Either you run the day or the day runs you

September 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

I feel as though I am caught in a riptide. A riptide of beautiful moments and memories, of amazing friends, of deep reflection, of anticipation of the future, and of too many classes and obligations to keep track of. There has been no time to process time. And I feel as though it is slipping away from me.

We landed in Budapest late in the evening on Saturday, September 5th. Our apartment felt both familiar and foreign. Evidence of our absence was seen in the flood-shaped dust patterns around our old leaky windows, clearly no match for the torrential summer rains. When we turned the water back on, the guest bathroom flooded and the excitement of arriving back home to Budapest quickly escaped Skjalg the handyman.

Sunday was our one and only vacation day. Rather than stay in and lounge about a group of us went down to Keleti train station to see if we could help at all with the refugees. We ended up staying there for about seven hours doing various tasks, such as carrying loads of diapers from storage to a church van, carrying donations from various cars down to the volunteer tents, organizing clothing donations and organizing and manning the volunteer tent. It didn’t feel like we were doing much, but in situations like those I think it is the sum of all those seemingly meaningless efforts that makes the difference.

The first week of school is a complete and total blur. We have 10 lectures and 9 practicals spread out over the city in different clinics and hospitals. On top of that, Skjalg and I started doing research with the surgery department we had our Basics of Surgical Techniques class with and I’m continuing as a TA in anatomy, with this semester’s topic being neuroanatomy. Plus there is seeing all our friends again, our friends having visitors, etc. For that entire first week, I honestly just felt like I was checking various tasks off a list. Dermatology 8:00: check, research meeting 10:00: check, pulmo lecture 11:00: check, pulmo practical 12:40: check and so on. Did I get anything out of those tasks? Maybe…

On Tuesday the 18th of September an amazing thing happened: my mama came to visit! She and her friend Elizabeth were here for a full eight days and left early this morning. Their visit has been an adventure for everyone involved – truly! I’m going to have to do a whole separate post detailing their amazing trip – with a couple hundred photos. I haven’t seen my mom in almost two years so it was a really special experience for me.

Now it’s time to finally take control of my life again. I’m looking forward to settling back into study mode and getting into a routine. I’m a little nervous about what this semester holds for me, but excited to rise to the challenge.

I’m off to prep for tomorrow’s anatomy lesson. Spinal cord and cranial nerve exits: here we go!

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Officially in 4th Year!

September 2, 2015 § 2 Comments

Tonight was the long awaited and dreaded: registration! This process is so unbelievably stressful and I have yet to find a way to convey just how stressful it is to anyone that hasn’t experienced it for themselves. I spent 6 hours sculpting the perfect schedule, plus 3 back ups, in the little time I had free this weekend, then 2 hours tonight making a sort of flow chart to maximize efficiency. The 45 minutes before registration opened at 20:00 were spent refreshing the page and going through my game plan. The 5 minutes before were spent breathing heavily, shaking my leg and checking my pulse on my fitbit (it jumped from 62 to 87 as the minutes passed) while talking to Skjalg on speaker (he is at work tonight). The 30 seconds before were spent counting down the seconds.

Actual time to register for 10 classes? Maybe 1 minute. And I’m not exaggerating! That is, if you get the classes you want. After maybe 20 seconds in, Skjalg hit a bump and we spent the next 15 minutes or so trying to figure it out. As of now, he has a pretty similar schedule to the one he wanted, except he is missing two classes (both of which we have the option of taking either this semester or next, but there are only 90 or so spots available). Judging from our class facebook group, he’s not the only one who didn’t get what he wanted.

This was the product of my initial brainstorming:


Evolution of today’s brainstorming from left to right! So funny to see after. I went into complete Rain Man mode!


And lastly, the final product!

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Now: bed! I’ve worked the last four shifts at work, so I’ve pretty much been at work since Monday at 15:00 (with two nights of 5-6 hours of sleep to separate the days). I might actually feel worse than I do during exam period after an exam after pulling an all-nighter! Hopefully this burned-out feeling can be itself burned-out by a good night’s sleep!

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