So I am in a combined MD and PhD program, and I am in the MD portion of my training right now. I start my PhD next year, but my program decided it would be just peachy to have us do a mock grant proposal with our future thesis advisers and present them for "practice." It's not like we have a dozen dense lectures to cover every week or the national boards for which to prepare. No, no, we have so much time on our hands for this proposal that would likely be more useful *after* the boards, when we begin our PhD training. So like the rest of my cohort, I've spent the last two weeks getting completely behind our MD counterparts in school (I've also been sick), while putting together a real piece of crap proposal. I mean, this thing is bad; I'm embarrassed--I spent so much time preparing it, but there are so many holes in the experiments I proposed, so many problems with the proposal. And now I have to get up today in front of faculty, post docs, and fellow students, and present this royal failure for thirty minutes! Just to add to my shame. And once that is over, is there any rest for the weary? Of course not, I have 23 lectures to catch up on. I love the topic of my thesis research, and with work, I think I could design some really effective experiments. There are flashes of interesting ideas in my proposal, but they need to be developed, which is something I can do when I'm in the lab full-time thinking about science and working on science. Until this moment, I had been looking forward to starting my PhD research. But now, thinking about it just makes me sick. Thanks so much, [my university], for sabotaging my academic endeavors with stupid, time-wasting, frustrating, and tiring pursuits that amount to nothing but a half-hearted "learning experience." OK, end rant.