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My Christmas Rush

Jeffreywonoprabowo72x722Jeff Wonoprabowo -- The Christmas season is here, and it seems like there is no forgetting it. All around, decorations are being thrown up, lights are being strung, and commercials are insisting that with just one more purchase we will achieve happiness for ourselves -- or our loved ones.

The Holiday season is also a tiring one. Everyone is frantic. It's a hectic time. It's the Christmas rush. People are scrambling around town hunting down that perfect gift. They're checking their schedules, planning parties, writing cards, and making trips to the post office to send parcels to distant friends and family.

And all of this is done with one date in mind: December 25.

I started thinking about my own December. It has definitely begun with a rush. My rush, however, is not about racing around finding the perfect gift, scribbling out greeting cards, or mailing packages. Actually, I'm thinking I should send a Christmas gift to my sister who is spending the year studying abroad in Argentina.

I find myself rushing full speed ahead towards Christmas vacation. The only thing in my way is a week of exams. Two of the eight exams will be NBME subject exams -- affectionately referred to as "mock boards" by many.

The full speed hurtling almost feels like I'm lying on my back speeding down a mountainside on a street luge. No, I haven't tried it. It looks fun -- and terrifying at the same time. Those guys have to manage the twists and turns. Fortunately they probably know the route beforehand so the turns aren't totally unexpected. But at those speeds, even the expected seems unexpected.

Maybe the equivalent for medical school would be trying to remain flexible amid the fray -- which has been difficult for me. I'm the kind of person who likes to know what's going to happen during the day. I'm the kind of person who doesn't like to begin studying if I know I'll have to stop in 30 minutes. It may sound silly, but I feel like it interrupts the momentum.

Student life -- and I guess life in general -- is full of interruptions. I remember being excited that I had a whole afternoon free to study (yeah, I know that sounds sad) only to find out I had a nail in my tire that needed fixing. So instead of sitting in the library for the entire afternoon, I ended up sitting at Walmart's tire shop reading microbiology notes while waiting for the repair. It felt like I lost time because of this interruption.

On the other end of the spectrum I have felt like I gained time. A couple times I have gone to class only to have the teacher not show up, which left me with time I should've gladly embraced.

So it's a juggle. And I'm working on it. I still don't like things popping up randomly when I'm trying to study. But I have to "roll with the punches," learn to be flexible, and use whatever time I do find wisely. After all, medicine is not a field where daily events follow a script or schedule.

December 9, 2008 in Jeff Wonoprabowo | Permalink


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