Archive for April, 2013

Wasting Time

How much time can a person waste? I am capable of wasing a lot of time, however I very quickly run out of ways to waste time while looking busy. I’ve been practicing that skill all day today. I know that I could definitely go to my supervisor and she could have several hours of work for me in just a couple minutes, but I don’t feel like it. For most of the time I’ve been here I have been a model employee. When I didn’t have work to do I went straight to my supervisor asked for work and helped out with a myriad of different projects. And I just don’t want to do it anymore.

Burnout? Probably.

I was watching a video on QuantifiedSelf.com today about productivity and the speaker had measured his efficiency over a 4-week experiment to be ~85%. His first thought was that he should be aiming for 100% efficiency. But on further investigation he revised that. Studies have been done extensively on telemarketers (apparently the most tracked profession?) and it turns out that the highest sustainable level of productivity is 80-85%. Going over that point results in increased staff turnover (read: burnout). Looking back on his data he also noticed that days when he worked more tended to be followed by days where he unconsiously worked less to balance out to that 85% average. When I think about it, I really made an effor to give 100% of myself in the hours I was at work and it seems to have backfired because here I am today watching QuantifiedSelf videos, writing blogposts, and checking facebook.

But……I also got the most exciting news today!

My boyfriend was accepted from the waitlist to the medical school I will be attending in August! I am so excited. More excited than I ever thought I could be for another person. Definitely as excited as I was for my own acceptance, if not more so.

Sometimes, when I haven’t seen M– in a while I find myself feeling, shall I say, apathetic? about our relationship. I am a person that doesn’t do well with phone conversations, texts, ect. I really need to see and spend time with a person. (I think this also correlates with my level of depression) And when I do spend time with him more frequently and more regularly (and when my depression lightens) those feelings come back so much stronger. But even in the depths of my apathy there are moments that tell me that that isn’t my true feeling for him. One day we had a wicked fight and I was so hurt by what he said to me, but the one thing that spoke the loudest was that fact that even though he was the one that caused that pain, he was also the first person I thought to turn to for solace. And then today: when I am so extremely overjoyed, more so for his acceptance than for the fact that we will likely be able to live in the same town again. Before having a seriously relationship I often struggled to understand how you could be so honestly and deeply happy for another person. Or perhaps it’s just that I’m getting older and more mature overall.

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I’ve posted before about my love of minimalism. I love the clean lines, the environmental impact (or lack thereof), and the freedom that the lifestyle signifies. I’ve made small steps–cutting back new clothes, learning to be content with what I have. But, I’ve never made any significant steps toward a truly minimal lifestyle. I have wanted to, but one thing stops me:


I am afraid of two things: failing and being judged. (I’m also afraid of being judged because I failed, is that a third fear or just the first two combined?)

If I were to make a first step toward minimalism it would be to join The Compact. (see also Wikipedia) Essentially, participating in the compact is agreeing to not buy anything new for one year. There are some exceptions such as food, medications, underwear, etc.

Part of my is dying to do the compact. Part of me just comes up with all the reasons I can’t do it starting May 1. Those reasons include:

All the stuff I may need for medical school: a laptop (new would be easiest, but refurbished would probably be just as good), medical equipment such as a stethoscope (can you find this stuff used?)

What happens if my phone breaks? (again, apple refurbished iphones)

I’m picky about my shoes and pretty sure I can’t find exactly what I want in thrift stores around here (ebay probably has them though)

So although I have all these excuses I recognize that they are just excuses and I could work around all of them. Honestly, if it wasn’t somewhat challenging to do the compact and have to work through those challenges where would the fun be in that? And wouldn’t everyone be buying used/refurbished?

I wish I had the gumption to commit to this. Without knowing the response from my friends, colleagues, acquaintances. (Although it would be wonderful if they were supportive)


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I am extremely distractible. My brain has 10 different topics running through it at all times and I can never seem to just pay attention to one.

1. eBooks. I like them. Do they have the wonderful feel that comes with holding a paper book in my hand? No. But they definitely have their advantages. They are easily portable. I have 20 different books on my iPad and it is no heavier than the day I bought it. Not possible with real books. I like that I can borrow kindle books from the library and “highlight” them, or photocopy them without a copy machine. Try that with a paper book. But I do have my concerns about ebooks. First, the local economy. If I had unlimited resource I would buy all my books from local new or used bookstores. Unfortunately, I don’t and my book reading is limited to cheap kindle books or library books. But I feel a little guilty every time I hand off $5 to Amazon for another kindle book. And along the same vein. Once I’m done with a kindle book its life path is pretty much done as well. There is a sort of magic to having a real book, reading it, passing it on to friends, rereading it, and then sending it on its way via a used book sale or donation to a library. But ebooks can’t have that life. Sure, you can lend kindle books to friends, but you can only lend each book a maximum of 2 times. And there’s no way to resell used ebooks. I wish I could resell my ebook to someone else or donate it to a library. Wouldn’t that be neat? I don’t understand why it can’t be done either. They’ve figured out way for me to rent books from the library and it disappear from my device when my time is up. Why can’t my own purchase permanently disappear from my device and be managed by the library?

2. Splenda. I use a lot of it. Not massive amounts, but more than the average person probably.

3. Distractible? I sat down with my computer to get a head start on my homework for Monday (anxiety disorders across the lifespan). I went to open my (e)textbook on the Amazon cloud reader, but it wasn’t available on the cloud reader. (Another thing I don’t understand about ebooks) My ipad is charging. There is more than enough charge for me to do my assignment, but blogging was more attractive. Then I started looking at recipes and then I made a few changes in my own personal cookbook and then I pulled up an article on anxiety disorder across the lifespan and then I started this blogpost and then I had to look up how to spell distractible and then I actually started writing this post. That all happened in about 10 minutes.

4. The s key on my netbook sticks and often I type a long paragraph only to look at it and realize 2/3 of the s’s are missing. Frustrating. However, I am required to buy a new laptop for medical school so I suppose that is a frustration I will only have for another month or so. (Also, this paragraph about s’s included a lot of s’s)

5. I’ve been struggling with some more depression lately. It always seems to get worse around this time. I don’t know if it’s just that I’m fed up with cold weather or stressed with school and not close enough to the end of the semester or what. But it’s frustrating and it makes life hard. I’m also not on any medication (haven’t been since October!) and it’s at the point where I’ve considered going back to see someone but I’m just too stubborn to give in.

6. My little brother continues to amaze me. And he’s living with me again this summer. I’m overly excited already!

7. I’m going to Denver after finals to visit a good friend. I’m overly excited for that too!

8. I only have 5 week (15 days) left at Student Health and approximately 36 days left at the hospital.

9. I love to cook and bake. It’s no fun to cook something for myself and then eat it for 10 meals straight. I would love to host weekly dinner parties for a few friends just so I had an excuse to try new recipes and not eat leftovers forever. However, groceries get expensive and both my friends and I have busy schedules. I have always dreamed of finding a few people to do a cooking co-op with. Perhaps now is the time for me to figure out how it would work and find people who want to join me.

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Day by Day

I’m pushing through work day by day. Counting down the days. Even as I count down the days though I wonder sometimes if in the thick of medical school I will wish to have these days back. Will I dream of spending 8 solid hours meeting with students because I was able to go home and forget about it all? No homework, no prep for the next day. (Well, I sort of have homework for the one class I’m in, but it’s pretty low stress.

Regardless, I only have 6 weeks left at student health. Which sounds like forever until I remember that working 3 days/week there I only have 18 days left. And today all but one of my students cancelled (I may or may not be writing this at work). So really only 17 days. I can do anything for 17 days. Right?

On the medical school front:

I was accepted to the summer Intro to Medical Education program. It’s a program designed for students who may have a more difficult time transitioning into medical school–non-science majors, those returning to school after being out for a while, people with MCAT scores and GPAs below the average for the accepted class. On the surface it seems a little strange. A program designed for people who might not do well in medical school, why even admit them in the first place? Which I agree with. But on the other hand, most medical schools make a huge fuss about having a diverse class with different majors and experiences blah blah blah. Those diverse people will probably make excellent doctors, but might struggle with the first two years of medical school and its focus on the hard sciences and memorization. Do these people not deserve a chance to become doctors? I think it’s a great concept to not just say they value diversity but to put some actions behind those words and help those diverse students succeed.

So I will be starting medical school work in mid-June! I’m definitely grateful to have a slightly easier transition in a class of 20 people. As much as I want medical school I am terrified that I will fail at it.


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