Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Writer's block

Last night I realized why I hadn't updated the blog in days. I had writer's block. Not in regards to the blog itself though. Instead, I had an essay to write for a short internship program (4 days in July) and I was procrastinating big time. It was due today and of course I fretted over it all of last week but didn't actually start writing anything. By the weekend it was all I could think about which is why I suddenly found myself unable to post on the blog. I think I was subconsciously punishing myself. If I couldn't get what I HAD to write done then I wouldn't allow myself my fun writing.

Also I really wanted to write about something other than music in case I've been boring my non-musical readers (Hey there!).

The sad thing is that all it needed to be was a 1 page essay detailing my interest in Dentistry and what I hoped to get out of the internship. I had these grandiose ideas of likening my voyage of self-discovery to the Odyssey but when I sat down to write I couldn't even get started. Last night I forced myself onto the computer and allowed myself to write my thoughts in an informal fashion. Now that most of my writing has been in the form of this blog or internet chatting, it was too difficult to start writing in my "serious" voice from the get-go. My initial draft sounded like it was written by a high school girl. Over the course of two hours I kept reorganizing and rewording my thoughts and eventually it sounded like something somewhat worthy of a premed (or in this case predent) student.

Because I waited until the last minute now JC will have to go deliver the application in person. It's due today. The other minor problem is that my adviser never got back to me regarding that letter of "good academic standing" that she was supposed to forward to them. Luckily they know each other on a personal basis as she used to be on the admissions staff at the Dental school so I'm hoping that if I can get in touch with her today she can call him up or something and vouch for my standing. UGH!

Ok, well now that that's done I don't have to worry about the next one for a few weeks. I'll be applying for a 2 week Dental internship in January. That application is not due until August 15th.

Why oh why do I procrastinate? I thought I only did it at work, but I also do it with stuff that I actually care about. Or think I care about. Even with music stuff.

Here's a list of just some of stuff I'm procrastinating on:
My 40 issues at work.
Getting in contact with dentists and doctors that I wish to shadow.
Updating my resume.
Writing to several places about volunteer positions for the Fall.
Reviewing Physics.
Some small house projects (like painting trims).
Consolidating our bank accounts.
Closing out credit cards we don't need.
Our siblings' school paperwork.

Anyway, I keep meaning to write a long post about my career woes. But since I don't think that will ever materialize I'll try to summarize it instead: I thought I wanted to be a doctor since I was 4 because I was always fascinated by anatomy and pathology. I entered college as premed but got discouraged when I wasn't making A's in my Science courses. I wasn't even sure I wanted medicine badly enough to go through the long, hard road ahead. I decided to take some time to study something I knew I liked and that's when I switched to become a Music major. Because I figured I'd need a job once I graduated I tacked on the Computer Science minor. I took the first job offer I got and have been here ever since except for the year that I taught second grade at my grammar school. I enjoyed teaching but felt inadequate due to my complete lack of formal training. I would certainly consider teaching again. But I definitely enjoy the Sciences the most in terms of coursework (after music) so I've decided to give this whole premed thing another try. Since January 2004 I've been taking the prerequisite courses at Columbia (a year each of Physics and Chemistry and now I'm registered to do the year of Organic Chemistry and Biology together). Unlike my undergrad days I now do have an A average. This has made me realize that I am certainly capable of doing this stuff. But the question of whether I actually want to do it still remains. Sure, I am most definitely still interested in anatomy and pathology. I will forever be interested in the actual body of knowledge. But the medical lifestyle remains a bitter pill to swallow. And now that I'm older it's even harder to justify. There are so many things in my life that I love and would be unwilling to sacrifice. This is why Dentistry entered the picture. I had never really thought about it before. Probably because I perceived it to be less prestigious than its cousin, Medicine. I know that for a while I was out to do whatever was the "hardest". I felt a need to prove myself or something. I no longer feel this way. So this has allowed me to consider other things which perhaps will be a better fit overall. I am willing to sacrifice some of the intellectual stimulation or what not in order to have a more balanced life. So now I am looking at a bunch of health care careers besides medicine (which I guess is still officially in the running despite my misgivings). The pressure is on for me to have this all figured out by next May at which point I'd be done with the prerequisites and will be faced with having to return to work. Oh I'm not sure if I made this whole thing clear. I'm either quitting or taking leave from my job because I'm registered for 11 credits of science at Columbia which is like a full-time job. I will not be able to work if I want to do well. I've decided to do this despite everything being up in the air because I really, really, really need a break from this place (my job). I feel that as long as I'm here I am unable to make up my mind about where to go. Though I dread it here, it is very comfortable and lulls me into a false sense of security. If all I have to worry about are school and music, both which I love, then I should be in the right frame of mind to make up my mind once and for all. I will spend time next year exploring all the things I'm considering: medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, physician's assistant, teaching (at all levels), public health, and ethnomusicology. I guess the decision had to wait until after the oboe discovered me. Because now I have the tools I need to make my decision and I understand my priorities better. The two decisions I made with my heart have turned out to be the best ones in my life. I'm hoping I can pull this again with the career thing. This is just so hard for me, you can't imagine. I need something that will interest me so that I don't end up wasting my days like now. It most likely won't be behind a computer because I tend to be more energized and actually work when I'm dealing with people. I have to feel that it's a cause I actually believe in (e.g. I believe in teaching because I know I am doing good by educating young people unlike this job where I couldn't care less about 401(k) plans). And of course I have to have time for my family and music. Ok I guess I've rambled long enough. I'm sure I'll be writing more about it as the year progresses. Pray that by this time next year I'll have my path all planned out.

Now back to the regularly scheduled program . . .

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