January 21, 2008

Chatter and silence

There was a delightful amount of chatter in our classroom three weeks ago as everyone converged for our first lecture of 2008. Fresh from winter break where many people went abroad, friends reunited to share their holiday events with each other.

Strangely, I found myself in the midst of this exchange of excited words and gestures with my nose buried into the papers of the day's lecture notes and the future lecture schedule. I found this surprising... normally, I'm very talkative, but I didn't feel like participating in any discussions. I felt lazy. I felt unmotivated. I felt blase and boring.

Was I turning into an introvert?!? Last semester, I had to study nearly 10-15 hours/day without any breaks on the weekends just to keep up with the material. Neuroanatomy, Half of Robbins, Neuropathology... that was the "bonus" material we had to study in addition to the typical case material and Anatomy/Path labs. 10-15/7 (almost 24/7, accounting for food, sleep and bathroom breaks) left very little time for socializing. When it was over and winter break started up, I felt very burned out. I didn't want to call up my friends to hang out. I slept in until 11 or 12 on a regular basis, just because I could. I wasted as much time doing as little as possible. Looking back, it was a reaction to the pending realization that THIS would be the last restful break I'd ever have.

I heard the horror stories of third-year clerkships. I knew about the restless nights of being on-call.

I withdrew into my shell.

Now, I can honestly say that I am breaking out of that shell.
I've moved into town so I'm closer to school.
I've got myself an outgoing upperclass roommate.
I've been sticking to my resolution to spend more quality moments with my family, having dinner, playing games, talking, etc.
Heck, I've been going out twice a week! Whoa... that's pure heaven for the typical med student. The downside is that I feel like I'm drinking a lot of alcohol. I'm a social drinker (read: not a big fan of EtOH, but succumbs easily to peer pressure). Guilty pleasures, indeed. I've met a lot of new people and old friends in the past three weeks that I feel happier now than I ever did in my first year of med school.

That's not to say that I wasn't happy before... but I definitely wasn't taking care of my "goose" as much as I should have. (FYI, UH med school has a running gag about caring for your "goose", so it continues to give you golden eggs.)

A part of my neglectful goose has been this blog. I'm sad that I posted more as a pre-med than as a med-student.

The silence ends now. I'm going to reorganize this blog and turn it more into a commentary on my life. I'm going to make myself more transparent. No more "pseudo-anonymity" from me! I'm going to be participatory in my favorite feeds. It'll mean more work, but I want to contribute to the cyberverse of medicine and such.

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