Bloody Mess

I’ve had a lot of practice since my last email, and am happy to report that I can now say the alphabet, backwards, faster than I can forwards. I’m clocking in at under three seconds. Go ahead, time yourself.

Kudos to my Mother and Petra, the only two people to read “retsfa si tebahpla” and realize that it was supposed to be “retsaF si tebahpla,” or “alphabet is faster” written backwards, which is in fact retsaf.

For all of those coming to Michigan this summer, Sherin is in tow and terrified. She has learned the names of the five brothers and five sisters, the spouses and children. Her three comments thus far:

“I cannot believe how Irish you are. Alex, Colby, Honora, Maura, Connor, Colin, Riley, Kimberly, William, Edward, etc.. My name is “Sherin”. I need to dye my hair red and my eyes green.

“I say “like” too much. I can’t meet your father. He’ll, like, never want to talk to me again.”

“Tell your family that I’m not going.”


I’ve been keeping busy aside from the general grind of school by wrestling with SGU over their admissions material since February of 2004. I wrote a “Welcome to Grenada” guide after first term and had that sent out to the next class of students. People seemed to like it. I reminded the folks in New York to send it out again with last terms class and they forgot. It’s complicated, so I understand. Let’s see if they can box their way out of a wet paper bag and send it off this term. To make sure, I emailed the person responsible with the letter, again, and have not heard a response.(I’m going to jump around a bit)

So the 2006 Match Day was a month ago. Match is a process where every gradating medical student ranks the residency programs that they want and every residency program ranks the graduates that they want. Somewhere, in the middle, they meet. Coming from a Foreign Medical School, about 50% of graduates match. At SGU, the number is closer to 80%. For a US med student it’s closer to 100%. Like all the students at SGU nervous about the hurdles ahead of us, I wanted the data from the match. I wanted to know how SGU faired. It wasn’t a surprise to me that it wasn’t available.

As a student here, little of the information that we want is available. For example: next term I’m going to be living on another island working in a hospital. While there, I have to choose where in NY or NJ I want to have my second two years of medical training. I’ll probably want to know something about those hospitals before I make that choice. I’ll want to know what other students thought. Actually, I want to know now.

Unfortunately, that information isn’t available to us. The reasons are 1) the school hasn’t hired someone to make that happen and 2) no student has just been pissed off enough to do it themselves. The Kantian that I am, I know that if I’m going to be mad at some student for not having already done it, then I have to be mad at myself for not doing it now. So our story begins.

I wrote the folks at saying that I was an SGU student and that I wanted to let people know about the school. They gave me a nice little cubicle on their website where I now write about SGU. I started my own website and began posting “guides” to each term and class, to Prague, to the BSCE test, and so on. I advertised this in a few forums at school, the assistant dean of students got a hold of it and included it in a campus mailing, and so at least a few students here are checking it. I made an appointment with the assistant dean of admissions and showed him everything that I had. Luckily, another admissions dean was on the island and came to meet me a few days later.

I gave him my pitch about information that’s easy and accessible, that students are unhappy about being in the dark about so much for no good reason, and that the school was losing applicants every day that think they’ll be studying by candle light. I wasn’t asking for much, I had done most of the work already, and I just needed someone with the power to say “yes” to say “yes.” And he did. He liked all of it. I gave him all of the files, the website, and he got on a plane to New York to speak with the not-assistant dean of admissions. So I may have a new job with the school, and maybe in three years students will be complaining that the Student’s Guide to Grenada is out of date. But at least it will be there.

So that’s all for now. I have a testathon over the next few weeks. And I’m disappearing for a bit.

Everyone join me as I look forward to the summer, topher.

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