it’s almost that time. my superlong rest period is waning and actual work is looming right up ahead. in some ways, i’m ready to rejoin the working world (if a graduate student can be thought of as part of this), but i’m also very nervous about it.
see, the thing is, it’s going to take some time before i can a) function independently in lab and b) do anything that is really of any use to anyone. after a year of working my ass off and not having the independence i wish i could have had (though i know i couldn’t have handled it!), i am desperate to be doing something productive all by myself.
on tuesday, i am going to start my first lab rotation by following around one of the graduate students, and he will teach me . . . well, i’m not even sure what he will teach me! techniques he uses in the lab, i suppose. if all goes well, i will hopefully attain quasi-independent status in a couple of weeks and be able to run assays and some experiments that relate to his research by myself. theoretically, i would be able to help him out a bit, and i would love to, since teaching a totally clueless person who has spent her last 2 years far, far away from pipettes and test tubes is a lot to ask of someone.
i hope that there are no expectations that i have any idea what i’m doing in a lab that deals mainly with cells and and their protein products, because i don’t. it’s okay to be clueless (everyone has to start somewhere!), but painful when people you are working with aren’t understanding of why. for example, i was certainly clueless when i started my first rotation of last year, which happened to be surgery. how was i supposed to know where everything was and exactly how my ‘role’ as a medical student was defined? yet, time after time, i was treated very harshly, my residents constantly rolling their eyes at my stupidity. if they had stopped for a moment to think about what my background was (1 year spent in the classroom, 0 days spent in the hospital), i’m sure they would have been nicer. but they were too busy to have those thoughts, i guess.
i hope this new start will be different. i’m not big on transitions in general — i think i inherited a little bit of my father’s desire for things-staying-the-same-as-long-as-they-don’t-completely-suck. he nearly had a coronary when my mother suggested moving the TV into a different room the other day. i’m not quite so extreme, but change in routine is hard for me.
the good part is, i think that the people i will be working with now might be a bit more understanding than those i started out with last year. furthermore, this is the last major transition in my life for a while – probably 4 or 5 years. sure, i’ll be rotating in another lab after this 8 week stint is over, but at least i won’t be doing anything drastically different (cells are cells, you know? well, sort of).
confession: i can’t help thinking about how my getting into the dual degree program was some sort of accident, or how maybe i’m just here ’cause i’m a girl. i’m admitting this to the world because i hope to read it over someday and realize how dumb i was to think that. and because it’s a little bit cathartic to broadcast your insecurities online.
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i got $140 out of my sony clie on ebay! i want to buy a cute blazer, but i am going to behave and buy usmle review books. yay.