Boy, give me a free week and look at all the shit I spew out...
The first semester of medical school was a shocking eye-opener. For the first 3/4 of the semester, I was pretty solid. I was mentally prepared for a less-than-perfect performance. This material is not difficult. It's the sheer volume and speed at which you must master the material that gets you. These are the best and brightest, and I know I have my cocky moments, but I also know it was really something to get this far, I am older, slower, etc...I cannot expect to be the best of the best in this arena. Also, I probably have less time to study than almost anyone else in the entire class as I refuse to completely abandon my family life for this and have 2 hours of commute per day...It is an ego-boost just to make it through the gauntlet without a crash and burn.
I was the rock at first, many of my classmates were having trouble reconciling imperfection in their minds, and I was there to console them. These are the overachievers, they have perfect performance records. They have not yet failed at anything. I guess this is the "wisdom of age" part or something. But then near the end, it broke me.
The way it works here is, you have to pass everything (73% or better) in order to advance. Luckily if you eff something up, you get to redo it. You still get the shitty grade, but you must demonstrate that you know the material. It was the week after our Snowmass backpack. I had much trouble returning to reality. I had a paper due that week, I had a new unit of anatomy coming at me, dissections to attend to, and this practical exam. I was averaging about 3 hours of sleep that week. The day of the practical exam...I was spent. This exam format was, you are the doctor assessing a patient in different ways in front of the professor and they grade you based upon your performance. I couldn't think on my feet that day...I failed two of the four parts of the exam. I got a nice tongue lashing from my professor about the expectations for me and how I came far from meeting them.
I went in the other day to redo the material. A tough pill to swallow, but the deed is done...it got me thinking about the experience:
The reprimand from the professor put me over the top and I lost it on that day. I was supposed to go dissect for a few hours after that. But what I did was go into the lab and cry...in front of everyone...I said some things I shouldn't have. In my frustration I went down a list of blaming different people and things...completely out of line and embarrassing in retrospect. There is nobody to blame but myself. I was supposed to be the composed elder statesman - no longer. I would like to apologize to my classmates for acting like an idiot, and to my partner Erica for being a completely shitty partner and even friend. I feel like I let them all down in a major way. Lesson learned. (one of those unpleasant lessons I was talking about yesterday)
So hereforth, there is no crying in medical school. Anyone that knows me knows that I tend to have firey reactions regarding (and then dwell eternally upon) the things I really care about...and clearly this is one of them. But there needs to be a separation of church and state here, this is business. Done. When the switch is flipped, there is no emotion. An easy fix for me...but will the switch stay flipped? Time will tell. The new day starts Monday. Nine classes or some unreasonable number close to that...but it's more bookwork rather than undefined labwork this semester which will fit my lifestyle better.
On the bright side, we're packing up for Taylor Canyon and Crested Butte tonight. It's our favorite place in Colorado. We're going to fish a lot, swim, bike ride, take the kids on a (tame) river raft trip, hang out in CB, maybe shop a little real estate. Really excited for these last days of summer...SHAZAAM.