Posted tagged ‘poetry’

The Saddest Review Question Ever

August 15, 2009

Courtesy of LWW’s BRS Pathology:

7. A 78-year-old man is found in his closed room unresponsive in bed after the first cold day of winter. There is a kerosene heater still on from the previous night. On attempts to rouse him, officers note the cherry hue of his lips, cheeks and mucous membranes. The likely mechanism of his death was:*

a) accidental ingestion of ethylene glycol

b) binding of carbon moxoide to hemoglobin

c) hepatic necrosis with fatty change

d) inhibition of hemoglobin production

e) inhibition of incorporation of iron into hemoglobin (more…)

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Mini I

June 16, 2008

For anyone who’s been missing the updates (the two or three of you, bless your hearts), apologies. Today, I fought the first battle of the semester (a.k.a. Mini I) and while I may not have managed an A, my head is bloody, but unbowed. Actually, I’ll be perfectly content to get above the MPS (minimum passing score) on this one. I’ll admit it – I didn’t study until my eyes bled. I wasn’t a complete slacker but I didn’t stick to my schedule and it may have cost me precious points. However, the exam, but for a few completely out-of-the-blue-yonder questions, was fair. If I get all of the histology questions wrong, it’s my own fault for not devoting enough time to review.

So on it goes, with classes as usual beginning bright and early tomorrow morning. I opted out of attending the post-exam beach bash because a) they ran out of free t-shirts, b) my adorable new swimsuit has not yet arrived (:x USPS!) and c) I wasn’t exactly keen on cavorting with a bunch of tipsy classmates with whom I’m not particularly close. I did indulge in a lovely brownie sundae with some pals and that was enough unwinding for me. I’m not sure when the results of the exam will be available (will they be posted for all to see?!) but they will determine how happy my birthday is this year. Of course, if the results aren’t very good, at least the ‘happy birthday’ wishes from friends and family on Friday will cheer me up…

The White Coat Ceremony

May 17, 2008

The White Coat Ceremony was kind of a big deal. I didn’t expect to feel as moved as I did but the simple act of donning a white physician’s coat – the cloak of my future profession – was quite profound.

In addition to the faculty, Dr. William J. Crump, our keynote speaker, and several local dignitaries, the President of Dominica and his lovely wife were in attendance, as well as an armed color guard. During the advance of the colors, I couldn’t help but compare the national anthem of Dominica (Isle of Beauty, Isle of Splendor) with the Star Spangled Banner. Isle of Beauty is more like America, the Beautiful, a song praising the land and the people. Our national anthem is a fight song.

At the end of the ceremony, we recited The Morning Prayer of the Physician, attributed to Maimonides, the medieval rabbinical scholar and physician.

O God, Let my mind be ever clear and enlightened.

By the bedside of the patient, let no alien thought deflect it.

Let everything that experience and scholarship have taught it

be present in it, and hinder it not in its tranquil work.

For great and noble are those scientific judgements

that serve the purpose of preserving

the health and lives of Thy creatures.

Keep far from me the delusion that I can accomplish all things.

Give me the strength, the will, and the opportunity

to amplify my knowledge which yesterday,

I would not have dreamt of,

for the Art is great, but the human mind presses untiringly.

In the patient, let me ever see only the man.

Thou, All-Bountiful One, hast chosen me

to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures.

I prepare myself now for my calling.

Stand Thou by me in this great task, so that it may prosper.

For without Thine aid, man prospers not even in the smallest things.

First Week at Ross, Part 3

May 9, 2008

Today was the final day of orientation. After a few more words of wisdom from the directors of Student Affairs and an exercise in poetry, we walked from The Annex back to the main campus and went from department to department, collecting reading packets like trick-or-treaters on Halloween. The “marathon” has already started, so after this entry, I’m going to try to digest a chunk of the biochem reading assigned for the week ahead.

Throughout the week, we’d been given prompts during our orientation activities to write about seemingly random things: our favorite foods, childhood memories, sayings and in-jokes among our families. We were then asked to create a poem using what we’d written. I’ll admit it – part of the reason why I volunteered to recite mine for the student body was sheer vanity – I know I’m not the most brilliant scientist here but I wanted to show my peers that there is an area in which I am quite gifted. In any case, here’s the poem, full of in-jokes and references only people in my family would get:

The Breaks

Set off from grandma’s house up Dunkirk and down Linden,
dodging cars on Merrick
and chasing twilight to Lynbrook.
It’s warm and breezy and pedaling’s easy on a balmy night
in mid-July.
Sign says ‘Park Closes at Dusk’ but they leave it open for us –
We make rings around the lake, chasing flocks of geese away with
songs and raucous laughter
And after we’ve circled miles and miles on trusty bikes with tired tires,
there’s French fries and fried dough and if Auntie Sharon is home,
she’ll take us all to Bennigan’s – but we’ll have to listen to
K-Joy on the way. Oh well. You know what they say.
These are the breaks.


© C. Bass, 2008

Tomorrow, there’s a free island tour for first semesters, a final spot of fun before the start of classes. We’ll be hiking up to Trafalgar Falls and then we’ll head down to Scott’s Head Bay for a dip in the ocean. Even though my mom bought me the world’s unsexiest tankini, it’s sufficiently modest and it will have to do.