Thursday Born

The everyday life of a psychiatry resident (who was born on a Thursday).

Posts Tagged ‘reverb10

Defining Moment – Reverb 10, Day 29

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What is Reverb10?

December 29 – Defining Moment. Describe a defining moment or series of events that has affected your life this year. (Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)

I’ve started and stopped this post so many times and I’ve been consistently dissatisfied with the results.

This year, the big one time events that happened were my second oldest brother getting married, and my boyfriend graduating from college. Events that certainly have impacted my life significantly, but events that aren’t really mine.

2010’s events will be remembered as parts of school years, not calendar years, as stages that don’t really have a date but are part of a sequence, and many won’t be remembered at all. I finished my first year of medical school; I started my second year. I spent my last summer off doing research, and then traveling, which included my visiting Turkey for the second time, and Ahmet visiting Ghana for the first (and hopefully not last) time. He also started working his first full time job, and as a result, I’ve been to my first Office Holiday Party. (Do Doctors even have work-related holiday parties…?)

I’ve enjoyed Reverb 10 but I’m eager to stop reflecting on 2010 and get started living 2011. I’m ready to tackle (rather, to be done with tackling) the Step 1 beast. To be done, forever!, with taking actual classes (but, of course, far from done with learning). And I really want to know, firsthand: is third year medical school really as bad as everyone says it is? Next year I’ll be three years out from undergrad, pushing past two years living in one place, and celebrating my fourth(?!) anniversary with my boyfriend.

So, 2010. Certainly a less stressful year for me than 2009 was, but not all that distinctly memorable. And I’m happy with that.

Written by Aba

December 29, 2010 at 9:55 am

Posted in Reverb 10, Uncategorized

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Achieve – Reverb 10, Day 28

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What is Reverb10?

December 28 – Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. (Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

This prompt would have been much more fun had I not already done the first half several times.

Next year I most want to achieve being a smart medical student, which encompasses getting a good Step 1 score, but also doing well in my classes, and being able to have and follow intelligent discussions about the material we’re learning.

How will that make me feel? Smart. Less stressed. Less anxious about being put on the spot during my rotations. A good Step 1 score will have me feeling giddy and accomplished and like my future’s a bit more secure.

I’m not sure what I can do today to specifically capture those feelings, but I can think of things I can do today that will make today a good day.

1. Not have to go anywhere.
2. Read some fiction
3. Read some First Aid (Step 1 prep book)
4. Rework my travel plans for February. I need to visit my parents the weekend I was planning on visiting Ahmet that month, and I was also planning to have my best friend come to the US that weekend so we could go visit him together, so now I need to reschedule everything, and it takes me forever and is a bit stressful, but it needs to be done and I’ll feel much better when it is.
5. Nap.
6. Play some video games.
7. Eat good food.


Instead of working on this post some more, I’m going to go ahead and work on number 7. Breakfast time! Might come back later and do some retouching, but as you can see, writing a good blog post is not on this list!

Edited to Add: Good Day Successfully Achieved! Goodnight! =D

Written by Aba

December 28, 2010 at 3:51 am

Posted in Reverb 10, Uncategorized

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Beyond Avoidance – Reverb 10, Day 20

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What is Reverb10?

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)

I’ve been avoiding writing this post! I’m struggling with coming up with an answer that I can turn into a good post. I’m struggling with coming up with an answer in general.

Of course I’ve avoided doing things this year, but I eventually got a lot of the bigger ones done. I’m lucky in that most have had clear cut deadlines (like the paper and poster for my summer research), so although I could put them off for a while, I couldn’t put them off forever. A lot of the things without deadlines, like going to the dentist, I’d already put off for over a year.

My life is very laid out for me right now and I don’t have too many decisions to make. There isn’t really much room for avoidance in medical school, at least, not avoidance that I wouldn’t seriously regret someday.

I’m feeling guilty again, like I shouldn’t be participating in this project if my life is going so well. My life is not easy, but it is challenging in the way a puzzle is challenging, not in a “I have no idea if I’m going to eat tomorrow or the day after” way.

What have I been doing right this year? Holding myself more accountable. As soon as I realize that there’s something I really need to do but I don’t want to do it, I write it down. I learned one summer, counting down the days till I was done with something, that crossing things off (the days off a calendar, for example) is extremely satisfying. So I write things down so that I get to cross them off and be happy for a few seconds. It’s a small thing, but so is the inertia that stops me from doing them in the first place.

So especially around exam time, there is likely to be a daily notecard of things to do on my desk. Things like my hundred push-ups workout set for the day, or filling out some rebates, or taking a picture of something I made recently that I had wanted to blog about. Sometimes I have a big picture list where I’m not entirely sure when I want to be done with the items, but I want to make sure they’re on my mind, so that list has things like renewing my library card, or finishing my Step 1 application (almost done! I think I just need to pick a place and then a date now. I’m thinking June 14th in Seattle; it’s a Tuesday, and then I have clinical orientation that Friday. I think Tuesday is as far as I can sanely push it).

I’m a very forgetful person, and so still, if something doesn’t make it onto a list, I’m very likely to forget it. I didn’t do all my course surveys at the end of my first block this year, and now if I forget to do any, I’ll get a negative comment about professionalism somewhere in my Dean’s letter or something. So you can bet that I do those as soon as they start sending us the emails about them now!

I have a few things left to do this year, like finish reading all the chapters in First Aid (Step 1 review book) that have to do with subjects we’ve already covered in school, and finish the hospital write up that I was supposed to turn in right after my hospital session (my preceptor told me to take my time! So, I have), and maybe even book my appointment for my wisdom tooth surgery next year (late February?) so I can get a price quote and budget accordingly.

But I’m on track with what matters to me right now. I’ve never been good about making flashcards for studying, but I’m so glad I bought these note cards, because they’re a perfect size for lists!

(And true to form, I made a phone call in the middle of this post that I’ve been putting off for at least a month now. Got some money back from Kaplan that will soon be spent on a different test prep service).

Written by Aba

December 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Healing – Reverb 10, Day 19

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What is Reverb10?

December 19 – Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011? (Author: Leonie Allan)

Sigh. I really hope some of the next twelve prompts are more different from the others. I think a more appropriate response to this post would have been my Lesson Learned post, but then again, that was mostly about 2009, not 2010.

Healing for me is generally about recharging. Down time. Immersing myself into a book or a new blog or a new tv show. It’s all about inner focus. Letting something select, often a new story, into my mental bubble and staying there with it for some time.

It is generally the idea of things that heal me, the way I think of them, and sometimes the way I have chosen to think of them. I love tea, but the ritual of making it and settling down with a warm mug has emotional associations that make it more special than what it really is. Same with reading in the sunset. Or making certain foods. Even wearing certain clothes or curling up with a specific blanket.

I don’t want to need healing next year, but I would love to still have time for these little actions that fill me with the simple, quiet warmth of contentment.

Written by Aba

December 19, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Posted in Reverb 10

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5 Minutes – Reverb 10, Day 15

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What is Reverb10?

December 15 – 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

Here we go!

Meeting my niece (ok, so that was very end of 2009), then re-meeting her in July and October and both times being so surprised at how big and alert and aware she was. She’s also a really pretty baby. I also want to remember seeing my mother and my brother interact with her. It’s really interesting and heartwarming seeing my brother as a loving father, and it’s a lot of fun seeing how much both my mother and my niece light up around each other.

My summer vacation. First, taking Ahmet to Ghana. Watching him meet my Grandmother, who is the most awesome little grandmother ever and so loving and enthusiastic. Her asking me if she looked okay before she came out to meet him, which was just really endearing. Breakfasts and lunches together with my family nearly ever day, in the beautiful new veranda room my mother had built. Pictures of it look like they’re from a magazine. And then just the family aspect of eating together was nice. I realized I’d kind of missed that.

Then Turkey was also a wonderful time. The best part was probably our trip to the seaside at the end. Being in water that I floated in at a more comfortable level due to the salt was really cool (I barely know how to swim). Ahmet was also a really good teacher and was great about making me feel comfortable in the water and not rushing me.

And I’ve run out of time. Oops. That was fun though! Next time I do something like this, more listing and less exposition!

Key moments I also would have liked to remember were my brother’s wedding (not the one with the baby; I have three older brothers, btw) and Ahmet’s graduation. And then lots of other more everyday moments, but I think those were the big ones.

So far, of all the prompts, this is the one I’d recommend trying, for those of you not doing the entire reverb 10.

Edit: And I apparently cheated by sleeping on this and thinking about it before starting, but I was trying to study when I read the prompt!

Written by Aba

December 15, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Posted in Life in General, Reverb 10

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Appreciate – Reverb 10, Day 14

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What is Reverb10?

December 14 – Appreciate What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

(I appreciate that the author of this post wrote a prompt that wasn’t a ridiculously direct tie-in to a book she’s just written.)

If I have to say one thing, then I’m going to say the Internet, because the internet connects me to all the other things I’d want to say instead.

I’ve been online since I was ten or eleven (I’m twenty-four), but the way I use it now is quite different from the way I used it then. Or two years ago. Or five years ago.

The internet is now a place of learning. Not just by reading random wikipedia articles, but so much of my education is currently facilitated by the internet. Recorded lectures. Powerpoint slides. Notes. Old tests. Research papers. School email. School calendar. Financial Aid. Everything’s online! Often this year I have turned to a friend and wondered, “How did past med students  ___ without having the internet!” We can easily check what time a test is. Someone can let the whole class know that there’s an assignment due tomorrow by sending one email. If we’re studying and we disagree on something, there are so many resources through which we can easily search to find the answer.

The internet is also a place of connection. I can stay in touch with people from undergrad, from boarding school, and from my school in Ghana, so easily, with resources like facebook. Extended family, people I meet through a new activity, friends of friends, all of them easily found and reached out to.

Even better than that, my family can be as spread out as it is, and yet we can all stay a part of each other’s lives. My mother and my sister in law email me pictures and videos of my (amazing and adorable) niece.My brothers can easily let me know about something new that’s going on in their lives. I can put music on my mother’s ipod for her by remote accessing her computer! With the internet, it is okay that I am in the Midwest of the USA, a place I never particularly thought I’d live again (I was born in Wisconsin, strangely enough, but was there for less than a year). My boyfriend is miles away on a different coast. My parents are even further, on a separate continent. My brothers are in the US, but we’re all spread out, in four different states that don’t even share borders.

The internet makes it bearable. I am not completely stranded here in this land-locked state. I almost wanted to go to one of my other two options for medical school, due to their locations, but this one was far cheaper and generally consider “a better school,” and my interview here had been one of my favorites. Coming here was one of the hardest easy choices I’ve had to make.

So this year I have really appreciated that my loved ones, and my education, are all accessible right here where I sit, on this blue exercise ball, huddling by my space heater and allowing myself a few moments (maybe hours) of respite before I have to start studying again.

And I think I can bet that if you’re reading this, you’re pretty appreciative of the internet too. :) Right?

Written by Aba

December 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Posted in Life in General, Reverb 10

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