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A cardiologist friend once told me that in medical school, his professor constantly pumped the audio of a healthy heartbeat during the class. thump-thump thump-thump He also provided each student with a looping audio recording for them to listen to on their own. He highly encouraged them to listen to the recording at least 2 hours every day, and even suggested that they play the recording during the night, while they slept. This went on for months. thump-thump thump-thump His class met 3 days a week for 3 hours a day. thump-thump  thump-thump  thump-thump  thump-thump 

Even though the sound was about to drive him insane, he was faithful to listen to the heartbeat as he was instructed. He played it in his car. He played on his iPod at the gym. He played it at his bedside throughout the night. 

Several students inquired to the professor asking what the point was. They were there to learn to fix hearts that were not healthy. They needed to hear the sounds of hearts under adverse conditions. The professor just smiled and offered no explanation. 

          It puzzled my friend, as well. To his eye, all the
thump-thump thump-thump  seemed to be accomplishing was a mass change in specialties! Over half the students in the class dropped the class, and set out to pursue other areas of medicine. My friend considered a change himself, but because his father had died young of heart disease, he really felt that this is what he was supposed to be doing. He just questioned whether he was learning what he needed to know under this particular, and somewhat unconventional, instructor. 

Over the course of the class, he did learn a lot. He learned medical terms and procedures, and he learned of the latest drugs and monitored data from the very latest studies in this field. His grades were quite stellar throughout the course. However, he learned the most important lesson on the final day of the class…the final minutes, really. 

He was about 10 minutes from completing his final exam when it happened. thump-thump   thump-thump thump-thump thump- [pause] –thump  thump-thump thump-thump. Every student, the few that were left, dropped their pencils and looked up. They looked at each other as if to say, What was that? Did you hear that?” 

The professor stood at this time and announced that they may put away their exams, because they all had passed his class with an A+.


...but just don’t take my word for it:

I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes. -Psalm 119:125

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. -John 5:3

By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. –Matthew 7:16-20


Spring 2010
Belinda-Marie Purkey

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January 2011
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