Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 In Review

2008 by the numbers:

Thousands: of miles traveled; money deducted from my gross pay for the government; money paid back on student loans, lights enjoyed at the Mission Inn Festival of Lights.

Hundreds: of people met; patients seen; dollars spent on cat's vet bill, car brakes, and repairing backlight of laptop; hours spent studying for PA exam.

Dozens: empanadas made for graduation; hours spent on trains; number of goals I came up with after I finish PA school; cactus needles pulled from my leg; friends that I haven't heard from in years that I found on Facebook.

60 blog posts written

33 classmates to share my joy of graduation with

28 years to look back on

14 hours straight of partying in Las Vegas

10 weeks of work

9 months eagerly awaiting arrival of new nephew

8 airports traveled through

7 trips to IKEA

6: European hostels; painful hours to get through the PANCE; job interviews

5: nights of dancing in Sweden, hot dogs eaten in Europe

4: camping trips; movies seen in the theatre; job offers; temples seen/visited; Independence Days acknowledged (U.S.A., Norway, Argentina, and Mexico)

3: trips to the Huntington Library, National Parks (Sequoia, King's Canyon, Joshua Tree); days spent with big bro; new CDs; Jimmy Stewart movies watched this year; inspirational people who fulfilled their missions in life: Lora MacPherson, President Gordon B. Hinkley and stake president John Hadfield

2: singles wards; medical-related conferences (CAPA and Alagille Syndrome Symposium)

1: Master's research paper completed; day I should have called in sick; Danish eaten in Denmark; lay-off; apartment; new library card; and finally, 1 brand new nephew: Lucas Wesley

Monday, December 29, 2008

Technology Decade

I got this idea from Nicole and thought it would be kind of fun, especially to see how slow I am in catching up on technology. It's also kind of ironic that right now I am reading Don DeLillo's White Noise.

1998: AOL account, applied to college online (UC online system was a disaster)

1999: Received my very first PC desktop (Y2K compliant of course.)

2000: Survived Y2K, not much that I can recall...

2001: First DVD: "It's a Wonderful Life" birthday/Christmas present from roommates.

2002: Was on my mission all year, but the Church did allow email for all missionaries around the world. My parents probably would not have heard from me much otherwise.

2003: Not much this year, introduced to the concept that people can download and copy CD's.

2004: First cell phone, still have my Nokia old skool model. Last time I will ever use an overhead projector. First time making a Powerpoint presentation.

2005: First laptop, digital camera, Amazon purchase, and USB drive (no more floppy disks)

2006: First MP3 player. Myspace account.

2007: First Palm Pilot. First YouTube experience. Introduced to electronic medical records (not available in all clinics)

2008: First blog, blog-stalking, Guitar Hero/Rock Band experience, and Facebook account

What will 2009 bring? I'm thinking of possibly updating my phone, that was my goal this last year.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I want to share the lyrics of my favorite Christmas song. I think it beautifully tells of the birth and mission of Jesus Christ.

"O Holy Night" version translated to English by John Sullivan Dwight
"O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hmmm....maybe not...

One of my biggest obstacles I have had in my job search is my lack of experience. If I had one or two years of experience, I would be hired by now, no doubt. I have been paying close attention to jobs that do offer training and are accepting new grads. Those words are music to my ears and an Ansel Adams landscape to my eyes. Most of these jobs have been in orthopedics and pain management, but I did come across one tonight that made me crack up. I told my mother that since it was in Florida, I could still probably use my Spanish skills. She said it is not worth the 6-digit cost of PA school. Here it is:

"Are you a recent graduate (::cue visual euphoria::) and eager to work in the aesthetic field? Are you a seasoned PA who is interested in more independence at work without a Doctor’s constant supervision? If so, then Body Details is the place for you. Body Details is the largest provider of laser hair & tattoo removal services in South Florida and the Official Laser Hair Removal Center of the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders. Body Details was named “THE place to get rid of unwanted body art and body hair” by Deco Drive. (Oh, the prestige!!) The laser hair and tattoo removal industry is growing rapidly. Come and join the experts. Contact us about starting your new and exciting career today. We are seeking interested PA’s to fill open positions to cater to our increasing client demand. Full training is provided, no experience necessary."

On a positive note, I am going to check out a job position on Monday. I'm not sure if I'll accept the job if I am offered it, I still have some questions and concerns. Nevertheless, it still is some progress. All I want for Christmas is a job...a job...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Still Waiting...

I had made the goal that by the end of this week I would know where my life would be going. All of my decisions will have been made. I would know whether I would stay in California or Washington or maybe some other random place. I would know if I would be doing family medicine, urgent care, or pediatrics. But that hasn't happen. My state of unemployment limbo continues... I am waiting to hear back from 3 clinics for possible interviews -- and I have called them, but it's more like 'Don't call us, we'll call you'. There's the fourth job that I did interview at and still have uncertain feelings over. I feel like the single girl (wait, that's me!) who's waiting for the call back after a first date.
::Begin rant:: "Why won't he call??" Are they "just not that into me?" (inside joke, that's for another post). I deserve a phone call, darn it, because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me! ::end rant::

I try not to wait too much sitting around and waiting and use my time constructively. This week I played charades, caroled at a rehab center (not the drug kind), frosted a couple cookies, tried to keep warm without turning on the heat, paid a few bills, sent off a Christmas package, tried swing dancing for the first time at a college hangout, and checked out a couple of books at the library. But still no calls, other than the occasional one from my mom trying to get an update. I'm not sure with the holidays that I will be finding out much either, although I know some of the places will still be open. I remember being originally scheduled to have the 24th off because I told the office manager I would rather have my birthday off and keep up with tradition than taking the day after Thanksgiving off. I guess I could enjoy my "extended" Christmas vacation.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Do I really want to go back to my "roots"?

I don't think so. As much as I loved going to Scandinavia this summer and exploring the lands of my ancestry, I don't think some of the other locations significant to personal and family history would have the same appeal as potential work locations. Today I noticed there was a job opening in El Centro, CA (where I was born) and there were quite a few openings in Rapid City, South Dakota (where my maternal grandparents were from). I figure there was a reason why they moved to Los Angeles and never moved back. I was emailed another job opportunity at an ortho clinic one hour from Sioux Falls. It's weird to think of Sioux Falls, SD as "the city."

Job search update: Still waiting to hear back from a couple clinics here in CA. Still not sure what to think of the one I interviewed at in Santa Ana. She said she would get back to me in the next week or two. Just found one in the Riverside area this past weekend and I emailed my resume yesterday. Not quite sure if I'll check Washington out this week due to the weather. I have to make a decision very, very soon.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Do Need A Little Christmas...

This was my thought as I was listening to the Christmas music at Food 4 Less last week. It's kind of weird how much I haven't thought about Christmas this year. It's very unusual for myself, especially since I'm a Christmas Eve baby and "Feliz Navidad" being piped into the nursery at El Centro Community Hospital was probably one of the first sounds I heard. Alas, this year is different. I have failed in my delegated duty of organizing the family gift-giving. I've listend to the 24 hour Christmas station only a few times on Sundays. My mother is still awaiting my list of Christmas/birthday wants and needs. Is "smog check" an appropriate Christmas gift? My car is due for one so I can renew the registration. The idea of shopping has been dreadful, and not just because of the crowds. I have watched "It's a Wonderful Life" only once this year, ::gasp!!:: I have been a bit distracted. The rollercoaster of job searching and interviews. The bills. A computer virus to add to my frustrations. The decisions that I have to make by the end of the month. It's all been a bit emotionally and mentally draining.
To remedy this festive anemia, I decided to go to the annual nativity and music festival in Upland last week. It was fabulous as usual, and great to see familiar faces. Some faces were less familiar as some of the kids I remembered being 4 years old were now teenagers. It was nice to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. The celebration of the Savior, making his humble entrance into the world that He would save.
On another good note, this year does seem better than then years past for the fact that I don't have to worry about finishing my research paper on Christmas. I don't have to worry about final exams or CASPA deadlines or PA interviews. I can enjoy the fact that I'm not currently surrounded by sick people who would later cause me to spend the majority of my holiday shopping budget on antibiotics and co-pays.
So, maybe I could put more Christmas in my life. I am open to service opportunities and suggestions, let me know! If you need some cranberry sauce for your Christmas dinner, I would be thrilled to make you some. My offer on an "It's a Wonderful Life" movie night still stands as well. And for now, I can admire the little Christmas tree in the local public library just as I am doing right now or the large tree of lights at CBU visible from my bedroom window. Good thing I have blinds.

Friday, December 5, 2008


For the record: Not long ago my mother pointed out a typo in a previous blog. I have changed it since then, but it had not been caught for a while. The opening sentence was meant to be, "Job hunting can be a bit monotonous..." It was pointed out that I had typed, "Jon hunting...". For those readers who have been wondering, my financial situation has not become as grim to force me into soliciting myself to Jons (or Johns) for money. I will not be found strolling the streets at night wearing a mini-skirt and fishnet stockings, hunting for Jons. That is one job I am not applying for. Sorry Jons.

For those who were wondering...

Here's an update on my current job status...

Pediatrics job in Santa Ana: Group just posted their ad yesterday, I sent in my CV, job interview on Monday!! Downside: lots of driving...

Loma Linda: I was turned down for an interview for not having enough experience, which I was expecting anyways. I figured when they said "preferred" that would still give me a green light and I didn't have anything to lose.

Montclair: Family practice and derm, just found out from Mom today. Haven't heard back yet. Doctor is looking for a long-term partner I believe, especially one wanting more of the business responsibility, so....not quite sure how to feel on that one...

Washington (rural) pediatrics clinic: Still in the back of my mind. I figure if I don't have a successful interview next week, I may take a roadtrip later this month for an interview. Benefits do look nice, and it's pediatrics in a high-spanish area, we'll see...

There may be some other random job issues coming up in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned,

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thank you, Elder Wirthlin

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, an apostle from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints passed away Monday night. Having lived 91 fulfilling years of service, this was not much of a shock to me, but I will miss hearing him speak. I love to listen to all of the apostles, but I think in the past I probably have not paid as close attention to Elder Wirthlin's talks until the last few conferences. Those talks were remarkable! He taught me and many others how to live more Christ-like lives. In honor of him, I would like to share some of his words.

Adversity (General Conference, October 2008)
" Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others."

Charity and Love (General Conference, October 2007)

"Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the pathway of discipleship. It comforts, counsels, cures, and consoles. It leads us through valleys of darkness and through the veil of death. In the end love leads us to the glory and grandeur of eternal life... Without charity—or the pure love of Christ—whatever else we accomplish matters little. With it, all else becomes vibrant and alive. "

"Sometimes the greatest love is not found in the dramatic scenes that poets and writers immortalize. Often, the greatest manifestations of love are the simple acts of kindness and caring we extend to those we meet along the path of life."

" Oh, it is wonderful to know that our Heavenly Father loves us—even with all our flaws! His love is such that even should we give up on ourselves, He never will. We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today. Our Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever. Although we might settle for less, Heavenly Father won’t, for He sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming."