Saturday, October 25, 2014

Enforced Frivolity

My academic advisor has confiscated my textbooks and readng materials for the weekend. I'm not sure he had any technical right to have done so, and if I really wanted to make a point, I could just study using my brother's books and materials, but I'm going along with it. Sometimes you can win a battle but lose a war, and that is the sort of thing I'm trying to avoid.

I called my mom to complain to her about the situation. She said that someone in a position to know obviously thinks I've studied enough for now, and the odds that there's some sort of conspiracy against me to allow others to catch or pass me are somewhere between slim and none. 

This weekend I was supposed to be traveling south to witness the birth of my Godchild, but that has been postponed, so unless the mother-to-be goes into labor early, I won't be going there until next Thursday afternoon. I've been told not to take any textbooks on the trip. I'll fudge a bit and take a couple, but I will not spend an inordinate amount of time studying.

Tomorrow two third-year students are taking me to the city to a couple of high level piano showrooms. I'll play Steinways and Bosendorfers, among other makes of piano. I have neither the means, the need, nor the intention of purchasing a new piano tomorrow, but the salespeople don't know that. I'll just play the pricy instruments for fun. Initially they'll be hesitant to allow me to touch their precious pianos, and they will inspect my hands for cleanliness before I'm allowed to touch said instruments, but once I play through sixteen bars of any given work, they'll relax and allow me my pick of the instruments in the showrooms. 

I may even try out a few violins if we make it to an upper-end violin store while we're in the city. Violin salessmen are even more finicky about allowing instruments to be played, as someone who didn't know what she was doing really could damage a violin. Furthermore, they won't allow me to tune the violins myself, and the salespeople seldom tune them precisely enough for  my sensitive ear, but c'est la vie. I'll have to make the best of their tuning jobs. Perhaps they'll at least get out electronic tuners, which are better than the insufficiently honed ears of the salespeople.

On Sunday someone else is taking me to see a movie. I have no idea what the movie will be. I don't really care. I have a tough time sitting through movies, but if I eat a lot of popcorn I'll be OK. Curiously enough, I can sit through live shows, and musicals in particular, just fine, but I don't enjoy watching movies in theaters. I'd much rather just wait until somthing comes out on DVD so that I can get up and walk outide if the movie scares, bores, or annoys me. Once I saw Cape Fear in a setting where I couldn't walk out, and I still have bad dreams about it. 

This entire setup makes me feel a bit like an unpopular child whose mother has to pay other children to play with her, but there's not a hell of a lot I can do about it. My academic advisor wields tremendous power over my future at the school. I'll just enjoy playing the outrageously expensive pianos and pretend that they actually belong to me. 

Perhaps I should suggest to my advisor that what really relieves my stress is test-driving incredibly expensive cars. With the way people drive in San Francisco, however, chances are that someone would crash into me, and insurance companies are capricious about assigning fault. Sometimes they've been known to determine a driver to be 25% to blame merely for being in the place where the collision occurred. It can be fought in court, but who has time for that? Still, it would be a hoot to test-drive a Ferrari.

They can take my textbooks and reading material away from me, but no one can keep me from dreaming about the content, which I will most certainly do whether I want to or not.  Have you ever had a really involved dream about white blood cells? You haven't actually lived until you've dreamed that your body is being overtaken by white blood cells. I suppose it comes with the territory of being the daughter of an oncologist and hematologist. It's embedded in my DNA.


  1. LOL... now I want to bake cookies!

    It's really something when you get told not to study while in med school. ;-)

    1. The cookies look grotesque and appetizing at the same time.