Tuesday, April 26, 2011

25% Finished.

I am now well into my 2nd semester break and am ready to reflect on what a mess the semester was.


Overall, this semester was the most stressful time of my life.  The only other time that comes close was when I settled my ICBC claim. In both cases, the pay off was the only thing keeping me going.  I was so close to throwing in the towel so many times. 

Also this semester, I officially burnt out, something I had managed to avoid during my undergraduate degree.  Burnout, according to Wikipedia, is “a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest.”  Yep.  Sounds about right.  It can also be divided into different phases…

1. A compulsion to prove oneself 
(I was born with this one…can’t blame it on the burn out)

2. Working harder 
(And harder and harder and harder)

Every second is precious...
3. Neglecting one's own needs 
(Showers?  Who needs showers?)

4. Displacement of conflicts - the person does not realize the root cause of the distress
(Mark claims that I would melt down over trivial things…like not being able to open my pudding cup…I have no memory of this)

5. Revision of values - friends or hobbies are completely dismissed 
(Check and check)

6. Denial of emerging problems - cynicism and aggression become apparent 

7. Withdrawal - reducing social contacts to a minimum, becoming walled off; alcohol or other substance abuse may occur 
(Reducing social contacts? Absolutely. Becoming walled off? For sure.  Alcohol or other substance abuse? Only if Fun Dip counts...)

8. Behavioural changes become obvious to others 
(I guess so…mind you, most of those around me were going through their own phases 1-7)

9. Depersonalization - life becomes a series of mechanical functions 
(Wake up, coffee, stare at computer, panic, watch How I Met Your Mother, go back to computer, panic again, more coffee, etc etc etc)

10. Inner emptiness 
(That sounds really emo…but true…)

11. Depression 
(Don’t think I got this far…)

Burnout is paralyzing.  Truly paralyzing.  I will try my darndest to avoid it in the future, but given my career choice, that may be harder than I would like.  Doctors have the highest burnout rate of any profession.  I’m a smart girl though, and I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

Mark has already blogged about all the changes they made to my class this passed semester, so I won’t run through them again.  Rather, here is a concise summary of semester 2:

Things that ruled:
- Cruise with Mark’s parents
- Picking a wedding venue (though we can’t book it yet)
- Hiring a wedding planner
- Hiring photographers
- My mom sending me Keurig coffee & bridal magazines just in time for finals
- How much I loved being a tutor
- Getting a new apartment

Things that sucked:
- The schedule changes
- The exam changes
- Pretty much everything Ross related
- Our friends moving back to North America
- Getting fat (I eat my feelings when I’m stressed)
- The airline losing our bags at the beginning of the semester

So!  There it is!  I am done my first year of medical school.  Don’t have my final exam grades yet, but I don’t think I’m in ANY danger of failing (especially given the rad pep talk Jocelyn gave me the day before). 

This is Joss giving me a pep talk, including a live performance of "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus...that's the metaphorical mountain on the right...

Hopefully, I go into my second year a bit wiser and a bit more patient.  But not too much…gotta keep the sass.


Speaking of things that suck, I am still marrying Mark.

No caption will do this photo justice.
Speaking of things that rule, thanks to our awesome wedding planner, we have hired a photographer couple (Jeff + Cat) that we adore.  We had a Skype date with them before we sent them a deposit.  To be fair, given their portfolio and facebook page (including a link to a “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” clip) we were already sold going in.  It took about 10 minutes for Jeff to (jokingly) insult me…not a record or anything, but impressive.  We couldn’t be happier with our choice.

Since most of the wedding planning is on hold until we can officially book our venue, I don’t have a whole lot of decisions to make.  I have been looking at wedding dresses, MORE colour schemes, bridesmaid dresses, and all that jazz.  My dream dress is, frankly, out of my budget.  I am okay with this.  Ideally, the dress I get will still be lace, and fitted, and beautiful.  Here are a few dresses that I am currently in love with…in no particular order...


Most people we know went home for the break/for good.  A lot of people went out drinking the night of the final…even those that had 3am taxis arranged to go to the airport.  

Some of my favourite island ladies....Kaylan, Sarah, Maggi, Steph Brown, me, Steph Blonde
PHOTO BOMB!  Mark & Sandeep (from Port Coquitlam, BC).  I don't know the dude's name on the left...

For the first 3 days after my final, I pretty much stayed home in bed while Mark went to work.  On the 2
nd day, I watched 12 episodes in a row of Say Yes To The Dress….that was too much, even for me.  We had Easter Dinner with our friends Stephanie & Diana, our new friend Nick (an incoming 1st semester who got here early) and my classmate CJ.  

Nick, CJ hiding in the back, Diana, Steph, Mark (and his sangria)

Stephanie gave me my first ever Silly Bandz, which I had secretly been wanting since the beginning of first semester (it’s a pink heart).  Our Easter dinner wasn’t turkey with stuffing and mashed potatoes, but it was still delicious!  And the company was great.  The highlight of the night might have been watching some 4th semesters start a bonfire…with their class notes…in the middle of the street…  

So mesmerizing...
At one point they threw a local centipede…follow this link to see a picture…into the fire.  Ten minutes later, the evil thing crawled OUT of the fire like nothing happened.   So disgusting.  They threw it back into the fire a couple more times.  Eventually, we heard a loud POP noise, which we all like to think was the centipede and not an air pocket.  Before you feel sorry for the bug, please know that they are the evil spawn of Satan.  If you don’t step on them the right way, they will coil their bodies around your foot and bite you on the top of it.  They can be fatal to some people.

Tomorrow, we are going on an island trip with the school.  Then we come home to finish filing our taxes and start packing.  A very glamorous life we lead.

Yeah, I took that....no big deal...
Look at Mark's shiny white muscles...

The post almost reached the length of Mark’s posts!!! Sorry people! 

Blog to you soon,



  1. this made me so sad!! i can't think of how long it'll be until i see your pretty face :(
    anyway, my friend's sister bought her dress from this designer: http://www.pronovias.com/wedding-gowns/new-collection/ she bought one from the 'dreams' collection and [personally] i think it's gorgeous, looks very nice, and it was only 1400. there's too many to choose from, but i remembered this and totally had to send it your way.
    have fun in vegas!

  2. Yo! The picture of Mark from my birthday really is a masterpiece without caption.

    Denise: Have you ever thought about having your dress made? There are a couple places in Vancouver that do it (one in Gastown, one on Georgia and Nelson!?!). Also, the burnout progression is really accurate. I know exactly how you feel.

    Also, for both of you, I recommend using Turbotax.ca (or whatever). I did my taxes in thirty minutes and then efiled. It was really nice to just get it out of the way.

    Hope to see you in August if everything works out fortuitously.

  3. @ Cindy Lane: a bunch of the dresses in the pictures are Pronovias dresses...they are magical. I found a store in Vancouver that carries them, so I will be trying them on in August!!!

    @ SJ: Note how I cropped myself out of the photo. To be honest, no, I haven't thought about getting my dress made. I asked my mom a long time ago if she would hypothetically make my wedding dress and haven't thought about it since. I think she said she wasn't that comfortable working with lace. Do you know the names of the places in Van? I can set up appointments in August.

    Thanks for the Turbotax recommendation. Is it free? I used UFile last year and it worked just fine, but for some reason it is calculating this year that I owe money....despite my $15600 tuition and minimal income....

  4. I love the dress bottom left corner!!!! from caitlyn

  5. I am so excited that I made the blog!!!!!!!!!

    P.S. I'm glad you liked your silly bandz :)

  6. I will continue to be creeped out by the concept of those centipedes for a very long time.