Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time to Wait

Hello there dear Readers, 

It has been a few weeks since my last update. Since that time, I not only ranked my match list, but I can no longer make any changes as it has already been submitted. What does this mean? Well basically I have to wring my hands until February 14th to find out where I am going for the next 3-5 years. I took the time to make my list and there is rhyme to my reason of why I ranked my list the way that I did. I do not want to say anything yet as the match process is still going on, but once I match then I will spill everything. 

In the meantime things on the studying end have been hard. I mean I really do not want to sit and read anymore. After spending 3 years reading hours on end, the last thing I want to do is read. But alas, I still have to. In fact during this current rotation, Infectious Diseases, I plan on doing more reading. I am in the library now taking a break from doing such. This rotation is nice because it is not very intensive and at times there are 1/2 days where I can catch up to reading or relaxing. Although it has been the later lately. 

This weekend is my school's annual Medicine Ball. Basically it is a dinner/dance and people get dressed up for it. My wife and I are not going this year for a couple of reasons. For one, we do not have a babysitter available. And for the other, being older to just about everyone we do not really feel like we fit in. We mainly sit around the table talking to ourselves. Why should we pay $100 when we can do that at home for free. But I am glad that we did go the previous 3 years. We are just not in that scene anymore. We have other friends that we have more in common with anyway. Besides, we can use the money for our trip after graduation. 

A question came up in the comments about studying with children in the house and not being guilty about spending time with my wife. This is a question that has come up to me many, many times. And it is one that I will address here and at the Old Pre Meds conference in June (hint hint). In answering the question I need to preface it by saying that until this past June there were only 3 kiddoes. 

While I was a 1st and 2nd year I needed to be very anal with my schedule. I stuck to it like glue and it worked out well. I treated my medical school time as if I were at work. I would not be home during those hours anyway so nothing was lost. When school was done for the day, I would go home where we would have dinner as a family. This would be around 5:30pm. Yeah, I know very early. During dinner, the TV would be off and the radio would play jazz that was barely audible. My wife and I would sit and our girls would each tell us about their day. At about 7pm, after dinner was done and I was settled, I went to the public library that was across the street and studied there until it closed at 9pm. I then went home and studied some more. This wold happen Monday through Friday afternoon. On Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, I would not study as this was our Sabbath and it was family time. On Saturday night, I would go out with my wife if we had a sitter and on Sunday mornings I would make breakfast as the short order cook and the girls would be the waitresses. 

If there was an event at my kids' school then I would study when classes end and then meet everyone at the school to see the event. I made sure that I was at the parent teacher conferences and on Sundays if there was something going on, I would see if I can make it. Or I would go to campus in the morning and get a couple of hours done before going to the event. So to answer the question about guilt, no I never felt guilty because my kids and my wife understood and I made time for them as well. 

During my 3rd year and now my 4th year I had less studying and thus more down time. So I would spend time with each girl on their own. We would either go to the mall or go to the diner for a drink but we would only talk about what they wanted to. Sometimes they did not want to talk at all, just draw with me around.  They know what I am about to become and they are glad that I am doing it. They are also looking forward to when it is done and it soon will be. 

I can tell you that being an older student does have its advantages. For one, many patients feel more comfortable with you because you are older and have a tendency to act more mature. We have a way of the world and since we have been in the workplace, are aware of office politics and how to play the game. We also know how to network with other people. We also have priorities that do not include drinking and partying every week. And we know how to make our money last longer. For example, I found a way to get some new cologne every few months and not have to shell out the high cost for it. Ask the counter people at the stores if they have any samples. Sometimes these samples come in a spray bottle that can last a couple of months depending on how much you use or it comes in a packet that is single use, but you can get a couple of them. In addition, ask for discounts. What is the worse that can be said, no? Then you are no worse than you were before. 

When I saw that my cable bill went up, I called them up and explained the situation. They brought it down to the introductory rate for another 2 years. When I went to buy a suit for interviews, I spoke to the manager and they knocked off 10% of each item. The library is a great resource for magazines and books that you do not need to buy. In addition to borrowing CDs and listening to them. 

Finally, we have restraint. Dear readers, I really want a brand new 40+" TV that is top of the line and has all the bells and whistles on it. But I cannot afford it now. I will be able to in the future. My car is rusting out and I brew my coffee at home. All of these things add up to less in loans. 

I hope that you keep on enjoying to read this and I will update more often as time permits, and baby too. 


  1. I greatly enjoyed this posting. It gave me more money-saving ideas to share with other nontraditional students. Plus, the sharing about family time was great too. I will be waiting to hear about your next big news on February 14th. I hope you get the news you want.

  2. Hey - really excited to start following your blog. I'm about to apply, so it's great to be able to get a candid look at your process. Thanks!