Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Flip-Flop Weather and a Dreaded Trip

I love this weather. It is 90 degrees out there. Perfect flip-flop weather, and don't think I haven't been rocking the plastic and rubber shoes everywhere I go. I have this massive laundry basket full of them, stuffed in the back corner of the closet, and I have been dying to pull them out.

What else is going on in my world?
School is winding down. Next week is finals week, which I am not exactly excited over. But after burning the candle at both ends for some time now, I finally took a few days off of work. Keeping in mind that I am only obligated to 3 twelves a week, my cashing in some paid-time-off managed to get me off of work for almost 2 weeks. It still isn't a massive vacay. I still have this week left of class, then come back Monday and Tuesday of next week for those dreaded exams. All I know is that for the next 2 weeks, I do not have to do both school and work. Following that, I am off of school for 2 and a half weeks while we switch from Spring to Summer quarters, so then I will only have to do work and not school. Count 'em up! 4 1/2 weeks of one and not the other!

I can honestly say I need the break. For the past month, I have been working all night, then going straight to class the following morning, doing class all day then going straight into work all night. Then I---- you guessed it----head back to campus for a day of class. Finally on the third night, I get a little shut-eye. This is no exaggeration. This is my life. I was actually discussing this with one of the residents at work. He was commenting on my level of tiredness, knowing full well that I intend on heading to med school in a year or so, and said "Just wait until you get into med school!" When I told him I wasn't scared of a med school schedule and explained what I have been doing, his reply was this: "You are INSANE!"

Maybe so. Or maybe it is just determination. More and more people are rallying behind me. To them, I am the one who will make it to the other side. The politics of healthcare dictate that we are the grunts and doctors are the privileged. While I am in no way the poster child, to them I represent the notion that those of us without MD behind our name are still capable individuals. They can say, "Look! She was one of us and she was smart enough to become a doctor, so we can be too." This by no means represents everyone. I still encounter some crap-dishing from some coworkers who think my efforts are directed at proving I am better than they are. The fact that I want more out of my life is a personal assault on their choice of career. Of course this couldn't be farther from the truth. But for the most part, I pass people in the hall, and they will ask me how school is going. When I tell them it is going well, the statement is met with a pat on the back and a hearty "You Go, Girl!".

Part of the plan for my time off is to take John and Evan down to southern Kentucky to visit his family. I am a little nervous about going back there. I am not met by the same resistance I used to face. I've been around for the better part of a decade, and they have realized I am here to stay. But the time we spent living down there is now what I realize to be a different chapter of my life. A chapter full of welfare and stereotypes and North vs. South. I wasn't docile enough. To them, I was the Yankee wife John brought home, the one with the smart mouth who didn't realize a woman's place. While I never played along, I wasn't as out-there with my intentions of higher education and my drive for a career. Now, John and I have returned to my turf where I have adjusted to being myself again. Here, there is nothing wrong with a woman seeking achievement. But to make matters worse, John's sister is having a baby shower, full of church women, and I know it will provoke the inevitable questions about our intent for our family. To them, it will incomprehensible that I want to forgo having other children in order to pursue my education, that I focus on my career instead of perfecting my recipe for the perfect fried chicken. They will never understand that one child, my perfect little Evan, is more than I could ever want, and now that he is in grade school, it is time for me. They will look at me as if I have two heads, and whisper amongst themselves of the brazen woman who thinks she can have it all.

And John. They will, as always, compare John to his brother-in-law. The greatest thing one can aspire to be is an employee at the local electric company. It is not that there is anything wrong with the job.More like what is wrong with John that he wants to skip out on punching a clock in order to support his wife's ambitions? What kind of failure allows his wife to be the breadwinner? We deal with it everytime, and I know they mean well, but I cannot tolerate anyone criticizing my husband because he is helping me to realize my dream.

But nevertheless, we are going. And rude or not, I am taking my study materials and will have my nose in books the entire time. This will evoke the dreaded question: Didn't you already finish one degree? And I will tell them that I am back in school to be a doctor. God help me.

Anyhow...I am wasting too much time here on a computer. It is now time to take the kiddo out and let him get some sunshine while I study with my flip-flopped feet propped up, complete with the hot-pink polish on my toes that I whipped out especially for flip-flop season.

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