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....