Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This just in...

...only one flatmate selected for the apartment so far...and he's a grad student! His area of study is a mystery at the moment, but the lady in the office said that he was terribly excited to have been matched with someone studious.

Party Boy should be out this weekend, just in time for finals!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Josiah Orville Morris, this is your

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

I awoke before the sun graced this stretch of land with its presence today (5 a.m. to be exact) and have been frantically cramming mechanisms and random bits of organic chemistry trivia into my weary brain just about ever since. Two, ohhh joy, two exams this week. Lab final one day, lecture exam the next. 

In other news, the project is still a sinking ship. None of my committee responded to my phone calls and subsequent emails that I put through on Friday. Darling. Absolutely darling.

When I arrived at the apartment this morning, I opened the door expecting the usual nauseating aroma of Lord-only-knows-what that Party Boy left festering under five pounds of clothes, books, and assorted food wrappers... I expected to see rolling hills of clothing and trash in a post-apocalyptic landscape of neglect and carelessness...

...but what I saw (and smelled) brought great joy to my recently-troubled heart. Boxes. Boxes with Party Boy's stuff in them. The faint hint of various cleaning agents in the air very nearly got me excited in such a way that had only been accomplished by females in the past. Oh, boy, oh, boy. The time of his permanent departure is near! The place will be mine, all mine...all nice and clean...and QUIET for just about three glorious weeks!

Last night was a strange one, for it is usually the time I set aside to spend with my mom while I enjoy her fine home-cooking. However, she's moved into my brand-new step-father's place. Just a few things to tie up after the honeymoon and my ties with that old house will forever be cut. My ties to that part of the state, in which I spent almost all of the last 12 years, will also be almost completely severed. There are quite a number of big changes to wrap my head around at the moment, and I do say that I'm not completely processing any of them at the moment. The big three thoughts on my mind are as follows:

1. Must make an A on both my last lecture exam and final exam to make a B in the class.
2. Have to make the call to say my project won't meet its deadline next week.
3. Wondering if I should explore some other avenue instead of medicine.

Still struggling quite a bit with #3 there. I'll say one thing for certain; Boston Med is precisely the kind of kick in the pantaloons this young gentleman needs to stoke that old fire. Thursdays starting at 10 p.m. are the wildest, most focused times I've had since deciding to become a doctor.

Finally, my dear, Sunday morning brought a situation to me in which never before had I imagined I'd willfully engage... an online lonely hearts club. I've been reasoning that it's better to do something, anything, than sit round feeling miserable. My hope is that I'll come across someone with with intellectual depth the likes of which I've never known, who is tall in stature, and with creativity and genuine love for all beings oozing from her pores. So far, however, it's just been obese NASCAR and/or Twilight fans who couldn't spell to save their lives. ...par for the course?

Yes, I think so.

HA HA HA, laughs the Lord above, at poor ol' Josiah. Pooooor ol' Josiah who is purposefully being dramatic to avoid returning to the exciting world of aldol condensation reactions, and the like.

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wasted on the...erm, elderly

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

I've just returned from taking part in the first of two weddings in the span of a month in which I play some role...other than groom. It's that detail that's got me down.

The wedding was nice, and I was in top form. Too bad my charm was wasted on a bunch of women who were 20+ years my senior or were otherwise involved. The realisation struck me in the shower before the big event that there might just be some lovely young women with whom I could become acquainted. Sure put a spring in my step. Oh well. Maybe at the next one.

So tired of being lonely.

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Monday, July 19, 2010

Trudging along

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

It occurred to me over the weekend that my recent performance problems at Big City Hospital are to do with the volume of stress currently circulating in my life. I've put in for some time off, citing a need to revise for finals...which certainly is true. That's stressor #1, I reckon. I must make a score of 87 or higher to earn an A for the A I so desperately desire.

Stressor #2: The project I've been overseeing for months is just about to fail. I've known it was going to happen for some time, but stayed optimistic. Our deadline is about to arrive and we have some major pieces missing. I feel like a lot of it is my fault. However, I think that I've done rather well considering the amount of leadership experience of this magnitude that I've had going into the project (none). In the coming weeks, I'm going to have to make a phone call that will make me feel three feet tall.

Stressor #3: The flat is a complete disaster. Party Boy is the individual responsible, as always...but he's outdone himself. Photographic evidence shall appear in the coming days on Living With Pigs. Let us all take a moment to pray that it will be the final update on that blog.

The rest are hardly worth mentioning.

I set my mind on sorting myself out after realising what was going wrong. Bright and early this morning I set aside half an hour for rigourous exercise. Pencilling in another half an hour later today, and continuing the trend indefinitely. Surely, the lack of exercise recently has been a major factor in my poor performance in almost all important areas of my life.

Furthermore, my diet is undergoing some changes as well. For the longest, I was the healthiest eater you'd ever want to come across. Sometime during the spring term, odd bits and pieces of junk food seeped into my diet, mainly for their convenience. Increasingly, I turned to these items without paying it much mind. At the grocer's Friday, I noticed my cart contained two bags of chips, two boxes of high-fat cookies, frozen dinners (Kashi, but still...), etc. I put most of it back and shopped like I used to. Fresh meats, vegetables, and fruits, whole wheat bread, and so on. Three days it's been now that I've reformed my diet, and I'm already feeling a bit better. Could just be a mental thing. Doesn't much matter!

Party Boy II, who I'd given a nicer nickname (now forgotten), moved out over the weekend. As the date approached, I thought how funny it was that I was sad to see him go. This time one year ago, I was dreading living with him. He was wild and out of control, at least according the the accounts of his nights posted on a social networking site. When I moved in, he lived up to the reputation for the majority of the autumn term. However, he got quite serious with a young lady and that mellowed him right out. He's still with her and whereas once he was an irresponsible party machine, he's now a focused, serious student who knows precisely where he wants to go. So glad to see that transformation. He's a good kid and I hope that he achieves all that he desires and more.

Still not sure how I'm feeling about a career in medicine. Really not thinking much about it...I'm going to wait until the fog I'm in blows over and go from there.

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I don't know

The last couple of times in Big City Hospital were neutral, by way of two extremes: Completely terrible and completely amazing.

The completely terrible part has to do with my interactions with the nursing staff primarily. My mental game was completely off. Someone would phone and as I was telling whomever needed to take the call what the issue was and who was on the other line, my brain took off on holiday. What the hell do I mean I can't remember who is on the line!? They just told me less than a minute ago! I also had trouble with keeping phone numbers straight. Don't know how many times I rang up the wrong person.

I felt completely useless and incompetent. The ward clerk, who I'm not entirely certain ever cared much for me to begin with, really seemed to be raising an eyebrow at me. The harder I tried to get back into things, the worse everything got. It's such an indescribably frustrating feeling, especially for me. I hold myself to an enormously high standard of quality, and I know that no one can be 100% all the time, but I settle for nothing less from myself.

During my last shift, I got really down on myself...the worst thing in the world to do, I know. When I was telling people about myself and that I want to one day become a doctor, I had to cringe when I saw their expressions.

On the upside, however, I had nothing but lovely patients all week. Not a solitary problem out of any of them. They were all gracious and personable and almost all were with me in laughter. There was one family in particular who I couldn't tear myself away from. The mother was in for altered mental status and her children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and even neighbours were there from the start of visiting hours until the end. Fantastic support and love. It was beautiful.

They were all very scientific in their career paths, as well, which was just a joy to speak to them about. Highly, highly intelligent people. Usually when I speak to such individuals, I'm intimidated...but not this time, even in light of my performance on the administrative end of things. We discussed film, literature, philosophy, religion, and tons about the physical sciences. Every last one of them were extremely supportive and encouraging to me over my educational goals, which meant more at those moments than they could ever possibly know.

In the middle of the week, at the tail end of my shift, a stunning middle-aged lady (and I do indeed mean lady) stopped me in the hall and requested assistance finding a particular room. Turns out she was in the wrong wing. The important part here, though, is that as she spoke, I noticed something very familiar in her accent. She comes from an area in which I have strong family ties and spent the majority of my early years. I told her about this and she found it extraordinary. What are the odds? I escorted her to the appropriate area just to keep speaking with her. Haha, found myself wishing that she were maybe 15 years younger... or that I was 15 years older. My, my.

So, at the end of my last shift this week (my least competent day in dealing with the back-end stuff), two or three visitors from various rooms came by the nursing station on their way out and thanked me for spending time with them and so on. It was a bit embarrassing, but as I was driving home, I felt glad for it, if for no other reason than to prove to the ward clerk and such that I'm not completely incompetent and idiotic. Ha.

I've begun seriously analysing whether or not medicine is the right path. I feel like I know it is, but when I have days...several days in a I had, I really, really wonder. I've been giving serious thought to working for Make A Wish instead...still get to help people, and get to do even more of the part I love: making a real connection with people and making them happy.

I don't know what to do. I just don't know.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Having some serious doubts about the project I'm overseeing. It's now just under a month before our first major deadline, and we are dreadfully short of our goal.

I organised a fundraising event the other day. Several of my committee members had other obligations and were unable to attend. Fair enough. Three of them said they might turn up (might as well've said no), and the remaining three said they would be there.

Some of the materials needed were supposed to be delivered at a set time before the event began. The individual in charge of turning up with these things holds a high-ranking position in our parent organisation, known for trustworthiness, promptness, and all of those lovely characteristics.

None of those were displayed in our interaction when they turned up nearly 90 minutes late. To make matters worse, only half of the items we needed showed up.


By this point, I was already a bit hot under the collar due to the fact that none of the folks who'd said they'd be there bothered to show up. There I was, on my own...well, just me and our guest. Beautiful.

Things went as smoothly as they could've gone with me running the entire show. It was incredibly stressful, irritating, and depressing.

With half an hour remaining in the event, in came strolling one of the committee members with whom I'd previously placed an immense amount of trust, and on whom I knew I could always depend. There was a brief, insincere apology. To their credit, they did step up and did their fair share after arriving.

There were some other horrors and blood pressure-elevating moments before all of this even, but the details are too intricate and frustrating to relay. Just know that I spent most of the day telling myself that that was it, that I was throwing in the towel, and that the whole damned thing was a foolish idea in the first place.

Still kind of feel that way, but as I'm settling in for bed this evening, I'm seeing things from a different perspective. Seems as though I've lost sight of the goal; why I started all of this in the first place. I can't wait to really get started with this! turned into I can't wait until this is over! in the last four months, and I'm kind of ashamed.

...and scared.

I wonder if I'll one day feel the same about medicine. A lot of people seem to end up feeling that way at one point or another, at least according to the med blogs I read. I suppose it's normal. I can't help but wonder if it might also be dangerous, however. I don't think I could ever forgive myself for a bad mistake with a patient whilst in a moment of internal selfishness. Selfishness is not a game I like to play.

So, onward and upward we go.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I'm mad about you, baby. Yeaaah, yeah! I'm mad about you!

My dearest Nora, wherever thou mayst roam,

Today has brought many delights, a few of which I will discuss in light detail.

My urge to visit the driving range was strong, but the rain just wouldn't allow for it. Just as well, as I had some studying that needed doing. The heavy rain, on and off, was a relaxing backdrop. Peaceful.

Justin Rose won another PGA Tour event. Go England.

Saw the last twenty minutes of Germany vs. Argentina. Some of the most exciting football I've seen in ages. I was really getting into it.

US vs. Algeria has had some moments. 89 minutes have passed... 0-0. I think they got robbed of a goal in a few of the opening minutes, but I was off to the refrigerator to snatch up a beer. ... WHOA!!! US just scored a goal in extra minutes!!!! That was out of nowhere!! Brilliant!

As I was saying, I didn't see the whole play, but it sure looked like the goal was good. Doesn't much matter, because we won it with that goal. Whew.

Spent some time with Old Flame and her fiance recently. Awkward for the first half an hour, but a pretty enjoyable experience for the remainder of the evening. She was a bit bossy and I was glad to not be on the receiving end of that. Her family was wrapped up in its usual craziness, and I was glad to be able to sit back and not feel compelled to be actively involved. As much as I still love her, and suspect I always will, the book is becoming easier to close.

Received season four of Mad About You on DVD yesterday and had some time to catch an episode or two earlier in the day. I love that show dearly. First started watching it in 1995...saw a rerun late one school night and, as a young man of 13 years, took quite a liking to Ms. Helen Hunt. Oh. My. After about the fourth or fifth episode I saw, I took notice of the other entertainment opportunities the half-hour programme presented.

The mid-90s were an amazing time for me. Computers were quickly coming into peoples' homes, the Internet let you see websites built by people from all around the world (just imagine!!) was an exciting time, and I got the feeling of genuine good times in the United States. A good welcome! It was like a giant party. Really, a saxophone-playing president? Awesome! Oh, and cordless phones were such a novel thing to me. I'm still impressed by them, even with my familiarity with the iPhone. Haven't quite gotten to letting that one soak in yet. Might be a while.

Anyhow, Paul and Jamie Buchman represented everything I wanted. Great, loving relationship, nice apartment in a hip, swingin' city, laptop computers, cordless phones, an adorable dog... Ha. They had a certain kind of freedom that I was so envious of, being an enslaved student and everything. I used to read the USA Today at school in the mornings and just marvel at the world carrying on around me. I wanted a chunk of the experience, instead of sitting around cooped up and generally wasting time. Out there, I knew there were real-life Buchmans living a similar life. I wanted to find them. I wanted to find the real, honest American dream. Haha.

So, watching the programme necessarily brings back a lot of things from back then. Thoughts about past relationships entered and exited my mind. I was reminded how much Old Flame looks like Helen Hunt, and was a bit weirded out...maybe as a defense mechanism. Ha.

Then, I got to thinking about marriage and children.

I've made no effort to hide my desire for marriage, and possibly children, in these letters. Tonight, though, as I was thinking about things with The Nurse, with the Cute Shy Girl in my lab, with Ms. Edinburgh, etc., I began to wonder if I'd be missing out on the moment I was having just then if I'd been attached. Surely, I'd have been dragged off to see fireworks...not too terribly interested in them these days, to be honest. I'd rather stay indoors with the air conditioning. I checked Facebook during halftime and saw a post from a good friend about some event later this week. She was trying to recruit some lady unknown to me to go with her, but the woman had to reply in the negative, citing children as the reason. I felt glad that I didn't have to think about that; that I could get up right now and drive for 14 hours in any direction if I felt like it, and on a moment's notice.

...probably a temporary sense of freedom. I'm sure I'd rather have the love a good woman. Sure of it.


Rather than ramble some more, I think I'll enjoy the last few hours of the obligation-free portion of my looking at websites created by people from all sorts of countries. heh.

May the grace of He keep you always,

J.O. Morris