|Stephanie March as herself|
|Stephanie March as Alex Cabot|
I'm deadly tired after studying independently from 5:30 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. class, studying through lunch break, rushing of to an orthopedic surgeon's appointment, studying in the waiting room before being called back to an exam room, studying until the orthopedist made her appearance in the exam room, and then rushing off to a group study session which lasted until 10:50:. My brain feels as though it is in danger of imploding, but I have two midterms this week, and both are high-stakes exams on which I must do well.
The problem with a pass/fail system is that one knows that he or she passed (unless one is among the unlucky minority) but one never really knows if he or she really scored high enough. This non-ranking for underclassmen at my school in many ways makes the ranking all the more insidious. Non-ranking is b.s. Everyone knows we're ranked.. It's not official, but everyone keeps track, and God help anyone who finds himself or herself in the bottom third of the heap;. Maintenance of rankings or not, we ALL ("we" meaning students and professors alike) now exactly where we fall on concrete test scoring before, on, and after each exam. No one is fooling anyone. The non-ranking system is an exercise in futility. All it accomplishes is to keep achievers such as myself from ever knowing if we;ve studied enough. Much of the problem lies in the rankings that exist in professors' minds. These are every bit as real as test scores.
If rankings were official, open, and based on tangible criteria, worrying about what is going on in the minds of professors wouldn't be a legitimate issue. Yes, we all desire to be thought highly of by them, but the bottom line would be the rankings. With there being no such things as rankings in our flimsy pass/fail system. what is happening in the minds of those professors is terribly important. I can hope that professors' impressions are heavily based on test scores, lecture participation, Practice of Medicine performance (in addition to tests) and other definitive and perceptible measures, but it's entirely too arbitrary as it stands. If I'd had it to do over, I might have chosen to attend a school without a pass/fail and a non-ranking system for the first two years, but i am here and instead to stick it out.
I've ranted enough, however, about my plight. i'm lucky enough to have been admitted to a prestigious medical school, and I'm fortunate enough, at least as appearances would seem to indicate, to be thriving if not at least succeeding at said institution. It is time to speak of more pressing matters. I wish to write at this time about actress and activist Stephanie March, and the positive impact her career and inspiration have had on my own life.. Ms. March, a talented actress who portrayed (and still portrays, I think, although I rarely have time to watch) an ADA and/or bureau chief on Law and Order SVU, She has also worked on Broadway and in movies. She's a major philanthropist, if that is a correct reference for someone who devotes massive amounts of her time and anot insificant amoutn of personal funds both for the raising of money and for good works to benefit those less fortunate than herself and than most of us, and who often don't have much of a voice in the world. Ms. March's acts are so truly selfless that if I could someday find a way to devote a fraction of the time that she does to improve the quality of the lives of others, I would consider that I had just cause to feel very proud of what i had done and/or was doing.
I became acquainted with Ms. March's career through watching Law and Order SVU at an age probably younger than i should have been allowed to watch the program. The program reportedly first aired in September of 1999. I wasn't quite five years old yet, so even with my parents' somewhat lax standards, I was not watching the program at that point, although I occasionally caught a glimpse through the banister rails if I had reason to get up after my parents had put us to bed and were watching their post-kiddie nighttime TV faire. I probably caught it on the sly, such as when someone had DVRed the program and wasn't noticing if I watched snippets of the recordings on the sly when I was maybe eight. I was precocious and could handle most of what I saw. There was enough material in my actual life to fuel nightmares that the L &O sVU content did little or nothing to add to my state of paranoia. If anything, it only made me wary of things of which I should have been wary. When I was involved in a potential online predator situation, it was content that I'd seen on Law & Order SVU that alerted me to the danger of my own situation and gave me the knowledge that it was time to inform a responsible adult of my predicament.
My first impressions of Ms. March as ADA Alexandra Cabot were somewhat neutral. She was most certainly a kick-@$$ ADA, and I liked that about her, as well as the brains the writers gave the character. Screenwriters are not miracle workers, and presumably cannot endow an idiot with faux intelligence and have it actually play as credible. I would presume that Ms. March must possess considerable intelligence to have played and continue to play a character of such intelligence and depth. What was most noticeable to me at first about Ms. March (as Alexandra Cabot) 's physical appearance was her rather imposing glasses. it took awhile to see, beyond the glasses, just how beautiful she was and is.
It was at this point that I acquired the ambition to become the next real-life ADA Alex Cabot. I watched every repeat episode i could DVD and watch, working hard to get around my parents' weekday one-hour (and weekend two-hour) TV-time limit in order to catch up on as much Judge Alex cases and L&O SVU reruns. When I was sick or injured and had access to additional TV time, i also watched a bit of Judge Judy and The People's Court with Judge Marilyn Milian, but both of those programs were a distinct second-place to Judge Alex and Alex Cabot.
At some point during this part of my life, my aunt entered law school. I spent summers with her and had access to her law school textbooks, which I read voraciously. i memorized case law right along with some of ADA Cabot's more memorable lines. One of my all-time favorites was, "You've offered a provocative theory. What it lacks in substance, it makes up for in pretty colors," along with "He wouldn't be a single parent if he hadn't killed his wife," and "Petrovsky acted like I just killed her dog." My peers probably found me a bit strange in citing case law and quoting Alex Cabot, but they were so busy quoting Justin Timberlake's and the Bieb's lyrics that they had little room to criticize me. My parents, i'm sure, thought it was a phase through I would eventually emerge.
It very nearly ending up not being a passing phase. I enrolled in university at 16-and-a-half as an English major with pre-law emphasis. It was only after speaking with several unemployed bar-member attorneys and several public defenders and assistant district attorneys who were living paycheck to paycheck (my undergraduate university was in a high cost-of-living community) that I began to consider what my father said about my English major being perhaps a waste of mathematical and scientific aptitude, I switched gears to a biochemistry major, having fortunately taken several AP courses in high school that would apply, and having taken some pertinent electives in my first year as well. I tacked a violin performance major onto my exiting piano performance major and biochem major because an counselor told me such would be an ace-in-the-hole in terms of medical school admission as long as GPA and MCAT scores were high.
It's now clear that I will not emulate Alex Cabot professionally. I will still strive, however, to someday be a fraction of the human being Stephanie March is. It will have to wait for the completion of medical school, internship, residency, and fellowships. Still, it's a goal for which I can strive.
Stephanie March is going through what would appear to be a most difficult time in her personal life. Her personal life is absolutely none of my business, but still, I hope she weathers the storm and comes out at least as strong as she was before if not stronger. She deserves everything kind that life has to offer.
While both celebrities and real-life people we all know possess the same foibles and fight the same battles the rest of us do, heroes and heroines exist in real life. Stephanie March is one of them. Consult Wikipedia or any number of other available online sites to learn of ms. March's specific charitable causes and how you, too, can help if you so desire.