Equalizer

I haven’t written in a while now. I’ve been busy these past few months with Med school. It’s a brand new experience for me. I’m learning lots of new things that make me say “Ah, that’s why blablabla…” and “Oh! Now I know why blablabla…” every once in a while.

For example, I’ve known that we should give iron supplements with orange juice or anything with vitamin C, since it promotes its absorption. As far as I knew, this was rule of thumb. But I always asked myself: “Why do we do this?” In Med school, I found out that the acidity of orange juice promotes the uptake of the iron supplements by… (please bear with me, I spazzed when I learned about it) enhancing the H+/Fe2+ symport in the gastrointestinal tract. BAM! You can’t imagine the happiness inside of me right now. It’s these little things that I discover each and every day that keep me hungry for more.

Education has always been a passion of mine, as a student, and beyond that. I once wanted to be a history teacher. From the trajectory of my life as of this current moment, that will have to wait some other time. After I finish medicine, I’ll be a teacher. Out of all the professions in the world, I guess that those who teach are the noblest. Though they make your life seem miserable, they’re really doing you a big favor.

Now that I look back at it, I realize that solving trigonometry problems into the night wasn’t plainly solving trigonometry problems into the night. It was much more than that – I found myself becoming more patient with each frustration, with each failure, with each second spent towards deadlines. Teachers are like the Mr. Miyagi’s of the mind; those little things that he made the Karate Kid do were towards his becoming a great fighter. Only in real life, we often forget to see this fact.

I remember the last semester of my college year. Everyday spent was a challenge. All I saw then was the concept of today and tomorrow. Survive today, survive tomorrow. Rinse and repeat. The routine was brain numbing at worst, but it shouldn’t have been that way. I had forgotten that everything I do counts, that each action is a stepping stone towards who I want to be. Those little things I did, like greeting my patients good morning, and bidding them goodbye, were those things that made me good at what I do.

I’ve often heard musings of how in the future,  we are able to download information into our brains directly, sans the years of poring over books. However, I see no other way of education that can be possible other than the reality that it has to be gained over years of dedication. You can buy a diploma, but you can never buy education. You have to earn it. It is in this quality of education that I find all to be in an equal field. It is in this quality that we are humbled. You can be a prince or a pauper, but in the affairs of the mind no flowery rhetoric, no fancy gilded coins, no amount of noble lineage can compensate for what you lack. Education is a birthright – to those who seek it.

The anecdote I shared awhile ago about the H+/Fe2+ symport (and my subsequent spazzing thereafter) proves how much I have yet to learn. I am learning the language of healing, and it is no easy task. Now that I’m studying in Med school, I can appreciate and admire the challenges faced by today’s physicians. It takes great teachers to learn this art and science. But at the end of the day, it’s in the student where all of this boils down to.

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