Archive for tag: homecoming

Another Week, Another Blog Posting

How are everyone's midterms going? I'm on break from the master's program. I had finals last week. I'm glad to have a couple of weeks off to catch up on a few things, including all the reading that I didn't get done during the quarter. My pile is still astronomically large. We'll see how much I can get done. I figure if I don't get it done before classes start there again, it's probably a lost cause.

Last weekend, my friend and classmate Julia, went to homecoming at the main campus in Lombard. I want to say, to everyone there in Lombard, thanks for taking such great care of her! She had glowing remarks for everyone that she met. There were meetings and events, information sessions, etc. She was able to meet Dr. James Cox (of Cox flexion-distraction fame), and many of our illustrious alumni.

Dr. Strauss and Florida students with Dr. Cox at Homecoming

Julia was able to reassure us students about one of the issues that we find frustrating. We are always hearing that we'll not be able to find jobs or make a decent salary. Even though I've yet to meet anyone at school that's "in it for the money," we're all hoping that we'll be able to make enough to at least pay back our student loans, and maybe have enough for food. Even speakers that have come to the school (non-alumni) have commented that it would be tough for us to make a living.

The problem is, with all of my research, and all of the alums that I've spoken to and heard from indirectly, this is FAR from the case. Julia confirmed this when she spoke with alumni at homecoming. She said that everyone that was doing VERY well for themselves. People were not only successful and able to pay back their loans, but also contribute back to the school. It was inspirational for her that not only would we be out and in the community, but thriving. I'm glad she shared that with me, because I needed the inspiration as well.

We're finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's halfway through 8th Tri. In a few months, we'll only be in the clinic. No more classes. No more random exams. No more quizzes, papers, or random presentations. It's been REALLY easy to lose track of time this tri. Alarmingly easy. I've been caught up with patients, in my own stuff, with the master's, and classes. I honestly can't wait for classes to be over.

I was asked today how I liked clinic. I've said this before, and I'll say it again -- I love it. I love the idea of being able to do this every day. Even with the challenging cases (my favorites), the idea of being challenged to learn all the time is exciting. I never know what I'm walking into, and I find that absolutely enthralling. I can't imagine any kind of job, ever, that would be anything like this. When I'm in clinic working, I am more than pleased with my choice.

Have a great week everybody!

Looking Backward in Order to Go Forward

To whoever decided that we should have extra days to collect ourselves while many faculty attended National's Homecoming celebration in Lombard, I offer my undying gratitude and appreciation. I apprehensively took the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family in North Carolina. 

I don't generally have a whole lot of free time--it's true. I spend the vast majority of my time in class and then studying for exams. Especially during midterms, there just isn't usually any spare time to speak of. Having these extra days off for Homecoming was a huge boon. With projects to complete, papers to write, notes to compile, and exams to prep for, I threw caution to the wind and decided to actually take the time off. I didn't do much to promote my studies--other than take care of my Self. 

As I sit here writing, I'm happily exhausted and looking forward to a long night's sleep and a long day of driving. My heart is full of reminders of my past--of my friends and experiences both before coming to National and since. My adventures over the last several days have taken me through decisions to pursue medicine and healing, memories of experience and support from those that encourage(d) me to be where I am today, and hopes--from others and myself. 


I visited NC State, where I'd spent many hours toiling over books, exams, applications, and things that I really wasn't sure would ever be important to my education or my life. I sat with a new friend and discussed wonderful things--lessons, hopes, dreams and ambitions. I've always been enamored by the parabolic reflectors in front of the library--where one can sit and whisper from many feet away and the other can hear every single syllable said in the subtlest of sounds, as if it was whispered directly into their ear. This has to be a metaphor for my decision to pursue medicine as my life's calling--how just one thought has been amplified and now comes back to me much, much clearer from far away into the future. I've been so encouraged, by family, by classmates, by friends. The end of my formal studies are coming closer to an end and soon I'll be choosing not only what to practice, but where. 

Many of my classmates have already chosen where they want to be after graduation. Some will stay in Florida; some will go back to their hometowns. I am thinking about many locations--from the most progressive of environments and widest scope of practice, to where I find my Heart. This will be a tough decision, undoubtedly. 

My weekend has had some interesting twists and turns. Unexpected information and happenings have reminded me how important support from our friends and loved ones truly is, and how we carry that with us throughout our lives. 

I ask that as everyone continues to prepare and work on midterms, that we all remember why we're here. Remember how you got here and who helped you, encouraged you, and lifted you up throughout the process. Think about where you are going from here and keep it present in your mind. The end of school will be here before we know it.