“Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use.” ~Carlos Castaneda

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Simon Cowell is my boy ....

Music is wonderful, wouldn't you say. Songs inspire; bring back past memories. Both tragedy and joy can be tied to one song. The same lyrics can have separate meaning to different people. Change the vocalist and a crowd favorite can become a dud. American Idol is great, watching all of these hopefuls, and some freaks, get up there and sing their hearts out. Sometimes causing pain to my ears. We love watching people on both ends of the spectrum, the highs and the lows. And Simon Cowell is the driving force behind the whole thing. It is his British brashness and true honesty, sometimes may be a little mean, that we thrive on. I like him because he has the balls to say you suck.

In the United States, over the past say 15 years, we have developed an environment where everyone does well. We all get good grades. Score is not kept in some of the kids sports. Everyone gets to play. Everyone gets a trophy. We see it even in college/university today. It is extremely hard to fail someone. If the professor does, then they have to explain themselves and the student will dispute it. You have to have a really good reason to give a failing grade. If you look at grades, B has become the average. It kinda defeats the purpose of the grading system if the average grade is above average. How are we supposed to differentiate people? Who is better? That is why I think America loves American Idol, at least to some extent there is some brutal honesty. "Honey, it just wasn't good."

Tool gives me inspiration and drives me, with the crescendo and decrescendo in the music and the complex arrangement of music and lyrics. They say Maynard is a genius, so much can be implied from his lyrics

"Something has to change.
Un-deniable dilemma.
Boredom's not a burden
Anyone should bear.

Constant over stimu-lation numbs me
and I wouldn't have
It any other way.

It's not enough.
I need more.
Nothing seems to satisfy.
I don't want it.
I just need it.
To feel, to breathe, to know I'm alive."

- TOOL (Stinkfist)

I look at the medical students coming through on service and those coming to interview. Most are of this generation. Most probably played soccer growing up. With their Blackberry's and text pagers, they are linked to the world. They have always been told they were great, like so many idol contestants. They come with their good scores and nice university pedigree. For many years they wee told what grades and scores the needed to get in to college/medical school. Now, they try to apply the same principles to getting into residence. "So, tell me what scores or grades do I need?"

Now, these idol contestants are applying for competitive residencies, like orthopeadics, an they are being evaluated by Simon Cowell. The application is reviewed and contestants are chosen. Some contestants are dismissed as tone deaf, while others given consideration. If everything is the same between one application and another, why one and not the other? Well, probably a majority of the time, after all is said and done, it comes down to a personal preference of the person reviewing the application, like a taste in music. There are things we are drawn to in an application, as we are to a vocalist or group. Personal experience of previous medical students, residents, and physician/surgeon, helps us to find characteristics or traits about an applicant that we like. Sometimes it is all thumbs up and other times is all thumbs down, and sometimes Randy, Paula, and Simon come to a 2 to 3 vote.

In the end, there are some good singers and some bad. Some great singers with a bad look; and some bad singers with a good look. We see good scores with bad applications and visa versa. So when you get rejections, don't take it personal; and when you get the interviews, be thankful. Try not to read into it all. It is not personal, just business.

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