Saturday, January 24, 2015

Rememberlutions, Part 1 of 2

This year, instead of making New Year's resolutions, I'm making "rememberlutions." Rather than promising myself I'm going to clean up my language or spend less time on facebook (ha!), only to fail miserably in record time, the only thing I have to do is write down every good thing I do or that happens to me in 2015. During our Meet N Greet meeting at the start of the spring semester, the members of Grad Study got down and dirty with fabric, ribbon, glitter, patterned scotch tape, and a hot glue gun to decorate old jars. Many people personalized their jars with goofy faces; I went more abstract (below).

There are a few things I'm hoping to be able to put in my jar (like getting my first journal article published), the rest will be surprises. As it is, I've deposited the first slip of paper: Getting an O for Outstanding in Family Medicine, my last rotation in the fall semester. By the end of the year I may have forgotten that it took 6 weeks to get that grade; but I'll remember what it was!

Click here to see what went into my jar.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


If the white coat is one of the most iconic symbols of clinical medicine, another must be scrubs. The stereotypical scrubs are thin, cotton-based, light blue, and unisex (like those on the left), but there is now a whole industry devoted to designing more comfortable and more stylish scrubs. These tops and bottoms are found not just in the OR but in the ED, on nurses, and on docs and med students pulling a night shift in the hospital. They are also preferred by clinicians who take serious reports that ties, white coats, and long sleeves are germ carriers.

I've got a couple basic pairs from my medical school, but for Christmas I asked my parents-in-law for a gift certificate to a local scrub shop so I could stock up before my ob/gyn and surgery rotations. Because I really wanted scrubs with some "give" in them, I chose a brand called "wonder flex" that is waaay more comfortable than my old scrubs. They are sassy purple with pink trim but kind of boxy, so I also picked out a feminine pair from Koi in navy. The top has a princess waist and a drawstring with little flower beads. I hope the surgeons don't take me less seriously when I wear them.

In addition, I got a discount from this purchase, so I went back for another top. The shopwoman pointed out the shirt to the right. At first I didn't want to get it, because patterned scrubs are associated with nurses, but then I realized how silly that was, so I gave in to the floral design. A wise Christian woman once said, "Life is too short not to have nice things," and my medical career is too long not to have nice scrubs. I mean, scrubs aren't really "clothes," but I feel more dressed in pieces like these. I look forward to wearing them. Thank you, MH and GH!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Don't burn the bacon!

If you use the internet with any frequency, you are probably familiar with Pusheen, a plump gray cat with tiny paws and a striped tail. He has many emotions, but one of the web's favorite is "laziness." Amazingly, Pusheen gets even lazier when he meets a sloth:

 When Pusheen meets a sloth

I have also recently met a sloth, but he had the opposite effect on me as on Pusheen: this sloth is inspiring me to greater the kitchen! My youngest brother wanted to exchange gifts by local artists this Christmas, so at my farmers/holiday market I purchased him a book about French impressionists re-purposed as a drawing journal. He bought me Henri the Chef, a dapper sloth in an apron having a minor culinary disaster. I got the painting matted and framed, and it now hangs in our kitchen, reminding us not to forget whatever is cooking on the stove.

Henri comes from the series Sloths Are Bad at Things by artist Megan Jones. Click the series title to go to the tumblr for images of sloths failing at fishing, reporting, selling flowers, and playing tennis. You can find more of Megan's whimsical art if you click here and purchase some of it here.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tingle the Senses

For Christmas my parents bought us tickets to "Spectacle Obscura," a sort of Gothic burlesque vaudeville performance of acrobatics, aerial arts, and magic tricks. The show was held in an old church that had been re-purposed into a clothing boutique downstairs and a cabaret upstairs, complete with chiquely mismatched furniture, ironic historical furnishings (paintings, old books, wall sconces), and wet bar. Natch. The center of the room had been cleared for a tall, four-legged stand from which various apparatuses could be suspended: ropes, scarves, hula hoop, etc. My only complaint was that the building was drafty and cold, such that I ended up wearing the stiff tablecloth "throw blanket" from our settee for warmth.

E., N., and me. One of us had recently gotten a haircut.
Photography was permitted without flash, but the room was so dark and the performers always in motion, so they were hard to capture on film. They were quite talented and enjoyable to watch. Even the magician was good--until his closing act, when a conceit for involving the audience was poorly planned and nearly backfired. In the car on the way home we agreed that the "volunteer" was a confederate, but we still couldn't figure out how the trick had been performed.

Contortionist. Later she "jumped rope" with her arms--
i.e. rotated them completely in their sockets. It hurt just to watch.
From this photo you can see how high this acrobat was.
Also the flying couch suspended from the ceiling.