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Mar. 31st, 2012 @ 11:24 pm Second Star to the Right
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
With my June 21st start date in sight, it was rapidly becoming time to hit the road. My last few days at home were spent boxing things up to get prepared for the move. At that point only a token amount of my things were going, mainly necessities such as clothing. Once I got a place to live we would get the rest of it. One the things we did was look at some mattresses and I was able to pick one that suited me just fine and is a very comfortable one. So much so I've set up my computer by it and even now am lying in bed typing, thanks to the internet router I acquired having wireless, allowing me to surf the net anywhere in my apartment.
The big day dawned bright and sunny without a cloud in sight. After a quick stop at Walgreens to get a Father's day card for Dad, it was wheels up for the big trip south. For the initial leg, it followed the very familiar line of march down to Omaha. Except a "minor" detour had surface, namely in the form of the Missouri river and the flooding that had dominated the news. In Sioux City, there were lots of areas that were completely flooded and barricades had been erected to keep the interstate passable. Were it not for these, there were sections that probably would have been underwater. Just north of Omaha, I had to head east for awhile on I-680E before rejoining I-80 and skirting the eastern side of Council Bluffs as it turned out. Then I turned south and there's where the journey started into previously uncharted waters.
A wrong turn might well have made that a literal statement. Just north of the Missouri line, the flooding once again forced a detour. I'll admit that I hadn't scouted my route quite as much as I should have, which could have made things very interesting. I took a gamble on this small southbound highway. There were areas where the waters were just a few yards from the road; I was honestly anticipating my gamble to fail me and to come across a sign saying "Road Closed" with a section just a short distance ahead underwater. Were it not for the trees and houses dotting the otherwise blue landscape, a person might well think they were on some ocean side highway in California.
My luck and sense of navigation served me well; the road took me to a little town called Hamburg without having to tread water (which I wouldn't have done, that didn't end well for me the last time I tried it). I wandered the streets, mostly for lack of a clear idea of how to continue my southward voyage, my initial hopes of rejoining I-29 were quickly dashed by a barricade of sandbags separating me from the river and its new horizons. After a journey of length, I found a south bound highway that emptied out in an east-west one just east of the town of Rock Port. Even though I was still in sight of the relentless waters, I-29 was once again open to me and so I was back on areas my predetermined course would take me. Another point of significance, I was finally in Missouri proper. But my trip was far from over.
As I was getting close to St Joseph my tank was getting to the vapors. On the outskirts I decided to go for the first gas station. My situation was also compounded by the fact that my bladder had the exact opposite problem of my car. My routine consumption of soda on car trips will do that, especially when there's some distance involved. One of my pet peeves that has emerged in the wake of the ever increasing gas prices is the predominance of places that force you to prepay if you're using cash. That's something that irks me to no end. With me its one of two options, either overpay and have to go in twice, once to pay and once to get my change, or underpay and leave with less than a full tank. But I got that business taken care of and then it was back on the road.
I had to say I was a little nervous driving through Kansas City. Navigation is something that I'm fairly good at, but highways are a bit trickier and on the busy ones you have to be careful that some ham head won't put a dent in your trip, literally and figuratively. Thankfully I was precise and got right where I needed to be. It was kind of a watershed moment seeing the sign that marked the end of I-29. And as monumental as this achievement was, I still had half of the distance to go. I was grateful that the amount of road construction was minimal. I don't doubt that the commitment of construction assets to controlling the Missouri flooding probably contributed to this. After a short jog south of Kansas City, I finally hooked up with a highway that would take me east to town called Clinton. Then I turned south on another highway that would take me towards Springfield. It was on this southbound leg that I got the first definitive clue that I was getting into the South proper. One of the farm houses along the highway had a Confederate flag flying. About halfway down this road I decided to fuel up again. I had the good sense to know that I was heading into an area with a lot of small towns. Until I was familiar with the area, I knew I would do better to keep my tank topped and not run the risk of running low on fuel with most of the gas stations closed.
This journey seemed a lot longer than any of the subsequent ones, in part because it was my first trip and also it was marked by the anticipation of getting down here to start everything. But I finally made my way to Highway 65, the road that would take me to Mountain Grove and that has become a VERY familiar stretch of highway to me. Here's where I got a greater sense of the topography. I have to say, it seemed fairly familiar. With the road cut out of stone hills, it had an air of familiarity with the roads I drove on back in Rapid City, sans the mountains of the Black Hills. Also there were a massive number of trees and here they were of the deciduous variety rather than the conifers that dominate the mountains of western South Dakota. I had to say I was a bit surprised at some features of the roads. Its a divided highway, exactly like an interstate. Only it has stop lights at some of the major towns, that took some getting used to. Also, it was a bit of a surprise to see so many highways and other access roads spill directly into the road. One has to watch them self a bit more carefully that they might think coming from the mentality that a divided highway is interstate.
It was a great relief when the sign that said Mountain Grove finally came into view. I had to admit, I was getting a bit nervous, even at the point of the longest day pretty much, the sunlight was fading and I did not relish the idea of navigating in unfamiliar territory at night. But I did make it and I took the business 65 exit which took me into town proper. I ended up driving around a little in town to take in the lay of the land. I have to say a good number of the buildings when I was first coming in looked like they had seen better years (or better centuries if I was inclined to be flippant). After a brief visit to the square, I headed north past the high school and a lot of other businesses. At this point, I was starting to look for the hotel I was going to stay at. My initial sweep took me right past it. After missing it on another pass, I headed north of the highway and found the store that would be my home store, Walmart number 88. I parked in the lot and took some time to figure out my next move. After back tracking a bit, I finally found the Travel Lodge that I had been looking for.
When I first set out, my first thoughts were "man its hot here." The heat was more like what we'd normally see in mid July or later in SD. It was going to take some getting used to. But at least I was finally here. It was time to meet my destiny, both as a man and as a health care practitioner.
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Mar. 31st, 2012 @ 10:50 pm Intermission
Current Mood: calmcalm
Well our little convoy managed to move the last of my items back to Sioux Falls with no problems. We parked the van nearby and made an immediate focus of unloading the next day so we could get the truck back. It was good to know how useful this was in getting my stuff moved, this knowledge and getting a better idea of how to load things to maximize the space available (admittedly my packing and boxing of things hadn't necessarily lent itself towards efficiency in that regard). Thankfully we had a pretty nice day to do it.
Next item of business was to set up shop for the job hunting. I already had quite a bit of stuff on my plate just from the one offer in hand. I got a few phone calls as far as what I needed to follow up on what was to be the job I was destined to fill on what to do. First item of business was to get on with the Missouri board of pharmacy and get my intern license. Not a small task. First item of business was to send the actual application to Creighton to validate me before it got sent onto the board. Not only did I have to send it, but I had to have it notarized. To that end I made a little trip to the downtown branch of Wells Fargo, that may have been my first visit there since my summer job there back in 2003. Whole other world back then, they had to hire us on just to deal with all the mortgages that were being processed. I doubt very much that same problem has existed for a few years.
I got that done and then next item of business was to get fingerprinted. There was a service I had researched that did this near downtown, so I had made a point of consolidating my trip. It was kind of cool doing that, it hearkened back to days gone by of my pre-teen years when espionage and detective work were an obsession of mine. I kept a kit that included as many tools as I could acquire for things like that including dusting for fingerprints. I had made several copies of my own prints so that I could identify any others as not being me. Kind of corny like so many things in your life as a kid, but good times all the same :).
Once I got all the stuff mailed off, it was time to play the waiting game. I enjoyed the time off. For one thing, it was the first really extended vacation I'd had in quite a long time. After the grind of rotations, a little down time sounded pretty good to me. I was also acutely aware of the fact that now that I was becoming a professional, the days of weeks at a time being granted to me as vacation were now over. So there was a lot of time spent with the horses. It ended up being a lot longer than I thought. After about a week of no word, I gave the board a call to find out if my application had arrived. When they said no, I called Creighton to find out what the story was. Turns out that my application had been sitting in the mailbox since it arrived. Needless to say I was not a happy camper with this. Once that little logjam was cleared at least things were able to get moving again. The moment I got my license, I got word to Mickey who then sent me the contract for my job. No hesitation there, I signed on to be a graduate intern in southern Missouri with Wal-mart. After some ironing of the details, a start date of June 21st was set. So here I was, now gainfully employed. I had thankfully marshaled a few thousand in savings from work since I had been tuition free since taking out my last student loan in December. With this I was prepared to make the greatest leap forward in my life; in addition to full time employment that could independently sustain me as well as be a satisfying career, being on my own. As much as I was nostalgic for home, hearth, and horse, I was ready for this.
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Dec. 13th, 2011 @ 04:09 am The End of the Beginning
Current Music: Ours - Taylor Swift
Graduation and Dr. OutlawCollapse )
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Oct. 23rd, 2011 @ 10:42 pm Endgame
Current Mood: contentcontent
And This is What Its Like To Work At Walmart Full TimeCollapse )
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Oct. 1st, 2011 @ 10:45 pm Take It To the Limit One More Time
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Hospital RotationCollapse )
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May. 29th, 2011 @ 02:56 pm Seeing Double
Current Mood: amusedamused
Back To CreightonCollapse )
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May. 29th, 2011 @ 12:13 pm He Paws Fiercely Rejoicing in His Strength ...
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
... and Charges into the FrayCollapse )
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Mar. 1st, 2011 @ 11:37 pm A Tour Of Omaha
Current Mood: tiredtired
Rotation number six was an interesting one for me. I believe I had been attempting to get into an oncology one but that spot was unavailable. This time serendipity played out in my favor, this proved to be a good one. With one exception, the aforementioned student from the first rotation whose actions had just been one piece of the pie that made that whole experience miserable was the second student on with me. I was determined not to let it get me down. We didn't have to do any interacting so I wasn't exactly going to jump over myself to try and be buddy buddy. I've wasted to much of myself on people who aren't worth my time. As I recall there was even one time we were stuck in a room for an hour and we didn't say so much as a word to each other. I can't say that I like that sort of situation, but I'm not going to flinch if put in it.
It didn't get off to an auspicious start. Starting Sunday it started to snow pretty heavily. Luckily I had gone back Saturday when it was still clear. It kept going pretty good even into Monday, it wasn't quite a blizzard, but it was pretty dang close. It took a little bit of work to get to where I needed to go, but thankfully I've had a lot of experience in these conditions.
There's a long term care facility not too far south of our location which served as our base of operations. The way the typical day would work, we would start off there and either do some business there or go to one of the other pharmacies in town. Jim, our preceptor, did work at a lot of other places and shuttled us around in his F150. That was pretty cool, I've been looking to get one so it was a nice intro to the vehicle. We pretty much did the circuit of a lot of the smaller towns around Omaha and a few places in town. There were a variety of duties at the various places, primarily chart review. This hearkened back to the days it Creighton Medical Center, thankfully no bad memories were brought up. For the most part, people were pretty stable on the therapies they were on, but there were a few things to watch out for. One big thing was people who had been on PPIs (Prilosec, Nexium are examples for those who don't know) for more than a year for something such as acid reflux. Those are pretty strong meds and usually people can do well on something like a Zantac which will do the job but not be quite so potent. One of the serious problems with that in older patients is the stomach can become less acidic to the point it is easy to get a C. diff infection ... which is nasty even in the young and healthy. Another serious problem came from the people who had been in the hospital. Almost always they come out a prescription for what is called sliding scale insulin, basically its insulin dosed based on blood sugar readings. Its easy to do when you're in the hospital, but not so easy to swing as an outpatient. Problem is you always leave the hospital on the same meds, regardless of whether or not they're practical for outpatients.
Our Wednesdays were universally spent at this pharmacy a little further from where we filled the unit dose packs for some of the places were were taking care of. It was a glance into the past of the profession, an independent pharmacy with a high counter and everything. I learned a lot about things, Jim is arguably one of the more knowledgeable people I've encountered about the profession. More and more I seemed to get the impression that the dream I've tossed around of owning my own pharmacy is more and more improbable given the current situation. Sounds like the only way to do the independent thing is to have already established yourself and have a loyal following of customers.
I've got to say I learned a lot on this one and it was a very positive experience. I got to see a lot more of the countryside than I likely would have on any other rotation. I also got to partake of another area of expertise of Jim's: the local restaurants. We ate out most of the days, brown bagging doesn't work in nursing homes, you can't eat in the patient care areas. Or at least, you're not supposed to. We ate at a lot of good places and heard of quite a few more. I might have to give a few of them a try before I leave town.
Well another five weeks came and went pretty fast. This makes four positive rotations I've had to make up for the crappy first two. And right now it looks like the one I'm on is a pretty good one too. So that makes five good ones, even if the last one doesn't play out so nicely at least I beat the spread.
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Feb. 13th, 2011 @ 12:58 pm Summer Break In Reverse
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: General Lee's Solitude - Gettysburg Soundtrack
Thanksgiving was a time I was looking very much forward to. This year was the fifth one in my lifetime that it was also the day my birthday fell on. I got a replacement for the Xbox 360 which had quit working on me due to mechanical difficulties. Note to self: I still need to find someone with the soldering equipment to get that fixed, if only so I can salvage the data from the old one. Other than my brief time off during the ambulatory care rotation, this was the first time I had truly had in quite a long time.
A few days off was all well and good, but it was good to be back at work at the VA. One problem quickly emerged in the form of my computer access. One problem with my work in Omaha was that it was the same region as the Sioux Falls hospital. Since I needed computer access, I anticipated there might be problems so I had worked to get my access transferred prior to my arrival on site. That move was not entirely successful, but the problem was corrected within the first day or two, before it was really a problem. I had made a special point of sending an email immediately (I was waiting for my final evaluation) that I was done and to reestablish my access there. I even sent a reminder midway through November. I get there the Monday following Thanksgiving and nothing had been done towards restoring my access. Words fail me. Luckily it didn't take long, just a minor inconvenience.
Most of my days were the typical grind in outpatient. Things had changed considerably with the new construction that had begun during my few weeks of service just before I started rotations. One major thing that had happened was now there were larger counseling booths and three of them where there had previously only been two (for the most part only two were used at any time, which made me wonder at that particular decision somewhat, unless the goal is for expansion of staff). That confined the route to the pickup window to a fairly narrow avenue. One of the most critical changes was the area where the regular IV hood was now office space. And the area where the chemo hood was had been expanded and made into both the antechamber and the clean rooms for both hoods. It was a major surprise. And the break room had been shifted over to where the oral syringes and other compounds were made with the old space being occupied by a new unit dose packing machine that was in the process of being installed. It was quite a bit to take in. While a lot of the areas had remained the same, a lot of other things got shuffled around, which made finding items a little interesting at first. Another thing that took me completely by surprise was the presence of several new people. They had finally gotten the go-ahead to hire some new people. It was a very happy discovery.
Even though I had been absent for the longest block of time I had ever been gone, I got back into the routine of things quite nicely. As usual there had been some minor procedure changes that were quickly absorbed and dealt with. Like with a lot of my breaks, the majority of my effort was in outpatient. I did get a few weekends of work right at the beginning but things worked out very well for me. Both Christmas and New Years Day fell on weekends, so we got the preceding Friday off. I was most pleased to not have to work any of those weekends so I got two three day weekends in a row. We should all be so lucky.
There were plenty of good times to be had at the barn. It was good to see Scotch doing well in spite of the falling temperatures. As robust as she is proving, even in her elder years, she would have been an endurance horse for the ages if given the opportunity. As long as I see the same brightness to her eyes, I will not be too concerned about her. And she still retains her sense of independence quite well. I remember one of the times I was petting her over the fence. Her rear was facing towards the fence and she turned and looked at me as if to say "just what are you doing?" When I persisted her reply was to simply take one step forward, putting herself out of reach, and then resume eating. I must admit I felt a bit shunned, but I laugh about it now.
Things were nice with Stormy. It was a much busier time at the barn, so kind of had to do what we could when and where we could, but we made the best of it. He did have some minor foot problems during the time, a little touch of white line disease. We've taken to giving him some hoof supplement to help his hoof grow back a little better and kept his hoof well cleaned and treated in order to prevent any further incident. I also took to reading a book I got for Christmas by Clinton Anderson, one of the man people teaching natural horsemanship methods. I like what I have seen thus far and hope to reestablish a greater base of knowledge so I might be able to work my way back into the saddle.
One night, on the way back, came a catastrophe that had been avoided so far but my luck ran out finally. As we were going down a fairly dark stretch of I-229, two deer suddenly came into view crossing the road. The lead one was already out of the lane, but I hit the trailing one. My left headlight was completely removed and there was significant damage done to the hood and side panel. I managed to keep the car steady and got us slowed down and over to the shoulder with out a problem. Mom often remarked over the next few weeks how well I had done in keeping control. The damage was sufficient that the door would only open for a quarter of the way and then stop. I did not want to force the issue, so my personal assessment of the damage had to wait until we were at home. Thankfully a highway patrolman responded to our call quickly and got us the red tag so we could get it repaired. The deer I hit had made it to the median shoulder and expired quickly. I was relieved to hear this, it was both out of the way of any further traffic and not destined to suffer long from its injuries. As we looked down, there was a surprise. It turns out it must have been spun around to hit the side panel and that happened as it was involuntarily voiding its bowels. And most of it, or so it seemed, ended up squared on my driver's side door. The insult of all of this was, it was just a week since we'd washed and waxed my car on one of the last really nice days of the year. That's good ol' country boy luck for you. But we were alive and alright, so there's no true reason to complain. And the car, while much worse for the wear in appearance, was still fully drivable. We limped home and that was the end of that little saga.
We took the car in on Thursday to get it fixed and I also went and finally got my driver's license renewed since the DMV was in the area. Things worked out pretty well. Even though my car was just shy of 100,000 miles (I hit the big 100K en route back to Omaha) the insurance covered all but the deductible. That was good news. It took awhile for things to get done, but they did a great job.
It seemed like pretty much every weekend we got a fresh round of snow. The first one after my car was damaged amounted to a blizzard. I was more than grateful for being driven to work rather than having to brave the ice and snow and have to dig out my car. Since I was wearing scrubs too, the curbside service was nice.
New Year's Eve was a day I was really looking forward to along with a lot of people I know. 2011 has been a year that's been on my mind ever since I got into Creighton. Now it was the year I had been waiting for so long. There was nothing too fancy about it, I was playing cards with my Mom at the time with a brand new Uno deck that was part of my Christmas gifts, a deck with horses on it.
Really I don't seem to recall much of particular interest about the time there. There was a sense of finality to my time at the VA. Much like the the vast expanse of summer the break seemed to stretch out endlessly in front of me. But, with each week rapidly whittled away with my time at work, it really didn't take long to get through it. I was eager to return if only because it meant launching into the task at hand and launching the final stage of my pharmacy education.
One minor disappointment, my brand new Xbox suffered some mechanical difficulties of its own and ceased reading discs on Christmas eve. We were able to get it sent in, but not before I left for Omaha. At least that kept me from spending my entire break playing video games.
There's really not too much else I can think of and I'm getting a little tired. I think its time to wrap this up. I'll hit my first rotation after the break sometime tomorrow.
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Feb. 12th, 2011 @ 07:19 pm Back To Creighton
Current Mood: chipperchipper
The fifth rotation put me back at Creighton directly, this time not too far from where I had been. The Drug Information Center for Creighton is neatly tucked away in one of the upstairs rooms of the Health Sciences Library, the bottom floor housing one of the classrooms oft used in the days of yore. It was a room I had passed on the few occasions that I had been without even being aware that it was the DI center. I had maybe casually glanced over that way in passing and seen students on their computers, little realizing that these were people on their rotations graduating sooner than me and that their current fate was my destiny.
Creighton's Drug Information Center is, as we learned in the first day's orientation, is the only free DI center available globally to practitioners (a point driven home by a question that was received from Tehran of all places, one not fielded by me myself). The majority of questions come from pharmacy alumni. My second question, for example, came from a recent graduate who worked for Target in the Phoenix area. Most of these are not questions easily answered by looking in the sources readily available to pharmacy staff, the answers are found in extensive searches through primary literature. Not only are these relatively unavailable at the majority of practice sites, there simply is not the time to do the kind of research involved. I believe that I averaged about five hours of effort per question. That, of course, is the reason that we had our computers with us. The central table had power and internet connections.
I was one of six on the rotation and the way it works typically is we answer the phone in order in which we sit, proceeding clockwise until we come full circle. We are also given questions via email to the preceptors or by telephone which we answered the call and took down all the required information in addition to the question we were answering. Then we research with the assistance of the preceptors. There were quite a number on this one, but Dr. Gregory and Dr. Lukawski were the prominent two, the latter being on a drug information residency. There were write-ups to be done for each question and the degree of detail depended on the route of the response. A phone response did not call for as much polish in the paper since the information was delivered by a call. An email response dictated that the paper be virtually flawless since the document was being sent directly to the individual requesting it and that document would be used to actually formulate a therapeutic response and utilized as an information source. This was certainly a departure from the conventions of pharmacy I had become accustomed to, rather than directly working with a patient or practitioner for the benefit of a single patient, this was more behind-the-scenes work, somewhat more like doing research sans the laboratory.
I was well equipped for this rotation; my experience in research is a lot more extensive than a lot of my contemporaries, and I believe it showed in the results. I do not believe that I was ever placed in the position of having more than a single question being dealt with at any given time. To be fair, it could be the luck of the draw insofar as the questions I got and the simple fact that the level of business we had to do was not particularly robust. There were busy days but I think we made the full cycle as far as questions went once every two days more or less. I made a point, if the question was received in the morning, to have a ready response by the afternoon and was also lucky in that none of my questions were received at the end of the day with a response dictated before we closed for the day. Had that scenario arisen, I would have been obligated to continue to seek the answer after hours. It was a fairly casual atmosphere with us even being able to have the online radio station going in between calls, which was a majority of the time. It was also good to have the companionship of my fellow students.
Lunch was, for the most part, brought in by yourself. We did however elect to eat out on Fridays, the location varying depending on mood. One introduced me to a place that has even displaced Sam and Louies as my local favorite for pizza: Sgt Peffers. It was actually somewhat familiar to me because we had it on the first rotation when a new candidate for director of the department was coming through. I also got a chance to eat at a place that surprised me. It was neatly tucked away below one of the residence halls just south of where we had usually had classes, or rather the complex that it was a part of. I had never known it was there had it not been for my colleagues. It was a nice enough restaurant, it had all the ambiance of a standard dine-in, the prices to match, and the food was delicious. I don't know if I would make a regular point of visiting, one major criticism I am quick to make being a heavier eater is the portions bordered more on the snack size than a full meal. But it was one of those things that one feels inclined to do to have fully had the Creighton campus experience.
I am happy to say that things went very well as far as the work was concerned. All of the people seemed very pleased with the work I did with one exception. She called back saying that the write up did not provide any of the information she needed. This was somebody who had requested all of the cold medicines, symptoms they treated, adult and pediatric dosing, and the prices. It was a massive project that was, without a doubt, the most time I spent on a single question. I was tempted to say that this was quite a comprehensive project right on the phone, but did not. Or that I think that I was getting stuck with pointless grunt work that nobody on staff was (wisely) willing to expend their efforts towards. There is a reason we have these nifty resources readily available in the pharmacy world and that is to answer these questions for ourselves. Overall I think it was at least 10 hours. She had called one of my preceptors and chewed her out, neglecting to note that, in the write-up, I had gone into details from Mendel's Infectious Disease about symptom treatment and then referred her to an attached appendix which contained the spreadsheet that I had built narrowing the massive list of medications (using clinical pharmacology, the list was no less than 80 for each symptom) to about 30 or so that, based on my Wal-Mart experience, were ones that had a fair degree of availability in the average store. After a reply which AGAIN referred her to the appendix, there was no further reply. The conclusion we all drew was that she had not even bothered to look at it. Supposedly she was the manager of One World's pharmacy; something I have made note of. I am grateful none of my rotations called me to that site and have no inclination whatsoever of even considering applying there. Somehow I doubt very much I would have fit in very well anyway.
My happiest moment there was actually one of my last. We were called upon to do presentations over a topic we had answered a question on. With a combination of better preparedness and the no individuals enhancing my nervousness, I did very well on this one and did not choke in the slightest. Most of the audience were P3s and my performance was very favorably evaluated by my explanation of some of the key points about how the research was done since they were soon going to be called on to do the same for the Lit Eval class. It was a great moment and one that did a lot to restore my shaken confidence.
I thoroughly enjoyed this rotation in spite of the expectations in doing research not being a particularly exciting field. I would not have been so eager for it to be done, were it not for the fact that this was the last one of the first five. The next stop was home in Sioux Falls for a almost two months. Few things could diminish the foremost desire in my heart to be in my home and native soil.
It was during the time of this rotation that I went to my one and only Kappa Psi meeting. I felt a certain sense of obligation to be there for the pledges to get their needed signatures. I got a few takers, but relatively few of the pledges showed a great deal of interest. There was only one who interviewed me and more than a few passed me by. I was left to wonder if this truly was what I had delayed going home for the weekend for. Clearly my time with the organization has passed, I suppose it is time to relegate it to history accordingly. Thanks to some good people, primarily those who worked hard to see me elected chapter delegate a year prior, there are at least some good memories of my time there. But the overall sentiment of regretting joining still lingers. Perhaps things will be different as an alumni. But the question remains should I allow the fickle and scornful beast of popularity yet another opportunity to wound me? I'm inclined to think not, but always am when the wound is fresh, only to have the other wound, the dull ache of my solitude push me back in that direction. Age is making me more accepting of the latter and more wary of the former.
I had to admit, up to this rotation a certain level of moodiness had returned to my life. The first two rotations did little to help this, I was thoroughly convinced that the probability of surviving rotations was minimal at best. I will never cease to be grateful that things got better. And the overwhelming felling had started to creep back at first of continuing to jump through an endless series of hoops. It had contributed to the sense of gloom that pervaded my latter years at Mines. Now that I was here that seemed to lift purely because I knew the journey was coming to an end. And I somehow have maintained a greater sense that there will be a job at the end of this road. Maybe that's just me wanting to think the best of things, but we shall see what fate has in store for me. For now I was just content to enjoy what might be the last months of uninterrupted time at home in my life.
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