diffuse. scattered. marginal. that's funtongue scatterplot
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Having What You Want

School has been going at a breakneck pace, so there hasn't been much time for writing this semester. The main issue has been homework... pharmacokinetics labs, pharmacy practice labs, and various assignments. While there is a massive volume of material, it hasn't been so hard to learn, in part because the homework exposes and re-exposes us to the material. By the time we begin studying for tests, we're making the second or third pass through our notes. The averages on three of our tests were in the 90s; the average on the fourth was 87. All of the course coordinators remarked these are the highest class averages they've ever seen. Our class is awesome... what more can be said?

Rachel and I had some drama last month. The optometrist she's been working for in Florence made her a job offer she couldn't refuse. Problem is, Florence is a 90+ minute commute from our house in Lexington, so we were planning to put the house on the market and move to Georgetown this summer. Living in a home two years and selling it in a slowing housing market would have put us in negative financial territory after moving expenses, realtor fees, and closing costs, to say nothing of the pain-in-the-ass (PITA) factor. But it was an offer we couldn't refuse, an offer that made financial sense.

Rachel had tentatively accepted the offer, and then a miracle happened. Another practice in Lexington offered her a full-time position and matched the pay. Well, it really wasn't a miracle; it was a counter offer to keep her in Lexington, and it wouldn't have been made had she not announced she was leaving before the summer. Rachel's patients love her, and they tell the receptionist, who tells the optometrist who owns the practice, and so they try to keep her on staff.

Being successful in a medical career is a lot simpler than being successful in a corporate career. There are fewer terms in the equation. If you want to be successful in a medical career, treat your patients well, don't rock the boat with the office staff and techs, and you have it made. If you want to be successful in the corporate world, it's not only how well you do your job, it's also how well you market yourself, along with being in the right place at the right time and taking on the highly visible projects that earn the most kudos from the people who determine which opportunities are presented to you in the future. The corporate success equation includes a complicated political element.

Poor Rachel gracefully had to back out of the job in Florence, which had us worried, because the doctor up there closes his business deals with a "yes" and a handshake. He doesn't do contracts or written agreements; his trust and respect is earned through honesty and not going back on your word. She was honest and direct, though, and it seemed to go well, but he's a difficult man to read, so who knows?

So now we get to stay in Lexington at least until I graduate from pharmacy school. You have no idea what relief that brings both of us. We were ready to move because it was the logical thing to do, but I don't think the desire to do so was in either of our hearts. We love our house, the neighborhood, and the neighbors. We love having a huge backyard that stretches 350 feet from the street to a corn and soybean field. We love the privacy. I love tending a garden in the spring and summer. I love having a compost pile and getting coffee grounds from the nearby Starbucks to mix into it. I love being able to set out a hummingbird feeder in early April when the first hummingbirds return from Mexico. I love my herb garden in the frontyard.

Most of all, I am thankful for being able to stay here in my Lexington home after realizing just how much we love it here. Wanting what you already have is the most wonderful feeling in the world.

:: Bryan Travis :: 03/08/2006 @ 19:44 :: [link] ::

America, I Don't Know You Anymore

I'm increasingly alarmed by this country in which I live. A couple examples:

This I believe: Torturing another human being is unconscionable. It doesn't matter if the human being is an American citizen or not. It doesn't matter if the human being tortured other human beings or not. It doesn't matter if the human being is an enemy combatant or not. Torturing another human being is unconscionable. It's bad when an individual tortures, and even worse when a government tries to justify it.

U.S. Cites Exception in Torture Ban

McCain Law May Not Apply to Cuba Prison

By Josh White and Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, March 3, 2006; Page A04

Bush administration lawyers, fighting a claim of torture by a Guantanamo Bay detainee, yesterday argued that the new law that bans cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody does not apply to people held at the military prison.

In federal court yesterday and in legal filings, Justice Department lawyers contended that a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, cannot use legislation drafted by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to challenge treatment that the detainee's lawyers described as "systematic torture."

Government lawyers have argued that another portion of that same law, the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, removes general access to U.S. courts for all Guantanamo Bay captives. Therefore, they said, Mohammed Bawazir, a Yemeni national held since May 2002, cannot claim protection under the anti-torture provisions.


Also surprising is that 19% of Americans couldn't even venture a guess at any of the five freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, not a one. Only 1 in 4 could name more than one freedom. In the interest of full disclosure, I could only remember 3 (speech, religion, and press... but not assembly and redress of grievances).

:: Bryan Travis :: 03/03/2006 @ 13:33 :: [link] ::