Hindsight

They say hindsight is 20/20, perfect vision. Sometimes, I reflect on where my life could have gone differently. If I had gotten that hospital job like I wanted to badly, I might not have learned as much as I have about different pharmacy business models or seen the types of leadership approaches in action. This year, I debated whether to stay with my current course or to cut my losses (financially, time-wise, emotionally), apply to a different dental school, and start again. But despite the many daydreams and fan-fiction stories I’ve read, you can’t go back in time.

Really, if you could go back and change how you responded, you wouldn’t be the same person. You wouldn’t have learned the lessons you did, and the people around you would be shaped differently.

I went back to visit my old high school when I first came back home. It was great. A lot of the teachers recognised me. I got a hug from my old mentor. Maybe he’s getting soft in his old age, he was always a bit gruff and scary in high school. Before then, I’d always felt such mortification at recalling my high school experience and actions. It was impossible to give myself any slack. But going back this year, I finally gained some perspective when I saw those students and my teachers. As teachers, they were limited in what they could say and do. They had certain roles to play. I must have been painfully awkward.

But it’s ok now. It’s a bit pathetic, but I think I can finally stop beating myself up over some of the unbelievably stupid things I said and did.

~

And then today, a week later, I saw J. We went to elementary school together. We were good mates then, I suppose. I remember one year, there was a mime club. I had so much fun doing that with him. Then we both left for different private schools in Year 7. He went to an elitist school for the academically bright. I went to a French immersion school, elitist because they spoke French for nearly everything and all its students thought themselves the shit, myself included. We met sporadically over the years, and it wasn’t unpleasant or anything.

Now, J’s dad is an optician and owns a glasses shop. Our family has gone there for years to get our glasses, contacts and sunglasses. Today, J was in the shop. I knew that he’d applied to med school, hadn’t been accepted and had taken it hard. In my mind, I presumed he’d re-applied and gotten in. He was always so intelligent from all reports.

At first, I thought he was hanging around, visiting his Dad. Then it clicked that he was working. I pulled off my hat and was straightening my hair when he came out from the back. I didn’t recognise him. I dare say he’s become quite attractive. Mum said hello. He was rather stand-offish, to the point where I wasn’t even sure it was him. I waited till he left the front of the shop and asked Mum if that was, in fact, J. She replied in the affirmative. My first reaction was, “How rude.” But on some consideration, I thought it was a bit weird and sad actually, that he couldn’t interact normally with someone from his childhood.

When I was attending the French immersion school, I had my head up my ass and acted like I didn’t know friends from elementary school. But I like to think I pulled it out at some point.

On the drive home, Mum explained that there was tension in the family. The grandmother only likes J and blatantly favours him. She doesn’t get on with J’s father, and vice versa. J’s sister resents the favouritism, and said, “That’s why J didn’t get into med school.” (?too coddled, so no competitive edge?) Anyway, lots of friction. Oh, and the grandmother talks crazy shit to family friends. Hilarious and sad at the same time.

It sucks that he has such a massive chip on his shoulder. I’ll cut J some slack when I go pick up my new glasses. It’s Christmas. And he’s an old childhood friend. Besides, he’s really easy on the eyes now, so it’s not too hard. Poor J.

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Drama: The Persistent Weed Pt 2

This is a continuation of my last post.

I stopped writing last night because I have a race next weekend. This morning’s run was fantastic, and the endorphin rush and energy lasted me till 5pm. I’ve been so reticent about running in the morning in winter because the sun won’t have risen yet, and it’s usually windy/rainy/crappy. However, with the big race so close, I got up and ran a new personal best, which I’m quite happy about. 10.5km in 57 minutes = 5:25 min/km!!

The view at the end of a new PB run :D

The view at the end of a new PB run 😀

Anyway, my life is currently overrun with drama. Let’s talk about uni, which has once again become a large part of my life.

Teaching hospitals are hotbeds of politicking and drama.

1. My year is the first cohort of post-graduate students for this course. They gave us fanciful labels, like “pioneers” and “scouts.” Oh please, you mean “guinea pigs.”

I wish I’d gotten a photo of what MF from my study group wrote on the whiteboard one session:

Welcome to Journal Club. In your first year of uni, can you say that you’ve killed/sued/brought on a nervous breakdown on your professors?

Or something like that.

2. They have tried to treat us like the usual 17-18 year old undergraduates, who are basically children. When Nurse G tried to reprimand us, we immediately gave feedback to our class representatives, who got the staff to speak to her and say, “You can’t do that.” She got the message.

3. They are trying to dictate new clinic coat standards. P has told me there is no evidence for cross infection control, or research on the incidence of proven patient/patient transfer in our setting. But they remain adamant that we must meet their new requirements, despite the fact that students for the past 10 years have had short clinic coats, and neither they nor their patients are on anti-retrovirals. Fucking saliva splatter studies.

4. The replacement for the course coordinator who had a breakdown is a real piece of work. Why?

  • I can understand that you want our undivided attention, but it’s unbelievably disrespectful to snap your fingers at us. Our cohort has students of a comparable age, qualifications, and life experience. Your attempt to avoid conflict by a dictatorial attitude is not appreciated.
  • We will be your future colleagues. Who the hell do you think you are to tell us to lower our screens because we don’t need to take notes?
  • I don’t want to hear your life story, about how you went to the best university in America, and “dated your professor on the quiet” and got married. I don’t care that your son has final high school exams, or about your “amazing” daughter who’s never dealt with death before, but has taken on all the cooking for her friend’s mother’s funeral. Shut up. If you absolutely must, finish your lecture on the history of the topic, and then talk through actual important, clinically relevant topics, you twit! Jesus fucking Christ.

5. I’m not encouraged to excel with my practical work. Last week, I was ahead of everyone else for one activity, standing around, waiting for 45 minutes to get something checked in 30 seconds so I could proceed to the next step. The tutor asked me why I was rushing and the coordinator told me to hide my frustration.

But you know what? I get it. This is the way things are. I just need to keep my head down, use my time more effectively instead of standing around, get through, and then leave this crap drama behind. Water off a duck’s back. It’s not worth the emotional energy. I have more important things to worry about. Like study.

Today, I was ahead again. We were allocated 6 hours for our practical work. I finished in 3 and a bit. People started asking me to critique their work, so I did it a bit. And then more and more people asked. I felt like such a twat. I mean, I learned it at the same time as you and I’m ahead, but I’m not more experienced or anything. And here I am, playing tutor. Oh well, they asked for my feedback. It was better than twiddling my thumbs.

I have seriously considered transferring back home for the course. We’ll cross that bridge when it comes time.

There may be a part 3, on my clinic partner, and a small group of girls who have distinguished themselves in our cohort as bitches.