My friend and I are attending a five-week mini-medical class at our local hospital along with about 200 other people.
I enjoy it and it is very informational. It makes me a better advocate if need be. For this round, each week is dedicated to a completely different topic.
The people are as fascinating as the sessions.
There are three groups of people attending. One group is middle-aged like my friend and I (and this group goes from age 30 to 70. I consider this all middle-aged no matter how inappropriate that sounds.)
This group is not all that interesting. It’s just a bunch of us trying to figure things out. Some people have conditions and are trying to get a broad perspective or perhaps another viewpoint. You can tell by the questions they ask that they or someone they care about has had the problem of the evening.
Then there are the older folks. This group is more defined by their clothes and their attitude than their age which seems to be around 90. They come in couples and are very well dressed.
In fact, it looks like a formal date. Women wear heels with full face makeup and the men are in suits and ties.
At first I thought maybe they came directly from church but what church has services before a 6:30 Tuesday night class?
Perhaps they came from a viewing? However, they are dressed like this every week. That’s a lot of dead people.
They are very attentive but ask very few questions except to each other. I believe the question they ask is, “what did he say?” I haven’t figured out why they come.
They remind me of the younger people who go to a book store for a free date. I would think these people have money to go out for a nice dinner. Maybe they come after the early bird special at the local diner.
The last group is the high school students. The hospital does an outreach to schools encouraging kids who are interested in the medical field to attend. The classes are free so there is usually a group of thirty kids in the class.
You can tell this group because they come in herds as if they were going to a rock concert. They have food and very large drinks. After all this class lasts 90 minutes and I hear a person can die of thirst in 90 minutes.
They wear the “high school” uniform du jour. At least for this group, I haven’t seen the guys wear the pants that are strapped on their thighs but the jeans are still baggy and ratty looking. Current style is for guys to have hair on their face so they don’t look shaven but they are not growing a beard. Not my favorite look but what 16-year-old would care what I think?
What I find interesting are the reactions. In the course of the class there are lots of slides. Many are statistical but some are graphic. This past week was dedicated to kidney transplants so there were slides of bloody kidneys. I don’t find this gross because you can see kidneys in the butcher section of the grocery store. I doubt 16-year-olds spend much time there.
When the first slide went up, there was a loud, “Ewwww!” echoing throughout the auditorium. Then of course there was the giggling.
The questions from this group were elementary but interesting. There were no technical references to a friend or relative. You could tell that they had no knowledge of this at all. Having said that, there were no stupid questions either.
These kids are going to take care of me when I get old (or older) and infirm so I was particularly interested in watching them. I got a feeling of sincerity and caring and some will have great careers in the field.
That’s good because we will need them. I expect to live a long time and will have a problem from time to time.
Overall the classes are great but not the pizza. (Yes, it’s all about the food!) The cafeteria at the hospital isn’t as good as I hoped. Perhaps I should stick with a salad.
They have a Starbucks kiosk but it closes at 3 p.m. Why would it close so early? People are at the hospital around the clock!
Another mystery of life!