Cancelled Christmas

My brother is in his fourth and final year of medical school. He only has six months left before he’s officially a doctor! As part of his last year, he is flying to different hospitals all over the country for residency interviews. He was back home late last week for less than three days. He flew back to school early Sunday morning. He has a big exam a few days after Christmas, so he decided not to spend Christmas at home.

This is the first Christmas for which my brother will be away from home. Since my brother’s birthday is around this time as well, my family has always celebrated both Christmas and my brother’s birthday together. Knowing my brother will be away, my mom has been feeling less inclined to host a big Christmas party for my extended family (she gets tired just thinking about it), so she decided to cancel the party (I like to say she cancelled Christmas). Only my sister and my brother-in-law (still sounds weird to say a year after the wedding) will be coming over for a much simpler gathering for immediate family.

I don’t really mind not having a big party (less presents to buy), but not having my brother home will be a strange feeling. It’s a feeling I might have to get used to, though; I don’t think my brother coming home for Christmas will get any easier once he’s a full fledged doctor.


3 Responses to “Cancelled Christmas”

  1. Monte Says:


    This is kind of unrelated to anything your posted, but I’ve been following your blog for a while. I’m curious, in light of recent economic recession in U.S., how do you feel about employment after earning M.S. in Statistics? What are the employment prospects for graduates in your cohort anyway?



    • normalboy Says:

      Hi Monte,

      Thanks for following the blog! I really appreciate it.

      From what I’ve heard, statistics is in high demand, regardless of the economy. There are unprecedented amounts of data being generated and collected now, thanks to the relatively recent advances in computers and the internet, and there aren’t enough people who know how to appropriately interpret it all. I shouldn’t have much problem finding a job, or at least getting interviews, after earning my masters degree. Getting a degree from Prestigious University doesn’t hurt either.

      What do you mean by “your cohort?” I don’t understand what that means in this context…

      • Monte Says:

        Thanks for replying, I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season. I should have been clearer with my question – ‘cohort’ can certainly mean a number of things.

        I really meant the unique economic gestalt that your generation is facing. You, I gather, are in your late 20s, going for second masters with some work experience. I suppose too that you seek to apply yourself in the business world. The turbulence of economy nowadays is tremendous, choosing the right ‘direction’ is a daunting task.

        Working with data is something I do often, though on a lower level than a statistician would want. Let’s say you’ve got a statistical analysis assignment and data resides on disparate RDBMS. Your first task will be to ascertain data integrity and construct necessary queries to get the dataset(s) ready for analysis. I’m curious if statistical training you receive prepares you for that part of the task.

        Another important application of statistical discipline, as I see it, lies in simulation modeling and digestion of derived data. Again, the first part would require a good deal of training in C++ or other language and then, a statistician would join in.

        I’m really curious about all of this as North American economy seems to shift away from manufacturing processes where there is typically a chief application of statistical knowledge. It’d be interesting to learn how faculty at your school adapt to these changes and what are your thoughts about all of this anyway.



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