So, I’ve owned this website and domain for maybe 8 years now. Throughout that time, I have tried using it for assorted different things. I used to write a lot of impassioned speeches and break downs of local news (gaining the ire of some overzealous students) and about national politics (things were bad and then they got worse in a way I did NOT predict) all under the banner of DoctorZulak’s Clinic. I wasn’t a doctor, and I wasn’t on my way to being one, though I hadn’t abandoned my thoughts on being a Ph.D in linguistics quite yet.
Well, things are different now.
I was encouraged at my last job to try taking a class. I took Introductory Chemistry at the Johnson County Community College. It was in the middle of a global pandemic (which warrants some spotlight time at a later date) and I thought I was going to drop it after the first two weeks because I was having a hard time with the math required. I practiced a little and I realized I was just fine at the math. I was simply out of shape, I hadn’t had to do formal math in almost 16 years.
I ended up getting an A.
With that accomplishment, and the fact that I had already finished a Master’s degree in an evolving field, I decided that maybe my thoughts on the future were possible. I had wanted to be a doctor when I was small, when I saw them help my dad when he had had a heart attack. The doctors fixed him up. I gave up when I got a bad (but passing) grade in Calculus II when I was a sophomore in high school. All my friends had done well, and they dubbed me “bad at math.” I believed it and decided I wanted to be a musician. Well, clearly, that worked out, and I went on to study linguistics, brain anatomy, and how we think about language. After that, I’ve been miserable. I have taken steadily worse jobs instead of incrementally better ones. I am over educated and under appreciated, at least as far as the work force is concerned, and that isn’t a problem unique to me.
I feel like now that I know that I could be, I am obligated to become a doctor. In a few very short years, there will be a shortage of physicians in America. There will be unfilled spots in hospitals an clinics and hospitals and clinics will lack the man power to reliably treat the populations of the towns they serve. Schools charge too much for education and there aren’t enough spots for resident doctors, the government will have to pay off the loans of future doctors and hospitals will have to get grant money to open up learning positions, or we will risk a severe health crisis on top of ecological disaster. I have to do what I can to help.
This space, then, is going to turn into a spot where you can join me on my trip. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like I was left behind by an economy not meant to serve me, and I am not stuck in my path. It’s not to late to change gears and become something better, and I think that that is a story that I can share.