|probably more truth to this than anyone would care to admit|
|with my youngest professor, who is technically an assistant professor|
Good and bad can be found in virtually all aspects of one's life, and this current chapter of my life in medical school is no exception.
One good thing is that my cast has been removed. There was a possibility that I might need to transition into a fracture boot, but that turned out not to be the case. It took me two days to walk normally, but those two days have passed, and I'm no longer a poster child for some crippling disease. (God bless those who actually are afflicted with such maladies.) The cast was stylish, but even the best of casts will begin to smell at least a bit after a couple of months of daily wear. I mitigated the perspiration damage with liberal use of Febreeze, but I still noticed the smell even if everyone else was kind enough to insist they didn't notice it. In another ten days or so I expect to be given the clearance to begin running again.
Another good thing in my life now is that school is going well. I haven't yet been hit with any material that has been beyond my ability to comprehend or to memorize, nor has it been beyond my ability to make it understandable to my brother. A large part of my life has been about explaining things in a language my brother would understand. My brother is smart, but he has to hear things in the right way to understand them. My mom could not teach him to play the piano. I had to do it. I didn't really have to, but it's the only likely way he would have learned to play the piano, and I knew my mom really wanted him to play the piano. The guitar he was able to pick up on his own with some help from my dad, but the foundation in piano helped him to make sense of what he encountered in learning guitar.
When my brother and I were in our early years of high school, it was a tough decision as to whether or not to help him with academic subjects. Our relationship wasn't at its best, and anytime we had the same course section, or even different periods of the same course with the same instructor, I had to do better than he did just as a matter of principle, but it was typically a foregone conclusion that my scores would be higher. In the end, I would always help him. The twin bond is stronger than any rivalry in which we may have been participants.
If I sound cutthroat and mean in never allowing Matthew to outscore me on tests, assignments, or total points or averages leading to grades, keep in mind that he has excelled in areas in which I didn't. While we're both athletes in our own rights, he is superior overall with regard to gross motor skills. I can catch and can even hit a fast-pitched ball (baseball or softball -- I'm not afraid of either ball) as long as it's pitched fast; with a slow-pitch format, I lack the strength and timing to generate my own power in an effective way. I also throw "like a girl," so to speak. I recognize that it's considered a sexist thing to stay, and that there are very feminine women in society who are in possession of natural and skilled throwing motions, but one of my professors -- a woman -- said that it's an evolutionary biological adaptation that most males throw more naturally than do most [though not not all] females. Males, as part of their historic gender roles, have been throwing rocks and other objects at potential threats and at prey since prehistoric times. Such has been offered as an explanation as to why males typically [though not in every case] throw with greater power and fluidity than do most females. I run fast, but Matthew, with his longer and more muscled legs, runs faster. He doesn't hurdle with the ease that I do, but that's primarily because he has not put in the practice time on hurdles that I have. His gymnastics and tumbling skills are practically nonexistent, but he has neither the build nor the interest to succeed in the sport of gymnastics.
Further, Matthew was given or somehow developed a personality that I will never acquire however hard I may strive to develop my interpersonal skills. I'm not a total social misfit, but Matthew can be comfortable in any setting and is liked almost wherever he goes. i'm not disliked, but neither am I the life of the party or the person a host thinks absolutely must be in attendance for a gathering to be a successful event. I have to be content with treating everyone with kindness and hoping they treat me kindly in return. Matthew is kind to others, but people would still like him even if he were not.
Teachers in middle school and high school used to try to tell us that we were all essentially the same . Some of us were stronger in particular areas, while others were weak in those areas, but stronger in different areas. It all evens out, they would tell us. I've found that not to be the case. I've met people who are highly gifted in every area that I've been able to observe, and I've met others who are weak in every area that I was able to observe. (most of us fall somewhere between the two extremes.) Sometimes life isn't fair. All a person can do is to make the very most of his own innate abilities and to attempt to develop those abilities that are not inherent strengths if the person requires those abilities in order to succeed at his or her desired goal or goals, or the person cares enough to want those abilities for whatever reason.
Class is more good than bad, and is usually interesting, but there's no way such long lectures can be even 90% entertaining. Medical Practice has thus far been roughly 40% lecture and 60% practicum, but Human Health and Disease is almost entirely lecture. (A lab task is occasionally assigned, but it usually is to be completed outside of class time.) I've taken to wearing dark glasses and saying that I have eye issues so that in the event that I ever really cannot remain conscious, the instructor will be accustomed to seeing me in dark glasses. If any professor ever chooses to make an issue of it, I can get one of the many doctors to whom I am related to cover for me with a note explaining some nonexistent [in me, anyway] ophthalmological condition. Someone sitting near me may have to awaken me quickly and whisper the question I was asked, but I'm confident in the people sitting near me to wake me and in my ability to answer any fair question that is thrown my way. My professors so far have asked only reasonable questions.
I'm told that the time will come when we will face questions concerning material about which we haven't been taught and which hasn't been covered in assigned readings. Our only hope of knowing the answers will be having been in the right place at the right time when a related case was discussed, having read about it on our own, or somehow having come into contact with it in our lives. For this reason, I'm spending what little spare time I have reading articles from pertinent journals. Some of the material is available for free online, but not all of it is. I've subscribed to the online editions of three journals. Everything else I hope to access through the generosity of my dad, my aunts and uncles, and my former shrink, with whom I'm still in regular contact.
Another negative but expected aspect of life for me now is that I'm still dealing in a major way with missing Claire. The shock over her death has mostly passed, but there are still times when I reach for my cell phone with the intent of calling her before I pause to realize that she's no longer available by phone. I need to spend at least a bit of time with her family this summer.
Part of the good in my life is this year's summer vacation. It's my last real summer vacation until I graduate from medical school, at which time I will have a break between graduation time and July 1, when I will begin my internship. I was scheduled to teach calculus at a summer school near my parents' home, but I sent a registered letter to the principal and to the governing board giving my regrets and apologies that i would not be able to fulfill the duties associate with the teaching job. The money would be nice, but I have a respectable savings account balance. The time is worth ore to me than the money that I would have earned would be. In addition to spending time with my Godchild and with his mother, who is due to deliver this summer, i can spend time shadowing doctors in the hope of gaining that esoteric information that will eventually be most valuable when I least expect to need to draw upon it.
After year two of medical school, I'll have no more than a week off in summer. I may get an interval off during the scheduling of clerkships, and if I do, I'll use the time both to recharge my figurative battery and to vacation, but summer vacation as I have always known it will be history after this summer. It was difficult to say no to the teaching position, but the more I thought about it, the more strongly I felt that I would be earning money but little else. At this point in my educational career, there are things more important than money.
So as I approach my final summer vacation, I would like to make the very most of the two months plus change. I need to bond with my Godchild and his soon-to-be-born little sister. I probably won't be asked to be her Godmother, but she's still a cousin and a child to the aunt and uncle to which I feel closer than to any adults other than my parents.
I hope this summer doesn't pass by me before I accomplish all I've set out to accomplish. I usually meet whatever goals I've set for myself, but my mom tells me that this summer's goals may be too ambitious for an interval slightly under ten weeks. Time alone will tell.
|twins from different mothers|