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Halloo! When I found out I could go to med school with a Humanities degree with an Ethnomusicology emphasis, I almost peed myself. Here's to me holding it in.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


The readings for Monday's field studies class were some of the best things I have ever read, period. They are by Lee, "Eating Christmas in the Kalahari" and Remen, "Helping, Fixing or Serving?" I've been thinking lately about how my life, not to mention my field study, will provide service. My chosen professional field, medicine, is in theory a great form of service (though we all know doctors who serve no one but themselves). The likely direction at the moment is reproductive endocrinology, better known (and perhaps more accurately described) as fertility medicine. There are so many folks in this world of ours who hope and dream to have children, only to have biological difficulties get in the way. I would love to be the guy whose service is to couples who need a little help bringing children into the world. What a wonderful way to spend a day.

But that is something like eight years away! What are things I could do now that would be useful to humankind and make use of the things God has blessed me with?

I've thought a lot about hospice over the last few years. I love old people, for one thing. I'm always amazed by what seventy-plus years of living brings in the realm of wisdom and knowledge. More than that (not all hospice patients have their wits about them, and not all are all that old), I do not have a problem with death or with the uncomfortable situations surrounding it. So many people spend their last months and days in solitude, simply because their family and friends are too uncomfortable seeing these loved ones slipping out of mortality. I like giving people a chance to be cared for, a chance to say the last things they want to say, or simply a chance to be around another person as they finish their sojourn. I have had several opportunities to be close to people with terminal illnesses, and its a scary, eventful, beautiful, confusing time. People get so real in their last days. Serving these people would be so fulfilling, and is needed desperately.

Some of you might know this, but for those of you who don't, I play drums. I used to play drums a lot, before organic chemistry and work came along and harshed my mellow. I'm pretty good. I have had some incredible teachers, who not only taught me technique, but who got me into Music. Kids coming into musicianship deserve teachers like I had, who will dig on and vibe with whatever reason you have for picking up an instrument, who will respect your musical tastes, and who will cultivate something bigger and more global. I like the idea of giving free drum lessons, or (because people don't always trust teachers who don't think their lessons are worth paying for) charging only a nominal fee - gas money or something like that. I play enough styles well enough that I can go to pretty much any student and have something to contribute, and my technique is well grounded enough that hopefully I can prevent cases of carpal tunnel and get people quickly expressing themselves on the kit.  

In the meantime, since this semester is nuts and setting up free drum lessons/hospice service takes a little bit of breaking into, I think I'm going to get into doing tours with BYU ARG (Acoustics Research Group, or, alternately, Space Odyssey Pirate Club). They always need folks to do tours for kids from elementary and high schools, and the tours are geekin' sweet. The anechoic chamber (pictured above) is a zero-reverb room, which is freaky. They also have a reverb chamber, which gets all kinds of nuts with room modes, nodes, and antinodes. Occasionally we get to play with flame tubes as well.

I'll hopefully start doing these tours in a few weeks.

Alrighty, that's enough for now! Adios.

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