Story of the starfish.

4 07 2008

It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.Tom Brokaw

Starfish 05 (paulshaffner).jpg

I was originally going to write about something else, but after reading through this incredible blog I just had to write about it. If you get anything out of my little blog, then it would be to go over there and read some incredible stories. It makes me feel very privileged and I should be very grateful to be in a part of the world where I do not fear for my life, when driving a car, or when living in my home or going to hospital. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are and how much for granted we take many things. I salute the owner of that blog and anyone else who is willing to stay in countries such as South Africa and try to do good for their country. Very brave and very noble. Never give up!

Which brings me to the next point. This is an excerpt (or a cut out, however you want to call it) from this one source of a scene (or a passage, again however you want to call it) that I thought I will share with everyone (anyone?) out there. I got the inspiration as I mentioned from reading the blog and in particular the latest post on that blog. The owner of that blog actually mentioned “the story of the starfish” and I think this is referring to the same/similar thing. 🙂 Hence enjoy: 

 ………

The balloon lands in a small open area, on the south beach of Cabeiri.  You get off and the balloon sails back into the sky.

The sand here gets very hot in the daytime. The beach | [ ] – [X]      
carries on to the west and to the southeast lay some    |           \ 
cliffs. There are several balloons here that will take     |             [ ]
you to different areas around this world. A beach        |
house is not too far from here either.                         |

There are three obvious exits:  house, west, and southeast.
                   

The Balloon Keeper is here.

Balloon keeper says: Welcome to the balloon landing.  There is a sign here which lists the services available, I hope you enjoy the ride.

 
 
   

>”You go South East”

There is very little life here. The coast is rocky        | [ ]            
and the cold sea air blows harshly against your        |    \       
skin.                                                                 |     [X]
     
                                                                                         | 

                                                                                                                                                                           

The only obvious exit is northwest.

A starfish is here.

>”You look at the starfish”

>”Suddenly from observing the starfish, you rember the story told many moons ago…”

A wise man was taking a sunrise walk along the beach.  In the distance he caught sight of a young man who seemed to be dancing along the wave. As he got closer he saw that the young man was picking up starfish from the sand and tossing them gently back into the ocean.

“What are you doing?” the wise man asked.
“The sun is coming up and the tide is going out; if I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”
“But young man, there are miles and miles of beach with starfish along it.  You can’t possibly make a difference.”

The young man bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it lovingly back into the ocean, past the breaking waves.
“It makes a difference for that one,” he replied.

>”After the reminiscing of the story you pick up the starfish”

The one starfish is in your hands.

“You know what to do with it”

 ……





Pimp my … Cadaver?!

2 07 2008

I never knew it was happening to me. I read many med related blogs about it. The horrors of pimping seemed so real. Within the blog Med School Hell (as an example) I found many descriptions of horrible ogre like doctors, physicians with a need to see fear and sweet from a newbie, evil nurses prowling the corridors ready to strike and see blood from incorrect answers!!! I have actually experienced this pimping to a degree.

But let me get this straight. I am not a med student (not for 10 or so more years anyhow ha-ha) and nor is my course medically oriented (like a premed course as they call it in the US). It is a science related course though and there are many subjects that I have taken that have a medical-ish/clinical-ish aspect to it. Anatomy was one of them.

However, at the time I had no clue about any of this. I never read any of these blogs that have been going on for years and years, I did not know what pimping was (in the medical aspect), ‘LOL’ to me was ‘laugh out loud’ and not ‘little old lady’, and the closest association I had to GSW was HEAD SHOT HEAD SHOT in CS. I basically chose Anatomy over ‘Calculus and scientific statistics’ because well… who wouldn’t?

 

Head shot! Head shot! DIE TERRORIST SCUM!

 A GSW of a child from one side of the head to the other.

Note:This picture is the ‘least disturbing’ when searching for “gunshot wound in Google images”. Don’t say I didn’t worn ya.

Anyway when I went in my Anatomy practical classes I was like the chubby kid in the candy shop. I have never seen a cadaver before in my life (and when I first heard of this I actually thought of fish eggs) and everything was new to me. The green gown/dress attire of clothing was a bit strange but apart from that it was an incredible learning experience. It is one thing to listen to a lecturer all day talk about the flexors of the thigh, it is another thing to see the actual muscles being pulled like pulleys and producing actual flexion. Ditto for all the nerve innervation, blood supply etc. Thinking about it some more, this theory vs practical applications applies to more than just anatomy class but anyway back to the story…

Hence after poking through the cadavers and hearing a bit of a spiel from the demonstrator about this muscle and that nerve becoming into that nerve and that opening and that space etc, the head demonstrator came in. The questions commenced. Again I (and I think a lot of other people in my class) had no idea of this ‘pimping’ aspect and instead just called it the ‘gee that guy asked a lot of fricken questions!!’ after the prac. It was difficult and many times I got questions wrong and called an artery a vein and other silly mistakes which made me feel and look like a tool. He would go on discussing the anatomy some more and as we were all in a circle he would always go clockwise and begin to ask questions one at a time pointing to a structure and so forth. We were all nervous as hell and were all praying for the easy ‘what structure is this – while pointing to a muscle’ question.

Posterior Hip Muscles 3.PNG

Gluteus maximus. Tell me that’s not the name of a Roman general that has slain 600 men with his bare hands?

This went on for an entire year. Over time our head demonstrator gauged the questions and began to know many of us in what our personality is (i.e do we like answering questions, do we have a clue, are we clueless) and he fitted those questions accordingly. In the end though, after being asked more questions in that subject alone than in my entire undergrad degree: I have to say it wasn’t too bad. I mean sure, no one likes to look like an idiot in front of other people, but that’s life and people look like idiots all the time. You do not need a daily dose of YouTube to realize that. I suppose this entire pimping thing is what you make it. A me vs them or a well OK let’s try and learn some things.

Naive much? Maybe… From what I have experienced though it wasn’t the end of the world.

 

Stay tuned…