Awesome rotation experience

So I’m almost done but today we drove up north to Duluth to teach one of their classes. I went with the other student (loud and hypomanic but a decent guy and loud proponent of personal responsibility) and the professor (a straight shooter who has to constantly tell students to get their shit together). None of us have filters and we’ve all been in trouble for stuff we’ve said so we’ve gotten along and we’ve shittalked a lot of the other students. On the other hand — if they talk about other people behind their backs, they talk about you behind your back.

So yeah, woke up real early and got in a rental and we drove to Duluth. Two and a half hours each way, and nothing really is on the way except for abortion billboards talking about the heartbeat starting at 18 days. It’s a boring drive. But it was cool, I hadn’t been that far north before. Duluth is on a big hill with a decent view of the emptiness all around. It kinda reminds me of Monterey Bay, where it stretches to the left and you can see Santa Cruz across the bay, only instead it’s Superior, WI. They have some decent breweries and stuff, and the air is pretty good.

Met a lot of the faculty in person whom I’ve never seen before, so that was interesting. I drove on the way down because the other student and the professor had a beer with lunch. So that’s the longest distance I’ve ever driven contiguously. First time I’ve driven a hybrid. Lot of personal records today.


I bumped into the alternate-dimension me

I had a TA my first year. She taught IVs, and she was alright. She wasn’t particularly distinctive any other way other than that we both went to PAC-10 schools. Anyway, my second year, I was doing research and getting trained on the mass spec, and she showed up to mass spec training, and we both went like, “oh. you’re getting trained on the mass spec. wtf.”

It turns out that neither of us wanted to be pharmacists (at least, that was my thinking two years ago) and so we were alike in that key respect. Also we both know how to use the mass spectrometer, so that’s something. She was getting a PhD. So I kinda felt reassured that someone else had gone through what I had gone through.

Anyway, I met her again today because I’m on academic rotation. She was also being a TA. I asked her about how everything was going. It was not good. Her advisor died after 3 years and then she spend 2 more years trying to pick up the pieces but ultimately couldn’t do it and had to leave with a masters — after like 5 years. Then she couldn’t find a job, so she went back to being a TA and she’s kind of split between teaching pharmacy and doing research. So she’s had kind of a shitty time. She’s like a really good example of an alternate universe me, where I go to a PhD program after graduation and a bunch of awful PhD things happen to me.

On learning people’s names

So I was in the pharmacy lab at school and it was deserted except for this one other girl printing stuff. She was facing away from me and I was wearing headphones so I just kinda zoned out and did my thing. I printed off some document about sterile compounding, and when I walked near her, she said something to me. I took off my headphones and just kinda stared at her.

“You work at _________, right?”
“Yeah. We’ve worked together several times.”

Then I just kinda stared at her for a few seconds trying to place her.

“My name is J___.”
“Oh. Right.”

So yeah. Then I remember the last time I met her in the pharmacy, I didn’t recognize her either. She looks really non-distinctive. Then we spoke for like 10 minutes and it was alright. She’s nice I guess. Typical stressed second year pharmacy student.


I’ve been trying to remember people’s names more because the best attending on my acute care rotation tried to remember everyone’s names. She would write them down after she heard them, and it was actually a nice gesture because nobody else really gave a shit who the students were.

On Height, part 2

So I was on my psychiatric rotation, and we were staffing the patients to figure out their disposition for discharge, like if they had a place to live or if we could place them somewhere. One guy comes in, and he’s 5’3. He’s otherwise normal other than his black eyes and he was actually really well-spoken for someone who was in the psych ward. He was just a small guy — slightly muscular. He just got kinda angry at life while really drunk and said some things he didn’t mean. Anyway, the patient interview went as normal and he left the room and we talked amongst ourselves.

The social worker immediately started laughing and asked, “why is he so short?” and then we looked into his records to see if he had a disease that made him short (he did not). Then me, the nurse practitioner, and the social worker shittalked him behind closed doors for like 5 minutes about his height. I didn’t say anything too bad, just a few comments about Napoleon syndrome.

So I guess the lesson there is that don’t be short or else that’s the only thing anyone will fixate on.

Also the lesson is that the army will take people who are 5’3 somehow.

It’s nice that attractive rich people have shit lives

So I get a call from a middle-age sounding lady and she wants an emergency supply of an antidepressant for her daughter because the daughter was just sitting around at home moping and really sad. She’d gotten dose increases of Prozac over the past few months, so I guess she was worsening. Anyway, whenever I see girls who need emergency supplies of depression / anxiety meds, they do not look like people who have their shit together. They look really tired and kinda messed up, like they’d been crying into a pint of ice cream for a few hours.

Anyway, the daughter drives over. She’s like 10/10 and her makeup is perfect. She’s dressed well. She has accessorized well. She’s driving a spotless luxury SUV. She wanted the higher dose bit she filled it at a different pharmacy and I didn’t have any documentation that she was on that higher dose. So we gave her a few tabs of a low dose. That probably wasn’t enough for her, but policy is policy. I guess it’s refreshing to see rich people with everything going for them also have that shitty normal people anxiety.


There’s lately been a big trend where people don’t want to be basic. From urbandictionary for “basic bitch”,

Someone who is unflinchingly upholding of the status quo and stereotypes of their gender without even realizing it. She engages in typical, unoriginal behaviors, modes of dress, speech, and likes. She is tragically/laughably unaware of her utter lack of specialness and intrigue. She believers herself to be unique, fly, amazing, and a complete catch, when really she is boring, painfully normal, and par. She believes her experiences to be crazy, wild, and different or somehow more special than everything that everybody else is doing, when really, almost everyone is doing or has done the exact same thing. She is typical and a dime a dozen. There are many subtypes of basicness, such as the basic ratchet, the basic sorority bitch, the basic groupie bitch, the basic I’m-so-Carrie-from-Sex-and-the-City bitch, etc, but ultimately, they all share the common thread of being expendable and unnoteworthy and, in some cases, having absolutely no redeeming qualities.

Basically, it’s the girl who wears uggs and northface and posts status updates about the pumpkin spice latte. So today in the pharmacy, the manager had an application from someone in my class and asked, “Is she as basic as me?” I hadn’t until this point realized that this was something that people seriously cared about. I don’t even agree with its premise. I think “normal” is a better word.

I haven’t ever worried that I’m basic. I asked one of the techs if he thought that I was basic, and he responded that I was the least basic person in the pharmacy. I am kind of a special snowflake I guess. So that’s one less thing I have to be insecure about.