Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Smoking Goat

After a five-month hiatus from work and school and generally all things intellectual, I have finally matriculated into medical school. I had a mini panic attack the first week when I realized 1.) that I didn’t even know what year it was, and 2.) that I had forgotten how to write with a pen; but by week three I had sufficiently brushed the cobwebs off my synapses and by week four was already contemplating that I could be verging burnout.  Although I haven't yet found medical school too insulting to my inaccurate self-perceptions of being super smart, the amount of information needed to be learned IS dense and immense. Anyway, while I am at most times remarkably good at complaining, on this occasion I really can’t say much but good things about my colleagues, professors, and program as a whole. It's been a while that I liked so many people in one place, and while I won’t traverse so far as to say that I’m happy, I am presently abstaining from prescription anti-depressants.

Instead of complaining, I decided to relay five randomly-chosen observations taken from the past month.

1. Tardiness: Ok, basically, there like, isn't such a thing. If my lesson for instance, is slotted to commence at 9am, I have learned that this actually means any time after 9:15. There is even an official “academic grace period” whose decree it is to officialize that fifteen minutes late isn’t actually late.  This fact also applies to the coffee breaks we predictably receive every 45-50 minutes- a "five" minute break is on the order of ten to fifteen minutes, while a "ten" minute break on the order of 15-35, and so on. Admittedly, my learning benefits tremendously from these brief pauses in information upload.

2. Burn & Sediment: During aforementioned breaks, one typically frequents an on-campus café for a barista-made potation, OR indulges in the (very delicious/awesome/fantastic) cappuccino vending machine. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I am absolutely fucking fascinated by this thing.  Even after one month of indulging twice daily in said technological miracle, I still find myself crouched down to the ground, attempting to peer into the machine's insides as if I were a pervert underneath the bleachers at a high school football game. Anyway, #16 is my favorite- cappuccino con cacao

3. Lunch Breaks: Ok this is crazy but, PEOPLE ACTUALLY TAKE THEM! And if somebody notices you working through your lunch break while mindlessly munching your panini, well, my friend, I'm sorry to say that you have just committed social suicide.  

4. Physical Well Being: Health professionals (easily spotted by their white coats and rubber shoes) shamelessly stand outside the hospital inhaling their cancer sticks and exhaling the smoke into the atmosphere of the very patients they just advised to quit. oops.

5. Emotional Well Being: According to a rumor I heard, the on-campus ZOO was installed as a way to catalyze tranquility for (non-smoking?) patients. There are monkeys, goats, parrots, lambs and copious other creatures that call the concrete jungle immediately outside my classroom, "home".  They screech and sing most of the day, everyday. Sometimes they are so loud that when I play back my recorded notes, the only thing audible is the animal (as was the reason the lecture was unintelligible in the first place.)

But anyway, this is medical school in Italy, and I love it.


Anonymous said...

I am delighted to be the first to comment on this long-awaited report. I loved it and can hardly wait to hear more and also SEE SOME ILLUSTRATIONS!

The Schumanator said...

And just think! If you had gone to Chico State you could be at home in your uniform: dirty stretched out thermal/sweats combo, and you'd be watching ESPN for the third straight solid day in a row because the god damn cable box is broken. Ah yes, we all find our calling.

Ari17 said...

oh my, I just literally laughed my head off.
you creepy coffee-vending-machine feticist!
I'm introducing you to the orange juice machine on monday, no excuses, we'll use one of our long-lasting carley breaks!