Friday, October 28, 2005


1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Post the fifth sentence (or closest to it).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five other people to do the same thing.

"The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm."

This is an excerpt from the writings of St. Therese of Liseaux, which I actually ran across again last weekend. ...and again now. Ok, God, thanks for the reminder!!

Tag! You're all "it":

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

New Inspiration

One of the sisters this past weekend told the following story, which I have remembered several times since (and it's only been a few days!). It has really been a source of comfort and hope for me.

A legend is told of the period when St. Albert the Great was entered the Dominican Order and was completing his studies. The story serves to bring out both the greatness of Albert's science and his love for Our Lady. Albert, it is related, had not worn the white habit for long when it became plain to him that he was no match for the mental wizards with whom he was studying. Anything concrete, which he could take apart and study, he could understand, but the abstract sciences were too much for him.

He was too embarrassed to go to the abbot to tell him of his difficulties. He decided to run away from it all; planning a quiet departure, he carefully laid a ladder against the wall and climbed up. At the top of the wall, Our Lady appeared to him.
"Albert, where are you going?" she asked.
He explained the situation, telling her that he could never succeed in the Order of Preachers, and that he had to leave.
She reproached him gently for his forgetfulness of her: "I am your mother. Why didn't you ask me for help?"

Then she gave him the gift of science he so much desired, and disappeared. Whatever the truth behind the legend--and it has survived, almost unchanged, through the many years--it is equally certain that Albert was a devout client of Our Lady and a master scientist.

I asked Our Lady for help today.

Monday, October 24, 2005


This coming weekend: D.C. - bound!

Following weekend: Boston in the "fall"!

Have laptop.*
Will travel.

*(and books, and binders, and journal articles, and research data, ...)

Retreat ...

Thank you for the prayers, those who knew.

This weekend was a good opportunity to "leave town" to collect myself and re-present myself to Christ. Adoration, confession, the rosary, sharing meals with religious sisters, ... those parts were good. Parts of it were a little strange. Going with a sensible, like-minded friend somehow made the slightly irritating aspects of the weekend more tolerable.

After the retreat, Thaisa* and I hung out with alumni and friends in the area; I actually got some schoolwork done, since I was conscientiously grabbing every little segment of time that I could on either side of the retreat. But there was also time for relaxing comradery and for catching up on everyone's lives.

Today, Monday, we travelled from 5am until 1:30pm to get home. As we flew, so did the time. We had never talked in great depth before, but there has always been (as far as I know) a mutual positive regard and friendliness between us. Even though we went to the same small college, graduated in the same class, and shared most of the same friends, we still did not really know one another. From the waiting line at the check-in counter at Detroit, all the way to the last train connection in Connecticut, it was as though we caught each other up on our personal stories. That sounds kind of heavy; in a way it was. I talked about some things that I have not thought about (intentionally!) for a long time. So did she. We each knew bits and pieces of each other's stories--it was fun to fill in some blanks and laugh at some misconceptions! We shared separate memories of people that we've both known, and momentous experiences that helped form who we are. The conversations themselves were not heavy. I laughed so much. I was completely unaware of anyone else around us throughout our entire trip. Periodically, one or the other of us would apologize for talking so much. I looked forward to each leg of our trip as the day went on, because it meant more story-telling and laughter.

It's as though I acquired another sister today.

*Name has been modified from its original version to fit your screen

Monday, October 17, 2005

Wait. Doesn't that mean ... ?

One of my classmates IM'd me this evening about a meeting we scheduled with one of our professors tomorrow. Of course, the chatting continued in the typical disconnected way of IM-ing into other subject areas, such as our research topics for Thursday, the lab coats we need for our clinical rotations tomorrow morning, and chicken dinners needing the neighbors' freezer. (ok, what?)

Then she told me she ran 3 miles today (it was a gorgeous day for it, I noticed, as I was driving down to work this afternoon), ending with, "I knew you would be proud of me."

Naturally, I expressed how glad I was for her, with a twinge of jealousy and a firm resolution not to press snooze in the morning when my "early run" alarm sounds.

"You're such a great running buddy," she continued. "I wish the weather was getting warmer and not colder, though."

Wait a minute. To be a great running buddy, first one has to run in a semi-consistent way. Sad to say, it has been about 2 weeks since my last run, and I don't know when I last ran consistently, nevermind semi-consistently!
The next requirement (I thought) for being a great running buddy was running with a buddy - particularly, the buddy who is making comment on my greatness. Hmmm. Janel and I ran together last in April. And yes, it was great. Spring fever time in New England, you know... But still, we've only been able to coordinate our schedules like that about 3 times.
Lastly, greatness. Well, we won't even go there.

Inspiration to live up to my apparent reputation of "great running buddy."

Yikes. bedtime, anyone?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


The weather looked a little iffy, so instead of going to the big Columbus Day parade on 5th Avenue, we took the kids to the Museum of Modern Art.

We parked about 5 blocks away (The MoMA is between 5th and 6th avenue, on 53rd, so we wanted to avoid the parade crowds). Kris (mom) confidently led the way, clutching the hand of 5 year-old Ellen jumping up and down beside her, while carrying on a conversation about NYC architecture with her 10 year-old, Henry. I followed with 9 year-old Andrew, pushing his manual wheelchair. What a challenge! Kris laughed as I discovered the "joys" of getting that vehicle around. Even with the "ramped" sidewalks on the far ends of the crosswalks, I had to tip the chair back to clear the 1-inch edges. I even had to tip it back for some of the sidewalk cracks, they were so big! Then we hit construction, where the walkway was carefully detoured off a curb into the street. At this point, Kris took over driving, and I grabbed Ellen's hand. Kris was a sight to behold--quite the expert with maneuvering (she's been doing it for 9 years!)--while chatting away with her children, pointing out all the interesting things to notice on the streets of the city.

The museum itself was not my favorite experience. There were the proverbial "modern art" circles and triangles "depicting origin and creation." But there was also Van Gogh's Starry Night, and it was fun to see some pointalism. Kris, Henry, and Ellen found Water Lilies, but Andrew and I never got there; we were very busy finding the works that displayed a headphone symbol next to them, so that Andrew could key it into his handheld listening device and hear the explanations. We saw several Picasso's, since they had the most entertaining kids' explanations, making him "find" things hidden in the paintings.

After lunch, Henry and I wandered around on the Architecture and Design floor, then rested in the sculpture garden, where he turned to me and said, "I think everything has art in it." That made for an interesting exchange. I couldn't help but wonder if that is what a child of 10 is forced to conclude when he is shown circles and triangles on canvas, blocks of stone with obscure titles, and stick figurines inside frames of buildings, and told that they are "art."

My worries about his plastic young mind were eased when we went inside. His favorite thing in the museum turned out to be an old airport schedule on the wall that "flipped" successive tiles to change the information display. He was fascinated when I taught him how to read the military time, and wanted to guess the country of each destination (Milan, Innsbruck, Bordeaux,...). We watched it flip once, then waited another 10 minutes to see if it would do it again, before meeting up with the rest of the family! (it didn't)

No traffic on the way home; the whole day went smoothly. It was a fun time to just be with Kris and the kids, without having to make sure everyone's homework was done or that all the schedules were coordinated.

And the best part is, I don't have school again until Wednesday!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Why I get out of bed

Every morning I wake up and think:

"This day, two years from now, I will have my doctorate in physical therapy."

Sometimes I add,
"...and I will be living in Colorado."

That last thought is generally reserved for the really tough mornings!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Cutting Edge

We're studying rehabilitation of patients immediately after amputation....including prosthetic prescription and fitting, and gait training. Amazing stuff. I found this article which talks about the number of military needing amputation due to our current involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Interesting how the article downplays the statistical shift of fewer deaths and increased amputations. It likes to focus on the "increased amputations" part alone, as if the government is conspiring to chop up her servicemen and then hide them from the public. Hello!!! Why do you think there's a lower mortality rate, people? Instead of dying, injured people are surviving--but they still need specialized care from their injuries. Amputation is traumatic, yes, but it's not death!

Anyway, apparently the Dept. of VA is paying for research, and coming up with tons of new prosthetic techonology. It's an exciting time to be working in that area.

Instead of looking at outpatient clinics for my orthopedics rotation next summer, I'm starting to look at VA hospital affiliations. I think I'd learn so much more; I would not get bored! Unfortunately, even with my cross-country networking, the "best ones" are in places where I know no one!

For example:
"You would love the PT down at the VA hospital in Florida," Sal tells me. "He's been practicing for over 35 years, and he's seen everything. He participated in Doctors without Boundaries, ...." and then she proceeded to tell me about one of his particular experiences in the backcountry of Africa.

Florida, though. I don't know anyone in Florida.

(Don't worry, Mom. I'm meeting with Mike next week to discuss the Centennial State preference.)

Ahhh, at least I know already where I want to live....