31 August 2006

Since when...?

Umm... when did Al Gore become cool? He was on the MTV Video Music Awards this year and he was better dressed, more articulate, and more passionate than during all of his campaign appearences put together. Not to mention his little documentary becoming a cult favourite among said MTV set. Even Bill Maher noticed - he said Al Gore had "found his voice" with this issue. Where was all this momentum when it mattered - during the election?

And speaking of Bill Maher... he's a republican?!

On the MTV subject, I wouldn't mind knowing which boyfriend turned Beyonce from an "independent woman" to a woman who will "cater to U". She went from buying her own cars to fetching his slippers. I realise than feminism is all about choice, but come on.

Lastly, when did it become fall? Don't get me wrong, I love the cooler crisp air, the warm cuddly sweaters and the clothes that hide a few more flaws than tank tops and mini skirts, but what happened to the summer? I distictly recall waking up each day thinking the season was dragging on but suddenly I realise that it went by deceptively quickly. All the undergrads have arrived on campus again bringing bustle and life back. Shops are extending their hours and CVS has devoted two isles to binders, mechanical pencils, and loose leaf. And I'm excited. One last fling of a weekend (back to NYC again - US Open tickets!) and it's buckle-down time: work is running smoothly and my brain is gearing up for the excitement (and I'm not being sarcastic) of microbiology and organic chemistry. I love the fall!

27 August 2006

2 year-itis

Freshly exhausted from a mini-vacation to New York City, I draped myself on the sofa, switched on James Bond in the background, and settled in to read my neglected email. Somewhere between my gmail and my yahoo account it struck me: two years seems to be the statute of limitation on your first post-collegiate job. Almost every mail shooting through cyberspace seems to bear news of a company change, an acceptance back to school, or a much yearned for interview. What is it that we (and I mean the collective, early twenties "we") are looking for? Are our expectations of the "real" world that far off the mark? Are our attention spans that short? Are we so undervalued or undertrained? Why are we able to commit to relationships, cities, and dreams, but not to our jobs?

I must admit to being a particularly early mover. I left my job in finance after a paltry 15 months and chose instead to backpack and scuba dive my time away before returning to school. In retrospect, my expectations were horribly unrealistic. And yet, what I wanted was nothing particularly grand: to be respected for the work I did, and to feel engaged and active in the process. It is the second half that led me to quit so quickly. After four years of maxing out my brain, it was suddenly switched off and that was more depressing to me than a six day work week and a two and a half hour commute.

As a result, I've now committed to the field in which you are a permanent student: medicine. It also happens to be the longest road to travel. Law school is three years, an MBA is two. A PhD is five, but I will be 30 when I get my MD and will still have my residency before I can prescribe meds without a guarantor (so to speak). I sincerely hope that it's not commitment phobia that makes us all change our minds so soon after school because the last seven months have shown me that medicine is exactly what I want to do. I am thinner, happier, and dare I say it, even a little more grown up.

Interestingly, most of the other post-bacs here are concerned over their ability to become physicians. While I have my moments of doubt (especially about the MCATs), I far more concerned over my ability to follow through than to pass organic chemistry. My worst fear is not rejection from medical school, it's inability to commit to a path. To accept reality for what it is, rather than what I want it to be.

15 August 2006

Before I die

I keep a book of things I want to do before I expire. It's not a morbid book. It's meant to remind me of the fun things I dream about and encourage me to take new adventures. I glue in pictures of the things I want to do and then glue in photos of things I've done. There's also a world map in the back with dots on every place I've traveled to.

Now, I'll come back to my book in a moment, but did you know how many esoteric lists of things to do before death are out there on the web? A few of the more unusual ones...

300 Beers to try before you die
50 Things to eat before you die
20 Hamburgers you must eat before you die
50 Places to flyfish before you die
5 Sentences Before you Die
101 Sex Tricks to try Before you die

So what's on my list? Here's a little sample of what I haven't done, but want to:

Be published nationally, own a dog, own Wellies, own a horse, work abroad, get a graduate degree, ride in a glider, be a teacher, own real artwork, ride in a helicopter, visit India, have my own library, get a motorcycle license, see penguins.

And what have I already managed?

Ride in a hot air balloon, see a solar eclipse, see an amazing band in concert, own superhero underwear, go scuba diving, go skydiving, visit Australia, visit Thailand, visit Russia, fly in the Concorde.

14 August 2006

And now for something completely different...

Finals are done and fall term doesn't begin until August the seventh. Accordingly, I find myself with all kinds of free-time on nights and weekends (recall, I now work full time in neurology) and anyone who knows me knows I get a teensy bit stir-crazy with free-time. In an effort to stave off relaxation-induced madness I've been exploring and I thought I'd show you some oddities from about town.

First, there was this sign outside a church. Apparently they are running out of ways to attract new parishioners and have resorted to a) declaring themselves cool, which any actually cool person/thing/activity would never have to do and b) advertising the presence of air-conditioning.

Then, there was the man with the pigeons all over him. Why would anyone want pigeons all over them and why is he wearing a suit when it's a million degrees out?

Inspired by the heat and for lack of an appropriate beach, there was this gem: a sandcastle being built on the sidewalk near the University.

And lastly, you know you're in a college town when the supermarket stocks up on back-to-school pong balls.

01 August 2006


Identifying information of persons mentioned in the blog have been altered to protect their privacy. This includes, but is not limited to, age, gender, race, date of visit, date of death, etc.

This blog is for entertainment only; please do not use it to diagnose or treat anything. I'm not an MD (yet) and may be wrong.

If you have questions or comments, feel free to comment on the blog posts or email me at webster.sm12@gmail.com.