polychrome_pen: (Aladdin and Jasmine - my OTP!)
Woof, it's been awhile since I posted anything here!  I've actually made several posts over at [livejournal.com profile] jewel_power regarding some treasures that have come up on Ebay, so if you're interested in Jewel Riders be sure to check that out. :)

In other news, this past weekend was my ten-year high school reunion.  I batted back and forth mentally for a while whether or not I was going to go originally.  My class was forty-four people total, some of which I had been in school with since Kindergarten.  It was a small private school system.  Suffice to say, I was ready for some space and separation from the vast majority of those people by the end of high school.  I've stayed in fairly close contact with the people who I was true friends with, and that always felt like enough for me.

I didn't go to the five year reunion, because I honestly felt like I had nothing to show for myself yet (also, I was still in pharmacy school and had like zero time to spare).  But by now I (and most others in the class) have been working for a few years and I was interested to see where many of them had found themselves a decade on.  Sure, there's Facebook stalking to keep up with some people, but there's nothing quite like actually seeing them.  And even among my closest friends from HS, we hadn't all been together in person since one of our number got married five years ago!

Saturday morning started with a church service at the school (including a fun bit of singing with the Lodian Singers again!), followed by a lunch at my parents' house (close friends invited only), and then the main class reunion at a brew pub restaurant on Saturday night.  The morning event wasn't as well-attended, but it was nice (I hadn't been back to the school in quite some time either).  The lunch was super fun, and we were pretty much roaring with laughter all afternoon.  The evening event...I had some anxiety about.  I thought I had put those feelings behind me a long time ago, that I didn't care what these people thought of me, but the surprising truth was that I still did (at least for those few hours that we were together).  That was a slightly bitter pill to swallow.

Still, the evening went well, and as it progressed (despite the complete loudness of the restaurant and my hoarse voice from yelling to be heard over the din) I found that I've still made peace in that area.  I wanted them to have a good opinion of me, but it truly didn't matter if they actually did.  Which makes sense - why should people I haven't seen for almost a decade occupy any of my limited mental space?

Part of it just felt awkward, though.  With some, it was like no time had passed at all, but others I struggled to simply find anything to say after "Hi, how are you?"  If there was never a connection there before, I guess nothing's going to come out of two hours together again. XD  But seeing all those people together again was a strange experience.  Part of me went straight back to HS, but always with this cognitive dissonance there that some people now have kids or look way different.  Even now, I'm not sure I'm describing it well.  This feeling never happened when I've seen people individually or in small groups, but something about having the whole group together made it feel like some sort of strange field trip, only a decade transposed.

Sunday was a nice, relaxed day though!  A few friends and I went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is kind of like "Marvel does Tom Clancy."  I loved the banter and sibling-like relationship between Cap and Black Widow.  It was adorable!  (I'm a sucker for friendship ships, what can I say?)

I'm also in the middle of rewatching X-men: The Animated Series from the 90s, which has been a total blast.  Expect thoughts on that soonish. :)
polychrome_pen: (Default)
So before January 2011 is over, I thought it might actually be nice to take a look back at 2010. XD Yes, yes, I know I am very behind on the whole "recap 2010" post, but I thought the last year just brought so many changes that I couldn't go without being revisited a little.

When I think back to January, I was just starting the second half of my clinical rotations to finish up school. It almost feels like another life by this point. My first rotation of that semester was Internal Medicine. I often felt it was an exercise in speed - how much information could I gather and tie together about the patients before having to present in the afternoon? I learned a great deal during those six weeks. It was also my first rotation where there was another student from school with me, and having someone to gripe with was a huge comfort.

The second six-week period saw me going to a community pharmacy attached to the hospital. This was probably my second-favorite rotation (after the Psych rotation I took in 2009). If all community pharmacy work was as rewarding and fulfilling as the time I spent there, the choice between hospital and community would have been much harder. But I also discovered just how tired standing for 8-10 hours a day can be.

For my final rotation, I returned to the hospital where I had done Internal Medicine. However, this time around, it was definitely not a good learning experience. Aside from just wanting to be done with rotations at that point, I found the work to be of little value to my learning. The preceptor was a strange, strange lady who issued the vaguest instructions I've ever heard. Then she had the nerve to call me "needy" during my final evaluation because I asked for further clarification. Is wanting to do something right the first time wrong? NO. Haha...looks like I still have issues regarding that final rotation! Again, I had a student with me who had been with this preceptor before, and she thankfully helped to clarify things for me a great deal. Anyway, I'm seriously glad I didn't get a residency at this facility, because this preceptor was also the residency program director. I'm not sure I could have handled a year of vague instructions and general weirdness.
But in all fairness...this was the rotation where I got to watch open-heart surgery, which was totally rad.

I should also note that all three of my second semester rotations were at a hospital that had off-site parking and a shuttle service - something my fellow students and I absolutely loathed by the end. I can't tell you how many times I had to stand in the cold rain because the shuttle would be driving away as I came out of the parking structure.

After finishing up rotations came review week at school - basically one last chance to sit in our lecture halls again and listen to speakers while everyone chatted and surfed the internet. XD

Of course, after that came Graduation on May 15th, 2010. I officially got my doctorate and finished school. Still, even now - eight months later - it feel weird writing that. School has been my life for...well...my life. Coming out of something so structured into the rather nebulous "real life" has been strange. I miss the comforting solidity and framework of working toward something greater with a purpose. After getting a job (even one that I enjoy) I'm kind of wondering...what next?

So summer was spent studying for my boards from the time I finished graduated until around mid July. I even snuck in a nice vacation to Seattle and the islands in there (visiting the cousin and relaxing with the family). But those interminable days days studying really felt endless. To help keep me sane, I would reward every two hours of studying with an episode of She-Ra (which I completed over the summer), Fantastic Four World's Greatest Heroes, Iron Man Armored Adventures, or Star Trek DS9. It felt like a weird combination of long past summer vacations and taking self-study summer school. XD

Thankfully, I passed both tests on the first go. I've been debating taking the tests to be able to practice in another state, which if I decide to go forward with should be something I undertake sooner rather than later. The further I go on, the harder it will be to force myself back into reviewing the material and going through the rigmarole of taking another test/forms/fees/etc.

Summer also saw an explosion in my toy collecting hobby. Something I attribute to lots of time at home to hunt stores, eBay, and read internet reviews. Also may have had something to do with getting money for graduation. :D Likely pent-up retail therapy after having no income since February after leaving CVS.

I got my license on August 5th, 2010. At that point, I gave myself until the end of August to look exclusively for hospital jobs. After thirty-odd applications, by the end of the month I had an interview set up for a not-quite-hospital job (the only non-hospital job I applied for). After that interview, I had set another one up with a hospital (the place I work now). But in the meantime, pharmacy 1 offered me a job (part-time for up to six months, then full time). I asked for an extension to think it over and was up front that I had the second interview. After being offered the job where I am now, I accepted and had to call back pharmacy 1 to decline their offer. That was an incredible weird experience. I've always had to fight for part-time jobs...so having to turn someone down was something I'd never done before.

The time between taking the job offer (early September) and starting the job (October 4th) was another strange period. During that month I looked for apartments (and finally found a decent townhouse!), hunted for furniture, signed tons of papers, packed up my toys/books/life, and watched some more shows. It was a frenetic month to try and get everything ready for the move, and yet I didn't really feel all that stressed. Maybe because I knew I had at least gotten a job, I was able to savor a few of my final days of freedom.

Anyway, work is where I've been ever since October. I still visit home at least once a month (heh...if not more often!). It's hard to leave a place you've lived since second grade, after all.

So I hope that 2011 brings good things. I have plans to do some writing (namely, finish my Jewel Riders fic, writing an original novella, and hopefully doing some Dragon Flyz writing). I also want to really take the time now to develop healthy eating habits and lose some weight. Since I make most all of my food, it should be easier to implement healthier choices more often. And of course, 2011 will see me continue the growth of my toy collection! :D
polychrome_pen: (Default)
I've admitted it before - I can be a terribly nostalgic person.

So when I saw the pictures in our newspaper from this year's graduation at my high school, it made me reflect on where I am in my own life five years post high school.

I remember the high that carried me through that summer and my first semester of college. It's such a unique time in a person's life, as though there is nothing but open road in front of you. You've accomplished a big milestone, and yet there are hundreds of different directions your life could take. I remember loving that feeling that things weren't set in stone, that my life could take any number of pathways aside from pharmacy.

Not that I'm unhappy with pharmacy. On the contrary, I'm happier with this choice than I ever expected to be. But sometimes I mourn what could have been. Like Classics, or Music, or English. Those were the main others paths I considered when pre-pharmacy totally stressed me out. I still love these things, though, and they'll always be a part of my life.

But I really didn't enjoy undergrad. That was a big deflation after being so excited about college. Being a commuter student at a school where relationships seemed to be formed by the close living (as I imagine it is at most colleges), I felt like something of an outsider looking in. Graduate school has really been much more enjoyable, despite being academically harder, because I feel there are more people who are "on the same page" as me. People who's company I can see myself seeking out after school is over.

But that's enough rambling. Back to studying for midterms!

lol wut?

May. 16th, 2009 09:38 pm
polychrome_pen: (Default)
So this week, I got a call from the Principal of my old high school. At first I thought, "Oh, it's probably about that Library Committee I served on a few years back." (When I worked at the Public Library, I served on a committee involved in updating the school's ancient library.)

But no. Oh, no. They wanted me to substitute teach - in Physical Science, Biology, and CHEMISTRY.

Granted, I have probably taken as many college science courses as a high school science teacher, but teaching them? I haven't actually had "hard" science courses since starting pharm school about two years ago.

Anyway, I was flabbergasted. And amused. Because I would have done it if I wasn't deep into summer semester. Heh. Corrupting young minds with science. :)
polychrome_pen: (Default)
Laptop + Me = FAIL.

So, we have our first midterm coming up on Monday: Integrated Biological Sciences. It's pretty heavy stuff, and I was prepared to spend all day (since it was our "Fall Break" today - note the sarcasm) with the material (after getting Tillie's coffee and a scone! ^_^) at home until "OMG One Note hates me!!!111"; yes, you guessed it - more laptop troubles. One Note kept crashing on me after about 10:30 am, so guess what? I got to drive all the way back into school on my DAY OFF and spend almost two hours in the Tech Office trying to fix that piece of crap. I eventually ended up having to delete the entry (which contained all my notes on that topic) because it was corrupted. Luckily, however, the teacher for that class puts up their notes (because they use Windows Journal to present the material) after each class, so I was able to get most of the material back. But still - this marks my third or fourth visit to the Tech Office in the little over a month since I've been back to school...
I dread going through three more years with this laptop. @_@

So yeah, I'm pretty stressed with Midterms just around the corner and my lovely inability to focus on school rearing its ugly head again (ten times worse than ever - I'm almost ready to just take the wireless card out of the laptop due to the distractions it presents (I've started to keep the wireless connection off during those times I mark off for studying, and it seems to be helping, so we'll see).

I spent the remainder of the afternoon at the Health Sciences Library and got through all the the Glycolysis lectures, which was a pretty good chunk of material. I think I'll return to the library on Sunday to finish up going over the lectures. Oh, and I think I pinched a nerve in my shoulder when I was pulling our my power cord (and it hurt like HELL). Which is not surprising considering my back has felt out of sorts and super tight lately (I've been thinking about scheduling a deep tissue massage or something, 'cause I'm dying here).

I also eagerly await next Thursday, which will be the end of Midterms. I think I'll treat myself to a coffee and a little bit of retail therapy and Borders or Barnes and Noble.

In other news, because of the new addition to our church, there's a special (ie, one performance only) choir singing. I missed the first practice (not even because of work! I just forgot!) two weeks ago, so I was determined to attend this week. I did, and had a wonderful time. It brought back so many of the fun memories of singing as part of a choir (and reminded me just how much my baritone has atrophied *sigh*). It's been almost three years since the last time I really sang with a choir, so the experience was a little melancholy too. I mean, I adore piano, but singing was something I always loved. Ah, if only I had more time (and a little more musical theory knowledge!) I would try to lead choir myself. Oh well...-_-

Anyway, I'm super tired, so I think I'll get some sleep.

Oh, and if you're not a member of disney_faeries then I don't think you've seen my latest drawing yet.
polychrome_pen: (Default)
I got my acceptance letter for Pharmacy School!

I was getting worried there for awhile...the letter never seemed to show up, and then it finally showed up this week (along with my deepdiscount.com order, which was also nice!). I came home from work and my dad and brother literally shoved the letter at me to open up...@_@ I'm almost surprised they didn't steam it open.

Oh wait...they can't. Because for the last week, we haven't had a kitchen.

Yes folks, that's right...we've been the victims of a kitchen remodeling. New counters in both the kitchen and the bar (say goodbye to the ugly pink tile! XD) were installed this week, along with a new microwave and oven/range. Considering everything we have was original from when the house was built around 20 years ago, it was time to start replacing stuff. Except now our front room is filled with the drawers and cupboard items from both locations, which is kind of scary.

Oh, and Yosemite was wonderful. The weather was beautiful the whole time, even though the falls weren't going very well. And we visited Hetch Hetchy for the first time...which was nice except for the fact that after reading John Muir's writings about it, it's depressing to think that a valley of such wondrous natural beauty (Muir refers to it as the "little Yosemite") was submerged and turned into a reservoir to supply San Francisco with water. I hope that someday the valley can be restored to it's original state, though that will assuredly take a very long time indeed.
But on a more fun note...we made smores over the campfire, which is something I haven't done in ages! Unfortunately, on one of the hikes we took, I fell and banged my hip...it was pretty sore for a couple of days afterward too...-_-

And my great buy for the day = MeruPuri manga (all four volumes in good condition with no spine creasing!) from Tom's Used Books for $12!
polychrome_pen: (Default)
After going to bed at 3 (I've had only 10 hours of sleep in the last 48...T_T) this morning after finishing it, I was able to turn my final paper in for History of Ancient Rome today. And I tried to sell the two books back from that class, but they weren't taking them back, so it looks like my collection of Roman History books is growing whether I want it to (or have the space for it to!) or not.

So then I crashed for three hours this afternoon. XD Man it feels good to be done for the semester (though I'm sure by the time grades are released I'll just be depressed...my hopes aren't too high after such a difficult semester). So after grades are submitted we'll see if I've gotten into pharmacy school.

That leaves me with roughly three months to get my life in order. Which means I need to start working on "The List." (For those who don't know, every summer I make a one page list of things I want to accomplish/buy during that summer. The reverse side is my "book counter" to tally all the books I read over the summer - last summer I got up to 19 books...XD)

Some things I want to accomplish: Getting to the gym more (it's pitiful how little I've gone this semester), getting my Dragon Flyz website up and running, putting all my old home videos onto DVD (with menus!), learning piano, practicing my clarinet, and writing at least a little every day.

I start work next Monday (back to the Library!), and my brother's graduation is the Saturday after that, so I plan to relish these few days of absolutely no work. Maybe I'll play catch-up with my DVD collection.

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