I had no idea it had been so long since I last posted! I'm sure glad we have RSS readers these days so that most of you can keep up with me no matter how sporadically I post.
This past weekend was recruitment weekend for my department. We invited a bunch of potential students to check out the department, see how they like it, and have interviews with our faculty. The weekend made me a bit sad; it really hits home that I will not be here next year to see this new crop of students. And I will definitely miss all the friends I've made here.
I've been doing lots of reading recently. It's a pleasant side effect of no longer being in a relationship (glad to have something to counteract the not so fun parts). In the fiction realm, I finished Middlesex by Eugenides and My Sister's Keeper by Picoult. Don't let the Oprah's Book Club seal on Middlesex throw you off; it's actually an excellent read. Come to think of it, I've enjoyed every Oprah's Book Club book I've read. I think she typically has pretty good taste.
On the non-fiction side, I've just started Overtreated: Why too much medicine is making us sicker and poorer by Brownlee. I'm only a chapter in, but it's been really fabulous so far. In the book, Brownlee lays out some of the problems with America's health care system as it is. The worst problem, it seems, is that physicians are paid on a per-procedure basis, so they have more incentive to complete procedures than to actually make sure the patient gets better and stays that way. While it sounds really cynical, Brownlee is actually quite level-headed in her book. Supposedly, she also discusses potential solutions to provide health care for all Americans without reducing the ultimate quality of individual health care. Predictably, from her thesis, one of the main ideas is to become more scientific and consistent about which treatments are necessary and which are overtreatments and procedures that do not need to be done.
I'll write a more thorough report when I'm done with the book. At the moment, it seems quite promising, and it's definitely making me consider the medical care I receive and whether or not all of that is really beneficial, necessary care or if it is care for the sake of care (example: the yearly CT and hearing test I receive just in case the hole in my eardrum starts acting funny. They're worried about the hole growing a layer of skin and filling with dead skin cells, which is potentially quite harmful. But I think that if the hole ever closed in, I'd definitely feel it, seeing as how I've had tremendous pain any time doctors tried to fix the hole). Don't worry; I'm not abandoning doctors. But I think the book does remind us that we all need to be intentional about our own personal health care.
In other news, I am studying for midterms and preparing for a spring break trip to DC. I'm also trying to decide what digital camera I would like to buy (mine is 4 years old, and the zoom just broke, and I've been saving up money forever for a new camera). I'm still really stuck on the "point and shoot or digital SLR?" question. Enh.
In any case, I should get back to studying. I'll hopefully be back with more frequency after this crazy week o'midterms.