雨の日、晴れの時

While walking from the ATM at the campus center yesterday, I found two adorable little mangoes that had fallen from a tree near the seaside deck. They were perfectly ripe, plump and blushing, so I picked them up and took them with me to classroom 1, where I spent the bulk of my day, trying to make sense of all the histology lectures we’ve had over the past three weeks. Prior to that, I spent 2 hours in the anatomy lab, going over the muscles, nerves, arteries and clinical correlates we’d covered since the beginning of the semester. Foolishly, I hadn’t worn my scrubs and while I was poking around the muscles of the erector spinae, some body juice splashed down the leg of my favorite pair of jeans. I can still smell it. Guess these are the breaks…

Having been here for a month, I find myself occasionally reflecting on the good and bad of being at Ross. Attending med school on Dominica is kind of like being at a nature retreat. The beach is literally right in our backyard. Walking to and from campus and the annex provides good exercise. Succulent tropical fruit is available in abundance (and is cheaper than less-healthy snacks). Discounting the sleep-deprivation, caffeine consumption and other bad habits of typical med school students, it’s almost impossible not to live a healthier life. Unlike some Caribbean islands, Dominica isn’t overrun by tourists. It’s peaceful, quiet, isolated – a perfect study environment. Air conditioning and electricity on campus are free. Most apartments provide cleaning and laundry services so really, all students have to do is get up, get dressed, go to school and hit the books.

However, idyllic as it sounds, sometimes I find myself thinking what I thought that rainy February night as I walked home from the Ross information seminar at MIT. It almost seems too good to be true. And it is.

Most premeds know that it is nearly impossible to fail out of med school once you get in. I’ve heard stories of people disappearing for weeks, going on actual drug benders, and still being retained. Most American med schools are really sensitive about their attrition rates so once they accept you, they will do everything in their power to graduate you. Ross will fail you in a minute.

People say it’s because Ross is a business, because they accept far more students than they actually have spots to place, because they just want our money. Maybe all of those things are true. I’ve met more than enough people who are repeating this semester because of having failed a course by 5 points, 3 points, even one point, and I don’t think it’s just because they didn’t work hard enough. Seeing repeaters is like watching those grisly videos they show during 5 hour driving courses – it’s frightening because you can’t help thinking, “What if that happens to me?”

As Mini I approaches, I’m trying to keep both the good and bad things in mind. From what I hear, Mini I is sort of a measure of whether or not you’re going to be able to make it through the rest of the basic sciences. It doesn’t get easier after the first exam but if you have what it takes to ace it, you should be okay. I know I shouldn’t be worrying about missing the mark because I’m supposed to be aiming for As and it shouldn’t be my concern that mere points can destroy dreams because I’m not going to be one of those students just barely making the grade. But still…suffice it to say that, despite the sand and palm trees, being at Ross is not a vacation. You have to work and you have to work hard.

For all my talk about diligence and not being “one of those students”, my mind isn’t in study mode 24/7. Lately, whenever it wanders from what it’s supposed to be doing, I’ve being taking little writing breaks and penning romantic vignettes. Strangely enough, the heroines always end up seeming like me. Here’s an excerpt from one called Initiation Factors:

She wasn’t the sort of girl who became beautiful once she whipped off her glasses and let down her hair. Her eyes were the same mahogany marbles, deep and intelligent, but still myopic. Her eyelashes weren’t long enough to flutter and she didn’t mess with mascara. Most days, she didn’t have time to straighten her hair so it remained, when unbound from braids or buns, in a riotous state of curl. She wasn’t the sort of girl to set saliva pooling in one’s mouth at first sight. And to be perfectly honest, dancing on the doorstep of twenty-six, she wasn’t even a girl.

I did give this one a steamy lab scene with a smart and handsome guy though. After such an unremarkable description, it only seemed fair.

Explore posts in the same categories: 1st Semester, med school, randomness, romance

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