Saturday, February 5, 2011

What DID happen in January...

I rang in the New Year with my dear friend Michael at his cabin up in North Georgia.
They do not sell alcohol in the town of Cleveland, GA. So we bought Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice. (and might have added gin to it...try it, it tastes like honeysuckle!)

Michael's cabin is named Cherrylog and is a pretty sweet place...wood stove for heat, trout in the river behind it, no internet, no tv, no distractions.
It was the perfect way to end out in front of the fire, long talks with an amazing friend, reflecting on the year, running wild through the woods, reading, and sleeping. It was the first time in a long time I set aside 2 whole days to only do exactly what I wanted to do. If that isn't luxury, I don't know what is.

Then, when I got back to Vermont, what should I find but my license plate that was stolen in OCTOBER, wrapped in a red ribbon and placed on the windshield of my car.
I guess whoever ripped it off my car while it was in my driveway developed a holiday conscience and returned it.
Complete with a red ribbon.
I had just gotten a new one when I was home for the holidays.
So now I have a GA license plate to put on my wall.
Merry Christmas indeed!

My friend Mayo hosted a clothing swap for the med school ladies.
This was my first and the best idea ever.
Everyone brings all the clothes they don't want and you drink wine and trade clothes!
Not only do you get sweet free new duds,
but it's just as exciting when your friends choose your clothes to give a second life to.

Plus we brought so many clothes, Mayo's house was like a legit boutique.

Over MLK weekend, the girls decided to head down to Mayo's family home in southern Vermont for a study retreat.
(In case I haven't told you, we're in full on boards study mode. The boards exam is where they test you on absolutely everything you've learned in the last year and half in an awesome 8 hour test. I'm taking mine February 18th. Should be fun.)
We made awesome pizzas.

Went in the hot tub surrounded by snow banks.
Annie: "Wait, is it cold to be in a hot tub in the snow?"
Me: "No, you just don't get your hair wet, and it's fine."
Annie: "Wait, how do you not get your hair wet? Do you put a towel on your head?"
Me: "No, you just don't put your head under the water, Annie....."

So Annie got us towels (washclothes) to put on our heads. We each provided the guns individually.
We went cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the morning right out her front door.

Oh, and we studied too....

Check out the photo series behind Mayo. Her dad is a photographer and takes amazing photos of Vermont landscapes. Her parents own a gallery, The Village Green Gallery, together, which features his work and other Vermont artists. Pretty awesome. I heart VT.

Oh and they have horses too. So we played with the horses. Have I mentioned I love Vermont?

I also did my part this month to perpetuate cultural stereotypes.

(Love you Annie!)

On a serious note, Annie and I also carried out our Schweitzer Fellowship community project, which involved creating Community Maternal Health workers for the Somali-Bantu refugee population in Burlington.
It was so, so great.
We met with two women who already work in the community association's office and went over topics like birth control, delivery options, pre-natal care, newborn care, etc.
We made sure they had all the information about the American system.
We cleared up some questions for them, like "why don't women get prostate cancer?".
And we learned a lot from them in the process, like how a community can really do a great job of supporting new mothers.
We made them some reference sheets then called together a larger group of women, introduced them as community health workers and let them answer questions!
It was great.

We also in the meantime got dominated by one of their adorable 6 month old babies.
(Don't worry, we didn't presume to give them parenting advice. We know our limits.)

We also took an afternoon off of intense sciencing (it's a word) and got our creative on to make Paper Plate awards for our class. I just had to share, because they turned out so fun. And it took us 5 hours. So I feel like I need to give them all the limelight I can.

Btdubs, turns out I can't draw. So none these are ones I drew because I wanted to display the cute ones.

Then, a whirlwind week later, we presented the public health projects we'd been working on all fall in a Poster Session, finished up the small group sessions we'd been having for our last class Convergence, and took our last test of the Foundations (classroom based) part of medical school.
We did it.
I was pretty certain, many times (ok like every other day), that this day would never come.
I really wasn't sure I would make it.
Let's just say, the classroom style of medical learning and I didn't exactly see eye-to-eye.
I'm allergic to powerpoint.
Senseless memorization makes me cross-eyed.
And 6 hours of lecture instantly gives me ADD.

But somehow or another (due in large part to my friends), I made it.
And it was a deep, deep relief.

So, since it was the end of Foundations.
And two of my friends' birthdays.
We took the night off (remember that pesky boards exam we're studying for?) for one hell of a celebration.

We celebrated one birthday with sushi.

And the other with an 80's cover band.

We took lots of photos with great art direction.
("You're molding clay!")
(I think this was the tail end of "You're hunting with your bare hands!")
We air-guitared. And grooved. And made the band play 3 encores.

The birthday boy wore my favorite tshirt ever.

And I got to celebrate with some of my favorite people.
There was also some skiing, some yoga, dinners with friends, and other fun sprinkled in there.
So, like I said, as far as January's was pretty stellar.

Hope yours was too!


  1. best. study. break. ever. I LOOOOVE this. (and love you.) thank you for reminding me how lucky we are! xoxo

  2. could not agree with Lizzie more - this was wonderful to wake up to :)

  3. Sweet lordy, that was just ONE month??? Amazing. Also, awesome new years -- had no idea that's where you ended up. Sounds perfect.

  4. If I keep reading your blog I might just move to Vermont. But on a southern note, that picture of the tire swing is amazing. I can't stop looking at it.