Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!


Well, sometimes "angels unawares" show up in unexpected packages.

I put this picture of Mt. Fuji on my post today in honor of my most recent 4th year osteopathic medical student who rotated in my lab on an elective rotation. I will admit there are times that "the student teaches the teacher," and this is one of them.

For starters, this was the worst time in the world to have a medical student on an elective rotation. As you know, about two weeks ago, I was making some Very Big Decisions and we were making some Very Big Changes in the office. Some of these decisions were incredibly hard. I stressed majorly the two weeks prior to the Very Big Changes and constantly asked myself, "Am I doing the right thing?"

When M. arrived on his rotation, he was in day 4 of the Very Big Changes. Lots of dysfunction and issues with adapting to the changes. I was struggling with "how to appear comfortable and calm" among these changes. I had prayed nightly those two weeks prior for God to weather my temper through these days ahead.

God sent me M.

M. is a very hardworking 4th year osteopathic medical student who is technically, a Japanese citizen. He is, well, "incredibly Japanese" in his culture and manners. Incredibly polite. Incredibly open and friendly despite the reserved character to his nature. It seemed like an absolute mismatch between me and my "bull in the china closet" personality.

To make things worse, I realized that I was one of his interviewers to be admitted to medical school, and he made it clear he found that to be a big deal in his life. Agggh.

But then something amazing happened.

His polite nature became incredibly infectious.

I found that I was becoming more polite, more calm, more soft-spoken in his presence. I found myself praising him more openly, and when he was not quite "on the ball" with his answers, using a more forgiving, more instructive, more genuine part of me to correct him.

It started rubbing off on the way I treated the rest of the office, too.

Then something else amazing happened.

It seemed that the rest of the staff started seeming more "on track" with the changes in the office. They seemed to be more interested in working through problems rather than blaming each other for them. I started looking around and realizing, "This is why I made the Very Big Decisions and wanted the Very Big Changes." I was wanting the dysfunction in the office to stop, and I was recognizing for the first time, "I was seeking the quiet spaces in the office same as I do at home."

For two years, I have lamented that my work life does not seem to parallel my home life, my church life, my blog life, my Facebook life. I saw my first glimpse that it was not an impossibility.

My student, who came for me to teach HIM, taught me something. He taught me "I have a tendency to mirror what surrounds me." He taught me the value of my "environment." He affirmed my need to continue to seek that environment in my life, even if it involves Very Big Decisions and Very Big Changes. These things CAN lead to "stability" if done thoughtfully and carefully.

So now I am looking at this wonderful red origami bird he pasted onto a thank you card for me for these two weeks. A THANK YOU card. I've never had a medical student give me a thank you card at the end of the rotation in two decades. Maybe just the occasional e-mail a few days/weeks later.

I am duly humbled.

I won't forget.

1 comments:

What a beautiful and moving post. Thank you. This does happen...

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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