Sunday, February 9, 2014

I Considered Medical School for a Few Days

Yup, I did. Never considered it before as an option for me. I've never been a fan of blood and everyone just always made the assumption that that rules out being a doctor for you. And then Ryan was talking about how I could totally do med. school if I wanted to and he wondered if aversion to blood is something people can get over. And suddenly the idea opened up as an actual possibility.

I asked my pediatrician friend if she knew anyone who'd become accustomed to the sight of blood. Turns out, she fainted the first time she saw a video of an IV being put in - and now she's done them tons of times. So her answer was that you totally can overcome aversions like that.

The first thing to throw me off the idea was needing to do physics for the MCAT. Except that's such a stupid reason. It's not like I'm not good at this school thing - I could totally do physics if I wanted to.

So in mid-January I found myself seriously considering medical school for a week or so. It's fun to think that I could totally do it if I wanted to and that Ryan would be 100% supportive (and he said if I did med. school we'd move wherever I got a job when done and he'd just find whatever job he could).

But I don't think I will. At this point the pros just don't outweigh the cons, and it's not like it's something I feel passionately about. Sure, I'd likely have a pretty stellar salary at the end of it all (far more than I'd make as a dietitian), but the reality is that doing prerequisites would likely take quite a bit longer than they already will and then I'd still have four years of medical school plus however many years for internship or residency ahead of me. We'd likely be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt by the end of it, Gareth would be almost done with high school (yikes!), and it's not like you get to choose where you go for residency (even Ryan didn't seem too fond of this aspect). Besides, I think it'd maybe be a bit crazy to only apply to one school for the medical school part of things also (I can't think of anyone I know who's done med. school and done this), and since Ryan likes his job here and I like living here, I'd like to stay here. Giving up all those years and going into major debt just doesn't seem worth it for something that I'm not passionate about doing. Maybe if I'd considered the idea eight to ten years ago, but for where we are now, it doesn't make sense.

So, it was fun to consider something as an option that I'd never considered for myself before. It's cool to realize that I could totally do it if I wanted to and good to know that it's not something I'll regret not trying. For now I'm still on the dietitian track - but keeping options open to other things that might come along and interest me. I might even dabble in programming this summer, just to see if it's a viable "oh, crap, I failed O-Chem" backup plan. :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Scheherazade at Benaroya

It's currently looking like there will be a quarter-sized hole on the blog. Unfortunately, Christmas and New Year's got caught up in that because I haven't had a chance to upload pictures yet. But at some point I'll get that done and go back and add those posts.

I should probably be studying right now, but I needed to do some listening for clarinet stuff and am sitting and doing that. In a minute I'll be listening to Ponchielli's Il Convegno, which I'll be playing with the Northwest Clarinet Choir in about a month, but right now I'm listening to the recording of our second Benaroya Hall concert.

Back in mid-January we had our second and final Benaroya Hall concert for this season (I'm hoping we'll do some concerts there again next season). I got a sitter for the kids so that Ryan could come and we could go out for drinks/dinner afterward. I also had a lot of friends and acquaintances come to this concert, so that was a lot of fun (and a bit nerve-wracking) to know that people I knew were in the audience. We didn't sell quite as many tickets this time around, but still sold the entire floor of the hall - you had to look really hard to find an empty seat.

This was a big concert for me because we were playing Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, which has a big second clarinet solo. Plus we were playing Strauss' One Thousand and One Nights, which has a really interesting second clarinet part. There's a whole section where the 2nd is the only person in the orchestra playing some arpeggiated bits under everything. Of course that section is also the part where you have to transpose from A to C. Fun, fun. It's actually a super-fun part to play, just a bit more stressful when that minor third transposition isn't something you do all that often (this is the first time I've ever had to do it in all my years of playing). We also played Ravel's Sheherazade, which had a couple of exposed bits for the clarinets. So it was the kind of concert where if you screw up people are going to know it. I never used to get nervous for concerts, but since I'm not practicing nearly as much these days I've found that I'm more likely to end up nervous about performances. I was definitely nervous for this concert.

Anyway, the concert went really well. I was a bit disappointed with myself for not spacing some things quite right in the Rimsky-Korsakov, which means that you get the sense that I tied a couple repeated notes together, even though I didn't. But I was mostly worrying about my breath during that whole passage (if you breathe in the wrong spot it's very noticeable and breathing often gets a bit off when you're nervous) and that turned out well, plus my tone sounded pretty good and intonation was good as well (thanks to my teacher lending me an extra A clarinet he has - mine has some serious intonation issues these days and really just needs to be replaced). But overall the orchestra did a stellar job and the audience enjoyed it. I'm glad we had our October concert at Benaroya as well because everyone in the orchestra seemed much more at ease with the venue this time around. It would be awesome if we could do at least a couple concerts there every year, but for this year we're done at Benaroya and will be back at UW for our last two concerts.