As I sit at my gate in the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport waiting to board a flight to Boston, I think back to the last time I was here. Last July I wrote my first ever blog post in this very airport, eagerly awaiting to travel to Hong Kong. The backpack that was discussed in detail is no longer in my possession. I cannot say that the new backpack is an upgrade, but it serves its purpose. A few weeks ago, Tufts held a backpack drive for area primary school students who were in need of them, so I decided it was an apt time to support the cause and move on from my old one.
I am usually not one to glorify inanimate objects, but I was personally connected to this backpack, having sported it for the better part of six years. That said, I feel an even deeper connection to hand-written letters given to me. Every time I go home to New Orleans (such as this spring break), I bring with me all the notes that have accumulated over the course of the term. The file at my house keeps growing. Whenever I deposit new letters, I read some of the old ones and am overcome with nostalgia. For those of us who feel gratification from either giving or receiving such letters, vet school is the perfect place to exchange them. I received a letter in my campus mailbox from a first-year student who was thanking second-years for guidance and assistance throughout her first semester, and it really resonated with me. At the National VBMA Meeting, one of the keynote speakers mentioned that he sends around 200 handwritten birthday cards a year to his friends. Even though this generation lives through computers and text messages, sometimes that extra human touch of putting pen to paper can make a world of difference for our friends, coworkers, and clients (though probably not our patients)!