Tuesday, November 3, 2015

October Adventures

October just finished, and what an adventure that was! I had to shake my head at how close some of those adventures were, and yet the fun has just begun. What am I talking about? Two words:
Interview Season.

I am now in my fourth year of medical school, which means that I need to find a residency for next year. I applied to quite a few places, and now have some interview offers. In order for this not to drag the post too long (this is supposed to be half life stuff and half knitting), Here is a summary of where I have been:

October 2nd: Come home from Cleveland, Ohio (where I was on audition rotation for 2 weeks)
October 7th: Pack bags for flight to Philadelphia
October 9th: Board exam in Philadelphia
October 10th: Drive from Philly to Binghamton, NY to meet up with parents and watch my brother in his first NCAA swim meet, then drive back to Philly to barely catch my flight home!
October 13th: Pack bags for Red-eye to Lexington, Kentucky
October 14th: Drive from Lexington to Pikeville, had lunch with residents and then a panel-style interview at Pikeville Medical Center, drive back to Pikeville, was locked out of the terminal because TSA closed at 10pm (who knew?), and spent the night covered in blankets on a out-of-service coin-operated massage chair, then flew home at 5AM EST, arrive 9AM EST and go to clinic (Pediatric Neurology)
October 16: Pack bags for Red-eye to Columbus, Ohio
October 17th: Arrive in Columbus, drive 2 hours to Athens, Ohio, for interview at 9AM on a Saturday, then drive back to Columbus for flight home.
 October 24th: Pack for Red-eye to Boston
October 25th: Arrive in Boston, drive 2 hours north to Augusta, Maine, for dinner with the residents
October 26th: 9AM interview with the faculty, then all-day tour and interview of the facilities and multiple clinics, then drove back to Boston to barely make flight home.
October 30th: packed for 5AM flight to Grand Rapids, Michigan
October 31st: Flew to Grand Rapids, will be stationed in GR for the next month

Whew! And that is October! I've got November with a few interviews, December with a few, and January with some as well! It's going to be a long interview season, for which in some ways I am grateful. The alternative of NO interviews is definitely NOT preferable, and a scary prospect to consider. I am grateful that there are programs out there that want to interview me, and see my training potential and skills.

<Start Knitting Section>
Now, finally onto the Knitting! October has been Socktober, as I followed along with the Carolina Fiber Girls podcast's Soctober contest. While I did not get the most points scored, I did decently well. I had a final pair of socks on the needles that would have garnered me almost 50 points had I finished them, but I had to pull an all-nighter on the 30th to finish packing, which meant most of my knitting time in the airport and on the airplanes was catch-up sleep time, and the sock did not get done in time. But nonetheless, I had a great time knitting socks, and I even memorized Meghan Williams's OMG socks heel pattern, so now I don't have to keep looking at them any more!

Here is what I finished:
1. Watermelon Socks! The yarn is by Abi Grasso, and were quite hard to obtain. I had to PM her on Etsy and custom order it. But I saw the yarn knit up on Tapgurl Carmen's Instagram feed, and just had to have a pair of watermelon socks of my own! The one small thing I didn't like was that the yarn was light fingering, which meant my normal gauge was all off-kilter.
2. Grandmother's Socks!
I had this yarn in my stash for a while, and had been meaning to knit them up. It is Highland Handmades, and I don't quite recall the colorway, but I think it was called Hard to Match, or something like that. The yarn is SUPER soft, and I couldn't quite believe it was only 100% merino. I could have sworn that it was MCN or baby alpaca. Such a joy to knit with! And since my grandmother has size 5.5 feet, these socks were finished practically in a blink.
3. Baby socks!
My parents were going to visit China, and I wanted to get something for my baby nephew. He is almost 3, and since Shanghai winters are super cold, I figured some 100% wool socks would keep his little feet nice and warm. I used the Knitmore Girls recipe for toddler tube socks, and hopefully they will fit his feet.
Works in Progress: 
1. I am just finishing up the second sock in the pair of Rack 'em Stack 'em, which is a Fibretown design. I am using a Socktober colorway: Carolina Dog by Lilliput Yarn. The colors are teal and purple, which are gorgeous together. It also reminds me of my high school 
 2. I finally got to start knitting on the Nothing Says Screw You Like a Rainbow socks, but my Knitpicks needles broke AGAIN, so this project is a sad ball of sock and tangled yarn, which I did not bring with me to Grand Rapids.

3. Although I did not win Socktober the Contest, I was able to catch a Socktober-only update that Lollipop yarns had especially for the CFG listeners, and scored my first-ever skein of lollipop yarn! It is so gorgeous I don't want to knit with it, but my father needs some Christmas Socks, and I can't think of a better person to gift with Lollipop socks. 
 4. Finally, I of course had to buy some yarn after getting to GR! I stopped by a store called Threadbender because I needed to buy a new needle, and they had an entire stand full of Knitted Wit Gumballs! This was the perfect solution for me, since I want to knit ALL of the Knitted Wit colorways. I picked out a few of my favorites, and I am going to knit them all together into stripey patchwork socks.Can't wait!

This again became a longer post than I anticipated! I hope everyone is doing well, and enjoyed Halloween. I spent it in a hotel room, where I was going to knit, but then fell asleep with the lights on and the needles still in my hands. Hope everyone had fun! 


Monday, November 2, 2015

September OMM part one: San Diego

( Hi! This is ZT, in November. This post is part of a series of entries I wrote and then forgot to publish,. I am sorry if the narrative doesn't quite make sense in the timeline. This entry was written on Setptember 10th, 2015)

September has brought some sort of normalcy into my life. Well, as much normalcy as any 4th year medical student can expect.

I finished up my August Neurology rotation with more experience and interest in Neurology than I ever thought possible. That has been my greatest surprise so far. I started the rotation with trepidation, as someone who has always hated neuroanatomy and neuroscience, added to anger and stress from dealing with a sarcastic and irritable office manager who treated medical students alternately like children or like dirt. However, by the end of the rotation, I gained more insight into both the field of neurology and the inner workings of a successful specialist office than I ever thought possible. The office manager and I ended with mutual respect for each other, and my attending gave me the opportunity to help shape the rotation for future medical students. I was humbled and grateful for all that I had gained from August.

I also took the second part of my medical boards at the end of August, and it went better than I anticipated. Now, I still have to wait for the scores, so I don't know how things are just yet. I am grateful to be done with studying, if only for a little while.

September 10th , I finished the first part of my September rotation, at an osteopathic office in San Diego. I was so delighted to be there, and learned so much from the two short weeks. I saw the love that the patients and physicians had for each other, and how the office staff were literally a family, and how students were treated like valuable assets for the future. I learned so much about the culture of osteopathy. I was reminded yet again of the holistic approach to treatment, from exercise tips to nutrition and sleep. I loved every moment I was there, for it gave me insight into how I might want to possibly run my office in the future. I loved the patients, the people, the lifestyle; everything. The physician was one of the best role models for osteopathy, and she inspired me to keep learning and learn as much as I can.

Tomorrow, I head home, and then off to Ohio for my first audition rotation. I'll have to be on even better than my best behavior, but I've learned so much in the last year that I know I am ready to show the world who I am. I hope that I will find the type of residency I want to do, and that they find me to be the exact resident they want, and that we will match perfectly.

I have been doing quite a bit of knitting lately, what with all of my travels and taking boards (i.e. travel plus boards stress). Also, my brother has recently started school at a military academy in the Northeast, and he'll need all the warmth he can get once winter hits. As a desert rat, he's never lived in a place with snow before. Thus, I'm knitting as fast as I can to make sure he'll survive the winter without turning into an ice cube. I finished my brother's Harry Potter Socks, out of the Simply Socks Yarn Company Poste yarn in the Wizard Knowledge colorway.

I also started my brother's next pair of socks, an Army-green colored pair out of Deborah Norville Serenity yarn in the Woodsy green colorway. I finished one and a half pair.

I'm also finishing up my Trickle Shawl, in the Juniper Moon Farm Herriott Heathers yarn, 1014 colorway. The pattern is Trickle Shawl by Jennifer Lassonde. I've had so much fun knitting this, as I luxuriate in the baby alpaca yarn and the pretty coppery golden color. I can't wait to wear it this fall and winter as I proceed to my audition rotations in Michigan and Maine. I know that it will be cold, but that's what all the knitting is for. I can finally wear all my pretty hand-knits again! I am in search of the perfect hat pattern to use the other half of my Herriott Heathers DK yarn, so that I'll be completely swathed in baby alpaca this winter. More to come later!