Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Yo ho, yo ho, a pathologist's life for me

John Paul III, my beloved friend, protector, and family member, whom I would not trade for any dog or, for that matter, anything in the world

I'm spending tonight at the home of my pseudo-relatives because my parents are chasing  wallabies and dingoes all over the land down under and trying not to crash into the great coral barrier while they (or my dad, anyway; my mom's probably too sensible to attempt it).  Even though we have a fairly sophisticated alarm system, I don't stay at home overnight all by myself. It sounds immature, I'm sure, and it probably is, but it's not something I'm ready to do. Two years ago I couldn't even be at home in the daytime hours by myself, so I have at least made some progress.

Last night I was too tired to risk driving the forty or so miles home because of sleepiness so I spent an extra night with Uncle Steve and Aunt Heather. I'll spend tomorrow night here with the pseudo-relatives again.  The Pope (my dog, Pope John Paul III, not Pope Francis) needs to travel with me wherever I spend the night.  He's quite friendly with the pseudo-relatives' dog, Pippa, but he and the pseudos' cat, Claudia, are somewhat wary of each other.  Once and a while she hisses at him, but mostly they just give each other  death glares the entire time they're together. I don't know if they'll ever be friends or even anything less than mortal enemies.

Today I helped my pseudo-aunt with reading through some of her legal material. I shouldn't really say I helped her, as she read through every bit of it herself as well, but she had me read and summarize it to assess my skill in that area. She's enough of a control freak that I'll have to read and summarize for practice for a long time before she'll ever just hand anything over to me for the real thing. That's after today's completely error-free performance.

I'm going to start spending most Thursdays at the lab. It's a light day for interns, the pathologist with whom I've been working has told me. That both gives me more opportunities and allows me to do more actual lab work while avoiding some petty jealousies of other interns.  I can see myself doing this sort of thing for  lifetime. Then again, in the third year of med school when students go through clerkships, where they work for roughly three weeks at a time in basically every branch of medicine,  available at the facility of one's residency, I may fall in love with some other branch of medicine. It's nice that I've found something I love doing. If it ends up that I love something else even more, that's even better. it's a good position in which to be.  For that matter, if Jude Alex's FB page administrator keeps screwing up, I could always apply to replace him. The guy needs one of those brush-up courses in reading comprehension, or he needs to show  up for work not hung over. I'm not quite sure which.

I haven't finalized my fall schedule, but I have a couple of general ed courses to finish up in addition to my recitals. I did most of my English requirements as honors/AP courses in high school, and I've taken several upper division lit courses, but it appears that I need to take at least one lower division literature course on this campus to earn my degree from here. I don't want to take what I've already taken in high school, nor does my counselor want me to do so. There's a particular lower-division lit course where you essentially memorize huge volumes of poetry.  You buy the book, which is humongous, and any poem or work of prose, of which a few are included, in the book is fair game.

I've had to memorize so much poetry in my educational career, in addition to the idea that verbatim memorization has always come easily to me, that I almost feel as though it's cheating to take the course, but I'm taking it anyway. "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" (AKA " 'Twas  the Night Before Christmas) is even in the book.  Some of what I've memorized is oral, and the punctuation has to be exactly as written by the author even if something else makes more sense, so I'll need to review the poets' conventions, but other than the precision in punctuation, I have enough poetry committed to memory to ace the course tomorrow.  It doesn't require much in the way of class attendance, either. Basically, the students show up for an introductory session and three exams, including the final, to write out by hand their lines of poetry they've memorized. It is possible to complete what is required for an A in the first two testing sessions and not even need to show up for he final, but I really need to finish this class with number one standing. It may make a difference in the financial reward I receive with my baccalaureate degree. Most people won't be taking the class terrible seriously and will be content with the lowest "A," but I can't take the chance of another overachiever being enrolled in the section of the course long with me.  I like poetry, and literature in general,  and reviewing a bit of it will be fun.

I'll conclude with a selection from Edna St. Vincent Millay, "On Hearing a Symphony of Beethoven." Ms. Millay is not even close to my favorite poet, but I believe she wrote a near-perfect poem with this one. Would it be disrespectful to use that quote about even a blind squirrel finding an acorn once in a great while?

Sweet sounds, oh, beautiful music, do not cease!
Reject me not into the world again.
With you alone is excellence and peace,
Mankind made plausible, his purpose plain.
Enchanted in your air benign and shrewd,
With limbs a-sprawl and empty faces pale,
The spiteful and the stingy and the rude
Sleep like the scullions in the fairy-tale.
This moment is the best the world can give:
The tranquil blossom on the tortured stem.
Reject me not, sweet sounds; oh, let me live,
Till Doom espy my towers and scatter them,
A city spell-bound under the aging sun.
Music my rampart, and my only one.

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome dog! I'm jealous of your parents' trip down under. It's on my bucket list.