Young Adult fiction treads a fine line. On the one hand, it needs to be in touch with its audience. YA readers want to see protagonists who speak realistically, eat realistically, and act realistically.
On the other hand, reading offers us the opportunity to live different lives; to travel to places and settings and adventures that we may never have, and very few people want to read about a normal, boring setting. (Although I am told that Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here addresses this very well, I’ve not yet read it.)
Not the topic for this discussion, but I do want to read this book.
This past weekend I ran the Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathon. It was 56 km and the biggest race I have ever entered. (Both in numbers and in distance! The marathon I ran had about 700 participants and 500 finishers. This ultra had 11 000 entrants!) I’ve only been running semi-seriously for a short while now so it was probably a bit ambitious too.
Well, I finished it, but not before the cut-off time of seven hours. It was a bit of a disappointment but I had 14 km during which to prepare myself for the inevitability.
In the months leading up to OMTOM, I had many nightmares. I dreamed that I overslept, that my running shoes broke during the race, and that I got lost on Chapman’s Peak.
I never dreamed that I didn’t finish within cut-off. I guess partially because seven hours honestly seemed like enough time, but also because finishing in cut-off was not the important bit. It was entering it, getting there, doing it, finishing in any time whatsoever.
I must admit that I vastly underestimated OMTOM. My first marathon was actually pretty easy, and I though, “Hey, maybe I’ve finally got the hang of this running thing.” So, I may have been a little over-confident. Continue reading
The phenomenon of disillusionment is well-discussed in the world of medicine. Roundabout third year of medical school, students begin to realise that the medical world simply does not live up to what they envisioned.
It is easy to say, “Just don’t have such high expectations,” but in reality a doctor without vision becomes a mindless drone. Disillusionment is discussed so widely because even though by definition it seems simple, its origins and characteristics are complex.
Funnily enough, I began to really understand disillusionment when I started club-running. Don’t be mistaken: joining a club was the best decision I could have made. It introduced me to many like-minded people and provided ample opportunity to amp my mileage.
I joined a club because I felt that I loved running enough to do so, but not long after joining I started experiencing an emotion I recognised from the medical world. I was feeling disillusioned. Continue reading
Before you read what I have to say, you should read Dr Nikki Stamp’s post: How tired is too tired?
One day, I’d like to have a study to prove the post title. But for now, we’ll have to settle for another anecdote:
A while ago this secret appeared on PostSecret:
“Medical School made me self harm. It better be worth it.”
As my first year as an adult (sort-of maybe I guess?) draws to an end, I find myself reflecting a lot on what has happened. Incoming interns ask for advice and I wanted to write a really cool and inspirational post but I find myself not knowing what to say. Almost as if I haven’t learned enough to offer advice.
I didn’t want to know that the man with the compound skull fracture had fallen into a sewer drain while being chased by the police because he was the man that had been scamming poor people out of their grant money for months.
I didn’t want to know that the man with the gangrenous arm had been bitten two weeks ago, by a girl he was trying to rape.
I understand the importance of a good clinical history. But right now, while I’m saving their lives, can I not simply know that he fell in a ditch? Or that he suffered a human bite?
I don’t want to know WHY these things happened to them. Not right now in any case. Tell me later, when they have pulled through the worst. Tell me then, if you must.
Is this wrong? Continue reading