Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Into the Wild Blue Yonder...

My dad actually flew down to Greenwood last week to pick me up. It was pretty sweet getting to ride in the airplane while sitting in the cockpit and see all the sights. And I must say that my dad did an excellent job and had a very smooth landing.


Plus I always feel a little bit cooler when I'm wearing a headset.

Moonlighting

Yesterday I had my first experience moonlighting. "Moonlighting" is what we call working extra hours outside of my normal residency job. Which sort of sounds crazy when I think about how much I work. But it's actually pretty nice because I spent last night doing sports physicals on a bunch of high school students, something I need extra practice on anyway. The very nice thing, though, is that I actually got paid like an actual doctor. (Well, much closer to an actual doctor than what I would be making if you calculate my per hour salary which is more like slave labor.) And since there are several rather large purchases Jeff and I will need to make in the next several months, it feels nice to work a few extra hours and make a contribution to our savings.

Having a real, paying job is kind of nice.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Operation Garden

Tell Garden 2008 in review...

Day 1: Ok, I don't have a picture from day 1. Just imagine some dirt.


Day 7: The first seedling makes his appearance...


















A Day Just A Little Later:


















And A Bit Later Than That:






















And Last Week (approx day 75):









































The places with just bare dirt are places where we have planted some more seeds. And in fact the plants look a good bit different now, after just one week outside. Most of them look different in a good way. I am a bit worried about my Cantaloupe vines, which were thriving in the windowsill, but don't look like they are adjusting to the outside world very well. The tomato plants seem to be recovering well from a small bout of transplant shock. And when I looked outside this morning there was a big orange flower on the squash vine! C'mon fresh veggies!!

Live from IWU

I briefly considered live blogging graduation, but I figured that since graduations are boring for those of us who are there in person, no one would probably want to read it. Plus I'm not exactly sure what people do when they "live blog" something. But I am currently using my laptop and sitting in the chapel at Indiana Wesleyan University, trying to kill a little time prior to commencement, well, commences.

The closest I got to Obama was seeing lots of people wearing badges that say "press" and watching out my window as a dark-suited secret service gentleman stood outside a suburban and guarded what I assume is the Obama-mobile. I was hoping we'd be able to stay at our hotel long enough this morning at least to catch a glimpse of him getting on his bus. My dad had this great idea of trying to stick a McCain sticker on the bumper of his bus, but we decided that perhaps someone in one of the three police cars guarding the bus might not think it funny if they happened to notice someone sneaking up to the bus.

I guess that was probably the only chance I'll have to meet a presidential candidate. They don't typically spend much time in SC, given that our state is pretty much guaranteed to go Republican, so no one really wants to waste their money campaigning here. Maybe during the next presidential election cycle.....

Friday, April 25, 2008

Indiana

I'm in Indiana with most of my family for my younger brother's college graduation. Yep. He is now old enough to be graduating from college. Weird. Today is party day with first baccalaureate, then a party at the science department (my brother is a chemistry major), then a pinning ceremony for Elise, his fiancee, immediately followed by another party. Tomorrow is the actual graduation day. Since space is limited I might be relegated to watch the ceremony in a separate location where it will be shown on a screen. And if you think graduations are boring, just wait until you get to watch one remotely. Maybe I'll bring my laptop.

Apparently Barack Obama is staying at our hotel tonight. I should try to talk to him about tort reform.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pastor's Wife....

Jeff is going to do some visitation today, so over the last two days I decided to do some baking. First I made a huge batch of Nieman's $250 cookies so that we'll have lots of dough in the freezer so Jeff can take delicious homemade cookies whenever he visits people over the next few weeks. I also made a big batch of banana bread mini-loaves for him to take to some of the older people who might enjoy that better.

Even though I may not be able to play piano, I can bake with the best of them.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Praise God from Whom ALL Blessings Flow

Those of you who have known Jeff and I probably know that we have been praying for Jeff to get a ministry job since before we were married. He moved to Charleston hoping to find work in a church. Instead, God provided us a job close to our house that paid our bills and Jeff worked in a bank for almost four years while I finished med school.

While applying to residency, he continued his search for a ministry job, and we prayed that he would find one and let that guide us to where we should go to residency. Instead, we submitted our rank list and chose the program we felt God was leading us to, and God provided Jeff with some scholarship money to go back to graduate school and start a Masters of Theology.

Now, almost a year after moving to Greenwood, Jeff has been asked to become the interim pastor for a tiny PCA church in the town of Cross Hill, SC. He'll get to preach every week, plus do some visitation as this church has several older members who cannot always make it on Sunday morning. We feel so blessed to have this opportunity. We know that God does hear the prayers of his people and that many of you were praying for us and especially for Jeff to find a job doing something he loved. And this job is just perfect in many ways, since it is very close to Greenwood (only about 20 minutes away), and it is part time, meaning he can continue his studies, which he loves.

We know that God has a plan in all of this and that the time he spent in Charleston was certainly not wasted. But as his wife, I did not enjoy seeing him working a job that did not use all the wonderful talents and skills God had given him as he faithfully provided for our little family. So I am extremely excited now to see him use his gifts and minister to this small congregation of believers.

So thanks to all you who have faithfully prayed for us. And thanks be to God, who always upholds us in his hand.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

Psalm 139:1-6

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Try, Tri again.

Sunday I competed in my second triathlon. Even though I really didn't do all that well compared to others who were there (I placed 85 out of 103), I was still pretty excited about how I did for me. I still got passed a ton on the bike, but most of the other competitors were men, so I didn't feel too bad about that, and I still managed to finish that leg in about 45 minutes. My run was still about 27 minutes, which I consider success since running 9 minute miles after swimming AND biking seems pretty good.

Mostly I'm just excited that I did this during my intern year, even though I was busy, and that I finished quickly enough to be able to ride with Jeff to church.

Sometimes we have to aim for small goals.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Forgetfulness

Anyone who has ever known me for any length of time knows that I tend to be a little, um, absent-minded. I leave things places. I regularly lose my keys, my ID badge, my shoes, and my wallet. (Or perhaps mislay them is a slightly better descriptor.) Today I went in to work by 8 am because I thought I had clinic today. But I don't. I have clinic on Thursday.

Occasionally my forgetfulness is somewhat of a blessing. Instead of staying at home and wasting away the morning until noon conference, I'm at my desk, getting caught up on paperwork and answering all the messages I have from being gone a week. Since I also forgot that I need to take my neonatal resuscitation test at lunch time today, now I have all morning to finish reading the book I was supposed to have read already.

Forgetting one thing has helped me fix the problem of forgetting another thing. It's nice how occasionally it works that way, since usually being absent minded and mildly disorganized just makes me late, shoeless, and locked out.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ultrasounding

I realize I didn't post very much about my class. I really had a good time, hanging out with Jill and going to class. It did feel a little weird being back in class every morning. Sometimes I forget how it can be hard to sit and listen for an entire morning. But most of the lecturers were really great, and it was very helpful for me to learn a lot more technical things about doing ultrasounds, as opposed to the very, um, un-technical approach I had been using.

The class did make me very jealous about all the nice machines out there. Our older machine at the clinic was purchased a number of years ago, and used, so as you can imagine, it is not the most recent technology. But maybe now that I know better what to do and what I can see, I'll be able to get some better pictures. Or I'll just try to borrow the new machine we got for our Sports medicine clinic. I am very excited about clinic this week and next since I should have several OB visits so I can practice my skills.

I was very amazed by the level of anatomy you can see with some of these high-end machines. (When I say high-end, in the ultrasound world that means about $250,000) Even down to anatomy of the heart and being able to find certain minute defects. I didn't realize you can even diagnose things like cleft lip.

I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do that with our machine.

But I'll sure enjoy trying.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I am an M.D.

I only write that because it might not always be apparent. Like every single day this week when every single day I have made a wrong turn coming back to Jill's apartment. That's right. Every day.

Finally, today, after driving the same route five times, I FINALLY made it without missing a turn or having to turn around.

I'm so proud that umpteen years of education have enabled me to drive correctly between point A and point B.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

CME

That stands for Continuing Medical Education.

Which is where I am this week, away from my honey, but enjoying the company of good college friend. Oh yeah....and learning about how to better use an ultrasound machine. It's been fun, but so far all we've done is gynecology scans (as in, no babies, just looking at ovaries and uteruses? uteri?) so I'm looking forward to tomorrow when the babies will be seen.

Last night Jill and I went to eat delicious Indian food. It made me miss living in a city big enough to have actual ethnic food. Then I drove in to the hospital during rush hour this morning, and I didn't miss it anymore.

Tonight we'll probably go to Target, so I'll miss it again for a little while. Until tomorrow morning anyway.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Blogged: Jeff's thoughts on redundant words.

Lately, while driving through the lovely South Carolina countryside, I've noticed something that makes me furrow my brow. Occasionally one will drive by the property of what must be a somewhat overprotective landowner. On every other tree which borders the road, one will see a sign reading: "Posted: Keep Out" or occasionally a more verbose sign will read: "Posted: No tresspassing, no hunting, no fishing, no loitering, no lawn darts, no croquet, etc."

First, I'm struck by the fact that the sign begins with the word "posted." Well of course its posted, its hanging right there on the tree isn't it? Isn't that the definition of what it means for a sign to be a sign? Why does the sign need to begin by telling me that it is in fact posted to the tree, and not just laying in a drawer?

Secondly, not only does it say "posted," but the word "posted" is usually in a font size 4,000 and the rest of the message of the sign is so miniscule as to be difficult to read while driving. It is as though the true burden of the sign is to tell you that it is a sign, and the matter of the message that the sign is meant to convey is simply tacked on as an afterthought.

While the sign's self-awareness relating to its own signhood is admirable, one might wonder whether or not the sign is experiencing some sort of existential crisis. Is not the very raison d'etre of the sign to be found in the fact that it conveys a message? Is not the definition of a sign related to the fact that it is a medium for conveying a message from the signor to me the signee? How ironic then for the sign to boast of its signicity while neglecting that which makes it so.

Tune in next week for Jeff's thoughts on the sign "Reduced Speed Ahead," and wonder if its really proper to be advertising a sale on illegal drugs.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Jeff's March Reads

Most of March's reading was school related. Which is not to say it was all bad. But some of it was bad.

The God of Promise and the Life of Faith by Scott Hafemann - He admits in the preface that it took him 15 years to find a publisher for this manuscript. The rest of the book tells you why. (5)
Central Themes in Biblical Theology by Scott Hafemann - This book is like a brussel sprout. It might be good for you, but it sure isn't pleasant. (6)
Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism by Adele Berlin - This book achieves a rare balance. It is technically demanding and precise, but also exceedingly pleasant and well written. As she says on page 5, "The study of parallelism is fun!" (9)
The Challenge of Jesus by N.T. Wright - My one fun book of the month. Wright is quickly becoming my favorite theologian to read. (10)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Weekend Update

- Greenwood weather: cool and cloudy, 50% chance of rain. Perfect afternoon to hole up in my office and work on my sermon for Sunday. Ahem, start my sermon for Sunday.

- I'm holed up in my office with a cup of hot chocolate. I was going to make coffee, but we ran out yesterday. We ran out of coffee and flavored creamer on the very same day. What are the chances?

- In order to start working on a sermon it is important to have a clean desk, so I just spent a few minutes cleaning off my desk. I opened a desk drawer to put something away and found my lunch plate from several weeks ago. I remember at the time the drawer was wide open and I needed a place to set my plate, and one thing led to another... Anyway, it would appear that perhaps I have more zeal for bringing plates and cups up to my office laden with snacks, than I do for bringing them back to the kitchen.

- This was a big week school wise, and it feels good to be done with it. I had two presentations yesterday, a big one and a small one. The small one was actually more stressful. I had to give a response to a classmate's paper, and his paper just happened to be the worst piece of academic writing I have encountered since high school. I tried to be honest yet gracious. The big presentation was easier, I got to spend 45 minutes presenting a research paper on Zechariah 4. Then the class took and hour and a half responding to it, it went really well and I was happy.

- I substitute taught my own hebrew class this morning. All three of us students were gathered for class when one of the other profs walked in and announced that our prof had called him to say that he wouldn't be able to make it for class and had asked that I lead the class today. It was kinda short notice, but it went fine.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

New Rotation

This morning I started a new rotation, "Community Medicine." I put it in quotations because today it involved me sleeping in late, eating breakfast in my pajamas while checking my email, sewing a little, meandering in to the office around 12:30, doing some work on the computer, and then stopping by the fabric store on the way home.

It's a nice change. I'm sure I'll get tired of it, but for now I'm enjoying a bit of the easy life.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

In Praise of Snobbism.

Ayn Rand taught me that it is good to be a snob about things. Not necessarily in the "nose in the air" sense, but in the sense that you love something, and pursue the best in it. And you are upset when you see other people treat the thing without the respect it deserves. Howard Roark used to keep all his favorite sculptures in a private room rather than displaying them; he was afraid that people would simply look at them and not esteem them properly, and such disrespect would be an injustice to the worth of the sculpture. So he enjoyed them alone. He was a bit extreme. But nevertheless, I like being a snob about certain things. And it is a bit painful to watch other people esteem lightly things which should be accorded more respect.

Here are some things I am a current, or past, snob about...

1. I am a Bible translation snob. I won't go into what I think about different translations here. But I have opinions. Oh, do I have opinions.
2. I am a commentary snob too. Rare is the commentary that meets with my full approval.
3. I enjoy coffee, but I am not a coffee snob. I do not grow, roast, or even grind my own beans. Any ole bag off the shelf is ok with me. If there is something about this hot drink worth snobbing over, it is the choice of flavored creamer one uses.
4. I used to be a backpacking/biking/outdoor gear snob. This snobbism has faded since moving to SC.
5. I'm a hymn snob. You want to sing a Gaither? Help yourself to the church across the street.
6. I'm a bit of a grammar snob. Although some people are much more snobbish about this than I am. (I could have ended that sentence with "me" rather than "I am" and not lost much sleep)
7. Aubrey has just mentioned that she is a cheese snob. And this is true. She loves her havarti dill, fresh grated parmesan, and fresh mozzerella. And she has opinions about which soft cheese goes with what; one should not mix one's blue's with one's gorgonzola's. Although she is not above enjoying a common string cheese, if the mood is right.
8. I am not a chocolate snob. I welcome all chocolates to come as they are.
9. I am a wattage snob. Do any other couples have debates over what wattage bulb is appropriate for the living room lamp?

What are you a snob about?