Most folks think of hotels and cabs and hosted, socializing dinners as The Way to Travel. A Crohn, more like, would be comfortable camping in the remote woods where if Throughput or any other less pleasant behavior rears its ugly head, it is easier for one to withdraw from The Scene to relieve one's misery.
During a particular two-week stint at the end of the month, I will be embarking on the former journey -- an all expenses paid (or reimbursed) jaunt between four interview sessions through three states and four graduate programs. That is right, your humble narrator has finally achieved the nigh unachievable: graduate school interviews.
Do any of my current readers remember how I began this blog in the first place in order to catalogue the adventures of a Crohn in pursuit of a sciences PhD?... well, it appears as though that promised content may not be lost to the wind after all.
January 27th-30th, I will be in Irvine, California interviewing with the program at the Medical School. January 30th- February 3rd, I will be in Tucson, Arizona where my interviews have been specially scheduled by yours truly so that they do not directly overlap with the next series. February 3rd-6th, it's back to Irvine to interview with a different department, and one of the most prestigious Neuroscience programs in the nation.
Notice the distinct less-than-one-day gap between interview periods. Imagine how carting one's myriad pharmaceuticals around to interviews, on tours and at social dinners because one must have any and all back-up plans available in lieu of interrupting such a trip with an emergency room excursion, would look (not that I don't need to know where the hospital facilities are in these cities anyway, but there has got to be a better time).
Lest it be denied, I can assure that just because only three of these twelve days will be comprised of formal interviewing sessions with potential mentors, graduate program candidates will be under scrutiny the entire time. Putting on one's best face and being on best behavior is essential. Missing an interview because the stress of the previous day's delayed flight transition, which made you late for the courtesy ground transportation has rendered you unable to move the following morning, is not an option. Looking trashed for an interview because you are high on oxycodone which is the only reason you made it to the interview at all is also not an option.
I am extremely nervous for these interviews, not because of the intimidation of the formal mentor interviews, but because the Crohn's has never traveled under such stressful circumstances and I am uncertain of how it will behave or how I will control it. Not to mention the containment of the nasal exoskeleton and the as-yet-unabated ear colony.
Army Strong, folks. This adventure calls for a little bit of Army Strong.
The fourth interview session begins on February 10th, so I have a four-day sojourn to sleep in my own bed, cleanse in my own shower, and eat things like Boost and rice and fiber crackers.
Wish me luck, Dear Readers.