12 October, 2012

A relentless machine of studying, class and occasionally sleep

I'll start right now by apologizing for being aloof, but you must believe me, I would love nothing more in this world than to have the time to devote to updating you adequately.

In the weeks following my last blog post, I spent them up in The Garage working on the Maxwell, going on the Small Town Adventure and trying to do as many things as I could before summer ended.  My dream of finding an F1-related summer job didn't pan out, but I got to be the trackside reporter for every race at the Iowa Speedway, so that was fantastic.  Nothing like a Spa-Francorchamps or Suzuka, but it was fun nonetheless.  Plus when Indy came to town I got to be in my element.

As the only weekend of open-wheel racing passed at the Speedway, I got to interview Helio Castroneves and the eventual race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.  I didn't know it at the time, but he would later go on to be this year's IndyCar champion---the first American in half a dozen years.

Then everything changed.  Orientation days.  Textbooks.  White coat fittings.  The works.  Med school began in a flurry for me, and while it started well, it has since become a relentless machine of studying, class and occasionally sleep.  The subjects are interesting, don't get me wrong, and the information is imperative to my success as a doctor someday, but one loses sight of such things with every passing day of six-hour study sessions.

Couple that with the fact that the work load is much greater than anything I've ever experienced in school, and it shouldn't be surprising that it's taking a while to get my sea legs.  If I were a sailor, though, I would have been kicked out of the Navy at this point for not developing those legs fast enough.  I won't lie, it's very difficult.  That's not to say that I can't do it, but often times I forget to tell myself that amidst the dissections, small groups, random assignments and weekly tests.

Along that same note, I talked to my great uncle Irvin on the phone today for about an hour.  His son is a doctor at the VA where Irvin, himself worked for many years.  His late daughter was a nurse there, and his other son is a doctor in my hometown.  I knew he might have some words of wisdom for me, and he didn't disappoint.  He told me stories of some of his doctor friends in the 1930s and of his son's difficult adjustment to med school in the '80s.  He spoke of the omnipresent geniuses that inevitably crawl out of the woodwork around the toughest test dates.  On and on we talked, and he helped remind me that there are worse things in life.

Just a year ago I was nervous about getting admitted to med school instead of completing it.  I was facing the prospect of a year of waiting to reapply, a year of boosting my resume and a year of paying for more school.  Instead of being faced with exams and projects, I may not have gotten in for another year.  I may not have gotten admitted at all.  This is what I wanted, as hard as it is to reconcile that these days.  I mention anything about that to my parents and it's always the same:  "It'll be worth it in the long-run."  That may be true, but it doesn't really help alleviate the stress or make a difficult concept any more tenable.  I appreciate their support, though, don't get me wrong.

But I digress.  As a result of school I haven't been able to work on any of my projects.  Heck, I don't think I've mentioned prior to this that I got a go-kart.  It needs a little engine work from a flood, but that's more than doable.  Plus it's a mini-Indy style kart that I'm planning to paint like Senna's old Lotus.  It will be so neat to get running, if that day ever comes.  God, I hope it does.

I haven't done a ton more to the Honda.  A leaky carb one weekend prompted the owners of my condo building to call me and ask if I knew anything about a leaky, smelly motorcycle in the garage.  I knew nothing of a leak prior to leaving, and I was just then hearing about it whilst driving down a country road literally two hundred miles away.  Awesome.  So I loaded the old girl into a truck and brought her back to my hometown where the local motorcycle mechanic took a look at the carb (those Japanese carburetors are beyond me).  He fiddled with it, replaced a seal, patted her on the rear and sent her back to me.  A fortnight later she was leaking again, so I'm leaning toward putting an external petcock halfway down the fuel line (as unauthentic as that will look).  I feel guilty, though; I haven't even started her in a month.  I haven't had the time to risk her leaking and losing another two gallons of petrol, so I just haven't tried.  Instead I've been riding the 'new' 1983 Raleigh cycle I received.

Since that was earlier in the semester, I had time to get the old Raleigh working.  She had a severely bent rear rim, so I had to replace that, put on a new tube and tire and figure out where an incessant squeaking was originating.  Some 30wt oil on the chain and into the pedals helped a ton, and now she runs silently and shifts smoothly.  I've been meaning to put my lock holder on for weeks, and the same goes for the rear light. I just put the front light on two days ago when I knew I would be riding home from a study session in the dark.  But in all, working on her has been fun.  I'm not terribly experienced in bicycles, but my motorcycle knowledge helps with that quite a bit.  I will admit, though, an occasional Google search may have helped, too.

I don't want to make this too terribly long, so I'll cut this short here.  I have plenty of other things to update, but I felt that after a long, difficult week (both in terms of studying and mentally) I needed to type something and get my mind off of school.  Writing and F1 have been the only things today that have been able to accomplish that feat, so why not?

Take care, all.  More to come, hopefully.

1 comment:

  1. Thinking of you and always willing to offer up support and a cookie.