Sunday, May 14, 2006

This past Friday we had to give our final research presentations for my research fellowship. I HATE public speaking. I get extremely nervous and stutter, and sometimes my deodorant fails me. I had prepared my presentation and scripted every last word, and thought I'd be ok. as long as there were ABSOLUTELY NO follow-up questions. Somehow I thought that because I'm just a baby medical student somebody would maybe hold my hand and then everyone would give me a hug afterwards and maybe give me an E for effort.

But after watching the other students get absolutely REAMED during the first round of presentations on Wednesday, I got all compulsive and tried to anticipate any question that might come my way. As a very small part of my study we did a leptin assay [No!!! Don't go!!! I'll stop talking about science in a minute] and the world's utmost leptin expert happened to be on the panel of judges, so I spent FOUR HOURS on Thursday night reading all of his leptin research so I could competently volley with him about the most recent studies on recombinant leptin and obese rats.

Of course, after my talk, no one gives a damn about leptin, but everyone wants to talk about how accurate such low scores on coronary CT scans are. It's embarassing to admit you don't know something you probably should know to a room full of attendings but I didn't even know enough about it to make something up, especially because I knew the guy grilling me was a radiologist who would totally call me out on any and all bullshit. Later on, one of my feedback comments was, "I appreciate your candor but as an investigator you should understand the validity of every test you run." Ouch. There's no criticism that stings worse than the ones you know are true.

They judge us to select the one person from each medical school that gets to give an oral presentation at the national conference next week. I'm sure they were dazzled by my brilliance but I'm 100% sure I won't get selected to give the oral and I'm sure it makes you "special" or is "a great honor" or some such but honestly presenting to a room full of brilliant physician-scientists pretty much sounds like my worst nightmare. They'd eat me alive.

To celebrate the last tangible act of responsibility we have all year, all of us in the program met up for beers later. I was supposed to drive to Chicago on Friday night because my parents would be in town that night, so I planned to have a quick beer then go, but somehow my "quick beer" became 5, followed by 3 shots, followed by screwdrivers at my friend's house and then closing down my favorite bar in IC at 2 am. At least I didn't half-ass it.

I did make it to Chicago, last night, and it was sort of a late night but I woke up this morning at 7 when my dad called me ordering me to call my mom for Mother's Day.

R: Happy Mother's Day!!

Mom: Thank you!!

R: What are you guys doing to celebrate?

M: We're going to the Taco Bell in Salem. Gotta celebrate!

Despite all the nonsense etc, my mom is fucking awesome.


trAcy said...

you know, after this night, it doesn't make sense that five drinks put you out on that CNG date.

then again, alcohol is mysterious. we all have stories about nearly dying unexpectedly, meaning, "that one time i got so dang sick and 'all i drank was __.'" i hate mornings-after like that.

trAcy said...

for the record, my deodorant always fails me, in heat and especially in public speaking. i would make a great/terrible test client for that industry. it's not like i am a sweat-factory or have a disorder (i don't think), it's just that aluminum doesn't really compete well with my body's desire to be cool and drippy.

"stress stinks, arid works?" no.

"raise your hand if you're sure?" no.

even the claims about the "no white" kinds leaving black dresses unsmudged, it's all lies. : )

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