Somehow Skylar's four years of medical school are coming to an end next month. "Wow. That really wasn't so bad!" I told him recently, realizing how quickly the time flew by.

He stared a monologue of aggression at me in return.

The man is tired, and has been since Year of our Lord (Cher) two thousand and eighteen. If you opened his skull right now and looked down into his brain you'd just see a lot of hammocks. I don't know whether that joke makes sense. I'm also tired. Give us a break, please.

One might presume that approaching medical school graduation would feel like a frolic toward freedom. Instead, it's more like stepping off of the Mayflower to work in whatever the pilgrims' version of a steel factory was. This is because of residency, which process for getting in, let me tell you, is the most asinine thing ever imagined by Oprah's America.

For the uninitiated, let me give you a quick rundown: During the first three years of medical school, the students have to figure out, based on honestly not a lot of information, what they want to do for the rest of their lives. It's not enough to wait until the end of that three years because they're also supposed to be doing research in their preferred specialty and networking with relevant physicians and going on the med school version of Mormon Trek which is where they have to go work a 6,000 hour shift at every hospital in America.

Then, at the end of those three years, they have to apply to the specialty they want. So, if you want to be a pediatrician, you have to apply to basically every pediatrician residency program in the United States of God Bless America, meaning that every program has a mid-sized nation's worth of people to sort through to fill their very limited spots. The application process sucks ass so hard that by the time you're done with it, no one has asses anymore. We've created an assless society. We have to sit on our stomachs now.

So we wrote the personal essays and answered questions in a packet so thick it has now replaced the Bible and we compiled all of the research projects and begged very busy physicians to write letters of recommendation we'll never see and we just hope don't say things like "Skylar sucks and he's a terrorist."

And our process was worse because Mr. "But I Like Everything" applied to FOUR different specialties that are not even remotely related to one another. As far as I can tell from the way his classmates reacted when he told them he was doing this, this is not normal.

So we had to do the application process basically four times on the absolutely zero time either of us has in our lives right now.

THEN the programs select a handful of candidates from the eleventy million who applied to interview. Fortunately, because God loves the gays, this year all interviews were conducted via zoom. This post is now dedicated to anyone out there who had to fly to their residency interviews in prior years.

Sky hated that the interviews were on zoom because he was worried that he wouldn't be as charming through a computer screen or something. But once he found an industrial strength ring light that I'm pretty sure he ordered from NASA, he seemed fine with the whole thing.

Skylar engaged in these day-long interviews for weeks. These were very inconvenient and I and the dogs were kicked out of the house during them to go off and wander the village in a cloud of anxiety that there was nothing else we could do to help Skylar with these interviews that will govern the entirety of the rest of our lives.

THEN, after all of the interviews were over, we had to rank every program where we interviewed from first to last, which was nearly impossible for Mr. "But I Loved Everyone I Interviewed With At Every Program And I Want To Get Into All Of Them."

After the candidates rank the programs, the programs rank the candidates and then some algorithm or that sorting hat from Harry Potter or a psychic from daytime television commercials in the 90s places each candidate into a program based on how everyone ranked everything. All of the students find out, together, at the exact same time, where they have been "matched." And that's that. You don't get any further choice in the matter. You have to go to where you've matched. No takesies backsies.

Match Day is this coming Friday and Lord I just need to get this over with so I can start to make peace about the fact that we may have to move an entire hoarder's house worth of shit to Elko Nevada or some such place this coming June.

Sky has set his sights on the most competitive of specialties, which, I have all the confidence in the world he is capable of getting into, but a lot of people are impressive and we just really don't know how this will all shake out. This news we'll receive on Friday is among the biggest life-changing moments from my 37 years and it's something I have almost no control over. So as you can imagine, I'm calm as a summer's day.

I'll just be sitting here on my stomach and twiddling my thumbs until then.

Please enjoy some Strangerville:

This time in Strangerville, Meg went to her neighborhood caucus and had a wild time, an explanation about the current happenings in Ukraine, and Eli launched a fundraiser.


Ukraine, A Brief History, by Eli McCann

Production by Eli McCann & Meg Walter

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