Character: Simon Tam
Question: #3) Have you ever had a teacher who changed your life? When and how?
Disclaimer: I have no rights over the character or person of Simon Tam. More's the pity.
Author's Notes: I'm well aware these are horribly late, and I do apologise profusely. Simon was pondering. He thinks too much.
Comments: Craved. Con-crit always welcome.
I suppose the obvious answer is yes, River, and about four years ago. But I think you're actually referring to academic teachers, aren't you? These questions are so open to interpretation. I wonder what sort of useful information you think you're going to get from them.
There was a teacher who changed my life, but...I don't think she expected to have that effect. In my final year at medacad, we had a series of visiting lecturers, and she was the last. The only one who left a lasting impression. It wasn't the impression she wanted to give. She was a consultant on Sihnon, specializing in pediatrics, but she never...she treated her patients as examples. Curiosities, even, specimen cases of various conditions. That is, when she even noticed them. She was so concerned with protocol and prestige, with staff paying her the right level of deference, she hardly noticed her patients as human beings. As children, with emotions and fears and families, and needs that went beyond the physical.
She gave three lectures during her time on Osiris, and I learned nothing from her about medicine. I did learn a great deal about the difference between maintaining a suitable emotional distance from your patients, and treating them merely as an assemblage of bone and cartilage and muscle, a living machine to be repaired as another rung on your way up the career ladder. It took me nearly a year to find the right balance, to be able to detach myself from the person on the table. When I did...it's lost now, of course. There's no way I can maintain that detachment with people I share meals and living space with, but I can still summon it up, when it's required. Which sadly seems to be far too often.