Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year...

We're closing in on the last day of the year, a situation which tends to make me reflective. It's been quite a year, 2011. This was the year that I started putting dreams to action, the year that things started to gel together and form a path forward. October 14, 2010 was the day I decided to go to med school. 2011 was the year it started to happen.

I started the year with a brand new plan, a chemistry and biology book, and a lot of hope. I learned early on that science was going to take more than what I'd always done. I studied, I cried, I lamented that I was supposed to be one of the smart kids. I memorized constants and equations. I bit off more than I could chew. I passed organic chemistry.

I tried volunteering in a hospital emergency room. The suburban campus was a bit too slow for me, and I felt like I was always in the way. So I tried a new approach and signed up for an EMT class.

I tried using my network of contacts and informants to secure a research position, but eventually just tossed my hat in the ring for someone looking for a "highly motivated undergrad" who decided I was the one.

I killed millions of yeast. I became so good at PCR that my PI decided I would be carrying out her PCR reactions from now on. I applied for my first NIH grant. I realized there are a lot of hoops to jump through, t's to cross, and i's to dot. The struggle continues on that one.

I fell in love with quiet little moments stolen between study sessions. I realized focus was more important than doing a thousand things at once. I withdrew from my first course - calculus - and realized that just redoubling my efforts was not always the way to succeed. Sometimes you had to go back down to base camp and try another ascent.

I rejoined the workforce in an entry-level position in a hospital. I fell in love with patient contact, and realized the power I had in just holding someone's hand. I worked on small talk, something at which I've never been very good. The weather, where are you from, what do you do, how about them 'stillers, all became di rigeur. The struggle continues still.

I came to appreciate people I had taken for granted. I fell in love with my husband again. My quirky little professor who brought me coffee while I toiled, who cheered me on from the side lines, who told me that yes, I could, even when I didn't think so. Who let me take his vital signs a bazillion times until I finally got the blood pressure thing.

I was more frustrated than I can ever recall being. Chemistry books became my constant companion, and people rarely saw my face outside of them. But even with this, I did not study enough. I did not commit enough time, and I did not do enough problems. So, for 2012, I resolve to study in a different way. I'm trying some new tactics, recording lectures, transcribing notes, focusing more, doing more problems. Less relaxation and tv, more actual work.

2011 was the year where I turned my life 180 degrees and committed all my actions towards one goal. 2012 will be the year where we move, full speed ahead, toward that distant horizon.

And all I can be right now is just thankful. Thankful that I'm here. Thankful that I get this chance. Thankful that I have this opportunity. Thankful for all those people who support me, who keep me going, who read my frantic texts about equations, who laugh with me, cry with me, mix chemicals and distill things with me, and let me borrow their notes.

Thank You.

The joy for me is in the journey AND the eventual destination. So thank you for all those people with me along the way, and for those people who believe I'll eventually get there. You all mean the world to me, and I could not possibly be doing this without you.

Happy new year!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

the dream

Passed my EMT practical exam, and in a few short hours, will pass the written. It's like throwing gasoline on a fire... exposure to medicine enhances my desire to practice it. The art of the patient history exam is like playing detective and problem solver all in one.

I've been working at the hospital now for a little over a month. I just work weekends, and while I come home exhausted, I often find myself looking forward to going to work. I even love the smell of the hand soap. I feel like a dry sponge, looking to soak up everything I possibly can, learn everything thrown my way, and talk to everyone who'll talk to me.

I still need to figure out shadowing. It's intimidating, trying to conjure up the cahones to talk to a doctor and ask. Who do I ask? What do I say? How does it work? The thing is, I really want to do it. I want to see what it's like. I want to spend a day shadowing as many different kinds of doctors as I possibly can. If there's something to be seen about medicine, I want to see it.

It's become an obsession, really. I wish I could say the same about organic chemistry. ;)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

organic chemistry - midterm

So it's a little later than mid-term in Ochem, but I thought I'd provide a "how its going" post so I can come back once its all over ... and be thankful its all over. Yes, it's interesting stuff. Yes, it's probably important that I know what's going to react with what and how. But holy crapsticks batman. There's a lot of material here. And it's intimidating material. And they tend to ask you the most difficult questions when it comes time to answer questions.

There are people in my class who are doing exceptionally well. I have no idea how they are pulling that off. This all seems like a "cross-class skill" (D&D reference for the nerds in the audience) for me, and I have to spend twice as much XP to get it. OChem lab tho? I totally have that. My lab reports dance and sing and have figures and tables... and regularly receive 96% A+'s... I can swirl things that don't mix together into a chromatography column without spilling a drop, work with 10M acid without getting nervous, and distill with the best of them.

Apparently, I can apply things into practice, but I have trouble visualizing them abstractly. It's just that... well, sure, I understand how and when an SN1 reaction will take place, but... I personally think I don't study enough. If I could study five hours a day, I'd probably understand everything and be able to perform better on the exams.

But gosh darnit, pre-med involves a lot of "other" stuff... stuff that takes up all that time that I could be studying. And I'm not talking about tv or other such related pursuits. I literally work my butt off every single day of the week. Saturday and Sunday I work at the hospital as a transporter, gaining valuable patient contact experience and paying the mortgage. All week I have classes, Tuesday and Wednesday classes are all day. Thursday and Friday I work in the research lab for most of the day. Monday I only have one class, but that's also the day I write lab reports, do laundry, go grocery shopping, make phone calls, pay bills...

I'm not whining. Well, ok, I guess I am. A little bit. I'm just saying I wish I had more time. Or that I could somehow go without sleep like most of my colleagues. All-nighters are not a good idea at this stage in the game... I can't just sleep all day the next day, I need to stay sharp every single day so I can do my best.

Anyways. I guess my point is that I can do one or two things brilliantly, a bunch of things pretty well, and a lot of things kinda crappy. That being said, I'm doing pretty ok at Organic Chemistry, wishing I could do better. Three more weeks of this term, after which I'll be a certified EMT, which will open up some really cool volunteer opportunities. The only thing left to figure out is shadowing, and hopefully I'll meet some docs in my job or volunteer experiences.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

research

I may or may not have updated that I was accepted as an undergraduate researcher into a cancer research lab, but hey! I was accepted as an undergraduate researcher in a cancer research lab! My PI specifically studies how double DNA breaks are repaired, created, etc, and how this relates to cancer. Pretty wicked cool stuff.

Since I have virtually no lab experience (besides what I learned in Bio & Chem Lab) it was incredibly cool of her to take me on since, with my arrival, there are now three people in the lab including her, me, and her tech. There's also a guy who moonlights during the summer. Anyways, I'm very appreciative for the chance to learn about the research process and get to learn awesome science along the way.

My first project is to genotypically identify 800+ strains of yeast for the gene of interest using PCR. For those of you without a science background, here's a fairly good approximation of what I'm doing using a metaphor:

We have 800+ cookbooks. We need to figure out which cookbooks contain recipes for stew. Of the ones that contain recipes for stew, some of them are vegetarian and some of them are not. Unfortunately, we can't just open the cookbooks and look for the recipes. So, we're using a "find" command that looks for the word "Stew". When it finds the word "stew" it then displays whether or not meat is called for in the recipe. If meat is called for, it's considered "normal" or, "wild type" and if no meat is present, it's considered "not normal" or "mutant" (no offense to my vegetarian friends.)

For those of you with a science background, it's giving me a chance to really work on basic research skills - breaking out strains, pipetting, PCR, enzyme digestion, running gels, reporting results, etc. In addition, we also sometimes get to help with the research grants. (Ok, we get to help come up with titles to the research grants, but hey, that's still helping.)

I genuinely enjoy the experience and look forward to lab days. It's also given me a chance to work on "thinking scientifically" which, as I'm learning, I've been doing all along. Well, at least as long as I was a technical project manager. Science and project management are somewhat similar... at least theoretically speaking. Both have to solve problems that don't have clear answers. Both involve testing a variety of methods before finding the best way (or one of the best ways) to accomplish the goals. Both involve the agony of things not working, and the ecstasy of things working. However, the environments are vastly different...if things didn't work at "work" I was chased around with torches and pitchforks... If things don't work in lab, I sit down with the tech or the PI and we discuss what might have gone wrong, and additional things we can do to improve the results...

It's a nice environment to work in while you're fretting about organic chemistry. And in that vein... off to study.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

playlist

I'll admit, I haven't encountered a lot of "you're insane, it will never happen" attitudes as I make this journey. Mostly I've been met with "that's amazing!" "good luck!" and "wow"... which is all very nice and good. However, I think the biggest naysayer is the internal monologue. That little voice inside that will sometimes say "this is crazy, and it will never happen."

I have a playlist that tends to shut the little voice up... and here's what's on it:
Lady Gaga - Born This Way
India Arie - A Beautiful Day
Mary J Blige - Each Tear
Glee Cast - Loser Like Me
Pink - Fucking Perfect
Katy Perry - Firework
Wicked - Defying Gravity
Eminem - I'm not Afraid
Eminem - Lose Yourself

It grows as I learn about new things, but I'm happy I've found something that works for me. The message is a resounding "Screw the world, be you, and be the best you that you can. You got this." Although in my case it doesn't seem like the world that's against me, its mostly just me.

And on that note - off to study OChem. I promise a resounding post of how it's going soon, along with the agony and the ecstasy that is PCR...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

random stream of consciousness...

So lots of things are due. I haven't made a payment on the explorer since July, but I still intend to make payments on it, I just don't have any money to do so. I'm waiting on student loans so I can pay the mortgage. I'm leveraging how long I can make people wait until they shut things off. I write to an administrator last night about when, oh when, are my student loans going to credit? And she tells me I'm not signed up for enough credits to actually get any sort of aid. So I have to sign up for more credits to make the "aid cap" in order to get the money to keep paying my bills while I chase this crazy dream...

So when am I going to fit in two more credits? I have no idea. I am, actually, signed up for the EMT class, and I could take that through the college for credit, but it would cost $2544 in addition to the $125 that I already spent to take the class, but I need a permission number to sign up for the class. So I call the people to get the permission number, hoping that they will give me this little five digit number which will cost me $2500 but will end up giving me $6000 so that I can live for the next four months. I wonder how I'll handle a 6 credit load next semester too, since I've decided that I want to continue on and take the paramedic class since you can't actually work for the city unless you're a full blown medic... I sometimes wonder if I'm being too brash, too bold, too assumptive, in believing that I deserve this, that I have the right to actually follow this yearning, to chase this dream at all. Shouldn't I just grow up? Shouldn't I just graduate and get a job, and stop being so needy?

But then I think of all those days that come after this, and this is just a bump in the road, a little bureaucratic exercise meant to test my faith, my resolve, and my ability to continue on against circumstances beyond my control.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

organic chemistry - at the outset

Had my first organic lecture yesterday - it went well. Sure, it was the syllabus day and that tends to go well regardless of how poorly the rest of the semester goes. The thing that made it actually awesome was the professor's ability to get us excited about the subject. He talked about synthesis problems as if they were puzzles waiting to be unlocked. He discussed the more esoteric points as being nothing more than whether or not you could count to eight.

All in all, I'm pretty excited to actually get started. (Despite the fact that I'm blogging instead of upstairs actually doing.) I'm looking forward to teasing out the answers, and hoping that they won't elude me. He said that one of the keys to success is to be obsessive... and well... yeah, I know how to do that. I just have to apply it to the subject now.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The new plan...

Summer did not kill me, although there were certainly times I thought it might. I survived with a "B-Variety Pack" of a B-, B, and a B+. Not what I wanted, but in the grand scheme of the world, perhaps a lesson can be learned about not biting off more than you can chew and the importance of starting early.

I also got surprising news right around my birthday that pretty much wrecked the rest of my semester, so I should be happy I pulled B's in those courses anyways. My 14 year old son decided he wanted to go live with his father, and instead of tell me about this, he let his father sue me for custody. Le sigh.

Everything eventually worked out, but there were a couple of rough weeks before things were settled. I have mixed feelings about that - one the one hand I am incredibly sad and just miss him pretty much all the time. On the other hand, this will give me a chance to focus on the other things going on, not the least of which is getting ready to apply to med school.

In that vein, I just finished up with my year of gen chem and my year of gen bio, leaving me with a year of physics, a year of organic chemistry, calculus, human phys, and neuroscience. Having learned the lessons offered this summer, I've decided to take less classes at once in order to get a better school/life balance. This does stretch out my timeline a bit, and I am somewhat dismayed at how long its going to take to actually get there, but I'm trying to make the journey more enjoyable along the way.

The current plan is to start med school in 2015. Dear god, I'm going to be so old by that point. I'm really hoping I can combine some things in order to decrease the timeline, while still leaving time for things to be enjoyable. It's really only another two years of classes, but the premed adviser is giving me a year to prepare for the MCAT and committee and a gap year. I'm hoping I can combine MCAT studying with finishing up classes and then somehow avoid a gap year altogether. We shall see.

In the meantime, I accepted a position in a cancer research lab as an undergraduate unpaid researcher, and am working on getting into a hospital as a patient transporter. It is awfully difficult being an adult and not working, even just a little bit, so I'm trying to find a job that lets me further my goals while still earning the mortgage money. Additionally, I'm taking an EMT class this fall that will bring a little more excitement and interest to my volunteer experience. All in all, I've been told that I'm "fine" as far as planning goes, so now it's just a matter of doing the work, passing the classes, and scoring some more A's.

Friday, June 3, 2011

getting excited about organic chemistry

Over the holiday weekend, I had a friend tell me that Chem 2 was really just a "preview of all the chems to come" which somehow made it better. It somehow disconnected all the chapters from each other, and made the cumulative effect seem less important. I didn't really understand acid-base chemistry, but I sure did figure out thermodynamics and electrochemistry. Next week we move into organic chemistry... which I'm taking in the fall.

It's a bunch of esoteric stuff, organic chemistry. Lots of rules about what's an yne and an ene and an ane, and how many double bonds there are, and what something is called, and which name goes first. I'm actually looking forward to it. I like esoteric stuff. It's part of the reason I want to go into medicine... which is probably one of the weirder reasons, but everyone gets to be a unique snowflake, so there.

Anyways, I'm two weeks away from finishing up gen chem 2, and from starting bio 2. Things are progressing. Until then, I'm buried in my chem book hoping to absorb enough to get much better grades on the upcoming exams...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

finding my limits

I graduated with a 2.67 in high school. Right in the middle of my class. I didn't apply myself. It was easier to fail without trying than it was to try and fail anyways. At least that's what I thought. My junior year I did better, pushed myself, did well, got into college. After I got in to college, I was done tho, and thus, the 2.67.

I didn't adjust well to college right after high school. After a semester I left. At which point I got distracted by sex, drugs, and rock & roll. After a baby, a husband, and a house, I went back to college again. It went better this time, but once the divorce started, I had to stop again.

Fast forward five more years, and I'm back in college for a third time. And? Third time's a charm. I did brilliantly. I was shaky at first, thinking that I was pulling a fast one with every 'A' I earned, somehow fooling the university into believing I was smart. It was sometime during my sophomore year that I realized I wasn't pulling a fast one, maybe I was just smart.

Scholarships, accolades, awards, ceremonies, honors fraternities, speaking engagements, more A's, more 4.0's, more scholarships, endless success. There was nothing I could not do. Working full time, pulling 6 credits, then 7, then 9... plus social activities, mothering, wife-ing, hobbying, all of it.

So when I decided to go to med school, and I decided to finish all the pre-req's in a year, I figured it would be hard work, but I figured that I would just put my head down, work hard, focus, and it would all work out just as it always had. Brilliantly.

Chemistry 2 and Calculus. In six weeks. At the same time. Difficult? Sure, but it's either easy, or it's impossible. I was in the business of impossible. Can't and won't weren't in my vocabulary. The first day of Calculus, he casually mentions sin and cos and that we better be familiar with them. I wasn't.

I ordered a solutions manual. I read the textbook. I went for help. I got tutoring. I spent hours and hours pouring over material I didn't understand. I worked through problems, I met with other students. I devoted everything to Calculus. And it didn't work.

Yesterday I failed a chemistry exam. Not in the "oh, you got a B, and that's failing for you, isn't it?" way, but in the 49% failing kind of way. This morning I withdrew from calculus. And I visited my chemistry professor. And I took a nap. And a walk. And watched some tv. And did some chemistry homework.

I can't do everything all at once. I have limits. So I take algebra in the fall, trig in the spring, and pre-calc next summer. And then I try calc again. I'm not giving up, but I'm going to stop trying to climb up the front of the empire state building and maybe take the stairs instead. I'll earn it when I get to the top. Even if it takes me longer than I thought it might.

It ain't about how hard you can hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. And you know what? This makes a great story for "overcoming obstacles" for those med school interviews.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

and having a life too

I woke up this morning and realized that I need to find a way to fit some exercise back into my life. I'm toying with the couch to five k plan, but last time I tried that I wound up with a whole new batch of aches and pains, and really, the goal is to eliminate those. I have an elliptical machine, but it needs taken apart and put back together because something is wrong with it, but I don't know what. And it's raining.

In addition, I think it's just been laziness that keeps me from doing anything health-wise. I use the excuse that I'm always studying, or busy, or in class. I don't remember where I read it, but there was a list of questions about going into medicine that was trying to determine how badly you wanted it. One of the questions was: Are you willing to get fat?

Sure, I'm willing to get fat, but I'd like to avoid that if I can. I really want to become a runner, because you really don't need any special equipment for that (unless it's raining apparently) and... well, it seems cool. It also seems like something you can bang out in 20 minutes and be done with, and that fits into my hectic schedule.

Speaking of hectic schedule, my first sciency term is over. Bio 1 and Chem 1 with labs are over, under my belt, and on to the next adventure. This summer is Chem 2, Calculus (for the first time), and Bio 2. Bio and Chem with labs. Calc with apprehension.

I'm waiting on the grade on my Chem final, which was so bad, I immediately went to the bar and started drinking at two-o-clock in the afternoon. Thank goodness I had a friend with me because it somehow mitigated the eyebrow raising quality of the act.

I figured out how to pay bills and go to school at the same time this week, so that's a major accomplishment. I'm also extremely thankful that I didn't have to take any loans up until this point in my college career because now I get to live on those loans I didn't take. I actually feel good about this decision because it seems more manageable and more likely to keep me on the path. Not that I had doubts before...

iTunes emailed me this morning to tell me all about the Business books they have on sale. And my stomach turned. See, at one point in my life, I was all about going into business. I would own my own business, wear power suits, and plan mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. But it seemed somehow false and wrong, and as the years wore on, tedious.

This doesn't feel like that. This feels like every day is an adventure, a step closer to the ultimate goal, a cherished part of my life that fills me with immeasurable joy. And I'm fairly certain scrubs are more comfortable than power suits anyways...


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Finals week

So here we are at the end of my first "science semester" and it's not going nearly as well as I would have liked. I'm about to finish up Bio 1 + Lab and Chem 1 + Lab, and I'm staring down 30+ more credits of just straight-up sciences for the next year and a half. It's intimidating to say the least.

My entire college career up to this point has been met with stellar success after less than stellar effort. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there was a class or two that gave me challenges or made me think, but for the most part, I just memorized a bunch of stuff, regurgitated it onto paper, and walked away with A's.

I have 123 credits of "not working that hard" on my transcript, thankfully giving my GPA a buffer against "holy crap there's ten steps of glycolysis and you want me to memorize ALL of them along with four thousand other things and then be able to apply that knowledge?!"

I am not unhappy about this. This entire semester has been a paradigm shift in my universe. A wake-up call and glaring evidence that memorization will only take you so far. At some point you have to use what you know to figure stuff out, instead of just memorizing cause/effect.

There are going to be B's. Straight out, no one to blame but myself, B's. My old tactics will not work here. Oh, I'm going to need to memorize. But then I'm going to need to take that stuff I memorized and learn to apply it. I'm sure there are lots of people in the audience thinking "duh..!" but bear with me. I've been lazy for years, relying on my near-eidetic memory to carry me through whatever challenges I faced.

I have to admit. While I'm not happy at my rapidly sinking GPA (still within summa cum laude range), I'm happy to be doing something challenging. I'm happy to feel like I'm actually doing something real - something that I wasn't instantly successful at. I suppose I'm happy to have "failed" (in my mind) because it's only then that we are forced to learn.

I'm also happy to notice subtle shifts in my understanding. Last night I felt light-headed and almost passed out. So my brain starts thinking... "Well, what causes that? Drops in blood pressure. And what can cause that? Dehydration, ion imbalance... well, let's try drinking some water and see if that helps..." I'm years from being able to actually safely diagnose anything, but the mere attempt made me happy.

I'm finally learning something that matters.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

volunteering

I started volunteering at the hospital this week. I'm in the Emergency Department of my local hospital, doing ER Tech-like stuff. Transporting patients, cleaning rooms, getting equipment. While I'm freaked out about knowing the layout of the hospital, I'm not worried about interacting with the patients. Honestly? That was the best part.

I've always been a bit of a misanthrope. (A bit?) But of all the things that made me nervous last night - which elevator? which floor? which nurse? - that didn't intimidate me at all. I was lucky that I had a good group of patients, none of them difficult, but it was incredibly rewarding just getting to interact with them.

I was a little, like, back of my mind, worried about that. It was never a surface concern, but I was somewhat concerned about being good at it. Everyone following my path is, I believe. But the moment I stepped into their room, introduced myself, and started pushing them towards their destination, I felt born to interact with them.

It was a fantastic experience. I'm really glad I started volunteering. It's made me realize that I can learn biology, chemistry, and even gasp, organic chemistry. I can learn the layout of the hospital, how to change over an O2 tank, and which nurse is taking care of room 16... but learning good human interaction is probably harder. And I feel well equipped in that department.


Monday, March 14, 2011

So who knows why I didn't like my job, I just didn't. Perhaps it had something to do with the random discontent I felt at not making any contributions to things that matter to me. Perhaps it had to do with lack of appreciation. Perhaps it had to do with always feeling like management was working against me.

It doesn't matter now.

A month after I was let go, I was laying in bed one morning (malingering, no doubt) and it suddenly occurred to me that I was now free to do whatever I wanted to do. Weren't there things I wanted to do that were impossible because I worked full time? Wasn't there something?

I attended a women's conference later that week with one of my mentors from school, and it was sometime during the keynote speech when it hit me. The speaker was talking about how women always put what they want on hold because they are helping others get what they want instead, or how they are looking for permission to follow their dreams. She stood up there and gave us all permission, told us to stop putting others first, just this once, and be honest with ourselves.

I'm taking notes. Writing things down. Somewhere around the phrase "one precious life" I wrote in the right-hand margin... "Hey. Go to med school."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

When one door closes...

I'm 33 years old. It's the Friday before Labor Day, 2010. I have a mortgage (two really), a brand new car, and I'm two semesters away from graduating with my first bachelor's degree. And I've just been fired.

The entire process - signing the legal papers, telling people how to carry on without me, graciously accepting my firing, and cleaning out my desk - takes about an hour and a half. I was "exceptionally nice" and made the process very easy on the people firing me. It was actually mentioned in the days after how nice I was.

I'm driving home when the panic sets in and I nearly hyperventilate.

Thankfully, I had plans that evening. Driving out to Canfield, Ohio with some of my best mates to watch a demolition derby and eat fair food was probably what saved me from emptying my liquor cabinet directly into my bloodstream.

It wasn't until that first official work-day when I wasn't sitting in a cube that it began to sink in: my goodness, I hated my job.

I was a technical project manager and application administrator. It was my job to get applications up and running using a variety of resources - internal and external - coordinating tasks between vendors, clients, and employees, training those necessary on the things they needed to know, migrating legacy data, performing upgrades and fixes, and basically being the person on the other end of the phone when whatever application wasn't playing nicely.

I did this for 3-1/2 years. In that time, I managed to completely phase out an existing legacy application that had been in use for nearly ten years, launch and integrate a web-to-print process using "the latest" in web-to-print technology, AND serve as part of a two-person team to get the company ISO 9001 certified. Which we did. (And I have the champagne cork to prove it.)

When I was let go, all my projects were working. There were no new mountains left to climb. I innovated myself out of a job during a time when business was not picking up and clients, despite our awesome technology, were in-sourcing tasks.

The actual tasks were wonderful and I loved the impact my work had. The doing of the tasks, the tolerating the user-base, the panicked phone calls, the late nights, all of those things I could deal with... in fact, I even liked them. I liked being the star quarterback who came in and "saved the day" with a combination of technical skill, excellent contacts, and panache.

So why did I hate my job?