Monday, 30 March 2015

Less Measured Response

Okay, I'm bummed. 

Another applicant from my pool got in out of their third year. So it's not just because  I'm a third year. Pretty obviously my ECs, based on that person's list. I don't have much volunteering and I'm sure that's a big part. Of any school that would understand, I'd have expected MUN to, but oh well. 

At least for now I can just focus on getting through the last three weeks of this school year and then waiting for Mac decisions. 

Like I posted yesterday, this has just been the year (and by "year" I mean the last 12 months, not just since January) of things that don't work out so I'm getting rather used to disappointment but it would be awfully nice to have something to be happy about right about now. 

Unsurprising Outcome

I just received my notification from MUN and I didn't get in. Not wait listed, just straight up rejected, which I prefer. 

It's not surprising. I am a third year and it would be very rare for them to grant the exception so I'm entirely unsurprised.

Disappointed, of course, but not surprised. 

I popped out of class to tell my husband when I found out, and now I'm heading back in. No happy dance today. 

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Sizzle

I'm burning out a little bit. More than a little bit. While I am immensely glad I quit smoking, this is the first time I have actually really missed it. And no, I'm not going back to that, but damn do I wish I had something else right now. 

This is the year of Murphy's Law come to life and I am more than a little done of it. 

My health has been worse than usual lately so combined with the horrible weather, I'm just feeling very down, to be honest. My grades are slipping this semester - I really just kind of lost the will after immunology - and I just can't bring myself to care as much as I should. I won't do any horrible damage to my chances, I would have to fall very far indeed to do that, but I am certainly not trying my hardest. I have procrastinated and winged it on tests and been quite lazy this semester in particular. 

Work is... insane. It's gotten intense enough that it stresses me out when I'm not there and I've been here four times on days off in the last month to address things. My boss is fantastic and I adore her and we work well together, but things are very busy. She has high expectations of me and gives me a great deal of responsibility which is immensely flattering and I love living up to what she thinks I'm capable of, but also quite stressful and right now it is impacting my grades. I'm actually at work writing this. I'm "off the clock" (not that I punch a clock, but I'm not logging this time) but just sitting at my desk not doing work feels weird. 

My house is a horrific mess because I'm run ragged and have no time to do any huge amount of cleaning but my fantastic husband has been rather stressed out himself and hasn't gotten to it either so going home is stressful because I just want to clean everything but I don't have the time or energy. 

Frankly, I need time off. Badly. I am in desperate need of a break and I will be taking a week off sometime this summer because I need to. I won't put it off like I did the last two times I panned vacations. I won't make up the time or anything, because that just makes it more stressful, I'll just take unpaid leave for five days because I need to. Need some self-care time, I think. 

The semester will be over for me three weeks from tomorrow. 

It can't come soon enough. 

Cubicle life is so... bland sometimes I put faces on my things. Super professional, I know. 

Friday, 27 March 2015

Not Today

Well, didn't hear anything today and it's nearing 6pm in Newfoundland. Seems no one else did either so at least that's not bad news for me. 

The blog hit 100,000 views right around 2:30 this afternoon. I was waiting to see it at exactly 100,000. It was at 99,999 and I showe my friend. She told me to refresh quickly so I did and by then it had hit 100,001. Bah. 

I think it will quite likely be next Friday. I doubt it would be Monday - they never do stuff on Monday - but I am hoping. I'll be refreshing my email obsessively until I hear back. 

Still Waiting

I figured today would be the most likely day for me to hear from MUN. 

So far, nothing. Doesn't look like anyone else has either. 

Still obsessively refreshing my email. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Still don't know why you all read this....

For these, the "today" count starts at 9pm my time, so I had roughly a view a minute, since I took this just after 9:20. 

I wrote a few months ago that I should hit 100,000 views right around when acceptances come out. I'm on track to hit 100k on Friday. Incidentally, Friday happens to be a very likely day I may hear from MUN. 

An NBer confirmed with MUN admissions that the date should be fairly similar to last year's for our pools. Last year was March 28th, the last Friday of the month. MUN always seems to do stuff on Fridays so I think it's fairly safe to assume that there's a high probability I'll hear from them in three days. 

I am so amazingly excited you have no idea. While I realize my chances at MUN are minuscule, and it's entirely possible I will be rejected on Friday, I am looking forward to just knowing. It has been so long since my interview that I just want the anticipation to end. 

So I will be refreshing my email obsessively on Friday, hoping for news. Any news. Preferably good news, but I'll be glad just to finally know.

If I do get into med school on the exact day my blog hits 100,000 views, well, that will be just perfect. 

The email for my interview came around 10-something in the morning back in October. I expect that decisions will come out around that time too. I'll be in class. It is entirely possible I will scream if I get in. Or cry. Probably both. 


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Mac

I am exhausted right now. This has been a very long weekend. 

The Mac interview went, I think, very well. I enjoyed myself, had a lot to say on the topics, and my assess ors certainly put me at ease. I obviously can't say much about content, but it was about what I expected and I personally thought it was fun. 

Met some very lovely people, including several who recognized me from PM101 (not many Islanders there...) and really had a great time. I know that's what they are going for, and they definitely succeeded. Lots of information which addressed most of my areas of concern. 

The video was absolutely fantastic. I'll post a link once it is online. Everyone was laughing. It was well-executed. 

After my interview, I made my way to Etobicoke where I'm staying with a friend from high school. She's going to drop me off at a station where I can grab a shuttle to Pearson in the morning. Took me out for a walk near Humber - it was lovely. Nice view of the city skyline, not that I got a very good photo of it. 


Unfortunately, she has a guinea pig and while the little thing is absolutely adorable and sweet, I am quite allergic to guinea pigs. My eyes are so puffy right now I can barely open them. And this is after two Benadryl and a loratadine. 

For now, bed. I am exhausted and we're to be up early in the morning since she has quite the drive to work.

Hopefully I can actually get home tomorrow. They've been hit by another massive storm in my absence and things are already closing for tomorrow. No idea what flights will be affected. 

It's time. :)


Have a good day everyone!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

To sleep

I am exhausted. While my travel plans went off without incident and I found my way around easily enough, I find travel exhausting. 

My host has been very kind and considerate. Made a fantastic supper. Seriously is a huge favour to put me up for the night. 

As things are now though, I am going to sleep and plan to be up first thing to get ready. Considering how short my hair is now compared to how I usually have it, it takes far more effort than I would like!



T-dot

Currently on the bus, going to another bus station so I can get another bus to Hamilton. I wanted to take the train since we don't have trains back home anymore and I love trains, but I can't quite figure out how to get to the train station so I am following the instructions of a premed who sent me a very detailed message.

I haven't been in Toronto since 2004, when I had a two hour layover at Pearson before flying to France. I was here a year before that, visiting my uncle, who lives in North York. 

Both my brother and sister also live here and are aware I am coming, but I have no contact with them myself. Hence the bus. Far easier to navigate Toronto public transit than estranged family dynamics. 

First impression of the city after not being here for over a decade: I really hope it doesn't smell like this all the time. 

I am used to salt air. I have not been far enough away from the ocean to not smell it in seven years. This is... ew. 

A bit o Flight Reading

I brought one of my favourite books with me. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach. 

It's 70s spiritualism/self actualization sort of stuff, but frankly it is nice sometimes to have a book remind you of what you already know. It's particularly appropriate to read on a plane, given that the story takes place between two pilots. 

Part of the plot of the book - inasmuch as there is one - is that the Handbook will open to whichever page you most need to read. It's a silly thing, but now and then I go ahead and do that with my copy of Illusions. 

Today, this is the page I got. 


Just what I needed today. 

Plane Plans

Travel day! I fly first to Halifax, spend almost four hours there, then on to Toronto.



Fortunately, it looks like the bad weather won't start until late this afternoon so I'm getting out ahead of it which is just perfect timing.

I have packed, re-packed, made sure I have absolutely everything I need, so I'm good that way.

This will be the furthest west I've gone in seven years. As I posted before, I haven't left Atlantic Canada since I moved home, so this will be my first trip back to Ontario. While I am and always have been a Maritimer, I did spend 16 years in Ontario and do miss some aspects of it. Not the noise, smell, bugs, summer weather, or atmosphere, but the convenience of things. Ontario is a good place to live if you need access to stuff. Stuff to do, stuff to buy, stuff to keep you occupied.

Where I live is a good place to live if you need tranquility. We have plenty of that. In the winter, it's even forced because you can't leave your house half the time (I might be a little annoyed about the weather this year.)

Grumpy small people this morning. A whole weekend without mom. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

I frigging surrender!

I give up. 


I haven't had school this week. My reading week was last month, but I am also apparently getting March break this year. 

We've had ten full cancellations (looks like tomorrow will be another) and four early closures this semester. That is just the university; the public schools have lost another five full days. My son has lost an entire month of school, basically, when you count the early closures. 

That idea of moving out if Canada after med school is looking REALLY appealing right about now. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Never thought I'd want to get to Toronto so badly

Right now, I am somewhere between panic and elation.

Panic because the "little bit of snow" we were expecting for Saturday has now become the storm we are expecting for Saturday.

Elation because I booked with Air Canada and Jing, a very friendly and kind customer service person (I've done that job, it sucks, so I always remember the good agents I talk to) told me about this:

Air Canada has revised its ticketing policy for customers booked on affected flights to facilitate changes to bookings. Those customers wishing to make alternate travel arrangements can do so without penalty, space permitting.

My panic has eased. I can't really fit the coat of rescheduling a flight into my budget right now. I'm looking at probably as much again to reschedule as the flight cost in the first place. Knowing that, if the weather goes as it's looking it might, I can probably hop onto an earlier flight (flights from  here to Toronto are so frequent that there is usually SOME space) without cost is really helping with the stress level.

I have people I can stay with in Toronto  so leaving a day early to get ahead of the weather isn't a big deal.

I think I'll plan my shopping for Thursday night instead, in case I need to leave early.

I love this Island, but damn if it isn't hard to leave!

Monday, 16 March 2015

Six

Six days until my McMaster interview!

I don't really need to get much except new nylons since the ones I wore to my MUN interview developed a run. Need some new shoes, because the ones I wore to MUN ended up being a pain in the arse to spend any amount of time in, but that's easy enough.

My week is looking pretty busy - except for today - so I'm just going to do my shopping Friday evening.

Today, we're snowed in. Everything is closed. RCMP are telling everyone to stay off the roads because they can't rescue anyone. Typical for here. We got another 50cm of snow, exactly 4 weeks to the day after we got 86cm of snow from one storm.

Can winter just... stop now?

My friend who lives in Vancouver keeps posting pictures on Facebook of the gorgeous grass and blooming trees outside her work. Ugh.

The person I'm staying with is hosting a supper for some interviewees, so I'm really excited to get to meet some of my potential future colleagues. It's really starting to sink in that the people I'm going to meet next weekend have a very decent chance of being the people I might share this next part of the journey with. I hope they're as excited as I am.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Birthday to Me

I'm twenty eight today, but not really excited about my birthday. We're getting a blizzard, just like we did on my husband's birthday last month. This one is significantly less ferocious though. 

To be honest, I'm moping. Not about my age - really don't care about that - but just because some of the goals I'd had for the last year were not met. Some people get this way around the New Year - I reserve it for my birthday. 

It's not really a particularly happy birthday. The bright spot is that might get into med school this year. I am very excited for that possibility and if it happens I will be over the moon. But a lot of other stuff sucks right now, and it's that stuff, not the 50/50 shot at medicine, that is weighing on me today. 

Because as much as I have dedicated the last three years of my life to this goal of becoming a doctor, there are inescapable realities which are independent of that journey. It is not the only thing I do, it's not the only important goal I have. Today is just driving that fact home a little more. I'm so much closer to my goal of medicine than ever before, but so much further from so many others. 

So for today, I am moping like a teenager and I'm going to go put on some overly dramatic violin music, drink my tea, and work on some assignments. 


Saturday, 14 March 2015

Hi Pi

Happy once a century Pi day!

It is 3.141592653

3/14/15 9:26. And fifty three seconds, ish. Yes, I waited for exactly 9:26 (my time) to post this. :)

It's my birthday tomorrow. I've always thought my life would have been so much cooler if is been born a day earlier. Today is Albert Einstein's birthday and he would've been awesome to share a birthday with. Instead, I get the Ides of March. The day Julius Caesar was killed. 

As for me, my birthday plans for tomorrow involve huddling under several blankets in my living room and hoping the power doesn't go out. We are currently under our fourth blizzard warning this winter. 

Friday, 13 March 2015

Too long, not long enough

Yesterday was the two month mark. Two months from yesterday, Mac decisions come out. Who the hell knows with MUN. I could know in 3 weeks, I might not know for ten. I've been told one thing, read another, and am still not quite sure what to think. All I know is that, one way or another, this cycle will all be over with in a couple of months. 

Unless I get on a wait list. Oh gods I hope not. The logistics of planning a move with ten weeks is headache-inducing enough. Having even less would be a complete nightmare. We'd make it work, sure, but I REALLY hope it doesn't come to that. 

Right now, though, I'm worrying about Mac. I leave a week from tomorrow. Budget is pretty snug, but manageable since I've saved in several areas. Won't be doing any shopping, but I'm not really going to be thinking about that since I'll be pretty occupied just trying to find my way around the place. The biggest city I have been to in the last seven years is Halifax. Navigating Toronto, a place I've been only twice, will be a whole different kettle of fish. I'm pretty resourceful, and I have fun figuring stuff out, so I'm sure I'll be fine. However, I did give myself all of Saturday afternoon and evening to get to Hamilton from Toronto, and all of Sunday afternoon to figure out how to get back. Just in case. 

The only big potential hiccup I see as a possibility is if the weather here or there gets bad. We're expecting a bit of snow for next Saturday, but the forecast sometimes says that and then we end up with a blizzard, so I'll be watching the projections carefully. We've had cancelled/seriously delayed flights around ten to fifteen days this winter and I am NOT risking missing my interview because of some wind. If the weather looks like it is going to go bad quickly, I will leave early and either find a rideshare or drive myself, since it'll be WAY too costly to book a plane ticket at that point. It's a seventeen hour drive, not ideal but not impossible. 

So I have backup plans if the weather goes to crap at the last minute, at least. A rideshare is likely - there are always people going from here to Toronto. That would be ideal, because then I could just fly home on the Monday using the flight I already booked. 

Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but at least I have contingencies. I am not leaving anything up to chance if I can help it. This is one of the most important interviews of my life and I AM going to be there no matter what. 




Unrelated, but cute. My son came with me to class one day last week and wanted to get a picture of himself by the clock. This was as close as he could get, due to the fact that the entire square is covered by six feet of snow. 






Monday, 9 March 2015

Standing By

I make it a goal in my life to not be the bystander. 

If people are stranding around saying "someone should do something," then be the someone if you can do so safely. I teach my kids this too. The world is full of bystanders, but needs more people who will act. 

There was an incident being reported on social media by a friend. For a variety of reasons, this friend wasn't able to contact authorities without fear of reprisal. But this incident - a possible threat to public safety - absolutely HAD to be reported. After driving someone involved to the hospital myself, I called the appropriate responders to ensure the issue is investigated, and I did so as anonymously as possible, which was enough to get the ball rolling. 

People were commenting left and right about "X department/service should be called," "you should get in touch with..."

Don't just talk about what someone should do! If they can't or won't act, you must!

We all witness situations in life where we could intervene. Where a ring of people are standing around, waiting for someone to do something. 

Next time you are facing one of those, be the someone. You might be surprised at how easy it can be.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Barolo

I very, very rarely drink alcohol. Probably once or twice a year. Never once in my life have I been drunk, and as I have a nearly pathological fear of losing control, I really don't intend to change that.

However, my very close friend makes wine as a hobby and as she is now pregnant, she has a surplus. My husband spent 6 hours yesterday clearing a path on her property with the snowblower, so she gave him six bottles of wine. To celebrate my upcoming interview, I'm having a glass. It's pretty good.

At the moment, I'm doing some more review for my test which I may or may not have tomorrow. I was really sick with a stomach virus on Wednesday so I missed a midterm for the first time ever. This is not something I would do lightly, but I couldn't leave the house until well into the afternoon.

Entirely valid reason, but I still feel absolutely horrible about it because my already-busy professor has to write up an alternate version for me. He's one of my favourite professors and he's been sick lately himself so I loathe putting more work on the poor guy, but I really could not leave the house. I figured I would be writing it Friday. The class had a field trip, of sorts, planned for Friday but I assumed I'd just be set up in another prof's class or something. Nope. He said we'd worry about it this week.

Well, the second half of the field trip is tomorrow, and I still don't know if I'm writing the test tomorrow or not. Not that I would mind it being pushed to Wednesday, but I don't think it's fair for me to essentially get an extra week to study just because I was sick. I'm not complaining, mind you, but I wouldn't want to be unfair about it.

I have a pretty busy week. Less so than it would have been, considering two of my tests got pushed back due to storms. Have two moderately sized assignments due, possibly another one or two, and then review for two tests. I won't really be able to get away with being lazy this week. Especially since two weeks from right now, I will be sitting with my friend M in Toronto, likely enjoying my second glass of wine of the year to celebrate having finished my Mac interview.


Friday, 6 March 2015

Slump

I am feeling very lackadaisical about my schooling these days. I think it's something about third year because lots of people I talk to describe the same thing. It's like I can't summon the energy to care as much as I used to. 

Fr instance, I just got an absolute crap mark on my endo midterm. Purely because I was lazy about studying. Really. I missed several classes because it's hard to get there for 8:30 when I have to drop my son off at 8:10, and I didn't study the material for those days well enough. I got a mark in the 70s. 

I can make it up, I have no doubt, but there is just this overwhelming ennui about classes, even though I am taking some fantastic ones. 

It's probably because I'm so close to being done with my undergrad. I'm either gone this summer or next year is my last, so I've not got long here anyway. Also possible that my brain has just checked out after being wrung for several years straight without much of a break. 

So long as I keep my grades within a fairly good range, I'll maintain my competitiveness since I would have to drop quite far to lose that. I suppose I've just found my happy medium, the least amount of energy for a desirable, if not maximal, outcome. I don't NEED a 4.0. I've finally realized that, and I think it's what is allowing me to relax a lot about all of this and save my energy for the marathon ahead. 

Med school, I have a feeling, won't be so accomodating to me taking a laid back approach. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

There and Back Again

Since day one, the plan has been to come home to the Island to practice as a family doctor. But, for reasons neither of us is quite sure of, we've gotten onto the idea of settling elsewhere for a few years. To give the kids some experiences that neither of us had, to be able to experience new things before settling down permanently. 

We're not just thinking elsewhere in Canada, but elsewhere in the world. Being a doctor will give me mobility that few other careers do, so we can choose to settle in any number of countries with the biggest limitation being how quickly I can write the necessary qualifying exams. 

We set out some basic criteria for places we will consider:
- Politically and (more or less) socially stable
- Primarily English-speaking (my husband doesn't have my ease with picking up languages)
- Universal health care system
- Four seasons
- Somewhere my medical credentials can transfer easily

This leaves surprisingly few options we can consider. The UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and parts of Australia.

We've looked at the options and we actually really like the idea of spending a few years in the UK. The kids will be into their teens by then so it would have the potential of being a really formative experience for them. 

Certainly not a sure thing, and it may prove to be nothing more than a passing whim, but the idea has us fairly excited and we're having fun thinking about what it would be like for the kids to have relatively easy access to Europe during the ages where travelling broadly would be hugely influential in developing who they are.

The trip we're planning to the UK and France for our tenth anniversary (the "may never happen, but it's fun to dream" trip) is partly to get a feel for things. To see if it's more than just a crazy idea or if we think we actually could find our way to enjoying life in that part of the world.

I don't think we would ever leave permanently. I think we'd go for a few years while the kids are teens before coming home for good. But it's really fun to think about doing something so different. My husband has really gotten into the idea. But, then, he did decide to move here after only one visit too. He's the adaptable sort. 

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Better

Personal stuff is a touch tumultuous right now, so I've been struggling to think about what to write without going into the annoyance of it all. My husband and I are just buckling down and weathering the storm, and expecting to come out on the other side into the bright, clean day that usually follows such a tempest.

It's been a source of some stress, so I've been pulling back a bit just because I need to focus on my school, my family, and my continued healing from a very difficult year, so I've had less time to put into my web presence. Haven't been on the premed forums or even Facebook much lately, and it's been rather nice, the quiet.

With my Mac interview only three weeks away, I'm not really stressed about it. I'm quite looking forward to it, actually. Once it's done, it'll only be about 7 weeks until decisions come out. MUN has pushed theirs back to May for OOP, though apparently the NB/PEI decisions may still come out in April, so I don't even really know when to expect that for sure. Either way, it's either next month or the month after.

Holy crap.

I may very well know next month if I get into medical school.

That's the first time I typed that, and it just hit me rather suddenly that it is, in fact, that soon. The moment I've been waiting for for three years - my whole life, really, considering how long I've wanted to be a doctor - could be just next month.

I barely even remember February, it went by so fast, so I know March will breeze by too, then into the furor of exams, and it'll all be over and I'll only have to wait to hear my fate.

I'm going to go breathe into a bag now....