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Billy Joel had just turned 40 and had posted up in a recording studio when he met a young man who'd just turned 21 and said, "it's a terrible time to be 21," and Joel said to him, "Yeah I remember when I was 21—I thought it was an awful time and we had Vietnam, and y'know drug problems, and civil rights problems and everything seemed to be awful." They're having this conversation about the 1950s and the Korean War and the Suez Canal Crisis and that's when Billy Joel dreams up "We Didn't Start the Fire," his canonical Grammy-winning rock anthem. He weaves ticker-tape headlines into his lyrics; invoking Eisenhower, vaccines, England's new queen, Maricano, and Liberace, who'd reputedly died of an AIDS-defining illness.
Joel’s message, or at least my reading of it, is that life is an action-packed treetop zipline course with high highs, lows, zigs and zags and growing pains. The course of medical school is wildly formative. That’s true for those of us who'd dissected a cadaveric heart before reaching legal drinking age and those who learned the pediatric developmental milestones by blissful observation of our own babies. We ride through grueling intellectual and physical demands and pick up exotic lexicon like femoral varus derotational osteotomy. (These words actually generate useful passwords like vecuronium1/2life60minutes.)
We, your Student Government leaders, are here to smooth the course. We throw big parties, interface with administrators to make changes, raise funds to support your presentations at meetings of the AMA, ACS, AAA, AAO, AAFP. That’s mostly owing to your indomitable work ethic and your ability to GTD (get things done). Our backdrop is the city of Philadelphia with reach to sister cities of Pittsburgh at the confluence of the Ohio and Monongahela Rivers, to Sacramento and its Pacific Ocean flank.
Our term is summer 2015 to summer 2016, which will herald another United States president and newborn physicians and headlines unimagined by Billy Joel. Your request is not too small or too large. We are here to serve you.
President, Student Government Association
We have no association with Billy Joel to disclose. (But wouldn’t that be so great?)
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