THE SNUGBUS EXPRESS

That already failed once, back in the 70s...

...I started med school in fall of 1975 in SC. Worked my ass off and was offered a TA job in the Gross Anatomy Lab for the summer session of 1976. Got to meet and hang with many of the incoming freshman who had decided to take anatomy early in order to lighten their fall load (wish I'd done it). As you can imagine, there were LOTS of very smart folks in there, many of them with actual personalities!

After the first week I started noticing a group of 4-5 black male students, older looking, wander into lab later in the morning (sometimes MUCH later). They were all "fro'd up", wearing dashikis and other ethnic apparel. They'd all go to the same table and spend some time juking around, always leaving early. When I made inquiries among the other students, they identified the group as "the soul train". They were repeating their first year of med school for the second and third time, having utterly failed to progress. When I asked why this was allowed, I was told that it was "policy" not to flunk out minorities.

There was one REALLY smart little guy among the regular students who was a leader at his table, always showed up early and stayed late. One morning I was teaching at his group's lab table and the soul train sauntered in. He glanced over at them and the look of hate in his eyes surprised me. He muttered under his breath "Those guys devalue every thing damn thing I've accomplished." The look was gone in moments and we went back to work. I later found out that he was the valedictorian of a VERY prestigious private South Carolina College. And, yes...
he was black.

The med school eventually flunked the soul train out and the "policy" was allowed to die quietly.

Now here it comes back again.

K

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