I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, but I didn’t know how to word what has probably been the weirdest thing I’ve ever done. My sister (The Keen One a.k.a. Kenny) finds it hilarious, and has been telling everyone about it, so I thought it was time for me to explain myself.
Over ten weeks, as part of my medicine degree, I did 20 hours of clowning. Yes, you read right. Clowning. At my medical school, part of the course is a Studies Allied to Medicine (SAM) module, where we can choose to do something else for 2 hours every week, to make us more well rounded. It included options like French, German, Spanish, British Sign Language, Anatomy Drawing, Global Health and Violence & Politics.
I wasn’t interested in doing anything too heavy, because I wanted something fun as a break from intense lectures, and that was why I chose clowning. I’m also interested in being a paediatrician, so I thought it would be useful in consultations with children.
So how was it? Strange. Very strange.
We found out in our first session that we wouldn’t be learning how to juggle or anything like that; this type of clowning involved getting in touch with our “inner clown,” and learning how to react to everyday situations as clowns, by getting out of our comfort zones.
Our clowning teacher was a very eccentric lady, who had decided clowning was her true calling, after 29 years of being a nurse. She frequently travels the world for clowning conventions; she really was a character!
In our sessions, we talked about our feelings (things got #deep), dressed up in costumes- red noses too, ofcourse- and played games like It, Grandmother’s Footsteps and Musical Statues. We also did a lot of improvisation and performances to each other; no week was ever the same, and we would all come out of sessions like, “What the heck did we just do?” It really was a surreal experience.
I was told by our clowning teacher that I am “a subtle, vulnerable clown.” I really didn’t know how to respond to that- people have interpreted it as her gently trying to tell me I’m not funny… pssshhhh. Haters gonna h8; I think I’m hilarious tbh.
Clowning eventually became the highlight of my week, and by the end, I was actually sad it was over. We definitely chose the best option, as people in other groups started wishing they’d done clowning too.
We had a tea party in our final session, and it was a lot of fun:
On a side note, the OSCE was… okay. I’m going to be positive and say it was not bad overall. Yes there were tricky stations (grrr at that odd Warfarin monitoring consultation, and LOL at the dermatology data interpretation pictures that I can’t even remember), but I’m praying I’ve done alright.
I guess time will tell, but I’m not going to stress out about it, because you know what? This time next week, I WILL BE HOME.