Monday, June 20, 2011

Vita Institute

I am learning a lot at the University of Notre Dame's Vita Institute, hosted by the Center for Ethics and Culture. Three experiences stand out right now (after the first week):
  1. Touring the Women's Care Center. I want to start one at at home!
  2. Touring Hannah's House. I have dreamed for years (six? ten?) of owning or operating a maternity home.
  3. Listening to social science lectures. Suddenly I feel that I can write a bunch of letters (polite, effective ones) and squeeze a shim of truth into the world's well-built bias.
The biology lectures were also very interesting, but they did not awake any new drives. They did give me a little encouragement, confirming my thoughts about what I want to do (which is nice, because I've been feeling pretty demotivated over the past eight months).

Also, I received some great advice from one of my fellow participants, a newly-retired OB/GYN, who delivered over four thousand babies in about 30 of his 41 years of practice. He delivered babies for women he'd delivered. He got three hundred letters from patients when he announced his retirement.

When he learned that I had thought about OB/GYN, he asked me "why OB?" I told him that I hadn't really made the decision yet, but he had; really, he should be telling me "why OB."

So he told me a little about OB/GYN.
  • It has the worst hours of any specialty.
  • It involves physical and emotional stress.
  • It includes some surgery, which is fun (that was his word, I am not adding anything!)
  • An OB/GYN can build relationships with women and families and husbands; you're able to do a lot for people at important times in their lives--both happy and sorrowful.
  • Dealing with family practice problems (e.g. Syndrome X) is tedious. There is no solution and no healing.
  • An OB/GYN deals with basically healthy patients.
And he gave me some advice.
  • The first thing you should do when you walk into a patient's room is sit down. This says "I have time for you" and "I care about you." Even if you spend no more time in the room than you would have if you stood at their bed the entire time, sitting down says something. It also puts you at eye level, and this allows the patient to feel more comfortable, take their time, talk with you, and remember their questions.
  • You aren't expected to know everything. You can say "I don't know the answer, but I know someone who does" or "but I know where to find it and I will find it and I will call you." Then find it, and call them. Often, they are more impressed with your found answers than those you knew. Note: you can't just shrug and say "I don't know!"
  • It's hard. But just because it's hard, doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.
He encouraged me. And talking to him (once last week, and once today) really made me excited again. As I mentioned above, I was a little deflated about being a pro-life OB/GYN.

The Vita Institute has been a shot in the arm, for the pro-life fight and for my long-time dreams.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Signed a lease today

Today I sent a momentous email:
Hi Leasing Agent,

Attached is the lease that my roommate and I signed. Everything looks clear and good. When will we receive the addenda listed on page six?

I'd like to contact wireless internet and other utility companies to transfer our utilities to our name. Can you provide me with instructions and contact info for these companies? Also, could you also provide estimated utility bills for a B1 like ours? Last, is ours an end unit?

Thanks for all your good help.

Hurray! After two months of fiddling around and after feeling like I really pressured my poor future roomie into getting this place (as opposed to the one where all the med students are, which is closer but in a worse neighborhood, which might be a little louder and which doesn't have a nice trail behind it, which might not require a car...), and emailing the leasing office back and forth and back and forth...I have a home!!

Thank you, St. Joseph!

I'm going in without a lot of information. I've never lived here before and I know no one there. In retrospect, maybe I should've networked a little more. I didn't know who went there (now I know at least one) and I was dealing with a lot of other stuff...</excuses>

I have some teensy worries about the professionalism of the leasing agent, and whether that is indicative of problems in the management. But, I hope that since the complex is demographically older than others, that the old people know what they're doing, etc. We'll see. Meanwhile, I'm just excited!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Summer of a Dozen Beds

This summer has been very the end of 70 days I will have slept in twelve different beds and moved sites fourteen times.

The night of... I slept in...
May 13 Santa Paula, CA
St. Therese Hall, TAC
May 14 Santa Paula, CA
Glen Tavern Inn
May 15 Los Angeles, CA
May 16-19
May 24-Jun 9
Jun 25-Jul 19

Home, in three different beds....
May 20 Salt Lake City, UT
May 21-23 Cody, WY
Paternal grandparents' home
Jun 10-11
Jun 18
Sound Bend, IN
Maternal grandparents' home
Jun 12-17
Jun 19-24
Notre Dame, IN
McGlinn Hall, ND
Jul 5 San Antonio, TX
Jul 20
New apartment