Thursday, June 21, 2007

Why I should have gone to medical school

Ever had commiseration unrequited? Like you're dieting and you smile at the dieter next to you also chewing on a celery stalk while your counterparts are biting into something delightful like Chocolate Mud Pie, and you turn to them and say, Ugh dieting bites! To which they smile and respond, Really? I love celery! Dieting is fun!

Sometimes when I've been studying too long in one spot I hop over to Starbucks which, despite the hype, isn't very student friendly. The tables are tiny and teetering and you can barely balance a book. But there is one table, the coveted table large enough to strew all your books casually across and still have space for your laptop. In my local Starbucks that spot is typically coveted by two: Me and Chipper Med Student (let's call him Chip). We both want that table and we both know it. Sometimes I get there first, sometimes he does, but the look of sadness as the other sits at a teetering table is no laughing matter. The desire for the table is indeed intense.

Trudging over today I saw to my delight that the table was empty! As I sat down with book and highlighter in hand I looked up to see Chip as he sighed ready to put his computer on a precariously teetering table. I felt bad. I only had one book today, surely I can let him use the table today. So I smiled and waved him over letting him know. A smile burst over his face as though I had informed he was the new emperor of Rome and as shuffled his books over and we made the switch we had a little chat.

Chip: Whatcha studying for?

Me: The bar exam, what about you?

Chip: Boards, Step one.

Me: Oh wow. Thats a lot of work I'm sure.

Chip: Yeah, I pull ten hour days more than I count.

Me: Yeah its terrible huh

Chip: Pardon?

Me: You know, studying on beautiful summer days like this, it stinks.

Chip: Really? I love studying! Its so much fun.

Me: *figuring that MUST be sarcasm I laugh* yeah.... so much fun!

Chip: Mistaking my shared sarcasm for shared enthusiasm. I know! I mean, you just like, sit there, and you just soak up all this knowledge and all these facts! Its so refreshing.

Me: Staring back at his cheerful face and realizing this man is perhaps quite unstable, and why don't I listen to my mom and not talk to strangers, I smile and nod as I carefully pick up my books and tiptoe away.

Maybe studying for Boards is as fun as sitting by a pool sipping halal frozen daiquiris, I guess I can't speak to that, but studying for the Bar ten hours a day while drinking subpar coffee is not how I'd choose to spend my day. But maybe that's just me.

9 comments:

Bee Amma said...

lame is it may sound....and as much as i moaned about being stressed about medical school....i reallyu did relish studying...It's so satisfying learning new things!

and now med school is over and i am a student no more...i am sure i shall mourn for the days i sat with a book all day!

Anonymous said...

Nerd !!

Mystic

youngMuslimah said...

that guy u met was probably a nerd ... but nothing abnormal in liking studying.. If you really want to do well in what u want to do, you hv to like what u r doing.

Tee said...

I guess this guy just REALLY loves what he is doing.

I mean, if I had to study for a huge exam on cultures around the world, it would be awesome to me because that is what I LOVE to read about... Maybe this guy just really LOVES reading about medical stuff.

Don't feel bad. You don't have to enjoy the studying :)

Aisha said...

Hey all, you know I think that there a few factors. I know not all med students love the board as I have close friends and sibling who are going/have gone through it. But I think one key is that those who have other obligations can't give themselves 100% to their studies you know? Like my brother is doing a PhD at the same time and his lab work fr it doesnt stop while he's studying so though learning may be fun or whatever there are so many other obligations. For me, I'm thinking of the house we're trying to get ready, the cooking that hasnt been done yet, the laundry that needs to be sorted, etc etc. There is so much else to be done. Also, I dont know what the subject matter is of med students, but for law students, I am not learing a SINGLE topic that I will use in my practice. I guess the skill of concentration and stamina will stay with me, but the things i'm learning like criminal law, and property, and contracts law are not things I intend to practice but things I must know with meticulous detail. Its very unmotivating you know? Constitutional Law is very interesting to me though but its one subject out of 10+ so whatcha gonna do? :)

Chorna said...

Hah... When I was studying, I hated it. But in retrospect it's an experience I want to continue throughout my life because learning new things that you're genuinely interested in - in ways that don't feel like chores - is what life should feel like.

By the way, your security code thingy asked me to type: "jiszzse".

I'm not saying anything...!!

HijabMan said...

Your last few posts have got me laughing uproariously :)

Thank you.

will comment better soon. running around

peace Aisha!

sabir said...

I think your instinct was correct; people who claim to enjoy studying are either lying or mentally unstable.

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