The taxi driver told me that the way I pronounced "emergency" in Chinese sounded like "economy". After several tries I still did not manage to get te correct tone. Getting farther afield, it started sounding like "golden chicken", and we spent most of the journey laughing about it.
Terribly slow going today. I hate getting druggies and psychiatric patients, and of course the universe decided to introduce a few today. Yet it was interesting to observe how one fakes Parkinsonism. And even more interesting to speculate why one wants to do that. The dark, or sometimes just plain ludicrous, side of the human psyche. The adventurous part of my brain often wonders just how exciting it will be to do psych... the last frontier and all that. At other times, though, I think it'll be demoralising or plain sad. Human frailty - there is no better way to witness that than running the emergency room at the mental institute, methinks. I get the occasional encounters with te neurotic or psychotic patients and usually can't stop obsessing how and why someone turns out that way. Nature? Nurture? I had a day at the paeds psych unit as a student and it was both a baffling yet harrowing experience; at least vicariously.
There was this girl of eleven who started cutting herself. Her mom was getting a divorce and se was doing it to "exert a semblance of control in her own life", thus our tutor expounded te theoretical aspects after the session.
Looking back, I sometimes wonder what became of that girl. Paracetamol overdose at fourteen? Get panic attacks at sixteen? Turns to drugs and alcohol at seventeen? Incarcerated in a mental hospital before she reaches the age of majority?
Or maybe she managed to put that all behind her and grew up more or less normal - but what is normal anyway? One who was found by the Bureau of Statistics to have no official complaint? Who served the Greater Community, never got fired and satisfied one's employer? Had anything been wrong... *we* should certainly have heard. Indeed.
(with thanks to W. H. Auden, 'The Unknown Citizen')