This is my life now.
This week was a relatively slow one, all things considered. My supervisor at the hospital was on vacation, so I didn’t have any clients or reports to work on there. I did go upstate for my last day at that placement.
It was actually kind of a relief to finish up the work upstate. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent there, and I would love to return at some point and work more with the supervisor I had, but I think it was just an added stress this summer. On top of the stresses of figuring out how to get to and from there, there weren’t a whole lot of client hours to speak of. It’s no one’s fault….it’s just the way it goes when you’re at a non-profit one day per week for only 10 weeks or so. I think I would definitely get more out of it if I were to return for a longer stint.
And speaking of doing a longer stint there, my supervisor was very enthusiastic about me applying for a real externship and even internship there. It was truly nice to hear that my time and efforts were appreciated, even though I was only there briefly (and sometimes felt like I was doing nothing but getting in the way). I can’t wait to work with those folks more in the future.
Classes technically started on Thursday, but I don’t have Thurs or Fri classes, so I didn’t actually start. I did show up for the class I’m TAing for this semester. I’m really really looking forward to it, for once! I’m TAing for my research adviser, and it’s a Neuro class, so I’m excited. It’s a smaller class, so I’m the only TA, which I also like. I can let my inner control freak out.
Otherwise, I’ve spent almost all of my time working on setting up my next experiment. I have to program all of the stimuli and everything that my participants will look at, and it’s a gigantic pain in the ass. I don’t know why I’m struggling with it so much…it’s just not intuitive, I guess. It’s frustrating, but I’ll get through it at some point….
…I want to shout, “YOU ARE A MIRACULOUSLY SENTIENT BAG OF WET CARBON, STOMPING AROUND ON A HUGE HUNK OF ROCK WHICH ITSELF IS HURTLING AROUND A MASSIVE NUCLEAR FIREBALL AT ROUGHLY 67,000 MILES AN HOUR. HOW MUCH MORE ADVENTURE DO YOU NEED?”
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness - Cecilia and the Satellite
For all the places I have been, I’m no place without you.
Can’t stop listening to this song.
I was back into the swing of things this week, sorta kinda. I had my schedule lined up to get quite a few things done, but some of it fell through, and other things popped up in its place.
My supervisor at the epilepsy center was out sick for the early part of the week, and my supervisor upstate wasn’t in this week either. I spent the time trying to catch up on some work that I’d skipped out on for vacation, and I went in to see a kiddo’s family on Wednesday (which I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do.)
The case was complicated. I’d seen the kiddo once a couple of weeks ago, but his 2nd visit was actually with my supervisor while I was on vacation. As usual, I can’t get into too much detail, but there was a lot of discussion about ethical obligations, etc. (I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.) I sat with my supervisor and heard her perspective on the dilemma, and it made sense. And it was technically ethically sound…but my perspective was much less nuanced. There are many many things in this world that I see as “gray areas”…I loathe dealing in absolutes. ”Always” and “never” are two of my least favorite words. But this ethical problem seemed surprisingly clear to me. It very much read as black and white in my view…which was a part of my belief system that was a new discovery for me.
On Thursday, I went in to the epilepsy center to see a client. It was pretty straightforward. An interesting case, thank goodness. I’ve only seen a few cases there so far, but they have all been pre-surgical evaluations. So there’s no real puzzle or mystery to unravel…it’s not a diagnostic question, it’s a yes-or-no question. SNORE. But this one was more diagnostic, more exploratory. Those are my favorites.
While I was in there, I asked my supervisor if I could observe the Wada tests on Friday. He said sure, which was great. Then he came in to my office (read: someone else’s desk that I was hoping would be unoccupied for more than 1 continuous hour) and told me that the intern who was supposed to do the recording for the Wadas would be out, and so I was going to stand in for her. !!!!! This was huge. HUGE. What a great responsibility to get!
So on Friday, I was in.
We had 2 Wadas to do. It was a lot of standing around and waiting, of course, seeing as how hospitals are wildly inefficient. But once we were in, it was SO COOL. We basically induce temporary aphasia. And I was right there in it, helping out, and recording everything the patient said and did. There is a LOT of thinking and reacting on the fly, which I also loved. We have about 2 or 3 minutes to get in a good, accurate test, so it’s high pressure and high intensity. I’m sort of in love with it.
The other really cool part was watching the angiography before they injected the anesthetic. It’s actually kind of beautiful watching the blood vessels fill in.
I can’t get enough of it.
Ten years ago, a woman unknown to my family went through a process that was unpleasant, at best, in order to save the life of a girl she had never met. Sometimes I take it for granted that my twin sister is still alive and doing so well. But as this day rolls around each year and Nicki is healthy, I think about the woman who allowed her the opportunity to make her mark on this world.
Thank you, Terri.
This is your annual reminder that a stranger saved my sister’s life 12 years ago. Register as a bone marrow donor if you haven’t already.
How the Sun Sees You: People Discover What They Look like under Ultraviolet Light, and the Startling Power of Sunscreen
I’ve seen this done with still photography before, but never with video. Whaaaaaaa…
People of the paler persuasions, please watch and think about this before you decide to covet and idolize tan skin as the cornerstone of beauty. I shudder to think how many thymine dimers are lurking inside our invisible freckles like ticking neoplastic time bombs.
Also, how adorable is everyone in this video?
I spent this week with my family and friends down the shore. It was a much needed vacation from my usually overwhelming schedule.
Fortunately for me, all of my supervisors and advisers were incredibly kind, reminding me not to do any work during the week. It was something I needed to hear too…otherwise, I would work until my brain dripped out of my ears.
It’s back to the grind tomorrow, but for now I’ll use the time I’ve been granted to decompress and shake off the burnout.