The grind has been real mayyyne.
Between keeping up with my classes, gearing up for the Step Study Period, transitioning between leadership roles in multiple organizations and taking care of necessary errands in between all that, it's been a very, very busy week. This upcoming week is only about to be busier due to the fact that I'll have to continue doing all that in addition to completing my final Clinical Skills exam for the year and participating in my last shadowing opportunity before I begin to study for Step.
Although I spent like 93% of my waking hours last week studying at a desk of some sort, there were in fact some very interesting aspects of my week. To start off, I learned how to conduct a pelvic and rectal exam in my Clinical Skills class last week…picture that. I was also taught how to perform a Pap smear, which I had never actually seen performed before. We practiced each of these maneuvers on plastic dummies (THANK GAWWD) and it safe to say that I definitely learned quite a lot in that session. Also, I can only imagine how uncomfortable getting a Pap smear must be…that speculum is huge AF!! I know I said it last week but ima say it again; y'all ladies out there are the REAL MVPs. There's just so much that y'all gotta go through that a lot of guys just aren't aware of lol. It's so wild. Y'all deserve so much respect.
In an effort to prevent myself from Drake-ing the rest of this post, I'll now briefly talk about my experience while volunteering in the Ronald McDonald Brenner's Family Room in the hospital this past Saturday. Well, before my shift there was a refresher meeting at the actual Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem that a bunch of other Family Room volunteers, including myself, had to attend. It was a very light atmosphere in which we were reminded about why we do what we do and about the rules that are to be enforced in the room. We were also given a free Chick-Fil-A breakfast and played icebreaker games to learn more about the other volunteers in the room. It was real cool to actually meet and interact with other volunteers of different backgrounds and ages! As for my actual shift that day, I was reminded how important it was for many stressed families that the room was kept open. A few family members came up to me to express their deep gratitude for the Family Room and one person even asked me how he could donate to the Ronald McDonald House! Also during my shift, I watched as different families interacted with one another and I witnessed connections being weaved as they discussed diseases and conditions afflicting their loved ones that I had either never heard of, or had only seen in books and lectures. Listening to how a disease affects a family is very different from having to learn about it in a didactic nature; their conversations emphasized the critically important human side of medicine, which I really appreciated.
Lastly, I got the incredible opportunity to attend a session that featured the Co-Chairs (Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez & Linda Sarsour) of the massive Women's March that took place this past month. The session, named “Reckoning and Resistance: A Discussion of What's Next”, was moderated by Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry and was a very well attended discussion that pinpointed many various issues in this current political climate. I knew that it would be a good event overall, but what surprised me was just how electric the co-chairs were! They touched on so many necessary topics, some of which included:
- How being personally impacted has caused great numbers of the “silent majority” to speak up and fight against concerning issues, something that marginalized populations have been having to do for a LONG time
- The vital importance of communities standing up for one another
- How we often underestimate our power as individuals
- Emphasizing the fact that many of the distressing issues currently being broadcast on a larger stage have been distressing issues long before the Trump administration showed up
- The undeniable fact that Trump and his administration were able to come to power because they reflect the unnerving beliefs of an unsettling amount of Americans
- Being patriotic about our country but refusing to be blinded by the injustices in this country
- Working towards the liberation of Black people in this country in order to help the liberation of other marginalized people here
- The danger of the “silent majority” (well-intentioned people who turn a blind eye to issues that don't affect them) and how the spirit of knowing people and sticking up for others being affected by certain issues can make us stronger as a country
- The endless distractions that Trump is making in the media
- The way that the media negatively portrays marginalized populations without covering why we're in the various situations that we're in
- What White people can do to counter Trump's agenda
- Have courageous conversations with people who voted for Trump
- Donate money to organizations looking to move this country in a progressive direction
- Stand up for something that gets you out of your comfort zone; Show up for issues that affects others
- Being CONSISTENTLY public and actively contacting Congressional leaders
- Truly understanding the notions of White privilege and “White tears”
- Being aware that they could be unknowingly benefiting from the oppression of other people, which could help them truly realize the pain that marginalized populations feel
- The vital importance of taking back Congressional seats in 2018
- Having to get uncomfortable due to the fact that the world as a whole is quickly becoming an uncomfortable place
- The importance of having difficult conversations, for the lack of them helped propel Trump to the presidency
It was a fantastic discussion that surpassed my expectations and I'm real glad that the crowd that was present was able to hear what they had to say. I'm happy that I made the time to attend!
Now that I've spilled my mind into this post, it's time for me to get back to studying. I have so much to do man. Smh. Have a productive week and be sure to keep your head up!
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
– Black Man, M.D.