Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Why is is that people always want to bring you down?  There is a guy at work who I run into periodically in the course of the day whose wife will be graduating from the local public university in May.  She is scheduling interviews for medical school as we speak.

Up until yesterday, I have been sharing pieces of my plans with him, and inquiring about how his wife is doing.  Yesterday, he asks me if I'm sure that the classes I'm taking at my (smaller, private university) will transfer to her school.  Honestly, I had considered transferring after the first semester, but immediately realized how much I liked where I was once I got started.

Anyway, I said that I was sure they'd transfer either way as both schools have the same accreditation.  He gave me a strange look as he said, "You'd better check into that.  My wife checked it out, and she doesn't think they will transfer."

Ok.  First, who the hell cares?  I don't plan on transferring now anyway.  Second, he said it in the way that a little kid might gloat about how much better his backpack is than yours.  Can insecurity reduce you to passing judgement on someone you don't even know?  I've never been anything but supportive and hopeful in my comments about his wife.

I didn't accuse him of this... who knows, I might have misread the situation completely.  However, I have noticed that I get ALOT of half-compliments and skeptical encouragement from people when I tell them what I am doing back in school.  Granted, I have a working-class job and a working-class income, but does that automatically imply that I must have a third-class intellect?

This kind of crap, while irritating, just makes me more passionate about my goals.  You don't have to support me, but PLEASE, don't waste your breath projecting your own hang-ups onto me;  I've got enough problems of my own without having to deal with yours.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Small World

    At work yesterday, I happened to get a student taking refresher trips.  Just to clarify, my "student" is in his early 50s.

    While waiting for another job to finish ahead of us, I whipped out my Chemistry book and began to study.  He made a comment about his wife taking it years ago for her Nursing degree, which naturally got us talking about the medical field and my aspirations to become a Pediatrician.

"Really?" he replied, "My [relative] recently finished her residency in Peds at Johns Hopkins.  Would you be interested in talking to her?"


Obviously, I expressed interest, to which he responds, "Give me your phone, we'll give her a call."  At this point, elation turns to anxiety and nerves.  I know he means well, but I am wary of making this intrusion upon her unannounced and without her consent.  Visions of a very polite, but inwardly ticked doctor begin racing through my mind.  Not the first impression I'd like to give.

Mercifully, she does not pick up, and I am able to explain that I am not sure this is the best idea.  "Don't worry, I've been taking care of her mother for many years... she'll be more than happy to talk to you."  Upon the second unsuccessful attempt, I explain that she probably does not recognize the number, and will not answer.

"I wish I knew her husband's number," he begins, "he's a doctor at Johns Hopkins too... a professor, I think."  At this point, I am dying.  What are the chances that I have run into this man today.  Both of us damp from working in the cold and rain, discussing how to get me into contact with two doctors associated with one of the most prestigious medical schools in the United States?

Long story short... we are unable to get hold of her before the end of our shift, but he promises to call her this morning and get me in touch.  Sure enough, I received a voicemail from him with her cell number.  He says that he talked with her, and she would be more than happy to talk to me anytime.

Cloud 9.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Ladder

If I've learned anything from my success in losing weight, setting goals is the most important ingredient.  So, I'm creating a plan that will outline my path to becoming a physician and dubbing it "The Ladder."

Today, for example, I sat down and listed all of the courses remaining to earn my BS degree.  I created a table that included each quarter for the next three years, and assigned each course to get an idea of how rigorous my schedule would be to graduate by 2011 or 2012.

I'll have to talk with my advisor to refine it, but it's a good start.  Not only does it give me direction, but it also makes obvious where I will have more time to devote to volunteering, shadowing, MCAT prep, etc.

Next to setting goals, the next most important key to success is accountability.  This blog is part of that accountability.  I've found that the more people I tell about my goals, the more I feel a responsibility not to let myself (and everyone else invested in my success) down.

I encourage you to develop your own "ladder" to success... you will be surprised how much it contributes to your focus, commitment, and (hopefully) ultimate success!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The latest in a rash of irrational, stress related illnesses I seem to be contracting... ismyschoolgoodenoughitis?

This disease presents itself at least once a month, and worsens with news of particularly good grades.  It is the constant worry that my college is somehow sub-par, and that my transcripts will be good only for the amusement of the adcoms to whom I (eventually) submit an application.

The university I am attending is an accredited, private institution in my state.  However, it is known to most  people mostly due to its focus on online education and curriculum geared toward adult learning, corporate-focused degrees, and graduate degrees in business.

Don't get me wrong, it doesn't have a bad reputation... and that is kind of the problem.  It doesn't seem to have a reputation at all as an avenue to medical school.  I am enrolled in their Biology program, and I have to say that I LOVE IT!  Having been to the state university years ago, I can appreciate the smaller class sizes and the more approachable feel of the faculty.

I guess my worry stems from the fact that I expected school to be much more impersonal, difficult, and competitive.  This university is none of those things.  Well, it is difficult, but I am working my a** off to make good grades.

I also worry that even though I'm making outstanding grades now, those I earned 10 years ago were not always as stellar.  Honestly, after the second year, they were pretty much crap.  I am torn between retaking every class I've ever completed, or simply do the sciences/math and hope an adcom will see the substantial improvement.

See, I am such a headcase that I have already slipped into another malady for which I'm too tired to invent a clever name at the moment.  Well, I got rained on all day at work, so I need to strip down and get some sleep.  Tomorrow will be a better day... or at least a different one.

I have a follower!

It's been a while since I've updated this blog.  I've been spending more time reading other blogs than tending to my own.  I guess everyone else's life seems so much more interesting :)

Imagine my surprise to find that someone is actually following my blog!!!  You know that feeling you get when you walk to your refrigerator naked at midnight to get a drink of milk (from the container... you know you do it, too) and realize that your neighbor has decided to pick that exact moment to look across into your kitchen window?

It's not so much a feeling of violation, but one of embarrassment at not being sufficiently prepared for someone to see you naked at that particular moment.  Writing, in many ways, is like a window to the soul, and I feel embarassed for having left mine look so flabby and weak.

So, dear follower, this is my promise be a bit more presentable next time :)