Michelle Au Does Not Kiss Ass.
December 1, 2000
People thought I was trying to kiss ass today. But I wasn't. So here's the thing: we have these small group conferences a couple of times a week to review material that we've talked about in class and apply that material to clinical cases. The small groups are led by preceptors, doctors who specialize in the fields that on which we're concentrating for that unit. Our small group preceptor for the Infectious Disease unit is an internist named Dr. Glenda Garvey.
I love Dr. Garvey.
Dr. Garvey is cool. Dr. Garvey is funny. Dr. Garvey is trim, chic, well-dressed, and looks cooly elegant in a fur coat, unlike other people, who just manage to look stuffy. Like many doctors specializing in infectious disease, Dr. Garvey is really, really smart. She knows everything. Everything, dammit. But unlike many doctors who teach us, she never makes you feel stupid just because you don't happen to know everything yet. Because she's chill like that, yo. However, a point most important to this story is the fact that about thirty-six years ago, Dr. Garvey went to Wellesley. Woo! Go team.
Basically, everyone in our group is in love with Dr. Garvey. I personally would like to be Dr. Garvey when I grow up...but I don't think I could pull off that whole fur coat thing. Anyway, not that it matters to me, but I should also mention that Dr. Garvey is the course director for the Internal Medicine clerkship that we all will have to rotate through for third year. She'll ultimately be grading us on our performance on the floors. My point being that for one reason or another, everyone wants to get on Dr. Garvey's good side in some way.
Today I woke up late. I had about fifteen minutes to get ready for class. No shower. T-shirt, sweater, jeans, and baseball cap. I happen to have many baseball caps. One is my five-year old, dirt stained Wellesley cap. This is the one I chose to jam onto my uwashed head. I've donned the morning pre-shower baseball cap maybe three out of five days this week. But today I decided to rotate my caps and instead of wearing my usual navy blue, I went for the alma mater pride.
When I walked into small group, I noticed that May had taken my seat. She wanted to sit by the window. Maybe she wanted to sit near me. Maybe she's secretly in love with me. I don't know. (It might be a point of interest to certain people reading this page that my classmate May went to Williams College a few years ago. Hooray for the liberal arts). But since I couldn't sit in my usual seat, I had to sit up in the second-to-front row. No one ever sits in the front-front row because then you're all up in the lecturer's face, looking up their nose practically, so for all intents and purposes, I was front row, center. Fine.
After class was over, this guy in my class, Bob, came up to me.
I know that sounds like some fake name I made up. "Yeah, this guy I know...Bob." But that's really his name, I swear. Well, it's really Robert, but no one calls him that except for teachers calling attendance. I think I'm going to start calling him "Bobert" from now on, actually. Anyhoo, here's what he said.
Hey, way to suck up to Dr. Garvey.
I see that hat. Way to suck up.
(Pretending to point to a hat on his head) I went to Wellesley! You also went to Wellesley! Please like me!
Yeah, that's me. (Pointing to my hat) Look! LOOK!
Wellesley! Love me! Call on me, I'm ever so smart!
And you all sitting in the front row like that, with your Wellesley hat, that's just so obvious. I mean, really.
I've had this hat for five years, I'll let you know.
Hey, maybe you should wear your
"Wellesley Kicks Ass" boxer shorts to class next time.
Wellesley's gonna be kickin' your ass pretty soon
if you don't shut your word hole.
I'll have you know that Michelle Au does not kiss ass. However, to be perfectly honest, it did occur to me for one brief moment that we had small group today while I was putting on my hat this morning. It was not a kiss-ass thought. It just occured to me that Dr. Garvey and I had a cool bond. Because, in case I didn't tell you before, I love Dr. Garvey. Anyway, the way that people learn to kiss ass around here (especially those that want to be surgeons and basically have to constantly fellate the swollen egos of every attending they encounter)--any move as trivial as wearing my Wellesley cap is bound to be lost in the swirling tumult of obsequiesness that is medical school.
Now I can never wear my hat again. Dammit.