1: The Meme. Interviews go like this: If you want to be interviewed, leave a comment. I'll reply to the comment and give you five questions to answer. You update your LJ with the five questions, include this explanation, and ask others five questions. Etc, etc, etc.
1. Why did you choose to pursue medicine as a career?
If you ask my mother, I've been doomed to be a doctor since I was very very young. As a child, I was the one who would splint or bandage broken dolls or ponies, hoping they would heal. All of my Barbie dolls from my youth have a matte finish, dating from the days when I poured red nail polish over them and played "accident scene". The acetone that cleaned them up also took off the shine.
I thought I would be a veterinarian, at first. Becoming a doctor never entered my mind as a young girl. I wanted (this is the introvert in me) to work with animals, where I wouldn't have to spend so much time with people. I worked with a veterinarian in the area, shadowing him and following him even to the OR, and discovered that I wasn't so sure about veterinary medicine after that. The medical and scientific aspects, however, were fascinating to me and I set about making them my own. I suppose that's when I knew I wanted to become some kind of doctor.
A fascination with novels and an aversion to patient contact sent me first in the direction of forensic pathology - a coroner with an M.D., essentially. And until my junior year of college, that's what I thought I would be. And then...(and then...and gentlemen, and then... [Now, Pippin, now!]) I went to France. And while I was in France, Doctors Without Borders won the Nobel Peace Prize. It was all over France. And I started thinking. And then I went to Nicaragua with Manchester. And I fell in love with seeing patients and their faces. And that was it. Since then, everything's just fallen into place.
2. Is there any particular moment of epiphany you recall, a point where at that moment you knew your life was clearly never going to be the same?
I've had a number of mini-epiphanies in my life, moments when I realised what I was being guided toward and what I was to do. There was the night in Madrid when Angel proposed, and we went out on a walk through the city in the middle of the night, too excited to sleep. And I looked around me at the people whose language I didn't speak, whose customs and culture and food I had only the most superficial understanding of, and I knew it didn't matter to me, that at that moment I loved everyone in the whole world. And I don't think, since then, that I've ever really lost that feeling. That was an epiphany.
And there was the darker, less enlightening epiphany of looking into the mirror at the hospital when I was in seventh grade, and seeing the bruise on my face where a random stranger had forced my cheek into the gravel, just before running away, leaving me so weak with relief that I hadn't been raped that I'd just laid there in the snow and the dirt before pulling myself together. That was an epiphany, too. I've survived, and moved on, and I deal with the things that have changed, but I've never been the same, since.
I'm sure there are more.
3. What are the benefits, do you suppose, of being an astronaut?
You're asking someone who's always wanted to go up in zero-G, to look out on the stars without any impeding clouds or planes or houses or trees, to see the world a marble beneath me. The simple chance to claim a vision of the grandiosity of existence, unbounded and unbarred by the changes we've imposed on the world...
Plus, I want to play with floaty food.
4. What kind of influence has music had on your life?
Music has been so core to my life that I don't know if I could quantify the kind of influence it has. I sing, I play clarinet, and used to play recorder. I have a hacky hand at the piano...I study to classical, I work out to everything, I live surrounded by lyrics and thoughts and pieces of song. My father sang to us to wake us up in the morning when I was young. My vice, of course, being the Broadway Moment; in which I will suddenly burst into song, having been reminded of a lyric or phrase. I listen to everything...even, sad to say, a bit of country and the occasional rap lyric.
5. When you dream of your future, what are the things you dream of?
Beauty, Freedom, Truth, and Love, of course. I dream of making a difference in the world, in the lives of those I come into contact with, I dream of spending the rest of my life with my Angel, raising children who have the same desire to love and change the world, and having enough money to be sure my family is not in need. Preferably enough money to be able to make many helpful and charitable donations.
2. The Friday Five. Shorter answers, hence no LJ-cut.
1. Are you going to school this year? Yes.
2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate? Medical school (third post-graduate year).
3. What are/were your favorite school subjects? I've always been interested in writing, reading, and 'rithmetic. Also all the sciences. Also band and choir. Also recess. Really anything but the answers to the next question.
4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects? Social Studies. Gym. Anything with a boring teacher.
5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite? Dr. Shamanoff, my third grade teacher, who is a tiny woman with a bun and glasses. She never raised her voice. She never had to. I have never forgotten her gentle scolding when she caught me roughhousing, admonishing me to be more of a lady. I had dinner with her and Mom, not so long ago, and she told me I'd grown up into an admirable young lady. I'm still carrying that with me. I don't know why she was my favourite, except that the respect and understanding she showed me was far above and beyond what I had experienced with my other teachers. And she read us Shakespeare, and taught us long division, and never ever let me work an inch below my capabilities. All that with a smile and a soft voice.
It has been determined that I have until 6 PM or so to kill, now. I think I'm going to go get some food and perhaps my mouse so I can play Alice all afternoon or something. Maybe I'll even study.