May 19, 2008

"I haven't gotten to wear a poncho since marching band!"

Having a GC student rotating with us means I have zero opportunity to "home from work." This means updating in the evenings, which takes precious time away from vegging on the couch. But I told myself very sternly that I either had to blog or do chores tonight. And so, while my dishes grow mold (and eventually, sentient life), I give you Highlights in the Life of Sri.

Friday before last Maggie and I met up in Richmond for Friday Cheers on Brown's Island featuring one of our favorite bands, Carbon Leaf. Maggie was disappointed that it didn't rain, because she had her inclement weather gear all ready. I was amused that she was such a dork. We made a weekend of it - caught a movie (Prince Caspian, Edmund = love), went to Chris' birthday party on Saturday. I didn't know many people at the party, but I used my mad social skillz to make friends and influence people. Hahahahahaha, yeah right. I spent the first half of the party on the balcony trying to feed my soy dogs to Glen and Pheobe, the actual-dog dogs. I spent the second half of the party watching Golden Girls in bed with Chris' boyfriend, Kent. Actually ... I had a wonderful time.

That Sunday, Chris, his friend Stephanie, and I did the Washington Post Hunt. Basically, it's a game that combines all the physical activity of a scavenger hunt with all the mental activity of solving a Rubik's cube. Some of you are thinking, "that sounds like fun!" More rational individuals are wondering, "why the hell did you get out of bed before noon on a Sunday for that?!?" First of all, the top three prizes were trips to Florida (oddly enough, several teams drove up from Florida to participate). Secondly, one of the organizers was my writing idol, columnist Dave Barry. I imagined myself strolling up to Dave, making chitchat about slice-of-life humor and how it can change the world. Our actual interaction boiled down to this:

Me, Chris and Stephanie: OMG, WE SOLVED IT!
Dave Barry: If you're coming to me, you actually haven't.
Me: {expletive}

I'll get you next time, Gadget Barry! Next time!

Next Time:
So... I joined Toastmasters International. Don't judge me.

May 14, 2008

More Lessons from the Family Sri

When dealing with household chores...

Lesson Four - Persistence Pays
Mom: Call Dad and tell him to bring green chili on his way home.
Me: You know, I asked you if you needed anything before I went out earlier. Specifically green chilies.
Mom: Really? You should have asked me again!

Lesson Five - Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Thanks for taking out my recycling when you visited last weekend. But what did you do with the box marked 'shred'?


Dear Sri -
We put the papers in the garbage disposal at your place. It does an excellent job of compressing the stuff into unreadable pellet.
Love, Daddy



May 12, 2008

This is not the counselor you're looking for

Yesterday I was having lunch with two of my graduate school classmates and the conversation turned, inevitably, to the crazy things our patients say and do. No to worry, HIPPA activists, names were changed to protect the insane innocent. One common theme was that patients can't seem to remember which counselor they met with during their appointment. This makes the receptionists' task of fielding follow-up calls to the appropriate person difficult. Confusion arises, work is duplicated, and counselors get frustrated. It feels like a slap in the face - the counselor thinks, I spent and hour answering her questions, and she doesn't even know my name?

One might expect this in my friend Laura's office, as she is one of two blonde counselors of average height with a name beginning with the letter 'L.' More surprising is that the same situation arises for petite (also blonde) Kara, who works with a tall brunette. In our graduate program Laura and Kara were often confused for each other and for Emily, our other blonde classmate. I was fortunate enough to be a unique snowflake of a girl - almost six foot tall, Indian, loud and clumsy. Once I started work, however, I was shocked to find many patients couldn't recall whether they saw me or my colleague FV, a short Mediterranean woman with an accent. The mind boggles.

In actuality, this is a desired outcome of our training. During our clinical rotations, one of the evaluation criteria was 'professional dress and appearance.' We were encouraged to look nice, but not to stand out in any way. It may be depressing to be so easily forgotten, but at the end of the day the patient should be paying attention to the message, rather than the messenger.

I'm sure it's this way in any profession (the Oldest Profession being a notable exception). I'm just being my usual contrary self - wanting to stand out when I should blend in and vice versa. You can go about your business. Move along ... move along.

May 8, 2008

Dr. Hadrosaur is nothing but a quack

Recently, a couple atheist friends and I have been kicking around the old Evolution vs. Creationism debate, just for shits and giggles. As a health care professional, my world is filled with scientists. It comes as a great shock to me when I am confronted by someone who doesn't subscribe to evolutionary theory.

Ultrasound Tech: You believe in evolution?
Me: Well, yeah.
UT: So you believe we came from monkeys?
Me: Actually, I think that we have a common ancestor with -
UT: If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys in the world? Wouldn't they have become something else by now?
Me: But they did become something else. They became monkeys.

And at that point we just stared at each other in confusion. In my mind, this is the main sticking point of this debate. The two sides just aren't speaking the same language.

Science is all about empiricism - Charles Darwin didn't study finches because he had this great idea called "evolution." He studied finches and got a great idea. It took him twenty years to prepare his theory for publication. This was not something he took lightly, nor did he set out to disprove the Christian faith. As a young man he was deeply religious and had considered taking orders in the Anglican church. However, he gradually came to believe that "the Old Testament, from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow at sign, etc., etc., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos*, or the beliefs of any barbarian."

Creationists, on the other hand, come at things from a different direction. They know how the Earth was created, and they go looking for evidence to prove it. Anything that doesn't fit their theory is disregarded as false. For the Bible (read: God) tells them so. If there was no other reason, that right there is an argument not to teach creationism in the science classroom. Teach it at church, at home or in Bible study. Teach it as part of World Literature, for all I care. I think 'Dr. Dino' Kent Hovind said it best: "You're welcome to believe that. But it's not science and I resent that being taught in science classes at taxpayer expense ... The fact that you believe it doesn't make it true." Ironically, he was arguing to take evolutionary theory out of the classrooms, as he is one of the most famous proponents of creationism.

Check out the video that sparked this blog entry. Warning: it's almost three hours long and you probably won't get too far past Hovind's first product-placement for his Creation Science Evangelism company. I wish I was kidding about that.


Ouch, Charlie. What did Hindus ever do to you? In his defense ... our creation myths include sleeping gods using cobras as beds, churning seas of milk, and metaphorical human sacrifice. If you're going to teach my kids Genesis 1-3, I get to teach your kids that god took the form of a boar to dig the Earth out of the bottom of the celestial ocean. How do you like them forbidden apples?

May 1, 2008