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Study Life

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According to Stephen Henderson, “The great are those who in their lives fought for life.” I am a fighter for life. My weapon of choice – an acute focus on human anatomical and biological processes – is my passion and principle intellectual pursuit. Barbara Bady once suggested, “Life is preparation. What does that mean? Live! And you will find out.” I didn’t understand the magnitude of this statement till, when I was eight, my great grandmother passed. Her death stole from my family our sense of connectedness and replaced love and trust with grudges and resentment. As for me personally, I temporarily lost my inner peace. Life would never be the same, I thought.

I plunged into a slight depression, lamenting her death on a daily basis, mostly writing poetry, reading, or listening to music to take my mind off the slow demise of the rest of my family. After I finished all the books I had, I opted against asking my parents to buy another one because they had recently purchased a book for me already. Instead, I went into my dad’s office and searched for something that may be of interest to me. That is when I found it – the study of life. The large, over 2000 paged book of human anatomy and physiology delighted me, entranced me almost, and I became captivated. Once I reached the reproductive and childbirth chapters, I knew that would lie at the forefront of my studies; my aspiration to be an obstetric gynecologist was birthed.

Soon, my study of human anatomy and biology began to influence my life holistically. As I wrote my poetry, I found ways to express my captivation with life – “nothing could ever taste so warm or feel so sweet.” I also read quotes on life by artists, poets, ministers, educators, writers, Olympic track stars, and even biologists! E.E. Just, a well-known African American marine biologist of the 19th century, drew the connection between life and music in his statement, “Life is exquisitely a time-thing, like music.” After realizing the underlying truth in his statement, life began to show in my music. As I counted time in band, danced to my iPod, and continued my anatomical read, I discovered this “time-thing” to which Just referred. The heartbeat, like the drum cadence in a marching band, sustains the rhythm of life. The study of biology soon became the lyrics to my lifelong song and I decided to not hoard my epiphanies, but to share this enlightenment with the rest of my family. I came to believe as Jesse Owens did that “Life doesn’t give you all the practice races you need.” Therefore, if I only have one chance to make a difference, one chance to share the gift of life, who am I to waste it by stockpiling knowledge in my mind and not utilizing it to improve the world?

Ever since, I have actively engaged in community service, in particular, events concerning nursing homes and children in the pediatric ward of the hospital. I understand as Langston Hughes declared that, “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” However, I realize that there is no excuse for giving up, for life, as defined by Nikki Giovanni, is “a marvelous, transitory adventure.” I welcome challenges, but not defeat. I am a fighter till the death, able and willing to endure change. I long to be a part of bringing life into the world and I refuse to be overcome by death, simultaneously encouraging others to follow suit. I am entering the medical field because life is truly exquisite. As Romare Bearden asserts, “I want to see how life can triumph.” just as life overcame the death and loss in my early childhood.





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Tashan said...
May 27, 2009 at 8:08 pm
This is really amazing, and makes me wish I could understand and look at life like that
 
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