A college roommate recently came to visit me in North Grafton. He and I went on some nice long walks on and around the Tufts campus. It was really great hanging out with him, and when he left it was back to business as usual as I hit the books to prepare for the next exam. One of the things that resonated with me was his constant admiration for the beauty of the campus. Indeed, it is a pretty campus, but I am usually more preoccupied with the stressors of finishing assignments and studying while on campus.
I joined the ranks of many of my peers (and my parents) and finally got an iPhone this summer. I figured that the benefits of owning a smartphone with Internet capabilities would outweigh the negatives that I associated with it. But one thing that I find myself doing more and more of these days is looking down at my phone, blocking out the world around me.
Daniel’s visit elicited a change in the way I used my phone. While walking on campus, I began trying to pocket my phone and instead look up at the trees and sky. The day before a diagnostic imaging final, I implemented this strategy en route to my apartment. Lo and behold, I witnessed a cloud formation that reminded me of an alveolar lung pattern that could be seen on a radiograph. It may sound cheesy, but looking up helped me with “consolidation” of the patterns I had been studying earlier in the day. Oddly enough, viewing these cirrus clouds helped me remember that atelectasis, and not consolidation, leads to mediastinal shift. The psychological factor of looking up at the world helped me be more confident going into my exam the next morning.