Monday, January 30, 2012

Life is what you make of it...

Occasionally, I need to remind myself of this statement. There are times I don't always appreciate being med school. Like during my 17th hour straight of studying on a Saturday before an exam, or when I get to playing the mind game of "places I would rather be than here on this couch with a book in my lap", or when the tax statement comes showing just how much I will owe for the privilege of attending school.

However, there is a lot of things that I like and reasons why I chose to go. School is interesting -- I get to learn about the magic and mystery of the many organ systems in the human body, the amazing adaptive potential (and how things can go awry). And if I was not interested (and did not find the process somewhat enjoyable)... I would not be able to put in the 17 hour days, or length of schooling.

But, I digress... Today, I just finished the urinary tract domain with a 2.5 hour exam was this morning. It feels good to decompress, and relax a bit after my exam -- taking a nap, watching a movie, having a meal more substantial than Cheerios and milk... I again feel refreshed, renewed, and ready to learn about the next organ system (lung), clean the apartment and fold laundry. Such is the pattern of my life... repeated in 3 week intervals.

Life is what we make of it. For any decision or point in a life, there is always going to be something to complain about or something you don't always care for. Life is what you make of it... choosing what to focus on and the mindset is a big part of dealing with big challenges. I got myself into this "mess", I may as well enjoy the ride and learn something interesting along the way! :) 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Summer in the middle of winter

Our little break to the Dominican was wonderful*. It was nice to relax without the distraction of regular household stuff, and enjoy a bit of sun in the middle of some of the darkest days of the year. I would post pictures... but, Pete took the camera to work before I had a chance to download pics off of it (camera is kept in his flight bag).

Highlights of our trip:
- Spending days next to the pool or beach enjoying the sun, white sand beaches (if on the beach) or random classes/entertainment offered (if near the pool) and a book. Honestly, I can't think of a better way to begin 2012.
- Snorkling and going out on the reef in a catamaran. We saw nurse sharks, manta rays (even held one -- they feel like wet butter), and the usual array of colorful fishes and corals.
- Coffee -- Dominican coffee was great -- but strong. The fruit there was also amazing (and fresh).
- Trying out different restaurants each evening, these were invariably better than the buffets (but not always better than the pizza and fries).
- Meeting random people from all over. Most of the people at the resort were European/Russian/British, Canadian, or Central/South American. We were two of few Americans at the resort.
- Watching in amazement as the hotel staff switched between Spanish, English, French, and German for all instructions to games/activities and answering questions. Given that I know English and a bit of Spanish, I am amazed when people have verbal fluency in so many languages.
- Entertainment in the evening:
-- We always arrived a bit early to get seats, and there was some sort of program put on by little kids before whatever entertainment was planned for the evening. It's interesting to watch a bunch of little kids from all over the world interact with each other. They pair up based off of gender and height (like they do here), even though they were from different countries. Some of the little songs included in the kids program we thought were cute/different than songs we've previously heard are (click on title it should link to song): The Music Man, La musica tren, Veo Veo Que Es (goes through the vowels).
--After the little kids, they would have a ice-breaker type game where they chose people from the audience. It was always entertaining. After this, would be something put on by the resort -- this program was also good.

Getting home was rough -- our flight arrived at 12:30 AM (yes, after midnight) Monday morning. We got home at 2:30 AM after picking up our luggage, dog, and driving about 1/2 way across the state. We both had to be places at 8:00 AM: Pete had work, I had school. As if the little sleep was not bad enough, our hot water thermostat burnt out during our vacation, we had to heat water on the stove that AM to wash up. And, I figured out my cell phone no longer worked (and thus no alarm or calling people) -- so I had that to replace on Monday too.

But, these inconveniences this past week were worth it. I started this semester the most relaxed I have ever been during the first week of school, and I am ready to handle the challenge that is this semester! :)

* If you click on Dominican, it shows a video of where we stayed start around 3:53. and what the Dominican looks like. Not much has changed from when this video was taken. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've got similar pics from the trip. Though we did less exploring of the island.