Class Stuff

I dedicate this post to the recent mysterious vanishing of one of the few websites that preserved my sanity.

Truth be told, it was a unique website, written by unique people in exactly the same boat as I am now floating in, people who go to my school, share a similar future, and have realized the same things at about the same point in their school careers and soul evolution as I have.  Only I think I was a trimester early with the Bitterness part.  But, I digress.

This was a site in which a spokesman for an entire class with the gift of written gab chronicled their experience at our school as budding Doctors of Chiropractic from Day 1 up until now.  At the end of each trimester, they would look back and formulate an hilarious Top 10 list of moments and concepts they experienced and discovered during the trimester.

Now, the whole site is gone without warning, without so much as a hint.  For real.  I hope it comes back.  Trying to send it loving thoughts and positive energy (in case I possess such a thing somewhere) and encouragement to spontaneously reappear, I write this in the spirit of that page.  Not to be a copycat, per se, but to carry on the oh-so-empathetic essence of those pages.

My Top 10:
Apparently there are Unicorns in Dr Bodnar’s world.  He even said so.  But he encouraged us not to include that fact in our initial phone greetings.  During Business Principles 1 in Tri 1, he covered ways to answer the phone in our future offices–and also, how not to answer the phone.  He told us that we wanted to be genuine and upbeat when taking that initial call, but not to put the sap on and say, “it’s a great day at Bodnar Chiropractic; we have flowers and rainbows, and–God dammit there’s a unicorn!”

Funny part was, he hadn’t meant to say the “God” part–or probably the “dammit” part, for that matter.  It just slipped out, before he could catch it, and he spent the next several minutes trying to recover, while trying to cover up the fact that he was trying to recover.

1 – I won’t use students’ names (although professors’ names are fair game, since they’re on those rate-your-professor websites anyway, and believe it or not, our tiny school of under a thousand students is on there).  We were advised to develop our palpation skills by plucking a hair and putting it under a piece of paper (or a page in a textbook), moving our finger(s) over it to see if we could feel it.  Once we could feel the hair through one layer of paper, we were told to turn the page so that we were feeling it under 2 layers.  One of the cool guys who sits behind me was doing this, using a textbook that covered all things anatomy.  He was mindlessly feeling the hair under the page, not looking at what else was on the page.  You can see where this is going.  The girl who sits right next to him started laughing quietly and discreetly drew his attention to the page, which featured the basic surface anatomy of the male thorax.  He blushed and without looking, flipped back a page.  She cracked up again.  Turned out he was mindlessly moving his finger over a detailed female breast.

2 – Doctor school is sometimes less about anatomy and more about math.  You start calculating that if you make 75 on a lab practical exam and 63 on the final, you can still keep your B in the class.

3 – Guys look really spiffy in dress shirts and ties (dressing up for clinic).  But pretty soon you start to realize they’re letting the JC Penny models do the thinking for them.  Oh, and there’s that humorus phenomenon in the back hallway near the records room that if you’re a guy, you’re going to get your collar straightened up by the girls and if you’re a girl and you see any guy with a crooked or flipped up collar, he’s fair game.  Doesn’t matter if you’re involved with him or not.  Don’t worry.  He’s expecting it by now.

4 – You learn some interesting things.  Like how autism is actually not caused by the inhibition of a methylation reaction (due to the combination of mercury in the vaccine and a genetic encoding error–which is basically proven fact at this point) but actually by the inhibition of the right cortex of the brain.  Neat.  Well since all of us have our right cortices dampened by the left-brain dominant schooling process, wouldn’t we all have autism then?  Hard questions.

5 – Twenty-first century school is fun.  When I was in high school, we thought our school was hot because we had a phone in every classroom.  We especially thought it was funny when the phone would ring (usually an incoming call from the admin office) and if the teacher wasn’t there, a student would invariably answer it with something like “Domino’s Pizza, can I take your order?” and the class would roll.  Now?  Hell, we have a campus-wide wi-fi network, so everyone with a laptop can get on YouTube and stay awake amuzing themselves with Charlie the Unicorn.  Actually, it was a professor who introduced Charlie the Unicorn to us…he was trying to be cool and gain rapport with the class, so like many profs he started to begin each class with funny videoclips.

6 – Ah yes, Charlie the Unicorn.  It’s a hopelessly stupid cartoon short between several talking unicorns.  Charlie, the main character, is a wet-blanket crank and he is endlessly pestered by two younger unicorns who incessantly want him to play with them.  They nag and nag until finally he gives in–very grumpily.  He fulfills their request to take them to Candy Mountain, and all along the way, they’re making noises at different pitches.  It’s impossible to describe or spell, so I won’t even try, but suffice it to say that it became a very signature sound.  So during National Board exams, as some very near-retirement officials are handing out the Scantron bubble sheets, three people in the entire room start making that noise and nobody notices it except the 10 people randomly seated about the room who are just dying.

7 – I learned that here, if you try something and it doesn’t make sense, you don’t just stop doing it; you apply a band-aid fix that’s almost worse than the pre-existing problem.  And then you get all excited about it like things are going to be so much better this time.  They came to us with this 5-year plan of which they couldn’t actually divulge any helpful juicy details, but they wound themselves up in their own personal pep rally about how it was going to be really cool in 5 years.  We’re going to graduate in 13 months, and it begs the question–are we actually supposed to care?  We should sync up our watches so that in 5 years I can come back and have the satisfaction of knowing that my education was far substandard and that I paid Ivy League tuition to be a captive guinea pig.

8 – I must say, however, that in the midst of all my caustic sarcasm and ranting, I have to take a moment to recognize the talent we got to benefit from during our first year.  I was never impressed with the school’s admin or chain of command (other than the recruiting staff, which is suspiciously competent), but the faculty–save for a few, damn they’re good!  Too bad some of them are very close to retirement.

9 – Talk about counter-intuition…I learned that if you think you did well on a test, you didn’t; and if you think you bombed it, you did surprisingly better.  Every time.

10 – For some classes, it doesn’t matter how much you study; what does matter is how well you know the inside of the professor’s head.  For these select few classes, don’t put much time into them.  Show up to class, take some notes, get a feel for what’s subjectively important to them, and if you don’t know what to study beyond that, don’t really study much of anything.  Follow up on what’s important to them and leave it at that.

Well, there ya have it.  It’s not nearly as cool, funny, or descriptive as the original website.  In fact, it didn’t even do it justice.  But since I don’t yet know of any similar sites out there, this will have to suffice for now.  Since we’re only two-thirds done with the program and we haven’t even started residency yet, I’m sure they’ll provide us with much more material to, shall we say, critique.


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