Friday, April 28, 2006

Aspiring to honors

Imagine my delight when I learned that there are no letter grades in medical school. Imagine my disappointment when I learned that instead of letter grades there are pass, fail, and honors. So there’s still that “A” waiting to be earned, it’s just going by a different name in med school. Sheesh.

Despite the oft repeated quip “P=MD” (i.e., pass gets you the degree, no honors necessary), getting honors grades makes a big difference when it comes time to compete with all the other medical graduates in getting that perfect residency spot. Or even the specialty you want. Some students go for honors at all costs. These folks are called “gunners,” a reference to the gunman on the back of an army truck taking out anyone who might be following and trying to keep up. Tactics include checking out all available texts from the library right before the test so nobody else can study them, or providing notes to other students who missed lectures that are deliberately incomplete or incorrect. But most of my classmates aren’t like that. It’s a wild ride anyway you look at it though.

I tend to provide excuses when I fail to achieve honors when the reality is I just didn’t put in the effort. Some students don’t even try—it’s much easier that way.

Now, consider this: “…studies show that out of [the] 15% of couples who try to make [their marriage] work, only about 7% make it long term after learning one spouse is gay.” So, the way my analogy works is that, if I’m at the 85th percentile of couples with one gay partner, I’ll get near honors (trying to make it work) and if I’m at the 93rd percentile, I’ll get honors and my marriage will last.

My marriage grade is not random though, it’s based on my desire and determination. My hard work and tenacity. My personal grit and effort. And on my spouse. But for marriage honors, there need be no gunners. The marriage Dean doesn’t restrict the honors to the top 15% of the class [unlike the med school dean whose house I will egg tonight], He leaves the possibility open to all.

If you happen to be gay and married, your goals may not align with mine, and I certainly don’t mean to offend you with my analogy. But if you happen to be gay and a practicing Mormon, you may find that the blessings of marriage are achievable for those who desire them, find the right circumstances, and then work like hell [ahem… starting with communication]. The statistic that is more frequently used to discourage you could just as well encourage you.

1 comment:

Beck said...

Thanks for the encouragement! Speaking for those of us in the active Mormon married gay and father combo, I think it is possible... I've proven it's more than possible for some time now, some very long time... I've been told time and again that I won't be able to make the long haul, and that eventually, if I'm true to myself then the marriage will undoubtedly crash.

It was in a wreck two years ago when I came completely "out" to her and was "true to myself", but we're still going at it, and getting the job done, and we still haven't given up yet. And there are tons of things to keep fighting for, including happiness together.

It's just hard! But, after a good day today, it's worth it... I'm feeling pretty good. There is hope!

(Now, if I can just keep the gorgeous guys from walkin' by).