In the days leading up to my first blog post, I agonized over the topic of an essay or a story to be told. I really thought hard about how I should open this endeavor. Fortunately (or some approximation of fortunately) the universe provided me with a story to tell.
As introduction, I am a fourth-year veterinary student from St. George’s University currently doing my clinical rotations at the University of Illinois. I liked Grenada a lot, it was a terrific challenge, but I am very glad to be back in my home country. The U of I is a great place to do clinics and I’ve been absolutely blown away by the overwhelming congeniality and friendliness of the midwesterners. I’m very proud and very lucky to be a part of both St. George’s University and the University of Illinois.
So back to the universe providing me with a story. In the University of Illinois’ Veterinary Teaching Hospital, there’s an Intensive Care Unit. In the back of the ICU, there’s a bathtub/sink combination where various things are washed. On the floor surrounding the bathtub/sink combination, there is a metal lip about 4″ high. The lattermost of these things features in the story.
I’m in the ICU and I had to use the bathtub/sink to wash a patient’s water dish (or something). As I turn to leave, the metal lip on the floor of the ICU leaps upwards and trips me! I hit it with both feet and I go flying, limbs and white coat flailing wildly.
By some miracle or sheer dumb luck, I manage to get my legs under me rather than faceplant into the tile. I stumble a step, wobble a bit, find my balance, and straighten up. I take a look around the room expecting stares and laughter; at 6’4″ and 210 pounds, a flying header on my part is something less than subtle.
None came. Nobody saw it. In the ICU crowded with busy clinicians, residents, technicians, interns and students, nobody noticed the large ungainly guy get airborne. Right….
So I did what any self-respecting fourth-year veterinary student would have done in my position: I straightened the lapels of my white coat and walked out like it never happened.
Isn’t that cool? Apparently even the floor of the ICU affirms midwestern congeniality by helping clumsy newcomers to literally and figuratively save face.