Wednesday, April 1, 2009
THERE is an ultimatum
After I graduated from Baylor and found a job, it didn't take long to realize I was going to end up suicidal if I continued to be a generic drone. I started weighing my options. Fortunately, I had done well in school and still had most higher education doors open to me. I briefly considered law school. I had worked for a pretty cool attorney in Waco and even took the LSAT (cold turkey, with the flu, in a room full of cocksuckers -- miserable experience), but I knew lawyering wasn't my bag.
I then considered healthcare. I was pre-med when I started college but fell off the wagon somewhere along the way. I think it was shortly after my American Romantics course but before I tried to read every word written by Hemingway. It may have coincided with the borderline alcoholism and onset of 6 years of depression wrought by my ex-girlfriend's mind-fucking of me. (Don't blame her, my mind's a slut. It gets fucked by just about anything.)
Now that I had experienced something that made Dilbert real to me, medicine had a brighter appeal. I still thought of the whole medical school bit as a trifle cliche, however, so I was looking for something related but more interesting. I'd always loved genetics. Turns out there is an entire clinical field known as "genetic counseling". I found the American Genetic Counselor's Association website and tracked down some practicing GC's and even got to sit in on a few patient visits. It was very cool, and I was sold.
Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of genetic counseling programs out there. Or at least, there weren't at that time. Most of the programs that are out there only take one to three applicants per year for their two-year program. Wow. I applied to about 15 programs and got two interview offers. I only ended up taking one of them. It was to Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Yonkers to be exact. This was the largest and oldest program in the country. I had a decent shot at getting in since they took like 12 applicants per year.
My interview went really well, and I was awaiting my financial aid report from them. I was talking to my dad about my plans. He and my mom, being risk-averse as mentioned before, thought my plan to go off to New York for school was foolish. But they hadn't tasted the pirogi and wine that Summer and I had on my interview trip. I digress.
One of the objections my dad raised to the notion of sending one of his Grays up to the Yankees for a couple years was that he had never even heard of this school. I guess it's not exactly Notre Dame, but Sarah Lawrence is pretty well-known to educated folk. I mean, it got name-dropped by JD Salinger, for Christ's sake. (In Franny and Zooey, I think, but don't hold me to that.)
It became a moot point when I realized I was looking at adding at least $50Grrr in debt to potentially qualify for jobs that paid $35k/yr. Ultimately I am my father's son and I just couldn't pull the trigger on that deal. Which is how I ended up the world's most bitter neurology resident. Maybe if my dad were a bigger Salinger fan none of that would have happened.
Posted by Rimas Kurtinaitis at 12:00 AM