|typical auditorium med school class, though not my class; I do not wish to make any of my classmates famous by publishing their photos|
Yesterday (Tuesday) morning as I walked into the auditorium for the start of class, I noticed Olivia and Bimbo huddling together. They were speaking in hushed tones but rather intensely to one another as was evident from their facial expressions. Their usual seats in the auditorium are not even close to the area where I normally sit, and I didn't wish to sit in a different spot simply to eavesdrop on their conversation. Instead, I suggested to the guy who looks like Kal Penn, who is even nosier than I am, that it might be interesting to know what might possibly have them so up in arms.
Kal Penn (obviously not the REAL Kal Penn) took the bait and left his seat to find a perch in the row directly in front of the two magpies. In university classes held in regular classrooms, students typically within the first two weeks of a quarter or term settle into a particular seating formation, and sitting in someone else's seat is considered an unspoken semi-breach of etiquette. With our auditorium-setting classes, we haven't lodged ourselves into particular chairs, but instead tend to sit in certain general areas of the auditorium.
The auditorium in which we meet for the Cardio/Pulmonary segment of Health and Disease has something like twenty-two rows of seats, most of which consist of twenty seats across. Five seats are on the outside of each aisle, and ten seats are between the two aisles in most rows. I usually sit in stage left of the aisle seating, five or six rows from the front, typically one or two seats in from the aisle. I don't claim de facto ownership of any particular seat. I just take whatever seat is available in my general area of preference. If every seat were taken, I would sit elsewhere.
In any event, no one appeared to think much about it when Kal Penn moved from the area where he usually sits, which is in my section, and moved one row ahead of Bimbo and Olivia, directly in front of them. He would have been in roughly row fifteen, dead center. I didn't suggest that my brother sit near them because A) I didn't want my brother to be distracted from the lecture; Kal Penn can multi-task well enough to monitor the magpies' conversation while taking in the lecture; and B) my brother sits in the center section near the stage right aisle, so I would have had to walk all the way across the auditorium to speak with him even had I wanted him to play Harriet the Spy for me.
During lunch break, Kal Penn told me that the conversation was largely quite boring, but that most of their talk concerned the Cool Guy in class (the one who allegedly first referred to me as Cutthroat Bitch) and whether or not he had noticed Bimbo and reciprocated her feelings of lust. (Those were his actual words.) They also allegedly expressed concern about the content of a test in Cardio/Pulmonary to be held on Friday. They would have been better off, if they're really so concerned about the upcoming test, to hold off on their discussion of Bimbo's carnal desires for Cool Guy until after the lecture was over, but that's just my opinion. Perhaps I'm the one who needs to be paying more attention and taking better notes.
We receive grades for tests, and everyone who wishes to be accepted as part of the group shows his or her returned test paper to others. Our final course grades for the first two years, however, are pass/fail, and we have no class rankings for the first two years, as it's impossible to maintain official rankings with a pass/fail system. Nevertheless, everyone knows what the grades are. It's common knowledge as to who's sailing who is floundering, and who is keeping his or her head above water if barely. The pass/fail and no-ranking system is designed to promote a spirit of camaraderie and to prevent cutthroat behaviors. for the most part, however, most of us attained the academic stature to be admitted to this school in the first place by being competitive, and it's not a trait that any of us can give up easily.
Bimbo doesn't show her test papers. I would assume her scores have been in the cellar. The only possible way such would not be the case would be if she really was a plant for some reason and was merely playing stupid as opposed to actually being stupid. I would not entirely rule out that possibility. Once there was supposedly a cheating ring at a nearby medical school, and the administration put a non-medical school student in as a plant to infiltrate the cheating ring. I find it unlikely though not beyond possibility that Bimbo is part of such an operation, as she's not tight enough with anyone other than Olivia to gain access to the inside scoop. If anyone were a plant, it would be someone like Kal Penn or the Cool Guy. I wouldn't care anyway because I have absolutely nothing to do with any form of cheating that may be happening around me.
I doubt it would be all that easy to cheat in this program, anyway. For tests, we have assigned seats in the auditorium, and there are roughly eight different versions of the test in order to make copying more difficult. The testing periods are heavily proctored. One has to be essentially admitted to a hospital in order to be given the test at any time other than when everyone else takes it. The main form of cheating that might be possible is that someone could have access to information as to what is likely to be on tests from a second or third-year med school student. That sort of thing cannot entirely be prevented, and professors are stupid if they float the same exams year after year without changing things up a bit.
When I entered the auditorium both Monday and Tuesday, a few guys hollered out "Cutthroat Bitch" semi-enthusiastically, sort of the way the people in "Cheers" call out Norm's name when he comes into the bar, in the form of a greeting. I half-heartedly slapped hands (I don't do fist-bumps) with those seated near my aisle and acted very casual.
I didn't get my cast of. I need it for maybe another two weeks. I was disappointed, but I will survive. I'm spending a fortune on the Febreze I have to buy to spray in it every morning so the scent of the cast won't asphyxiate everyone around me.