Tag Archives: role model

Amanda Beard and lessons for young women?

9 Apr

So says this article.

Amanda Beard was my swimming hero growing up.  For as long as I was in swimming, she was the top of my best event.  What she went through with isn’t completely unheard of in swimming, but it’s just so surprising to be reminded that it can happen to anyone, even if you’re at the top.

I don’t normally like to read comments sections, but (trigger warning in the link) Jezebel’s article on Amanda Beard‘s book has some interesting comments, from trigger warnings to the nature of swimming and how the timing of swim careers with body’s natural development make for a complicated relationship with the sport.  I’m reminded of my mom’s genuine concern with my “compulsion” to swim and make it to practice, of my shared laments that “normal people” just don’t seem to understand it’s more than a sport.  Looking back now, after some time away from it, I still remember how emotional it is, but I’m still not sure what to make of it all – whether it was  completely justified or not.  I learned a lot of lessons and my character is largely shaped by the whole experience, but still I’m not sure if I would put my own kids through the same.

After the final no

22 Oct


It’s an old article, from 2008 (I always find it a bit funny to hear professors say that, when the year doesn’t really feel that old to me), where Jeffrey Sachs talks about negativity standing in the way of solving global problems.

Yesterday Frond asked me what drives me.  I said it was the feeling that if something isn’t done, nothing will be done.  In my experience, the most common and most frustrating problem to run into when trying to solve any problem (or keeping a good thing going) is defeatism.  So I suppose I just feel like I’m just trying to keep things a balanced.

And then he offers a quote by poet Wallace Stevens: “After the final no there comes a yes / And on that yes the future world depends.”

Chins up!

Thank you Tinsley.

11 Oct

It’s about 60 some odd days until the end of term 4.  We’re two weeks out from our second round of exams, the dreaded systemic path exam.  4 hours of class a day, plus 2-4 hours of lab Monday to Thursday is grinding everyone’s nerves down a little.  It’s like that time mid-season where you’ve got a lot of work under your belt but you’re just a little too far out to feel like the end is in clear sight.  I know this is going to end and that when it does I’ll look back with more than a little nostalgia.

So thank goodness for Dr.Jhala, our visiting prof for Pathology of GI Tract.  He’s a big fan of Dr.Tinsley Harrison, the author of Harrison’s aka internal medicine bible.  I have memories of my dad telling me how in med school the big secret was just to read Harrison’s and you’d know everything you’d need to know.

Dr.Jhala opened today’s lecture with this:

“No greater opportunity or obligation can fall the lot of a human being than to be a physician. In the care of suffering he needs technical skill, scientific knowledge and human understanding. He who uses these with courage, humility and wisdom will provide a unique service to his fellow man and will build an enduring edifice of character within himself. The physician should ask of his destiny no more than this and he should be content with no less.” – T.Harrison.

It felt so good to read that at this point in time, when school feels never-ending but overwhelming.  There’s an ominous feeling, like you’re in the pitch dark with just a tiny flashlight to flash on one spot at a time.  This quote was like a glimpse of the big picture, like the real big picture, after all the lab slides, note taking, sleep-dep, caffeine migraines, tingling legs and finger callouses are said and done, the big picture of why I want to do this.

Edit: I apologize if the quote sounds the whole “nothing better than being a doctor” vibe from the first line of the quote.  Not necessarily true, obviously

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