Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hometown Blues

The greater metropolitan population of my hometown is about 200,000.

There are over 90 bars, all of which serve the same house wine, domestic tap beer and have the same smoky dingy interior. There is one bookstore: Barnes and Noble- also the only free wifi location in town.

The male-female ratio is about 76:100.  Median income is 18,000 and 25% of the population lives in poverty.

The political tone is strongly republican and no one that I've talked to cares that the best gym at the local Y is men only.  After all, I'm such a feminist.

The average driver's age is 59.

There is a local racetrack and 2 movie theaters.  There are no art galleries.

A nurse on U8, one of the few who was interested in more than getting married and having babies, was after me for weeks to get together. Finally, we had a common day off and made plans.

I was thrilled to finally share conversation. She didn't show up. She sent me a text message the next morning telling me how sorry she was but a friend showed up in town unexpectedly.

Now, a week later, she acts as though we are best buddies, girl-flirting with me at work and constantly playing with my hair. I ignore it.  My resentment towards her is minor. Rather I resent that this stifling, backwaters town has so lowered my standards for friendship.  I miss my wonderful, interesting, reliable Seattlite friends.

She asked me if I was going to be sad on my last day next week and I laughed at her.

I hate this town and, now that my family is mostly gone, can hardly wait til I'm gone.

Monday, May 7, 2012


I passed my background check.  Though I didn’t have much rational doubt, I confess that I was terrified that somehow that check that I bounced when I was 16 had somehow snowballed into a felony that, unknowingly, had chased me for 15 years. It’s a relief that the federal government doesn’t care about my teenage irresponsibility. Whew.

I’ve withdrawn from most of my acceptances. I’m holding out on one though.  I know that I want to go to BCS but I hesitate to withdraw from town Podunk because ‘what if there’s a mistake?’ What if I withdraw from one and my financial aid doesn’t come through or I mistook the other’s offer and they didn’t really accept me? It’s safer having two places to go.

What if I mess up somehow on the stupid convoluted crazy-ass paperwork that they require?

I’m thinking about that student that’s on the waiting list and hoping desperately that she gets accepted. I want to give her that chance because waiting sucks. I was fortunate enough to know before Christmas but it wasn’t soon enough. I just can’t send that withdraw notice because what if it’s a mistake?

Friday, May 4, 2012


It's the homestretch of my life at U8; tonight marked shift 10 in my countdown. I'm thrilled to be moving on and immersing myself in school but terrified at the idea of being unemployed for four years and intimidated by how hard medical school is going to be. What if I'm not disciplined enough?

In wonderful circular serendipity, one of my all time favorite patients, a friendly inspirational and endearing character is back for my last weeks.  I worked with him at the start of my time here and now I get to say goodbye. It's the perfect end to my clinical interactions and a great memory to tide me over until I get back to the floors in two years.

I decided to go to the big city medical school (BCMS).  I was vacillating between the two for months and had decided on small-town nearby because I convinced myself that my quality of life would be better there. (family pressure may have been a factor)

Then BCMS offered me an amazing scholarship thus giving me the freedom to acknowledge that I would be happier in the program and in the city. It was enough to topple even the strongest objections to the choice. Hooray!!

I'm going to the city next month to look for an apartment.  I'm so excited for this summer!