Sunday, September 26, 2010

Poseidon Was Pleased and Appeased

Medical school, as it turns out, is becoming more and more like high school. We are a large class, all attending the same lectures, and I'm pretty sure we're on the brink of just founding a Medical Student Gossip Club. I can only hope that there is a medical school prom, where I can ask out that cute girl who is in the "cool" histology lab group if she wants to match her corsage to my boutineer.

But as we revert into our adolescent selves, not unlike the last 30 minutes of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (slightly more tragic and just as never-ending), we have begun to embrace all things juvenile. Therefore, we all participated in the delightful medical school Olympics this weekend.

Pictured above: A team of brilliant doctors to be, who will eventually hold someone's life in their hands, about to carry a large, wet sponge in their mouths to a bucket.

At first, I was excited to compete in these Olympic events. I had arrived to the park just as the ancient Greeks intended, fully nude and ready to wrestle. However, it appears that tradition means nothing to my peers, and they instead wore matching society t-shirts. Despite these setbacks, I did manage to convince my society, Thompson, to sacrifice a large bull to seek Poseidon's blessing for victory in the games.

Pictured above: The classic egg-on-spoon race. The ancient Greeks invented this event, but later had it banned from the games. This is not because of its trivial nature, but rather because of its violent enforcement. The Greeks penalized a dropped egg with a swift death by fire ants instead of the more standard 20-second-wait we enjoy today. This is why Plato never published his lesser-known "Allegory of the Egg-on-Spoon Race." (Spoiler Alert! The fire ants symbolize human knowledge!)

Ultimate Frisbee was also an event, so I was quick to put my gangly, awkward frame to work. With years of frisbee experience under my belt, I kept us undefeated. If I believed any of my classmates actually read this blog, I would feel bad in saying that I was one of the star players. But since my Mom and Nicole are my only readers, I'll go ahead and show some uncharacteristic hubris.

Pictured above: I did not, however, participate in the sponge-biting contest. I had made a fool of myself in front of my classmates so many times before, I felt it would only be fair to give others a chance to do so as well.

But after the crabwalking, bearwalking, and crip-walking relays were done, it came down to the final event: human pyramid building contest. I expected that this event was secretly the "emergency treatment of falling-trauma victims contest," but unfortunately no one was injured. There will always be next year.

Pictured above: Their cheers during their pyramid were good (something about Cooper society being the best), but I always prefer more honest yelling. Something along the lines of "We're really cold out here!" or "We really should be studying right now!" would have been much more engaging.

In the end, my society won. Like the victory I secured for Krehbiel during my tenure as President/King for the Scholarship Hall Olympics back at KU, the air was filled with our classic team chant: "Cheat to win! Cheat to win!"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Possible Halloween Costumes Involving Bow Ties

1. Unfriendly Waiter

Pros: I would be able to carry around silver tray and wear white dinner gloves.
Cons: People would actually think I'm a waiter.

2. Bruce Wayne

Pros: I could make a lot of references to "The Bat Man," and how I think he's ruining Gotham.
Cons: I may be called upon to participate in fisticuffs with any number of Heath Ledger Jokers at the party.

3. Best Man at a Wedding

Pros: I could congratulate everyone I meet and talk about the "crazy" bachelor party I organized "last night."
Cons: I am not familiar with the details of Best Man debauchery, and my costume will fall flat upon any inquiries.

This bow tie will be worn some time in the near future.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I would probably also need a jar of leeches

For my medical communication class, we are reading an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association from 1927. It is so beautifully written that it pains me to know that I can never be an old-timey doctor. Here are just the first two sentences:

It is probably fortunate that systems of education are constantly under the fire of general criticism, for if education were left solely in the hands of teachers the chances are good that it would soon deteriorate. Medical education, however, is less likely to suffer from such stagnation, for whenever the lay public stops criticizing the type of modern doctor, the medical profession itself may be counted on to stir up the stagnant pool and cleanse it of its sedimentary deposit.

The author, Dr. Francis W. Peabody (he even has an old-fashioned name), drops an uncontested smack-down on teachers in his first sentence and then just moves on, as if daring the reader to contradict him. Further on, there are also several references to using a "roentgen ray" for diagnosis and sending patients home with a "tonic." If I had a time machine, I would grab a tweed suit, a leather medicine bag, and a pair of tiny glasses and head back to an age when medicine was both delightfully charming and tremendously insane.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Roast Boast

Roast success. Pumpkin, butternut squash, and garlic.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shirley Temple, shaken not stirred

The seal has finally broken. I have reached the climax of my sartorial evolution, now anticipating only a drawn-out denouement in my fashionable future. From here on out, my blog posts will be filled with the mundane. I will only write about boring medical school trivialities, and soon my only reader will be a spam-bot automatically adding comments about how I should invest in a Mongolian time-share. What is this great moment that will be the apogee to my existence? I have purchased my first bow-tie.

Pictured above: Now, I am one step closer to being James Bond. I already wear a high-tech watch (hour hand AND minute hand!) and objectify women. We both also remain inexplicably alive after many near-death experiences and have gotten progressively worse since the 1980's.

Now that I am a real bow-tie-owning man, I have no need for this artificial travesty.

Pictured above: This fake bow-tie is only appropriate for high-school prom or as an accessory for a dog marriage.

Speaking of black things I have just acquired, here are some airtight jars I found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They were discovered during my usual routine of walking directly to the clearance bin, shoveling anything worthwhile into my bag, and then unashamedly asking to use a coupon at the checkout kiosk.

Pictured above: All this for only $11! Their contents are (from left to right) water, gunpowder, shards of glass, crickets, mercury, and ice (now water). I'm glad that I won't have to go all the way to the pantry when I need to reload my musket.

All right. I've bragged enough about my bourgeois lifestyle for now; if you will excuse me, I've got some gourds to roast.

Pictured above: [grabs microphone] So what's the deal with pumpkins? They are so terrible, people would rather rip out their slimy innards and stab out a face with a knife than try to eat 'em. I'm sorry. You know I love you, pumpkins.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

That's Dr. Liar to You

Today in my medical ethics class, we all agreed that it can be appropriate to lie to our patients. Oddly enough, I seemed to be the only one passionate about using this deception in the future. Here is an out-of-context quote that will probably haunt me later in my career:

"I'm so excited to use medical jargon to confuse my patients!"

Seems fine to me. If you are going to tread an ethically gray line, you might as well try out some moral breakdancing along the way.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Patient Patience

For our Patient Perspectives program, we get a chance to chat with patients to better understand them before we become physicians. In my case, it gives the patients a chance to make fun of future doctors.

PATIENT: You look too young to be a medical student.
ME: Really? Why do you say that?
PATIENT: You just have a... baby-face, you know?
ME: Because I still have joy for life and haven't yet had my soul crushed?

We had a good laugh together, and as soon as I left I worriedly inspected my face in the restroom mirror. Do I have the face of a baby? Or worse, will I get the nickname Dr. Babyface?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beet Juice and Other Offensive Stereotypes

The ethnic experience here in Chicago can sometimes be a bit jarring. Back in Kansas, the closest thing to an ethnic festival was getting sushi at the KU Union food court or lying about how you are 1/32 Native American. But here, there is actual diversity! For example, I patronized this lovely Polish restaurant last week.

Pictured above: Come for the borscht, stay for the wall-mounted guns.

This establishment was clearly run out of the back of a house of an elderly Polish couple, and between the broken credit card machine and the static from the Polish television station, it felt like I had traveled back in time. I wouldn't have been surprised if the food was prepared by a team of orphaned children in tweed, trying to get their big break in the New World.

When we arrived, the Mom of the restaurant gave us all complementary juice. Now, can you guess what kind of juice? Why yes, it was beet juice! For a moment, I thought: "Wow, this is an offensive Polish stereotype." And then: "Oh wait, this is real life. Not a television show."

Ater eating our pierogis and cabbage soup, we visited the Puerto Rican festival, and my brother an I blended in about as well as the only two white guys at a Puerto Rican festival can. With approximately 264 varieties of pina coladas being sold, as well as a unsettling amount of food being deep-fried, I, again, began to question the reality of my situation. I mean, this is a serious ethnic festival, right?

Pictured above: Sure, the Puerto Rican Superman was cool, but you should have seen the Costa Rican Green Lantern.

Finally, I topped off my week with a delightful festival for white people. Well, it was a KU Football watch party at a nearby bar, so it was just like being back in Lawrence. Initially, I wasn't going to go (now that I'm a big-city elitist and cannot be bothered with the quaint athletic distractions of the proletariat), but my brother informed me that they were providing a free breakfast buffet.

Pictured above: This is what it takes for me to pretend to like football.

There also was free beer, but for me it was more of a "free chance to make everyone uncomfortable about how I don't drink".

Pictured above: My demographic is supposed to like free beer, right? Is it so wrong that I was more excited by the free fruit salad?

Anyway, I've got to get back to pretending to study for medical school. And what I really mean by that is picking out what tie I will wear tomorrow. Decisions, decisions.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Salsa Sobriquet

[Loud, pumping salsa music in the club makes it difficult to talk. I approach a GIRL and start dancing with her]

ME: Hi! My name is Sai!
GIRL: Hi! Your name is Die!?
ME: Sai!
GIRL: Die!? That's cool!
ME: No, Sai! With an "S"!
GIRL: Oh, Dice!
ME: Yes, my name is Dice! Nice to meet you!

[I will never see that GIRL again. GIRL also never sees DICE again.]

Saturday, September 4, 2010

An Entire Sleeve of Cinnamon Rolls

My first week of medical school is now under my belt, and my soul still has yet to be crushed. I was looking forward to becoming a soulless husk of a man, but so far my schooling has been entirely too uplifting and supportive. I did, however, appreciate watching a full episode of House during class. But I must admit that I am more of a Wilson man, myself.

Pictured above: Oh, Hugh. I can't stay mad at you.

Currently, I am relaxing at my apartment, enjoying some of my patented raspberry-flavored coffee. It is the metaphorical equivalent of making my coffee wear an ascot.

Pictured above: If I ever become a rapper, I want to put the line "Sippin' coffee from a dollar-store mug" into one of my songs.

Although I spent my morning buying butternut squash, an eggplant, two yellow zucchinis, and five banana peppers (for $3.75 total), I indulged in one of my more embarrassing habits: I ate an entire sleeve of Jewel-brand cinnamon rolls.

Pictured above: Multiply this by two, and now you understand my shame.

Last night, I was able to mingle with the other members of Castillo College, the Hufflepuff of Feinberg. The group of us were entertained by our physician mentor Dr. Castillo at his home, where we proceeded to shamelessly consume food and drink. I deceived up to ten of my fellow students into being my "friends." As I was draining their bank accounts this morning, I wondered if we had different definitions of "friend."

Pictured above: Dr. Castillo also gave us some sweet luggage tags. Next up, secret Castillo College handshake.

That's enough for now. I'm off to go thrift store shopping for some bow ties. A true gentleman should never be without two things: a bow tie and an assortment of fine jams.

Pictured above: What? You don't have an assortment of fine jams?