Monthly Archives: January 2017

They won’t like me like they did

(lecrae- identity)

I am supposed to be excited to interview at seven out of the nine places I applied, but I’m not; I’m dreading it. It seems so pointless. I am told that the reason places bring you onsite for an interview is to find out how you fit into the culture and community at their facility. That’s all well and good, but no one wants the girl who doesn’t talk. The girl who doesn’t talk doesn’t really fit in anywhere.

I try to think realistically. I know I have grown a LOT. I might look like a middle schooler, but I am no longer the high school kid with very few friends counting a friend as someone she might be able to say hi to maybe 50% of the time if confronted face to face in the hallway. I am not the first year getting high fives and congratulations for saying hi to my friends when I see them. I am not the second year going everywhere with a laptop to type out the parts of conversation that can’t be answered with nodding and pointing.

…but I still think of myself that way. It has always bothered me when people called me the quiet girl as if that were my only identity or even worse “quiet girl” as if that were my name, but that label sunk in deep enough that I still think of myself that way. I have made a lot of progress since then, but I do still frequently think about how to communicate potential needs without spoken words.

Those thoughts, while sometimes absent-minded brain games, are sometimes legitimate preparation even now. Sure, most of the time I am now a chatterbox that people wish had an off switch, and most of the time I can communicate verbally in such a way that no one needs to know that this isn’t how it always was, but not always, and an interview situation is different.

First, an interview is a high stress situation. High stress situations are the situations in which I am most likely to lose the ability to form coherent words. It isn’t cool when “tell me about yourself” is met with a blank stare or when “what is a strength you have” is met with a deer in the headlights.

Second, I have been observing conversation for years to learn patterns and scripting, and am getting better and better at applying what I have learned to new situations so that at this point I seem like a competent conversationalist most of the time. Unfortunately, interviews are not something I have had much of an opportunity to observe…let’s see, I had an interview-ish conversation in middle school when I was getting my first job, but in reality, the boss asked me to apply for the job and the interview was mostly just me filling out the application and getting the information I needed for my first day. I also had an interview at a university I did not attend. That one was a real-ish interview, but was a super fail. Umm, so the person interviewing me was apparently an English professor. She spent the entire time questioning me about one event that I had put on. She seemed to be trying to get some kind of information out of me, but clearly I was getting the answers wrong, because she just kept asking the same questions over and over despite my attempts at answering. The only other interview I’ve had was at school for the interview into third year. That one they gave us the questions in advance, I wrote answers and memorized said answers to regurgitate in the interview. It was scary because as a first year I was told there was no reason for me to even be in school because I was just going to fail the interview into third year anyway. As it turns out, I wasn’t good at interviewing, but if you showed up you automatically passed, and I might be lousy at interviewing, but I am good at showing up.

All that to say, I feel like they aren’t going to want real me. I admit that paper me sounds like a reasonable candidate – okay grades, involved, excited, good references – but, I don’t think that the people who liked paper me will be interested in real me. Who needs a girl who shuts down in interviews? For all they will know, shut down really is my constant state of being.

One of my awesome friends reassured me that confidence and eye contact are really the most important…which I mean is a good reminder that what I say isn’t as important as that I say SOMETHING (which given my history, even saying something is an accomplishment), but it is also scary, because the two things I get the most constructive criticism on are eye contact and confidence. I try really hard, and my preceptors tell me that I have made a LOT of progress (or at least the ones who have seen me present more than once)…and a lot of progress each rotation times five completed rotations is definitely something I should be proud of, but it doesn’t seem like enough. I don’t think anyone is going to want me. I hope someone is going to be willing to take a chance on me, but I feel like they’d probably rather have someone who can consistently communicate and do it well…and when you get a choice, why go second class?

I feel like I am going to have spent all this time and money and all I’m going to get in exchange is the knowledge that I wasn’t enough. I was actually thinking today that maybe I wasn’t too far off thinking I could take a year off and work at McDonalds or Caribou if I didn’t match. Besides the yummy food, those are two jobs in which I would be forced to have constant communication time. Being in pharmacy has pushed me into part time communication, but even then I often get breaks to do things that get me away from direct communication for a little while, which I’m guessing doesn’t happen quite so much in the food service industry.

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I think I can’t I think I can’t

(For the moments I feel faint – Relient K)

My first on site rotation is a week from tomorrow.

I might still have not ever started preparing for interviews. This could be a hardcore failure since I now have like no time…or it could be okay…who knows, maybe they will be excited to have this girl who looks like a middle schooler and has absolutely no idea what she’s doing…

On top of that I still have my rotation. It’s not my favorite, but based on the feedback I got before the rotation started, it could totally be way worse…I was told it was really hard and people fail and it is really challenging and stuff…I was kinda nervous and kinda wondering if those people were just saying it is hard as in you actually might have to do something besides show up to pass…On last Monday my manager found out who my preceptor was and told me that was great because that means my rotation wasn’t going to be so awful…umm…thanks for the  vote of confidence?

I am trying really hard to write a presentation…about a topic there isn’t much information about…I feel like on my previous rotations there’s been a lot more guidance about what my topic should be and how I should structure my presentations…this is kind of just do it…and I spent so much time trying to come up with a topic that I am pretty much at the deadline and still have a blank paper and a pile of inter library loan requests…

…and I found out Friday that I have a presentation to give on Monday…and I lost my voice on Saturday and it isn’t back yet, and therefore I haven’t been able to really practice the presentation…

Should I start panicking yet?

I’m also staying at my first airbnb the night before my interview…so maybe I’ll be kidnapped (adultnapped?) and none of this will matter!!

Shadows drip from my umbrella

(Endure – Plumb)

I graduate in 119 days!!

Look what I made at the library yesterday when I should have been doing homework!! I took pictures at an angle to hide the parts that are less photogenic, and it is definitely not solid enough to be functional even if it were big enough and made with material intended to be in contact with things for ingestion…but it’s cute…my original plan was that it would be big enough to be a cute mini candy bowl, but that was going to take almost two entire days, and I could only reserve the stuff for four hours…but now I have my own shopkins sized mortar and pestle…

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Take some time to kick back

(Holiday — Britt Nicole)

Today I am learning that sometimes I need to recognize that when I am maxed out that trying to keep going isn’t going to be productive…yep, as of right now I have spent almost 3 hours doing absolutely nothing because I couldn’t think slow enough to actually open up the tabs on the internet I needed to do homework and then read said tabs…

I think I know what happened…based on screening trainings I’ve done over the years, I have learned that my blood glucose sits right around 70 despite the high levels of sugar I may consume…in high school I went to a camp where they let me have popsicles and all sorts of other junk food items for breakfast. Right after that we did blood glucose screening, and the person teaching me asked me if I felt okay and if I had eaten anything at breakfast because my number was so low…I know that low blood sugar (particularly <70mg/dL) can cause anxiety and panic attacks.

My theory is that because I sit so low at baseline, that any excursion brings me low enough to induce anxiety. I didn’t really eat breakfast this morning because I forgot, so inevitably there was a good chance of going low. By the time I got as far as presenting my patients to my preceptor before rounds I was already feeling kind of zoned out and overwhelmed…then during rounds I pulled up my email and found out I was not going to be interviewed at one of the places I applied for residency…then I found out I got an interview somewhere else…on a Monday…they stated that they expect me to drive…it’s almost 11 hours away…almost no airline seems to fly there…

Topic discussion was switched to something I wasn’t prepared for. Noon lecture was about something I should have known about and the presented knew that I should have known, but my mind was blanked out. I checked my email right before I left for the day and I had another two programs tell me I was scheduled for an interview date…the same day and almost the same times as the first one…

To add to the stress, my mom has a cold and she is always super whiney when she has a cold, and she doesn’t seem to have ever heard of covering her cough, and she touches everything…and add that to the fact that any time I am starting a new rotation I become hyperaware of cross-contamination…added to the fact that on my second day the preceptor’s first words to me were that I should have wiped down my area before sitting anything down or touching anything…and I was bound to become maxed out eventually…

…and spotify doesn’t want to work and so I can’t have good calm down music playing to keep me focused…somehow singing “Harold the helicopter” to myself isn’t conducive to study time…

Lol…now that I’ve taken some time off to think, I feel a little more ready to work on attempting to actually study for a little while. The world isn’t going to crash and burn in the next few hours, and I know God has a plan even if it feels like that plan is precluding me from any chance at the residencies I want. Maybe I’ll learn to say would you like fries with that…or better yet, I could work at Caribou and have a free drink every shift!! Yummy smoothies!!

No Way I Can Get This Start Finished

(Procrastinating–Stellar Kart)

Umm…lol…wanna know why I am laying on the couch watching a video that isn’t even that interesting?

Well, because I know I am no good at interviewing, but I haven’t figured out how to fix that. Being a second year armed with a list of the potential questions I got through it memorizing the answers to each of the questions…I also had months to write and memorize said answers. And cultural heritage was over so it wasn’t like I actually had much of anything to study…(yay for repeating a zillion classes…thanks school…not complaining…but…it’d be really nice to have graduated last year…yes, I do know that promises mean nothing if they are verbal rather than written–just hadn’t figured it out at 18 years old–…not that a written promise will necessarily be honored at school either)

As a sixth year faced with residency interviews there isn’t a list of questions…I mean, I can totally find questions on the internet or whatevs, but there is basically no limit to what I could be asked…and on top of that I have to be able to come up with my own questions to ask.

Wanna know how I tend to handle being overwhelmed? By not knowing where to start and giving up until it feels like an emergency. Luckily being a chronically early person, the idea of emergency starts appearing in enough time that I can totally still get things done…but basically, I am watching a video so I don’t have to figure out how to get ready for an interview…

On the positive side, I pretty much have been promised an interview at two places that I would really really like to be!! On the negative side, it will be happening very soon and have I mentioned that I have absolutely no idea how to interview?? And how in the world am I supposed to have questions when I’ve been friends with a very high percentage of the residents at those two programs and have therefore already had a venue for my questions starting like 6 years ago…hashtag one of the previous residents has also co-precepted me…she’s the one who I will never forget because of what happened the first day I met her…she’s hilarious.

I did have an online interview…which I’m pretty sure that the program that was for gives to every candidate…but umm…it was a good wake-up call that ignoring interviews doesn’t make them go away or make me any better at it. Let’s just say that the computer said the interview would take about 65-80 minutes…I pressed the pause button so many times that it took me around 4 hours…and I almost gave up and made my answer to what is one thing you’d change about yourself that I’d be done with this interview…I was just so done…oh yeah, I started preparing for that interview the morning before I filmed it which was two days before it was due…yep, procrastination is totally my M.O. for a coping mechanism.