Based on the events of July 18th, 2014
On the third day of orientation, our Dean was scheduled to give us a talk about our Class Profile. I had been up late the previous night reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (the most brilliant murder mystery in the history of the English language), so after 7 hours of lecture, I was snoozing in my chair, dreaming about an outlandish new sport that involved skiing down grassy hills…
The Dean arrived a few minutes later. He was the supreme Dean of the school, different from the Assistant Dean who coordinated the Anti-Professionalism demonstrations (see my “Professionalism” post from July 17th).
The Class Profile began just as I expected. I took notes only to keep myself awake.
16 Californians, 16 New Jerseyans, 39% Pennsylvania residents, 61% out-of-state…
Then he moved to a new slide listing all of the life experiences that accepted students had listed on their applications. He read the list out loud to us.
- Cashier at Walmart
- Worker at Hersheypark
- Bartender at church nightclub??????
The murmuring in the lecture hall crescendoed to an outburst of hysterics as the Dean approached the incriminating line of text. At this point, the Dean paused and turned toward the audience with the expression of one who had just been ambushed by singing Neptunian aliens.
“Bartender at church nightclub?” The Dean repeated. His chest shook with the force of his silent laughter until tears welled in his eyes. “I don’t know what’s more frightening, the fact that you had this experience or the fact that you’re telling me this…”
I silently agreed with him. The only more ridiculous oxymoron I could think of was a “hospital nightclub”… uniting a sanctuary of healing with the breeding ground of all Friday night ER visits…
The next series of slides detailed our class’ collective “Pastimes and Hobbies.” Not surprisingly, there were the sensible answers of “karate,” “cooking,” “baking,” “playing piano,” and “creative writing,” but sprinkled throughout the list were also some unconventional “hobbies”:
- sleeping (11 people)
- Netflix (37 people)
- eating (~20 people)
- “playing with puppies” – to which the Dean remarked, “That’s too cute. How could I not accept someone who likes playing with puppies?”
- performing parodies of popular songs while riding on horseback (????????)
Our Dean’s next slide was entitled, “Talents.” About 90% of the students had listed socially acceptable talents, often reiterated from the “Hobbies” section. However, our class primarily dwelled on the following “talents”:
- “pretty good at imitating pigeon sounds”
- “can blow up 2 balloons at the same time using only my nostrils”
- “I don’t have any real talents.” – at this point, our Dean turned toward us and said solemnly, “Now, that is just sad.”
- “ear wiggling”
As if “ear wiggling” wasn’t unconventional enough, another student had listed:
- “can wiggle both ears, flare both nostrils, and raise one eyebrow at the same time”
By this time, all of us were sobbing hysterically into our laps. I had a hard time believing that accepted medical students had had the nerve to mention their true “hobbies” in their med school applications.
As I sit here attempting to conjure up a deep, meaningful way to conclude this post, I ask my little sister, Nashat, for some insight. She says, “Medical school is for crazy people.”
Curiously enough, I’m convinced that she’s right.
P. S. For those of you concerned about the “church nightclub,” I found out from a reliable source that the nightclub was actually housed in a building that used to be a church.