May 4th, 2003

Nescafe rabbit

Low test scores, low standards?

The following message came through the IUSM mailing list from an AOL address:
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I tried to reply to the e-mail in person to confirm that it is indeed Fort Wayne s/he is discussing. Only to get AOL's response of "no such user". Guess who made a throwaway account just to send a message that implies we're cheating?
1) I am nearly 100% certain that the campus in question is us.
2) It's because we work our asses off, you son of a bitch. We don't have time to go out partying all the time, because we earn our grades.
3) Fort Wayne campus has a reputation for being hard. Really damn hard. We have the toughest first-year Anatomy course in the state, and it sets a precedent. That would not be consistent with us being "these weren't exactly the brainiacs back in college." Stupid people go to Indy, boys and girls, if there is such a thing as a stupid medical student. Smart kids know that the real learning is where they know your name.
4) Dr. Smith and his colleagues know their shit, and they make no pretense about letting us off easy. We're taught well, we're drilled on it, and Fort Wayne has the highest or one of the highest Pathology scores in the state every single year. Because we know our shit.
5) I have not gone through two years of hell just to have some coward in Indianapolis send an anonymous e-mail telling his or her colleagues that there's a "big disparity" when for two years now all we've heard from them is party invitations, intermurals, concerts and games. When they don't have to go to class or take notes - they have paid notetakers.

When we study and they play, and we learn and they don't, that's the disparity. That's why we scored better - we've been pushed and challenged, chivvied and chided and told time and time again that our pain is going to make us stronger.
I barely passed Pathology in Fort Wayne. I came into the final with a 75.4% average, when 75% is passing. I did not so much as look at a test-priming "review session"; we didn't have them offered. I picked up my BRS review books and I got to work and I reviewed the things I already knew. I reviewed the questions I knew would be on the exam because they were in the review books, because they were in previous exams. Because we were spared no pain. And I put in the time I should have put more of in all along.
I barely passed Fort Wayne Pathology. I scored an 82.6% on the statewide final exam. This is not a disparity, boys and girls. This is the simple affirmation that we have heard for a year now, the words that we have come to live by. "If you put in your time, you will do just fine."

We put in our time. We earned our reward. And sir or madam, you anonymous coward, you did not. Live with it. Don't bitch. And don't display your ignorance and pettiness so that we all look bad.

I'm not done, but I'll stop. You can find the other inanities yourself.
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Nescafe rabbit

Mmmm, I feel better already.

I sent a note to all of my classmates here in Fort Wayne to make sure they'd seen the offending chatter. Either one of them was the one who'd talked to our mysterious e-mail sender and had a few choice words, or someone else knew how to get hold of them. Because when I got home from Dad's a few hours later, I found this in my inbox:
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Rereading the first e-mail, I don't feel that my initial reaction was unwarranted at all. What I read seems to be a slam on Fort Wayne campus - and I find that I still see that interpretation in light of the new e-mail. However, since the apology and clarification were issued with what is all apparent sincerity and humility, I will retract my own vitriol. Thanks to those of you who stood up.
And this time, the e-mail address didn't bounce.
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