Med School – Week 1

So I did get into med school. I have now moved down to the lovely South and finished my first week. I thought I would post during the summer, since I had no plans, but apparently I was too busy having fun.

And this is how I feel about my first bit of med school:

Trying to keep up with the first week. #whatshouldwecallmedschool.tumblr.com

And then I sat there and watched that poor little hamster like 50 times, thinking “Poor little buddy, I so relate.” Also, because the hamster was much more interesting than the biochem lecture I’m supposed to be studying. After silently laughing at the hamster for a solid 10 minutes in the library, I decided I was done studying. Today is not a productive day. Also, I’m hungry.

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I am so bad at this

So that died, the whole be a regular blogger thing. Like I mentioned in the previous post, it’s been a crazy semester. The irony is that originally I wanted to blog to deal with the craziness, get my thoughts out, organize them. Therapeutic blogging.

I also wanted to document my process in applying to Med School, and that hasn’t really happened either. Long story short, the process sucks, but more on that later. Later, as in I’ll do another post on that. (Really, I will.)

The final thing, and one of the biggest reasons for this blog was to deal with my mini-faith crisis. Well what happened was that faith crisis wasn’t so mini, nor did I write down my feelings and thoughts about it. What did happen was a lot of talking to myself in the car. And, I’ve decided to leave the  faith of my childhood. The walls all came crashing down, the foundation was swept away, and I no longer believe that the Mormon Church is true like it proclaims. I have now become aware that the church is full of lies. It was (is) a heart-wrenching, painful, and yet liberating process. I haven’t fully left yet, but I will someday. Guess I’m going to have to change my about. I just have to choose my timing carefully, because my family is going to be very upset over this piece of news. My husband, certainly was. He told me that my leaving the church, was worse than if he’d caught me cheating on him. Yeah, really, he said that, and meant it. That’s one of the things that bugs me about the LDS church; it claims to be an institution that promotes families, but really it just uses them as emotional blackmail and destroys families. I think I’ll end this rant here, before I get too upset, at some point I am going to try to articulate all the reasons why, but now know.

So here is one more post that is about nothing really, but there will be more in the very near future.

Still here!

I don’t have an idea in mind for this post. I just wanted to let the internet know I’m still alive. My poor blog was feeling lonely and unloved, so I feel like I should write something.

This semester has been crazy busy! My horrendous course schedule is to blame for the quietness of my blog. There is one class I’m taking, Women’s Health, that had a ridiculous amount of reading to do. If you could look at my assignments in Outlook (I love Outlook, I’ve recently been converted, and it’s fast becoming a best friend) you’d notice a highly disproportionate amount of the work is for that class. As much as I love the material, I’m hating this course, it’s wearing me down.

On the med school front, things have been quiet.  Dreadfully, unfortunately quiet. Okay, that’s not the complete truth. I just barely got an interview offer for some time in December. I was so happy to get that one interview offer, I really needed some form of positive feedback in this horrible process. I was getting so worried and so anxious. I wound up adding a whole host of school to the already lengthy list of schools I’m applying to in my paranoid, anxiety-filled state.

Oh yes, on the home front. Things have gotten a lot better at home. Hubby and I are getting along much better now. We’re trying this new semi-openness thing. Everything is out there, but somethings just don’t get dug into very deep. It’s this odd stage that goes something like: I feel x, and situation relating to x has been weighing heavily on my mind, but don’t ask too much more about that. Yeah, I don’t know. It’s not going to work in the long run, but right now it’s pretty good.

Another side note. I’d previously mentioned my dilemma about taking a job or not. Well I did, not the job I was originally debating about. Another job opportunity popped up that paid more, so with that little added financial incentive I conceded at went to work. However, it is an absolutely horrible job. I hate it. Every time I go to work I just sit there and think, if I wanted to spend my time cleaning up crap after other people who haven’t learned how to pick up after themselves, well then I would’ve just stayed home with my daughter. Oh yeah, my job is cleaning up labs and generally be at the beck and call of mean grad student.

And for the last bit of news, I’m now on anti-depressants. I’ve been struggling with postpartum depression for two years, but in my stubborn mind and with my odd convoluted sense of logic, I’d been refusing help. But I finally gathered some courage and wits about me long enough to make that phone call. At first she, the doctor, actually a nurse-practioner, gave me the oh-so-common Prozac. That was a disaster. It completely wiped me out. I felt like a narcaleptic, shortly after I’d take the pill, I’d start nodding off, and no matter how hard I fought it I’d fall asleep. It wasn’t just a short nap either, it was hours and hours long. I’d sleep for 12 hours or more, completely dead to the rest of the world. When I did wake up it was a for a quick bite to eat and then a bathroom break, then I was back in bed. I pretty much slept for an entire week. After that catastrophy, the NP put me on Wellbutrin, which is going okay. It’s not fantastic, I feel like I’m at 75% of potential, like there is something better out there. However, I’m not willing to keep playing medicine roulette. The next try might be something like the Prozac, or worse, and I can’t handle that right now in the middle of the semester. I’m going to try again in December after school is out. I’m going to continue the Wellburtin for now, much to the dismay of my checkbook. I paid almost $100 for one month’s worth! I don’t have the income to just budget in an extra hundred dollars. Hopefully with  the next try in two months,  I’ll find something that works fantastically and is a little cheaper.

Well that’s it for now, I’ll try to keep it under month this time until my next post.

Rape Culture & Shared Pain

In the past two weeks I have become very busy! School has started, so life has really started to pick up.

Well, while I was on campus today I had a very troubling interaction. A club on campus decided to prop a giant cardboard wall, with a sign that said “Wall of Free Speech, write anything you want.”  Near the bottom corner someone had written “The textbook return process if RAPE.” Someone else had written next to that “Using the word rape so frivolously spreads rape culture, and demeans the crime many women have experienced.” (That person may or may not have been me.)

While walking buy later I heard some guy snort and comment, “That’s so stupid, what the heck is rape culture anyways?” Of course I stopped and attempted to explain what rape culture meant to him. I went off on my little rant, about how as a high school student I was told that I needed to be careful to dress modestly, showing too much skin would attract a creep who would rape me, effectively blaming the victim as much as the creep. And that sort of thing doesn’t just happen in my small, religious town. A police officer in Toronto, Michael Sanguinetti, said that women should avoid rape by not “dressing like a slut.” In 1999 Italy ruled that a woman in jeans couldn’t be raped, because a man couldn’t get the pants off of her, without her consent. Obvious bogus. In Texas an 11-year old was gang raped, and community members protected the boys, claiming she drew them in my dressing older than her age. And then there is the whole issue where a woman’s sexual history has been used against her when she’s tried to prosecute her attacker.

Of course other things contribute to rape culture. Like this boy’s complacent attitude, if rape isn’t seen as a big deal, if others don’t understand that these women do not walk away with “no [lasting] harm done,” it will give the impression that rape is okay. If boys are continouly glorified for being a stud, for having sex with multiple girls, while girls are cherished for purity and chastity, if will spread the idea of male dominance over women. If violence is seen as sexy, it contributes to rape culture. The phrase “You’re so sexy, I can’t help myself.” lends itself to rape culture, making rape seem like a compliment, a natural result of her beauty.

I went off on this rant. The stupid boy just responded by saying, “It’s just a word. Girls can choose to be offended or not.” He further went on to say, “I can say it if I want. When I say something like ‘I raped that game’ it just meant I won, it doesn’t mean anything else.” He just didn’t understand the point that statement made. It makes him “raping” something a good thing, it showed his excellence and dominance, further spreading this idea that rape isn’t so bad. I wasn’t very good at explaining anything, I was getting pretty mad. But he just wouldn’t get it, how it normalized and trivialized the crime, and demeaned the suffering of so many women. Two other men piped up and tried to help explain my point. Finally the boy said something like “Well yeah, but it would different if I said it to a rape victim.” At that moment I was furious. I stepped right up in his face and yelled, “How do know that I’m not a rape victim?” I motioned to the several women around the area, “With 1 in 4 women college students being raped, someone here probably is. That’s my point it’s way to common, and no one thinks a thing about it.” He shrugged a whatever, and said I had stupid logic, and once again, it’s just a word, it’s my choice to be upset by it, he can do whatever he wants. I was so mad I just called him a pig and walked off.

The point of this post was not to explain what rape culture is, I’m not very articulate about that sort of stuff. Though if you do want to, please click on this link, this is an amazing overview of the terrible rape culture that is embedded into our Western culture. (This is another article you should read.)  The point of this article was to give an overview of an experience I had today. After that horrible incident, I walked off, sat on the grass and held back tears. I was shocked at myself, at how vehemently I reacted. I didn’t really understand why I was so hurt and angry. I will be honest and clear that I have not been a victim myself, nor has anyone close to me (that I know of). So why was I shaking and near tears at this? I’ve realized that there is a feminine wound. And that all of us women bear some burden of this rape culture, even those of us who have not been victims. I am not diminishing their pain in any way, or even saying that I understand it, I don’t. But no matter what, by being female, rape has touched all our lives in some way. It’s the fact that I have to be cautious and wary, because it could be me. It’s there every time I look at the stars and think how nice it would be to talk a midnight walk, but I can’t because that would be risky and I’m terrified.  It is something I’m gravely aware off anytime I’m alone with a male. Because of this and more, there is a fear that is in all of us females. This fear isn’t the only reason that I, and all women share in the feminine wound that rape has given us, but forgive me, I do not know how to articulate the rest. And while this culture persists, we will all share some of the pain our sisters have been afflicted with.

 

Dear boy,

I hope someday you will understand. I hope your view will change from thinking we are too sensitive, to the thought that you shouldn’t be do insensitive. I hope someday you will change your tune. I hope that your spirit will cry out to the female spirit and say, “I’m sorry.” But above all boy, please don’t ever hurt a woman.

He love me, He loves me not, He loves me…

My husband might leave me.

The past week has been a roller coaster. A terrible, hideous roller coaster from hell. I finally decided to come clean to my husband about many of my horrible misdeeds and trials. They don’t paint a pretty picture of me, not at all. Lies, the depression, infidelity (sort of), abuse, and issues of faith. Lots of dark and black stuff came out.

He was shocked. He was horrified. He said he was disgusted, I was a stranger to him.

And then there was no talking. Just trying his best to avoid me. I wouldn’t blame him if he left me, or more accurately kicked me out. Most people would leave.

I walk around my home feeling like a ghost, feeling like I don’t belong and I’m unwanted. I’m afraid that every move I make will be the one that shatters my world.

But then, last night, he came home smiling. He kissed me. He kissed me! I’m still so excited about that part. He assured me that he wouldn’t leave, that he still loves me and always will. I’m still amazed and stunned. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that anyone would stay after learning what sort of vileness lives inside of me. But he did. This man is the most gracious man I’ve ever met. There is nothing but goodness to him, sweet, sweet goodness.  Ground rules were set, and I oh so much the repentant soul am going to do my best. It is going to be hard to change myself, but this love is worth it, and he deserves a much better version of me. My dear husband, so faithful, a near-perfect emulator of Christ’s forgiveness and mercy. And I, yes I am the adulterous Israel, drawn to Babylon, constantly struggling to align myself with him.

He loves me still!

$88.48

Payday. Not as much as I expected, not near as much as is needed. With a sigh I plop down in front of the computer. With a resigned click Quicken’s obnoxiously cheerful chirp greets me. I start subtracting out the monthly bills. There goes rent, daycare and utilities. Bye-bye money. Next up is payment for my husband’s student loans, internet bill, and car insurance. Last is the phone bill, smallest of those monthly recurring fees, so I save it to the end in an attempt to cheer me up. Oh and then there’s tithing.* Good ol’ Mormondom.

And what am I left with?

$88.48

Eighty-eight dollars and forty-eight cents until the next paycheck.

How am I supposed to pay the fees for all those secondaries?** These darn med school application process is killing me. Hesitantly I look to the left, where the list of secondaries sits waiting for me. It adds up to $1,255 in secondary fees. (That’s for 13 schools, by the way.)

I tell you I better get in. I’m not going into debt to now have it all pay out in the end. Yes, I’m going into to debt, just to apply. I’m getting a little jaded about this process. It is making it so hard for someone whose parents aren’t doctors to jump through all these hoops.

59.7 % of medical student’s parents have a six figure income. The average income of a med student’s parents is $164.485!*** One if five students have parents who brought home a quarter of a million dollars, every year. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not because it just so happens that the upper class feels such a great burning desire to help others, even more so than another demographic. No, it’s because they are the only ones who can afford to go to (or let alone apply to) medical school. It is wrong.

When filling out the applications I came across the question “Have you adequate financial resources to attend medical school?” I snort, laugh a little nervously and click no. I would’ve clicked no-freakin’-way, but that wasn’t an option.

 

*As a Mormon we give 10% of our income to the Church. Sort of like the Protestant collection plate, just with a defined number, and we discreetly hand it to our Bishop in an envelope.

**A small part of me is worried at the fact that my first thought is how am I going to pay for the secondary fees, not how am I going to buy groceries for my family of three. But seriously those fees are expensive. I can pull groceries off, I think.

***All of the statistics I quote come from my lovely MSAR, which is admittedly a year old, but I doubt it’s changed that much in the past year.

Who am I? I’m Jean Valjean!

Okay, I’m really not Jean Valjean. For starters, I can’t sing. I figured it’s the third post now, so perhaps I should introduce myself. I’m Joleyne, a young adult of the female variety. I reside in Utah with my small family unit, which consists of a spouse called Blake, and a small child formally referred to as Ellie, but often affectionately called Baby Girl.  This blog is my attempt to balance all the different parts of who I am.

Mother: I am a mother to one adorable toddler.  My daughter is the best thing that has ever happened to me and the center of my whole world. As such, there will obviously be some Mommy blog infusions into this blog. Don’t worry though, there isn’t going to be any arguments over what brand of stroller is best, or how what color you paint the nursery is going to shape your child’s psyche for life. I’m fairly laid back in my parenting. I’ve noticed most people tend to do fine and wind up being generally good and decent people; regardless of whether they first heard Mozart in utero or in college.

Marriage: Of course the part where I am a mother implies that the child has a father. We have a pretty happy marriage, the boat does get rocked occasionally, as any paring of two people does. Honestly more than occasionally, pretty darn frequently. I love my husband so much, but by golly, sometimes he just annoys the crap out of me…and I may not be the easiest person to live with either.

Mormon: This blog isn’t the stereotypical Mormon blog. Isn’t going to full of shiny happiness, all about how I’m oozing with love for the Church. Yes, I am a Mormon and I’m not planning on changing that, but sometimes I overtaken in confusion. I have plenty of issues with my religion and the culture it creates. I’m not a Molly Mormon, who believes my destiny is to be a stay at home Mom, spending my days crafting and changing diapers. Despite this I genuinely believe the gospel doctrine the Church teaches and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. And so I am trying to figure out how to balance this roller coaster relationship I have with my religion. My Mormonism also means I have my own little dialect, so forgive me if I forget that sometimes other people have idea what I’m talking about.

Medicine: Well, technically it’s pre-medicine, but I had to go with the M alliteration theme here.  I am a pre-med student, who is applying to Medical School right now. Hopefully this blog will document the success, and not the utter failure, of this endeavor. This endeavor might also be the reason this blog dies, since it keeps me busy and stressed at all times.

Me: Lastly, buried beneath all of that is me, somewhere. I’m still trying to find most of this me bit. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately, prompted a lot by what I’ve mentioned above. What I’ve found so far is that I’m a feminist, obstinate, very outspoken, occasionally impetuous and also immensely shy and reserved. I’m a jeans, t-shirt, ponytail type of girl, but I do have moments where pure girlishness shines through. I’m fairly bookish, and I’m hoping that blogging will help me expand my creative side some, so that scrapbooking isn’t the only exercise the right side of my brain gets. I’m a farm-raised, small town girl who is very afraid of big cities. I a bit of a nerd. It has taken a lot to get me to admit that, so be happy with the “bit” even though that’s (possibly) a large understatement. I believe in hard work, perseverance, living in the moment and enjoying the life’s journey.

Now we will return to the not so regularly scheduled program of posts. Feel free to return to Facebook. (Look how nice I am, I even linked you back to it.)