Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 893: The Milwaukee 411

Hola todos!

Once again, I am on a plane, heading home from an interview. This interview was at a school in Milwaukee, which I surprisingly liked. I think being lucky enough to be choosy made this already no-stress interview even less stressful. As a fellow applicant stated so well, "now you [the school] have to impress me."

There were a lot of organizational/communications issues on the school's part early on in my stay, which set the Milwaukee experience off to a so-so start. Luckily, the student body, facilities, and academic structure of their curriculum made up for the disorganization.

I think coming in to the interview with a very open mind helped me see that the school actually has a ton of pros. This is the only medical school in the area so there's no competition with other students (undergrads, dental students, etc) for research positions, volunteering opportunities, etc. They offer a pseudo-extracurricular-but-essentially-required-scholarly-project in an area of medicine that interests you--and luckily one of them is global health, which I am ├╝ber-passionate about. They have the same grading structure as San Antonio, which is, you earn the grade you get. No curves. There are other pros, but I won't bore you with them.

The moral of this post is to state that I would not be averse to attending this school. What most excites me about their admissions process is the fact that my interview was yesterday (Friday) and they will send out, via snail mail, their decision next Friday. That's a one week turnaround time! I'm still waiting to hear from San Antonio, my first interview way back when in August!

Anyhoo, I'll keep you all apprised.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 889: Another interview in the midst

It is midst right? Not mist? Mist would be silly. Things in mist. I think they make scary films with that premise.

Anyway, I digress. I leave Thursday for an interview in Milwaukee (brrrr). I think it's good to keep my options open, even given the current circumstances. I've been waffling a lot the past few days, deciding whether or not I should go. I tried calling tons of people to get their insight, but shocker, everyone was busier than Santa's elves during the hoildays and couldn't take my call. Such is life. Sometimes you have to make the big decisions on your own.

Granted, this decision isn't all that big. But still, a decision that stressed me out. The stress has gone and the decision has been made. Off to Milwaukee I go!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 879: Post-armageddon

Well, that sounds dramatic doesn't it?

When I woke up yesterday, the stress that had accumulated throughout the week dissipated. You should have seen my to-do list for yesterday. At the top? "Finally stop freaking out!" It was a pretty lax day. Went out with my grandmother, took a nap, got into medical school, donated some clothes, went to the gym, worked, and watched some TV with my mom.

All in all, Ocotber 15th passed, as expected, with little fanfare.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 876: Healing, old friends and feeling consumption

As my friend MK likes to ask me, "Still a leper, Jess?"

"No, no longer a leper." After a week of blistered-feeling appendages that gave way to itchy appendages, I am now essentially healed. Thank the high heavens.

I've been terribly glad this past week because I have reconnected(ish) with two friends! The first was my gal-pal from North Carolina, Joy (who I spoke about here). I haven't spoken to Joy in more than a year. I called her a few times and left messages and never heard back so I deleted her number, mourned the loss of a great girlfriend and moved on. Well, she texts (and then calls) me up out of the blue and it was fabulous! To be honest, I don't expect to hear from her for another six months, but it was good to hear her voice.

The second was my dearest friend Ashley. We haven't seen each other for almost 18 months. We texted, briefly, on August 24th, but that was that. We talked on the phone for more than an hour yesterday and it was fantastic. She's happy at her new job and I am pleased as punch

All in all, catching up with old friends is always nice. And I caught up with two friends so that's twice as nice!

Lastly, I want you to meet my feelings. The stress of Friday is causing me to eat my feelings in all of these delectable foods.

I just need Friday to come and go so I can get back to glorious days of not-knowing when I would hear back from medical schools.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 868: The aftermath of the New Orleans drama

I am here to tell you all about my latest interview in New Orleans. Rather than bore you all with gobs of text, I shall do my best to utilize my broadcast journalism skills and tell you the utmost necessary information about my trip to NoLa.

I flew in Friday where my friend picked me up. I got really sick on my flight there. My throat killed. It became unbearably difficult to swallow (my own saliva, much less any fluid that wasn't scalding hot) and when I deplaned, I was achey and slightly light-headed. We went to dinner (the food did me some good) and then went back to his place where I slept on his gosh-awful couch.

Saturday, we both wake up late and head out to breakfast in the French Quarter. Cafe du Monde is packed beyond belief so we walk to another place down the block and have a good ol' breakfast. He leaves to study and I explore the French Quarter.

He calls me at 4:30 to see if I'm all right only to inform me he took a nap and was just beginning to study. I am sick and dehydrated and just want to go back so I tell him I'm heading back and he can study once he lets me in. We don't go out to eat that night and I end up eating the random crap he has in his refrigerator (cold cuts, cold bread, cold cheese -- all excellent for my throat). I sleep on the floor that night (better than his couch).

Sunday, he wakes up at noon, drops me off at Audubon Park and I don't see him again until 5:30.

Long story short, I don't have money to ride the streetcar so I end up walking 2 miles to the bakery I wanted check out (without passing out even though I'm dehydrated beyond belief). He and the girl he's dating pick me up from there and she is the worst. She's a naive recent college graduate who smokes (in her car no less). He acts like a bumbling, giggling teenager around her and I wanted to smack the crap out of both of them. We eat some po'boys for dinner and they leave to study. I sleep on the floor again tonight.

Finally! The interview! Having had a craptastic time in New Orleans thusfar, the school is actually quite nice. I mean, it's nothing new and shiny like the Philly school, but this school offers a Tropical Medicine degree, which is something that would truly benefit my future career with Doctors Without Borders. The students are nice and the three interviews I had (two faculty, one student) went as follows:
  1. Male PhD. A fine interview. Nothing too great. He didn't have any of my info so it was just him asking questions.
  2. Female PhD. She's German and adorable and tall! We ended up talking for almost 50 minutes (instead of the typical 30). She said near the end of the interview that she could see me at their medical school (which I hope is a good sign, fingers crossed!)
  3. Female, second year. She was sweet. A little nerdy, but super cute. We just chitted and chatted and ate some not-very-good food.
I forget to mention that the morning of my interview, my hands and feet have broken out with these things:

They hurt like blisters especially when I open-and-close my hands and when I walk on my feet. Another way to describe it is like my hands and feet are constantly asleep so the blood rushing back to them hurts like hell in a handbasket. But I'm overexaggerating. It's just uncomfortable.

Edited to Add: My best friend diagnosed me as having Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. For which all I have to say is this: I hate all of you dirty people of New Orleans who infected me with this crap!

So, all in all, New Orleans has infected me with who-knows-what, I am no longer friends with the guy I visited, and I am 10 days away from receiving decisions (hopefully) from medical schools. I think I'm going to start freaking out soon.