Saturday, July 21. 2007
I'll give you a clue, I'm not actually manipulating any instruments and I'm not the woman.
Yep, that's me! I think that was during a VSD repair. Dr. Gilbert is the Peds CT surgeon I spent 6 weeks with last year. It was Awesome! I was talking to Dr. Ross (peds cardiologist) who was saying that Pediatric Cardiology is a cruel mistress, and that the good peds cardiologists don't just want to do it, they are driven to do it, like an artist. They can't imagine doing anything else. I'll continue to keep an open mind, but so far I think that's where I'm at!
Click on the picture for a link to the CHKD posting on Dr. Gilbert and the peds CT surgery team (all incredibly nice & generous people).
Wednesday, May 24. 2006
Friday, February 17. 2006
This theme permeates the new Bollywood film, Rang De Basanti, about a British filmmaker who comes to India to shoot a documentary about her Grandfather’s life as a colonial jailor. According to the story, he oversaw the execution of four charismatic freedom fighters during the early days of the Indian Independence movement. Branded as terrorists by the British Raj, the strength and dedication of these men created a personal crisis for him as he supervised their torture and eventual hanging. The filmmaker casts five carefree college kids (including the forty something actor Aamir Khan… hey, it’s Bollywood after all) to take on the roles of the condemned men. When a government corruption cover-up results in the death of their friend, a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force, they are inspired into action by the characters whose roles they have taken.
Though their response is unnecessarily violent and a little bit preposterous, I couldn’t help but think about the difficulty in transitioning between endless and circular debate and concrete action. A similar idea was presented at the Gandhi exhibit I wrote about. A quotation of his stays with me, “Truth is my goal, Ahimsa (non-violent resistance) my method. With truth on my side I am invincible.”
Monday, January 23. 2006
Spoiler alert here - if you haven't seen The Weather Man or Lord of War, I just might give away some key points. Plus, you really should see these films before I color your view of them with my viewpoint.
So Nicholas Cage has made two excellent films this past year that I have seen, both of which leave some pretty uncomfortable questions. The first is The Weather Man. Personally, I think this movie speaks a lot to the futility of the American Dream and to what my friend Eric calls the paradox of success (a book he actually let me). We live in a strange country where sacrifice of family and friends for the sake of your job is not only admired but expected. The question posed is, will we get the outcome we want, and will we like what we have done to ourselves? As for me personally, why am I working so hard now? Will it lead to the idyllic life, filled with love and joy and all that good stuff? Or am I heading down the inevitable path to 100-hour work weeks and watching my children grow up one weekend visitation at a time? Why the hell do I want to work that many hours anyways? Don't get me wrong. I love medicine, and I love the fact that I have a job where I'm constantly learning, constantly helping people, constantly making a difference in their lives as well as mine. I've always thought I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world, and I've just come to accept that the price to pay for having such a job is to work my butt off and sacrifice a great deal. The problem is that I want it all, I know I can't have it, and I'm not really sure I made the right choice. I don't know if I really want to sacrifice everything to have a cool job anymore. It's an uncomfortable thought to have, 4 months from graduation.
The other excellent film from the cage this past year is Lord of War. It is another brutal movie, in which playing the part of the anti-hero, he destroys everything he cares about. Good and evil are well defined in this movie, and the moral strong (the heroes if you will) are all the weaker for their strong sense of ethics. Those who live for principle, who dare to take sides, who strive to save a few lives in the huge conflict are ultimately rewarded for their efforts with absolutely nothing-the lives they try to save are lost anyways, and the change they try to instill never happens. Pleasant thought, huh? So is it pointless to live by principles? Does doing the right thing make any difference? Or should we really be doing what is convenient, what is necessary to survive? If this becomes the case, is there any point to altruism anymore? As cage so astutely states, "They say, 'Evil prevails when good men fail to act.' What they ought to say is, 'Evil prevails.'" Of course, the one flaw in living an unethical life is that it's never easy to live with yourself. Sometimes, it becomes so difficult to live with yourself that it is easier to die-or at least some characters in the movie seemed to think. Or maybe I'm pulling out messages that might or might not be there. I do like doing that. At any rate, the questions are uncomfortable since in general, I like the idea of living by principle and refusing to sacrifice one's character for a quick gain-even if I'm not particularly perfect myself. It's something to think about.
Oh, and apparently Nicholas Cage is going to be the sheriff in this year's remake of The Wicker Man. And National Treasure 2 is in planning. Awesome. If only there could ever be a movie to top The Rock. Paper or plastic?!