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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Short White Coat: Society Olympics part 2

Short White Coat is a blog written by first-year Harvard medical student Ishani Ganguli. Ishani's posts appear here, as part of White Coat Notes. E-mail Ishani at shortwhitecoat@gmail.com.

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As promised, a follow-up to the Society Olympics preparations I wrote about last week: Cannon didnít quite bring home the pink flamingo on Friday, but we trailed the winning team by a meager four points out of their 88. Despite losing our chance at the plastic bird, and our voices from cheering so loudly, the day was well worth the sleepless nights preceding it.

Pranks came to a head on game day. After the distraction of morning lectures, the five societies braved the rain to enact elaborate processions before a panel of distinguished judges at the tennis court.

Castle Society played off its David Castlehoff theme with impressive Baywatch-style lifeguarding maneuvers in a kiddie pool, while Peabodyís "P. Biddy"-themed procession had hip-hop fans swooning and throwing undergarments upon the hip hop mogulís enacted arrival. Health Sciences and Technology (HST, a society as well as a separate program) presented choreographed vignettes of television shows with chemistry-kit inspired stunts. Holmes Society showed off its school spirit (its theme was Holmescoming) with a one-man marching band and crowned homecoming nobility, while our similar high school theme (Cannon High, to be specific) had us recreating the awkward hilarity of teenage dances.

The pie-eating competition was messy, though regurgitation was kept to a minimum. The same could be said, thankfully, for Dean Joe Martin when he judged the Iron Chef competition. After the dance-off, in which I fulfilled a personal fantasy in my cheerleader skirt and pom-poms, Cannon dominated the dodgeball tournament after a dramatic reversal of a one-on-three match accomplished in large part by staring down the competition.

Throughout the afternoon, alliances were formed and quickly forgotten, and congratulatory pats and celebratory hugs were in ready supply. The relay race had us mimicking a typical day in the life of a doctor: put on scrubs, shave a kiwi, and resuscitate a plastic mannequin. Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, refereed a contentious tug-of-war championship. After some strategic cheering and a few do-overs, Cannon was declared the winner for the third event in a row.

Giddy from cheering under the by-now hot sun, we retired indoors for catered barbecue and an announcement of the winner -- HST. By late evening, trash talk and our grass-stained T-shirts were thrown aside as we celebrated together as a class. The only competition that night involved plastic Solo cups and ping pong balls.

Posted by Ishani Ganguli at 02:25 PM
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