Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Finals Are Upon Us

i wouldn't begin to compare myself to Alexis Bledel in the looks department, but the sentiment remains.

It's finals week here in The Land of Medical School. One final is history. I have three more to go. As of some time midafternoon on Thursday, this quarter, along with final exams, will join the annals of my history.

One could argue that the very last thing in the world I should be doing right now is blogging. /if I 've done all the studying I can do, I probably should be sleeping. Sometimes, howevr, sleep eludes all of us. i do have two highly reliable alarm clocks, one of which is not dependent upon electricity, along with a brother sleeping in the room across the hall, who never oversleeps and has to take the same final exam tomorrow morning that I have to take.

All of this studying causes me to wonder about the capacity of the human brain, or at least about the capacity of my brain. is there a limit to the amount of information that can be stored in the human brain before it either explodes, implodes, or simply leaks out previously acquired knowledge? i know medical school is doable because too many people before me have done it, but can I do it?  I don't really think it's the cognitive aspect of studying, learning, and memorizing as much as the psychological impact of wondering just how many more facts one can memorize before one strips off his or her clothing, paints himself or herself some neon glow-in-the-dark color, and runs around his or her neighborhood nude and barefoot in the cold (at least there's no snow here) , all the while screaming obscenities.

One would think Matthew might be more of a candidate than I for doing something totally crazy simply because learning and memorizing don't come quite as easily to him as they do to me. alas, such is not the case. Matthew has the better disposition [if not the cognitive ability] of the two of us both to be a medical student and to be a physician or surgeon. Matthew studies long and hard, and then is able to put his books down and say, "Enough is enough. if I pass, great. If I don't, this probably wasn't meant to be."

I, on the other hand, think another half hour of studying will always accomplish a bit more. I never know when to say when. I'll  likely outscore Matthew on every exam we'll take, but since there are no class rankings at this juncture of our med school careers, at what cost as long as he passes, as I'm reasonably confident he will? 

Who will bew the better doctor of the two of us. That's a wash.  If we choose our specialties wisely, we'll both be good at what we do. I can see Matthew walking away from the job at the end of a day or a shift concluding that he did the best he could while he was there, and going on to enjoy his time off. 

I, on the other hand, am a bit more obsessive, as is my father. I can see myself waking up in the middle of the night and thinking of some additional test that should be run, and ging in to a lab to run it myself right then rather than waiting until a sensible hour, because I wouldn't be able to sleep, anyway. My father has the luxury of having underlings to call to run the tests, which is a privilege i will not have for quite some time. I will, in fact, for a few years be one of his flunkies unless I change my mind regarding specialties. Still, my father is so anal that he sometimes leaves the house in the wee hours to run the tests himself.

Is this any way to live one's life? I'm not sure my father would be happy with any other life. i'm not entirely sure about myself. My father has a wife. I'll likely someday have children and a husband. Even if he's a really good husband, though, he still won't be a wife. With changing times and the crossing of lines in terms of gender roles, there's still a big distinction between a husband and a wife.

Fortunately for me, I still have roughly four years before I must make a final decision regarding specialization. And even then, the decision is never totally final. People change specialization and even entire careers all the time.  Nothing would stop me from doing the same were I to find myself unhappy in a particular branch of medicine.That's assuming I make it through med school without painting my nude body a glow-inthe-dark neon color and running around my neighborhood screaming because I simply cannot take any more facts into my brain.

Late Thursday afternoon cannot arrive soon enough for me.

Thank you all for the birthday greetings. I appreciate the thought. As for the non-milestone/milestone birthday, I've had better and I've had worse, so I can't complain all that much. I don't feel any diferent at 20 than I felt a just over week ago at s.19.

I hadn't really considered it as such, but it was a milestone birthday, I suppose, in the sense that I'm no longer in my teen years. My adolescence may have been less traumatic and painful than those of others, but just the same, I don't mind having passed that hurdle and moved on to my 20's.

Listening to Matthew's groupies sing "Happy Birthday" to him in every class did little to lighten my mood, but I've survived worse. Life goes on if one is lucky.


  1. This semester has been exhausting, but worth it. I have finished my first college level course. It's sort of weird because my English professor lives a few houses down the street from me and I inevitably notice him everywhere now so there hasn't been any real closure with it, but it's finished. I'm looking forward to the break. Last Thursday I fell going UP on the escalator and later fell asleep at 5:30 trying to do research for my last paper. I slept all night until 9 the next morning. It was a refreshing crash, if not inconvenient.

    I understand how you feel about not being able to stop studying. This is one aspect that I am trying to improve with myself. My perfectionism has been all consuming this semester. I am trying to manage it, but more often than not the anxiety messes me up in one way or another. Today it was over-thinking myself out of answers that I am 100% certain of.

    Best of luck with your finals. Winter break is waiting.

    1. Congrats on fnishing your first college course. that would suck to live near a professor you had. I lived near a couple of high school teachers in northern cA, but that was different. There is one pofessor in my section og the complex, but i'm not sure if I'll ever have him.

      I hope you were not injured falling up the escalator. Those things can be dangerous.

  2. Good luck on your exams, Alexis! I'm sure you don't need luck, though.

    As for men not being wives, I'm not so sure. I have a Facebook friend who always says Bill is a good wife because he takes such good care of me. And my sister is a highly driven professional who has a husband that caretakes quite a bit. You never know. You might find a husband who makes a good wife. ;-)

    I'm trying to get over a cold and work up the guts to see a dentist... all the while missing Bill because he's in Africa. You can't wait for Thursday and I can't wait for Friday.

    1. Hope you cold gets better. For how long is bill in Africa?