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Monthly Archives: March 2010

choices

(18/365)

So far, I’ve been trying not to shoot too many photographs so as to avoid having to choose one that gets the “official shot of the day” title; but I couldn’t avoid it for today’s post. Between a photograph with more meaning and a photograph with more visual appeal, I chose the one with more meaning.

The sticker appeared on that pole in the last week or two. I was struck by its economy of message–a black-and-white print of a nondescript, if somewhat creepy, face paired with a simple statement that people who encounter it are free to interpret as they wish. (Geez, doesn’t that sound like I’m reading too much into it.) There’s little question that I wouldn’t have paid it much attention were it not for my own struggles with goals: not so much that I lack them, but rather that I’m hard-pressed to make any progress towards achieving them. The situation is such that there is but one logical path I can follow–only one choice to make–and it may or may not lead where I want. The reasons for this could occupy their own blog entry, but I will, in the interests of time and discretion, leave them unwritten.

One foot in front of the other, I suppose.

red cross training, part one.

(15/365)

Completing my first in a series of FAST training workshops yesterday, this one on trauma emergencies, it seems to me that this is not unlike what med school will be like: there’s a lot of information being launched furiously at you in a short amount of time and you’re expected to pick it up just as fast, but none of it will actually start to make sense or be internalized until you actually start on the job. It’s certainly not unique to medicine, but the experience is something I haven’t needed to go through in well over six years.

What I suspect isn’t quite like med school is the diversity of backgrounds of everyone who’s volunteering. There are medical professionals, sure, but there are quite a few self-proclaimed non-medical professionals–IT professionals/computer geeks–participating as well. Given my own motivations, it’s unsurprising. From my conversations with them so far, the running theme is that they aren’t completely fulfilled or otherwise satisfied by their jobs, usually because of the sedentary aspect of the job and because there’s little sense of having made a difference. And so it is that they came to volunteer for the Red Cross.

Beyond the full-time job holders are the students, some pre-meds, some of whom are switching into medicine after having studied something completely unrelated in their undergrad careers. I met two fine arts post-baccs who are slogging through pre-med classes, and of course I had to ask if they had already hit organic chemistry¬† (isn’t that the bane of every pre-med’s existence?), but they couldn’t relate to that particular misery yet. We talked shop more than anything else–classes, MCATs, applying to med schools–but I would have liked to have found out more about why they’re changing course in life. It’s always interesting to me to hear the reasons why people decide to pursue a career in medicine; plus, it gives me a chance to continue hashing out for myself my own reasons for what I’m doing.

All in all, it was a good session, learning a lot and interacting with a variety of people. There were definitely some insecurities to work through, though. It’ll fade as I get into the swing of things, no doubt; I just wish I didn’t have to wait until the next workshop in April.

everybody has to be someplace

(9/365)

On an expedition through the old neighborhood after Mass with Mom and Dad, I tried to resist going into Unabridged Bookstore, thinking of the books on my shelves that have sat, neglected; but I failed, driven perhaps by nostalgia for days past in New York spent browsing the many miles of books at The Strand.

Inside, the simple cover of¬†No One Belongs Here More Than You beckoned me closer, testified to by a staff member’s positive, handwritten review posted on the shelf. The title, too, held a promise all its own, hinting that within its pages might be found a resolution to, or at least some brief sanctuary from, my own unshakable feeling of I Belong Somewhere Else: when I lived in New York; I belonged in Chicago; in Pittsburgh, I belonged in New York; and now, in Wisconsin, I belong… anywhere else.

Six years is a long time to be someplace you don’t belong. But–and I’m reminded of a performance of one-acts I did in college–everybody has to be someplace.