Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Most Productive Day of my Moscow-Based Life

Today is Monday. In the earlier years of my long and distinguished life, that meant going back to school after an all-too short weekend, back to 4 hour football practices and AP classes, Mario Andretti-style racing to make it to lunch and back in time, and the ever present feeling that I had one more thing to do. This Monday, I am content. I had the energy to get out of bed early enough to get a quick run in this morning. I had all my homework for the day done last Thursday, so that wasn’t a worry. I went to class till 12:30 and after class the internship coordinator for the Academy told me the internship with the American Medical Center she told me about was impossible. Lame. I was pretty bummed because the only other option was the Russian Childrens Clinical Hospital, where we weren’t even sure if I could do anything medically related or if I would just be fingerpainting with the terminal patients. After that, I got onto the internet (instead of listening to the weekly culture and history lecture) and researched the European Medical Center. After finding the address and memorizing the map that showed where the place was located in relation to the metro stop (which was on the way home, as luck would have it) I set off to go home, take a nap, and do some reading. We got to the stop where the EMC was located, and in a spur of the moment decision, as the doors were closing, I somehow dodged my way through the rush hour mob crowding the metro car I was in and barely made it past the guillotine doors with which each Russian metro car is so charmingly equipped. I got out to the surface, looked around and set off. The big give-away was the Olympic center (two huge stadiums… but I don’t remember there being an Olympiad in Moscow ever… anyone else know for sure?). Once I found that, it was just first alleyway to the right and straight on till morning. Or at least that’s how far it felt. I finally found the place, sweaty and gross in my standard-issue American jeans (read: not skin tight, bedazzled, full of random patches, seams, hems, or designes, etc) and my favorite ASU shirt. I went up to the reception desk and asked if they had any information about internships or volunteer opportunities at their facility. They sent me to the 3rd floor to the European Clinic for Sports Trauma and Orthopedics (translation: pre-med heaven). I talked to the reception desk there, and was asked to take a seat. After about 20 minutes I was led into the office of the Medical Director’s office for the entire clinic. He didn’t really understand what I wanted to do (the system is different in Europe) but in the end agreed, and told me to be there Friday morning at 8:30 AM. What?!?! I came in off the street just looking for information, and ended up setting up a shadowing gig for the whole summer, basically. AWESOME! Then, on my way back to the metro I decided to stop in at Mickey D’s to check email and have a celebratory strawberry milkshake. While surfing, I decided to research the American Medical Center, and ended up talking with the medical director there. He said he might be able to work something out where I could be a nurse’s assistant or something (I think they change diapers in rest homes in the states, but who knows) Also awesome. Мне повезло. It was, needless to say, a very good day.

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