Three long months in the hellish dungeon formerly known as GLC. One of the hottest summers on record. Nightly dinners care of Chef Boyardee. My longest drought from getting with the opposite sex. It was under these conditions that I prepared to compress twenty and a half years of overachievement into the eight-hour odyssey known as the Medical College Admissions Test. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit over dramatic – well, except for the drought part. With family coming up from Buffalo frequently and some friends up here in Rochester, there were a few times when I was able to leave the parching prefab purgatory of deKiewiet Tower and not have to eat out of a can. And, with a nice job at the nearby med center and a friendly roommate, life wasn’t so bad.Having taken care of organic chemistry – the rite of passage for the pre-med crowd – my freshman year, I was able to complete the required courses for the MCAT last May. The last paper and pencil MCAT was at the end of the summer. Due to my unnatural propensity for number two lead and those little answer bubbles on standardized exams, I resolved to dance on August 19. My job of learning the more arcane parts of human physiology was even made easier because of my uncle, a doctor who lives in the nearby suburb of Pittsford. Like the secretary on Mission: Impossible, he probably has disavowed any knowledge of my existence now that I mention him publicly. He was the type of man you could count on to provide moral support. He would call me up to raise my spirits, only to summarily ask me why I am answering the phone and not studying. You can always count on family to be there for you.And thus I worked for thirteen weeks, going through review books and practice MCATs like I had nothing else to do. Thanks to my mom, everyone east of the Mississippi was praying for me, especially the bishop of Buffalo’s Roman Catholic diocese. Exam day was interesting. After providing a headshot, a finger print, my social security number, two forms of identification, the rights to my firstborn and a DNA sample, I was able to have my academic abilities tested. I’m just glad the exam has come and passed. I’ve another month to wait for my score; another month to wait to see if I need to get the blood flowing again and ready for another exam down the road. As the clich goes, life doesn’t start until 40. In Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life is 42. That nagging pride of mine – not necessarily my medical school applications – may need something higher. Then again, a wise man said that pride never helps; it only hurts. My fragile ego, though – that classic Buffalonian state of mind, which comes with a chip permanently etched upon the shoulder – may need the perfect score, the clean sheet, the 45 to feel vindicated. Scott can be reached

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