Tuesday, September 16, 2008

time to make one last appeal for the life I lead

Promise, I really will complain about Facebook and the neuroses I have to do with Facebook friending and all that soon.

It occurs to me that it might be pure folly to try blogging right now. I just finished the second day of classes, and a part of me really wants to write that this is going to be the hardest, most intense stretch of courses I've taken in school yet. But the other part of me doesn't want to write that, because something about the tone sounds stressed and put-upon.

And I don't feel stressed or put-upon. I feel immersed and intense. Is it possible to feel that way, in a good way? I hope so. All it took, weirdly enough, was an attitude adjustment. Last semester/block/whatever was probably just as interesting subject-wise, but something had soured me about it for some reason (hmm, maybe it was the daily 110 degree thermometer readings, come to think of it). In some ways, that made studying so much harder. And then I got more petty about stupid sh*t that you can easily get pulled into in med school if you allow yourself to be.

All it took was just this inexplicable decision that I was going to find these classes more interesting, more engaging. They are probably 5 times harder than the last ones I took, no joke. But I kind of like that about it. And I like that I'm choosing to isolate myself a bit more at the moment. I'm in a little study cocoon. Today, I spent 20 minutes looking at ECGs, just musing at the way you start to process information that is thrown at you. There's all the science of it, of course, the physics, the anatomy, the physiology, sure. But ultimately, you sit there and stare until the patterns speak to you, until you develop your own, twisted, possibly illogical intuition about it.

The instructors show us these graphs that initially just look like a mess of nothingness, and then point at this and that and say, See? Do you see it? In some ways, it's so conformist, it's gross- you stare and stare until you see things in exactly the way they want you to. You hold your breath and listen and listen until you hear the sounds precisely the way they explain them. It's repetitive training. Dance, monkey, dance! But you sit and you stare, and who the hell am I kidding? When I see it, when I hear it, I feel an unexpected sense of satisfaction. For just that second, it feels like I'm getting somewhere.

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