Sunday, December 11, 2011

Violence, Slinkies, and Paper Shredders

I've been collecting the fun experiences we've had up here waiting for a place to insert them.  This is as good a place as any so I thought I'd share.

We have a class called Service Learning - I'm not making this up.  We did cover some epidemiology (how diseases spread, etc), but most of it was how to organize service projects.  The prevailing attitude in medical school is, "If we don't teach these future professionals to do something, how will they possibly know how to do anything?"  That's all very well for the board-relevant science courses, but not so much for topics such as human decency, learning service, and professional communication.  After the three hour lectures about service projects, we divided up into groups of about 8 people and completed assignments roughly based on the lecture.  One of these concerned domestic violence.  The assignment went something like this:

Why is violence bad?  How does violence impact the community?  What does violence cost the community?  How is violence bad?  Why does violence impact the community? Working with your patients, if you suspect domestic abuse what should you do?  (A legitimate legal question)
The entire class was summed up in one quote from the teacher:  "The goal of epidemiology is to allow people to live longer so they can die of something else."

"This is a jokey."  -  I don't remember what the 'jokey' was, and I laughed harder at his explanation than I did at his 'jokey'.  This came from our biochemistry teacher and bless his heart, he speaks 5 languages including Italian which is easier to understand than his English.

Where's my sad smile? - C came home from nursery with a picture of a face you can turn a frown around into a smile and was distressed that she couldn't find her frown - aka 'sad smile.'

A distinguished lecturer broadcasting from the mother campus was talking to us about healthcare reform, but began his remarks with a few words about great people.  "Steve Jobs was a brilliant businessman, gave us gadgets we now rely on and is a wonderful example of innovation.  Bob Hope - a comedian - entertained crowds and was an example of hope and optimism who helped my generation not take themselves too seriously. Johnny Cash was a fantastic musician giving life and energy to his audiences.  Unfortunately, all these men died leaving us with no jobs, no cash, and no hope.

One of the students in another ward and I were swapping stories and his trumped mine.  He is an assistant ward clerk and he was in the office doing his thing until he notices the growling of the paper shredder and the ward clerk leaning over it saying, "Oh dear."   Apparently, when he leaned over, the corner of his suit coat got caught in the paper shredder which began chewing his brand new coat.  Working together, they unplugged the paper shredder and extricated the partially shredded coat.  Unfortunately, the paper shredder was ruined.

What do you call a woman who can't have kids?  Unbearable, Impregnable, Inconceivable - I don't remember where I heard this, but it sounds like something my endocrinology teacher might have said back at college.  I tried to keep adding to the list, but couldn't.

About once a month we have a group of interviewees show up at the school seeking admissions.  It's kind of exciting to see the potential classmates, but honestly only one was particularly remarkable.  A good portion of the study rooms are reserved for faculty to conduct interviews in on those days so I was doing my best to study out in the hallway where I am privy to all sorts of conversation.  At the end of the day, one of the interviewees was talking to a faculty member about fifteen feet from me and about twenty feet from the stairs.  Concluding the conversation, this student asks me, pointing to the stairs, "This goes downstairs, right?"  It's moments like these that I wish my brain were sharp enough to thing of a fantastic "Here's Your Sign" response with a 2 second notice.  I couldn't do it so I just said,"Yes."  When I told Shelli about it later she suggested, "Nope, that's our slinky racetrack."

S and I got a good laugh the other night.  In her pregnant, fatigued stupor she reached over and began scratching my 'back.'  It was fine until she about ripped my nipples off.

"OUCH! That's my nipple!"

"Wait, this is your front? I thought it was your back!"

"They feel the SAME to you?!  Did you mistake my abs for my vertebrae?"

"Hmm...(after feeling my pecs) I guess it is different."

We've been laughing about that ever since.

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