Chairs Missing by Joe, resident at the New England College of Optometry


Scattered Flurries

The last month has been about as busy as it has been snowy, which is another way to say I’m oh so very tired. Part of that tiredness is related to how snowy it’s been the past month or so; it seems like we’ve had an 8-12 inch snow storm every week for the last 6 weeks. Between having to wake up earlier than usual to avoid when some snowstorm might make the roads completely jammed with traffic and unpassable, and the fact that when I get home at night I’ve had to stay up late shoveling snow so I can leave the next morning, I’m feeling tapped out. It seems more than ever that winter needs to end. Like right now. Seriously.

Luckily, today is Presidents Day, so like all federal employees, I got a free three-day weekend to refresh and catch up on all of the various projects I have going on, including writing this blog. Last week I had a Jeopardy style project due for the outgoing interns (basically a program written into PowerPoint, complete with questions, answers and all the visual/audio styles of the show).  That project took way more time than I anticipated and subsequently threw off the completion timeline for everything else I have due in the next month.

Up next, I have an hour-long hospital grand rounds presentation that is due in two weeks. The topic is ocular nutrition, which is an interesting topic but a challenging one to present to an audience of mostly non-eye care folks. I am a little nervous in how to strike the right balance of what content to include.  I am afraid that it will either be too basic and broad (the audience may well include nutritionists who will know much more than me) or it will be too esoteric and people will get lost in the fine details. It’s going to be a long two weeks of late nights and re-writes. (By the way, is the word esoteric, itself esoteric? I think it is. Apparently there is a category for words like that called “autologs,” which means words that are self-referential. Pretty coolSometimes I think I should have been a linguistics major, but I digress.) Beyond this, looming in the horizon is our giant end of year project which includes having to make a presentation and write a publishable quality paper to go with it. The topic is due in early March and I haven’t begun to sort through my interesting cases to figure out what I’m going to base it on. Yikes.

I also spent a good chunk of this weekend doing our taxes with my wife, which got me to thinking about our finances and the future. Pretty soon the time will come to start looking for a job or three (given how little I made last year and the loans are quickly coming out of the grace period). Now I know I ended my last post mentioning that I might talk about the concept of moonlighting, that is, when residents get a weekend job with a private practice in order to make some extra cash. Well, I had intended to base this post on that topic, but I’ve had too much going on to even think about a second job, for now. Probably once everything settles down a bit and the snow melts, I will have time to actually start searching.

Having re-read this post just as I’m about to hit the submit button, I realized it might seem like I’m whining about my job much like an overtired baby that needs a nap. So yeah, sorry about that. It feels good to vent and besides, all of this busy-ness is in the interest of advancing my residency learning experience. Except for the snow part -- that’s just a bummer.  I’m going to bed now. When I wake up in four weeks, the winter will be over and hopefully I’ll deliver you another stellar post about the beginnings of looking for my new job(s).

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