Our white coat ceremony marked the end of our first week here at SUSOM. As I left my dorm room, white tie clipped to my emerald shirt, hair parted, and coat ironed, I fixed my gazed momentarily on the ever-present horizon. The sea and sky always seem to join in the cavernous depths of the earth, and that day, the end seemed particularly far away. It wasn’t that the distance had changed, but that a sort of humid fog clung to it; wisps of dense gray clouds gave it a lurid, but calm, appearance.

I could see the horizon faintly, and the picturesque scene reminded me that these first few weeks serve as a template for the next two years. That two year stretch seems like I could feel it, but it, too, was sort of obscured. In truth, the deluge of the present – the massive course load and material that we have been presented – represents that fog, the clouds, which cover the end horizon. I still understand that it is there, but I mean to keep up with what I’m doing now – devouring the information thrown at us – without worrying about what lies past it. While this is not an entirely foreign concept to me, it is one I have trouble practicing – I can be eager to reach the edge of the horizon knowing what waits there, but in that enthusiasm forget to paddle towards it.

For now, I will worry about doing well in my studies to develop a firm grasp of human physiology and pathology. To clear those stony clouds, I will do this and get to the edge of the earth.

The ceremony itself was full of relevant aphorisms, though I think some of them might have fallen on deaf ears. My motivations remain steadfast, so, while I appreciate the reminders of others, I march to my own beat.
A few other notes about the island:

  • The gym has no barbell. I’ve adapted some training but it’s just not the same. Dumbbells are great for pressing movements, though. Lower body work will probably suffer, but I’ll manage – lots of lunges, goblet squats. I’ll post my stats from before I left as a checkpoint.
  • Initially I was going to be extremely stingy with food and only eat rice and potatoes and stuff. Today I decided to splurge and get lots of veggies and milk. I’ll eat well from now on. Calorie-counting continues. Should be a bit easier with fewer choices.
  • Med school thus far is great. The professors are decent, and before I came I hadn’t really considered what they’d be like. I’m not really disappointed. Also, the lack of constant internet access is refreshing.

At the gates of SUSOM


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