Welcome back, everyone! How has your week been going? I hope
everyone is staying warm -- or cool -- depending on where you
Actually, "Spring" has sprung around here and the weather went
from cold-ish, to hot -- overnight. The temperature the last couple
of days has been over 80º. What? It's true. That's what happens.
Typically around the end of February it turns to Summer and stays
that way until December when it gets chilly again. It's as if a
switch was thrown and everything is different overnight.
Before I lurch into the lamentations of what's going on in my
life right now, I want to congratulate my classmates that just
returned from NCLC (National Chiropractic Leadership Conference).
Each year, members of our faculty and students go to Washington,
D.C. and talk with members of Congress about the future of
chiropractic and health care in America.
Now, to my lamentations. I'm feverishly working on a paper.
Writing is a pretty bizarre process for me. We all have our
methods. I'll randomly collect research for a while, think about
the topic, try to formulate some semblance of sanity within the
information, and then sit with it for way too long. The temptation
for me is always to collect more and more information. Maybe I
should read one more article? Maybe I should review a few more
journals just in case I find THE article that poses some new idea
that brings it all together. And at some point I realize when the
Then the frantic insanity sets in. I'm now faced with the
prospect of taking 10-20 journal articles and whatever notes and
thoughts I've taken from them and putting it into just a few pages.
(OK, we all know that I can't write just a few pages -- but you get
my drift). It's a grueling process that drives me crazy, and I love
it. I learn SO much from this. I hate the procrastination and I
hate the deadlines, but I love what comes out of it.
Right now I'm working on a paper about vitamin D and metabolic
syndrome -- with an aside on the psychology of eating. I've learned
that there are 4 variations in receptor genes that mediate how the
body handles vitamin D, that there's a huge controversy in what the
dosage of vitamin D should be, and that there's a HUGE link between
metabolic syndrome, autoimmune diseases, and vitamin D. No one
seems to fully know how all of it works together -- but it does,
and therapies with vitamin D show great promise at preventing and
treating all kinds of problems.
So, I'm going to get back to my forced lack of procrastination
and self-loathing and feverish typing, and leave you all with good
wishes for the week.
Have a great one, everybody!
I'm back from the mountains of North Carolina, where I spent
from last Thursday through Sunday. It was, as it always is, a
life-changing event. I learned so much from everything I
experienced there, and everyone that I met. My life is forever
changed. Coming back from such a life-altering experience is always
really hard. I find myself struggling with motivation, coping with
what we call the "default world," and dealing with daily
obligations. It's funny how being apart from civilization gives a
completely different perspective on what civilization actually
On the way up the mountain
I may have mentioned Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs before. Maslow
postulated that in order for humans to function, they must have
certain needs met. The fields of psychology, sociology and
anthropology have embraced Maslow's theory, on some level, and run
with it--proposing that everything from the basis of emotional
well-being, to the likelihood of success, stems from these needs
Image source: www.21stcentech.com
When out, away from civilization and the comforts of "home,"
people tend to do one of two things: they think about how much they
miss the comforts of home; or they realize how little those
comforts actually comfort them. I tend to be the latter, rather
than the former. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved a warm, dry
place to sleep, but for the most part, I didn't miss the Internet,
television, my cell phone, or even electricity.
Being apart from society and civilization would imply that we're
apart from each other. But that's not the case. I've found that
when I'm out in the woods, with other people, that that is when
society actually begins. We form a tribe, a family. I often wonder
why we don't do that, when we're among each other in the default
As students, we've been through several years of schooling
together. We're nearing the end. Stress is running VERY high among
our group. We're finding ourselves more anxious, more
short-tempered, more ready to judge, bicker, harass, and goad each
other. For those of us that have become close, we're finding it
easier to support, empathize, listen, and care for each other.
Perhaps some of this is because we know we won't be together for
much longer. Perhaps the rest of it is that we're so unsure of what
comes next. Perhaps some of us view each other as the member of the
family that we really don't want to associate with (because we
didn't get to pick this family).
In just under 9 months, we'll all go our separate ways. Some of
us will be friends for the rest of our lives. Some of us will never
hear from or see each other again. Just like my past weekend, some
of us will be friends for the remainder of our lives, and others
I'll never see again.
We have the opportunity every day to contribute to someone's
hierarchy of needs. We can build each other up, nurture each other,
be family (the good kind), and contribute to each other's
well-being, not just our patients.
Last, I want to plug some of the upper trimester classmates
who've been doing some good
community outreach work. My hat's off to you guys. You're
making it happen.
Until next week, my friends, I challenge you to think about how
your needs are being met, what you really need and want in your
lives, and who and how you view "family."
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