Actually, being able to watch shows online later kind of screws this analogy up.

I said in my About section that this blog wasn’t going to be about leaving medical school. What I forgot to also include however, is that I’m a big fat liar.

Because I just came up with the best analogy yet for what being in medical school (with a Bug) felt like for me. This is a Big Deal, because I have been trying to come up with one for a while, so that when people I haven’t seen for a long time ask, “Hey – how’s school going?”, I can give them the essential information, throw in a witty metaphor to cap it off, gaze into the distance longingly, toss my shiny hair (note to self: figure out how to make hair shiny), and ride off into the sunset on a golden steed (note: also learn how to ride horse).

So, here it is: for me, being in medical school while mothering a young child was kind of like trying to watch two favorite television shows at the same time. One’s on one station, and one is on another. Sometimes if you’re lucky, the commercials for one (let’s say a witty comedy about life in the workplace) come on at completely different times than the commercial for the other (say, a clever medical drama with young hot interns learning the ropes and sleeping with each other). But sometimes you’re not so lucky and you really have to pick between the two, and you get so into the plot of the one you choose that you almost forget about the other show – until a commercial. So you flip quickly back to the first show, only to find that Jim and Pam have kissed! And you missed it. But you so wish you could have been there and seen it, because you love Jim and Pam, and so totally saw that coming. So you vow to keep it on Jim and Pam’s channel, to glean what you can and take in the laughs, and you do, but then another 15 minutes have gone by, and you remember the other show. And you flip back, in a panic, but Christina has already successfully completed her first unassisted penisectomy, and you saw none of it! So you concentrate on her for a while, then back to Jim and Pam, then back to the interns, then back to J and P….until the hour is over. And you turn off the TV and realize that you’ve really only seen half of each show. And sure, you got the gist: Jim and Pam are together, Christina is still a great surgeon who needs therapy, George and Izzy slept together, and Meredith…well, who gives a damn about Meredith, anyway, but the point is, you didn’t really get to experience either show fully.

They’re both excellent shows, and both deserve to be aired and to have millions of fans. But I guess I’m a person who needs to see every scene and hear every line of the shows I love. So I had to say goodbye to one cast of characters, and go from being there with them every Thursday night to catching up on the plot through friends every once in a while. And I miss it, but the stories I could tell about Jim and Pam now! And I’m even getting to know the rest of the cast in the workplace comedy, too. What a zany bunch.

Now that I’ve typed it, I realize that no one is going to sit through an analogy that long – least of all the horse. So I may have to scale it back a bit. But I’m fairly pleased with it.

And really, I’m pretty lucky to have had such a choice.

7 comments

1 Anjie { 10.10.07 at 5:28 pm }

yeah…and i’ll just affirm that watching your Bug online later is NOT the same as hanging out with him regularly and seeing it all happen live. still, even good choices are always hard in some way.

2 Rachel D { 10.10.07 at 6:15 pm }

I think this is a great analogy. It’s exactly the kind of thing I’m afraid of when we have kids. I’m afraid I’ll miss too much of my baby’s life while I’m working. I guess it depends on the kind of job it is and how flexible/demanding of your time it is. I know lots of people make it work, but I wish I didn’t have to “make it work”, I wish I could have the best of both worlds.

3 racher { 10.10.07 at 7:20 pm }

me too – best of both worlds! and I should clarify – this was especially true for me because of the Bug’s age and my late start to med school. If I were already practicing and had the Bug, I would have been able to make different compromises that didn’t require totally leaving the profession behind.

4 Melinda { 10.10.07 at 10:31 pm }

I think this post very poignantly addresses the pains we’re all going to have to go through when we decide to have families. I love the blog and really enjoy learning about the Bug and his multitude of questions (I can only hope my children will be as intelligent and astute as the Bug at 2 ½ years).

5 alianora { 10.11.07 at 2:08 am }

Honestly, I think thats a great analogy. And shame on you for missing Pam and Jim kissing!

I know it must have been a rough decision for you, and I dont envy it. I know you made the right one.

6 Joe T. { 10.11.07 at 1:29 pm }

This is an apt metaphor–an excellent example of what theologians call the “analogical imagination.”

7 Rebekah { 10.11.07 at 1:43 pm }

what happens if you always doing stuff for work and miss Jim and Pam and the doctors? I think I need some analogical imagination too . . .

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