champion of mediocrity. As a passionate fan of both the Faust mythos and the Kit Marlowe conspiracy theory, I think there's absolute value in the striving, the tireless windmill-tilting, the reach exceeding the grasp. I try, in as many little ways as possible, to make a habit of excellence.

And yet, if I take pride in anything as I go about this nutty adventure among the academic elite, it's this: That unlike some of my habitually-achieving peers, I have had experience falling short of the loftier kind of grade-related goals. If you have for some weird reason followed this story since I went out east and nervously took up the reins of a university education for the second time, you know I have followed Mark Twain's philosophy, and effectively separated my academic achievement from my learning. More than that, I've detached it from my self-esteem.

It turns out that's really helpful.

The program I'm in requires a minimum score. I need to hit this certain number for each class, in order to pass it. On a more micro level, each component test within each class also has to meet this threshold; getting a 96 on one thing doesn't make it okay to get a 64 on another one, for instance. And I've hit exactly that number twice now; once on the final grade for a course that's finished, and once on a test for a class I'm in now.

I am conflicted about this.

I'm not berating myself, and I refuse to. Shame is a particularly bad motivator for me. For the most part, I'm fine with what I've got here; it means I studied just the perfect amount. And since I dislike studying, that's good. But I really like understanding, is the thing.

And I know that if I really caught on to some of this stuff, I'd be able to show how well and how completely I get it. That's my problem; I take a while to taste every little nugget of info with my whole brain. The end result is good -- the stuff I know, I really know. But until then, this guy will have to be my spirit guide in the world of schoolwork:

And I'll just have to repeat the magic words: "'s good enough for me."

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Less rock, more erythematous, poorly-demarcated lesions

Right now, I'm studying and I'm listening to music. I'm nominating Ryan Adams as my personal soundtrack of the moment...

Everybody's cool, playing rock n' roll
Everybody's cool, playing rock n' roll

I don't feel cool, feel cool at all
I don't feel cool, feel cool at all

It was really fun when I was working the ER Tech job, thinking about how cool the future would be. All I needed to do was to learn... kind of everything... and then I'd be even more at home there, doing even more helpful and cool stuff.

And that's still true. It's only that, wow, doing the schoolwork is so very unlike the experience of doing the work work. I have no doubt it's worth it, or that I can make it through. It's just not fun in the same way. Basically, I'm bad at delayed gratification.