Monday, August 27, 2007

First day!

As first days go, this was among the best.

I woke up early with an adrenaline rush and watched the sun rise (or rather, the reflection of the sunrise; my room faces west). Made myself a proper breakfast and spent the morning running last-minute errands: getting my name pin fixed, picking up my anatomy book and white coat, things like that.

We only had class from 10-12 today, with a five-minute break between the lectures. It wasn't too difficult; they are starting off with college-level biochemistry, which I majored in. Aside from a very few numerical details, I had seen the material before. I guess that's why they say college biochem helps in med school. Granted, in one hour we covered about two weeks' worth of college material, but the familiarity helps get things settled.

In the afternoon I went grocery shopping to a new store. Had to hike through Harlem to get there, through an area that looked like the Jets and the Sharks were just around the corner, snapping their fingers and dancing like the extremely fey gang members they are. Definitely wouldn't want to go there at night, but the selection and cost was worth it.

I also cooked today! I'm very proud of myself, even if it was just and pasta. Cooking makes a nice break from studying. I think I'll be doing a lot of it.

And I just watched a beautiful crimson sunset over the Hudson as lights shone on the George Washington Bridge and a canoe paddled downriver. God, I love this place.

Now playing: Mark O'Connor - Butterfly's Day Out
via FoxyTunes

Friday, August 24, 2007

Orientation Week

As Orientation winds down, I finally have a moment to stop and reflect on the past week. Since I moved in on Sunday, I've had a wonderful time. Can hardly believe I was afraid of this place, because the last week confirms that I did, in fact, make the right decision.

Mostly they've kept us busy exploring the city -- I've been to MoMA and The Lion King, both of which were fantastic -- and they've talked at us a great deal. We had a curriculum overview and an administrative overview and a safety overview and a financial aid overview and just about every other overview you could possibly think of. Also lots of free stuff -- mugs and pens and food. That last is most important, because we have neither a dining hall nor a kitchen.

Yesterday we broke into small groups and discussed the Hippocratic Oath. The version we'll be reading later today at our White Coat Ceremony was revised in 1928, so it's certainly more modern than swearing by Apollo, but it paints a very idealistic picture. (I guess that's kind of the point of the Hippocratic Oath....) The fourth-years who led the discussions told us a little about the reality of seeing patients and how the Oath can be ambiguous.

Some people in my class had trouble with the implication that we as future physicians are held to a higher moral standard than the rest of society. The Oath says, "my holding myself aloof from wrong, from corruption, from the tempting of others to vice," and one guy called it a "holier-than-thou" attitude. I don't think that's the case. Coming from the University, where Honor is queen (and Jefferson is king), I think that the Oath is just reminding us -- everyone -- that we should live ethically and honorably.

On a lighter note, a bunch of us were playing Taboo last night, and the clue was "When you pee, it comes out of this." My friend L immediately guessed "urethra." The word was "bladder," but we're such nerds.

I think I'm going to like it here.