I went to medical school at the University of Chicago and lived in International House for my first year-and-a-half. I regularly carried my microscope, ensconced in a heavy wooden box, back to my abode, as it was most precious – having been rented for a mere $25! On Fridays, at the weeks’ end, the return trip “home” was frequently, by choice, by way of a scenic, albeit more lengthy, route along the lake.
One winter Friday afternoon I walked a rather icy path, and it was windy! I slipped – oh my, I feared the destruction of the microscope and held on to it tightly. Unfortunately, I landed flat on the ice – but the microscope was unscathed. Joy reigned! Until I returned to “I House.”
My right wrist began to swell; it throbbed; I lost all strength in it. So after one trip to student health and another to the emergency room, I now had a cast from my fingers to my shoulder.
A call to my mom (in N.Y.C.) related my tale. She was on the next plane out. And so, I learned, despite being a very right-handed individual, to use my left hand. But alas, ‘twas not sufficient for writing, and traumatically, my exams were now oral. But I survived. And more importantly, so did my microscope in its not-so-little black box.