Saturday, August 16, 2008

St. Louis Missouri: Great Place to Visit!



Click on the photo of this gorgeous stained glass tableau and see that it shows: In the middle, St. Louis-Lady being central and smug. On the right, New York-Lady being envious of St. Louis, and on the left, San Francisco-Lady also being envious or attentive. In our St. Louis dreams ladies! But oh well. It's a masterpiece of stained glass art and it decorates the entrance to the old train station turned into a Hyatt hotel where I stayed for my recent visit.

Why did I go to St. Louis esp since it required 129 million hours of driving through construction in Illinois??

Here's a clue:


Yes my older son had his "White Coat" ceremony on Friday. I had never heard of such a thing, but apparently many if not all? medical schools have a ceremony of induction into the profession where they give every new med student a white coat and a vow is recited, speeches are made, strange meatballs are eaten and parents vie for whose head explodes the quietest.



I loved St. Louis! It is absolutely filled with neoclassical art and here's just one example of a beautiful art-deco styled Pegasus, from the veteran's monument; I think Pegasus, who is there twice at either side of the entry, once led by a woman and once by a man, is perhaps supposed to be taking fallen warriors' souls away to the heavens. But this is just a guess; in some ways Pegasus (escape horse of Perseus, a favored child of the gods in classical myth) is a strange iconic choice for this monument but hey! It was the 1920's and who knows?



There was a ton of beautiful public art, including this gorgeous mounted statue of Saint Louis hisself:


And he turns out to have been kind of a mixed blessing; Crusade-instigator, patron of the arts, more and more. Here's me and my first baby standing below Saint Louis:






But here's my first-born son looking doctorly in his new white coat:


He said it was a weird feeling. "They have given us these white coats, but we know NOTHING."

And the message from the ceremony speakers was; You should always feel this proud, and you should always feel this humble. You are seeking to join an honorable profession, but you will always be a learner and a student, until you retire or die.

Medicine in our times is such a strange field - insurance, lifestyle choices, doctor's overbooked schedule, poverty and environmental damages. What sense to make of all this? All the new young med students took a vow they had written together; it was quite long and very very morally serious, about social commitments and access to affordable health care, constant re-education of health care professionals, humanism and care and personal concern for patients' welfare:


My young one is in an MD/PhD program and will not be a big-income doctor but a researcher, if all goes as planned; he is interested in gene therapy , esp for juvenile cancer. What a long hard path lies ahead of him - school will take about 8 years, with a medical residency and a Ph.D. completion included. But he looked so happy that day! I think he is in a good place, for him.


Tomorrow I get my Gabey back from his boarding, and go visit my horses, who have probably so enjoyed a 4-day vacation....

11 comments:

Jamie said...

I've been to St. Louis a couple times! I really like that city. Your son looks good in his new white coat.

Flying Lily said...

Thank you Jamie! I wanted to see more of St. Louie and hope to get back there soon - it had a real laid-back and genteel feeling to it.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Excellent medical school and very difficult to get into. I'm impressed.

Flying Lily said...

NM: Thanks! Looking forward to getting caught up on your blog...

Grey Horse Matters said...

Congratulation mom, I'm sure you are so proud of your son and I'm sure he will be a great researcher. St.Louis looks like a great city, loved the stained glass and statues. It's nice to have a small vacation but it's good to be home too, your gang probably missed you.

Flying Lily said...

GreyHorse, the prideness is about blowing my head off. You guessed right. I am looking forward to seeing that ambiguous "Oh you are back? " look tomorrow from the ponies.

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Congratulations to your son(and you for raising him to right!!)

I love St. Louis. We used to go through there all the time, when we traveled down to Alabama. We wanted to see the arch one time, but my mom got us lost and boy did we end up in a scary part of town. Never found the arch but did end up by the riverboats, so mom let us eat supper on one of those.

Flying Lily said...

BrownEyed: It's funny about the wrong parts of town in St. Louis. We were riding on the very clean and bright Metro train one night when all of a sudden a couple two seats ahead of us erupted into a bitch-slapping screaming fight: "I am NOT going back to jail! You #$%^!" etc. all the way down the aisle, reeking of booze...I thought a drunk was going to end up in my lap.

jesterjigger said...

Congratulations to your son, and you, for raising such a bright and talented guy! I love St. Louis too. We visited, gosh, 12 years ago now just about and that is a base close to the top of our list for moving.

3pennyjane said...

Belatedly congrats! A few years back, at the ceremony where Seesterperson got her BA, as one of the docklings was being called up to get her diploma, a guy in the audience stood up and started hollering. "That's my WIFE, y'all!" he yelled, loud enough for the entire arena. "That's my girl! Baby, I love you so much! You did it!" The two of them got an impromptu standing ovation. I think he said what everyone thinks at a time like that: Hurrah and wow.

Flying Lily said...

3Pennyjane: That's a great story. I suppose they will never forget how happy he was, and she too... I'm always in a bit of conflict about how much out-loud celebrating should go on in these public ceremonies. So I sit there like a statue. But head-explosion is a near and present danger.