We shuffle around in our white coats, pointing at others’ scribbled notes and explaining our reasoning. Our fingers try to learn the unfamiliar bumps of the sternum beneath the skin. We are learning a new language. This novel vocabulary describes vessels and hormones and the inner mechanics of our fundamental cells. Like elementary children preparing for a Spelling Bee, we rely on repetition to engrain these foreign sounds and concepts into our growing minds. A line is being drawn. Standing on one side, we gaze over the line at everyone else with their worries about what to cook for dinner, how to solve the new problem at work, and when they are going to find time to do their laundry. In each one of us, there is a pang of jealousy. We sigh a breath of yearning for their straight-forward lives. We fight sleep, accept a state of chaos in our lives, and aim to achieve the impossible by retaining more information than we ever thought possible. We are not much different on our side of the line. Laundry and dinner still worry our minds, too. But we are also trying to understand cancer, to wrap our heads around the diverging pathways of insulin regulation that is driving the diabetic epidemic, to plant tiny seeds in our minds trying to figure out how we will each change the world.
We are nothing but little humans donning white coats,
who have stepped over a line.