Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Growing Pains

Here's the thing I hate about having to be an adult: learning how to handle conflict. I feel like that's been the theme of my life in the last year. Back in the day (or two years ago) when I was only a semi-adult, I liked to pretend that my problems didn't exist and I would just let everything go.

But now that I'm old, I think I'm no longer allowed to do that. Speaking of being old, I was babysitting my four favorite kids last weekend and one of them asked me how old I was. It took me a while to remember. Am I 24 or have I already turned 25 and just can't remember. So after much deliberation I told her that I was 24. And she says "How come you don't know how old you are?" Well, I hate to break it to you kid, but after 21, there's not a whole lot to look forward to. Well, discounting the fact that at 25 I can finally rent a car without the extra premiums. Woohoo. But I love that in little kids minds there is a huge difference between being 5 and 5 1/2.

Anyway, now that I'm practically a senior citizen, it's officially time to put on my big girl pants and learn to stand up for myself. Which I hate doing because I want to live in La-la-Land where the fairies take care of all my problems and I never have to be confrontational about anything and there are puppies and kitties romping around on grassy knolls and garden gnomes give me lollipops. La-la-Land sounds an awful lot like an acid trip (not that I would know what that's like).

I'm in medical school, which is awash with Type A personalities that operate on the theory that in any human-to-human interaction if you haven't steamrolled the other person, you should get your money back. Now I do attend a school that likes to be known for its lack of cutthroat competitiveness and where everyone wants to hug and be friends and share notes and study strategies. All the warm fuzzies are well and good, but we're in medical school and there are still a good number of people that are out for blood. They just have to pretend they're not.

So what happened? We have this bi-monthly torture session called Pathology lab where you're supposed to diagnose fake patients using your considerable knowledge of pathology (meaning we scan the pages of the Robbins book until we find the picture she used in the case and write down the disease, all the while pretending we know exactly what we're doing). One person has to type up all our answers. I volunteered to type because then I don't have to stay after for the review session. I've typed before several times without issue. Except this time, there's this kid who must be angling to be God because he's sure he's omnipotent and therefore feels entitled to run the show (I'm not bitter or anything).  I can tell he's upset that he doesn't get to type and be all in charge, so he spends the next two hours correcting my every move, which is ANNOYING. He especially likes to correct my spelling while the professor is in the room and she's talking and I'm trying to frantically write down everything she says so we all get a good grade. That is the least appropriate time to be correcting my spelling.

I finally get frustrated with him and make that known and he backs off a little. And he "apologizes" at the end of the lab, which wasn't really an apology but more of a "I'm sorry if I kept telling you what to do, I just wanted to get everything right." Which in medical student speak is: "I'd like to take this opportunity in front of everyone to make it known that I'm so much smarter than you and your pathetic because you can't spell atelectasis off the top of your head."

No big deal. He's a controlling know-it-all, I already knew that. But then I find out that he's going around complaining about me! Now I'm mad. What do I do? Do I send him an email or talk to him and call him out on being an ass? Because I'm over not standing up for myself. But where do you draw the line? Where does not being a doormat end and being a pain in the ass begin? Am I making a big deal out of nothing and should just let it go? Or is it a big deal because I think it's a big deal? Ahh, the joys of growing up. Maybe I should go visit the Magic 8 Ball in the library and ask it what to do.

Okay, I think I'm officially done whining. And anyone reading this is probably muttering about crazy medical students and their inane problems. Just writing about this has been so cathartic that I am no longer mad, and I don't feel the need to go yell at this guy resolve this dispute in a mature fashion. This was like a virtual therapy session, only cheaper. The power of the internet.

Plus I think postal service in this town has decided to stop delivering mail to me. They keep dropping off mail addressed to people who no longer live here and I dutifully put it back in the mail slot with a note. After about the tenth time with the same person's mail, I might have gotten a little bit shirty with my note, and I haven't had any mail since. How do I figure out if I'm just not getting any mail or if I've been blacklisted by the postal service short of sending myself a letter, which is pathetic?

Update: My books finally came in the mail! There's no conspiracy, just the possibility that the post office employs sloths to sort the mail.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, conflict, can't live with it, can't live without it! Might as well learn the art of handling it now starting with the post office!