Day 102: A true holiday off

Today’s inane image of the day [scenes from this past study weekend]:

A new Great Lakes Coffee location opened within the Maple Theater so I decided to change up the scenery this past weekend and studied there. Oh, and they were giving away free coffee between 6AM-10AM so that was a plus…
I like pictures of pictures in my textbook.
How awesome is this wall of old cameras?! This definitely sets this particular coffee shop apart from Starbucks – there’s a movie theater attached!

[Rest assured, I have not abandoned Starbucks… I’m just trying out new study partners.]

We just wrapped up our Reproductive unit Tuesday with an NBME exam and anatomy practical [look out for my review on the course in the near future], which means that this Thanksgiving holiday will be the first time I have absolutely nothing pressing to study! Somehow I’ve always had an exam looming right after Thanksgiving or a huge assignment due the week we return, but this year is a first in the do-nothing-over-Thanksgiving-break department for me and it feels really nice. I felt like I floated out of bed this morning because 1.) I didn’t have school; 2.) I didn’t really have to do anything; and 3.) it was sunny outside. Days like these are limited [or almost over – depends on how you look at it], so I plan on enjoying the art of doing nothing for as long as possible.

Last year, around this time I wrote about Giving thanks and I stand by those words today. If I wrote more on what I’m thankful for this year, it would be very similar to last year, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Have you started your holiday shopping? Consider picking up one of my Accomplishments and Quotes Square Desk Calendar as a stocking-stuffer at 20% off with the coupon code, BLOG20. This offer expires on November 30th and applies to any product in my store.

Day 95: Thick skin

Today’s inane images of the day:

My pink backpack has gotten me through many engineering exams, projects, the medical school application process and ~1/4 of medical school – but now it’s time for it to retire.
The new backpack – took me forever to finally give in and buy one that was substantially more expensive than my previous ones, but I expect this new baby to last me well past residency.

In my experience with writing this blog and now the Kaplan and Medscape blogs, I’ve learned that having a thick skin is a basic requirement for publishing anything online. The internet sometimes affords a bit too much free-reign on speech leading to offensive comments and responses that one would never venture to say in real life. I try to only write things that I would say to someone’s face, but not everyone subscribes to this mentality.

Recently, I received this comment [on this entry]:

“If you want to be a doctor stop whining about it. You are the problem with the medical world, you should be excited to learn about the human body and passionate to make connections, having to be around people like you sometimes make me question whether I really want to do this or not becuase there are really so many other students like you. Stop letting it make you miserable or atleast stop whining about it, you know its for your own good (and that’s why you do it). The people drinking on Friday night will actually hate their lives in a few years, hopefully you still won’t.”

Yes, I agree that this particular entry was whiny in nature, but how else am I supposed to portray the weekend before big exams? As daisies and sunshine? That I’m just so enthralled with the prospect of cramming sometimes obscure knowledge into my head? Surely, this individual realizes that I am “excited to learn and passionate to make connections,” [what does “passionate to make connections” even mean? Passionate about making connections, perhaps?]? And why would someone decide not to do medicine just because of “people like me”? If you’re passionate about medicine, I shouldn’t be the thing stopping you.

[Aside – I still love the human body and medical school. The reality is that the process is tiring and writing – whining – about it is cathartic.]

The first time this particular comment was posted, it was written with vulgar language that made me laugh aloud [do let your mind wander on this one – it was ridiculous]. Since I’ve received a number of interesting responses to prior entries, this one didn’t bother me too much. But it made me wonder, why would anyone waste their time and energy on this? When I started this blog and received harsh comments, they really stuck with me. I couldn’t stop myself from referring back to them and wondering where I went wrong. I wondered how I could produce work worthy enough of these commenters. It was kind of pitiful how personally I took some of those blatant attacks.

But time and experience have taught me well – while I do still cringe at some of the responses I receive, I don’t spend weeks agonizing over them. In the end, if someone wants to offer constructive criticism, I appreciate it [yes, that means if you want to tell me that I use the word, “rather” too often and it’s driving you nuts, please do]. I’ve never claimed to be a talented writer or a flawless person – there is always room for improvement and I welcome the feedback. However, attacks are unnecessary and unwelcome. Trolls, please move along.

[Time for me to get back to learning about penises and vaginas – oh, Reproductive unit!]

Links to some of my recent posts on The Differential and Med School Insight:
There are pros to being in a long distance relationship
Reasons to love medical school
It’s personal

Day 81: The sun came out today

Today’s inane image of the day:

I’ve been working on completing this 2013 Health Awareness Calendar which features graphs depicting the disorders/conditions/diseases we recognize and educate on during specific months. Note how April and May aren’t done yet…

This last week of gloomy weather has really taken a toll on my mood [but, the sun finally came out to play for a couple hours today!]. A couple nights ago I wrote a pretty extensive post that I published for all of 10 minutes before deciding that it was too whiny and completely unnecessary. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t keep it up.

For the first time since starting medical school, I accidentally turned all seven of my alarms off this morning and ended up a wee bit late to class. I feel accomplished that this didn’t happen until the 81st day of my 2nd year… but I hope it never ever happens again. On the plus side, at least I feel semi-rested!

What are your thoughts? Please vote by clicking on this link!
… I’m thinking of selling the above calendars for $10 with half the proceeds benefitting the organization that receives the most votes [to be eligible to vote, you would have to purchase one] and the other half to my tuition bill. What do you think? Would you consider buying one? Maybe for the holiday season?

Please take 2 seconds to click on this link to answer a poll about the calendars – it’s anonymous and will help me out!

[P.S. What happened to all my dedicated readers/commenters?! Are you out there?! Am I talking to an empty room? Stop by and say hi, please!]