Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Not My Area

Last week, a favorite writer of mine died. Nora Ephron was known to many of us as a rom-com female writer who created quirky, lovable and often hilarious characters for us to travel with for two hours in a dark theater. She wrote countless articles and several non-fiction books that speak so truthfully about life, and life in New York, in such detail that you felt as though you were walking with her on the Upper West Side of Manhattan to hit up Zabar’s.

Possibly her most famous scene.

I loved her movies and her writing and her honesty.

So true. And also, is there a legs firm called That’s Mine, This Is Yours? If not, there should be. Maybe that’ll be my next business venture.

But today is a Better Than the Alternative Tuesday and this is not the obituary section of the Times.

You guys, school is hard. I mean, reeeealllly hard. There’s so much information being thrown around and not enough time to study it. I study every day, all day on days when we don’t have class, and work hard to commit to memory the tiniest details about the cell matrix and which proteins do what despite the fact that I want to run screaming from the building sometimes.

It’s {decidedly} Not My Area.

(Couldn’t find a scene with him saying, “It’s Not My Area” but trust me, he says it a lot. And also, who doesn’t love pie?)

And then there are the kids who seem to never study. They are out til 4am drinking, taking the night off from studying, going away for the weekend. I just…can’t. I spend my “extra” time studying and getting back into marathon shape. I guess my goals and priorities are different.


I came to realize something.

They might get a better grade on the exam than me. They might only study 2 days a week. But this is their area. Facts, memorization, Biology, test-taking. They excel here. I don’t. It’s Not My Area.

I don’t need to get drunk to pass out, Histo notes will do the job.

My Area is people, hands-on, treatment, problem-solving and analyzing difficult situations. I may not get an A in Histology, but you can bet that I’ll get high marks on my clinicals. And I will strive to be the best overall student I can be. And though I might not have the highest GPA, I will be known as a leader, a worker and someone who can put to use what we are learning from our books.

So true.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. I’m glad memorization is Not My Area. I’ll take practical skills over regurgitation any and every day of the week. You can teach someone to memorize facts but you can’t teach them to be personable. THAT’S my area. And feeling good about that certainly makes being here better than not.

What’s your area? What’s your gift? If it’s memorizing medical micro-biology, you probably shouldn’t tell me. Oh, what the heck, go ahead and brag!

Now go out and run.