Tag Archives: democrat hollow

White Coats & Tradition

21 Sep

As traditions go, 18 years is relatively new. That is exactly how long medical schools in America have been “coating” first year students in a ceremony that has become a rite of passage for medical student. The first White Coat Ceremony was held in 1993 at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and is now a standard ritual in medical schools across the country. During the Ceremony, each medical student is presented and “robed” with his or her short white laboratory coat, formalizing and welcoming the student’s entrance into the study of medicine.

 

Of course when you are talking about new traditions, it seems that is all that the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine has. Now in its fifth year and celebrating its fifth entering class, DCOM’s White Coat Ceremony, set for Saturday, will be steeped in the young traditions of the new school.

 

Traditions like a DCOM family barbeque in Democrat Hollow the evening before the ceremony. It’s the first opportunity for the extended family of the newest DCOMers to meet and mingle with faculty, staff and other families. A fresh take on the tradition this year is that the meal will be prepared by  Dean Ray Stowers and Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation/OPP and Assistant Vice President for Program Development Michael Wieting. The pair are certified barbeque judges and the “two Docs” of Two Docs Barbeque. They hosted a similar event during the Inaugural Class Commencement week.

 

Since the very first White Coat Ceremony in 2007, the Tennessee Osteopathic Medicine Association (TOMA) has provided the white coats for the students of Tennessee’s only osteopathic medical school. During the ceremony, a TOMA representative, usually the president of the organization, makes a presentation to the class. The students are actually “robed” by faculty representatives. Another DCOM tradition is closing with the Osteopathic Oath of Commitment — A pledge the students will also recite during commencement.

 

The White Coat Ceremony is an important rite of passage for new medical students. The white coat is another tool of the profession. Dr. Stowers said few new students really understand the confidence a white coat can instill in a patient.

Advertisements

And then I jumped…

12 Aug

1 – 2 — 3 — Zip! And with that I walked off the plank. What came next was shear exhilaration as I soared over forty feet off the ground spanning the 500 foot valley of Democrat Hollow in about 15 seconds. It was quick, but it certainly qualified as the most fun I have had on the job in a long time. Had I not had important public relations duties to attend to, I probably would have stayed there all day or at least taken the plunge one more time.

The zipline is the final high element of LMU’s High Adventure Ropes Course, which has been a fixture in Democrat Hollow since 2009. The High Adventure Ropes Course combines fun and adventure with team building and leadership development. Designed and built for the University by Challenge Tours, the course consists of six low ropes elements and three high ropes elements.  

LMU’s High Adventure Ropes Course Coordinator Turner Bowling agreed to take a group the University Advancement staff out to the course to experience a few of the elements. The best part, we all got to wear some really cool harnesses that are extremely flattering to our figures (I hope you can feel the sarcasm in that statement). Seriously, the best part was having fun with my co-workers and trying something new. To fully capture, and share, this experience I even rigged my own helmet cam by duct tapping a Flip Cam to the helmet. The result is a pretty shaky video, but you can get a sense of what the zipline experience is from the video.

The zipline is pretty self explanatory. Turner took our group two at a time to the plank, which has been built about forty feet up on one side of the valley. A wire is suspended across the valley attached to poles on each side. For lack of a technical explanation, the “zipliner” zips across the wire, suspended by a rope connected to your harness on one end and a pulley on the other. There is not a lot of team building to this exercise, but some technique is required to successfully “land.” Since Turner was on his own on this outing, he asked for one of our group to volunteer to “catch” for him.

 

LMU High Adventure Coordinator Turner Bowling demonstrating an easy landing.

I wanted to capture some video and photos of everyone, so I volunteered to catch. A successful landing involved landing on your feet and running up the hill building on the momentum off the zipline. It sounded easy enough in theory. Turner demonstrated how easy it should be.

LMU Director of Alumni Services demonstrates a not-so-easy landing.

Once my first team member came crashing into the earth, about 20 feet lower on the hill than I was set to catch him, I realized that it might be trickier than it looked. After three other failed catchings I was relieved of my catching duties and headed to the plank armed with my observations on the landings. My teammate ahead of me, who had also had the benefit of observing other landings, did manage to land on his feet.

When it was my turn, Turner reminded me that I would start to twist after take-off. He said it was important that I throw my weight the way the rope is turning, so that I am square with the ground on the landing. Amazingly, I executed a near perfect landing. After watching person after person slide into the other side of the valley, I was just happy not to be covered in mud.

My group decided, because of time constraints, to skip the ultra scary Pamper Pole. Another high element of the course, the Pamper Pole involves climbing to the top of a pole (picture a telephone pole), standing straight up and jumping off to hit a ball that is suspended about five feet off the pole. It’s the ultimate trust fall, as you have to trust your team, which is managing the belay, to ease your decent.

 I’m not sure if I’m crazy or just still high from the adrenaline from the zipline, but I definitely want to try the Pamper Pole on my next visit to the High Adventure Ropes Course. That’s right, I said next. I’m totally hooked. I wonder why it took me two years to get out there in the first place.


 

 

A graceful take off.

 

 

My smooth landing. Notice the helmet is over my eyes.