Above: Staedtler Pigment Liner sketch of Stella, a friend’s dog from fall 2007. Shown here to reinforce yesterday’s topic of “warm-ups,” so you can see two drawings. (Note Stella has a lovely Marilyn Monroe mole on her nose.) But also posted today because dog sketches are like comfort food for me. If I had a dog currently, I would be sketching it right now! Click the image to view an enlargement.
Today I spent over two hours driving around in the quickly falling 4 inches of new snow that hit Minneapolis (maybe more by the time it’s finished?). I’m not complaining (much). As days go mine was simple and direct, if disappointing. Nothing like my friend who had a tooth removed and jaw rebuilt!
But much of today was taken up with the slow transit across the snow clogged city or wasting time at the new doctor’s office. Dealing with a doctor who obviously didn’t graduate at the top of her class, and whose only substantive comment to me in the brief time (less than ten minutes) she spoke with me was, “Gee we are the same age,” (No I did not respond, “Now we can be BFFs”) made me think of a little backstory I wanted to share.
It’s a little cautionary tale actually; a reminder that we need to always watch out that the new students coming up in the world have a clear sense of history. It’s great that students know Europe isn’t in South America, but it’s more important (because the rest will follow) that they know where on the timeline of civilization things like the Fall of Rome, the American Civil War, and the development of vaccines for measles and mumps fall.
If students grow up without this knowledge then other frustrating conversations with doctors take place, like the one which happened to Dick, and which he takes great glee in telling, because he knows it always makes me laugh, and laugh, and laugh. On a day like today, he told it to me twice, calm, and gentle, with no hint of long suffering, just as a parent would read a child’s favorite book over and over at bedtime. Enjoy. (Oh, you need to know that Dick is an engineer who designs medical devices.)
I was scheduled to observe a surgery. Common to many hospitals I was required to show proof of a positive titer for four common diseases: Measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox. A positive titer means that I have antibodies for these diseases. These antibodies result from either having the disease and recovering or from immunization.
I went to the Park-Nicollet Clinic in Maple Grove to obtain the necessary blood work. After explaining to the newly minted physician what I needed she asked to confirm: “You’ve had the vaccines?”
I answered that no, I had not been vaccinated. I had been infected with each of these diseases when I was young.
The young physician looked shocked. “Why didn’t your parents vaccinate you?”
I explained to her that I had been infected before there were vaccines for any of these diseases. That I had been sick with each of these diseases in the 1950s and early 1960s and that commercial vaccines weren’t available then.
Her look of shock and confusion only deepened. “But why wouldn’t your parents have vaccinated you?”
I can’t even type this without breaking out into giggles. It makes the misadventure of today easier to file away. Competency, Listening, Comprehension, Common Sense—these qualities stand at the base of every tale of the Brothers Grimm because these qualities matter in life.