Life In A Cheat Code

Yeah, yeah I know it’s Saturday. You probably weren’t expecting a post today but since I’m going back to camp tonight to start my third week there, there’s no telling when I’ll have time to type something up tomorrow. My schedule has been in a bit of disarray as of late with the SNMA conference last weekend and with camp and all, but I’ve been able to keep on top of things…for the most part. So with that said, posting today is part of me keeping on top of things and making sure that I have something to update you with.

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The end of this week marks the halfway point of my time at Victory Junction. Yeah I know, it’s like I just started right? At least that’s how I feel. I’ve been getting into the groove of camp life and I’ve been having such a good time that I sometimes forget that I’m on a rotation. I can’t lie, I feel like I’m living in a cheat code lol. Although it kind of feels like I’m on a summer vacation, I’ve been gaining a ton of perspective these past two weeks as a camp counselor. Not only have I been able to put things into perspective while interacting with the kids here, but I’ve also developed useful skills on how to effectively communicate with them. These skills have been especially useful this past week, where my cabin counselors and I were tasked with caring for seven teens with various neurological & developmental disorders. While these teens were overall a calmer bunch of campers than the little kids from the previous week, they definitely came with their own unique set of challenges. To start off, the personalities of the campers in this group were very different from one another. Like, VERY different. As a matter of fact, they were so vastly different that the campers didn’t even have any conflicts with one another. To be honest, they all seem to be in their own little worlds. Their respective conditions also varied widely on a scale from relatively mild developmental delay to extreme developmental delay. And to top it all off, a couple of them liked to wander off on their own, with one kid having the tendency to spontaneously take off in a full sprint away from the group.

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It was a pretty interesting week, to say the least. The campers were fun to be around though, and I personally had a wonderful time getting to know them while they were at camp. I had a couple of inside jokes with a few of them and one of the campers even made a special handshake with me! 😄 (He only used it for one day and then forgot about it, but that’s besides the point.) I also found out during the camp’s weekly stage day (talent show day) that one of the campers was pretty decent on the piano. That was dope to see!

This week was ultimately shortened due to the 4th of July holiday, so I’ve actually had an extra day and a half of rest outside of the camp. I was able to go to the 42nd USA vs. Japan College All-Star baseball game in Durham (didn’t know this was a thing) and viewed some fireworks with my girlfriend after that painfully low-scoring game. In addition to that, I’ve been putting in some serious work on my residency application, some work in the SNMA, and am working on updates to the blog. I also need to carve out some time to review some Step 2 Clinical Skills stuff, since I’ll be traveling to Atlanta at the end of this month to take that day-long exam and all. Speaking of, you remember that CPX I had to take back in May? You know, the same clinical exam that I was forced to remediate after my performance on the first one of my third-year back in October? You probably don’t, but that’s okay. Well, I finally got my results back and I’m happy to say that I passed it this time with flying colors!

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Turns out that the extensive remediation that I had to go through helped a lot lol. It also helped that I was much more familiar with the test setup, and I also didn’t skip whole sections in my write-ups like I accidentally did the first time. As you can imagine, this score report is a very welcome confidence boost for the Step 2 CS exam that I’ll be taking in a few weeks. While I’ll still take some time to review key concepts, I can walk into the testing center on July 27th with very minimal doubt in my abilities to think through and treat a chief complaint in a clinical setting while at the same time keeping my patient comfortable throughout the encounter.

That’s a wrap for this post! I hope that your week is a positive one! And be sure to appreciate the final games of the World Cup, because we won’t be getting this for another four years. 😭 I can’t believe it’s already coming to an end soon!

“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” – Ray Goforth

– Black Man, M.D.

Second Time’s The Charm

After my scarring camping experience as a Boy Scout in 5th grade (I quit Boy Scouts shortly after this escapade), I swore to myself that I would never go to a camp again. And ever since then, I haven’t stepped foot on a campsite.

Until now.

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After almost 15 years of avoiding campsites, here I am typing this post at, you guessed it, a campsite. However, if you’ve been reading my posts, then this isn’t coming as a surprise to you. We’ve known for a while that my next rotation would consist of me attending a summer camp specifically designed to cater to kids with various chronic illnesses. And because I willingly picked this as one of my fourth-year electives, it’s obvious that the chances of me hating this camping experience are very minimal, if existent at all. You see, unlike my Boy Scouts trip where I had to face the wilderness with my troop as a ten-year-old child, this camp is moreso an oasis located out on the countryside where I’ll be alongside many counselors and medical volunteers helping kids have fun!

Kids from all over the country come to Victory Junction because of the ubiquitous fun-loving and benevolent atmosphere found here. This atmosphere is fortified by all the various exciting activites there are to do here as well as the engaged nature of the counselors and summer staff. I’ll be spending the next four weeks here, where I’ll be spending half my time working as a camp counselor and the other half working as a medical volunteer. It’s going to be a busy month, but I also get the feeling that it’s going to be very entertaining as well! However while I’m here, I won’t be able to use my laptop and phone as much because being engaged with the kids is a priority at camp. This means that my weekly posts will most likely come at different times that you and me both aren’t used to. My next few posts will probably come on Saturdays as opposed to Sundays, just as a heads-up. I get time off from Thursday afternoons-Saturday afternoons where I’m able to go back home and recuperate, which is why it’ll be easier for me to just post during that time as opposed to Sunday when I’m already back at camp checking in a new set of kids for the week. But it’s all good though, it’s not every day that I get to rotate through a summer camp!

The vibe that I’ve gotten from the people I’ve met so far during orientation has been an energetic and genuine one, which makes me even more excited to start working as a camp counselor this week! Most of the people I’ve met are either still in college or have just graduated, making me one of the older counselors here. That’s something that I’m not used to, for I’m usually the baby of whatever group I end up being in. It’s cool to be one of the older people for once. 😎 People like to think that because you have a few years on them, you must be way more mature and wiser. This is probably not so true in my case. But regardless, I’m not about to call my own bluff lol.

Outside of finally coming to camp, I’ve had a pretty uneventful week. Okay that’s partially a lie; I was on Hilton Head Island from last Saturday up until Tuesday and I had such a relaxing time while I was there! Some of the things that we did included going to the beach multiple times, eating some tasty seafood at various restaurants on the island, and hitting up a couple of bars.

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I honestly wasn’t ready to leave so soon, but my girlfriend had another trip to go on in a couple of days. Plus, I needed to spend the next couple of days getting my life together before coming to camp. I ended up getting a lot of work done that I had been pushing off and although I still have quite a bit more to get through, I’m confident that I’ll be able to do so during my weekends off this next month. I was also able to catch a few exciting games of the World Cup! I’ve found myself cheering hard for Mexico and Nigeria since my usuals didn’t make the tournament this time around. Both of these teams have been doing pretty well so far. Hopefully they continue their winning streak!

Alright, I gotta go to bed and rest up for what’s looking to be a full day tomorrow. I hope that your week is an eventful one!

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair

– Black Man, M.D.