This was the week of education and shadowing.
The education was a blur. I think it was Julie, our teacher and advisor, who described the quantity of information coming at us “like a fire hose,” and I’ve adopted that metaphor. What I see about myself is that my time as a consultant working with a lot of different kinds of organizations is being useful for me. At the beginning it’s all a raw mass of data with what appears to be equal value, and it’s my job to record as much of it as possible while learning the particular metastructures of this organization—in this case ACPE, overlaid with CPMC—and to trust that I’ll begin understanding how to prioritize information as time goes on, and that the informants (Julie and the rest of the staff, and my peers) are being honest in their sympathy for my plight of quantity, and will help me to learn to be discerning of quality and learn to prioritize. With this in place, I’m pleased to see I’m calmer with the academic environment than I would’ve been in my twenties or thirties. I trust it will become more understandable as the weeks go on.
Shadowing. The meat of the work begins, with less moving parts than learning the bureaucracy has, but the stakes for me and for who I work with are generally higher. Just as with the educational component I’m trusting my experience and my teachers, with the clinical component I’m finding I need to practice faith in my experience and empathy, and my teachers and peers, plus faith that the patient and G_D will guide me in each room. It feels like a dojo, over and over again getting to experience spiritual tropes and learning where they are universal and where they are particular, and how to fall down and get back up again quicker. Every time before I walk in the room I feel some trepidation, and I just try to turn that over to a Higher Power, to be a tool, and to be curious. Again, these rooms feel similar to my work as a consultant—I’ve spent a lot of time calling strangers to ask them about funding organizations, and each time I ask open-ended questions and really listen to their answers before trying to figure out what to do.
Trying to not have an agenda.