Wednesday, August 08, 2007

ain't that a kick in the head

One of my professors introduced the concept of homeostasis this week in this way- "all hell could be breaking loose outside, but inside you've got your shit together." It sounds even more bada$$ when uttered with a British accent. It seems like the simplest notion, but I have been thinking about how important it is to model what your body can do internally.

Because you're quite susceptible in school. This is medical school, also, which means being surrounded by overachievers and teacher's pets and stress junkies. These are the people who spent an hour after an exam asking whether you chose A or C for Question 35. These are the people I spent my college years avoiding, and now, what do you know, they're my classmates. Not that I should be saying any of this- no one has exhibited any of these signs. Yet. But it seems inevitable.

However, what there have been signs of: freaking the f*** out. And you know, I get it. Some people have seen this stuff for the first time in their lives. There is also just a sheer density of knowledge that must be jammed into one's brain. But it has to be done. And what's more- we all want it, or wanted it. I think it's easier to forget that when you haven't taken the insane route that I did to get to school. Every time I get the slightest whinging itch, I immediately throw up a little in my mouth, because what the hell are you here for if not to learn this stuff, there are a hundred other people who would have gladly traded spots with you, jacka$$.

That's my way of maintaining homeostasis- a swift and sharp blow to the neverending wave of self-pity that is always lurking, waiting if only you'll feed it. I'm not going to feed it. Even if that means shrugging when everyone around me has suddenly become very quiet and nervous.

Of course, on the other hand, when I think about it, this technique might not work for everybody. I'm sure its the very enormity of wanting something so badly that further exacerbates the freaking out condition in some people. But even that, I feel, is part of the process of acquiring higher education: you have to learn to believe you can learn. So maybe it's just that I was hazed like I was trying to join a frat house when I was in graduate school and that's helping me out now. Drats- I guess I owe those jerks after all.

Also helping to maintain my equilibrium: someone complimented me on 'how pretty' my salad was today. This made me burst into joyous little bubbles, because one of my little activities on Monday night involved cooking up a batch of potatoes with rosemary and oregano, shredding carrots and fresh parmesan cheese, and using all of the aforementioned things in my salads this week. I told you it doesn't take much to keep me feeling chipper.

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