Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hurts so good

Today was the last day of our Human Structure and Function course. During the closing lecture, one of our professors, Dr. Palmer, offered this quote from Rene Descartes:

"It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well."

Dr. Palmer then told us that we might recognize the quote from the opening lecture, presented by a different instructor, Dr. Maack. Dr. Maack, it seems, felt that the quote was more critical in inspiring students to perform well in the course, whereas Dr. Palmer believes that "one should never put Descartes before the course."

And this comes only a handful of hours after my reflections on punning. Bravo, good sir.

Monday, April 16, 2007

"Words, words, words."

If I've learned nothing else this semester, I've learned this: medical students love puns. Admittedly, punning is not the highest form of comedy, but it's arguably a form of comedy. And, though I feel like I'm standing alone on this one, I have great admiration for puns and punners.

For reasons that aren't entirely clear to me, I've compiled a list of some of the most egregious puns and other acts of wordplay that I've heard on campus. I present them here for your - for lack of a better word - enjoyment.
  • Before even arriving at school, we were invited to a wilderness orientation weekend. The awkwardly formatted name of this trip was both descriptive, and is the common abbreviation for the intracellular signalling molecule "cyclic Adenosine monophosphate." Or "cAMP." Awesome.
  • Our anatomy TA's name was Won. Invariably, when we couldn't find a structure, one of us would cry plaintively, "Is there any Won who could help us?"
  • The name of the school's a Cappella group is The Aneurythms. Though, to be fair to med students, there has never, ever been a cleverly named a Cappella group.
  • Punning does happen to come in handy when naming dodgeball teams. For instance, the season opener will be played by my team, "The Supinators," against the formidable "Smooth Obturators." Though it's not a pun, my favorite team name in the tournament is the aggressive and intimidating, "Incompatible With Life."
  • When asked by an instructor in biochemistry how much we knew about the biological molecule lecithin (pronounced "less-uh-thin") I regrettably remarked, "less uh than you might think." I was told the next day that one of my friends now has that as her away message on IM. And, damn it, I was proud.
And the award for the best pun I've heard all year goes to one of the members of my dissection team who unabashedly spews puns as fervently as I do. The following double pun took place while one of our instructors was trying to clear off some goo in our cadaver to show us an element of the diaphragmatic crus.
  • I say, "Don't you think we could get in there and find the crus ourselves?" To which he replies (...drumroll...) "Hey man, it's her crus to bare."
I know. I know. It's simply beautiful.