Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Interview and a bonus!

Yale Interview
So I had an interview at Yale last Friday. It went well besides the fact that it got to 6 degrees. I think that is the coldest air I've ever felt. Besides that, the Yale experience was great and I had my most interesting interview yet. Usually interviewers ask you about why you want to go to medical school, questions about your application, etc. They want to see if you're the same in person as on paper.
My interviewer seemed convinced of all that before I even walked in. He was somewhat portly and sat comfortably back in his office chair. He had a South African accent and had a jovial demeanor. We talked comfortably and he laughed with great belly-laughter at quips and jokes I'd make. The first part of the conversation was rather high-level discussion on international work and the philosophy thereof. I discovered he was a classmate of Paul Farmer at Harvard, so was well familiar with his work.

He had done his research on me. In addition to reading through my application (which seemed rare for interviewers), he actually searched for the articles I wrote to the Daily Bruin and then read them. I had gathered by this point that he had atheistic leanings, and when he told me that he had read my articles, I had a pang of fear. Then he asked me how I reconciled science and faith.

I was off-guard for this question at first, but talked through it until I was speaking coherently. As I described my views, he was tracking and had even read a book that I had. I then started asking him questions. I asked if he was a particularly religious man. He said no, but had an interest nevertheless for his children's sake. He commented weakly that he personally wished he could be like I was, that is, with the two reconciled. I asked where specifically he thought there was conflict. He stopped and thought for a long time. He finally said that it was religious people who caused him not to believe. I told him that you ought not judge a faith by its parishioners any more than you judge a scientific theory by the behavior of scientists; he ought to look at the teachings of Jesus to know what Christianity truly was.

The conversation moved on to other things, but at the end of the interview, he thanked me with genuine sincerity for my opinions.

I walked out of the interview and said a prayer of thanks. God sent me all the way to New Haven, put me before an important doctor, and then had me defend the faith and share the beautiful consistency of Christianity to a man otherwise isolated from Christians. I never expected I'd be "...being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake" while interviewing (Luke 21:12). What an opportunity! Praise God!

P.S. - G.K. Chesterton
I'm very disappointed I hadn't heard of him earlier. It would have so greatly reduced the severity with which I have in the past banged my head against the wall. He is a magician, with his prose releasing us from the chains of super-rationalism, and sprinkles us with fairy dust, allowing us to ascend into the heavens (I think I sub-consciously ripped that off one of his reviewers).

But for the moment it is possible in the same solely practical manner to give a general answer touching what in actual human history keeps men sane. Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic. He has permitted the twilight. He has always had one foot in earth and the other in fairyland. He has always left himself free to doubt his gods; but (unlike the agnostic of to-day) free also to believe in them. He has always cared more for truth than for consistency. If he saw two truths that seemed to contradict each other, he would take the two truths and the contradiction along with them. His spiritual sight is stereoscopic, like his physical sight: he sees two different pictures at once and yet sees all the better for that.

Incredible! That was from Orthodoxy, which I'm halfway through.

P.P.S. - Love
I was over at Andy's in Orange and I saw this cartoon. It reminded me of a previous blog I wrote about women. It came from a webcomic called .

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