Classes at Kelly were hard work and no play – but the surroundings were beautiful. (Map this!)
We have been living in a monastery. Or that’s what it felt like. Get up at 5am. Study. Breakfast at 7am. Kitchen duty. Classes from 8am to 5pm. Study again till 6pm. Dinner; more study or practice sessions till 10pm. And over again. Weekends ER (Emergency Room) rotations or study. No Alcohol. Spartan accommodations in bunks. Keep your areas clean; no cycling on campus.
It wasn’t all nose to the grind; the actual classes were fun and interesting due to the talented teachers. And Shreesh and I were given a cabin to ourselves by the nice people at Teton Science School. We were in beautiful Grand Teton National Park, the Tetons a constant presence. They would peer bashfully at us through pink skies early in the morning as we lay in the snow pretending to have various broken bones, nasty hemorrhages or heart attacks for others to practice their EMT skills on us. Or they would be a majestic presence under blue skies as the instructors dunked the two youngest and fittest people in the ice cold river for others to rescue. They would be peering curiously at us in the moonlight during a mock rescue staged at night in freezing temperatures. And the elk, moose and buffalo were always around as we practiced backboarding each other in under seven minutes, gave oxygen to dummies or shocked them repeatedly for some sign of life.
There were, of course, the inevitable friendships and cliques, the cool people and the uncool, the “normal” and the mavericks. We missed a lot of that being on our own in the cabin but even with mostly nice people, the currents ran deep.
Did we have fun? Sometimes yes, but it was way too much hard work to really qualify as fun. Now that its over we are glad we did it; I feel so much more prepared to deal with medical situations when doctors aren’t readily available. In hindsight though, a Wilderness First Responder course would probably have sufficed.