Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Age 28: Changes
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by Dr. Margaret Aranda
This was the year that everything changed. I brought my child back to Tulsa, Oklahoma with me. And it was hard, being On Call every third night in the hospital. I couldn't imagine what it was, to sleep in a hospital overnight...who does that? Doctors. I was a single parent in medical school, and my classmates knew things had been difficult on me. So one of the wives decided to get a group of medical student wives together, and they came up with a schedule for who was going to pick up my son from school for me. Every third night, when I was On Call, some one different would pick him up at the bus stop and take him to their home. He would eat dinner with the family, sleep on a strange bed, and go to school the next morning. Quite amazing.
Walking home from the school bus stop, he would wonder.
"Who was supposed to pick me up today? What if they forget about me?" He would worry. After a few months, it began to snow and it was cold outside. He worried that some one would forget to pick him up at the bus, and that he could freeze to death. So I worried, too.
One of the medical students saw the worry in my heart, and pulled me aside to ask what my problem was. I didn't really know her, but I told her any way. I don't know what made me confide in her, but I did. Once I described what was happening, she took me by the hand, much like Scottie Pedesky had years before, and took me to the Dean of Students. He put my school transcripts and a cover letter in a manilla envelope, sealing it with an Official Dean's Seal. He handed it to me and wished me luck. I was going to apply to transfer to another medical school in California, so that I could be closer to my family. They would help me raise my son.
Actually, I took that letter, my son, and one of my sisters. We gathered into my little 3-cylinder Chevy Sprint, and we drove from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Los Angeles, California only two days later. I left my apartment full of furniture, clothes, and food. I only brought a few clothes, my medical school books, and my stethoscope. I forgot about everything else I owned.
I called UCLA School of Medicine and told them I left medical school and was looking to transfer. They rejected me. I called USC School of Medicine, told them my story, and Dean Tranquata said, "You did what?" He gave me a month to take a break, then interviewed me for transfer to USC Medical School. One month later, I was accepted into USC. Now, I was a Trojan.
So by the end of 1988, I was moving, settling in, and attending USC School of Medicine. My son had a babysitter and tons of cousins and aunts and uncles around him, and we certainly didn't have to worry about snow after school.
It was going to be a new year.
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Dr. Margaret Aranda's Books:
No More Tears en Espanol
Little Missy Two-Shoes Likes to go to School
From Menarche to Menopause: A Journey through Time
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Age 31: The Color Blue
Additional Articles by Dr. Margaret Aranda
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