Tuesday, March 04, 2008

oh baby, it's alright to fail

Today something occurred to me. I had not blogged a post for over week. Now, in the past when that has happened, I usually get a bit frantic and start diagnosing the various reasons for my silence, and am prone to posting.

Instead, I am going through this phase of flat-out exhaustion. I have a list of things that need to get done, really rather important things that I still have managed to neglect, and posting did not register on that list. Sometimes, silence is telling, and in this case, I guess it still is-- I am in a period of a lot of doing without so much documenting.

One of my sweetest cousins visited this past weekend, and in carting him around the area, I wound up paying a visit to my godson. And, though I hardly can manage to even type the words for fear that it will all turn out to disintegrate, one of my oldest friends in the world is visiting this coming weekend. Lovely, yes, but also, as is the case when in school, fairly stressful.

I went back and forth in my thoughts for a while on this matter. My classmates thought it was insane that I was not planning to study this weekend. There's a test on Monday, and generally, even the biggest cowboys in my class do not blow off an entire weekend. I gave it some thought, and I just decided it's really going to be a test now. It's going to be a test of a lot of things. I worked frantically hard on my last exam to do well enough that I had a comfortably safe buffer, such that even if I completely tank my next test, it's not cause for great alarm. I have also been trying to be as disciplined as I can be during the week to cram all this information into my head.

But mostly, the real test will come on Saturday and Sunday. When my classmates suggested all these strategies to sneak in studying here and there during the weekend, I laughed a bit. They were missing the point entirely. It became clear how dearly I hold my friend-- I am not really sure there is anyone else I presently know that would lead me to even entertain this. But that's exactly why it's such an important visit: it's important to have someone in your life that will pull you out of the minutiae and the neuroses of such meaningless things as exams and scores. It's important to want to be completely disconnected and to be wholly available to someone else. I try to do that in other aspects of my life: I try not to bullsh*t in class on the web when I should be listening to lecture, I try not to think of what I had for lunch when I'm in the middle of interviewing someone, I try not to study while watching television (always a losing proposition).

But this is a more intense form. It would be false to say I don't care about bellyflopping an exam. I care, probably way more than I should. But I care way more about keeping the few, rare people I hold dear as close to me as possible. And I suppose one of my greatest fears about medical school is its vacuum-like quality of sucking you into a sphere and sealing you from the outside world. In some ways, the visit could not be more timely, because I need someone to burst that bubble. Or maybe I need to burst through the bubble myself, emerge, and hold tight to what I do not want to lose.

And that is the test that I cannot afford to fail right now.

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