Certain members of the household are having college finals, and for some reason this entitles them to a monopoly on the computer. . . So I haven’t been able to get a webpage in edgewise for a couple days.

Last night I went to the ER again; since it was freezing rain all evening, this probably came under the category of “idiotic medical student.” (I had received a speech on that subject by my preceptor, who with many smiles and no apparent thought of immediate application made many remarks on that idiotic things that he had known medical students to do while he was a resident or an attending. I couldn’t really object, since I detected an uncomfortable similarity between those students’ thought processes and my own. I was in fact glad to listen, in the hopes of at least knowing what the attending will be thinking of me when I inevitably do the same thing. Usually it consisted of being too officious.) My favorite ER doctor had moved to the urgent care side, which is of course for the cases which are not urgent. Anything which develops enough even to need blood drawn is hastily sent across to the “real” ER. Mostly we saw back pain and whiplash, and some musculoskeletal issues for which people wanted xrays which their family doctors hadn’t wanted to do. There was one finger laceration, which she offered me to sew up, but I hastily recused myself. I have practiced a couple of times on pigs, always very clumsily, and I wasn’t about to start on a finger! We also went across to check on the big case of the evening on the other side, a young pregnant woman whose car had spun around and rolled over. When she came in she was semiconscious and covered with blood, thus very concerning. After she was washed up and sewed up and xrayed, it appeared that she wasn’t seriously injured at all. We got out the ultrasound and looked at the baby with her and her family for a while. I found the heart and the hands, and was so tickled to see the heart beat that I was ready to stop there, so the doctor had to take over and move the wand around to find a nice view of the face.

My ongoing fascination with Celtic music: I’m frustrated because I can get hardly any CDs from the libraries, and I’m not quite crazy enough to spend dozens of dollars on CDs from all the different groups I’m finding out about just to see what they sound like. Instead of Christmas carols, I’ve got the words to “The Foggy Dew” running through my head. I’ve heard three renditions, and I really like the Clancy Brothers best. “Right proudly high over Dublin town/ they hung out a flag of war. . . While Britannia’s sons with their long-range guns/ sailed in through the foggy dew. . . ‘Twas England bade our wild geese go/ that small nations might be free. . . ” But the catching part is the lilting melody, the way the tune catches up and down. You really have to listen to it.

That song has to do with an armed insurrection that some Irishmen staged during WWI because an Irish regiment was sent by the British to fight with bad planning/bad backup, and obviously got massacred. Thus the line “better to die ‘neath an Irish sky/ than at Souvla or Sud-el-bar.” I’m thinking about the implications of that. Is it really better to make a dramatic and attention-getting stand for your own minority group’s rights, at the expense of a larger war? But the Irish really had no reason to feel loyal to Britain’s goals in WWI; how could they care about the freedom of Balkan nations when they [thought they] had none of their own? I really need to read more about Irish history, so that I don’t just go subscribing to their romantic version of the story.

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