To be taken with a cauldron of salt, and a pinch of caution – as with anything related to medical school
One afternoon, Hermione decided to study for her GI exam in the same corner of the library as Ronald Weasley.
Fifteen minutes later, she regretted her decision. For one thing, Ron was fascinated by the widespread practical application of everything they were studying. Secondly, he liked to chant provocative phrases from class to help commit them to memory.
“Yersinia-Campylobacter-Histolytica-E. coli-Salmonella-Shigella make bloody diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, bloody DIARRHEA – “
The last part was catchy, Hermione had to admit. She soon found herself chanting “diarrhea, DIARRHEA” underneath her breath as she read about the medicinal uses of bismuth subsalicylate, also known as Pepto Bismol.
When she rose from her seat to take a well-deserved bathroom break, Ron began to recite aloud the physiologic principles of large intestine motility – as if she, Hermione Granger, needed a reminder about that. If she hadn’t already claimed her favorite armchair, she would have permanently relocated her study spot to the safety of the school Dungeon.
But now, at 11 PM, thank heavens, Ron was done chanting. He lifted his feet onto the table in front of him and started watching videos on the internet. Hermione burrowed deeper into her chair and continued to read in peace.
But then, twenty minutes later –
“That’s cheating! CHEATING!”
Hermione looked up from her textbook page on the gastrocolic reflex. “What now, Ronald?”
“They can’t just skip ahead five months without saying anything about it! Do you know how many things could happen in five months? You could fly halfway to Mars! Kayak across the Pacific Ocean! Eat fifty pounds of ice cream! Develop steatohepatitis! But no, they decide to skip – “
Hermione shut her textbook and sighed. “That sounds like a dynamic TV show.”
Ron grumbled incoherently.
“You know,” Hermione said, “as stories go on, writers tend to skip longer and longer periods of time between plot-related events. It’s different at the beginning of the story, because the writers are trying to develop the setting and characters, and nobody would trust the characters if they went missing-in-action for several months. But later, you need to allow everyday happenings to take care of themselves in the background. The truth of the matter is, real life isn’t edited in a film studio. Once you get past the thrill of discovering a new world, it would be horrendously boring for someone to watch the characters hibernate in a library. That’s why many decent writers refuse to churn out blog posts about sleep deprivation every other day. We have to wait until we can offer something new to our readers – something worth their time.”
Ron had fallen asleep in his bean-bag chair. Hermione scowled at him from across the room.
“And besides, don’t you have an exam to study for, Ron? Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid failing?”
Ron opened his eyes, blinked, and yawned. “Stressing about failing is a first-world problem, especially if it’s a class you could repeat in a couple of months. Just take a look at today’s front page of The Daily Shenanigans; read any of that with an open mind and it puts all of our silly little troubles into perspective. But I digress. I always digress. Back to bogus business.”
He reached back for his copy of Fundamentals of Pathology.
Soon afterward, Ron and Hermione were ushered out of the library by cold stares, fiery glares, and gasps of disbelief. Certain phrases that were deemed appropriate in a med-school GI class, unfortunately, were considered highly unsuitable for a public, family-friendly environment.