Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It Is Done

Oh, the people to thank; the ones who will know, the ones who may not, the ones who should.

Chris - you have been one of my favorite people on the planet for probably 52 years.  I love you more than you could possibly ever know and thank you so very much for always being by my side whether it was physically driving up to Duluth when Austin died, or housing me when my only grandmother passed, or kicking my butt a few years ago.  Cuz, so many people tell you you're the greatest you don't need me to add to it but really?  I've always looked up to you and aspired to be "More like Chris!"

Dr. Siliciano - oh, Dr. S; that humiliating semester when my house, and then the... and then the issue with... and then... and yet, somehow, you never lost your faith in me, or maybe you did, but being you, never let me know.  I long for the days of Moos and 3021; of LB and MM, and your funny sports car stories and slugs; the stories of shuttles and slugs; and funnier demo's that no youngen' will take on. How I got to be so incredibly lucky to have you for 2 classes, I will never know. Know that every time I probably exasperated you with my questions and concerns and my internal looking-glass-self speak, you quelled the fears, supported my hopes, and whether you knew it or not, you stopped the tears from falling on my way home.

You may never know how much it meant to me to sit in your office and ask if it would be okay to take your 3021 class, knowing full well how disappointed you had to be in me for dropping the 1xxx on the last day, with an A- ... and then I got that "B"... there are few people who's perspective I trust more than yours, who's opinion I value more than yours... very few.  When I look back on my life, you are up there with my 4th grade teacher who for the first time told my parents I was not bad, but bored.  Just like him, you've encouraged me, laughed with me, gave me the hard truth when needed, and provided an example of what leadership really looks like.

Dr. Schlotter - oh, the other Dr. S; yah, you told me to call you Nick but, you will always be my mentor, my leader, my professor, my favorite gen chem guy.  During the horrors of early 2010, and then in April when Storm... you kept nudging me forward, kept telling me not to quit, kept telling me you had faith in me even when life and all that it was tossing at me said to give up.  The day we spent with lattice structures until I could do them blindfolded, the days we spent talking about how I could learn to study more efficiently because frankly, I never knew before.  Those days when the house was crawling with centipedes and maybe you don't remember, but you gave me some spray that would kill them ... and thankfully, not me.  You helped me survive that dark spring giving me enough lift to continue on (though, really?  an 89% is a B"!"!"!"!"! :) ).

Dr. El-Rady - did you think I'd forget you??  Remember, I heard about you before ever stepping foot in FL let alone USF!  Dr. S above "forced" us to watch your transcription videos (which might have been handy today, btw :D ).  My first class with you was intimidating as I worried if you're that smart and putting together videos, are you approachable?  Some PhD's get big heads and think we little people are too insignificant to spend time with unless during office hours.  Like the two above you, you ALWAYS have time for students, not just me.  I hope you know, or at least you do now, I hope the next non-trad premed you get feels as blessed as I do to have had your classes.  Those talks walking back to the building about research, and current events, or just kids.  Your willingness to kind of kick me in the seat when it was very apparent, I was slacking a little, propelled me forward: to grind a little more, to want to improve a little more, to help others a little more.  Your stories of your home and the things you've seen in your life, are scorched in my mind.  Your faith in me, despite my "length of life traveled" has meant the world.  That one day you said, "You are a far better student than most of your peers simply because you will not quit" helped me work just that much more. And that day, you emailed me offering to write an LOR, I'm not sure you knew until now, I wept.  Floored.  I'm sure you write a zillion of them but I didn't think me worthy, didn't think me impressive.

Dalai - whether you knew it or not, you inspired me with your stories of afar, your kids' own success, your funny anecdotes about life in the hospitals/clinics, sharing of PACS nightmares, and of course, the beloved Doc Vader.  When I've needed a funny to cheer me up, in the midst of all the chaos, you gave me a light upon which to set my gaze and follow.  Please let Mike know, I'm thanking him too :)

Bill - in keeping your anonymity private will only say without you, I'm not sure I'd be in a place to type this out.  When last year was so dark, so utterly bad, you stepped up and in sharing time with Gman and helping us survive, you gave me the lift I needed to fly again.

Thank you.  Thank you so very much, the six of you, for all you've done whether you knew it or not.  Thank you for not laughing at me, or telling me to quit.  Thank you for not eye-shaming me into feeling guilty that I'm wasting time or haven't gotten my ducks in a row yet (I'm looking at you, Dr. Siliciano!).  Thank you for listening, encouraging me because finally, I can truly, unequivocably say:

The MCAT is done.  God willing, the next formal exam I take will be Step 1.

Tonight, I had to remind myself: